Castellammare Del Golfo is this absolutely vibrant city about an hour west of Palermo, Sicily. To get there, we had to drive up a deceptively high mountain, then wind through the steep and narrow streets on the other side to get back down. It’s terrifying. But once we made it to the other side, we found a colorful, welcoming Sicilian city. There is so much to do in this sweet coastal city: visit local shops, eat freshly-caught fish, drink Italian wine, etc. But since Castellammare is built around a marina and boasts some of the bluest water in the world, my favorite thing to do there is to explore the ocean surroundings on a catamaran tour around Castellammare Del Golfo.
Finding a Catamaran Tour Around Castellammare Del Golfo
In the age of the internet, finding a tour for anything is very simple. A quick Google search for “Catamaran Tour Around Castellammare Del Golfo” will land you with over 40,000 results. So how did we choose?
My favorite answer to this question can actually apply to most travel situations… ask a local! For us, that local was our Airbnb host, Adrianna. This method is good for two reasons. First, the locals (especially those involved in hospitality) are likely to know all of the options available. This is great because there might be certain things we want to get out of the experience- maybe a historic lesson or someone to show us the best places to free dive. A local can tailor their suggestions to fit specific interests. Second, sometimes business owners will get perks for referring customers to tour groups. So not only is the goal to support a local tour company, but also the local business owner!
The View from the Docks
Even just leaving the marina from Castellammare Del Golfo was an experience. As the catamaran pulled away from the dock, we got a beautiful view of the city with the mountains in the background.
From inside the city, each individual building was charming and bright. But seeing all of them together from the outside felt like something out of a movie.
Porpuses and Incredibly Fit People
We sailed along the rocky coast for a while, with the captain pointing out notable things along the way. At one point, we were lucky enough to pass by a small pod of porpuses playing in the water. Bucket list: See a Porpus. Check.
Every once in a while, we would sail into alcoves that had been carved into the rock by the water, where we would find people swimming. Seriously, there were some very intense people out there doing laps. Keep in mind, at this point we were nowhere near any beaches or docks. These people just came out to do their morning workout by the cliffs. Casually. I still have to plug my nose with my fingers when I jump into a pool…
You Want Me to Drink That?
At this point, I was feeling sufficiently bad for my complete lack of athletic ability and considered taking up jogging (spoiler alert: I didn’t). But the feeling ended quickly when I got distracted by the captain approaching me while holding a water bottle full of… well, something brown. He poured this mystery liquid into a few plastic shot glasses and passed them around. A few people asked what it was, to which the captain responded, “Drink”.
When in Rome, right?
We went ahead and drank the mystery shot (because that never ends poorly) which actually ended up being frozen espresso. Delicious, frozen espresso. If you have never put an espresso shot in the freezer, then taken it out and crushed it up into slushie form, you have not lived. I took two more.
Swim Up Beach
At this point, the catamaran dropped anchor about 100 yards from a beach. Apparently, this beach was pretty secluded because, in order to get to it, you have to first hike a pretty long mountain trail. Or you could take a boat like me- which is probably sort of cheating, but we’ve already gone over my aversion to exercise.
Never-fear though, I did get some exercise that day. As I mentioned, the boat docked a solid 100 yards from the shore. So to get there I had to… wait for it… swim. So, hyped up on my three frozen espresso shots, I jumped into the ocean (plugging my nose of course) and headed for land. It didn’t take me as long as I thought it would to get there. I even managed to beat my cousin to the shore. Granted, she didn’t know how to swim at the time and was doggy paddling with a life-vest on. I’m still gonna take it as a win.
Well-Earned Beach Relaxation
After making it through what was basically an Olympian level demonstration of swimming prowess, it was time to lay on a beach! The shore of this beach was made entirely of little quarter-sized rocks, which had been smoothed over from years of being pushed around by the tide. It wasn’t the typical sand beach I was used to, and sitting directly on the rocks wasn’t the most comfortable thing. It was very worth it though. The beach was beautiful, the water was blue as can be, and the sun was shining down perfectly!
I can’t think of a more perfect way to spend a day (or a lifetime) than on a catamaran tour around Castellammare Del Golfo. It’s the type of place that inspires you to make big changes in your life. Seeing the beauty of this place and how happy all of the locals are makes you never want to leave.