This unique camp is designed for swimmers wanting to experience a challenging and fascinating adventure swimming around the “black perl” of the Mediterranean Sea. A 6 days program of long distance exploration swims guided by a qualified instructor. The program is open to a maximum of 6 people staying in a typical “dammuso” house.
You will be swimming daily around the rocky and stunning coastlines of the volcanic island of Pantelleria. Best spots along the island will be chosen trying always to be sheltered by the prevalent winds. Itineraries will be decided by the Swimtrekking instructor that will be guiding and swimming with the group to the final destinations. Swimtrekking will provide you 6 full days of coastal swims and 1 half day of specific coaching before the start of the expedition. During the swims as part of our contribution for the protection of the environment we rescue any plastics we found in the sea.
Swimtrekking involves the use of specifically designed equipment.
Each Swimtrekker will tow a light weight, water tight barkino during swims. This is attached to the swimmer by a harness worn around the waist. Barkinos allow swimmers to carry drinking water, aqua shoes, lunch, spare equipment and anything else you will find useful for the days adventure as well as being a visible piece of safety equipment.
In addition to this, Swimtrekking will provide all guests with a mask and snorkel, fins and wetsuit. These items allow you to freely explore your underwater environment whilst giving you the personal protection required. The club will provide you the equipment required.
Pantelleria is one of Sicily’s most characteristic minor islands and is not part of an archipelago like the Egadis or the Aeolians. Its rocky coastline, sometimes dramatic, sometimes gentle, extends for just over 31 miles but encapsulates a great deal. Simply known as the “black pearl of the Mediterranean”, the volcanic island of Pantelleria is the largest of all Sicilian islands and was the first stepping stone for the Arab invasion of Sicily in the eighth century AD and its name derives from the Arabic “Bint-al Rion” – Daughter of the Wind. As the origin of the name might suggest, the climate is dominated by the gentle breezes that blow almost continually, keeping the temperature below boiling point in the summer months and nudging away rain clouds in the winter (the average annual rainfall is just 350mm). Its main attraction is surely the beauty of its territory, from the coast to the hinterland, from the crystal-clear sea to the internal thick vegetation. But of course it is the sea that attracts most visitors. 300-metre cliffs, inlets, caves and grottos line the coast making circumnavigation of the island greatly interesting. The symbol of the island, or at least the most photographed feature, is the “Elephant”, a sea stack that is still connected to the mainland. From certain angles it has an uncanny resemblance to that pachyderm we all know and love. Local legend has it that when the island is short of water, the Elephant sucks up sea water to refill the reservoirs!
Dates of trip
October 6th-13th 2019
Please note: for group bookings Swimtrekking can tailor the trip to the group specific needs/requirements/dates.
About the trip
Start point: October 6th @ Dammuso “Il Mare” , Pantelleria island.
Start time: @ 10am meet your Swimtrekking Instructors at Dammuso “Il Mare” Check in, packed lunch, briefing and first swim in the afternoon.
Finish point: October 13th @ Dammuso “Il Mare”, Pantelleria island.
Finish time: @ 11am.
Typical day Swimtrekking
Breakfast and briefing.
Pack up your essentials for the day before heading out for the morning swim.
We will be driving to our start point for the day.
Once on the shoreline we kit up before beginning our morning adventure.
We’ll stop off in a cove for lunch, after which you have time to spend exploring the inland wilderness of Pantelleria.
Once lunch has settled and everyone is ready to cool off in the water again, we continue our sea adventure off in search of groupers, sting rays, barracudas, sea eagles, sea bass, morays, and much more…
Getting to Pantelleria
You can get to Pantelleria flying with Alitalia, Volotea e blu-express. As an alternative you can fly to Trapani or Palermo with Ryanair or Easy Jet and then catch the night ferry from Trapani to Pantelleria. The ferry companies providing this service are Siremar and Caronte&Tourist.
We stay 7 nights at Dammuso “Il Mare” – with full board accommodation – which is the typical construction of Pantelleria and is very suitable for groups of maximum 6 persons. This beautiful villa has 2 double bedrooms with ensuite facilities and 2 twin accommodation one located in the central part of the Dammuso and the other one in a separate block just below the main terrace. The villa has a large kitchen and external patio with a large and beautiful terrace overlooking the sea.
Breakfast and traditional Italian dinners will be self catering and served every day at Dammuso “Il Mare”, (the instructors will take care of buying the food and organizing the cooking); lunches will be a selection of sandwiches, fruit and snacks. The kitchen can cater for vegetarian and gluten free diets but please ensure you inform us of your dietary requirements on booking.
Temperatures and conditions
October – Average air temperature is 23°. Average sea temperature is 22°(degrees Celsius).
Sea conditions will vary according to the weather and currents. This all adds to the experience being in open water.
What to bring
On top of your normal clothes you should bring with you: a waterproof jacket, warm sweatshirt, walking shoes/sandals, sun hat and sun glasses. There are several cash points on the island so you don’t need to take with you a lot of cash.
Points of interest
Specchio di Venere
Would you like to go to a spa in the open air? Here it’s possible to find: the Mirror of Venus! There is a point, in the road on the hill, where we can enjoy the view of the mountain, of the lake and the sea at the same time. The Mirror of Venus is one of the most beautiful places of Pantelleria. It is welcoming and wild at the same time. It has boiling fresh water that embrace and get rid of the salt water after swimming in the deep blue sea. The reducing lake water leaves the secondary part dry, where the mud mixed with sulphur is created: it’s a therapeutic cure for us! Place the mud all over our body, let it dry and we will see the result! There are no facilities here, no chairs or umbrellas, only a well hidden stand. A corner of untouched nature only an hour by plane from Rome or Milan… A huge thermal pool where, in autumn, it’s possible to swim together with flamingos. The volcanic island creates an environment rich in natural resources, secondary volcanic phenomena such as fumaroles, hot springs and thermal springs.
The two most dramatic views are at Elefante, an enormous outcropping of rock that resembles an elephant’s trunk making an arch from land to sea, and Salta-la-Vecchia, a soaring and especially dramatic series of cliffs. The coastline is a near constant thrill, and the entire island can be visited in one glorious afternoon.
Among the most important thermal spas is Cala Nikà, in the south-west of the island, where we can find many hot springs. The Sàtaria cave is ideal for relaxing and treating rheumatism and arthritis.
Psychologically prepared for the Baths of Gadir! Here the water reaches a temperature of 60 degrees centigrade. These are real thermal baths right in the sea.
The dammuso is one of the main attractions of a holiday in Pantelleria! All the elements of these constructions have a specific function. The dammuso was created as a rural structure taking into account the peculiarities of the island: the wind, the heat and lack of rain. The domed roofs are used to collect rainwater in cisterns with the thick walls, on the other hand, providing thermal insulation. Often, in addition to the dammuso, there is another rural structure, the so-called jardinu: a circular terrain of land bordered by lava stone walls inside which fruit trees are cultivated. Their high walls protect the fruit trees from the incessant wind that batters the island.
Laghetto delle Ondine
The Ondine Lake is a characteristic saltwater pond fed by the sea. It has a volcanic origin and is surrounded by a prominent Mediterranean vegetation which gives an emerald green colour to its waters, creating an evocative and exciting atmosphere. It is possible to reach the lake from Punta Spadillo by boat or on foot. Trekking and hiking lovers can find several nature trails accessed from Cala Cinque Denti where they can discover incredible natural environments and rare animal species.
It is one of the few historical buildings which survived the bombings of World War II, a Renaissance castle aspect consists of a plan body irregularly quadrangular courtyard, which combines a square tower which was originally to be separated.
Since prehistoric times, Pantelleria has been a trade destination because of the presence of obsidian (black, hard, volcanic rock), as well as its central position in the Mediterranean. The oldest human settlement, dating back to about 5000 years ago, was the people of Sesi, a community of farmers and fishermen.. At present, we can visit the huts of the ancient village of Mursia and, through the boundary wall, discover one of the most important places of the entire Mediterranean basin, the Necropolis of the Sesi. In San Marco and Santa Teresa visit the Punic-Roman acropolis, the remains of the ancient capital of the island, founded by Carthage in the second half of the thirteenth century BC and conquered by the Romans during the Punic Wars. The court, the surrounding walls, the public buildings and tanks for the water needs covered in cocciopesto (lime mortar with crushed pottery). There have been important findings here. The three Imperial portraits among them – Caesar, Antonia Minor and Tito – on display at the Castle of Pantelleria.
Acropoli di San Marco e Santa Teresa
A fortified Acropolis was built along the first line of hills San Marco and Santa Teresa, 2 km south of the town of Pantelleria. The town has considerable remains of walls and cisterns, to contrast with the aridity of the climate.
Pantelleria was probably inhabited since the Neolithic (V millennium BC). The island was very rich in obsidian, one of the first materials used to construct objects in ancient times, that attracted the surrounding towns.
The first signs of a stable community dates back to the II millennium BC: the village of Mursia with its necropolis. The village of Mursia is in the north-western coast of the island, an area naturally protected by the cliffs on the sea. Its defence system was completed by a very solid wall. In the village you can still see the ruins of circular huts with grinding wheels and tanks for the water collection.
The same people who built the huts and the fortifications built a necropolis as well. There you can find many peculiar tombs called Sesi. Their structure is very similar to others that canalso be found in the Mediterranean. They are circular constructions with a lot of cavities on the sides used for the burial rites.
Ballata dei Turchi
The Balata dei Turchi is a fantastic beach surrounded by towering cliffs 300 meters high and characterized by the remnants of a lava flow that reached the sea. This sandy beach was used for a long time as a landing for pirates and barbarians who wanted to plunder the island and gain good access to Sicily. Its name “Balata” derives from the Arabic word “Balat” which refers to its flat platform shape. The seabed is rocky and sandy with a depth of about 20 meters. This beach is located in the southern part of the island of Pantelleria and tourists can reach this wonderful place via a wild and steep road with tricky access. Due to its location and its difficult access, the Balata Turks still preserves its natural and wild aspect with no fully equipped lidos or visitor facilities. The recent archaeological excavations uncovered some ancient remains dating back 7000 years, and according to local tradition the beach hosted the icon of Madonna Margana after a shipwreck, and so became the patron saint of the island along with San Fortunato.
Natural park and green heart of the island, home of near 600 endemic botanic species, including the Limonium Cosyrese, the Helichrysm Errarae and the Mattiola Incana.This park is also the only nesting place in Europe of the so graceful and highly colored Cinciarella Algerina and Beccamoschino. At sunset, from the ‘Montagna Grande’, the sight of the Sicilian Channel, with an occasional view of the African coast, is spectucular.
Pantelleria is good wine! The grapevine on the sapling of zibibbo grapes is a World Heritage Site (November 2014). It is the first time in the world that an agricultural technique is included in the heritage list of UNESCO. The visit to all the wineries, among the vines with the typical sapling vines and the annual events that celebrate the wine and the very famous Passito di Pantelleria will help us learn about the oldest tradition of Pantelleria, its culture and flavours.
Approximately daily swimming distance: 5 kilometers.
Program will be supervised by qualified Swimtrekking Instructors/Guides.
Swimtrekking Instructors/Guides will be responsible for all the camp organization and logistics.
Timing and itineraries can be modified according to the sea and weather conditions and may be cancelled.