The most distant part of Sicily is located 120 kilometers further south than Tunis and only about 85 kilometers away from Mahdia at the east coast of Tunisia. It is the island Lampedusa, which belongs administratively to Sicilian's province capital Agrigento lain 220 kilometers further north.
Lampedusa, is the capital-island of the Pelagi archipelago already belonging to the African continental plate, a flat limestone formation with six wonderful bath bays turned along the south coast to the black continent. The uninhabited, small Lampione and the island Linosa lain 50 kilometers further north belong to the island group too.
Except its fascinating underwater world, Lampedusa and its particularly bright, clear water and a flittering dream beach magnifies on the south side, to which the rabbit island (Isola dei Conigli) is pre-located. Water turtles use a section of this protected bay, in order to put their eggs down there annually.
In the main town of the island with the same name Lampedusa live about 5000 humans. Despite the separating ness of the island's population, it is not by any means obsolete. Young humans remain gladly on „their "island, which offers owing to the development of touristy mechanisms also ever more jobs. In addition to those come the still wealthy fishing-grounds, which hold a small, but efficient industry of fish processing alive. Since a few years a round course with a bus is furnishing on Lampedusa, which also starts and stops at all important bath places.
Additionally Lampedusa is Italy's most important and largest fishing-fleet, which is resident and based in the Sicilian Mazzara del Vallo. During stormy nights the trawlers seek protection in the port of Lampedusa (sometimes also hide from the Tunisian navy), then it is occasionally a little like it must have been in former times, when wild pirates used the protection of the darkness and the natural developed port, then drank and also ate a little in the taverns of the island; the island, which Odysseus dedicated legendarily by singing about the Lotus-islands and served later for a while to the Englishmen as a prisoner's camp. The today nearly completely bald isle was, like excavations proven, originally, at least in parts, closely covered with plants.
It is only 15 years past, that the US-American coast guard in co-operation with the CIA maintained a radio direction finder station at the outermost western end of the island, from where the eastern Mediterranean ship-and traffic-movements were controlled. The strategically favorable situation not too far away from the Libyan coast and gave the only 13 kilometers length and 3 kilometers breadth spreading island an airfield, on which even jumbo jets can start and land on. Today the island appears in the headlines, because it is again and again the destiny of refugees from Africa, who arrive usually in desolate boats from Tunisia and strand at Lampedusa's coasts, if they do not come already into distress before.
Lampedusa, an island, on which in the seventies, one had difficulties still to change foreign notes because they do not admit or just are unknown to the Banker, has long a substantial touristy infrastructure and is in the meantime sumptuously equipped with hotels. They grow however owing to restrictive regulations nowhere into the sky and do not impair to the African character of the island, where you on sunny days can enjoy a recreating bath already at the end of February. Ours recommendation: Hotel Alba D' Amore, telephone +390922 970272, in the district Guitgia. There you find a bay with snow-white sand in front of the door to take a bath, reachable over a path in few minutes the Cala Galera at the south coast, and the bus stop is also in the proximity. The small, extinct volcano Linosa rises up with five cones out of the sea. The island is inhabited by approximately 200 humans, on the volcanic soils prospers the fig-cactus in great quantities, whose fruits are likewise harvested like the sea-hedgehogs, which you can pick as an hors-d'oeuvre from the next rocky bath bay. There you can also find a couple of rentable vacation homes.
Every night, at 23:59h, „the Paolo Veronese ", a ferry boat of the SIREMAR is leaving from Port Empedocle below Agrigento. Only for the time between the beginning of October until the end of of May precipitates however a travel in the week, the course on Friday starting from 23.59 o'clock. Accordingly there is no return trip during this time on Saturday starting from Lampedusa. The ship reaches Linosa early in the morning at 5.45h, heading back for Lampedusa at 8.15h. Back it always concerns starting from Lampedusa at 10.15h, starting from Linosa 12.15h. More comfortable, much faster and several times a day, Lampedusa can be attained with the airplane of the airport Palermo (aero postage Falcone Borsellino).