Free Cancellation Up to 48 hours in advance
Duration: 3 hours
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Boat tours exploring and searching for dolphins in the Catania protected area.
Lachea Island, not very large, is the largest of the outcrops that make up the Cyclops archipelago, just off Aci Trezza in Sicily.
It is part of the integral nature reserve Isola Lachea e faraglioni dei Ciclopi, the protected area established by the Sicilian Region in 1998.
The island, like the others in the archipelago, is of subvolcanic origin, formed by the intrusion of magma into the pre-existing rocks of the seabed.
In 1869, a diorite axe from prehistoric times was found, while in 1919, two cave tombs were identified, carved into the rock by the hand of man. The objects found inside one of the two large circular pits (about one metre deep) on the island date from the late Roman period: pots, amphorae, loom weights, bone needles, fragments of a bone comb and a small oil lamp.
The nature museum houses a rich collection of fauna and flora.
Their origin is thought to be associated with the wrath of the Cyclops Polyphemus who, blinded by Ulysses, allegedly hurled the rocks into the sea at the Greek hero to prevent him from escaping. A story that has certainly fuelled legend about the Cyclops Islands, also recounted in the ninth book of the Odyssey. Fancy aside, these are marvellous works of nature, sculpted over thousands of years by wind and rain, which are part of a protected marine area consisting of the Lachea Island, the Faraglioni and four other rocks arranged in an arch. Their origin - apart from the legend of Polyphemus - can be traced back to the first of the four phases of the evolution of the volcano Etna, an intense volcanic activity that began about half a million years ago.
Shipwrights have been shaping wood for millennia, creating constructions that still ply our waters today. A true art that encompasses the skills of designer, naval engineer, carpenter as well as artist. For five generations, the Rodolico shipyard has been operating in Acitrezza, the holder of this ancient, noble and precious profession. A craft that has almost disappeared but is dense with history, folklore and traditions to be remembered and preserved. The Rodolico Shipyard in Acitrezza was founded towards the end of the 19th century thanks to Salvatore Rodolico who, together with his son Sebastiano, began building rowing and sailing boats for clients in Catania. An invoice dated 1908, made out to the University of Catania, documents the construction of a boat to transport passengers to the Lachea island. The original shipyard was located in the area known as 'stagnitta', today 'Via Rodolico', and then settled permanently in front of the Lachea island, inside the old Scalo dei Malavoglia. The 1960s marked the beginning of the golden age for the shipyard, which passed into the hands of the young Salvatore who, assisted by his sons Sebastiano and Giovanni and more than thirty workers, began to build imposing wooden fishing boats.
Last but not least, discover the wonderful Protected Marine Area where you will have the chance to see our dolphin friends!
What you should bring:
- Not wheelchair accessible. - It is accessible to strollers. - Pets allowed. - The meeting point is located near public transportation stops and car parking. - Please note that infants must sit on an adult's lap. - Not suitable for people with heart problems or other serious illnesses. - Please note that the boat in the Ionian Sea of Sicily is about 3 nautical miles, about 5 km, away from the coast. - Please be aware that with sea force 2/3 and wind force 3/4 the tour may be cancelled. In that case you can request a refund or change the date of the activity. - It is possible to request pick up service at an extra cost of 25 euros in the Catania area, otherwise it is recommended to reach the meeting point by bus from Catania - Line 534.