The Marine Nature Reserve of Egadi Islands (Riserva Naturale Marina delle Isole Egadi) takes its name from the surrounding area, which includes the islands of Favignana, Levanzo, Marettino, and the islets of Formica and Maraone. Its extension, 53000 hectares, has allowed the reserve to achieve an important record: it’s the largest nature reserve in the Mediterranean area.
The entire reserve features a very lush flora: the landscape is full of Rosmarinus officinalis, which is quickly replaced by Cystoseira Stricta next to the coastline; finally, the submerged areas are also different from the other part of the Nature Reserve, thanks to the presence of Posidonia Oceanica. Talking about the fauna within the reserve, animal lovers will satisfy their curiosity admiring a considerable amount of species, from invertebrates to birds, as well as many species of mammals. The most common birds in the area are the so-called “bird of the storms” and the “Bonelli’s eagle”, while for invertebrates are very common the pulmonate and the Chilopode Lithobius Riggioi. Apart from them, in the Riserva Naturale Marina delle Isole Egadi there are also several shellfish, especially lobster, which can be found along the coasts of the Egadi Islands, where the seabed is still quite low.
In detail, the Riserva Naturale Marina delle Isole Egadi is divided into four distinct areas: the Zone A, called Integral Reserve (Riserva Integrale); the Zone B, known as General Reserve (Riserva Generale); the Zone C, known as Partial Reserve (Riserva Parziale), and finally the Zone D, called Security Reserve (Riserva di Protezione). Who loves fishing and sailing should carefully inquire about the activities permitted or not in each zone: every area has got an own regulation, which sometimes forbids certain fishing techniques or navigation. Generally speaking, however, each reserve allow the tourists to swim in the sea.
The particular conformation of the territory allows tourists to enjoy many other activities, such as diving and snorkeling. Again, because of the deep diversification of areas of the Riserva Naturale Marina delle Isole Egadi tourists should inquire about the areas within which such activities are permitted: tourists and inhabitants of the surrounding areas, however, are facilitated by the presence of several diving centers, which will be glad to help at any time.
The Riserva Naturale Marina delle Isole Egadi boasts a rich natural heritage which should be appreciated in all of its forms; each of the activities practiced on this territory adds even more value to an area already well appreciated.