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Pantelleria

Halfway between Trapani and Tunisia, this volcanic outcrop is Sicily's largest offshore island. Originally named Bent-el-Riah ('daughter of the wind' in Arabic) for the year-round winds that buffet it, Pantelleria is characterised by jagged lava rock formations, steaming fumaroles and mud baths. The island's unique agricultural traditions, characterised by low-slung caper bushes, dwarf grapevines and olive trees laid out on terraces between dry stone walls, earned UNESCO World Heritage status in 2014. There are no true beaches, but Pantelleria's gorgeous, secluded coves are perfect for snorkelling, diving and boat excursions.

Throughout the island you'll find Pantelleria's unique dammusi – lava rock houses with thick, whitewashed walls, shallow cupolas, and cisterns for collecting rainwater. Near Mursia on the west coast, there are also signposted remnants of sesi (Bronze Age funerary monuments). The island's exotic and remote atmosphere has long made it popular with celebrities, including Truman Capote, Sting, Madonna and Giorgio Armani.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Pantelleria.