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Easter 2017 Sailing Sicily Holidays Packages, Discounts and Special Offers

Easter 2017 Sailing Sicily: Live the Orthodox Easter Sailing in Sicily and the surrounding archipelagos. Live the customs of Sicily for the Orthodox Easter, on the most important religious party.

This year (2017) the dates for the Orthodox and Catholic Easter coincide on 16 April, which makes it more convenient to attempt a Springtime getaway into the Sicily summer!

Where to sail for Sicily Easter Holidays?

Taormina, Aeolian Islands (Lipari, Stromboli, Panarea, Salina, Vulcano, Alicudi, Filicudi), Milazzo, Palermo or Aegadian Islands?

No matter the region, you will love the exceptional natural landscape of the isles.

When to sail? (Duration of the Charter) 

Yacht Charters begin and finish on a Saturday, but on this Easter we’re flexible to coordinate with your preferences. For one or more weeks – contact us for a different choice!

Weather conditions for Sicily Easter Holidays:

In settled weather winds are light. The sunny season is long, mid April to October. Winter cruising during periods of settled weather is reasonable, although the standard unsettled weather threat – of fierce winds – means that it is wise to stay within short distance of shelter. Or have a powerful crew and boat.

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Customize your Easter 2017 Sailing Sicily Charter:

Contact us to help you plan your expertise on the islands you will visit; we can book your eatery for Easter Day (or any other occasion), urge ports and temples of special interest or some other local guidance according to your own preferences.

Sicily Easter Holidays:

Sailing Sicily, Malta and South Italy
Sicily, South Italy and Malta are usually visited in transit between the western and eastern Mediterranean. Take it slow through Sicily, however. Plan to spend cruising the east and north shores to see the volcanoes and historical sites. Comprise the Aeolian islands, not to be missed if overcrowded in high season. Marinas in Sicily offer wintering deals. Malta (EU) provides excellent wintering and yacht service facilities, and nearby Tunisia (outside EU) is good value for wintering and fuelling.

Related: Sicily Yacht Marinas

The areas to discover during Easter 2017 in Sicily: 

North Sicily
Aeolian Islands
East Sicily
South Sicily
Ionian coasts
Malta, Lampedusa

Anchoring in Sicily:

Anchoring that is exposed is generally safe in settled weather, though short periods of swell may make your slumber uneasy. Peak season bunches create marina costs that are high, ranging from €40 to €120 a night for 12m. And there are eye-watering charges to tie to a quay in a number of the Aeolian islands. There are enough harbours and anchorages around the region for simple day sailing/motoring, and, away from the peak season, moorings are more easy to find. Lampedusa and Pantelleria are intriguing in the event you are passing by stops – perhaps to escape to Tunisia for some great value wintering from the EU. South Italy has two important marinas, but is otherwise a quiet coast with few anchorages, regularly passed at night en route for the Adriatic or Corfu.

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Sicily Harbours and Anchorages: 

A complete circuit of Sicily could occupy four weeks. Great airports for crew changes. The east coast offers a number of the huge sites (and sights) of the Mediterranean, and shouldn’t be missed. The Messina straits contain a Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) (link is outside) with a ’roundabout’ system to take care of the cross straits ferry traffic. Pleasure boats should plan routes to stay outside the TSS, but they must report their plan to the Coast Guard, Ch 10 or 16 if it is essential to enter. Tidal currents flow through the straits, noted in ancient times for the whirlpools off Scylla and Charibdis. They’re insignificant in comparison to the tidal currents and eddies of N Brittany or NW Scotland.

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North Sicily: 

There is plenty of traffic in the area, and off Trapani Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) (link is external) apply. The three Egadi islands are a protected nature reserve with lots of buoy fields and an anchorage . In season a park ranger will turn up, tell you about prices and places to visit (link is external). Bouys are active in season by day, quiet during the night. The area is easily explored from Trapani marina (link is outside), which is extremely good for winter lay-up ashore.

Castellammare del Golfo, new San Vito lo Capo, Ballestrata and Terrasini are four agreeable small towns. Each has a leisure harbour. Terrasini (5/10) is a very suitable little port for crew change, just west of Palermo airport, about 10km by road from the terminal.

Palermo. (3/10) Many people like this city – it does have a particular faded glory with some grand old buildings. But poverty reveals through, with connected petty theft along with a powerful ‘family’ presence. The harbour smells, is unpleasantly fatty, and is pricey. You are considerably better off utilizing the marinas north of town, such as Marina Villa Igiea (link is outside) (at Aquasanta), or Yacht club berths just north at Aranella, or even the fairly distant Termini Imaresi, well east. The international airport (10nm west of Palermo) is good for crew changes, with the port of Terrasini (link is external) (free quayside, no facilities) just a brief walk south.

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Cefalù: A delightful mediaeval town on the north coast, an astonishing comparison with Palermo, though considerably smaller. Anchor off and risk some swell, or use the quays at Porto Nuovo 1nm east.

A very nicely sheltered marina in a holiday complex, which is appropriate for winter lay-up. It is high-priced and very quiet outside the peak season, closing rather early, in September.

The Aeolian Islands:

The Aeolian islands are a “must visit” for incredible volcanic variety, in spite of peak season crowds. Anchorages here are instead exposed, so you may need to be prepared to go whether a wind unexpectedly pops up from the wrong way, if you don’t have laid a running moor. Each year sees the addition of another miniature quay for yachts to moor to . . . But the costs for this particular facility may reach €100! You can see more detail about individual islands on this site, once you have read the comprehensive graphic below. 

Alicudi is the tiny westernmost outcrop of the Aeolian.

Filicudi, not quite tiny, is primitive, but has visitor’s mooring buoys

Panarea is smart and little (roads too little for automobiles) with a few cozy resorts popular with all the glitterati. For a great steak we recommend the grill: ANTONIO “il Macellaio”. Moorings accessible off the town occasionally subject to swell.

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Several anchoring chances on north and south sides, with a spectacular anchorage in a bay at the north-west corner of the island along with a leisure harbour at Santa Marina Salina.

Stromboli is a mini-active volcano puffing modest quantities of ash and lava into the air every 20 minutes; very scenic during the night. There is a little hamlet on the NE corner with mooring buoys for a fee, or fairly exposed anchorages.

Several anchoring chances on north and south sides, with a spectacular anchorage in a bay at the north-west corner of the island along with a leisure harbour at Santa Marina Salina.

Stromboli is a mini-active volcano puffing modest quantities of ash and lava into the air every 20 minutes; very scenic during the night. There is a little hamlet on the NE corner with mooring buoys for a fee, or fairly exposed anchorages.

Lipari is a bustling little island with a neat, somewhat touristy little town tucked around the primary port (purchase your Malvasia wine here). 

Vulcano stinks, in places, of sulphurous fumes that are volcanic. But it is a fascinating place to visit. Choices are given by two good anchorages separated by means of an isthmus according to wind direction. The town, although tourist-centered, has lots to see and do. It is a ramshackle place, partially populated by visitors that are portly with faces dressed in white gowns advertising their resorts and covered in mud. They wallow in the mud baths scattered around the area. Take a walk up the volcano, around the lip of the crater. Sulphur fumes billow from fumaroles.

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The East Coast is a ‘must visit’. After south of Messina this is an excellent cruising with lots to see. Near the straits watch out for amazing boats chasing swordfish with high post lookouts – if you’re near a shoal they’ll hurry up and wrap a net around you without a second thought. Perhaps they’ve been at the rich dark red wine from the SE corner of the isle produced from the Nero d’Avola – good things. Open air markets in all the towns that are major are outstanding, with beautifully laid out create, worth a visit simply to enjoy the buzz of local life.

Messina: Active, scruffy ferry port with a suitable marina which suffers from bad ferry wash. Ensure that your masts are not aligned with your neighbours unless to want to play at rutting stags . . . and that is no good for the wind instruments. Reggio, on the mainland opposite, has less wash when you have to hang around this area . . .

Naxos: Anchor in the large sandy bay some 15nm south. It’s simple to enter, but exposed if northerlies are strong. The pontoons in the S corner may then become very uneasy. The more shallow areas are sometimes active in high season, if you don’t mind depths up to 10m, but there is plenty of room. Access to Taormina is straightforward.

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Taormina: town with its Greek/Roman amphitheatre and beautiful views, is a ‘must see’. Observe the high-heeled tourists tottering down the (really pretty) cobbled high street and revel in magnificent views. The coves at Taormina are small and crowded in season. 22 mooring buoys tended by George Rizzo (link is outside) who lives on a ketch on one of these. Funicular to the town. In the event the harbour is full, go to:

From Riposto marina, visit Etna volcano, distinctive in Europe, still bubbling away. It burps from time to time, creating enormous cumulonimbus clouds which rain whitewash over passing boats. The tiny town has a wonderful food marketplace and is changed by tourism.

Catania has some dull industrial surroundings, but is a fun place with a nearby airport and a helpful tourist office. Use their map to locate the two old Roman amphitheatres. Pass the magnificent open air market (the fish area is astonishing) and love the Piazza del Duomo with its imposing cathedral. The university sponsors a grand nightlife simply east; restaurants and cafés take over the streets after 8pm and also the town comes to life. Marina moorings and local yacht club berths.

Syracuse is a ‘must see’, good shopping and great marketplaces. The natural centre is (of course) Piazza del Duomo, the cathedral square, with grand old buildings lining the approaches. The cathedral itself features old fluted columns from a Greek temple constructed around 500BC. new Guardia Costiera ch16 insists on contact before entrance 2016, and fines those who actually don’t (2016). Town quay great marina and cost free to anchor in the well sheltered harbour. Suitable for independent live-aboard wintering. From here, when you have time, see with Noto, a lovely little Baroque town in fine wine nation.

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South Sicily – West to East

Not as exciting as the east shore, but a good jumping off point for Malta and Tunisia, and some recently built great worth wintering marinas. Worth a visit are:

Sciacca: Once you have climbed the 173 steps, Sciacca is a charming town above the harbour, but pontoons and facilities were in poor repair in 2008.

Agrigento, about 5nm inland from the shore, is a town with an attractive medieval heart. It’s served by two ports. No anchoring; heavy fines will soon be imposed. Leisure boats are served by interior harbour marinas. Better for leisure visitors is the large marina at San Leone, 3nm due south of Agrigento, Mediterraneo Yachting Club. Erected between 600 to 500BC, this series of Greek temple ruins, is a large tourist attraction. To escape the crowds, it’s better to visit early or late.

The huge, well sheltered port is all about 15 minutes walk from the town. East side of the port is Marina Di Cala Di Sole, with 400 berths in 2016 – more planned. A nearby shipyard has a high capacity lift and storage hard. A local shopping mall serves the marina and related developments. Bus connections to airports (3hr).

Marina di Ragusa: This beach resort is quiet with 4,000 population, but, in winter crowds with over 10 times that number in peak season. The 850 berth marina (link is external) offers competitive discounts, making this a popular site for wintering afloat, with sufficient numbers to make an energetic live on-board societal life. Coast hards, large lifts and cranes can manage craft that is enormous.

Related: Sicily Malta Cruise

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Malta

Malta (EU, Schengen) includes Gozo, and has lots of little day anchorages (link is external) which are pretty crowded in peak season. It is fine to UK, with great connections for weekend sailing. But not really enormous enough to call a cruising place in its own right. This has been, nevertheless, a popular and efficient (for the western Med) wintering website, though patience is required to locate a winter berth. The technique is really to arrive, join the queue, and wait for ‘Round the Worlders’ along with the Middle Sea Race visitors to leave in November. And they do.

Good service is provided by boat lots and shore storage:

Manoel Island. Not element of the marina, considerable full service yard, top quality work.
Kalkara, little, with pontoons on E side of Grand harbour.
Baldacchino, modest, 300m inland next to Free port, at Birzebbuga
Lampedusa (Italy)

Lampedusa (Italy) is worth a visit in the event that you are passing. It’s a tiny, isolated island with a pretty village, very dynamic in season. There’s a marine park with a lovely sand anchorage. You can moor the village quay and bows/ stern together, but it is exposed to the south. Enjoy your yacht charter in Sicily during Easter 2017!

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