WHAT TO VISIT
The 'Montagna Grande': natural park and green heart of the island, home of near 600 endemic botanic species, including the Limonium Cosyrese, the Helichrysm Errarae and the Mattiola Incana.
This park is also the only nesting place in Europe of the so graceful and highly colored Cinciarella Algerina and Beccamoschino. At sunset, from the 'Montagna Grande', the sight of the Sicilian Channel, with an occasional view of the African coast, is spectucular. The farming villages: groups of 'dammusi' with their 'giardini', enclosures for citrus fruit trees, shltered from the wind by their partcular lava-stone walls. There are 11 villages located all over the island; they still use their original Arab names, Khamma, Rekhale, Bukkuram, Bugeber... The 'Specchio di Venere': this tiny lake, of volcanic origin and of outstanding colors, is fed by thermal springs: Not only does it offer plenty of possibilities for water sports and fango therapy, in spring and autumn it becomes a natural observatory for many species of migratory birds. The 'Khagiar': an exuberant vegetation of mediterranean bush, made up of myrtle, arbutus, lentl and heather, grows low to the ground, shaped into fantastic forms by the wind, on an ancient lava flow, 3 kilometers long.
A great number of wild rabbits live here, as well as the so-called Greek turtle. 'Dietro Isola': the southern part of the island, where thereis a pine wood (Aleppo, Maritime), challenging the sea from the cliffs. An explosion of scents persist in this continuation of the forest of the 'Montagna Grande'.'Salto la Vecchia':these cliffs of the unforgettable name rise 300 meters above the sea,offering a spectacular panorama. Several species of birds nest in them. The 'Piana di Ghirlanda': this fertile plain, sheltered from the winds by the surrounding ancient volcanoes, is considered the garden of the island. After some searching, bizantine tombs can be found carved in the rocks of a peaceful, small wood. The lava-stone walls: the typical agricultural architecture is rendered by the vast network of stone fences, which create cultivable terraces on the sides of volcanoes all over the island. The 'cantine': the many cellars where the famous 'Moscato' and 'Passito' are produced. The caper Co-op: where the so tasty capers are processed and sold. The 'Bagno Asciutto': literallythe dry bath, but one is far from dry after a few minutes in this natural sauna, a beautiful cave, seemingly lost in a tumble of rocks near a mountain path: The bathing spots along the coast: Karuscia, Campobello, Khattibuali, Cala Cinque Denti , Cala Gadir with its thermal springs, Cala Tramontana, the Faraglione, Cala Levante, the incredible Arco dell'Elefante, Pantelleria's natural monument (legend would have it that when the island lacks water the elephant pumps it in from the sea....). The tour continues with the Cala Rotonda, the Balata dei Turchi and its obsidian cave, Nicà, where the thermal springs are at almost 100°C, the ancient Roman port of Scauri, the thermal baths of Sateria, Suvaki, Punta Fram with its fantastically sculpted lava forms, Mursia and the Cala Bue Marino. And absolutely not to be missed: a boat trip around the island , not only for a different view of it, but also to visit the numerous marine caves, some as vast as cathedrals, where the colors of the sea play from deep blue to emerald green. The smaller boats weave in and out of these caves; one can also lower the anchor and dive in for a closer view of the beautiful underwater life.