Porto Empedocle, a small fishing village in the province of Agrigento, is the primary departure point for the breathtaking Pelagie Islands.
On Ferryhopper, you can find useful information about must-see places in Porto Empedocle, the best beaches, local delicacies, and ferries to and from its port. Read our travel tips and plan your ferry trip to the Pelagie Islands of Lampedusa and Linosa!
Below, you can discover:
A breathtaking view of Porto Empedocle
Porto Empedocle ferry port
One of Sicily's most significant historical ports is without a doubt Porto Empedocle. The fact that it is the main gateway to the Pelagie Islands of Linosa and Lampedusa is the city's strong suit.
The Porto Empedocle center has grown in the area surrounding the port, between the streets of Roma, Crispi, and Lincoln. Later, more areas, including Piano Lanterna, the city's highest point, were added to the central area.
The Porto Empedocle ferry port, which is located in the city's center, can be reached from the old train station in just 10 minutes on foot. There are numerous amenities close to the west pier of the ferries to the Pelagie Islands, including bars, restaurants, pizzerias, shops, grocery stores, parking lots, and rental businesses.
The city port of Porto Empedocle is conveniently situated close to the historic area and is reachable both on foot and by car. Additionally, a shuttle service operated by the bus company Autolinee SAL connects the Porto Empedocle port terminal in Palermo with the airport in about 3 hours.
Ferries from Porto Empedocle port: schedules and tickets
If you want to visit the Pelagie Islands, all you have to do is take a ferry from Porto Empedocle! The ferry companies Siremar and Traghetti delle Isole operate year-round connections to the beautiful islands of Linosa and Lampedusa.
There are 2 ferry connections per day on the route from Porto Empedocle to Lampedusa and Linosa, one in the morning and one in the evening. Ferries typically leave from Porto Empedocle and travel to Lampedusa after making a stop in Linosa.
The crossings from Porto Empedocle to Linosa last 6 hours and 15 minutes, while the crossings from Porto Empedocle to Lampedusa take 9 hours and 45 minutes. Depending on the ferry company, the duration of the trip can vary. Keep in mind that the days and times can change depending on the month of the year.
The cost of a one-way ticket starts at €28. Residents are also eligible for a special discount, and generally, prices change according to the season.
It is also possible to book a cabin and bring your vehicle on Siremar ferries from Porto Empedocle to the Pelagie Islands.
Fishing nets at the dock of Porto Empedocle
Vacation in Porto Empedocle
Porto Empedocle is only 8 km from Agrigento and is a must-see part of Sicily. If you are planning a trip to Lampedusa or Linosa, we recommend staying in Porto Empedocle for at least 2-3 days before taking the ferry to the islands.
The area's coastline, with its beaches and nature reserves, is the perfect location for a village with a long history of art and culture. Once there, do not overlook its impressive surroundings!
If you're a fan of Italian literature, you probably already know that Porto Empedocle also appears in the works of Pirandello and Andrea Camilleri (Camilleri uses it as the setting for the adventures of Inspector Montalbano).
Porto Empedocle is ideal during summer, but it also comes alive at Christmas with its Christmas markets and the famous representations of the nativity scenes.
Combine your trip to the Pelagie Islands with a mini-stay in Porto Empedocle at any time of year and you won't regret it!
How to get to Porto Empedocle
If you are already in Sicily you can reach Porto Empedocle by car, train and bus. If you're traveling by ferry from main Italy, all you have to do is take a ferry to one of the Sicilian ports before continuing on to Porto Empedocle.
The ports in Sicily that have the best ferry connections to main Italy are Palermo, Trapani, Catania, and Messina. You can also board your vehicle on the ferry and drive towards Porto Empedocle.
Palermo, Trapani, and Catania are nearly 2 hours away, while Messina is more than 3 hours. Comiso and Palermo airports are the closest to Porto Empedocle and both offer direct bus service to the port.
As for the train, the Kaos Railways Association offers a beautiful route from Palermo to the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento and Porto Empedocle on a locomotive from the 30s. Visit their official website for more information on organized tours.
Sunset colors in Porto Empedocle
What to do in Porto Empedocle
The Porto Empedocle region is home to some of Sicily's most well-known beaches and lovely stretches of coastline.
The town's historic district and the side streets of Via Roma can be explored during a single day's visit. Take a look around the artisanal shops, stroll by the Pirandello and Camilleri locations and take in the port's seafaring vibe.
Despite the fact that Porto Empedocle is easily explored in a single day, we suggest staying a few extra days to fully explore the area. Nearby attractions include Agrigento, the Valley of the Temples, the Scala dei Turchi, and a few charming villages.
Beaches in Porto Empedocle
The picturesque coastline and golden sand beaches of Porto Empedocle are well known. In addition to the beaches close to the city, it is worthwhile to travel further and check out other coastlines.
Here are the top 5 beaches in Porto Empedocle and its surroundings:
- Marinella beach: it is perhaps the most popular among locals due to its proximity to the port and the city center. It has golden sand and clear shallow waters that are ideal for children. Along the beach, there are several bathing establishments and restaurants.
- Lido Azzurro: it is part of a nearly 6-kilometer-long beach located west of town, with calm and turquoise waters. The area offers all necessary tourist services and is especially popular at night.
- Caos (Chaos) beach: a popular summer destination known for its clear waters and beautiful scenery. The beach is also well-known because it appears frequently in Luigi Pirandello's stories. You can also walk there in about 30 minutes from the center of Porto Empedocle.
- San Leone beach: a long stretch of golden sand in the homonymous location, about 10 minutes from Porto Empedocle. Its waters are pristine and the area is popular among surfers. There are several clubs in the area that serve as an evening meeting place.
- Scala dei Turchi: this incredible white cliff, 4 km from Porto Empedocle, is one of Sicily's most famous attractions. A long path between the rock steps leads to the narrow strip of sand that lies between the cliff and the sea. Keep in mind that there is no shade here.
The beautiful Scala dei Turchi, near Porto Emepdocle
Sightseeing in Porto Empedocle
Porto Empedocle is primarily a seaside resort, but its city center also has a number of historic sites and a laid-back vibe.
During your stay in Porto Empedocle, we advise you to visit:
- The Tower of Charles V, built in the '500s and a landmark of Porto Empedocle
- Via Roma, the main street of Porto Empedocle, full of restaurants and outdoor cafes
- The Mother Church, located in the heart of the historic district
- The staircase Salita Gibilaro, decorated with typical sicilian ceramic tiles
- The Vigata Café, favorite place of the famous writer Andrea Camilleri
- The Palazzo Melluso, a stunning example of Art Nouveau architecture.
- The statues of Luigi Pirandello and Inspector Montalbano in Via Roma
- The mural of Andrea Camilleri on the Town Hall's façade
Nightlife in Porto Empedocle
Even though Porto Empedocle isn't the best place to party, the town has some nightlife options, especially in summer.
The main street is Via Roma, which has a bustling pedestrian area in the evenings. There are bars, ice cream parlors, trattorias, and restaurants to suit every taste.
For a more lively nightlife, visit the areas around Agrigento, which have beach clubs and discos.
Food in Porto Empedocle
In Porto Empedocle, fish is served directly from the sea to the plate, making eating there a truly sensory experience. All of Porto Empedocle's restaurants specialize in fish cuisine, but they also serve meat dishes, soups, and other Sicilian delicacies.
Do not leave Porto Empedocle without trying the following:
- fishballs with sardines
- cavatelli al cartoccio (baked pasta with tomato sauce, aubergines and ricotta)
- cuttlefish soup
- macco di fave (dense fava bean and fennel soup topped with ricotta)
- rabbit in sweet and sour sauce
- stuffed focaccia
- almonds sweets
A delicious plate of Sicilian sardine fishballs
Trips around Porto Empedocle
If you choose to stay longer in Porto Empedocle and the province of Agrigento, you should also visit:
- The Torre Salsa Nature Reserve, a lovely WWF-protected oasis stretching from the mountains to the sea via natural paths
- The village of Naro, which is well-known for its medieval architecture
- Sciacca, a fishing port known for its ceramics, carnival, thermal springs, and corals
- Agrigento's Valley of the Temples, one of Sicily's most important archaeological parks
The extraordinary Valley of the Temples in Agrigento
Tips for your holidays in Porto Empedocle
Here are 3 tips for your trip to Porto Empedocle:
- In July, Porto Empedocle hosts one of the oldest festivals, the Feast of the Madonna del Carmine. During this three-day event, there is also La Sagra della Padellata (Festival of the Fried Fish), where kilos of fried fish are offered!
- Why visit just Linosa or Lampedusa when you can visit both? If you have more time, we suggest taking the ferry from Porto Empedocle to Linosa and then from Linosa to Lampedusa to complete your island hopping adventure!
- If you enjoy camping, you should know that there are well-organized campsites in Porto Empedocle and Agrigento areas where you can spend your vacation in the middle of nature.
Useful information about Porto Empedocle
Porto Empedocle, a popular summer vacation destination, has all the amenities of a small town. The majority of the clubs and shops are concentrated along Via Roma, which is a short distance from the town center.
As for your accommodation, you can stay in hotels, bed and breakfasts, vacation homes, and apartments. If you want to stay close to Agrigento's most well-known attractions, Porto Empedocle is also an affordable option.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Porto Empedocle
Here, you can find some phone numbers that might prove useful for your vacation in Porto Empedocle:
- Port Authority: +390922636640
- Emergency Medical Care: +390922637222
- Tourist Medical Guard (Neptune Promenade): +390922535151
- Carabinieri (military force for public safety): +390922636135
- Taxi (Piazza V. Veneto): +390922637440
- Post Office (Via Roma): +390922636303
- Bus Company Licata Srl: +390922401360
- European emergency phone number: 112
Transportation in Porto Empedocle
Since Porto Empedocle's center is relatively small, getting around on foot is very easy. The suburban buses run by the Licata bus company can take you to Agrigento and other places outside of the city.
However, to save time and get more places, driving is always preferred in Sicily.
The sandy beach of Porto Empedocle
Where to book ferry tickets to Porto Empedocle online
At the moment, it is not possible to book ferry tickets from Porto Empedocle to the Pelagie Islands on Ferryhopper, but we are working to add more routes to our system. In the meantime, you can check out our Map of ferries and discover all the available ferry routes to the Mediterranean!