If you have a sailing license then you already know the thrill of unfurling the mainsail, setting the jib, and heading out into open waters. There really is nothing like the feel of the salt spray on your face as the wind fills your sails.
With a license you don’t need your own boat, in fact, it’s much easier to hire one in your desired destination. There are plenty of destinations you may not have thought of, Sicily is probably one of them. But, rent a sailboat in Sicily without skipper and you’ll find it has more than enough to keep you busy for 2 weeks or longer.
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and home to Mount Etna, the most active Volcano in Europe. It has a host of historical and culturally significant buildings dating back over the last 2,500 years. Remnants of the Roman, ancient Greeks, Normans, and even the Spanish can be found everywhere.
You’ll also find that sailing around the island provides you with the perfect opportunity to explore numerous secluded coves and beautiful beaches. The fact that the food is great and the locals are very friendly is just a bonus!
The usual starting point is either Catania or Palermo, the Capital. This is because this where the two airports are located. The problem isn’t where you start, it’s deciding which places you should visit.
Agrigento on the southern coast is a must. It’s actually where you’ll find the UNESCO World Heritage site of Valle dei Templi, home of some of the best examples of ancient Greek architecture in Europe.
Trapani on the western coast is the gateway to the Saline di Lagune, the salt mines are famous and a picture, with the traditional windmills, is essential.
Licata is further down the southern coast than Agrigento and has recently been picked as the location of Italy’s best beaches. It’s worth taking the time to admire the lighthouse from your deck.
Head around the southern tip of the island and you’ll find the town of Noto which is also UNESCO listed. Heading up the eastern coast you can sail straight into Syracuse, the original home of Archimedes. Bordering the city are two nature reserves which are worth a look and you’ll find sperm whales in the waters around here.
It’s also worth taking a look at the island of Ortigia where you’ll find an abundance of ancient landmarks, including the Temple of Athena and the impressive Piazza Duomo. Your boat will also give you a fantastic view of Castello Maniace. This is the spot where Archimedes is reputed to have set fire to Roman ships with the aid of a giant mirror.
No trip to Sicily is complete without a look at Catania, the 2nd biggest city on the island and one that has Mount Etna as a backdrop. It’s a stunning city and the centre is another UNESCO site!
Sailing north you’ll pass the picturesque town of Taormina, known as the pearl of the Med, you’ll also pass by, and can even stop at, Messina. From here you can see mainland Italy.
Heading back to Palermo on the northern coast it’s good to stop at the picturesque fishing village of Cefalu, there really is no better picture-perfect end to your sailing holiday.
Of course, there is an abundance of beaches and coves to explore around the island. Rent a sailboat in Sicily without skipper and you’ll find our first-class customer service crew do more than help you navigate the hire process. They’ll also give you pointers and tips to ensure that this is the sailing experience of a lifetime.