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Sailing Destination

Sailing Itinerary – 2 weeks in Sicily

Praised by songs and poems, Sicily needs no real introduction. Located at the southern tip of Italy, it is the biggest island in the Mediterranean. It’s only 32 km distant from the mainland of Italy, but still encloses every beauty of a wild Island. Whenever you are interested in turquoise bays, snorkeling or diving spots, historical ruins, or tasty food, Sicily can make all your wishes come true. 

Here we have summarised all our knowledge about Sicily and laid out the perfect sailing Itinerary for two weeks along the coast of Sicily. If you have only one week at hand, we would recommend you to skip the Aeolian Islands, or primarily visit the Aeolian Islands. At the end of the blogpost, we display different ideal sailing routes for one week, depending on your starting point. Moreover, we will make a specific blog post about the perfect Sailing route in the Aeolian Islands.

1 – Palermo

Palermo, the starting point of our Sicilian sailing itinerary, is a city of opposites. Beautiful historical buildings opposed to trashy neighborhoods, famous anti-mafia fighters opposed to the head of most mafia families, delightful meals opposed to, well nothing really food is excellent everywhere in Palermo :). The marinas of the city do not really stand out for luxury. Still, thery are not very expensive and are a good starting point to visit the city.

2 – Cefalu

Tourists pretty much overrun this small Italian town, and most of its small streets are filled with tourist shops and restaurants. But luckily, they moved the marina behind the hill, allowing sailors to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding landscape without the masses of tourists. Moreover, you don’t even have to venture inside of the town to get one of the best pizzas we had so far (and trust us, we tasted a whole lot of pizzas in our life 🙂 ). Head up to the lighthouse to find three restaurants overseeing the sea and sit down at “Da Sasá” for a pizza and the most spectacular sunset. You can obviously head further to visit the town which has reasons to be overrun by tourists, but we believe you will find your way back to the quietness and crystal clear water of the marina.

3 – Lipari

Lipari, the main islands of the Aeolian Islands, is easily reachable in an afternoon sail from Milazzo, Sicily. Once there, you can choose between anchoring in front of the castle, three floating docks without showers close to the town, or a bigger floating dock more north with showers, but about 2km distant from the town. The prices do not seem to vary between the docks, but you should always call them and ask for prices as there might be changes. Lipari itself is a beautiful town, overseen by a magnificent medieval Castel which can be visited during the day. Moreover, Lipari is an excellent starting point o visit all the Aeolian Islands. We would recommend a day trip to Panarea and Spinazzola, the less-visited Islands, which feature beautiful bays with cliffs and crystal clear waters. For more tips about the Aeolian Islands, read on here.

4 – Stromboli

The most famous of the Aeolian Islands, since it hosts the most active volcano in the world, should not be missed during your two-week sail in Sicily. Unfortunately, there is no protected bay to anchor safely around Stromboli, so you will have to choose the right weather window to visit it. But we warmly recommend the extra planning to be able to admire the red sparks of the volcano while sipping your favorite drink on the boat. On our way from Lipari to Stromboli we caught our first tuna, so don’t forget to throw in your fishing line while sailing (if the seasonal restrictions do allow it).

Entrance to the strait of messina on a sailboat

 5 – The Strait of Messina

The Strait of Messina is a real treasure of sailing experience. Feard by navigators for thousands of years, it still is a thrill to navigate through its whirlpools and tides, even if today we know they don’t originate from mystical seamonsters. We wrote a very extensive blog post about the Strait of Messina. Make sure you read that before sailing through it as the Strait still poses many challenges for all sailors.

6 – Taormina

Famous for its greek theater, this small Italian town has every reason to be acclaimed as it is. Unfortunately, it is one of those beauties which are not visible from a sailboat, so you will have to get on land and head up to the town. There are good anchoring possibilities in front of the town and also buoys for those who prefer. Take the bus up to the town and get lost in the small streets after viewing the sea from the greek theater. Trust us this expereince will give you a whole new perspective on our much-loved sea.

7 – Catania

Catania, the end of our sailing itinerary, and probably the worst marina you will ever visit. The only positive part of the marina is the location at the heart of the city, which will allow you to discover the city easily. If you go there, don’t miss the chance to eat at one of the best restaurants ever, the “Gambero pazzo”. Make sure to have a reservation as its cuisine is well known, and you rarely find a spot. 

sailing itinerary one week in sicily

If you only have one week at your disposal, we have ideated sailing trips from Palermo and Catania. These sailing itineraries assume that you charter a boat and therefore have to return it at the starting point.

sailing itinerary one week in sicily

We hope you found this blog post useful and inspiring. If you have more questions regarding sailing in Sicily, please let us know in the comments, and we will try to answer as quickly as possible. If you are not sure yet if Sicily is the right place for your next sailing trip, click here to check out all the sailing destinations we have explored so far.

We hoped you like the blog post and found useful information for yourself. If you don’t want to miss out on our next blog post about sailing and sustainable living, subscribe to our e-mail updates or follow us on instagram or facebook to join us in this sailing experience.

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Sailing Destination

Best sailing destinations of 2020 in the Mediterranean Sea

And it seems another 365 days have passed. But this time, we have spent 263 of those days living on a sailboat! We feel more than happy to be able to say that. We are incredibly thankful for all the great opportunities and experiences we were able to have this year, thanks to our decision to live on a sailboat and thanks to taking the risk of setting sail without a clear destination.

During this year, we have climbed volcanos, sailed with dolphins, swam with turtles, met incredibly interesting people around the Meditteranean, caught a 45kg tuna (probably the most stoking experience), and obviously sailed a lot. In total, we sailed 3232 nautical miles, stayed in 56 marinas and spent 92 nights at anchor. 

Looking at those numbers, we only now slowly start to realize what we have been able to achieve this year and how far we have come. From Sardinia, Italy to Tel Aviv, Israel. From the perspective of a modern traveler, this might seem a short 3hour flight, but for a sailor, those are weeks and weeks of sailing. And as much fun and liberating sailing might be, everyone who has ever stepped on a sailboat knows that at the end of the day, you are happy to let the anchor drop and pop open that cold beer.

This year gave us the opportunity to sail to many amazing sailing destinations, so we thought it would be nice to share with you our favourite sailing places of 2019. After a short brainstorming session, Michael and I quickly agreed on what are the most incredible sailing destinations we have visited in the Mediterranean Sea this year. We still have to sail to sailing destinations in the western Mediterranean Sea, but having covered 2/3 of the Mediterranean Sea we feel pretty sure to call the following three destinations, the Best Sailing Destinations in 2020 in the Mediterranean Sea.

Turquoise Coast, Turkey

We have to admit we were completely unaware of this coastline before we entered Turkey. But luckily many of our Followers recommend this sailing area and what a pity it would have been if we would have missed this sailing coast. Located on the Teke Penisula between Marmaris and Antalya, this strip of land offers the best of Turkey. Small rocky bays, long sandy beaches and ancient ruins, all framed by jade water and forest-blanketed slopes.

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Does this already sound perfect? And we did not tell you the best part jet! The whole area is equipped perfectly for sailboats! Most small bays host a restaurant with a dock or mooring balls for the night. Every bigger city incorporates equipped marinas for winter moorings or troubleshooting during your summer holidays. So whatever you like it cozy and small in a bay or loud and big in a city, this strip of land offers it all, while permitting you calm sailing days and a splash in turquoise waters.

Kalymnos, Greece

Are you looking for the right mixture of land and sea for your summer trip? Then don’t look any further. Kalymnos offers wide areas of sea for sailing activities, magnificent bays for anchoring, marinas for safe mooring and steep cliffs to climb or mountains to hike. 

Only located a sailing day away from Kos Marina, where you can charter a sailboat, this Island will keep you busy all week long. Prefer a beautiful sailing day and a splash into the crystalline water? You find it here. Prefer a lazy stroll through narrow streets in the town. You will find it on this Island. You prefer hiking up the mountains or even climb the steep rocks falling into the sea? You will find plenty of possibilities here.

Gallipoli, Italy

This place has no steep cliffs like Kalymnos and no ancient ruins like the turquoise coast, but it is still our favorite place. Why? The incredible watercolor! You can literally find all shades from deep blue to turquoise to crystal clear by just rowing in your dinghy from your sailboat to shore. I simply have to admit that my words won’t be able to describe this place and that also the pictures fail to transmit the beauty we were able to see there. So please, if you ever have the chance to sail there do and enjoy the spectacular views given by nature (and obviously the fantastic cuisine of the town 🙂 ). If you want to know more about Gallipoli, check out our blog post “The most beautiful place to sail to in Italy”

Have you ever sailed or visited any of the three places in the list? Let us know in the comments your experience in those places and what you think about the post. Don’t forget to subscribe for the e-mail updates or follow us on instagram or facebook to join us in this experience.

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Sailing Destination

3 tips for sailing in the Aeolian Islands

The Aeolian Islands are world-famous for their steep cliffs, black and white beaches, and the most active volcano in the world. And what better way is there than to explore an island by sailboat? So here’re our 3 tips for sailing in the Aeolian islands.

Volcano, Aeolian Islands, Sicily

Plan ahead

If you would like to visit the most famous attraction of the eolian island – Stromboli, the volcano – make sure you plan ahead. You will need to have to stay overnight, as you are only able to visit the volcano at night. Unfortunately, the island is pretty round, meaning there are no real anchoring spots where you will find shelter from any wind. There is only one anchor point at the NW tip of the island in front of the town, where everybody will be anchoring. So make sure you choose a windless night to anchor there as you will be leaving your boat at anchor for the night while climbing the volcano.

Stromboli, Aeolian Islands, Sicily
Sailboats in Stromboli, Aeolian Islands
View from Stromboli on Sailboats and Strombolicchio
View from top on Sailboats and Strombolicchio

Visit the smaller islands

Stromboli, Volcano, Lipari, those are probably the three most renominated islands of the Aeolian. But don’t be fooled, those islands are beautiful but also overrun by tourists, especially in the summer. But lucky you, you have a sailboat and can explore all the little islands which are as beautiful as the big ones just less touristy. We can especially recommend Panarea, Salina and Spinazzola. According to the wind, they might be even suitable to stay overnight, otherwise, they are definitely worth a day sail.

Salina, Aeolian Islands, Sicily
Salina in bad weather
Sailboat in Panarea, Aeolian Islands, Sicily
Panarea seen from ForTuna
Spinazzola, Aeolian Islands, Sicily
Spinazzola
Spinazzola, Aeolian Islands, Sicily
Spinazzola seen from ForTuna

Save Water

Unbelievable but true, the Aeolian islands have no freshwater, so all the freshwater will have to be brought by tanker. As sailor, you are already aware of the high-value of freshwater and how cautiously we have to use it. Here on the Aeolian islands, it is even more critical. This also means keeping the boat as clean as possible before arriving because you will not be allowed to wash your sailboat while you are there with fresh water from the dock.

Sailboat in Lipari, Aeolian Islands, Sicily

we hope you enjoyed these 3 tips and will soon have the chance to sail to the Aeolian Islands. Let us know in the comments what you think about the post and don’t forget to subscribe for the e-mail updates or follow us on instagram or facebook to join us on oue journey.

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Sailboat log

When Sailing the Aeolian Islands, Sicily (log05)

Going to Sicily is better than going to the moon.

Gabriel Garcìa Màrquez

Well, we had to check for our selves, so after Sailing one month in Sardinia, we took another month to explore Sicily and in specific the Aeolian Islands. Praised in songs and poems, these 7 islands have been on our top list of places to sail to since we bought the boat. Funnily, it was Greta’s mum who put them on that list, as it is her own private dream to go and visit them. So knowing she would come to visit at the end of the month, we planned our sailing route accordingly.

harbor of Cagliari, Sicily

The first thing we did in Sicily? Explore their cuisine. Oh, how we love Italian cuisine, especially because every single place has its specialties, they have their own world of foods and somehow these worlds are always incredible and unbelievably tasty. In Sicily, we had to taste, Arancini and Cannoli. Both deep-fried, but both worth the extra calories. And hey, the cannoli are not with cream like many would think, but with Ricotta, a very light creamy Italian cheese, so they are almost dietarian. Almost 🙂

cannolo siciliano on a sailboat

But enough of food let us go back to sailing. We departed from Catania and on our way to Cefalu caught our first fish. What an experience! Until now, we always managed to lose the fish by breaking the fishing line, but this time, we managed to get him on the boat! We had two friends aboard who helped us in this exciting moment, and we are thrilled to have shared it with them. It’s those common experiences which for forge and strengthen friendships.

catching a fish with a net
fishing

We brought the fish safely to Cefalu, an astonishingly beautiful town. The harbor, unfortunately, is located behind the hill, so you have to walk about 1km to go to town (which can be pretty tricky in the summer heat). But the harbor itself is charming, so no need to go to town, if you do not need groceries or spare parts.

Sailboat in Cefalu, Italy
Sailboat in port of Cefalu, Italy
Sunset in Cefalu, Italy

It was time to pick up a second couple of friends and leave for the Aeolian Islands. ForTuna was brimming with excitement, as all her 6 crew members could not wait to explore the Aeolian Island. Obviously, Stromboli was on top of our list of places to explore. The most active volcano in the world! We could not wait to go there. 

sailing instructions
Aeolian Islands
Aeolian Islands, Italy

The first impressions of the Aeolian Islands were according to all our expectations. Small islands, with cliffs and sandy beaches, most only accessible by boat. We spent the night in Lipari, a lovely little town, where your Italian dreams of Bella Vita will all come true.

Sailboat in Lipari, Aeolian Islands, italy
Aeolian Islands

On our second day, we spent lunch at an anchorage in Panarea. Here we spotted our first octopus, which immediately went on Michael’s list of sea animals to catch and eat. It was still pretty fresh, even if it was already the end of May, but our friends did not stop and jumped into the dinghy to go and swim at the shore. After lunch, we departed to go to Stromboli, but more of that in our next blog post.

Sailboat in Aeolian Islands, Italy
Aeolian Islands, friends on small boat

We hoped you like the blog post and found useful information for yourself. If you don’t want to miss out on our next blog post about sailing and sustainable living, subscribe to our e-mail updates or follow us on instagram or facebook to join us in this sailing experience.

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Sailing Destination

5 best sailing spots in Sardegna, Italy

We have been cruising in Sardegna for over a month and have been lucky to sail to extremely beautiful spots along the Eastcoast. Sardegna can be pretty hard on sailors due to the Maestrale, a strong wind from the north, which fills your sails and keeps you up at night. Therefore we decided to share the best 5 spots to sail and anchor safely along the Eastcoast of Sardegna.

sailboat in Sardegna

1 – Cala Gonone / Cala Goloritze

The hot spot for all climbers, because you can only reach it by boat or a 2h walk. We love places you only can reach by boat, so we needed to anchor there and it was worth the while. Cala Gonone offers multiple caves and beaches to explore by sailboat and the “pisello”, a single high rock which can be climbed. Unfortunately, it is not very sheltered from the Maestrale, so do not choose the port or the beach to hide out the wind.

cave of cala Gonone, Sardegna
Cala Goloritze, Sardegna

2 – Porto Rotondo

Our home port for 3 weeks. It is a port for luxurious yachts and has been a favorite spot for high society in the nineties. Today it is a well-kept marina with beautiful surroundings and a charming town to explore. It is pretty empty until Easter, but then it fills with tourists and all the shops and restaurants open. A great spot to explore the north of Sardinia by sailboat, if you prefer to return to safe harbor at the end of a sailing day.

Porto Rotondo, Sardegna

3 – St. Maria Navarrese

This was our most loved place. It was the cheapest marina along the coast, but on the other hand, with the best amenities. Showers and Toilets have probably been renovated in the last year. Besides that, the town features an incredible landscape, long white beaches, crystal clear waters and picturesque promenades to enjoy. We only stayed one night, but we would have loved to stay there longer. There are even two small island in front of the town which you can easily explore by boat.

Port of Santa Maria Navarrese, Sardegna
Beach of Santa Maria Navarrese, Sardegna
Beach of Santa Maria Navarrese, Sardegna
Islands of Santa Maria Navarrese, Sardegna

4 – Cagliari

 You can not leave the island without having seen the capital. It offers old ruins to explore, flamingos to observe and food to indulge in. It can be tricky to get into one of the marinas, so try to contact them beforehand and figure out which one makes you the best price. Also, they are all quite trashy but so is the city and it adds to the flair 😉

Cagliari, Sardegna
Park in Cagliari, Sardegna
Port of Cagliari, Sardegna

5 – Villasimius

This town might not hold antique ruins to explore or white beaches to enjoy, but it is located in a strategic position and holds an annual foiling cup guaranteeing some spectacular sailing views all year round. It is the most SE tip of Sardegna and, therefore, ideal to start your crossing to Sicily or mainland Italy. They have a decent marina shop and a helpful marina service, but it is hard to enter the marina with strong Meltemi – so make sure you have selected a suitable time window for the crossing.

Villasimius, Cagliari, Sardegna

Extra spot – St. Maddalena

We did not manage to sail there but visited it by land. Nevertheless, we can not finish this list without mentioning this place. It is one of the most incredible places in the Mediterranean. Sail there if you have the chance, we will for sure when we sail back to Italy next summer.

We hoped you like the blog post and found useful information for yourself. If you don’t want to miss out on our next blog post about sailing and sustainable living, subscribe to our e-mail updates or follow us on instagram or facebook to join us in this sailing experience.

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