Cefalu

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WorldMediterraneanItalySicilyCefalu

Cefalu, Sicily, Italy

Cefalu
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Old town, Cefalu

The town and marina of Cefalu are situated roughly in the centre of the N coast of Sicily, around 35 miles E of Palermo. Originally a defensive settlement on the huge rock that looms over the town (Cefalu = Greek headland), the town was re-established at the foot of the bluff by the 12th century Normans, who also constructed the tiny harbour west of the town and the magnificent cathedral that towers over it. Today, cruising yachtsmen visiting the town are better served by the pontoons in the Porto Nuovo, a purpose-built harbour constructed on the more sheltered eastern side of the headland. The town itself is one of the most atmospheric in the whole of the island, its picturesque fishermen's houses huddled around the old harbour, and is justifiably one of Sicily’s most popular tourist destinations.

The Porto Nuovo at Cefalu

Charts

British Admiralty
1976 - Capo di Bonifati to Capo San Vito
Italian
916

Weather

The prevailing winds around the Aolian Islands during the summer tend to be from NW or NE, although in calm weather seabreezes can be encountered from any direction blowing onto and between the islands. While infrequent, gales are not unknown during the spring and early summer and careful forward planning is necessary as there are only two harbours which offer adequate shelter (and even then, not in strong southerlies). In winter, the gregale is a strong NE wind that can affect the whole of the island group and blow for several days.

Sources for weather forecasts:

  • There is a continuous (computerised voice) weather forecast on VHF 68 - first in Italian and then followed with an English translation.
  • The same forecast is given in Italian and English on VHF coastal stations following a notification on channel 16
  • Navtex weather forecasts are broadcast from stations at Roma, Cagliari (Sardinia) and Augusta (Sicily).

Passages

Popular passages/routes, timing, etc.

Islands

Communication

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


Navigation

The huge bluff that looms over Cefalu is visible from several miles off. The Porto Nuovo is situated immediately west of the bluff, sheltered by a long breakwater extending ESE from the shore. There are depths of 5.0 - 6.0 metres in the entrance. Beware of rocks around the end of the breakwater and others on the southern side of the harbour.

Berthing

Yachts berth on the three pontoons running out from the shore in the centre of the harbour, between the mole and the concrete T-jetty at the southern end of the harbour. Berthing here is managed by the Società L'Ormeggio e Allegra. There are further berths on the two pontoons extending from the northern mole, which are managed by the Società Eolo. There are a total of 300 berths on laid moorings, 40 of which are supposedly reserved for yachts in transit. Maximum length 40 metres. Depths and the piers range from 3.0 to 5.0 metres.

09/2013: we were asked Euro 50.- per night for a 13 meter boat including water and electrical - Marina Service - Cell. +39 338.7849155 - Floating docks VERY uncomfortable with any swell entering the port! --s/v Seatern 07:12, 18 September 2013 (BST).

06/2015 We were asked for Euro 40 per night because we expressed reservations about going in and indicated we were going to anchor outside. The hesitation probably caused the discount. S/v Common Sense

09/2016 Charged € 50 (after negotiating) 13M. Again, the floating pontoons - no wind, just swell coming in - VERY uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. No toilets and non potable water. A couple of yachts anchored off, which seems like a much better idea.

Berths on the concrete T-shaped jetty are reserved for fishing vessels and members of the Cefalu Sailing Club. Shelter in the harbour is good with W or NW winds, but any strong onshore winds make it extremely uncomfortable in the reflected swell. A strong NE gregale would probably make Cefalu untenable.

In any sort of swell, the floating pontoon is dangerous but the concrete pontoons to the side are a little better.

Boats anchor outside the marina and also over in the lagoon created by the outside breakwater

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

  • Vela Club Cefalù (Sailing Club Cefalu)

Anchorages

  • In settled weather only, anchor off the old harbor on the west side of the promontory. You will be dropping anchor in 3.0 - 5.0 meters. The holding is good in mud and sand.
  • The oil jetty has now been removed. With W or NW winds, it is possible to anchor with care to the south of the marina berths. Do not anchor to close from the T end of the pontoon as this is used to med-moor larger boats. Depths here are 3.0 - 7.0 meters. Room for approximately 6 boats. Holding reasonable to good in mud and weed --s/v Seatern 07:03, 18 September 2013 (BST).

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

Submit addresses and contact details of marine related businesses that are of interest to cruisers.

Repairs/Yards

Slipway. Mobile crane (10 T). Some wood and fiberglass repairs. Sail repairs. Toilets.

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Fuel berth on the end of the central pier in the Porto Nuovo (0800 - 2000 summer; 0900 - 1700 winter). Significantly more expensive than the average (Euro 1.90 in 09/2013). Water and electricity on the piers.

Things to do Ashore

Tourism

The old town is a delightfully picturesque spot, with narrow, multi-storey fishermen’s cottages wedged together overlooking a sandy beach covered with small brightly painted fishing boats. Cefalu Cathedral is, like most Norman architecture, massive and imposing, its twin towers being visible from several miles offshore. The glory of the interior is the magnificent Byzantine-style mosaics adorning the apse and choir, including a magnificent Christos Pantokrator with remarkably lifelike features. If you are energetic, the climb up to the top of the rock is rewarded with magnificent views. There are also Hellenic and Byzantine remains to explore. With transport, it is possible to visit the shrine of Gibilmanna, set on a peak high above Cefalu, which contains an altar with a miraculous Virgin statue that restored sight and hearing to two blind and one deaf person on its consecration in 1760. Nowadays it is an important pilgrimage centre. Further inland is the spectacular mountain scenery of the Madonie National Park with its pretty mountain villages of Petralia Sottana and Petralia Soprana.

Grocery & Supply Stores

Good provisions shops in the town, but some distance away.

Eateries

Numerous restaurants and cafes along the waterfront of the old town; some very good others mediocre. Several restaurants specialist in the local dish of spaghetti con sarde (with sardines, fennel, pine nuts, raisins and garlic).

06/2015 La Triscaria restaurant and Enoteca is quite close to the marina - reviews on Trip Advisor are generally very positive. S/v Common Sense

Internet/WiFi

From the Marina.

06/15 Free, and reasonable speed also. S/v Common Sense

Laundry

Motorbike & Car Rentals

Garbage Disposal

Bins in the harbour.

Transportation

Transportation (local and/or international)

Friends

Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.

Forums

List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)

Links

References & Publications

See Italy.

Comments

We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

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{{Contributors|Lighthouse, [[User:atheneoflymington|Athene of Lymington]}}

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