Not surprisingly, water sports are all the rage in Sicily, from gentle water-based activities with a hint of adventure that will appeal to all the family, to open sea dives for those with experience. With over 1000km of coastline, the choice of locations and options is pretty extensive, although centres such as Taormina, Syracuse, Marsala, Catania and Palermo offer the widest range of activities.
The Alcantara Gorge close to Mount Etna is a key location for many of the more adrenaline-charged activities. Canyoning, river trekking and body rafting – a 3-hour journey along a 2.5km stretch of the Alcantara River - are all popular. Canyoning excursions vary in difficulty, with less challenging sessions available for families (from €50pp) while a 3-hour river trek involves an upstream journey, climbing, jumping and swimming without any ropes or other equipment, through the crystal clear waters of the Alcantara River.
Hydrospeed is one of the most exhilarating ways of travelling down the Alcantara river, involving an adrenaline-packed journey on a floating open bob. Thrill-seekers may also enjoy wakeboarding (from €25 per hour in Pozzallo, south east Sicily) and flyboarding (from €120 per hour in Taormina), one of the newest extreme water sports.
Warm seas and summer sunshine make Sicily an ideal place to learn to surf. Choose from a 2-hour lesson in Catania (from €32) or a full day course near Marsala for €290. Kitesurfing is also popular: at the Lo Stagnone reserve near Marsala, you can hire all your equipment and have full access to all the club’s facilities for just €60.
Thanks to sparkling clear seas and colourful marine life, snorkelling and diving are extremely popular activities in the seas around Sicily. Experience some spectacular sights on a half day snorkelling tour that moves southwards along the Syracuse coastline, past the Vendicari Nature Reserve, heading towards Sicily’s southernmost tip of Portapalo di Capo Passero.
Syracuse is also a popular spot for diving and at Marzamemi, first time divers can have a go, diving to a maximum depth of 5m. Experienced divers can enjoy some exceptional diving in western Sicily where the Egadi archipelago forms part of Europe’s largest marine reserve, renowned for its biodiversity. Full day excursions depart regularly from Marsala to the islands of Egadi Islands of Favignana and Levanzo (from €32).