YOU GO FOR KITESURFING IN SICILY, YOU WILL FALL IN LOVE WITH THE PLACE ITSELF
When I considered going to Sicily for kitesurfing, I didn’t know the place in any way.
The only associations I had were mafia, the city of palermo, and endless vineyards.
Honestly speaking, the only reason I considered this trip was good wind conditions and cheap flights.
That was enough to hop on the plane and check the place.
After a week I already knew that I will keep returning to that place but in fact I have stayed for good.
What’s funny, I'm not the one who has gone through the syndrome of imminent return to Sicily. Most of the people who checked this place for kitesurfing have returned, very often in the same season. Because this place is like a magnet!
there are many reasons for this.
Sun - inseparable part of Lo Stagnone
It's just everywhere. The amount of sunlight is infinite and it affects everything.
It heats up fields of grapes, tomatoes and herbs, giving the unique aroma of this place.
It raises the strength of the wind (our dear thermal wind!), which not only fills our kites but also gives us relief at temperatures of over thirty degrees.
The sun dries the water in salinas where salt is crystallizing over the summer. That creates the special landscape of this place. There are flamingos in salt ponds, and old windmills shine above them.
And as if that was not enough sun sets here in such a spectacular way that even old sicilians stop by to admire it, no matter how many times they have seen it.
Water! Not only the kitesurfing arena
Who would have thought that there is so much different water on such a dry island!
We have a flat, shallow and warm bay for riding and learning.
We have our wave spot, where the water is dark blue, cool and deep.
We have nearby wild beaches of the Aegadian islands, where the water is exotic light blue and transparent to many meters.
We have the shallow of san teodorro, where we sunbathe lying on the sand in 10 cm sulfuric water of light green color.
right next to it there are salt ponds where the water is literally pink and orange.
and for wakeboarding we have a sweet, chilly and amazingly turquoise lake.
at our spot, the Tyrrhenian Sea meets with the Mediterranean. what's amazing, you could trace the place of contact with a ruler. that means we literally have two different waters next to each other. I could further describe shades of blue, but there are so many other things.
Cuisine (luckily kitesurfing justifies eating whatever you please)
What italian food is, we all know...
Sicilians have a very simple cuisine but in this simplicity is the magic. Actually - in ingredients.
if we take the most aromatic and juicy tomato possible and combine it with olives straight from local trees, crispy lettuce from a nearby field, add olive oil made by neighbour farmers and sprinkle all with fresh herbs from the pot in front of your house, you get poetry on the plate, despite the simplicity of that salad.
Sicilians cook with a charming nonchalance, but without conceit. They use whatever they have at hand and every time, without exception, the food is just delicious.
Nevertheless, I would say that this nonchalance doesn't concern sweets.
Confectioneries are small art galleries. but this can’t be described in words.
Time in western Sicily
This is so far from the rest of the world that you shouldn’t be surprised by the space-time curvature. time really passes slower here.
one of the first Italian words I learned was 'dopo' - later.
You can be stunned that pleasures such as coffee and cake, conversation with every person on the way, or scratching the dog behind the ear are a priority over the pressing responsibilities (usually work related), but since everyone comes out of this assumption, maybe it’s not so stupid. Life is nice this way.
Despite the lazy time, agricultural and coastal landscape and the doubtful sport culture of local Sicilians, the place is ideal for active recreation.
Kitesurfing and other forms of active recreation
Kitesurfing at Lo Stagnone bay is of course our first choice. There are just a few shallow lagoons with a steady, regular wind in Europe.
In the process of discovering news spots, we discover that there is always a problem with something - waves, coldness, irregular wind, poor infrastructure, expensive, far away, etc.
Here we have thermal regular wind, water is shallow and warm, there is all the infrastructure needed. At the same time, the place is not under siege by the crowds of surfers. It doesn’t feel touristic at all. Yet there is plenty of things to do besides kitesurfing. Above all, you can catch really cheap flights. It’s perfect.
But it is not just all about kitesurfing - there is windsurfing, stand up paddle, wakeboarding (we discovered a fantastic place for wake!). You can take a bike and go along the salt ponds, you can jog along the natural reserve coastline, swim in the marettimo island caves, hike the monte cofano mountain and many more.
even those a bit less active ones feel like doing more here.
And one more element missing from the puzzle - civilization, because sometimes we need a bit of that too.
And there it is, not far from us. 20 minutes south from us - the city of Marsala, above us – capital city of the region Trapani. Slightly higher - famous palermo.
There are pubs, there is street food, there are shops, parties, noise, dust, buzz and honks.
and as if that was not enough, culture and history is fitted into all this, just at your fingertips.
People have discovered this sicily thousands of years ago and have left a lot for us. here an acropolis, there a monument, and this church, and that aqueduct, and a temple from before the era, the one with columns.
I wouldn’t add anything more to Sicily.
all these elements create a package titled 'a place that has everything' - ubiquitous sun, water in every possible color, breathtaking views, food activating new areas in the brain, charming local people with their charming nature (this is a topic for a separate post), field for all activities and civilization, however one understands it.
and all this is unwaveringly offered to still not so many tourists, but above all to sicilians who know perfectly how to use the potential of their island.
here you have to reach for what you want, but it is always worth reaching for. the more you reach and discover the more you fall in love with this place.
and that's why you will probably return!