I sometimes feel travel blogging is a bit like being a parent, we shouldn’t have favourites… but invariably we do!
And so it is with Favignana in Sicily, for while I absolutely loved the whole of this Italian island, I have to be honest and say that Favignana stole a little bit more of the limelight for me than it probably should have!
But, after I tell you that this mini island boasts one of the best beaches I’ve ever been to, you’ll probably understand a little more about why!
Coming from a small island myself (a reminder that I grew up on Jersey in the Channel Islands), it’s not hard for me to instantly feel an almost instinctual sense joy in any tiny stretch of land surrounded by sea – but add into that equation the fact that this particular example boasts a Mediterranean glow, a largely car-free pace of life and a dizzy waft of Italian cuisine and it’s not hard to see how it wormed its way onto my highlight list!
So here, to bring you the full lowdown on how to get to this island from Trapani, as well as my top tips for your time there, is my island guide to Favignana.
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How to Travel from Trapani to Favignana?
So the first and most crucial point is that the island of Favignana sits off the coastal city of Trapani in the west of Sicily.
Part of the Aegadian Islands, Favignana is the largest and most popular of this archipelago.
And the only way to reach here from Trapani is via ferry.
Luckily ferries are frequent, easy to catch and quick!
There is one main ferry company that operates all the boats from Trapani’s small, but busy port to the tiny, one pier operation of Favignana.
And the name of the company is Liberty Lines Fast Ferries, who run ferries every hour to Favignana from Trapani between roughly 8am and 7pm in the evening during the summer months.
A company called Siremar also operates ferries, but they are not as frequent and take almost double the time so I wouldn’t advise using them.
During the winter months, there’s significantly fewer ferries but, to be honest, I would avoid visiting Favignana outside of the main summer season between April and October, as you really want to experience the island’s beautiful beaches and coastal landscapes in all their glory, which you just can’t if it’s cold and wet.
FYI. yes Sicily does get cold and wet in winter!
They are also some organised cruises that will take you from Trapani to Favignana too if you want to recline in style!
Check out this top-rated option, which includes a comp drink, snorkelling and also time on the neighbouring island of Levanzo.
Buying Favignana Ferry Tickets
Tickets for the ferry to Favignana from Trapani can handily be bought online in advance via Direct Ferries.
In the busy summer months, I really do advise booking at least a day or 2 ahead of time to ensure you get the ferry times that you want, because there’s no avoiding the sailings fill up!
Yes do not make the mistake that I did and rock up to the port in Trapani 15 minutes before the ferry leaves and expect to get a ticket.
As I discovered, you won’t!
Thankfully one of the best gelato spots I found in the whole of Sicily is right opposite the port (definitely stop at Gelateria Meno Tredici for a scoop of pistachio if you have time), but wasting an hour of your day to eat ice cream – despite being perfectly acceptable in Sicily – is not the best use of your Favignana time!
So yes, the moral of the tale is to book your Trapani to Favignana ferry tickets in advance peeps!
I’d also definitely recommend getting a return ticket, so that you can also be assured of the return sailing time you want – these fill up too of course as almost everyone wants to come home in the early evening!
You don’t get a better price for booking a return, but you do get your preferred ferry home, which is a definite win!
If you don’t want to book tickets online, then you can head directly to the port, to pick them up from the Liberty Lines office, which is right on the quay.
Arriving at Trapani Port
Once you have your ferry tickets and are ready to sail, it’s then time to make your way to Trapani’s port.
Located along Via Ammiraglio Staiti, the port is just a short stroll from Trapani’s Old Town, which is where I definitely recommend basing yourself (and staying) during your night in Trapani.
Top tip: I recommend travelling to Trapani the day before your trip to Favignana if you can, so that you can get an early ferry the next day and make the most of your Favignana time! B&B Garibaldi is a great affordable guesthouse, super central in Trapani’s old town, that I recommend booking.
When it comes to getting to Trapani in the first place, you’ll be pleased to know there’s both an international airport here (check Skyscanner for the best flight deals), as well as a good bus service that will connect you to other destinations in west Sicily including Palermo.
But back to the point in hand!
Once in Trapani, you’ll need to make your way to the port.
I recommend arriving at least 20 minutes before your ferry. You’ll see the crowds seated on wooden benches, so join them while you wait for your departure to be called.
You’ll then stand in a long queue on the pier as you wait to board the ferry – it pays to have a sunhat here and use the bathroom facilities at the port too – before showing your ticket to the attendant and walking onto the boat.
Sea Crossing to Favignana
Seats were unreserved on my sea crossing, so plonk yourself anywhere – although a window seat would be my top pick!
The sailing journey from Trapani to Favignana takes just under 1 hour and offers lovely sea views!
Your ferry may well call at one of the other, smaller Aegadian Islands on the way (as mine did), so just make sure you get off at the correct island!
Listening to the shouts of the staff is a good way to ensure this!
My crossing was also very smooth – no doubt the summer months are better – but don’t forget motion sickness tablets if you think this might be an issue for you.
Most people will then disembark at Favignana, so simply follow the crowds off the boat and up the pier.
Arrival at Favignana + Bike Hire
When you arrive at Favignana from Trapani, you’ll immediately be greeted by a range of touts offering you bikes for hire.
Spoiler alert: there’s hardly any cars and vehicles on Favignana!
This means a bike is absolutely the easiest, cheapest, best and most fun way to get around the island.
For all these reasons, and because I picked up a bike for as little as 5€, I totally recommend picking up your 2 wheels here at the pier.
I got mine from Noleggio Campo – but there’s a few spots all lined up here that offer the same deal – just depends which tout you let grab you first!
My bike was totally sufficient for getting around the fairly small island and if you’re getting the ferry back, especially as part of a day trip, then being able to drop your bikes back at the hire depot as you exit the island makes things super straightforward.
Electric bikes are also available for slightly higher fees and all bikes include a bell and basket.
In both cases, just remember to find out what time you need to return your bike – this may be before the time of your ferry, but that’s the perfect excuse to pop in Favignana’s cute town for a spot of food and a drink after all that cycling!
Favignana Day Trip Itinerary
Now you’ve got your 2 wheels and nothing but the freedom of the open Favignana road in front of you!
What a rush!
With only a day on the island, I’d honestly recommend sticking the eastern half and making a loop around that part, stopping at all the swimming spots and coves you can.
After all, this is not an island to be rushed, rather savoured in only the relaxed kinda way that 2 wheels permits.
Top spots along the way in my book include Cala Graziosa, Cala San Nicola and Cala Rossa and there’s plenty of cute, pop-up drink and food spots dotted in between them to stop and refuel at.
Don’t rush, instead hop off the bike frequently, dive into the water often and snap those views like crazy – you’ll never regret taking the time.
And when you’re done exploring, it’s time to hit the piece de resistance, the kingpin of Favi in my opinion, and that’s Cala Azzurra.
Offering a small sandy strip (don’t forget this is Sicily, so a lot of Favignana’s coastal spots are rocky) and some of the clearest water I’ve seen, this beach quickly shot its way onto my list of top beaches ever… and y’all know I’ve seen some beaches in my time!
Aside from the fact I got stung by a jellyfish, it was paradise!
As the tide comes up, the sandy strip will disappear (even if it hadn’t already under a mass of beach towels), but fear not, everyone simply migrates up to the sandy strips that rise above the water.
I spent a good couple of hours here working on my tan… and it could have been a lot longer!
There’s a handy beachside bar located just across the road too just in case you run out of supplies or fancy a cold beer – I mean, who wouldn’t?!
Once it’s time to return your bikes, I’d allow at least half an hour to cycle back to the port and then, if you still have time, head to the charming town a short walk away from the harbour for a snack or a dinner.
Highly recommended by the non-vegetarian I was travelling with is the local speciality of polpo (octopus) sandwich – get the island’s best at Tuna Fish City (dubious name, but apparently delicious according to my Sicilian friends too!)
And then it’s sadly time to head back to Trapani, so stroll back to the port and make sure you arrive about 15 minutes before your ferry departure.
More Time for Favignana?
If you do want to stay on Favignana for longer than a day – I know some Italians that spent 5 days over there on their honeymoon as a real way to escape everything – then you’ll be pleased to know there’s a heap of accommodation on this island for a huge range of different budgets.
Here’s my pick of the bunch…
Camping: Camping Villaggio Egad
Budget: Favignana Rooms
Mid-Range: Hotel II Portico
Luxury: Dimora dell’Olivastro
And with at least another day or 2, you can easily explore the whole island including the west too.
I didn’t get over here sadly, but would absolutely love to return and not only explore the island’s highest point – the Castle of Santa Catarina – but also see the amazing beach of Cala Faraglioni, which is meant to be another top hit!
More Travel Tips for Favignana
When to Visit Favignana?
The best time to visit Favignana in general is during the spring months of May and June or the autumn months of September and October.
Check out the full article I wrote about when to visit Sicily here for more info.
Travel Insurance for Sicily
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How to Save When you Spend in Sicily?
When it comes to getting paying for things in Sicily, you want to ensure you’re not being charged overseas transaction fees or getting poor exchange rates when using your card abroad, which is why I always take my Wise Card away with me wherever I travel.
The easy way to spend abroad with real exchange rates, no markups, no sneaky transaction fees and a free Euros account, you can use your Wise card just like a debit card in Italy… and it links easily with Google and Apple pay – sold! Get yours here.
Where to Visit after Favignana and Trapani?
After you’ve headed back to the main island and explored Trapani, you might be wondering where to explore next, and top of my list are the wineries and salt pans of Masala, along with the Medieval hilltop town of Erice.
Both make for a great combined Trapani day trip, especially Erice, which can be accessed via a cable car!
Otherwise, if you’re looking to head elsewhere in west Sicily (and you definitely should FYI), then you can easily catch a bus to the beautiful beach town of San Vito lo Capo, or continue on to the island’s beguiling capital Palermo.
This city should not be missed!
Check out my top 13 things to do in Palermo to learn why!
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So that’s all the info on how to travel from Trapani to Favignana, as well as my guide to visiting this beautiful island.
Hopefully you’ve found this information useful, but any other top tips for Favignana you have to add that could help a fellow traveller out, please drop them into the comments box below…