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    Sailing holidays in Sicily

    A Guide to setting sail in Sicily: Discover volcanic landscapes, charming towns and a vibrant culture

    Zizoo's Guide to Sailing in Sicily

    Yacht charter holidays in Sicily with Zizoo offer sailors the opportunity to explore one of Italy’s most loved islands. From the beaches of the Zingaro Reserve to the historic cities of Palermo and Catania and the outlying Aeolian Islands, a yacht charter is the best way to travel around Sicily in style.


    • Architectural sites in Palermo
    • Nature walks and world-class beaches
    • Islands including Vulcano, Lipari and Stromboli
    • Best time to sail
      May – October
    • Currency
    • Boat base locations
      Palermo, Reggio di Calabria, Tonnarella, Marsala, Trapani
    • Languages spoken
      Italian, Sicilian English
    • Closest airports
      Palermo Falcone e Borsellino (PMO) - Catania Fontanarossa (CTA) - Trapani Birgi (TPS)
    • Tips
      Zingaro Reserve, Aeolian Islands, Palermo Bars and Beaches
    No sailing license, no problem!

    Contact one of our holiday planners or make a request directly below

    +44 20 3318 3641
    Mon-Sun: 9-9pm CET | Sat-Sun: 11-7pm CET

    Sailboats in Sicily

    View all sailboats in Palermo
    Sailing in Sicily

    Sicily’s year-round pleasant weather, turquoise waters and incredible beaches make it one of the top destinations for sailing in Italy. June to September is peak sailing season when you’ll catch the best weather and calmest seas. You won’t need a visa when travelling from another EU country, the USA, Australia or Canada.

    Palermo Falcone e Borsellino is the island’s main airport, located at the capital. There are five other airports around the island which may be more convenient depending on your final destination. Assuming you’ll be setting sail from Palermo, your charter is only a 30-minute drive from the airport. The currency is the Euro, and there are a number of marinas and smaller harbours to take advantage of during your sailing holiday in Sicily such as Marina del Neptunno in Messina or the Portorosa Marina in Tonnarella.


    Catamarans in Sicily

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    a selection of traditional sicilian pastries
    Sicilian pastries

    Palermo is the cultural and historic centre of the island with its ornate Monreale Cathedral and a number of sites that testify to its ancient history, including the Archaeological Museum and Cappuccini Catacombs. A trip to wthe botanical gardens in Palermo is also not to be missed. Gagini and Oste dello Stabile are two restaurants facing the sea, perfect for savouring the world-famous Sicilian cuisine. Also nearby, is the compact yet chic Cantavespri bar and QVIVI Music Bar for a livelier night out.

    Catania is Sicily’s second largest city, another major port town famed for its Roman Amphitheatre and elegant Teatro Massimo opera house. In Catania, Osteria Antica Marina is right at the port and serves delicious seafood. Birreria Marlène is a great spot to cool down with one of a wide selection of local and international beers.

    Both Palermo and Catania are right on the beach with the Zingaro Reserve, to the west of the island, also hosting magnificent beaches and the best nature walks. Mondello beach, not far from Palermo, is one of the most popular beaches in Sicily, offering powdery white sand and warm, crystal clear waters.

    Tonnarella is another major port town to the north-east of the island, perfect for snorkelling. Part of the pleasure of a sailing holiday in Sicily is touring the wonderful Aeolian Islands. These include Vulcano, with its impressive volcanic landscape, and Lipari which is also notable for its marvellous beaches and diving centres. Vulcano, in particular, is a great place to get a high panoramic view of the surrounding Tyrrhenian Sea. Panarea has a fascinating archaeological site with the volcanic isle of Stromboli in the distance.

    volcano on island of Stromboli in Sicily
    renaissance style church with domed roof in Sicily
    Architecture in Sicily

    The Tyrrhenian Sea is a well-charted and exceptionally pleasant area for a sailing holiday. It is recommended to spend your sailing holiday in Sicily in the northern and north-eastern coast, which leads up from Palermo to Tonnarella and the Aeolian Islands beyond. The main islands of interest are Lipari, Vulcano and Panarea. Salina, with its verdant hills, is also nearby and Filicudi and Alicudi which have quiet shores perfect for more nature walking or relaxing by the sea in peace.

    It is recommended to spend your sailing holiday in Sicily in the northern and north-eastern coast.

    You can also sail west from Palermo towards Trapani where you can discover the tranquil Aegadian Islands of Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo. Here you can find an anchorage and several buoy fields.

    Along the northern coast from Palermo towards Porto Rosa in Tonnarella, you can rest at the marinas of San Nicola l’Arena and Cefalù which offer hundreds of berthing spots on pontoons that allow for stopping and visiting these gorgeous towns if desired - always having the freedom to lift anchor and sail on whenever you feel like it.

    You can also sail west from Palermo towards Trapani where you can discover the tranquil Aegadian Islands...

    long rounded bay bordered by the town of Trapani in Sicily
    Trapani, Sicily
    View of vineyards on a cliff hillside above Alcamo Marino Harbour in Sicily
    Alcamo Marino Harbour in Sicily

    Sicily enjoys a long sailing season with warm temperatures and good winds lasting from April through October. As this is a popular cruising ground in the summer, it’s a good idea to book your sailing holiday ahead to be sure of availability for the sites you’d like to visit as you island hop. The seas around these parts are generally very pleasant to sail in, and if you haven't got a license, you can always book a skippered sailing holiday in Sicily with Zizoo to help you navigate your yacht during your sailing trip.

    Sicily enjoys a long sailing season with warm temperatures and good winds lasting from April through October.

    Tonnarella makes a great stopping point from Palermo before seeing the islands. Here wind speeds are generally north-westerly with an average force of 3 to 4. Entrance depths in the sea at Tonnarella are at about 2.5 metres. Waves above about half a metre are rare, and air surface temperatures in the 30s are common with water surface temperatures of about 25°C. Around the islands there are occasional gales during the early summer, but these are relatively rare, especially during high summer.

    Tonnarella makes a great stopping point from Palermo before seeing the islands.

    sailboats and a gulet in the sea around Sicily
    Sailing in Sicily

    Zizoo's Guide to Sailing in Italy

    Cruising the enchanting waters of the Mediterranean and Adriatic on a chartered yacht in Italy is an experience like no other. Exquisite cuisine, stunning coastal landscapes, beautiful beaches and a wealth of cultural and natural wonders- it’s hard not to fall in love with the “Bel Paese”. The calm waters surrounding the penninsula and excellent wind conditions around the islands also make Italy an ideal destination for both experienced and novice sailors. 


    • Diverse coastlines and islands
    • World famous museums, artworks and historic sites 
    • Stunning secluded, rugged and long sandy beaches

    • Best time to sail
      May - September
    • Currency
    • Boat base locations
      Naples, Amalfi (Salerno), Reggio di Calabria, Sicily, Sardinia, Elba
    • Languages spoken
    • Closest airports
      Rome (FCO, CIA), Palermo Catania Fontanarossa (CTA), Palermo (PMO), Naples (NAP), Genova (GOA), Reggio Calabria (REG)
    • Tips
      Ruins of Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, La Maddalena Archipelago in Sardinia, volcanic Aeolian Islands, beaches of Calabria