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Pantelleria

The far-flung Sicilian island beckons with natural good looks, culinary delights and that under-the-radar charm hard to find elsewhere

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There’s something very special about this little-known volcanic Italian islet, some 60 kilometres southwest of Sicily. From the bluer-than-blue waters of heart-shaped Specchio di Venere lake, its dramatically rocky coastline and towering 835m Montagna Grande mountain to hidden marine grottos and the iconic, shallow-domed dammuso dwellings that populate its villages.

Specchio di Venere lake 

 

Options for bedding down are equally intriguing: at Sikelia Pantelleria, guests stay in soothingly neutral, grey-toned suites housed in dammusi structures, sup on homegrown Mediterranean-meets-Arabic cuisine and are pampered with grape therapy treatments.

Sikelia Pantelleria 

 

For unrivalled views of the aquamarine ocean ahead, a meal at Il Principe e Il Pirata is in order, where seasonal fare based on old island recipes hits all the right notes: think housemade ravioli with ricotta, mint and sea urchins, or paccheri with rockfish-tomato sauce.

  

A sojourn to this part of the world wouldn’t be complete without bringing home a souvenir or two. La Nicchia brags an almost 70-year tradition of growing and purveying a selection of divine capers, while the 68ha Donnafugata vineyard makes luscious wines with hand-cultivated grapes plucked from up to 100-year-old vines.

La Nicchia restaurant

 

A dearth of scheduled journeys from the United Kingdom and a complicated customs and admissions process make commercial flights to the sunny island a pain – hire a private charter with Air Partner for improved access.

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