Yacht Destination

Sicily & the Aeolian Islands Yacht Charter

On a Sicily and Aeolian Islands yacht charter, gently puffing volcanoes rise out of a blue-green sea, morning church bells sound across whitewashed villages and shady piazzas, and stunning black and white sand beaches glitter under the Sicilian sun.

Visitors at Taormina Theatre, Sicily
Mount Etna with snowy summit in background of Catania Sicily
Hillside view overlooking properties and clear sea below
Sign post along coast path high above the blue seas of Lipari below

Why Visit Sicily & the Aeolian Islands?

On a Sicily and Aeolian Islands yacht charter, gently puffing volcanoes rise out of a blue-green sea, morning church bells sound across whitewashed villages and shady piazzas, and stunning black and white sand beaches glitter under the Sicilian sun.

Born of fire, the landscapes of Sicily and the Aeolian islands are pure theatre— a breathtaking visual feast of dramatic volcanoes and red rivers of lava, bubbling mud pools and lush fern forests. Inland, quiet mountain valleys are carpeted with wildflowers and grazing sheep, and shady orchards of olive and lemon trees are patchworked by ancient drystone walls.

Rugged, Breathtaking Coastline

Sicily is a place where the old and new exist in perfect harmony, where Ancient Greek temples stand high above the Mediterranean, mules drag luggage up cobbled streets to whitewashed hotels, and brightly-painted fishing boats jostle with superyachts in glamorous ports.

As you float along the rugged, breathtaking coastline on your Sicily yacht charter, you’ll look up to see medieval fortresses perched on sheer cliff-tops, and anchor in spectacular deepwater bays to dive off the yacht into deliciously cool, cobalt-blue waters. Under the surface, the volcanic activity has created spectacular underwater topography and marine life in abundance, making Sicily one of the best diving yacht charter destinations in the Mediterranean.

Wake a yacht has left behind in seas off Sicily
Visitors walk the streets of Taormina Sicily, under blue skies

What to find

On a yacht charter in Sicily, spend days lazing about on dazzling white powder beaches, hike to the top of an active volcano, or watch opera in an ancient amphitheatre perched on a steep terrace above the sea. Clamber between the columns of mighty Greek temples by the sea, and explore the rabbit warren streets of walled cities, where Michelin-star restaurants and chic wine bars are popping up next to Byzantine cathedrals and bustling food markets barely changed by the passing of the centuries.

The Sicilian food is a highlight of any Italy yacht charter, with a unique fusion of all the civilisations which have crashed upon these shores, resulting in a ‘cucina povera’ of stunning simplicity and flavour. The ingredients are unparalleled— plucked straight from the sparkling seas, sunny orchards, and lush mountain valleys, and delicious dry wines grown on steep volcanic slopes. From grilled swordfish with a rich caper and tomato sauce to creamy ricotta-filled pastries, the food on a Sicily yacht charter never fails to astonish.

When and Where to Go on a Sicily & Aeolian Yacht Charter

This is a place of ravishing, almost desolate beauty, and the spectacular coastline and archipelagos of Sicily can only properly explored by a yacht. Be warned: there is so very much to see on a Sicily and Aeolian island yacht charter that deciding what to leave out may well break your heart.

One popular Sicily yacht charter route is to cruise the Aeolians, taking in Stromboli, Panarea, Lipari, Salina and Vulcano, before crossing to Taormina on the mainland then onto Catania, Syracuse, Ragusa, Agrigento and finally back to Palermo.

Due to its long, hot summers and warm waters, Sicily enjoys an extended yacht charter season, with superb cruising from as early as May right through to October.

A Yacht Charter Guide to Mainland Sicily

As if there wasn’t enough to see in the Aeolian Islands, the mainland has even more in store for your Sicily yacht charter, from soaring Byzantine cathedrals to huge Greek temples, glittering film festivals and Michelin star dining.

Courtyard outside Palermo Cathedral Sicily

Palermo

Inside Palermo stone church with crucifix hanging from ceilingFinish your Sicily yacht charter in chaotic, vibrant Palermo. This city sings loudly of the past and the future, with fashionable wine bars and boutique hotels popping up by ancient cathedrals and rabbit warren streets.

Once called ‘Ziz’, meaning flower, by the Phoenicians, Palermo has stood for nearly three thousand years, and is a dizzying mishmash of all the civilisations that have conquered these shores. Arabic domes, Byzantine churches and Gothic palaces crowd the skyline, and in the narrow, labyrinthine laneways you’ll find bustling, souk-like markets, and washing strung from balconies. People dance in the streets in Palermo, families sit chatting on doorsteps, and street art decorates the peeling paint facades.

Palermo has both grandeur and grittiness in droves, with the largest opera house in Italy, noisy, tumultuous streets, and a spectacular setting framed by bay and mountains. There are still streets in ruins from the bombardments of the Second World War, horses roam the streets, and those who truly love Palermo are those who revel in the romance of faded glamour, and don’t mind decay one little bit. For with decay comes renewal, and that’s something that Palermo has been engaged in for millennia.

There are stupendous things to see in Palermo, from the golden mosaics of the Palatine Chapel in the Norman Royal Palace to the Romanesque church of La Martorana in Piazza Bellini. There are two stunning modern art museums, the GAM and the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea della Sicilia, both housed in palaces. For all the attractions, walking aimlessly may be the best pastime of all, ending up at the Via Chiavettieri for the evening passegiatta, the street only becoming more lively with bars and music as the night wears on.

For gastronomy, I Pupi Ristorante and Bye Bye Blues have both collected Michelin stars, while the vibrant street food scene of Palermo is centred around the city’s food markets, in particular the Barollo market. An exceptional authentic experience is the Trattoria Torremuzza da Peppuccio, where fish is grilled on braziers in the street, with Ilardo just around the corner serving delicious gelato. Gelato is a Palermo passion, and many will tell you it was invented here.

Given its grandeur and grittiness, its perfect blending of old and new worlds, Palermo is the perfect place to end your Sicily and Aeolian Islands yacht charter.

Variety of fruits on sale at Palermo MarketLarge palm tree at dusk in Palermo

The Aeolian Islands Yacht Charter Guide

Set 15 miles off the Sicilian coast, the UNESCO-listed Aeolian archipelago offers a breathtaking mix of active volcanoes, crystal clear coves, great diving, and upmarket port towns. In Greek mythology, these enchanting, wild islands were known as the floating islands of Aeolus, and they provide much of the literary setting for much of Homer’s epic, Odyssey.

Lipari

Lipari is the largest island in the chain, and is particularly famous for Spiaggia Bianca, a dazzling white beach o

Salina

Salina’s film-set beauty was made known to the world in the iconic 1994 movie, Il Postino, which was filmed…

Stromboli

Stromboli is Europe’s only constantly active volcano, and anchoring off at night to see the crater glow red…

Vulcano

A yacht charter in Sicily is a journey through the myths of gods and men, and the island of Vulcano is certainly…

Panarea

After the savage beauty and burning nature of the active volcanic islands, Panarea is a more gentle, romantic…

Alicudi

After the refined pleasures of Panarea, travel back to a simpler time on Alicudi, where mules carry luggage to…

Filicudi

Filicudi, like Alicudi, is quiet and much less developed than the other islands. Volcanic sea stacks rise tall out

Yachts to Charter in the West Mediterranean

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