Pantelleria, an island that has become a national park
The natural beauty of Pantelleria has been protected since 2016: in fact, 80% of the island's territory has been declared a National Park, the first in Sicily and the youngest in Italy. This recognition highlights the uniqueness of the Black Pearl of the Mediterranean in every aspect, from the landscape as a whole, to the variety and peculiarity of the flora and fauna, to the archaeological sites and material and immaterial heritage that characterize it: all aspects that make Pantelleria an even more unmissable destination for a holiday.
THE NATIONAL PARK OF PANTELLERIA: WHAT IT IS MADE OF
The National Park of Pantelleria covers an area of about 6,500 hectares and is divided into three zones, distinguished by the relevance of their natural, landscape, agricultural, and/or historical-cultural interest, and with a different degree of anthropization, from nonexistent to significant. Exploring it means discovering the infinite facets of the island, and above all, you can choose the one you prefer, in a heritage that brings together unspoiled landscapes and millenary traditions.
The Riserva di Montagna Grande is one of the key attractions of the National Park of Pantelleria: a magnificent emerald traversed by numerous trails that hikers and mountain bikers can explore through a dense Mediterranean scrubland of heather, maquis, and strawberry trees. As you climb, the vegetation gives way to pine, holm oak, and oak trees. The rest of the island, home to over 600 plant species, including 13 endemics and 63 extremely rare ones, is characterized by a distinctive alternation of vineyards, olive groves, and caper plants.
For fauna lovers, the National Park of Pantelleria is also a small paradise: the island is an important stopover for migratory birds flying to and from Africa, making it a popular destination for birdwatching enthusiasts. There are also many species of reptiles, including several African-origin lizards, such as the Lacerta podarcis sicula.
The volcanic landscape that has earned the island the nickname of the Black Pearl of the Mediterranean is another highlight: hills and mountains, called cuddie, bear witness to an intense activity that ended over a century ago (in 1891), but secondary phenomena continue to create fascinating and unusual events, such as the impressive Favare, with steam jets emanating from cracks in the rocks reaching up to 100°C; the warm waters of Gadir, Sataria, Nikà, and the Specchio di Venere; the dry baths with the natural sauna of Benikulà.
BETWEEN NATURE AND CULTURE, THE HERITAGE OF PANTELLERIA
Alongside natural and pristine landscapes, the National Park of Pantelleria also features many anthropized places, from archaeological sites that bear witness to the passage of numerous peoples on the island to all those creations that have become a representative scenario of Pantelleria, with recognitions of great value: the dammusi, perfect architectural meeting points between functionality, nature, and aesthetics, and dry stone walls, which together with the cultivation of vineyards trained on small trees have been declared a World Heritage Site.
Pantelleria is an island that never ceases to amaze: its designation as a national park can only be a positive note for the preservation of a landscape and a habitat that is unique in its kind.