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The Queen's Jewels

Offshore IslandsBlack from lava stones, yellow from sulfur, white from granite and limestone, blue from the seabed. The Aeolian Islands, seven jewels set between Messina and Palermo, can indeed boast an infinite range of colors and shades in the water around them. On Lipari island, you may admire Spiaggia Bianca, situated on the northern coast. The name, meaning white beach, comes from the seabed white color, resulted from the sediments of pumice-stone deposited over the ages. Cala Junco and Cala degli Zimmari, splendid natural pools, are the only bays on Panarea accessible by land. Another place deserving a visit is Pollara on the green island of Salina, a wide black lava beach framed by a wonderful rocky arch, carved out of the rock by wind and waves.

The Egadi Islands, established a Marine Reserve in 1991, have been a bridge between Sicily and the Arabian world. Favignana boasts the enchanting bays in Cala Rossa, Cala Azzurra and Lido Burrone; Levanzo is renowned for its Cala Minnola, Cala Fredda and Cala Tramontana, and for the prehistoric graffiti in the Genoan's Cave; Marettimo is well-known for its Plaia Nacchi beach, hidden among the rocks.

Last but not least, the remotest and wildest islands: Pantelleria, with its imposing lava sculptures, its vineyards and wide variety of fish, where you can admire the splendid Elephant Arch, delimiting Cala Levante and Cala Tramontana, and Lampedusa, Linosa and Lampione, or Pelagic Islands whose Greek name means “islands in the deep sea”. They have been a Marine Reserve since 2002 because of their importance for different animal species: Lampione is inhabited only by sea-birds; the rocky seabed of Linosa is shelter for crustacean and multicolored fish; Spiaggia dei Conigli (Rabbit Beach) in Lampedusa, once inhabited by wild rabbits, is now home to Caretta Caretta sea turtles, laying there hundred of eggs every year.

Alicudi and Filicudi from Lipari - Aeolian

Salina, Pollara beach - Arco di Perciato - Aeolian

The blue bay in Favignana - Aegadian

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