Protected marine reserves: Egadi islands and Pantelleria
Each one of these four islands (the Egadi Islands are Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo) has its own peculiarities that make it unique, but there are common traits as well such as the wonderful sea with lively seabed, the warmth of the inhabitants and the integrity of the land.
Levanzo is a simple, quiet island (you only walk here!) with a limpid and particularly transparent sea. Don't miss the Genovese cave, where important graffiti from the Paleolithic era as well as Neolithic paintings have been found. Cala Minnola, Punta Pesce, Cala Tramontana, Cala Fridda, Cala Calcara are some of the best spots for a bath, as well as locations carrying a historical memory, since they have been the set of the First Punic War between Romans and Carthaginians.
The most particular trait of Favignana is of course the white-sand beaches, as well as the Florio "tonnara" that has been recently restored, and its tuff caves, that have often been turned into wonderful gardens. Favignana is for sure the most touristic island; the land is flat and can be easly covered by bike. You will take the best baths in: Cala Rossa, Cala Azzurra, Grotta Perciata, il Burrone, Cala Stornello, Cala Rotonda.
Marettimo is the furthest Island, with wonderful caves and a luxurious vegetation the ideal for all those who wish to deeply live its nature and its authentic "island-style" life. Don't miss the tour of the island by boat, that will let you discover all the caves ("del cammello", "del tuono", "del presepe", "Perciata" and more), as well as a walk by feet or by mule along the paths that cross the mountain overhanging the island a mountain that you will find rich in flora and fauna, and in archaeological finds.
Pantelleria, the "black pearl of the Mediterranean", has its own history and character, with very interesting contrasts of colors, people and lifestyles. Pantelleria originates from a volcanic eruption, and the black color of the obsidian makes an impressive background for a rich, colored vegetation and a blue sea with a unique seabed. You will be able to observe a lot of volcanic evidences, such as thermal baths flowing to the sea (enjoy a romantic night bath at Gadir), natural saunas (relaxing moments in the BenikulÃ caves) and mud baths (your skin will be incredibly soft after a bath in Lago di Venere!). A lot of sea spots are really worth a visit: the Elephant Arch, Balata dei Turchi, Martingana, Bue Marino, Gadir.
Nothing is missing in Pantelleria: the inland boasts a mountain 800 mt. high with rich vegetation, farming and archaeological finds and the wonderful "dammusi", the typical square-shaped houses of the island, with lava-stone walls and conical roofs facilitating the flow of rain water.