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Enjoy chic adventures at Aegadian Islands

DesireCocon cosy
If you're searching for a polished, flashy island, forget Favignana!

Bienvenue sur une terre brute et sincère, bourrée de contraste dans laquelle la culture sicilienne est encore terriblement vivante…

Les îles Egades sont encore peu connues du grand public et on ne peut que s’en féliciter. Qui sait les positionner sur une carte ? Marettimo, Levanzo, Favignana, trois cailloux balayés par le vent, égarés à l’ouest de la terre sicilienne. Je poserai mes valises sur la plus grande, l’île de Favignana.

Ne cherchez pas les boutiques de luxe ou restos chics de Capri, moins encore les boites de nuit de Panarea (îles Eoliennes)… A Favignana, vous ne tomberez nez à nez, en descendant du bateau, qu’avec les pêcheurs qui reprisent leurs filets et vendent quelques poulpes, dorades ou congres tachetés à l’arrière de petits piaggios. Cette île, d’une terrible authenticité, n’ensorcèle pas forcément au premier regard. Mais quelques heures suffiront pour tomber sous son charme.

 

 

Welcome to a raw and genuine land, stuffed with contradictions in which the Sicilian culture is still very well alive… The Aegadian Islands are still little known to the general public and it can only be congratulated for it. Anyone know where to point it out on a map? Marettimo, Levanzo, Favignana, three pebbles swept by the wind, lost at the west Sicilian land. I put my luggage on the biggest one, the Island of Favignana.
Don’t look for luxury shops or chic restaurants of Capri, even more, the nightclubs of Panarea (Aeolian Islands)…At Favignana, you come face to face, down the boat with fishermen who mend their nets and sell octopus or sea bream on the back of small Piaggio’s. This island’s terrible authenticity doesn’t necessarily enchant at first glance, but suffice a few hours to fall under its charm. Don’t waste time, it’s beginning to seduce people who are looking for places that are still preserved: Miuccia Prada just bought two splendid houses at Favignana. A New York photographer Glen Luchford also went wild on an old shack that was completely renovated. After years of anonymity, even indifference, all eyes began to shine on this bewildered piece of land built around a huge mountain.

So, we can only advise you to consume this island during off season when 35,000 tourists who flock there in the mid-summer desert it. In May and June, carpets of green grass and poppies color it, in September and October the softness of the water and climate still make it a rare destination in the Mediterranean Basin. And here, the whole year, we’re invited to immerse ourselves in the Sicilian culture. Particularly through the (real) gastronomic scene: pasta with sea urchins in the establishment of the island, El Pescador, or busiate pesto of Trapani in the many bistros… Little places, a maze of lively streets, cafe restaurants, bands, concerts, shows of all kinds, this island is moving all year. Even I experienced it during my visit—a fashion show in the old tuna fishery. Tuna. Here we are. It’s impossible to imagine understanding the island without speaking about this species of fish. It’s the DNA of this island that lives to the rhythm of tuna fishing, the famous mattanza for years…Tuna, became an integral part of the island’s culture. Today, the tuna fishery is closed and Florio transformed it into a museum. This was Italy’s most important tuna processing plant. The ritual of mattanza had been held annually in April: about ten nets set in the depths of the sea, where the tuna became entangled. Since 2009, mattanza no longer exists (for reasons of sustainability, but also economic) but it obviously rests very associated to Favignana.
There’s this rock overflowing with secrets, but there’s also Sonia, a wonderful ambassador, who teaches you to love it. The French fell in love with the island and with Blasco, which became her husband who was born on the island. Sonia, a designer, bought a ruin overlooking the sea, and within two years, transformed it into a place full of crazy charm.
The Cas’almare could’ve been nestled on a Greek island. Sonia was drawn from the start: The hotel is immaculate, accented with shades of taupe and burgundy. Here, nothing is left to chance: the table, designed by David Emery and brought from Avignon, or the furniture in the entry antiqued from Isle sur la Sorgue. Before you, the sea and the crystal clear waters and stunning views of another of the three Aegadian Islands: Levanzo. To bathe, no sand…but better: small cavities carved in the tuffo, a local stone, which forms small natural pools. A boutique hotel for amateurs of tranquility held by the Franco-Italian couple who know how to treat their guests and happy to help you discover the coves of the island aboard their boat.

Advantages

Complimentary bottle of Lo Spumante upon your arrival.

Infos

From 230 euros per night for 2 people, complimentary breakfast (with Italian viennoiseries, beignets or croissants filled with chocolate). Lunch adjoining the beach club available. Marine tour available around the island, or to Levanzo and Marettimo on a beautiful zodiac. Magical hotel for weekend lovers or honeymooners. Relatively easy access from Palermo with Air France, Alitalia or Transavia or better, Trapani with Ryanair.

Petites places, dédale de rues animées, de cafés de restaurants, fanfares, concerts, shows en tous genre, cette île est animée toute l’année. J’ai même assisté, lors de mon passage, à un défilé de mode dans l’ancienne thonaire ! Le thon. Nous y voilà. Impossible d’imaginer comprendre l’île sans parler de ce poisson. C’est l’ADN de cette île qui a vécu au rythme de la pêche au thon, la fameuse mattanza pendant des années… Le thon, devenu partie intégrante de la culture de l’île.

Aujourd’hui, la pêche au thon est fermée et la thonaire Florio a été transformée en musée. Il s’agissait de la plus importante usine italienne de transformation du thon. Le rituel de la mattanza avait lieu tous les ans au mois d’avril : des dizaines de filets tendus au fond de la mer, dans lesquels le thon venait s’enchevêtrer. Depuis 2009, la mattanza n’existe plus (pour des raisons de développement durable, mais aussi économiques) mais elle reste évidemment très associée à Favignana.

Le propriétaire a racheté une ruine face à la mer, et, en deux ans, l’a transformé en une adresse au charme fou. Le Cas’almare pourrait être niché sur une île grecque. Ce dernier a tiré parti du blanc : L’hôtel est immaculé, rehaussé de teintes taupes ou lie de vin. Ici, rien n’est laissé au hasard : la table désignée par David Emery et rapportée d’Avignon, ou le meuble d’entrée chiné à l’Ile sur la Sorgue. Devant vous, la mer et ses eaux cristallines, et une vue imprenable sur une autre des 3 îles Egades : Levanzo. Pour se baigner, pas de sable… mieux : de petites cavités sculptées dans le tuffo, la pierre locale, qui forment de petites piscines naturelles. Un boutique hôtel pour amateurs de tranquillité.

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Experience

Octopus fishing on a sicilian island

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