Like Marseille, another Mediterranean city of contrasts with a strong character, Palermo is unique in dividing opinions among cruise passengers. There is no in-between, you either love it or hate it! Once a landmark of the Cosa Nostra, it awakens the imagination of travellers. Today it is one of Italy's most important ports and the capital of Sicily. It is built at the bottom of a wide-open gulf on the north coast of the island, in a plain surrounded by a series of mountains. The charm of the city lies in the beauty of its gardens and villas; its interest lies in the many monuments as concrete evidence of the successive civilizations that have dominated Sicily. A sailboat charter in Palermo is the perfect way to discover the best of Northern Sicily.
A sailboat rental in Palermo will allow you to explore the Aeolian Islands, off the north-east coast of Sicily. It is an archipelago of 7 islands and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Indeed, these islands are breathtakingly beautiful. Their turquoise waters and the Stromboli volcano make them a unique place to relax in the sun, surrounded by an intense natural landscape.
Of course, Sicily reveals Italian history through its monuments and architecture, but it is also a privileged place for fauna and flora. The Zingaro nature reserve was created in 1981 to shelter 350 species of plants and wild animals, including nearly 40 species of nesting birds. It offers hiking trails of great beauty, but also small creeks to relax and swim in the Mediterranean.
Situated in the province of Palermo on the Tyrrhenian coast of Sicily, Cefalù is one of the best-known seaside resorts on the island. Built at the foot of a huge cliff, this small Sicilian fishing port is a must stop for travellers. The town extends along the gulf and the bays of Aranciotto and Settefrati over an area of 65 km². The town is world famous for its Norman cathedral, built in 1131, its beaches, its gastronomy, the medieval city and the beauty of the surrounding countryside. Given its location on the west coast, Cefalù is best seen from aboard a sailboat!
A sailboat rental in Palermo will allow you to enjoy the most impressive view in the northern section of this park: the mountains flow directly into the sea, forming vertiginous peaks, and dense strips of woodland alternating between oak, chestnut and beech trees. It is even one of the only places on earth where it is still possible to see Nebrodi Fir trees. The southern part is hillier and more cultivated, but there are still six peaks over 1,500 m in the Madonie Park - the highest is Pizzo Carbonara, which reaches 1,979 m above sea level. A few small villages (Casterbuono, Gangi...) dating back to the Middle Ages remain, bringing a touch of human presence in the middle of this vast natural area, inhabited by wild cats and wild boars, deer and eagles.
The climate in Sicily is Mediterranean, therefore there are mild winters, while summers are long and hot. Spring and autumn are therefore shorter than in other parts of the Mediterranean. Average temperatures fluctuate from 15° (January) to 30° (July). The sea temperature varies from 14° to 26°. The rainiest months are December, November and October. All things considered, the best time to visit Palermo is between April and October.
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