Pantelleria

Closer to Africa than to Italy, Pantelleria is located in the heart of the Mediterranean, 110km from Sicilian shores. With a surface area of 86km2 and a perimeter of 51.5km, the island was created as a result of a volcanic eruption on the Sicilian/African tectonic plate about 300,000 years ago. The central crater was formed from subsequent eruptions, which also earned the island its reputation as the ‘Black Pearl’.
It’s elliptical shape and hills give the impression of a mermaid on the surface of the gently lulling sea.
The characteristic sirocco wind from the south blows in the hottest months of July and August, and the climate is typically Mediterranean, with hot summers and mild winters. Often reaching 40 degrees at the height of summer, the temperature rarely falls below 11 degrees in winter.

NATURAL SAUNA: GROTTA DI BENIKULA': The natural cave is situated in the village of Benikulà, along the ridge of the Montagna Grande in the district of Sibà. Divided into two sections, the outer section is surrounded by stone seats and a panoramic view of the great Monastero plain, and the inner smaller section contains a deep rift in the rock, which emits steam at a temperature of about 38°C. The sauna is visited by both locals and tourists alike, to treat rheumatic pains or simply eliminate toxins.

HOT SPRINGS – LAGO SPECCHIO DI VENERE: The most popular sulphur spring is located on the south-west side of the lake, and emits a reddish-brown coloured hot steam. To encourage condensation, local farmers at Favara Grande have filled the openings of the springs with twigs and reeds. Upon contact with the cold air, the vapour condenses into water droplets that are then collected in small pools carved into the rock, to be used for their livestock.

THERMAL SPRINGS

Rising from numerous points along the coast, the thermal springs have temperatures that vary from 40°C to 100°C.

Cala Gadir: Offering the most accessible open-air springs, Cala Gadir is often crowded during the day, however can also be visited at dawn or by moonlight. The thermal springs and their therapeutic waters have been celebrated since ancient times, and the name Gadir is of Hebrew origin, meaning ‘protected place.’ Recent studies have found that the springs were probably uncovered by a volcanic collapse, after which small pools were excavated. The waters are rich with mineral salts, and as a result are used to treat arthritis and rheumatism. With a temperature that ranges between 39°C and 50°C, a special type of algae grows on the walls of the pools, which has shown to be effective for the treatment of sinusitis, colds and mild respiratory problems.

Grotta di Sateria: A natural cave by the sea, Grotta di Sateria offers three easily accessible covered pools, into which hot springs flow at a temperature of around 40°C. Recent studies have identified the cave as Homer’s ‘Calypso’s cave’ on the island of Ogygia. The name is derived from the Greek ‘Soteria’, meaning cave of health.

Cala Nicà: The thermal waters of Nicà emerge among coastal rocks, and mix with the sea water. Between 85°C and 100°C, the waters have undoubtedly therapeutic virtues, like those also found at Gadir, Sateria and Scauri.

LA FAVARE HOT SPRINGS: The hot springs at La Favare can reach temperatures of up to 100°C, escaping from cracks in the rocks and accompanied on occasion by emissions of sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulphide. Altered by the acidic gases and hot steam, the vents in the rocks have been transformed into a reddish brown colour. In order to encourage the condensation of the steam, local farmers at Favara Grande have filled the spring openings with twigs and reeds. Upon contact with the cold air, the vapour condenses into water droplets that are then collected in small pools carved into the rock, to be used for their livestock.