This enigmatic island is off most Italy visitors’ radars. Which is precisely what makes Pantelleria so enticing. The coastline is rugged and the land characterised by volcanic activity. Take a boat to tucked away coves, in the slipstream of celebrities. Hike forests or grape-hunt your way through vineyards. Listen for whistling fumarole and peer inside ancient, lava-rock dammusi dwellings. Then take the secrets you’ve discovered back to your small, luxury hotel.
Hidden away between Italy and Africa, a little island with wild landscapes.
Things to do
FOOD & WINE
If you have a sweet tooth – and taste for wine – passito is for you. This local dessert wine is honeyed and heavenly with rich, Italian puddings. The methods islanders use to harvest their zibibbo grapes are now protected, including building stone alberello to shelter the dwarf vines from strong island winds. Get a taste for this side of Pantelleria culture with a vineyard tour.
The watery wonders of Pantelleria sound straight from fairytale territory. Slip into the bubbling Mirror of Venus for a natural Jacuzzi in a lake. Escape to a sauna in a cave at Grotta del Bagno Asciutto. Or settle into a ‘hot tub’ with a difference at Gadir – warm pools fed by steaming thermal springs and seawater. With wild swimming spots and wind-swept shoreline, volcanic Pantelleria is a spectacular outdoor spa.
Juniper bushes, wild fennel and pine forests – a walk across Pantelleria is a sensory experience to savour. The best way to get up close to the island’s flora and fauna is in the nature reserve at its heart. You may even come across the ancient breed of donkey, small but sturdy, that lives here.