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Favignana (Aegadian Isles - Sicily)

Ready for the island? You want to plunge into the depths of the crystal clear water and into the colourful fish world and you for once want to leave the miserable problems and sorrows at home? On the Aegadian Isles you become a romantic, a nature lover and astronomer. Since the disturbing artificial light sources are very minimal, the stars over Favignana seem to glow more intense. The fresh caught fish, which is roasted over the open fire, is a pleasure for every palatine.

Three Isles lie west of Sicily – ahead of the coast of Trapani – in the deep blue sea: Favignana, the biggest, contains 19 km2; the isle Marettimo is mostly covered with mountains and the most distant one from the mainland and is 12 km2 big; Levanzo is the smallest of the isles with 6 km2. They are all coined by their scantiness, a mostly rocky coast, many grottos and a nearly intact nature. Near the little fishing port Punta Lunga on Favignana you find a good deal of fossils and fossil shells and the cute gulls accompany you on your walk along the sea. On the only mountain (302m over sea level) you find the somewhat ruinous fortress “Santa Caterina” which catches the look of every Favignana-visitor.

Hydrofoils as well as ferries connect the isles with the mainland. The transfer from Trapani to Favignana takes about 20 minutes with the hydrofoil and about an hour with the ferry (which also carries cars). The picturesque port of Favignana exudes something familiar which even you even feel more intense, if you leave the isle again: it is like a part of us wants to belong to this little paradise forever. The first you experience is the cosiness which streams out from the place; hastiness seems to be a foreign word which does not belong to this piece of earth. You are received with a warm smile and the insulars are very helpful. Opposite to the landing place you get struck by some long, parallel and attached to each other built big buildings: the “Tonnara”. Here the butchered tunas used to be worked after they were caught and killed spectacularly. Today tunas are rather rare guests in the sea ahead of Sicily’s coast, the fishing methods are more modern and the “Tonnara” is turned into a cultural centre. The tuna feast takes place in May. If you roam through the alleys you discover a store with tuna cans here and pictures and ceramics there, which reflect the mood and the methods of traditional fishing.

Favignana is a meeting point for divers and those who want to make the diver-baptism in the sea, like it is called in diver language. At days you can sun yourself on the rocks or in little, lonely bays and in the evenings you meet in the little town to have dinner, a tasty ice-cream on the square ahead of the town hall or in a bar for a nightcap. Barring August, when all Italians are on their holidays and it is busy on the streets in the evenings, you enjoy the silent atmosphere of a Sicilian place with a touch of 1001 Nights; Africa is just about a bit more than 100 km away.

For divers: Telephone: (0039) 0923 921 302
At the little port Punta Lunga, Favignana
Silvana, responsible for the administrative division, salutes you with a Swiss “Grüezi!” what is a good contrast to the Sicilian dialect! The team consists amongst others of Salvo, capo of the diving school, instructor Massimo and Paola who shows you the depths of the sea and of course the captain of the boat: Serafino.

Ferry and hydrofoil from and to Trapani:

Ustica Lines Telephone: (0039) 0923 87 38 13373813
Siremar Telephone: (0039) 0923 54 14 55
At bad weather and high swell you should get to know necessarily, if the ships can drive on schedule.

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