Pantelleria, an amazing and mysterious island between Sicily and Tunisia, among history, archeology and natural beauties
Pantelleria (pic n°1) is a lonely island because it is not part of any archipelago, it is mysterious because of its history and natural beauties and it so charming and impressive that you will fall in love with it!
Geographically Pantelleria is located in the Strait of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea, 110 km southwest of Sicily and about 70 km northeast of Tunisia and covers an area of 83 square kilometers. Due to its volcanic origin, the island is scattered with many hot springs and fumaroles, while the last eruption dates back to 1891. Pantelleria has a long history since it was inhabited even in the Neolithic. Around the 7th century B.C. the Carthaginians had occupied it, then the Punics, before the Roman Empire took possession of the island in 255 B.C. In the 8th century A.D. it passed under the Arabic then the Kingdom of Sicily conquered it and in the 16th century the Turks occupied it.
Pantelleria island has its own airport so you can arrive here by a plane from the main Italian cities and as well as by ferry from Trapani (Sicily).
First of all, we suggest taking a boat tour around the island. In this way, you can admire the beautiful pristine sea water, the imposing island and many of its treasures. In fact, you will discover marine caves (pic n°3), cozy small beaches hidden between amazing creeks and stacks, accessible only by boat. You can even meet some dolphins and turtles swimming around your boat.
If you like diving or snorkeling, here you can have a great experience since the marine environment of Pantelleria is one of the most intact of the Mediterranean basin. The seabed is mixed with rock, sand, and boulders, rich in fishes, on the coral reefs grows the rare black coral and it is not unusual to meet here big stingrays and cetaceans beyond dolphins. Because of its origin, there are mostly rocky beaches with crystal clear sea water. Do not miss the most impressive beaches such as "Balata dei Turchi", "Cala Cinque Denti", "Arco dell’Elefante" (pic n°2), "Bue Marino" or "Martingana".
Also, we suggest visiting "Lake Pantelleria" (also called "Mirror of Venus") (pic n°4) and "Laghetto delle ondine" (Lake of waves). Lake Pantelleria, a beautiful natural lake created by the rains and by the thermal springs inside it, is located in a crater of an ancient volcano.
History & archeology lovers can visit:
- "Castello di Pantelleria" (The Castle of Pantelleria) (pic n°5). Is was built of lava stones in the Medieval Era and used to be a prison until 1975. Now it has been turned into a museum housing the most important archaeological findings of the island.
- The two hills called "San Marco" and "Santa Teresa" where the main settlement of the Punics and Romans was located. During the archaeological excavations, many water tanks and canals have been discovered here testifying an ancient public water system.
- Then you can visit the "Sesi": the Sisi, located in the Mursia and Cimillia areas, have a round structure and are made of stones. They were built as burial monuments by people coming from North Africa about 5000 years ago.
In addition, you can go trekking or just for a walk on "Montagna Grande" (Big Mountain, 836 m.a.s.l.) and admire the breathtaking view over the island and the Mediterranean sea or when the weather is particularly clear you can even see the coastline of Sicily and Africa.
Do not miss the "Favare" either: they are jets of hot water, in some cases reaching even 100 °C, ejected from the crack in the rocks and are located on the Big Mountain's slopes. You can enjoy beautiful views in this area as well.
The village itself stretches along the harbor and around the castle. There are many good accommodations, luxury hotels or B&B on the island. The "Dammuso", typical local buildings, one-level houses built by lava stones, are very popular among tourists (pic n°6). Also, you can rent a car or bicycle.
So, have a wonderful holiday in Pantelleria!
Some pictures of Pantelleria:
The island of Pantelleria (pic n°1); Arco dell’Elefante (Arch of the Elephant) (pic n°2); Marine caves (pic n°3); Lake Pantelleria - Mirror of Venus (pic n°4); The Castle of Pantelleria (pic n°5); A Dammuso for tourists (pic n°6);