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The Tropics of the Med

A panoramic view of La Baia dei Conigli in Lampedusa.

A panoramic view of La Baia dei Conigli in Lampedusa.

Trip Advisor travellers have declared that the Beach of Rabbits (La Baia dei Conigli) in Lampedusa is not just a beautiful beach, but the most beautiful beach in the World. Many refer to it as La Isola più bella del Mondo.

The Pelagian Islands are a true marvel in a dreamlike setting, surrounded by a magical atmosphere with incredible marine life and water whose clarity and shades of blue attract visitors and tourists from all over the world.

The islands are a true gem in the Mediterranean, just 25 minutes’ flight from Malta.

Last year, ROCS Travel launched holidays to the Pelagian Islands. The first flight was a historic one as it was the very first international flight to ever land in the Pelagians.

And it was a success, as over 1,000 passengers visited the islands with ROCS in the three months of summer.

The Pelagians enjoy a limited number of tourists, so apart from the month of August, the islands are never really overcrowded.

On the other hand, they are still a very much loved tourist destination due to their magnificent coasts, outstanding award-winning beaches and unique, beautiful scenery. Many refer to the Pelagian Islands as the Tropics of the Med. For those who love the sea, the islands offer some of the clearest waters in the world.

Taking their name from the Greek for ‘high sea’, the Italians refer to the islands as Le Isole Pelagie. Belonging to the Sicilian province of Agrigento and situated 150 kilometres west of Malta, the group of three islands comprises Lampione, Linosa and the largest of the three, Lampedusa.

In 2002 the islands became the ‘Protetta Isole Palagie Nature Reserve’ due to the nesting sites of the rare loggerhead sea turtle on Lampedusa and Linosa.

Swimming with whales.Swimming with whales.

Today, sea turtles are a great attraction, drawing people from all over the world. Whales and dolphins are also seen here, together with an abundance of flora and fauna.

Visitors can enjoy a wide selection of outdoor activities available, including boat trips round the islands, together with the opportunity of chartering small boats whereby one can enjoy bay-hopping to all the beautiful beaches that adorn the islands.

The island’s northern and western coast is rather high and inaccessible, while its eastern and southeastern shores boast magnificent, sandy beaches. From the smallest and most hidden to the largest and most crowded, the Pelagian beaches are numerous and welcoming.

Beaches are numerous and welcoming.Beaches are numerous and welcoming.

For those who love the sea, the islands offer some of the clearest waters in the world

The splendid coves of Cala Pisana and Cala Uccello open onto the glistening sea, while the Calas Spugna and Maluk lie on the island’s east.

Cala Greca is quite small and is covered in sand that is whiter than white. One of the secrets on this island is Cala Galera, which is only accessible by passing through the island’s characteristic low, rocky gullies on the water.

One can see the beach on the so-called Dead Sea, where the water is very calm.

Also remarkable are the spectacular and buzzing Cala Francese and the famous Guitgia beach with nearby hotels and public transport. From here one can also reach Cala Croce and the beach on Cala Madonna, along with Porto N’Tone, a tiny beach with fine, white sand, ideal for fami­lies with children.

On the island’s southern side, one can visit Cala Pulcino and countless nearby grottoes.

Dolphins are another attraction at the Pelagian Islands’ Nature Reserve.Dolphins are another attraction at the Pelagian Islands’ Nature Reserve.

A private charter small boat ride around the Pelagians is the best way to appreciate the beauty of its beaches, coves and tiny harbours.

The sea’s clarity and the brilliant seafloor, abundant with flora and fauna, thrill scuba-divers and snorkelers, who can choose from a wide array of diving spots, both day and night.

A rather easy immersion is that in search of the underwater statue Madonna del Mare, 46 feet deep and surrounded by burrows for octopus and sargo fish. Their neighbours include dentex, groupers and more sargoes that make their home around this boulder that resembles a large panettone (the Milanese Christmas sweet bread).

To swim through the expanse of green Neptune Grass, it is necessary to make a pit-stop at Punta Parrino, the point protecting the rest of the island from the waves and wind.

An underwater excursion at Taccio Vecchio is also rather moving due to the fact that you can see a grotto and plenty of parrotfish. In the same zone lies Punta Cappellone, inhabited by tuna, sargo, dentex, grouper and greater amberjack.

Meanwhile, the eastern shallows host superb specimens of the loggerhead sea turtle that one can witness, tide permitting.

Cala Creta, LampedusaCala Creta, Lampedusa

The north is the site for lobster, dentex, rockfish and grouper burrows. Sperm whales can be sighted in April.

If one is more of a land lover, one can walk the trails that run up to the island’s foremost three peaks – Monte Rosso, featuring a cultivated crater, Monte Nero and Monte Vulcano.

During the hottest nights of summer, many celebrations take place on the island’s beaches, including bonfires, spaghetti cookouts, barbecues and musical performances.

Holidays to Lampedusa are very affordable and offer true value for money.

For more information call ROCS Travel on 2015 1515, e-mail travel@rocsgrp.com.

ROCS Travel have just launched a fantastic opportunity of offering 1,000 seats at €19.99. The offer is valid until all seats are sold. ROCS Travel, toget­her with its partners, will be offering direct flights from June to October to the Pelagian Islands. These flights come with truly attractive accommodation and excursion rates. Needless to say, food is typically Italian.

For more information call ROCS Travel on 2015 1515,e-mail travel@rocsgrp.com.

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