SailSterling Essential Panarea
Panarea, a truly picturesque island is one of the most enchanting of the Aeolian archipelago. This island is the smallest of all islands, small but nice: in the summer months (July – September) the rich and famous from northern Italy reside here. This is due to the fact that some rich Italians have discovered the island for themselves. As a result, some politicians have also caused land prices to rise astronomically.
The yachts anchor in the harbour, the houses are inhabited for a few weeks. To the displeasure of the locals, who have to live on a “ghost island” for the rest of the year – and are allowed to look after the houses of high society. In the other months it is quiet on the island, ideal for hiking tourists. It’s beautifully lush and there are spectacular paths and great views, plus a Bronze Age settlement and a gorgeous sandy beach.
From a geological point of view, Panarea is the oldest of the Aeolian Islands and with the neighbouring islands is all that is left of the eruption phenomena of a single volcanic basin that is now almost completely flooded and eroded by the sea and wind. The last traces of the current volcanic activity can be found on the beach of La Calcara in the northeast of the island with steam fumaroles that reach very high temperatures. The island used to be the largest, but the sinking has greatly reduced its primitive surface.
The island of Panarea has an area of 3.4 km² on which about 400 people live. The houses are grouped around 3 districts: Ditella, San Pietro and Drauto. The highest peak in Panarea is called Pizzo del Corvo (420m) and slopes down to the east in terraces that are grown with grain and bordered by gigantic olive trees. On this side of the island, the ridges of Pizzo Falcone and Pizzo Castello stand out. To the west the slopes have wild crags and green covered rocky walls. The western part of the island is hardly inhabited and the eastern part along the entire coast is quite heavily populated. Panarea is also known as an archipelago within the archipelago because the small volcanic islands are to the east of the island.
On the surface these are not connected to each other, but have a common origin below sea level. Panarea and these islets (Basiluzzo, Dattilo, Lisca Bianca, Bottaro, Lisca Nera, Spinazzola, Panarelli and Formiche) are part of the same volcanic ensemble: they are the remains of spouting centres formed on the only morphological unit, a submarine volcano.
San Pietro is the centre of the island and thanks to its pier it is also the place of arrival and departure. All narrow streets lead from the port to the three inhabited centres of San Pietro, Drautto and Ditella. Due to the size, it is possible to explore the whole island on foot, but you can also take the classic and picturesque Aeolian taxi.
Basiluzzo is located in front of San Pietro and is the largest uninhabited island in the Aeolian Islands. On the island of Basiluzzo, which was a well-known summer vacation spot for the Romans in ancient times, there are even the remains of a Roman villa, floor mosaics and wall paintings. The remains of a jetty and a thermal bath are three meters below sea level.
Around The Island
Go around the island and go up as high as possible: it’s possible on Panarea. The smallest of the Aeolian Islands offers heavenly tranquility outside the main town and port of San Pietro. This is bound to open up delightful glimpses of yourself and spectacular views of the neighbouring islands. Panarea, although the smallest, is definitely the most graceful of the Aeolian Islands, a truly idyllic corner of the earth.
The road network stretches along the entire east coast and connects the small towns with one another. In the western part, the landscape can only be explored by trekking tours and offers a beautiful insight into the natural world of this charming island off the north coast of Sicily.
From S.Pietro you hike through the Drauto district in about 1 hour past the beautiful beach Caletta dei Zimmari to Capo Milazzese. Don’t miss the excavations of a Bronze Age village in Capo Milazzese. The settlement consisted of about 50 round buildings and one rectangular building that probably served as a meeting room. The foundation walls of 23 round buildings as well as millstones, pots and ceramic pots have been preserved.
Swimming and beaches
The island has some beautiful beaches, some of which can only be reached by boat. The Bay of Cala Junco and the Bay of Zimmari are the only two beaches that can be reached from the mainland. The beautiful clear water has turquoise to dark blue spots that are really inviting. If you take a boat around the island, a series of views follow before your astonished gaze: enormous, rounded or prismatically shaped boulders, occasionally standing in the sea, rocky reefs with high peaks and wonderful bays like those of Cala Junco.
"Even now I miss Italy dearly, I dream about it every night"
Stringent cleaning procedures are already in-place across all boats globally for the well-being of our crew and guests. These will be further enhanced to meet government guidelines in the UK and Italy which are in place in July 2021 in relation to the COVID pandemic. These will include temperature checks prior to boarding; hand-sanitising stations in public areas; additional deep cleans of public areas including decks; social distancing if required. With each catamaran’s capacity at a maximum of 10 people including skipper and chef, if required in August, guests would remain in catamaran bubbles during visits to vineyards and other on-shore activities.