The Pelagie Islands of Sicily

July 6, 2023

The Pelagie islands are some of the most stunning islands in Italy, and they boast some of the best beaches in Italy, too. Located off Sicily, the three Pelagie islands—Lampedusa, Linosa, and uninhabited Lampione—get top marks for their scenery, beaches, and multicultural heritage. But most people haven’t even heard of these beautiful islands in Sicily.

Read on to find out the who, what, where, when, and why of the Pelagie islands!

Where are the Pelagie islands?

Islands in Italy

Sicily’s Pelagie islands

The islands make up the southernmost part of Italy. And, while located closer to North Africa than to Sicily, the islands are technically Sicilian. In fact, if you’ve been keeping up with the news, you’ve probably already heard of one of the Pelagie islands, Lampedusa—a popular entry point to Italy from North Africa.

Who should visit the Pelagie islands?

Beach and water-sports lovers, of course! Island life and clear blue water is what Lampedusa and Linosa are all about. And, thanks to the islands’ distance from major cities, the beaches here are much more secluded—and quiet—than other beaches in Italy.

What can you do in the Pelagie islands?

Turtle on the beach in Sicily

Head to the Pelagie islands, and you might just get to swim with a loggerhead turtle!

Hit the beach! With its white sand and azure water, Lampedusa’s Isola dei Conigli (“Rabbit Beach”) recently was rated the best beach in the world. And, thanks to its three volcanoes (Monte Vulcano, Monte Rosso, and Monte Nero), Linosa’s Gaia Pozzolana is covered in beautiful black sand.

If you’re lucky, you might even get in some wildlife-watching! The beaches in the Pelagie islands are the home of endangered loggerhead turtles and other rare (and threatened) animal species.

Looking for some adventure? Try a water sport like scuba diving, or get lost around the islands in search of the perfect secluded beach.

And, of course, let’s not forget that other favorite activity in not only Sicily, but throughout Italy: eating! Lampedusa and Linosa serve up super-fresh fish dishes, and the islands’ North African influence means you’ll see dishes hard to find elsewhere in Italy, like spiced couscous. (Yum!).

Pelagie islands sicily

Boats along the shore in the Pelagie islands. Photo by David Brulatour (PFD40/Flickr)

When should I go to the Pelagie islands?

The best time is from May to September. Although the weather is generally warm year-round, the small islands don’t offer much to do in the off-season, and the number of permanent inhabitants is quite low.

In fact, most flights are cancelled in the winter, and ferry service runs less often, too.

How can I get to the Pelagie islands?

You can take a ferry from Porto Empedolce (in Agrigento, Sicily), or fly into the Lampedusa airport. Want to hit both of the major islands? Ferries frequently run between Lampedusa and Linosa. Because it takes a while to get to the islands, don’t try to fit them in as a day trip; instead, we recommend a few days to a week.

While the Pelagie islands might not be as easy to reach as islands in Italy, take it from us: Their beauty, and beaches, more than merit the trip.

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