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Diving in Sicily

Sicily is a welcomed assault to the senses with its rich history, captivating volcanic landscape and inviting turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Diving in Sicily

Quick facts

There are several areas to dive in Sicily which include dive sites close to the main island and others at the surrounding islands. Dive operators are located at areas like Taormina, San Vito Lo Capo, Pantelleria, Aegadian Islands, Aeolian Islands and Lampedusa.

Diving can be done on a year-round basis although water temperature can get a bit chilly at 59°C (15°C) in the winter compared to 77°F (25°C) in the summer months. The best time to visit is during May to October for optimal conditions. Visibility is often very good and can stretch up to 130ft (40m). Some dive sites around Sicily experience swift currents but many are accessible to new divers.

Dive sites around Sicily consist of pinnacles, caves, walls, shipwrecks and also patches of sea grass. Around Taormina, explore caves like the Grotta Azzura or see remains of a Roman cargo ship at the Wreck of Columns. Heading north of the island to San Vito Lo Capo, you are likely to dive at more caves and some great walls like Punta Negra.

For scenic island life, head to the Aeolian Islands or Aegadian Islands. The volcanic Aeolian Islands is home to Stromboli, another active volcano. Here you can see walls formed by lava and covered in gorgonian sea fans. At the Aegadian Islands, there are caves and shipwrecks to explore. For a quieter getaway, head to Lampedusa Island which is the southernmost point of Italy. Because of its remote location, you are more likely to encounter large pelagic marine life and at the same time enjoy some great critter finds.

When to go

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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What to see

The diving off Sicily may not yield many sightings of large pelagic marine species unless you head further south to Lampedusa where you could spot some oceanic shark species, sea turtles, dolphins and a rare manta ray. Overfishing is a prevalent problem in the Mediterranean but divers can still have an enjoyable time especially with the interesting seascapes and shipwrecks.

At most dive sites, moray and conger eels are often seen poking out of crevices together with lobster and shrimp. Amongst beds and walls of gorgonian sea fans and sponges, find groupers, sea bream, clouds of anthias and also octopus. Closer to the reefs, look for critters like colorful nudibranch, flying gunards and crabs.

Calendar

For better readability of the table, pass into the landscape mode.

Most likely sightingsPossible sightings

Area

The main island of Sicily is separated from the peninsula of Italy by the Strait of Messina and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Sicily and its smaller surrounding islands form the Autonomous Region of Sicily and measure a total area of 10,698 square miles (27,708 square km). The surrounding islands of Sicily include the Aegadian Islands, Aeolian Islands, Pantelleria, and Lampedusa. The main island of Sicily is home to one of the most active volcanoes in the world, Mount Etna.

The history of Sicily is ancient and colorful and dates back to 8,000 BC as discovered from cave drawings. From 750 BC, Greeks lived on the island, cultivating grapes and olives on its fertile land. However, during the First Punic War, Rome intervened and Sicily became the first Roman province outside the Italian Peninsula. As the Roman Empire fell apart, Sicily through the middle ages changed hands from the Germanics, Byzantine Empire, Arabs, Normans to the French and finally was reunited with Italy in the 19th century.

Today, Sicily is a melting pot of cultures and a mesmerizing tourist destination. The fertile volcanic soil has also made it the third largest wine producer in Italy. Tourist flock here to see Mount Etna, visit historical sites and experience the convergence of different cultures on the island. Sicily also has white sandy beaches, idyllic islands, and the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean offer great scuba diving opportunities.

Other attractions

There are many hiking trails to choose from in Sicily amongst vineyards, along rugged coastline and also at Mount Etna. Besides that, immerse yourself in Sicilian culture with food, wine and tours of historical sites.

Getting there

International airlines fly to Catania-Fontanarossa Airport, Palermo Airport and Trapani Airport. Get to the Aeolian Islands and Aegadian Islands via ferry or hydrofoil. There are overnight ferries to Lampedusa and Pantelleria as well as flights.

UTC+01:00

Time zone

EUR

Currency

+39

Calling code

230 V

Electric volt

C, 

F, 

L

Plug type

CTA

Main airport
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