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Pantelleria's jagged coastline is much easier to explore by sea than by land, and taking a day to rent a boat, or better yet, hire a local boatman to take you on a small group tour, is a must while here. The 52km (32-mile) perimeter of the island makes the Pantelleria giro dell'isola tour a full-day affair, departing at 10am and returning at 5pm. Rates are usually around 30€ (50€ in Aug), which includes a spaghettata (lunch of pasta and other cucina pantesca specialties), served picnic-style on the boat. You'll stop for a swim at the iconic Arco dell'Elefante and on the south side of the island, under 300m-tall (984-ft.) rock walls in the sheltered waters of Balata dei Turchi.

Tours can be arranged informally and on-the-spot at Pantelleria harbor. Just arrive around 9:30am and see which captain or craft you like best. They basically all charge the same rates. Futura (tel. 0923/912324), skippered by a fisherman named Franco, is one of the more fun-oriented boats and serves fresh fish for lunch. If you opt to go it alone and rent your own boat, try La Tortuga (on Pantelleria harbor; tel. 333/6750836), from 40€ for a half-day rental. Because of the size of Pantelleria (bigger than most boat-rental islands of Italy) and the potentially strong currents and winds, it's best to limit your cove-hopping to the eastern side of the island.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.