Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Aeolian Islands or NW Sicily for 7 days on a sailboat? (

barry3040 Sep 25th, 2018 09:21 AM

Aeolian Islands or NW Sicily for 7 days on a sailboat?
We want to rent a sail boat for 7 days next year to visit EITHER,
the Aeolian Islands or NW Sicily ( Castellmare di Golfo/San Vito lo Capo/Scopello/Favognana etc).
Any recommendations for choosing one or the other area?

nukesafe Sep 25th, 2018 10:34 AM

I can comment on the Aeolian Islands, as we cruised them many years ago. Frankly, we found them a bit bleak and boring, even if spectacular, they are active volcanoes after all. I do recall being impressed looking down through the incredibly clear water at my Danforth anchor lying on the black sand ten fathoms below in Vulcano. The stench of sulfur in the anchorage would have gagged a maggot, though. I also recall really ferocious downdrafts of wind in the lee of Stromboli, which whipped the water into a froth and almost knocked us flat with no sails up.

We also cruised part of the Sicilian coast from Palermo, Eastward, but did not stop in the area you mention as we were in a hurry to get through the Straits of Messina to Reggio Calabria..

The area we were most enthralled by in the Med, and to which I would love to return, was the islands between Sardinia and Corsica.North of Puerto Cervo and over to Bonifacio. Great cruising ground IMHO.

worldly Sep 26th, 2018 06:18 AM


BritishCaicos Sep 26th, 2018 01:07 PM

I’d absolutely confirm what nukesafe posts.

Both areas have barren coast lines or sweeping bays, if the weather of less than co operative say in Castelmare di Golfo yoj may need to either spend the night at sea or find an expensive marina.

The Aeolian’s are obviously barren extinct volcanoes and I would also agree about the winds which can be vicious.

We have visited Sardinia 6 times and it is one of the best cruising areas in Europe. The main drawback being the cost of marina berths which can run into e100s a NIGHT.

There are many safe creeks and anchorages which offer good holding and protection from all wind directions. There are charter fleets in Canigione and Portisco which offer really good rates on the late availability market. Also look at “click a boat” which offered direct charters with owners a little like Air BnB for boats.

It can also get very windy in this area but there are far more places to hide.

nukesafe Sep 26th, 2018 07:06 PM

I hope, BritishCaicos, that you were able to include Isla Lavezzi among your stops south of Bonifacio. That deserted, windswept, rocky bit of land, with the French well maintained graveyards for the seamen and soldiers from the 1855 wreck of the frigate Semillante The visit remains a life memory for me an my crew. The tiny gunkhole of an anchorage with crystal clear water was a bonus. Of course, I assume it will not be as deserted today as it was back in 1973 when we visited. In fact, a look at the Google Earth image shows lots of yachts anchored off, but back then we had the whole place to ourselves.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:11 PM.