Sicily Yacht Charters
Considered to be one of the most alluring yacht charter destinations in the Mediterranean, Sicily and the surrounding Aeolian Islands exude an endearing charm. Here, you’ll find a juxtaposition of culture and natural history. From the active volcanos like Etna or Stromboli, to the quaint fishing villages rich in history, in every port of call a new experience awaits.
Sicily boasts a cultural melting pot of villages, cities and upscale ports. Palermo, the bustling capital city, offers visitors a chance to explore the island’s unique history – the Palermo Cathedral is a must-see – and indulge in the island’s amazing cuisine and wine. Outposts like Cefalu, a quaint fishing village, and historic Syracuse are favorite yachting destinations as well, that offer excellent food, beaches, and cultural sights to explore, while Catania sits below Mt. Etna and provides access to the active volcano.
Many Sicily yacht charters also choose to explore the Aeolian Islands, a seven-island UNESCO-protected archipelago. Located off Sicily’s north coast, the Aeolian Islands are a beautiful paradise, home to stunning natural sights and amazing outdoor experiences including diving, kayaking and trekking.
Sicily Yacht Charter Highlights
- Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano
- Bubbling mud baths & refreshing hot springs
- Dramatic coastline with towering mountains
- Mouth-watering local cuisine
- World-famous vineyards
- Incredible water sports facilities
Sicily Yachting: When to Go
Summer is prime yachting season in Sicily, and like most of the Mediterranean, July and August are peak months for charters. During peak season, visitors are welcomed by amazing weather – temperatures hover in the 80s with sun every day – and ideal yachting conditions, e.g. refreshing breezes of 5- to 20-knots.
Many prefer the quieter shoulder months of June and September of yacht charters. In June and September, the weather remains mild – in the 70s – and the beaches and ports are less crowded. During the summer season, water temperatures are inviting, remaining in the upper-70s to low-80s and providing ideal conditions for swimming, snorkeling or water sports.
Area Guide: Sicily Charter Destinations
During your next yacht charter stop in Sicily, explore the sites and areas listed below to experience the best the island has to offer. Some must-visit destinations on a Sicily yacht charter include:
While Palermo is regarded more for its crowds and chaos than its serene Sicilian lifestyle, its baroque palazzos, lively market streets, family-oriented feel and glimmering Byzantine churches make it a place worth visiting. Perfect for yachters and foot travelers alike, Palermo is well-positioned for local excursions to Mondello beach, the island of Ustica, Corleone and Monreale.
Milazzo is a town on the northern coast of Sicily, visible from afar due to an enormous citadel within its borders. Its “Borgo Antico,” or “Old Town,” and secluded, rocky coves paint a picture of historic and beautiful Sicily. One of the first Norman buildings on Sicily, the castle, along with the Sanctuary of St. Francesco from Paola, are the highlights of Milazzo.
Once the largest city in the Ancient world, today, Syracuse is a picture of Sicily’s timeless beauty. Dotted with fragrant citrus orchards, hidden Ancient Greek ruins, streets lined with cafes, and Baroque piazzas, this Medieval town still embraces life as it was 3,000 years prior. The city boasts a Greek and Roman amphitheater, the Tomb of Archimede, and the Temple of Zeus.
Mount Etna looms over Sicily’s second-largest city, Catania, which makes this eastern city a must-visit for those wanting a closer look at the famous volcano. In Catania, visitors will find a smorgasbord of history and culture. The world-famous Cathedral of Catania is a sight to behold, and the nearby bustling fish market is an experience you won’t want to miss.
Just 40 miles from Palermo, the beachside resort town of Cefalu offers a more relaxed vibe. Known for its stunning promenade lined with Old World inns and apartments, the town is the perfect shoreside escape when cruising around Sicily. Plan to hike La Rocca, a cliff that overlooks the town, and the town’s double-towered duomo is a must-see.
As the most accessible of the Aeolian Islands, Lipari, is the meeting point of city life and serenity. The destination’s focal point, Lipari Town, encompasses a whimsical, pastel-colored seafront while its countryside – a rugged, Mediterranean landscape – is filled with verdant shrubbery, calm highlands, jagged cliffs and celestial blue waters.
A volcano-turned-island, Stromboli is just the tip of a large underwater volcano that sits on the seafloor 1476 meters below. As captivating as it is unique, Stromboli boasts a slow, relaxed lifestyle, romantic vibes, famous black-sand beaches, and a reputation as being the summer favorite of Dolce and Gabbana, who have a house there.
With its lush, green landscape, thick woodland forests, plentiful vineyards and colorful wildflowers and gorse bushes, Salina is the second-largest of the Aeolian Islands. Shaped by two extinct volcanoes, Monte dei Porri and Monte Fossa delle Felci, Salina boasts grandiose coastal cliffs, volcanic soil and natural, freshwater springs.
The most fashionable of the Aeolian Islands, the small island of Panarea, which is only active during the summer, attracts international jet-setters and Italian fashionistas looking for a taste of “la dolce vita.” From May to October, it is not uncommon for Panarea’s harbors to be filled with luxury yachts, nor its footpath-only streets to be covered with affluent travelers.
Why Charter a Yacht in Sicily
Sicily is one of Europe’s – and the world’s – favorite yachting destinations. That’s due in part to the island’s incredible weather and stunning scenery. Yet, Sicily and the Aeolian Islands offer plenty to do and explore – from Old World vineyards, to Norman and Roman theaters and cathedrals. Bottom line, a yacht charter in Sicily is a luxury vacation you won’t soon forget.
Stunningly Beautiful Beaches
Sicily offers an eclectic mix of postcard-worthy beaches. From sandy outposts, to dramatic, rocky shorelines, Sicily and the Aeolian Islands are home to some of Europe’s best beaches. Near Palermo, the coastal towns of Cefalu and Mondello boast sprawling golden-sand beaches, while San Vito Lo Capo is known for its dramatic cliffs. Isola Bella, a nature reserve near Taormina, is another can’t-miss beach, known for its sparkling deep-blue lagoons.
Amazing, Locally-Sourced Food & Wine
Sicilian cuisine is as unique as its history and culture, as it fuses Arab, Greek, Italian and Spanish flavors. The result are rich, vibrant dishes that awaken the palate, and feature locally sourced citrus fruits, olives, artichokes, seafood, cheeses and figs. You’ll also find numerous Sicilian vintages that are made from native grapes, including Grillo, Zibibbio and Nero d’Avola. Tenuta Tascante, a vineyard located on the slopes of Etna, is a must-visit.
World-Heritages Sites and Well-Preserved History
All across Sicily and the Aeolians, you’ll find historic sites dating back thousands of years. The Greek Theater near Taormina, which sits on a cliff overlooking the sea, is a stunning site, with Mount Etna serving as a backdrop. Syracuse is another perfect destination for history buffs. Here, you’ll find sites like the Temple of Apollo and the Neapolis Archaeological Park. No matter where you go, you’re bound to find Roman, Greek and Norman historical sites.
Things to Do and See on a Sicily Yacht Charter
- Tour the Greek Theatre in Taormina and snap photos of the clouds over Mount Etna.
- Sample cannoli, the world-famous Sicilian dessert at kiosks and street-side vendors in Catania.
- Hike La Rocca in Cefalu and enjoy the splendid views of the aquamarine harbor and town below.
- Take a 4×4 tour of Mount Etna and see the crater at the summit of the world-famous volcano.
- Explore the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, the island’s most important archaeological site, which is home to the majestic Temple of Concord.
- Take a trekking tour of Stromboli, the active volcano in the Aeolians, that’s known for its continuous stream of lava.
- Visit Quattrocchi overlook in Lipari for the best coastal views in the region.