The Isle of Favignana was the destination for our July holiday. My husband and I set off to discover Favignana, a splendid island in the archipelago of the Egadi in front of Trapani. I owe this choice to the sincere friendship that has bound us for years to Elena and Daniele, a couple of Sicilian boys, originally from Trapani but now Tuscan by adoption.
It was Elena who introduced me to Maria, the one who on thehas lived for over 20 years. All it took was a couple of photos of the blue sea, I would say Caribbean sea, and those who have been to the Caribbean to say the opposite if they have the courage? to convince us to book a plane and fly to the Islands of Trapani for a week.
Island of Favignana how to get there
They say that Ulysses passed through here, from the Islands Egadi. And in fact, this year that they cancelled low cost flights on Trapani, arriving in Favignana was a real Odyssey. Which, of course, my husband and I did not consider when we confirmed the rent of the house. We opted for a flight with Ryanair Pisa-Palermo leaving at 8.30 am.
In 1 hour we reached theFalcone and Borsellino of Palermo Punta Raisi.
We decided to use public transport, but the first bus available to the port of Trapani with the Segesta company leaves at 12 noon. Therefore, my husband and I had plenty of time to visit the airport of Palermo to which I will perhaps dedicate a whole article next, as we travelled far and wide for 2 and a half hours, waiting for the bus.
Favignana where is
The island of Favignana is the largest of three islands in the archipelago of islands Egadi located in the western part of Sicily a few nautical miles from the port of Trapani.
Egadi islands – Where Favignana is located
Favignana, Marettimo, Levanzo are the three islands of the archipelago of Favignana and the island of Favignana is the largest. Nicknamed also the butterfly island for its characteristic shape, Favignana is the home of the last traditional Italian tuna fishery, but today due to the scarcity of tuna near the coast it is only used for purposes related to fish tourism to show how the system of rooms works. The last Mattanza took place in 2005.
Favignan Island – Book public transport in advance
Luckily, and I recommend this to you too, we bought our bus tickets online (round trip), because there was an incredible queue at the ticket office and we would have risked spending our 2 hours there instead of visiting the beauties of your airport ?
I’ll tell you one thing though, the bathrooms were very clean! Both the ladies’ and the gentlemen’s, so my husband said.
We take the bus under the torrid midday heat, on a Friday in July, in sunny Palermo. The bus departs on time (luckily) and in 1 hour we reach the port of Trapani.
As soon as we arrive, we immediately go to the ticket office of the Liberty Lines company which is located along the pier, near the hydrofoil embarkation. You should know that just before we left we received an email informing us that the tickets we had bought online (therefore paid by credit card) were not valid for boarding and had to be changed with the “real” tickets at the ticket office.
Here too we queue a bit but we manage to reach the office counter in time to find out that we can take the 1.30 p.m. hydrofoil paying a penalty of 8.80 euros (4.40 euros per person). In fact, our tickets are valid for the 3.00 p.m. ride.
Now, you understand that when you are on the road from 7 a.m., and you find yourself under a scorching sun with a lot of luggage and a peckish stomach, you don’t want to argue but the feeling you get is that you feel “screwed”. And it’s very bad. For me as a tourist but also for those who should welcome me to their land with open arms. Without panicking, we finally pay the penalty at 1.30 pm we can get on the hydrofoil. So I advise you to make your tickets by phone or when you arrive directly at the port. Maybe you’ll be luckier than us and they won’t charge you an absurd penalty.
Favignana Island: how to move around
We arrive in Favignana at about 2 pm. In the small square in front of the port, we find our dear friend Maria to welcome us. Finally a friendly face, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of mopeds, of Ape Piaggio 50 with the little boys on the back of the boat screaming and the screams of the fishermen trying to sell the last remaining pieces of fish. Welcome to Favignana! ?
Maria accompanies us to her family’s house, where we will stay. And with a good coffee, you know, everything takes on a different flavour. Even though the house is in the centre, Maria advises us to rent a scooter, so that we can move around freely and visit the island, off the classic tourist routes, which is exactly what we intend to do. So with 20 euros per day we rent a scooter.
And this is what I suggest you to do, if you want to move and discover the island of Favignana. Remember, when you can, get gas when you can! There is only one ENI petrol station on the island and it is located right near the centre of the village.
Favignana Sicily: where to sleep and where to eat
My husband and I are used to traveling by staying in hotels, but I have to say that this time the solution of renting a house proved to be an excellent choice! It has given us a freedom, outside of any scheduled times for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as when you are at the hotel.
the island of Favignana offers different solutions for overnight stays: from B & B, to 4-star hotels, to residences, rooms-to-let or house rentals, mostly located in the centre, close to the services you need. From the supermarket to the pharmacy, to the dental and gynaecological office and the yoga and naturopathy centre!
We say goodbye to Maria who is leaving for Trapani, where she now lives most of the year with her family. The appointment with her is scheduled for next week, at the port of Favignana, for the return of the house keys.
As a first day, we accept to follow his advice and we walk in the fragrant Via Roma, to the Costanza bakery, which will become our “second home” for the whole holiday. In fact, the perfume we smell comes from his bakery! Here you can eat delicious bread and pizza! It was here that I fell in love with the aubergines of Favignana, which I discovered to be even better if accompanied by a delicious lemon slush.
Next to the bakery is the Hamburgheria, where you can eat super burgers, nothing to do with those of Mr Mc Donald ? These are dishes that are cooked “espresso” – at the moment – with local raw materials or from nearby Trapani or Marsala.
Fruit, vegetables, meat and fish will not be missed! If, on the other hand, you are looking for a restaurant where you can eat excellent fish without spending a fortune, I suggest you “A Muciara” .
The “muciara” is the smallest vessel in the tuna trap that was used exclusively by the RAIS (the foreman), to move from one point to another of the tonnara.
At the restaurant, you will find Daniela and Salvatore welcoming you two young people with a passion for their land and culinary art. Here you can taste the yellow fin tuna, red shrimp, sea couscous, spaghetti with sea urchins and the legendary pasta with sardines.
If you feel like eating a pizza sitting at a table, away from the chaos of the city centre, I recommend the pizzeria Pizza Pazza in Via Mazzini. The place is small and we say “alla buona”, they don’t do table service, when your order is ready they call you and go get it, but the pizza is really good!
If you are going to Favignana, have breakfast strictly at the Grand Caffè Florio, in the very central Piazza Madrice. It will be a good morning with fresh croissants stuffed with ricotta cheese and cannoli espresso, large or even small, if you prefer not to exaggerate. Your coffee will be accompanied by the smile of the young people who work here in the summer and the glass of water, preparatory to the tasting of the coffee, even if I confess, that I drink the glass of water afterwards.
Now we come to the aperitif, which my husband and I love to do. I suggest you to go to New Albatros, in Via Vittorio Emanuele, therefore, right in the centre of Favignana. For 8 euros per person you could drink the cocktail you prefer accompanied by a tray of hors d’oeuvres from land or sea, of your choice. If you leave the centre, you can reach by scooter, where you will find Francesco with his Ape 50. Here every evening, just before sunset, you can sip the notorious “aperi-ciccio” of Favignana. The sunset is free and also the spectacular sea view. A glass of prosecco costs 3 euro. If you want the complete aperi-ciccio, with bruschetta and cunzato bread, the cost goes up to 7 euro per person and the sunset is always free. ? This is the best place to see the sunset in Favignana.
Favignana Island: where to buy souvenirs
As well as taking home with you the memory of a wonderful holiday based on crystal clear sea and excellent food, if you want to buy souvenirs, I suggest you make a visit to Chiara’s workshop, L’arte del creare, which is located in Via Pacinotti, a side street near Palazzo Florio. Here you can buy some wonderful artistic ceramics, handmade bijoux and much more, created especially for you, by Chiara’s wise hands. Everything “made in Favignana”.
Favignana Island: sea and beaches
First of all I tell you that if you are looking for equipped beaches on the island of Favignana, with the possibility of renting deckchairs and beach umbrellas and all the comforts of a classic bathing establishment, where you can leave the hundred and head to. This area is in fact frequented a lot by families with children, because of the presence of beaches with sand, equipped with every comfort.
Favignana what to see
Wondering what to see a. Favignana, perhaps some of you may have already heard of the famous. A tongue of beach, partly free and partly private, bathed by a crystal clear sea, I would say Caribbean. I ask you to imagine 50 shades of blue! ?
In the part of the private beach, you can rent deckchairs and umbrellas but be careful, you will not find them on the sand, but on the heights of the huge flat rock, which surrounds the whole bay. So, even if you rent an umbrella, you will have to walk down a comfortable flight of steps to the sea. For this reason, my husband and I have opted for the free beach, in order to be just 2 steps away from the sea.
Another unavoidable destination, if you feel like walking a bit and in some places, go down carefully between the rocks, is. The sea is transparent. Do you have a swimming pool ? Exactly so.
If you feel like a wild beach of unique beauty, I suggest you go to Punta Faraglione. The beach here is not equipped and is the only one where there are no refreshment points, but it is of rare beauty! You can admire the pink and red pebbles that give the sea and the sand a wonderful colour.
Remember that here you are in a protected and guarded marine area, and it is forbidden to collect and take away sand and pebbles.
If you love snorkelling, I recommend you to go to the Sea Ox caves or Cala San Nicola, my favourite. It was in Cala San Nicola, where, wearing a mask and fins, I sighted my first redfish and saw a starfish, the only one I have ever seen in my life.
For further information www.favignana.com
Favignana will remain in our hearts until next time
On the island of Favignana we spent 7 beautiful days of sun and sea, on this wonderful island, washed by the Mediterranean Sea. We were not discouraged by ferries or flights that never coincide with bus schedules. We were won over by its clean sea, the kindness of the inhabitants, the goodness of their cuisine, the warm wind blowing from the South-West, the evening rite of almond ice cream, a moment that every day we waited for as children. Or the lemon granita, not counting calories, sugar or other guilt feelings. Because every evening in Favignana, a tourist dies of nostalgia if he doesn’t eat at least some ice cream.