The Egadi Islands are an Italian archipelago, in Sicily, between the lower Tyrrhenian and the Sicilian channel. Located about 7 km from the west coast of Sicily, between Marsala and Trapani, in the free municipal consortium of Trapani, the archipelago consists of three isolated and two islets, plus a series of rocks and stacks. Already known in ancient times with the Latin name Aegates which comes from the Greek Aigatai, meaning “goat islands”, the Egadi Islands Marine Nature Reserve is located on the archipelago.
Geography of the Egadi Islands
From the geological point of view the Egadi islands are closely connected with Sicily; the archipelago, of 37.45 km², is made up of the islands Favignana, Marettimo, Levanzo and several other smaller islands, some little more than rocks. The climate is extremely mild in the winter months and there are long hot and sunny summers. The minimum average winter temperature, in the months of January and February, is 5 degrees, while the maximum in July-August is 45 degrees. Little rainfall. They are part of the archipelago:
The History of Egadi Islands
Traces of ancient human settlements are found mainly in Levanzo and to a lesser extent in Favignana. It is assumed that this happened due to the last glaciation, which created a natural passage between Africa and Sicily. In 241 BC the Romans conquered the islands after the final naval battle of the First Punic War, in which Gaius Lutatius Catulus defeated the Carthaginian fleet. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the islands fell into the hands of the Vandals and the Goths and later the Saracens. In 1081 they were occupied and fortified by the Normans. Then followed the fate of Sicily until the sixteenth century, when they became the property of the Pallavicini-Rusconi of Genoa and then, in 1874, of the Florio who strengthened the Favignana traps. They are administratively part of the municipality of Favignana, with the exception of the Island of Mozia / San Pantaleo and Isola Grande, which are part of the municipality of Marsala.
Birdlife of the Egadi Islands
The avifauna of the Egadi includes the biancone, the peregrine falcon, the griffon vulture, the Bonelli’s eagle (Marettimo island), the kestrel, the lesser kestrel, the Egyptian vulture, the pelican, the pink flamingo, the bird of storms, the bassana gannet, greater shearwater, lesser shearwater, herring gull, shag, greater swift, barn owl, blue rock thrush, hats, imperial crow and black nun (Marettimo island).
How to reach Egadi Islands
You can reach the island with hydrofoils and catamarans from the Siremar and Liberty Lines companies, companies that also connect the other islands of the archipelago. The boats leave from Trapani, Marsala and, in summer every Saturday, also from Naples. The ticket offices are located near the pier from which the hydrofoils leave. Alternatively, you can also book tickets online on the websites of the shipping companies. Ferries to Favignana from the indicated ports are comfortable and fast, just think that from Marsala to Favignana the expected journey time is only about half an hour. Another extremely pleasant way to reach Favignana is aboard a comfortable sailing boat. Sail Egadi departs from Marsala and Trapani offering you cruises of a week or shorter as a weekend or bank holiday. In this way you can also discover those corners that remain hidden from those who visit Favignana by land. The tourist port of Favignana offers mooring assistance, water, electricity and fuel: everything you need to not give up the comfort of a relaxing holiday. The port of Marsala is located a short distance from the characteristic city center, the perfect destination for a stroll and for a dinner based on tasty fresh fish cooked according to the best Sicilian tradition.