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240km (49 miles) S of Agrigento.

For an offbeat adventure, unspoiled landscape and some fabulous beaches, take a ferry to the remote and rocky Pelagie Islands, where you can go swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. The main island is the arid Lampedusa, which is the name of both the largest island and its chief town.

To reach the islands from Agrigento, drive 7km (4 1/2 miles) southwest to the Porto Empédocle to get the ferry. You'll stop first at Linosa, the northernmost of the islands and the tip of an ancient submerged volcano. The ferry continues to Lampedusa, its final stop. Lampedusa lies 50km (31 miles) south of Linosa and is shaped like a giant raft inclined to one side.

The best time to visit the islands is in July and August to go turtle watching at the miniscule Isola dei Conigli or Rabbit Island. A nature reserve, the island is one of the few places in the Mediterranean where the rare Caretta turtle lays its eggs. The sight of the turtles lumbering ashore en masse to make their nests, and their thousands of tiny hatchlings scurrying their way across the beach to the warm sea, is really special.