Touted as the largest island in the Mediterranean, yacht charter Sicily is without a doubt an experience that has to be lived by any sailor who wants to be worth his salt. An old and beautiful place with many reminiscent things from the past, Sicily does manage to capture the imagination of whoever travels here.
The sailing potential of Sicily is first and foremost given by its sheer size and location which is best described as the patch of land sitting on the tip of the boot-shape that is occupied by Italy. You can say that Sicily is Italy’s football, a very old and beautiful football.
Infamous throughout the world for one of its less desired exports, the Mafia, Sicily does get a bad reputation that we think is a bit unfair, but those curious enough to visit will realize it’s just a misconception and most will fall in love with it at first sights.
The island of Sicily was born out of volcanic activity, a fact which would explain the numerous volcanoes present on the island today, many of which are still active and also famous for big eruptions, such as the Mount Etna volcano.
From a sailing point of view, Sicily offers a wide variety of experiences thanks to its many types of shores. For example, the north and west shores offer the sailor some spectacular views because of their high cliffs whereas the eastern shores which are more low-lying and covered with beaches offer panoramic views of scenic bays. These are more suited for mooring which is why most of the marinas and the yachting infrastructure is centered on this part of Sicily.
On land, you’re going to be seduced by the local vegetation which has numerous typical Mediterranean species such as olive trees, grape vines as well as typical Sicilian species such as dwarf palms, oleanders, eucalyptus trees, pine trees, agaves, hibiscus and almonds. The entire area around the Mount Etna volcano constitutes a large national park which is very sought after by tourists and not only yacht charter groups, especially since it has some unique attractions such as flamingos.
Historically speaking, the island has been inhabited since prehistoric times, but it didn’t begin to flourish until it was settled by the Greeks in antiquity that were also responsible for creating the large trading ports such as Syracuse as well as introducing olives and wines to the island which are still grown extensively today. After the Greeks, Sicily fell into the hands of the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs and many others, coming back to Italy in the late 1800s.
Today, the major ports on the island such as Catania, Marsala, Portorosa, Palermo and Milazzo are also large tourist centers and yacht charter hot spots in addition to being economical and cultural centers. The local population increases in numbers during the tourist season which is usually extended from May to October when almost every day is sunny, with slight breezes that blow mainly from the northwest at a maximum of 15-20 knots and lovely air temperatures.
In addition to the lovely geographical setting, the auspicious weather conditions, Sicily is a well-regarded yacht charter destination because of the low-risk sailing conditions. It offers a sheltered position from major wind currents, it has virtually no tides and the waters in its vicinity are very well documented.