Sailing Holidays

Yacht Charter in Sicily

A dramatic sailing holiday among the volcanic Aeolian Islands off the northeast coast of Sicily.

What a dramatic destination for your sailing holiday! The Aeolian Islands lie 25 miles off the northeast coast of Sicily. This volcanic chain of seven islands is named after the wind god, Aeolus. Some of the islands have a rich history dating back to Ancient Greece, others are sparsely populated.

Today the Aeolian Islands are a favourite destination for Italian celebrities.  On your yacht charter holiday visit Stromboli, the island Dolce & Gabbana call home. As the sun sets, giant flames and molten rock spray from Stromboli’s crater like special effects in a Hollywood blockbuster. Vulcano also has a volcano that belches sulphurous smoke.

This is a popular sailing holiday destination with harbours and anchorages sheltered from the prevailing summer winds. The food is excellent and local people are very hospitable.

To book your next sailing holiday in Sicily, give us a call or fill out the Quick Quote Form.

Sailing conditions

Sicily has ideal conditions for a sailing holiday. The normal summer winds are from the north-west average Force 4, occasionally from the west. Stronger mistral winds can blow in August, lasting 1-2 days.  Summer temperatures average 24-28ºC

Sailing area

Start your sailing holiday in Sicily from Sant'Agata di Militello or Portorosa, 2 marinas on the north coast of Sicily, both with easy access to the stunning sailing area among the volcanic Aeolian islands. The harbours and anchorages on the islands formed by volcanic peaks provide shelter from the north-westerlies. See our suggested sailing itinerary below.

Marinas can be expensive so budget for Euro150 in the most popular marinas or you can anchor in the bay.

Yacht charter is also based at Marsala, a pleasant relaxed harbour on the west coast of Sicily, from where you can sail to the Egadi Islands, just 25nm offshore and visit the three principal islands, Favignana, Marettimo and Levanzo.

Charter yachts

For bareboat yacht charter in Sicily we are delighted to offer yachts from 2 marinas on the north coast of Sicily, giving easy access to the Aeolian Islands.

Bareboat charter yachts based at Sant'Agata di Militello can start and finish any day of the week, giving you total flexibility over your holiday dates.

Charter yachts are also based at Portorosa on the north coast of Sicily, just 15nm from the Aeolian Islands. Saturday start & finish only but please note late arrivals will pay €100 for Sunday morning check-in.

Charter yachts are also available from Marsala on the west coast but discounts may vary.

Travel arrangements

easy Jet have flights from Gatwick to Palermo. With daily flights you can add on a few days for a city break in Palermo before or after your charter. Transfer time to Sant'Agata & Portorosa is 3 hours by train.

DAY 1 : Embark at Sant’Agata di Militello on the north coast, an ideal starting point for sailing to the Aeolian islands.
DAY 2 : Vulcano (26nm). Rugged and barren, with lava eroded into fantastic shapes by the wind. There are therapeutic mud baths ashore.
DAY 3 : Stromboli (27nm). The only active volcano in the area, Stomboli is over 300 feet high and is visible for miles. The spectacular eruptive phenomena which can be admired from the sea! At night the red flow from the lava flow on the northwest coast is most impressive.
DAY 4 : Filicudi (33nm). Unspoilt and undeveloped, with stunning snorkelling and diving. 
DAY 5 : Salina (12nm). One of the first national parks that was created in Sicily – it’s a peaceful island with all its original beauty.
DAY 6 : Lipari (10nm) The main and most populated island with a busy harbour. The port is small and busy. An excellent Aeolean museum exhibits remains from prehistoric through Phoenician, Greek, Carthaginian, Roman Byzantine, Norman and Spanish.
DAY 7 : Return to Sant’Agata di Militello (29nm).

Explore the Aeolian Islands

Explore the Aeolian Islands

Discover the Aeolian islands off Sicily on a summer sailing holiday from Sant'Agata. Visit the volcanic islands of Stromboli and Volcano. 


Prices given below. Click on the yacht names to view yacht layout & specification

Yacht charter rates are shown WITHOUT flights giving you the flexibility to book your own flights.

If you want a flight-inclusive holiday Nautilus Yachting is a fully bonded ATOL tour operator and can book flights from the UK to fit your sailing holiday. Choose from a wide choice of airlines - we are not tied to any particular airline. All flight-inclusive holidays are fully bonded for your financial protection under our ATOL 3016. Airport transfers can also be pre-arranged.

easy Jet have flights from Gatwick to Palermo. With daily flights you can add on a few days for a city break in Palermo before or after your charter. Transfer time to Sant'Agata & Portorosa is 3 hours by train.


Whether you are an experienced sailor or setting foot on a yacht for the first time, we can offer you a holiday afloat to suit you. We have given all the sailing areas a level with 'Experience Level 1' suitable for less experienced crews and 'Experience Level 3' for the experts.    

This takes into account the wind strength, tidal range and currents, distances between stops and ease of mooring. Of course even experts may choose to sail in Level 1 areas as they still offer stunning scenery and great sailing.

Experience Level 1: Malta

Generally light winds Force 2-4, line of sight navigation, shorter sailing distances under 20nm. You will be Day Skipper standard having sailed at least 1 week or 100nm as skipper

Experience Level 2: Sardinia, Sicily & Tuscany

Stronger winds up to Force 3-5 with some longer passages up to 30nm. You will be Day Skipper standard having sailed at least 2 weeks or 200nm as skipper

Experience Level 3:  

Stronger winds up to Force 4-7 which can lead to bigger seas on long passages between the islands. You will be Coastal Skipper 
standard with experience to a higher level having sailed at least 4 weeks or 400nm as skipper.


To charter a yacht bareboat or on flotilla you should be Day Skipper standard and be assisted by at least one competent crew.

At present you need an RYA Day Skipper qualification or RYA International Certificate of Competence (ICC) for charters in Croatia, Mallorca, Tenerife and Malta.

The RYA ICC will be ever more required by overseas port authorities but if you have skipper experience it is easily obtained in a day from RYA sailing schools in the UK such as Hamilton Sailing or Brixham Sea School  



Lipari, dominated by the rock on which the old town stands, is at the heart of the archipelago. A volcanological tour is a must, amid flows of obsidian and white expanses of pumice. The views of Stromboli and Vulcano are outstanding but the old part of the town is itself worth the visit, with flower filled streets and excellent restaurants. 

Palermo is a must-see city with lots to do in a weekend. Visit the spooky catacombs of the Capu, the Art Gallery, the 15th century  church of La Gancia, the beautiful villas of Malfitano and Bonanno, but do make time for a stop at Antico Caffe Spiannato, the celebrated cafe and pastry-maker established in 1860.

Eating out is a passion in Sicily. The local dishes mix Arab and Greek flavours with fresh fish and seafood. Local specialities include ‘pasta al forno’ - stuffed with everything the chef likes, grilled swordfish flavoured with lemon and oregano and ‘sarde a beccafico’ - stuffed sardine rolls. Meat is breaded, pan fried or grilled and served with local aubergines, tomatoes and peppers. But leave room for the amazing ice cream!

"Just a quick note to say thank you for all of your help in booking my Express Day Skipper course in Gibraltar with Rock Sailing. All of my arrangements worked out perfectly and I had the best time...and came home with my Day Skipper license! I would happily recommend Nautilus to friends and family and may even come back to put that license into practise through you!"
Gibraltar Learn to Sail 2016 - J.B.


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