Egadi’s islands: the ultra-slow archipelago

Emerald bays, white houses with blue doors, rocky shores and hidden caves.

Laziness, stay away. In the Egadi islands, the holiday is active: climbing, trekking, cycling, diving. Without forgetting lounging on the beach, tanning and healthy food, the focus is on sports and blending with the wild spirit of these islands, the largest marine reserve in Europe.

 

Located a few nautical miles off the west coast of Sicily, between Trapani and Marsala, in the Egadi, an archipelago of three islands and two giant rocks close to Trapani, nature reigns supreme.

 

Favignana

 

Of all three, Favignana is the largest. With its Saracen fortress on the top, Mount Santa Caterina dominates the island which has some of the most beautiful sea coves in the archipelago. Until a few years ago, the inhabitants practised ‘‘La Tonara’’ which was a bloody slaughter of tuna took fishes, attracting also a discreet number of curious travellers.

 

Marettimo

 

Marettimo is a small ancient world of fishers, boats and nets left to dry in the sun, between unhurried rhythms and the absence of worldliness. The houses are low and white, enlivened by blue shutters and doors, between streets, alleys and squares. It is the westernmost of the archipelago, as well as the highest and most mountainous.

 

Levanzo

 

With only 12 kilometres of coastline and 200 residents, Levanzo is a Mediterranean idyll. An ideal destination for those who want to switch off. Life takes place around Cala Dogana, the only town on the island, where there are few commercial activities. Its greatest seduction, however, is in the sea coves scattered along the coasts, reachable on foot or by fishing boats.

 

Finally, there are Marcone and Formica: although they are only two massive rocks – one of which is uninhabited – they hide truly unique underwater landscapes.

How to get there: The nearest International Airport is Palermo, about an hour drive from Trapani, where you may board the hydrofoil for the 20-minute crossing.

 

When: between May to October, anytime is fine. Even in August, the archipelago never gets too busy.

 

Best for: Anyone looking for an idyllic island retreat.

 

Beyond the Egadi Islands: Beyond the Egadi Islands: Palermo is too good to be missed, but also Trapani is fascinating and a superb base to visit Greek temples and medieval towns.

Where to stay

Dimora dell’Olivastro

Eco-hotel ethos, with environmentally friendly elements throughout on an idyllic island near Sicily

£ 930 per person - 7 nights

Dimora dell’Olivastro

Eco-hotel ethos, with environmentally friendly elements throughout on an idyllic island near Sicily