An Adventure You Cannot Afford to Miss: Traversing the Strait of Sicily by Boat
The Strait of Sicily is the channel dividing the Southern Italian Island (and the Italian peninsula) from the North African continent. The country of Tunisia borders the strait of Sicily, which ranges 145 km circa in width and separates the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Western Mediterranean from the Eastern Mediterranean sea. The Strait of Sicily depth measures 316 meters and is a haven of sea life and exotic coral reefs, which makes it a places of particular interest for oceanographers due to its unique crossing of varied underwater currents. The ancient island of Pantelleria (of Greek and Arabic influence and containing 35,000 year old archaeological ruins) lies in the middle of the strait, and being the largest volcanic satellite island of Sicily, it makes for a curious and majestic sight with its sporadic fumaroles and hot springs. There is regular ferry service daily between Tunis and Sicily.
What country borders the strait of sicily?
Whereas the strait between Sicily and Italy is a narrow channel called the Strait of Messina, separating the region of Calabria in the mainland from the splendid sunny resort town of Messina in Sicily. These straits offer a wonderful and adventurous setting for boating excursions that will allow you to experience to the fullest the diverse historical as well as ecological legacy of the Mediterranean. Traversing the coastlines along the Messina strait in Sicily and Calabria – whether by ferry or via boating tours- is a unique way to explore the legendary locations described in detail in Greek mythology (see Hercules’ travels for example), and especially relive the journeys of Ulysses in Homer’s Odyssey; from his encounters with Scilla in the waters- where the famous monster lurked ready to snatch sailors from their boats- to the strange and eerie whirlpool of the equally terrifying sea-beast Charybdis, who lived across from her on the opposite side of the strait.
From Villa San Giovanni in Reggio Calabria there are many ferries available to carry you across the Strait of Messina Sicily. The strait between Sicily and Calabria is not only a spectacular ride with majestic scenic views of the surrounding coastlines- including the coastal salt lakes and beautiful beaches along Messina, and the looming shadow of fuming Mt. Etna inland as you approach the coast of Sicily- but it also possesses a unique ecosystem unlike that of any other due to pointy hook of the Eastern tip of Sicily, which also makes it a natural transit point of migration for numerous species of birds. The particular crossing of weather conditions and water currents also explain its high level of biodiversity and unique marine life, since the currents also make this an important point of migration for many diverse species of fish. The hydro-geological transformation of the ecosystem that took place over the course of 1000s of years (also thanks to the volcanic geo-thermal activity present around Sicily and the Aeolian islands) is another specific reason for this biodiversity. The straits of Sicily and Messina make exceptional spots for bird-watching and for anyone interested in marine biology along with the unique colourful ecosystem; characteristics that make these straits some of the best sightseeing spots in the Mediterranean.
Strait Italy Sicily ferries run daily every hour from the port of Villa San Giovanni in Reggio Calabria, and there are also hydrofoil services between Messina and Reggio Calabria. At Villa San Giovanni there are departures every 40 mins with Ferries (which can carry cars) and twice an hour with Hydrofoils (carry only foot passengers).