Sicilian island beaches
The paradisiacal shores of four of Italy's most enchanting islands
Four Italian islands and four breathtakingly beautiful beaches: all more than worth the effort often required to reach them. A voyage from the Egadi to the Aeolian islands, discovering the precious jewels of the Mediterranean.
Cala Faraglioni, Favignana
On the shores of butterfly shaped Favignana, the "Queen of the Egadi Islands", the Cala Faraglioni beach is certainly not the easiest place to reach.
Visitors will need to head to the far north of the island and follow a tortuous, and often precarious path, before arriving at this semicircular beach, where the sea is a piercing shade of blue.
Having made the effort to get here, holidaymakers can quite happily spend the whole day on the beach: ample shade being guaranteed by the high natural wall of rock which surrounds the bay. In the waters to the right of the cove, swimmers can venture into Favignana's stunning sea caves.
Salina is by far the greenest of Sicily's volcanic Aeolian islands, covered with a thick coat of grape vines and capers. Those who have seen Micheal Radford's award-winning The Postman (1994) will recognize the spectacular seascapes of Salina, where many of the scenes of the movie were filmed.
The tiny town of Pollara, in the "commune" of Malfa, nestles in a volcanic crater part of which has crumbled into the sea.
From the narrow beach at Pollara, via a flight of steps carved out of the rock, visitors, reach, enclosed within a natural stone amphitheater, the little village of Le Balate, where fishermen once built rudimentary shelters for their boats.
It is here that the House of the Postman and the natural arch, known as the perciato are to be found. The sunset is amongst the most beautiful in the world
Capo Graziano, Filicudi
Another of the Aeolian Islands' paradisiacal beaches awaits discovery on the southern most shores of Filicudi, where the spiky tongue of Capo Graziano stretches out into the sea. Considered by many to be the most beautiful beach on the island, Capo Graziano is dominated by a small mound, once the site of a Bronze Age settlement.
In 2008, the Capo Graziano Underwater Archeological Museum was opened. Expert divers are allowed access to the seabed, which is the burial ground for a total of nine ancient Greek, Byzantine and Roman boats. Visits are available only in the company of one of the Aeolian island's authorized diving guides.
Laghetto delle Ondine, Pantelleria
Pantelleria more than deserves its reputation as the "Black Pearl of the Mediterranean". This island of dark basalt rock, dotted with "dammusi" (the curious almost windowless dwellings once used by the islanders) is one of the most dramatically beautiful of Sicily's satellite islands.
Laghetto delle Ondine is a basin of lava stone which the waves fill with water the color of emeralds. Visitors can reach the bay by way of a path leading to the Punta Spadillo lighthouse from the small port of Gadir, which is famous for its incredibly hot thermal waters.
More ideas: A tour around sicilian islands
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