The island of Favignana is in the Aegadian Islands group off the west coast of Sicily.
Although tuna fishing has long been the main industry of the island (you can't miss the large fishery in the harbour), along with the quarrying of soft local stone called tufa (you will see the quaries as you explore), Favignana is now a popular tourist destination.
The main town on the island of Favignana is also called Favignana and is built around a bay and harbour which is at the heart of the town due to its important tuna fishing tradition. The bay is attractive surrounded by mostly white houses with blue shutters and rising up behind these are a series of low hills.
The town has a pedestrian centre and is pleasant to explore. The most striking building is the Palazzo Florio. It was built for the wealthy Florio family in the late 19th century but is now home to the Town Hall and tourist office.
Favignana town also has two museums. The tuna museum is particularly interesting and is on the sea front and has pretty views and some interesting buildings and exhibits. There is also an 'Underwater Archaelogical museum' which details the history of the Aegadian Islands.
As well as the town and harbour of Favignana most visitors come for the pretty coastal scenery, beaches and caves. As well as numerous small coves there are two main sandy beaches on Favignana - Cala Azzurra and Lido Burrone. Also on the coast are several caves that can be seen from boats operated by the local fishermen. The main cave to visit is the Cave of Saint Nicola.
There are also a couple of rocky coves that are particularly beautiful. These are the Cala Rosso which is close to Favignana town and the Cala Bue Marino which is at the eastern end of the island.
The island falls into two distinct parts - an eastern half and a western half. It is popular to follow the walks around the island (the one that follows the eastern half is recommended if you don't have time to follow both), to hire a bike and tour around the island, or to take a boat trip that follows around the coastline.
Walkers will enjoy the walk up to the top of Mount Saint Catherine which is the hill that you can see from the boat as you approach Favignana. It takes about 45 minutes to get to the top but the views are excellent. Sadly the fortress at the top is neglected but the views make the trip worthwhile.
After your exertions what else but a lunch in one of the restaurants - be sure to sample one of the local tuna dishes.
The island of Favignana is reached by hydrofoil from Trapani on Sicily's west coast - journey time 25 minutes.
A popular time to visit is during the Mattanza festival each May. All the local boats together lay a huge net and gradually pull it tighter and tighter until it is reduced to the so-called "chamber of death" full of thrashing tuna. These are speared and dragged onto surrounding boats". This is now a popular tourist attraction however be warned it is quite brutal!
Places to Visit Nearby
The neighbouring island of Levanzo is smaller, but also worth visiting for the beaches and for the chance to explore in tranquility the paths of the island - a popular trail is the one that leads to the top of Pizzo del Monaco. It is also rather more picturesque than it's larger neighbour.
The town of Marsala is one of the oldest in the area and has a rich historical heritage.