Take a ferry to the Aegadian islands on the northwest coast of Sicily and discover a wild landscape of 3 stunning raw islands with a slower pace of life!
The Aegadian Islands are three Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo and they may not be as special as the Aeolian Islands with their volcanic dramatic atmosphere but they also have their own charm due to their picturesque landscapes and the possibility they offer the visitor a quiet and relaxing holiday. Visitors can relax in a picturesque square on the island in Favignana which is the largest and busiest with a good range of accommodation options, in Levanzo with its tiny harborside settlement where you can see prehistoric cave paintings with few hotels available and in the mountainous Marettimo which is the most remote and particularly popular with walkers and swimmers but also with few accommodation options.
The Aegadian Islands are visited in July and August which are the holidays for Italians because they are not particularly well known outside of Italy. These islands remain authentic and raw and the atmosphere particularly welcoming with services for tourists for accommodation, beautiful restaurants, cafes, and shops.
Although you can visit one, or even two, of the islands as a day trip from Trapani, we would recommend staying on each island a few days longer for real relaxation and to enjoy fine golden sand beaches and experience many cultural sights!
The Aegadian Islands are an attractive holiday destination so plan your trip as soon as possible!
How to reach the Aegadian islands by ferry
To reach the Aegadian islands by ferry you can choose among the Sicilian ports of Trapani and Marsala and from Beverello, the port of Naples.
The routes are served by two shipping companies with frequent weekly itineraries and the ships that perform the connections are mostly hydrofoils but also conventional vessels with sailing times ranging from 10 minutes to 2 hours and 55 minutes depending on the type of vessel, the port of destination and the shipping company.
We would advise you to secure your tickets well in advance, especially during the high season as the capacity of the ferries (especially the high speed ones) is limited and therefore they sell out quickly.
Ferry Connections to the Aegadian islands
The ferry connections to the Aegean islands are frequent with the most common being the route from the port of Trapani to Favignana, which is the most popular of the three islands.
The connection to the islands from the port of Marsala is shorter than that of Trapani, available all year round and daily itineraries reaching a maximum of five in high season.
The most well known and popular ferry connections to and among the Aegadian islands are the following:
- Trapani - Favignana: daily connection with several routes and travel time ranging from 30 minutes to 55 minutes. During the summer season the routes increase and can reach 20 daily routes
- Trapani - Levanzo: daily routes with travel time from 25 minutes to 45 minutes
- Marsala - Favignana: the connection is available all year round, with fewer daily departures and a maximum of five daily services in high season
- Favignana - Levanzo: about 3 daily connections and a journey time of approximately 10 minutes
- Trapani - Marettimo: daily itineraries with travel time between 1 hour and 2 hours and 55 minutes depending on the ferry and the shipping company
- Marsala - Levanzo: the connection is not frequent, about 5 weekly departures and a journey time of about 50 minutes
- Marsala - Marettimo: approximately 11 weekly services and a journey time of 1 hour and 15 minutes. The island of Marettimo is the most remote from the Sicilian mainland of the three islands and this is the reason that the connections are not that frequent
Getting around the Aegadian islands
The ways of getting around the Egadi islands are limited since only the island of Favignana, which is the most densely populated and visitable, has a road network, so we would suggest you to avoid taking your own car on your visit to these wonderful islands and look for the signs in the port of Trapani that say parking for the Egadi islands. Of course, in Favignana there are car, motorbike and bicycle rental companies with the latter being the ideal option for touring the island from cove to cove and getting to the most inaccessible spots.
However, the island is served by a city bus service from May to October and we clearly recommend taking a bus which is the cheapest and easiest way to get around.
If your budget allows, the choice of an inflatable boat (for those with a boat license) or a catamaran with a captain is unique to do island hopping and discover the beauty of the islands.
Vacations in Aegadian islands
Vacations in the Aegadian Islands are an ideal choice for those looking for less famous and cosmopolitan places! They are a true gem of Italy, a paradise with unspoilt nature, beautiful beaches and at the same time affordable for travelers with a low budget! The majority of travelers choose Favignana as it is the largest of the Aegadian islands with more accommodation facilities in nice hotels at affordable prices, nice restaurants and bars and the ideal spot for island hopping to the other islands.
The island of Levanzo is smaller than Favignana but offers travelers a good selection of beautiful beaches and several places to tour interesting caves and caverns that it has!
Maretimo is the second largest of the islands but also the most remote and therefore the most unspoilt, with a main pebble beach, many pine trees, wonderful paths, miles of endless sea and rich fauna with rare species of birds such as the rare Bonelli's eagle, a real oasis! The advantage of the Egadi Islands is their unspoilt natural beauty, their beaches which are ideal for various activities, fresh Italian food, unique hiking trails and very importantly the low cost for real relaxation and rest compared to the other more famous islands of Italy such as Capri and Ponza. During peak season you should book the tickets a few days in advance to find the cheapest tickets.
Sightseeing in Aegadian islands
The islands of the Aegadian Archipelago have been attracting the interest of archaeologists for many years due to important finds dating back to the Neolithic period! In addition, on the Egadi islands there are historical monuments and buildings built during the Roman Empire, fortresses and caves with important findings found in them! So it is worth touring these amazing islands that will give the visitor unique experiences!
There are many interesting sights worth visiting, some of the most important are listed below:
- Ex Stabilimento Florio delle Tonnare di Favignana e Formica (Favignana): is a must when visiting the island of Favignana. It is located very close to the port and is a unique and impressive building with many rooms presenting exhibitions on the history of the island, photographic documentaries and ancient history of the bay area
- Castello di Santa Caterina (Favignana): is located on top of a small mountain and offers a wonderful view of the entire island, as well as the neighboring islands of Levanzo and Marettimo
- Palazzo Florio (Favignana): very imposing and historic Palace and is worth a visit for both the building and the gardens! It is by far the most beautiful building on the island
- Villa Margherita Giardini Ipogei (Favignana): an amazing garden in the grounds of the converted quarries and a wonderful excursion from the city
- Caves of Marettimo (Marettimo): the caves in Maretimo are a must during your visit to the island. They can only be accessed by boat and the tour is excellent to admire the crystal clear waters that change from deep blue to emerald color
- Castello di San Giacomo (Favignana): the castle dates from 1070-1101 and includes a small church built on the ruins of a Norman complex
- San Nicola Archaeological Area in Favignana: is located about 1 km east of the town of Favignana and the area is characterized by Calabrian limestone with many underground cavities dating from prehistoric to Roman and early Christian periods. Inside the archaeological area there are several sites of interest such as the Roman baths of the women
To sum up, we would say that in the Aegadian Archipelago the most impressive for the visitor is the protected marine reserve around the islands, with caves, shipwrecks and rich marine life.
Beaches in Aegadian islands
The beaches in Aegadian islands are well organized ! Most of them are located on the island of Favignana, but there are also beautiful beaches and bays with sand and pebbles on the other islands.
Here is the list of the most remarkable beaches in the Aegadian islands:
- Cala Rossa (Favignana): is a small rocky beach one of the most beautiful on the island of Favignana famous for its unspoilt nature and the beautiful turquoise waters
- Cala Azzurra (Favignana): is one of the most famous beaches of the island with white sand and crystal clear turquoise waters
- Cala del Bue Marino (Favignana): is definitely one of the most exciting beaches of Favignana. It is about 5 km from the center of Favignana and the sea is deep and in some places there are very strong currents so it is not recommended for children
- Cala Bianca (Marettimo): is a lovely sandy beach between two high rocky cliffs
- Cala Fredda (Levanzo): is a very small rocky beach relatively close to the port of Levanzo. The beach is surrounded by the turquoise sea and can be accessed by footpath and ideally by boat.
- Spiaggia del Cretazzo (Marettimo): is a beach formed by pebbles and some sand in a beautiful cove that you will have to walk for quite some time, maybe even two hours from the mainland.However, it is worth the visit to enjoy the crystal clear waters in a secluded beach for real relaxation
- Cala Grande (Favignana): a very wild cove with pebbles mixed with sand with a beautiful sea ideal for divers. Inspiring for peace and relaxation
Hotels in Aegadian islands
Although the Egadi islands are less widespread than the other islands of Italy, they are not lacking in beautiful boutique hotels with modern design and small luxury five-star hotels! Most accommodation is located on the largest island of Favignana!
Below we recommend a few hotels that are high on the list of travelers' preferences:
- Resort Il Mulino (Favignana): a beautiful stone hotel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea with beautifully simple rooms
- I Pretti Resort (Favignana): elegant, seasonal all-suite hotel opposite the sea featuring a bar & a leafy courtyard garden
- Cave Bianche Hotel (Favignana): a sophisticated hotel in a sleek stone building with upgraded rooms
- Nido del Pellegrino (Favignana): a hotel by the sea with great views ideal for couples and families
- Cas'almare (Favignana): is located right on the sea and has beautiful rooms and a beach club with a sandy beach
- Dimora dell'Olivastro - Deluxe (Favignana): an elegant boutique hotel
- Il Baglio sull'Acqua (Favignana): a very beautiful guesthouse with 10 elegant suites, some with sea view