Sail Northern Sicily and the Aeolian Islands

Famous for its beautiful coastline, active volcanoes, delicious cuisine, wine and fascinating history, Northern Sicily and the nearby Aeolian Islands make an unbeatable charter destination, easily accessible with bases on Sicily itself and at the mainland port of Tropea.

What makes Sicily an even better sailing holiday destination is the flexibility it provides. Extend your cruise west to the Egadi Islands and Siciiy's south coast, or east to Messina and beyond. Or even consider a Sicily circumnavigation.

Northern Sicily

Sicily is Italy's largest island with a land area of 25,706 sq km (9,925 sq miles), as well as being also the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.

Because of its strategic location (latitude 38° north), Sicily has been invaded countless times over the centuries, by the Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Normans and Spaniards. Each occupier left behind their cultural influences that have blended to give Sicily its own distinctive personality, in its architecture, cuisine and customs.  A visit to Sicily is certainly an experience to treasure, and that's without taking account of all the great sailing to be had. 

There are bays and ports well worth stopping into all around the island of Sicily. Many charterers do however restrict their Sicilian sailing holiday to the northern coast, visiting the city of Palermo, historical Cefalù and delightful Portarosa. It's just a short sail from here to the Aeolian Islands and a quite differnt world. 

The Aeolian Islands

Rising out of the Tyrrhenian Sea some fifteen miles off the Sicilian coast, the Aeolian Islands - Lipari, Salina, Stromboli, Vulcano, Panarea, Filicudi and Alicudi — with their black beaches of volcanic soil, and dazzling clear light, have everything to make your yacht charter an unforgettable experience.

The history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site is recorded back at least 5,000 years, and traces of human presence can be found in the form of prehistoric villages, ruins, excavations, pottery and tools. The setting is a volcanic one, “Fire above and below” is how one writer describes the ambience, "baking under the constant glare of a Sicilian sun."

Colourful fishing boats line lively ports, filled with charming cafes, bars and restaurants.  While the islands’ interiors offer the most varied and contrasting landscapes and scenery, the crystal clear water in sheltered bays and coves, volcanic activity, isolated reefs, starkly-painted houses and archaeological sites are unmatched for beauty and drama.  The food and wine are simply extraordinary, and some of the islands offer the rare experience of an almost vehicle-free environment.

Sailing here is away from it all, detached from the highly-populated tourist tracks. Although Italians have been holidaying in the Aeolian islands for centuries, the rest of the world is only just now awaking to their charms.

Combine your trip to the Aeolian Islands with a tour of Sicily, or travel to the 16th Century Calabrian town of Tropea, and use that as your base for this great Mediterranean charter holiday option. 

Our client reviews about charter sailing in Italy

Rating: 5 / 5
Lipari was a great spot to stop with a nice town to explore. But the nicest island I found was Panarea. Less tourists with very friendly locals. James, Australia, Jul 22nd, 2018
Rating: 4 / 5
The Aeolian islands are a beautiful part of the world with many highlights. The standout was watching Stromboli erupt at night from nearby offshore. Russell, Australia, Jul 16th, 2018
Rating: 5 / 5
Bonifacio is out of this world. The Maddalenas were a little light on history, but they are not sold as that., so its OK Tim, New Zealand, Jul 10th, 2018
Just a quick note to say we had a fabulous holiday and fantastic charter. The boat was perfect and the skipper Salvo and hostess Lucia were excellent could not fault anything.

Salvo took us to some amazing places, always had our comfort and safety in mind, and was a lovely guy, Lucia was an amazing cook we ended up having most of our meals on board she was so good, also great company and very friendly and helpful. Everyone at North Sardinia Sail were also helpful and very friendly. Tony, Australia, Aug 31st, 2016
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