Lampedusa, secret paradise of the Mediterranean Sea
This tour is recommended for people who are willing to reach the extreme point of the European continent and explore an authentic hidden paradise; for who never gets tired of the sea and wishes to closely observe a rich, lively and colourful marine ecosystem; for who wants to return home with the precious memory of an exclusive island.
Day 1: Arrival and Cala Croce
Arrival in Lampedusa and accommodation in hotel/apartment.
Depending on your time of arrival, you can spend the afternoon in Cala Croce, on the rocky beach of Portu ‘Ntoni, where you will be able to admire the contrast between the pearl-grey coast and the crystal-clear turquoise sea under the giant African Sun.
Dinner and night stroll around the town of Lampedusa, with its small, white buildings and its quiet streets. The main street, Via Roma, is full of stands, local products shop and pubs. One thing is for sure – despite being tiny, this island has always something to offer.
Day 2: Cala Creta and Mare Morto
After your breakfast, we will go to the beach on the silver reef of Cala Creta, with its cliff towered by a lighthouse. In a place like this, you will wonder if you still are in Italy.
After lunch, we will move just a few hundred metres and reach the Mare Morto beach, with a sea so clear and deep-blue that one could think that it is not real.
Swimming, it is possible to go through a splendid natural arc or sneak in marine caves that offer a fresh and intimate shelter from the Sun.
Diving, it is possible to observe the marine fauna that lives undisturbed: multicoloured fishes, octopi, cuttlefishes, anemones, sea urchins, starfishes, and so on. The inhabitants of the Pelagie Islands deeply respect their sea – intensive fishing is strictly forbidden. Only what is needed for the island’s subsistence is taken from the sea. In this way, biodiversity is guaranteed and the life of marine creatures is respected.
In the evening, aperitivo in Portu ‘Ntoni, dinner in hotel/apartment and overnight stay.
Day 3: Boat tour of the island
Complete tour of the island in private boat, from the morning to the late evening.
We will stop in the most fascinating spots of the coast, that are often accessible only from the sea. You will be able to swim in the open sea, visit the island’s many sea caves (like the Lovers’ Cave or the emerald-green natural pools) and bays so beautiful and coloured that look like they have been taken from a cartoon, like the Tabaccara. It is not uncommon for dolphins to swim along the boat. The excursion includes a full lunch on board. Return to Lampedusa harbor at sunset, dinner and overnight stay.
Day 4: Cala Pisana and complete car tour of the island
Today we will have our breakfast in town, in the Bar dell’Amicizia, with its large terrace that towers over the white houses and its wide choice of pastries. Then we will go to Cala Pisana beach, that is located in a small gulf with a dock on the side. This position guarantees that the sea is always calm and free from jellyfishes. The beach is sandy and you can freely dive from the dock, because the seafloor is deep and without rocks.
After lunch, we will start a visit of Lampedusa, delving into the island’s most important aspect: a place of salvation and psycho-physical healing, both for human beings and marine creatures.
We will pay a brief visit to the boat cemetery. In this place, the makeshift boats by which immigrants depart from North Africa are piled up. Most of this boats sail overcrowded, and often not a single passenger knows how to swim. Those who are lucky enough to reach the island immediately receive care and shelter.
In 2013, Pope Francis visited the island and held a mass from an altar made from the boats’ wood.
The inhabitants of the island never deny their help to whoever truly needs it – for this reason, Lampedusa and its people were proposed as candidates to the Nobel Peace Prize. We will tell you various anecdotes about how even common residents took action in order to help out after the most catastrophic shipwrecks.
Then, we will visit the Sea turtles rehabilitation centre. Lampedusa, being a pristine island, is home to many species of sea turtles, that are the symbol of the island. Many local beaches are chosen by these creatures to lay their eggs.
The rehabilitation centre is completely profit-see and there its main goal is to raise awareness amongst the visitors. The skeletons of the sea turtles that died because of plastic ingestion are exposed, along with the content of their bellies: a surprising number of bags, bottles, flasks, caps, nets and other synthetic materials.
It is possible to closely observe the turtles in their rehabilitation tanks, where they recuperate after having surgery. However, one must remember that this is not an aquarium, but an hospital, so it is advisable not to disturb the turtles. After totally recuperating, they are given a GPS bracelet and freed.
Afterwards, we will visit the Porta d’Europa (Europe’s Door), an art installation that is located in Italy’s southernmost point. Lower than this, you will only find Africa. This is a monument dedicated to the immigrants that died in the sea, hoping to reach Europe and make a better future for themselves.
Then, we will go back to the town, where we will stop at the rainbow stairs near the harbour in order to take an unforgettable group photo. It will also be the perfect moment to have an aperitivo. Dinner at the hotel/apartment and overnight stay.
Day 5: Cala Francese and ‘O Scià
Today we will visit the coolest places of the island. In the morning we will go to the beach at Cala Francese, with its golden sand and turquoise water. This beach has a peculiarity – here, you will find Silvio Berlusconi’s mansion. It is the only place in the whole island where you can find a lawn. It even possesses its own heliport.
After lunch, we can freely choose the beach where we will spend the afternoon. If there happens to be rough sea, Cala Pisana is always a guarantee.
Before the sunset, though, we shall put our best clothes on and go to the Scià, the island’s most famous club. Here, we will enjoy our aperitivo while surrounded by the rocky landscape and the crimson, dim light of the dusk. If we are lucky enough, in this place it may be possible to meet some of the celebrities that choose Lampedusa as their holiday destination. Back to the hote/apartment, dinner and overnight stay.
Day 6: Isola dei Conigli beach and dinner on the boat
Last but not least, let’s top off this vacation by going to the most sought-after place in the whole island: the Isola dei Conigli beach. After reaching it, you will forever be able to boast your visit to the most beautiful beach in the world (recognized by Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice in 2013).
Clear water and incomparably fine sand. While swimming, it is possible to approach the tiny rabbit island. This beach, being pristine, is a favored place for sea turtles to lay their eggs, so Legambiente (Italian Environmental League) is always present to keep an eye on the turtles’ nest, keep the beach clean, ensure that the visitors behave responsibly and assist the hatchlings when they are born.
At 6 PM we will reach the harbour and we will sail to have an evening tour of the island. The sunset, seen from Lampedusa’s open sea, is a wonder that is unmatched in Europe – the Sun will be so big, red and fiery that you will wonder if it is the same star that shines in the other parts of the world. After this breath-taking experience, we will have a seafood-based dinner onboard. Night tour of the island and back to the port at 10 PM. Back to the hotel/apartment and overnight stay.
Day 7: Returning home
Today, we will leave the island. Depending on our time of departure, we can have one last stroll around the town in order to buy souvenirs and local products, or maybe even take a commemorative tattoo. When you will be back home, you will forever be able to tell your friends and family that you have been in a true hidden paradise, and had the honour to meet the people of Lampedusa, a truly golden-hearted folk.
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