Marettimo island

marettimo-punta-troiaIf you are looking for a quiet and relaxing vacation, this is the best place for you. I am discussing about Marettimo, one of the Islands of the Aegadian Archipelago, off the Western coast of Sicily. Unlike the other islands, such as Levanzo and Favignana, Marettimo is far less crowded. In Marettimo, indeed, you won’t live an uninhibited holiday, but fairly quiet. That is why this is the ideal place to party your retirement or your honeymoon. But Marettimo is not only a quiet land, but also a very ancient place founded by Greeks. On this isle, you can also find the remains of the Roman Empire. The isle indeed, was also an important settlement of the Romans who used it like a stronghold to control enemy invasions from the sea. The ancient Greek name of the isle was Hiera, which means “sacred island”. And this is really a sacred place to remember for all the duration of your vacation. It is sacred for its unspoiled landscape, it is sacred for its beautiful nature and its stunning views of the sea and the hills. It is sacred for its silent village where you can also have walked for hours, it is sacred for the wild wood, admired and contemplated like one of the wonders of the world. The modern name of Marettimo, instead, mirrors the real landscape of the isle. This name, indeed, comes from the union of two Italian words: Mare (Sea) and Timo (Thyme). Facing the Mediterranean Sea, it was natural the ancient locals called this land with this name. The second name, instead, comes from an aromatic herb which is very spread around the island, along with the other kinds of herbs and trees. In Marettimo, you can also admire spectacular beaches and unforgettable woods.

Marettimo beaches
marettimo-beachIn Marettimo, beaches are not sandy, but pebbled and rocky. These are the ideal places to scuba dive and swim. The best beaches are: Scalo Maestro, Cala Bianca and Cala Nera. You can reach the first two by boat, while you can go to Cala Nera on foot.

Flora and fauna
marettimo-flora-and-faunaBesides to be regarded as the diver’s paradise, Marettimo is also considered the paradise of fishers. The isle is also a marine and nature reserve. You can look at local fishing but you can’t fish. Moreover, you can also admire an unspoiled flora and fauna. The flora mainly consists of the Macchia Mediterranea plants, oak trees and lush and green Aleppo pines, in additions to the aromatic herbs I mentioned above. The fauna is stunning and still wilder here, where you can see wild goats, rabbits, peregrine falcons, eagles, gulls, donkeys and horses. Along the hills, outside the main village, and toward the woods, you can instead walk for many hours without feel tiredness.

marettimo-la-grotta-del-cammelloDuring your vacation in Marettimo you can also visit some very interesting monuments and ruins, such as the castle at Punta Troia and the ruins of a Roman House. The first is a route that leads you on the beach of Scalo Maestro. The rocky landscape offers you also views of rocky caves to be explored and photographed. The most famous is La grotta del Cammello (Grotto of the Camel – see this image).

Where to find accommodations and food
You can find accommodation in the village which has many hotels and residences. Hotels are expensive in Marettimo during the summer, while prices are more affordable in the other seasons. You can also rent a private residence by the locals. The residences are void houses that the inhabitants use to host tourists. To taste the Sicilian food in Marettimo, you have many chances thanks to bars and restaurants surrounding the village and a bit of outside the same. Marettimo is the best place to taste delicious Sicilian fish and one the most famous recipes: pasta with sardines, the one made with fennels. For breakfast, in addition to the usual tea or milk and coffee, you can also taste the “ Granita di Gelso”, a special dessert made with ice water and mulberry.

How to reach Marettimo
As the other Aegadian islands, you can reach Marettimo from the port of Trapani. There, you can find boats and ferries to go to the Island. In the summer you can also take four hydrofoils. Book your fly to land in Trapani Airport and then take the bus to the port. Once you are in the isle, forget cars, because this land is inaccessible by car, but it is an unforgettable occasion to use your feet again and make peace with nature.

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Photo Credits: Fulvio Spada and Flickr.

4 thoughts on “Marettimo island

  1. Pingback: Complete tourist information to visit Marsala, the Sicilian town on a lagoon

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