Sicily Yacht Charter Guide
The largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily is a land of contrasts, a melting pot of culture, and an irresistible luxury yacht charter destination.
Located just a hundred miles south of the famed Amalfi Coast, Sicily is sometimes likened to a miniature continent.
From rugged mountains, an active Mount Etna volcano, otherworldly white cliffs, and paradise white sand beaches by the aqua-blue sea to the countless historic sites dating back to the Greek and Roman times, the food scene in Palermo and the glitz and glamor of Taormina, Sicily makes for an extravagant sailing destination rivaling that of the Italian Riviera.
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Why Charter a Yacht in Sicily
Sailing Sicily is a luxury vacation, an adventure, and an exquisite cultural experience all rolled into one.
Few other Mediterranean islands can boast the abundance of vibrant diversity, rich heritage, and natural wonders that define Sicily.
Pristine beaches and rugged mountains covered in pine forests, quaint hilltop villages, Greek and Roman ruins dotting the countryside, bustling main ports, upscale marinas, beautiful cities, and an excellent food scene all jostle for attention as you set sail to explore Sicily aboard a luxury yacht.
Below, we list our favorite reasons for a Sicilian yacht charter:
Nature and Scenery
Sicily’s beautiful coastline is a paradise for sun-seekers with its endless stretches of golden sands, clear waters, and stunning views of white cliffs and volcanic rock formations.
Whether it’s the trendy beach scene of Taormina or the secluded coves and bays of the Aeolian Islands, the Sicilian coast has no shortage of amazing anchorages and sun-drenched beaches to explore.
Inland, Sicily has a mountainous interior with the imposing peaks of Mount Etna, the most active volcano in the world, looming over the landscape.
Covered in vineyards, wildflowers, and lemon groves, Sicily’s green rolling hills are dotted with picturesque villages, while its unspoiled nature reserves provide refuge for those seeking tranquility, great hiking trails, and wildlife spotting.
History and Culture
Ancient Greek and Roman heritage, mysterious ruins, traces of Norman invasions, Arab influence, and glorious Italian Baroque architecture mingle with fascinating local folklore, history of mafia disputes, the fifties silver screen fame, and a distinctly Sicilian way of dolce vita.
Whether it’s Palermo’s lively street food markets and gorgeous piazzas, the spectacular Greek ruins of Agrigento, the dreamy fishing villages of the Egadi and Aeolian islands, or Taormina’s elegant designer shops and exclusive resorts, a Sicily yacht charter holiday is an extravagant affair filled with unique experiences.
Wine and Cuisine
One of the top food destinations in Italy, Sicily is a treasure trove of culinary delights.
Here, countless authentic trattorias and street food stalls give way to Michelin-starred restaurants and world-class wineries, only to be replaced with little hole-in-the-wall eateries next door serving traditional Mediterranean dishes.
Swordfish steaks, delicious pasta, freshly caught seafood, and glorious gelato are Sicily’s signature cuisine staples, while the traditions of local cheeses, olive oils, and wines date back thousands of years.
Legend has it cannoli - cream-filled cones - originated in Sicily, and to this day, Sicilian bakers take their pastries extremely seriously.
A variety of aperitifs are another Sicilian tradition. From the ritual Amaro Averna to local vermouths and Aperol Spritz cocktails, no self-respecting Sicilian would start their dinner without a glass of a delicious aperitif.
Sicily Yacht Charter Destinations
Sailing Sicily is an art: aside from hitting the main ports and enjoying sunny days on the beach or taking in the breathtaking views from the deck of a luxury yacht, this Mediterranean gem has so much more to offer.
An island steeped in history where the past whispers through its ancient ruins and the present unfolds in a colorful medley of gorgeous architecture, roaring social life, and bustling markets, Sicily and its nearby islands serve up a menu of timeless charm and playful Italian flair.
To experience the best of the Sicilian way of life, consider adding these destinations to your sailing itinerary:
The capital of Sicily, Palermo, has weathered Greek, Roman, Arab, Norman, and Spaniard rule, all leaving traces reflected in the city’s spectacular monuments ranging from Byzantine to Italian neoclassic.
Palermo’s markets still exude Arab influence resembling Moorish souks, the Palermo Cathedral is home to Norman royal tombs, while its Teatro Massimo, the third largest opera house in Europe after Paris and Vienna, is unmistakably Sicilian.
Beyond stunning architecture and historical curiosities, Palermo is all attitude. Its loud and colorful street markets are an experience of, and in itself, its art and music scene veers from bohemian to ultramodern in a heartbeat, and the Palermitani are obsessed with food: tasting the traditional granita coffee with a side of arancine in a cafe is the best way to mingle with the locals.
Often likened to Positano on the Amalfi Coast and, just as frequently, called the Sicilian Monte Carlo, Taormina, situated on the East coast of the island, is home to the jet-setting crowd and the international glamouratti.
Beloved by European royals, writers, and silver-screen icons, Taormina is an elite getaway where Dolce and Gabbana routinely to shoot their ads and where Tom Cruise celebrated his 38th birthday.
Taormina’s designer-label shops, elegant cafes, Michelin restaurants, and glamorous resorts attract luxury yacht guests and celebrities alike, while the dramatic backdrop of Mount Etna adds a layer of striking natural beauty.
The luxury capital of Sicily, Taormina boasts the magnificent Ancient Theater, a Roman amphitheater ruins where the views of frequent eruptions of Mount Etna are especially spectacular at night.
No yacht charter cruise around Sicily would be complete without visiting Agrigento, once an ancient Greek city perched atop a hill.
Its beautiful historic center, gorgeous palazzos, and countless cafes and bars where old men sip their espressos and watch the world go by are worth a day’s trip, while the famous Valley of the Temples reveals awe-inspiring views of colossal Greek city ruins.
Agrigento’s Marina di Cala del Sole is a cozy marina with excellent facilities perfect for a night’s stay, and the nearby Stair of the Turks is one of the unique beaches in Sicily with its white, staircase-shaped cliffs curving into the fine sand and bright blue sea.
Sitting between Southern Italy and the Northern coast of Sicily in the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Aeolian archipelago is a group of seven volcanic islands famed for their pristine nature and secluded beaches.
Legend has it, the islands were named after Aeolus, the divine keeper of the winds in the Greek tradition, and the Aeolian Islands do resemble a mythical place of strange, solitary rock formations and a fascinating underwater world.
Perfect for scuba diving and tranquil anchorages in sheltered coves and bays accessible by boat only, the Aeolian Islands offer a serene yacht charter getaway.
Dreamy fishing villages, lemon groves, and vineyards dot the island of Salina, Lipari is known for its beautiful pastel houses and lava sand beaches, while Stromboli is an active volcano – its lava spurts are particularly impressive when viewed from a deck of your charter yacht at night.
Located just off the Western coast of Sicily, the Egadi Islands of Favignana, Levanzo, and Marettimo are a picturesque oasis of turquoise blue waters, sea caves, sleepy fishing villages, and a distinctly North African vibe.
Part of the largest marine reserve in Europe, the Egadi archipelago is ideal for diving, snorkeling, and simply enjoying the breathtaking scenery from the deck of a luxury yacht.
When to Charter a Yacht in Sicily: Weather
The sailing season in Sicily runs from April to October.
A warm Mediterranean climate guarantees plenty of sunny days and hot weather during the summer, while the weather in the shoulder months is still mild and pleasant.
The high season for a yacht charter in Sicily is from June to September, with favorable winds, excellent sailing conditions, and hot summer temperatures.
Find Sicily Yacht Charters That Offer the Right Features
Once you’ve decided on your Sicily yacht charter itinerary, think about the type of boat you'd want to cruise on. While most luxury boats feature a plethora of contemporary amenities on board, it all comes down to your own tastes.
Spacious decks and comfortable accommodations are essential when hosting a big group of guests. Considering renting a boat for a family holiday with children? Water toys and snorkeling equipment will come in handy.
When you anchor overnight, do you enjoy resting in a hot tub or watching a movie? Look for a luxury yacht that has a Jacuzzi and onboard entertainment.
In other words, chartering a yacht should be a personalized experience, and it's always best to discuss your preferences with your charter broker.
Below, we list some of the most common luxury yacht features to consider:
1. Comfortable and Spacious Living Areas
Luxury yachts often have a variety of guest cabins, master suites, and VIP cabins available, all of which are large, well-appointed, and equipped with ensuite bathrooms.
Do you prefer alternating your evenings with something different and watching a movie while sailing? Choose a charter boat that comes equipped with a movie theater, a solid music system, and a flat-screen television.
3. Water Toys
A charter yacht that is equipped with a variety of water toys, such as jet skis, paddleboards, kayaks, snorkeling equipment, or wakeboards, will make the trip that much more enjoyable.
4. Hot Tubs
Although the majority of motor yachts and catamarans have spacious decks with sunbathing and lounging areas, a Jacuzzi or a swimming pool is a fantastic addition for those lazy Mediterranean nights in order to rest and recharge.
5. Fitness Center and Spa Rooms
If you love keeping fit and healthy, it’s vital that your chartered boat has a fitness center or a spa area for wellness.
The Cost of Yacht Charter in Sicily
Boat rentals in Sicily come at a wide range of prices.
On average, a smaller sailboat will cost around €15,000 - €30,000 per week. Larger motor yachts and catamarans normally cost €35,000 - €50,000 per week.
Luxury yachts with a professional crew, spacious cabins, and all the latest bells and whistles may cost anywhere between €100,000 - €250,000 per week and upward.
The best prices of yacht charters in Sicily are usually during the low season.
Book A Yacht Charter Vacation in Sicily Today
A private yacht charter holiday in Sicily is a fantastic way to explore the best that the Mediterranean has to offer at your own pace and create memories of a lifetime.
Spectacular views, beautiful beaches, and rich local history and culture are all at your fingertips as you cruise along the Sicilian coast enjoying the sun and a taste of dolce far niente.
Explore Sicily yacht charter options today and start planning your Mediterranean sailing vacation.
Sicily & Aeolian Islands Yacht Charter FAQs
How Much Does It Cost to Charter a Yacht in Sicily?
Boat rental in Sicily can cost anywhere between €15,000 and €50,000 on average, depending on the size and yacht type (motor boat vs sailing yacht).
Luxury yachts that have a professional skipper and crew (unlike bareboat charter), as well as features like water toys, onboard entertainment, and more, typically cost €50,000 - €200,000 per week.
What Is The Best Time of Year to Sail Sicily?
Although the region enjoys a long sailing season, the best months for a yacht charter in Sicily and the Italian coast are June, July, and August.