You choose it for the classic day trip or for a holiday entirely between relaxing sea, but Favignana, an island in the Marine Reserve of the Egadi Islands, is an authentic landing place for those who love beaches. With its immense coves, there is only the embarrassment of choice. Places that can be reached by bicycle pedaling in nature, going to the discovery of this fantastic Sicilian island.
Inhabited since prehistoric times (on the island you can admire some graffiti in the caves of the S. Nicola area) Favignana was, like the rest of Sicily colonized by the Carthaginians, ended up under Roman and Arab rule, so here are the Swabians, Normans, and Angevins.
The island of tuna processing
In the past, the island of Favignana was exploited for its countless tuff quarries, but this was also a place of tuna processing. In fact, the Florio tonnara stood here, better known today as the former Florio factory of the Favignana and Formica traps, or rather an industrial settlement for the processing of caught fish, a place that today is instead an important museum.
But this is not the only attraction that brings us to the island. Today Favignana presents itself to the eyes of tourists as a place for memorable holidays: turquoise sea and beautiful coves make this land one of the most sought-after destinations in the summer months.
The painter Salvatore Fiume, observing its shape, represented it as a butterfly.
The landing on the island
We leave for Favignana with boarding from Trapani. The hydrofoil is about an hour reaches the port of the island which presents itself with the colors of the thousands of boats moored and which create a suggestive atmosphere. The impact is immediately significant.
The disembarkation takes place next to the fishermen, who on their return after a fishing trip, offer inhabitants and tourists the fruit of their work.
The silhouette of the castle of Santa Caterina, which is located at the highest point of the island, also watches over the port. From its height, it is possible to admire all the Egadi islands and part of the western Sicilian coast.
In front of the port, however, the silhouette of one of the most important buildings on the island stands out: Palazzo Florio.
Neo-Gothic style building dating back to 1878, the summer residence of the Florio family and now owned by the municipality. If it’s open it’s definitely worth a visit.
Favignana is one of the favorite destinations for those who love cycling tourism. Just rent one in the port and you are off to the most beautiful beaches of the island. Each of them will show us a wonderful corner of this island and here we will stop for a swim. The sea has crystal clear waters.
The Hypogeum Gardens
Pedaling after pedaling we realize that Favignana is rich in a particular stone: Calcarenite. It is a porous material used in the past, particularly in construction. The quarries were exploited for centuries, then with the changed market conditions, they entered into crisis, were closed, and abandoned.
Today these abandoned places have become colorful vegetable gardens and gardens.
On the edges of the roads near the tuff quarries, you can see how lush plants grow inside them such as figs, almond trees, pears, oranges, and prickly pears. These quarries today take the name of Ipogei Gardens.
Our ride to the beaches of the island develops between gardens and streets made dusty by the heat.
There are several sandy beaches. In Favignana. You are spoiled for choice: from the famous Cala Azzurra, with its splendid crystal clear waters to Lido Burrone. Then Cala Rossa, in the area of the tuff quarries and the extraordinary colors of the sea.
Not far away we find the small port of Punta Lunga, here a series of rocky coves follow one another.
More secluded and intimate is Cala Graziosa, made of rocks and sand.
Near the port and in front of the imposing hill of Santa Caterina stands the Praia. Finally Cala Rotonda with its characteristic rocks.
There is no shortage of quiet places to swim such as Punta Faraglioni or Cala del Pozzo.
Several beaches can be reached by bicycle, although a comfortable bus runs around the island at regular times, with stops right near the most famous beaches.
By bicycle, you can find other and interesting beaches, perhaps isolated places where you can make memorable dives in the crystal clear waters of the sea such as Punta Fanfalo, Scalo Cavallo or Bue Marino.
One day is not enough to admire Favignana in all its beauty before taking the hydrofoil again, there is time for a granita to be enjoyed in the bars in Piazza Matrice.
How do I get to Favignana?
Favignana can only be reached by sea. There is no airport on the island. By ship: hydrofoils and ferries depart all year round from the port of Trapani, while only in the summer season there are also hydrofoils from Naples, Ustica, and Marsala By plane: the nearest airport is Trapani Birgi, from here by bus or taxi you can reach the port of Trapani.