Filled with antiquities from the various ancient civilizations that have conquered, settled or simply marched through it, Sicily is a vivid collage of sights and sounds for those visiting on a yachting holiday. The seven islands that comprise the Aeolians, in contrast, are supremely scenic places in which to do absolutely nothing but to do it in style. This is the reason so many top names from the Italian fashion world gravitate here to laze on the quiet beaches. A Mediterranean yacht charter itinerary can include both Sicily and the Aeolian Islands.
Why Go: Cafes serving rustic combinations of earthy ingredients, islands of great beauty populated by a very fashionable crowd and spectacular Greek ruins.
When to Go: For Sicily - May, June, and September; for the Aeolians - June-September.
Essential Ports: Stromboli, Panarea, Lipari, Vulcano, Salina, Filucudi, Taormina and Cefalu and Palermo.
Essential Experiences: The ruins in Agrigento, Siracusa, Taormina and Segesta, lunch in a small cafe such as saint’Andrea tucked into the teeming Vucciria market in Palermo, cocktails or dinner in the terrace Hotel Raya on Panarea and watch the volcano on Stromboli spray gleaming embers in the night sky.
Local Favourite: The Trattoria da Pina on Panarea. Don’t miss the Moscardini, or baby octopus when they’re in season, and order the fish soup a day in advance. And if you’re near Salina, stop by the Gelateria Da Alfredo, particularly if fig is the flavour of the day.