The “black pearl” of the Mediterranean, Pantelleria embodies the wild beauty of unspoilt nature.
An island of volcanic origin, it is prized for its coastline, its vineyards and its distinctive dwellings, dammusi, which are important examples of traditional Mediterranean domestic architecture.
In ancient times, it was a major hub in the Mediterranean, as evidenced by its important archaeological evidence. Pantelleria offers glimpses of rare beauty and is still today partly wild and unspoilt, characterised by mountainous terrain, with the exception of the Piana di Ghirlanda, an alluvial plain formed by an ancient river, surrounded by lush vegetation.
The coastline, with its numerous inlets, beaches and cliffs, is punctuated by picturesque and visually stunning natural monuments, the absolute highlight of which is the Arco dell’Elefante, one of the island’s sea stacks. On the north-east coast, you’ll find a saltwater lake fed by the sea, the Laghetto delle Ondine.
The most popular bays for enjoying the sea are Cala Levante and Cala Tramontana, where the wind is less strong and the calm sea allows for peaceful swimming.
Nature and wellness converge at Grotta Benikulà – a natural sauna or “dry bath” with chambers equipped with stone benches that store thermal water – at the foot of the Montagna Grande, the main crater of the volcano. At Cala Sataria, in the south-west of the island, you can enjoy a natural sauna in a cave with a white pumice stone vaulted ceiling, among thermal water springs with renowned therapeutic properties, and at Cala Gadir, on the north-eastern corner of the island, you can can bathe in two thermal pools. However, the Specchio di Venere (Mirror of Venus) is definitely the most amazing spa destination, located in a volcanic crater that has been inactive for some time.
Pantelleria offers a glimpse into the life of its ports, which have a distinctly island feel to them and have ancient origins. Some of these ports, which are now are vibrant and bustling include Porto Nuovo or the well protected Porticciolo di Scauri, opposite the village of the same name, and Porto Vecchio, where commercial activities still take place and small fishing boats can stop.
Other ideas for your trip
- Not to be missed
- Towns and Villages