This is the largest of the Egadi islands, which lie off the coast of Sicily. This also means it benefits from great connections, both from the mainland (Trapani and Marsala) and to the other islands.
Upon arrival, a laid-back and friendly atmosphere welcomes its visitors. Happily, tourism hasn’t left a great mark upon this island, meaning it retains the authentic atmosphere of the island. Unlike more touristy islands such as Capri, Favignana has no villas that are solely for well-to-do tourists. Instead it preserves its humble yet equally beautiful ambiance.
People enjoy likening the shape of the island to that of a butterfly. This is because the two main stretches of land that comprise Favignana are separated by a ridge on which sits an old fortress, Santa Caterina. The public cannot access the fortress, however you can easily climb the hill and admire it from up close. Moreover, this hill will afford you sweeping views over the island’s mainland as well as the sea. This is particularly beautiful at night.
The main town is Favignana, and lies in the East. Here you can wander around the old town, and take a caffè on the Piazza Madrice or Europa, watching as people stroll by.
This is also a great starting point from which to explore the rest of the island. Here you can hire scooters, bikes, and cars, all of which are viable and fun ways to discover some of Favignana’s wonders. For example, follow the coast to find some secluded rocky nook, or head inland to wonder at the scenery. There are many beaches to visit, but two particularly beautiful and popular destinations are the Cala Rossa and Cala Azzurra. The former used to be a tufa-rock quarry, making for a dramatic coastline. The latter doesn’t have much by way of a beach, however enjoys shallow, sand-bottomed waters that extend for quite a while into the sea.
Favignana is famous for its tuna-fishing traditions. An intense but enthralling spectacle is the Mattanza. This occurs during the tuna fish’s migration, where fishermen lower large net spreads into the sea to catch the fish en route. As the nets are lifted out of the water, the Rais (a head fisherman of sorts), will sing and chant traditional tunes.
From Favignana you can also tour the rest of the Egadi Islands by boat. Many hydrofoils and ferries cross between the islands every day.