Holiday in Pantelleria, Italy: A Hidden Gem in the Mediterranean

When it comes to diving into the marvelous Sicilian sea, the destination often mentioned is the town of Lampedusa in Sicily. However, just a few kilometers away, lies another enchanting islet that captivates holiday makers from all over Italy and beyond: Pantelleria. In this post, we’ll explore some of the must-see attractions in Pantelleria.

Pantelleria is one of the many spectacular natural gems of the Italian peninsula, rich not only in natural beauty but also in historical sites worth visiting. Among the things to see in a holiday in Pantelleria are the Barbacane Castle, the Acropolis of San Marco and Santa Teresa, and the megalithic constructions known as Sesi.

Barbacane Castle

Barbacane Castle in Pantelleria is an imposing fortress that rises from the old port towards the sea. This fortress once imprisoned members of the local nobility, earning the first floor the name “Carcere per galantuomini” or “Prison for Gentlemen.” The function as a detention facility remained almost unchanged until the 1970s, after which it was repurposed for museum use.

Barbacane Castle pantelleria
View of Castello di Barbacane in Pantelleria

The Acropolis of San Marco and Santa Teresa

In ancient times, Pantelleria was called Cossyra by the Carthaginians, and the island held significant strategic value as a link between Sicily and Africa. The Acropolis of San Marco and Santa Teresa bears witness to this, as it was the meeting place for delegates and powerful figures of the classical era. In the Acropolis, you can find monuments and effigies of Julius Caesar and other historical personalities, as well as the remains of an ancient temple and defensive walls—all against the backdrop of the infinite blue that surrounds the island.

The Megalithic Constructions

Even more ancient and intriguing are the Sesi, megalithic constructions visible between Cimilla and Mursia. These elliptical or circular rock piles served a funerary purpose and date back to the 2nd millennium BCE.

Sesi pantelleria

Activities

Returning to the present and the nature of Pantelleria, you can choose from numerous activities at sea, perhaps enjoying the view of wonders like the Ondine Pond at Punta Spadillo or the Elephant’s Arch to the east of the island. In the mountains, Montagna Grande and its Oriented Nature Reserve can be an excellent starting point for a long walk amid the woods and scents of the characteristic plants of the area.

Spas in Pantelleria

Whether you dedicate yourself to underwater exploration or mountain excursions, a great way to relax in a holiday in Pantelleria is to indulge in a sauna. The Lake of Venus and the Benikulà Cave are Pantelleria’s natural spas, where you can unwind in the steam of their waters, admiring the surrounding landscape without artificial dividers such as glass windows. Relaxation happens outdoors.

The Lake of Venus

Nature and Culture of Pantelleria

The nature and culture of Pantelleria can also be savored. The island is renowned, especially for capers, a base for preparing sauces to enhance meals, and for Passito, a highly prized wine perfect for pairing with desserts. Enchanting natural environments, a suggestive historical heritage, and a refined enogastronomic culture make Pantelleria an exceptionally rich tourist destination—a luxury to immerse oneself in without a second thought.

Where to stay in Pantelleria

To fully experience the island’s inspiring atmosphere, I Jardina di Pantelleria is the ideal place to stay. It goes beyond offering a simple hotel with meticulously curated rooms; instead, it provides actual residences that allow you to enjoy a well-deserved vacation in complete tranquility.

In addition to private villas, at I Jardina, you can book Dammusi at a reasonable price—simple yet characteristic constructions hewn from lava stone, seamlessly integrated into the natural environment, and equipped with comforts like a beautiful pool for a refreshing and private dip.

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Lived in England since 1998 and travelled the world since 2005, visiting over 100 countries on 5 continents. Writer, blogger, photographer with a passion for adventure and travel, discovering those off beat places not yet on the tourist trail. Marco contributes the very best in independent travel tips and lifestyle articles.

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