The island of Favignana was the destination for our July holiday. My husband and I set off to discover Favignana, a beautiful island in the Egadi archipelago opposite Trapani. I owe this choice to the sincere friendship that has bound us for years to Elena and Daniele, a Sicilian couple, originally from Trapani but now Tuscan by adoption.
It was Elena who introduced me to Maria, she who has lived on thefor over 20 years. Just a couple of photos of the blue sea, I would say Caribbean, and whoever has been to the Caribbean come forward to say otherwise if they dare? to convince us to book a plane and fly to the Trapani Islands for a week.
Island of Favignana how to get there
They say that Ulysses passed through here, from the Egadi Islands. And indeed, this year that they cancelled low-cost flights to Trapani, getting to Favignana was a real odyssey. Which of course, my husband and I did not consider when we confirmed the rental of the house. We opted for a flight with Ryanair Pisa-Palermo departing at 8.30am.
In 1 hour we reachedat 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 Egadi archipelago 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 Favignana archipelago, and the island of Favignana is the largest. Also nicknamed the butterfly island for its characteristic shape, Favignana is home to Italy’s last traditional tuna fishery, which today, however, due to the scarcity of tuna near the coast, is only set up for the purpose of fish tourism to show how the chamber system works. The last Mattanza took place in 2005.
There are three islands: Favignana, Marettimo and Levanzo. All three are wonderful and ferries and guided excursions to visit the Egadi Islands depart daily from the main island.
What shape is Favignana
Favignana has a very distinctive and recognisable shape. It is also known as the Butterfly Island
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 scorching midday heat on a Friday in July in sunny Palermo. The bus leaves on time (thankfully) 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 home, where we are staying. And with a good coffee, you know, everything takes on a different flavour. Although 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 usual tourist routes, which is exactly what we intend to do. So for 20 euros a 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 hamburgers, nothing like those of Mr McDonald’s. These dishes are cooked ‘express’ – at the moment – with local raw materials or from nearby Trapani or Marsala.
Fruits, vegetables, meat and fish are not to be missed! If you are looking for a restaurant where you can eat excellent fish without spending a fortune, I recommend ‘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, far from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, I recommend the Pizza Pazza pizzeria on Via Mazzini. The place is small and let’s say ‘good’, they don’t do table service, when your order is ready they call you and you go and get it, but the pizza is really good!
If you go to Favignana, have breakfast strictly at the Grand Caffè Florio, in the central Piazza Madrice. It will be a good morning of fresh croissants filled with ricotta and express cannoli, large or even small, if you prefer not to exaggerate. Your coffee will be accompanied by the smiles of the young people who work here in the summer and the glass of water, preparatory to tasting the coffee, although I confess, I drink the glass of water afterwards.
Now we come to the aperitif, which my husband and I love to make. I recommend you go to New Albatros, on Via Vittorio Emanuele, right in the centre of Favignana. For 8 euros per person you could drink your favourite cocktail accompanied by a tray of land or seafood starters of your choice. If you leave the centre, you can reachby scooter, where you will find Francesco with his Ape 50. Here every evening, just before sunset, you can sip Favignana’s infamous ‘aperi-ciccio’. The sunset is free and so is the spectacular sea view. A glass of prosecco, on the other hand, costs 3 euro. If you want the full aperi-ciccio, with bruschetta and pane cunzato, the cost rises to 7 euro per person and the sunset is always free. ? This is the best place to watch 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, let me tell you that if you are looking for well-equipped beaches on the island of Favignana, with the possibility of renting deckchairs and umbrellas and all the comforts of a classic bathing establishment, you should leave the hundred and head for. This area is in fact very popular with families with children, due to the presence of sandy beaches with every comfort.
Favignana what to see
Wondering what to see in. Favignana, perhaps some of you have already heard of the famous. A tongue of beach, partly free and partly private, washed by a crystal-clear, I would say Caribbean, sea. 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 must-see destination, if you feel like walking a bit and in some places, carefully descending among the rocks, is. The sea is transparent. Do you know a swimming pool? Exactly in this way
If you fancy a wild but uniquely beautiful beach, I recommend going to Punta Faraglione. The beach here is not equipped and is the only one where there are no refreshment facilities, but it is of rare beauty! You can admire the pink and red pebbles that give the sea and 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 absolutely recommend going to the Bue Marino caves or Cala San Nicola, my favourite. It was at Cala San Nicola that, with mask and fins, I spotted my first scorpion fish and saw a starfish, the only one I have ever seen in my life.
For more 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.