Sicilian islands: the most beautiful and cheapest islands to visit

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Joel Fulleda

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Exactly in the center of the Mediterranean is the Sicily, a mythical land with a very strong historical identity. It is among the most loved and visited places in our country thanks to an immense artistic, cultural and above all natural heritage. Just off the Sicilian coast they are located several islets, many of which have established themselves over the years as renowned tourist resorts. Characterized by the presence of paradisiacal coves and beaches, the Sicilian islands to visit there are so many: here are the ones you can't miss!


  1. Main archipelagos and island groups
  2. Islands with airport
  3. The 8 most beautiful islands of Sicily
  4. The other islands of Sicily
  5. User questions and comments

Main archipelagos and island groups

  • Aeolian Islands: Located close to the north-eastern coast, there are a total of 10, of which 7 are inhabited: Alicudi, Filicudi, Salina, Lipari, Vulcano, Panarea and Stromboli.
  • Egadi Islands: Located close to the west coast, there are 6 in total, 3 of which are inhabited: Favignana, Marettimo and Levanzo.
  • Pelagie Islands: Located off the southern coast, there are 4 in total, 2 of which are inhabited: Lampedusa and Linosa.
  • Other scattered islands: There are several geographically scattered tourist islands not belonging to the aforementioned archipelagos, namely: Ustica and Pantelleria (which are municipalities belonging respectively to the provinces of Palermo and Trapani), Isola delle Palme and Isola di Ortigia (which instead constitute the historic centers of the municipalities of Augusta and Syracuse).
  • Archipelagos and smaller islands: There are many other islets and almost totally uninhabited rocks. Among these we mention the Stagnone Islands off Marsala (which also includes Mozia) and the Ciclopi Islands (located in the territory of Aci Castello, in the province of Catania).

Islands with airport

Only two Sicilian islands have their own airport:

  1. Pantelleria: the airlines that arrive on the island by direct flight are Alitalia, Volotea and Blu-express. During the period from May to October, there are numerous flights connecting the island to: Rome, Bergamo, Milan, Venice, Bologna, Turin and Verona. Air connections with Trapani, Palermo and Catania remain active and dense all year round - Flights to Pantelleria from € 149,00 -
  2. Lampedusa: the companies that operate the route are Alitalia, Volotea, Blu-express and Vueling Airlines. The flights, all direct, during the summer depart from all major Italian cities while, in winter, they are reduced to Palermo and Catania - Flights to Lampedusa from € 79,00 -

However, it must be specified that the Aeolian and Egadi Islands are well connected to the ports of the cities of Trapani (served by the Trapani-Birgi "Vincenzo Florio" airport), and Palermo (served by the Palermo-Punta Raisi "Falcone e Borsellino" airport).

The 8 most beautiful islands of Sicily

1 - Lampedusa, archipelago of the Pelagie

Lampedusa is the last island before Africa, and is the perfect destination for those who love the sun, diving and wild nature. The territory of the island is a mix of morphological characteristics inherited from Italy and neighboring Africa, everything is very clear observing its coasts, which on the north and west side are high and inaccessible, while on the east and south-east side they are enclosed all sandy beaches. Among the most beautiful coves of Pisana and Uccello, Cala Spugna or Maluk, and Cala Greca, with its beautiful white beach. Also worth seeing is the beach of Mare Morto, so called for the calm sea and the homonymous cave while, the famous Guitgia beach, also connected to the town by public transport, is the most suitable for families. On the south side of the island there is Cala Pulcino, where you can visit numerous caves.

  • It is one of the few Sicilian islands with an airport, so it can be reached by plane as well as by sea
  • starting from € 79,00 -
  • Getting around: The rental of a scooter is highly recommended. The price varies between € 150,00 and € 250,00 per week depending on the season
  • Places of interest: Cala Pulcino, The Rabbit beach, Gate of Europe
  • Movida areas: Via Roma and areas near the beaches. The best known clubs are "La Luna del Porto" and the "Akuna Matata" disco
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 90,00 per room -

2 - Linosa, archipelago of the Pelagie

The main attraction of this small island is its natural wonders: Linosa belongs to the nature reserve "Island of Linosa and Lampione" and to the marine protected area of ​​the Pelagie Islands. On the island, in fact, the Caretta-Caretta sea turtles go to lay their eggs, specifically at the Pozzolana beach, as well as the Berta Maggiore: a particular bird that lives in the open sea, and approaches the mainland only to lay its eggs. The island is also a real paradise for diving enthusiasts. There are three diving clubs, which allow you to make splendid dives to discover the mysteries of the sea surrounding the island, including caves and wrecks.

  • the island has three piers in its port for mooring ships, and is connected every day to both Lampedusa (duration about 2 hours, ticket cost € 30,00 return) and Porto Empedocle (duration 7 hours about, ticket cost € 80,00 return) with Siremar ferries and hydrofoils, whose runs are regular especially in high season.
  • starting from € 79,00 -
  • Getting around: It is forbidden to disembark with your own vehicles during the summer season but fortunately the island can be easily visited on foot or by bike. Bikes are often provided directly by hotels for a small surcharge.
  • Places of interest: The beaches and Mount Vulcano.
  • Movida areas: It is a quiet island not very rich in areas of night entertainment.
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 85,00 per room -

3 - Favignana, Egadi archipelago

If you love peace, tranquility but above all bathing holidays and naturalistic excursions between caves and coves, certainly Favignana is the half for you. Calm and natural beauty reign supreme over the whole island, and it is the recommended destination for those who want to relax in the sun in Cala Rossa, the most beautiful beach in Favignana, as well as one of the most beautiful in Italy; take a dip in Bue Marino, thanks to the magnificent natural springboards made available by the tuff quarries, which create an unreal landscape, or whether you want to admire the Arch of Ulysses in Cala Rotonda: a stone arch shaped by the wind and salt, which makes the sunset even more impressive.

  • by hydrofoil or ferry from Trapani in just 30 minutes via the Liberty Line company, prices from around € 50,00 round trip
  • Flights to Trapani from € 78,44 -
  • Getting around: The recommended means is the bike. Rental prices start at around € 7,00 per day.
  • Places of interest: Cala Rossa and the other beaches, Ex Stabilimento Florio Museum, the Tonnara.
  • Movida areas: Among the Egadi islands it is certainly the most worldly, despite this it cannot be said that it is a place devoted to night entertainment. Most of the clubs are located on the seafront.
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 95,00 per room -

4 - Levanzo, Egadi archipelago

Levanzo is an oasis of tranquility, where the noisiest inhabitants are the seagulls, who stroll around in industry practically everywhere. Smaller and less populated than the Egadi islands, Levanzo has preserved its natural habitats intact, in which a rupestrian flora thrives, from which the few inhabitants of the island are protected. To herald this wild and paradisiacal atmosphere is Cala Dogana, located near the tourist port of the island, as if to act as a "business card". Flanked by Cala Fredda, both are pebble beaches perfect for snorkeling.

  • from the port of Trapani by hydrofoil, through the companies: Libertylines, Siremar and Usticalines. Single route starting from € 20,00 A / R
  • Flights to Trapani from € 78,44 -
  • Getting around: The island can be visited comfortably on foot. We recommend renting a boat to visit the hidden coves along the coast.
  • Places of interest: Cala Dogana, Cala Fredda, Cala Minnona and the beaches in general, the cave of the Genovese.
  • Movida areas: Levanzo does not offer areas for night entertainment.
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 95,00 per room -

5 - Panarea, Aeolian archipelago

Panarea is internationally famous, thanks to the fascination exerted on artists, musicians, stylists and personalities of all kinds. Mix of historical, cultural and of course natural beauties, the island is able to offer everything you expect from a holiday, including worldliness. The coasts of the island of Panarea, testimony of a past made up of piracy and conquest, are as beautiful as the sea that kisses them, and reserve a myriad of surprises for tourists. The night then, the island lights up, and the worldly life is concentrated all in San Pietro, where vacationers gather in cool places to enjoy an aperitif, before going to the disco.

  • Panarea can be reached from various cities in Sicily except from all over Italy but, once again, Milazzo guarantees most of the daily itineraries with Liberty Lines, six in all: for this reason it is recommended to start from there. The journey takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes, at a cost of € 45,60 round trip
  • Flights to Catania from € 33,14 -
  • Getting around: You can rent bikes, scooters, quads, but in principle you can also visit the island on foot.
  • Places of interest: Cala Junco and Capo Milazzese, with the nearby archaeological village, Cala Zimmari and the sea of ​​San Pietro. Do not miss the green areas of the Oriented Nature Reserve.
  • Movida areas: It is perhaps the best choice for lovers of night entertainment. Particularly known is the Raya Disco. The best clubs are still found in the San Pietro area.
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 110,00 per room -

6 - Lipari, Aeolian archipelago

The largest island of the Aeolian archipelago is a treasure trove of artistic, cultural and obviously natural treasures. At the center of Lipari stands the Citadel, which houses the monastery of Santissimo Salvatore, the Castle and the Basilica of San Bartolomeo that form a characteristic whole with the houses that climb inexorably under the ramparts. The north side instead, preserves the enchanting natural landscapes, the obsidian and pumice quarries and a beautiful white sand beach. The pride of Lipari are the brooms, oleander and myrtle that climb the walls of the city, recreating a pleasant sight for the eyes and the heart.

  • Lipari can be reached thanks to the Siremar companies starting from Milazzo, in about 2 hours and 15 minutes, at the price of € 36,00 A / R
  • Flights to Catania from € 33,14 -
  • Getting around: You can disembark with your own car or rent a scooter. There is also a convenient bus service that connects some of the areas of greatest interest.
  • Places of interest: In addition to the beaches of Canneto, Acquacalda and Valle Muria, we point out the Old Town, the Archaeological Museum, the Co-Cathedral of San Bartolomeo, the Terme di San Calogero.
  • Movida areas: There are several clubs and discos that are concentrated in the areas of Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Piazza Marina Corta. For those who love to dance the best discos are White beach, Sea light and Turmalin. For those who love nightlife and crowds, the best time for a visit coincides with the celebrations of San Bartolomeo.
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 90,00 per room -

7 - Vulcano, Aeolian archipelago

Vulcano, among the Aeolian islands the closest to Sicily, is just 12 miles from Capo Milazzo. Its territory is made up of 4 volcanoes, Lentia, Piano, Vulcanello and Fossa, with which human settlements have coexisted for centuries. In fact, human interventions have limited themselves to "modeling" what nature offered, without modifying in any way the flora or fauna of the island, and it is for this reason that today it is possible to enjoy the benefits of water thermal and sulphurous waters, immersed in real natural paradises. Since his arrival on the island, tourists can only be entranced by the beauty that Vulcano has to offer, including the large stack with particular colors.

  • from Milazzo the shipping companies Liberty Lines and NGI guarantee ferries throughout the year. The journey takes about fifty minutes, and the cost of the ticket is € 32,80 round trip
  • Flights to Catania from € 33,14 -
  • Getting around: Vulcano is a small island, which can be easily explored on foot, for those who wish, it is possible to rent scooters, at € 35,00 per day, quads and / or minicars, at € 70,00 per day or bikes, at a cost of € 7,00
  • Places of interest: Terme di Vulcano (located a few minutes walk from the port), Levante and Ponente beaches
  • Movida areas: The meeting point for the youngest is the black sand beach at the Bar da Conti A 'Zammara'. Some places of interest are Il Castello, Manà Manà, Le Cantine Stevenson.
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 95,00 per room -

8 - Pantelleria

Also the territory of Pantelleria, about 4 times the size of Lampedusa, is of volcanic origin. It is the largest of the Sicilian islands, for this reason well connected and full of services for tourists and visitors. Between places of interest, in addition to the fantastic beaches, the areas of the homonymous area must be pointed out oriented nature reserve and of archaeological sites of the area of ​​Mursìa and Cimillia.

  • Pantelleria also has an airport, with direct flights departing from different areas of Italy. Of course it is also possible to reach it by sea from the ports of Trapani and Mazara del Vallo.
  • starting from € 170,19 -
  • Getting around: It extends for over 80 square kilometers therefore it is recommended to rent a car or a scooter for travel.
  • Places of interest: Mirror of Venus Lake, Natural Park of Montagna Grande, Arco dell'Elefante, Springs of Gadir and Grotta del Bagno Asciutto.
  • Movida areas: Bars and places for aperitifs are located near the port.
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 80,00 per room -

The other islands of Sicily

Marettimo, Egadi Archipelago

According to an old popular legend, Marettimo, the furthest of the Egadi islands, would actually be the legendary Ithaca. To fuel the belief would be the numerous caves, all with stalagmites, stalactites and numerous rock formations, with a bizarre and very particular appearance. There is also no shortage of wrecks to dive, where marine flora and fauna have now found their home, and wild and uncontaminated paths. To complete the picture of a landscape already characteristic of its own there are the delightful white houses of the village, equipped with all blue shutters that always leave the visitor breathless.

  • from the port of Trapani in about an hour and ten by ferry, with the Siremar company, paying a ticket of about € 23,00 A / R. Also from the port of Trapani you can opt for the hydrofoil with the USTICAlines company, paying a ticket of about € 32,00 A / R
  • Getting around: the island can be easily visited on foot
  • Recommended activities: visit to the Norman castle of Punta di Troia (€ 6,00), to the archaeological site of Case Romane (free) and to the fishermen's houses. Boat excursions to discover the coasts and caves
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 60,00 per room -

Salina, Aeolian Archipelago

In Salina there is certainly no shortage of things to do, first of all, taste the typical cuisine. Furthermore, the island was the set of Massimo Troisi's latest film, the Postman, set in the small fishing village of Pollara, now an unmissable destination for tourists. Like the other islands, Salina also boasts dream coasts, characterized by some points definitely not to be missed. Among these we point out the beach of Leni, where jets of gas and vapors characterize the seascape, making it a spectacle not to be missed for lovers of snorkeling and diving. Then there is the crescent-shaped beach of Rinella, famous for its black sand and, finally, Lingua with its pebble beach, the lighthouse and the ancient stone bridge of Vallone Zappini.

  • the main port of Salina is Santa Marina, where ferries and hydrofoils to the island from Palermo and Milazzo dock, from where it is recommended to leave, given the shorter travel times. The main companies that operate this route are Liberty Lines, Traghetti Lines and Traghetti Eolie. Starting from Milazzo the travel time is 2 hours and 25 minutes, and the cost of the ticket is about € 59,40 return
  • Getting around: In Salina there is a good bus service, and with € 13,50 you can buy a season ticket valid for 12 rides. The rental of cars and scooters has a variable cost according to the period and, considering the high season, can vary from € 60,00 per day for July / August, to € 35,00 in May / September.
  • Recommended activities: the most famous route among trekking enthusiasts is the one that starts from the town of Leni, which following a path between ancient terraces and centuries-old olive trees, reaches Pizzo Corvo (one of the most ancient volcanoes) from which you can enjoy a spectacular view. The descent passes through dense vegetation and has a breathtaking view of the crater, inside which the town of Pollara is located. And again, snorkelers and divers have to choose where to make their excursions, given the vastness of marine beauties present.
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 65,00 per room -

Stromboli, Aeolian Archipelago

The peculiarity of the island of Stromboli is that it is a still active volcano. The morphology of the whole island is the result of the activity of the many eruptive cycles, which have contributed to creating a wild and constantly evolving landscape: the marine activity of the volcano in fact periodically adds "pieces" to the island. Dark sands, landscape different from the others and silence, are the three characteristics that made Stromboli the last stop of the "Journey to the Center of the Earth"by Jules Verne, and who periodically renew its charm in the eyes of the tourist, unique.

  • there are several Sicilian cities from which it is possible to embark from Stromboli but, in terms of duration of the route it is advisable to leave from Milazzo, from where the journey takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes with Liberty Lines, ticket cost € 45,00 A / R.
  • Getting around: Stromboli is very small, so there is no public transport. The entire town can be easily covered on foot in about 20 minutes of walking but, for those who feel the need, there are numerous electric taxis which, at a cost of € 10,00, will take you to any point on the island.
  • Recommended activities: Stromboli has been nicknamed "the lighthouse of the Tyrrhenian", given the uninterrupted activity of the volcano, which is its main attraction, together with the typically Sicilian cuisine. The climb of the volcano takes about 2 hours of walking and is quite tiring. It is necessary to have a torch with you, as, in order to fully experience its beauty it is good to carry it out in the afternoon and then return at night, a pair of long trousers, drinking water, a spare t-shirt, a light windbreaker and, of course , hiking boots. In addition, the climb can be done using a guide, at the average price of € 35,00 which can vary according to the operator chosen and the number of participants.
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 60,00 per room -

Filicudi, Aeolian Archipelago

In Filicudi you disembark for the desire to immerse yourself in unspoiled nature, where the characteristic beaches, the secluded coves and the countless beauties of the coasts are the masters. The charm of the island is contained in its coasts and in what the sea holds. Among these, we cannot fail to mention the Cove of the Ox Marino, where the sun's rays create plays of light, once the basis of the belief that the cave was inhabited by sea monsters; the rock the Reed, which is attributed a certain resemblance to the statue of the Madonna and Child: many believe that it is enough to touch the rock to make wishes come true. The beaches are mostly made up of pebbles, and the best known is the Punta beach, easily accessible from the pier, but also those of Pecorini Mare and the Porto beach are absolutely worth seeing.

  • from the port of Milazzo several hydrofoils and ships depart daily to connect Filicudi. The companies that carry out the service are Liberty Lines, Navi Siremar and NGI. The journey takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes, and the cost of the ticket is € 50,00 round trip.
  • Getting around: to get around the island good legs are enough but, to cover great distances it might be convenient to have a scooter available, which can be rented at a price of € 35,00 per day.
  • Recommended activities: the jagged coasts of the island are an unmissable spectacle, which must be admired from the water, together with all that the sea holds. Common diving spots are: the six meter cave, the shrimp cave, the Sciarato coast, the gullies, the notaro rock, the montenassari rock, the cacato rock, the sea ox cave and the Giafante rock. Reserved for more experienced divers and in possession of a patent is the path of the underwater archaeological museum of Capo Graziano, where it is possible to observe nine wrecks.
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 45,00 per room -

Alicudi, Aeolian Archipelago

Alicudi, together with Filicudi, is geologically the oldest and wildest of the Aeolian Islands. The western slope of the island is steep and uninhabited; the eastern one is made up of shelves and scattered with houses and is the farthest and least organized island from the point of view of services, but able to offer a totally relaxing holiday, but with wild features. There are no banks or ATMs here, and there is only one hotel. There are no roads but ancient paths, and for the movements we rely on our own legs or on nice donkeys. The beach of the Bazzina district is located not far from the port of Alicudi and can be reached by boat. This small and enchanting cove, bathed by shallow waters, allows fans of beautiful diving.

  • from the port of Milazzo several hydrofoils and ships depart daily. The companies that carry out the service are Liberty Lines, Navi Siremar and Navi NGI.The duration of the route is about 3h and 10 minutes, and the cost of the ticket is € 32,70
  • Getting around: on foot
  • Recommended activities: the island is wonderful to visit by boat, from which you can enjoy a splendid view of the jagged coasts and the clear sea.
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 50,00 per room -


Suggestive and wild, Ustica is nicknamed the black pearl of the Mediterranean due to the dark color of its rocks formed by solidified lava. According to various legends and popular beliefs, Ustica would have been the home of the sorceress Circe, the famous character from the Odyssey. Today, the magic that the sorceress exerted on sailors has an effect on tourists, who are enchanted by the marine environment of the island, which is home to more than 50% of all Mediterranean species, with an impressive wealth of flora and fauna.

  • the main companies that will allow you to reach Ustica are the Liberty Lines, the SNS Siremar and the NGI With the Liberty Lines, Ustica can be reached by fast means such as the catamaran, which leaves from Palermo every day except Tuesdays. From the first Saturday in July and for the following Saturdays, the catamarans also depart from Trapani and Favignana. With the SNS Siremar, on the other hand, hydrofoils and ferries depart every day from Palermo. The NGI instead, leaves a small ferry from Palermo, during the summer, only on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The journey takes about 3 hours, and the cost of the ticket starts from € 40,00 round trip
  • Getting around: in Ustica it is possible to move easily on foot
  • Recommended activities: Ustica is mostly covered with greenery, and is characterized by numerous beaches all beautiful, but the island does not offer only this. The historic center is characterized by low buildings and all concentrated around the square; and must certainly be visited, together with the Saracen Castle, the island's main monument. At the center of the island is the Guardia dei Turchi volcano, from which it is possible to enjoy an incredible panorama.
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 60,00 per room -

Mozia, Stagnone Islands

Located in the lagoon of the Stagnone salt pans, the island of Mozia is an ancient Phoenician colony. The shallow waters and the ancient archaeological finds, together with the valuable natural beauties, make it one of the most evocative attractions of Sicily. The island is full of museums and archaeological sites and some of these can be accessed by showing the entrance ticket to the island, worth € 9,00

  • during low tide periods it is possible to reach the island on foot, along the ancient Punic road. Alternatively, once you arrive at the Saline car park, you can board a ferry for € 5,00, for a journey time of about 30 minutes.
  • To see: among the attractions included in the ticket are the Whitaker Museum which houses a whole series of prestigious archaeological finds found on the island during excavations. Furthermore, the shallow waters of the lagoon create real natural pools, with transparent and limpid water that reaches the knees, where one must dive at least once.

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