Lampedusa Island is a unique and fascinating destination. Although the small island is technically part of Sicily and therefore Italy, it is actually closer to the African nation of Tunisia than it is to Sicily or the Italian mainland. This location actually provides visitors with a more exotic vacation. Experience the ease of European travel with the warm temperatures and ideal climate of North Africa. Despite the lack of crowded tourism attractions, Lampedusa Island is a stunning location that is perfect for travellers who want to get off the beaten path and enjoy empty beaches and incredible scenery.
Read on for a visitor’s guide to the dining, accommodations and attractions of Lampedusa Island.
Travel in and Around Lampedusa Island
Despite the fact that the island is a mere twelve kilometres by three kilometres in size, there is a surprisingly modern airport on Lampedusa Island. There are daily flights to the island from Sicily as well as relatively frequent flights from other major Italian cities. An alternative and truly unique way to arrive on the island is to take a ferry from Porto Empedocle, Sicily. It is even possible to take your car from Sicily on the ferry to Lampedusa. Once on the island, private transport is helpful but certainly not necessary. Mopeds are popular with tourists as an affordable way to get around quickly and efficiently. Buses around the island are affordable and charge just €.60 for each trip.
Top Area Attractions
The unique ecosystem of the island means that many visitors are excited to explore nature on Lampedusa Island. There is no better place to learn about the great outdoors and find hiking maps and local guides than at the Riserva Naturale Orientata. This office is staffed with knowledgeable locals interested in protecting the wildlife of the island as well as sharing the beauty with travellers. Many travelers come to Lampedusa to relax on the incredible beaches. None is so popular as Spiaggia dei conigli, or Rabbit’s Beach. Giant cliffs surround the bay and shelter the white sandy shore and bright blue waters from wind. Just next to Rabbit’s Beach is Rabbit’s Island. This is a nesting area for loggerhead sea turtles and a unique place to explore. One of the best options for sightseeing around the entire island is to take a four hour boat tour that circumvents all of Lampedusa. Expect to pay upwards of €40 per person for this kind of tour
Dining on the Island
The dining landscape is very different in the summer than it is from the winter. In the summer there are half a dozen Italian restaurants as well as a few smaller pizzerias and cafes. In the winter, however, with fewer tourists on the island many of the dining establishments close temporarily. Some of the year round dining options include L’Angolo del Mare, offering fresh seafood and delicious homemade pastas, and Salumeria Enoteca Portu ‘Ntoni, known around the island as the best place for locals to grab a freshly made lunch or panini.
Although Lampedusa Island is not large in size, the number of summer tourists means that there are ample accommodation options. Several boutique and chain hotels operate and often offer beachfront property. Those interested in more luxurious holiday ideas might want to explore the idea of Italian villas. The villas on Lampedusa Island are typically much more affordable than the same size and style of villa on Italy’s mainland. Keep in mind that winter rentals can be half the price of summer rentals.
Lampedusa Island is an incredible Italian destination that offers scenery, wildlife, beaches and a unique atmosphere found nowhere else on Earth.