Porto Empedocle, Sicily, Italy
Porto Empedocle from seaward - Click for larger view
Porto Empedocle is the harbour of the large industrial town of Agrigento in Sicily. As one would expect from a large commercial port, the harbour is noisy and not particularly clean. However, the inner harbour has good depths and is secure in all weathers. Porto Empedocle is also the nearest harbour for a visit to the World Heritage site of Agrigentum - rather appropriately, since it is named in honour of the 5th century BC Greek philosopher and poet Empedocles, the ancient city's most famous resident.
The prevailing wind on the south coast of Sicily during the summer is a SW seabreeze, which rarely gets up much above force 4-5. Most of the harbours along the south coast are liable to swell in strong southerly winds which are, however, rare outside the winter months.
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)
- 2123 - Capo Granitola to Capo Passero
- 917 - Da Capo Rassello ad Augusta e Isole Maltesi
Also see World Cruiser's Nets.
The harbour is approached from SSE between a long western and shorter eastern breakwater. Depths in the entrance are in excess of 8.0 metres and in the inner harbour 6.0 - 8.0 metres.
Check-in facilities (for Customs and Immigration)
Porto Empedocle is a port of entry to Italy.
Please submit details about facilities for checking-in, location of immigration & customs, etc.
Yachts berth on the second of the three pontoons operated by Diporto Sea Assistance immediately to port on entering the inner harbour. Up to 100 yachts can berth here. Maximum length 24 metres. Water and electricity is available on the pontoons. Toilets and showers. Typical charges (Aug 2014): €50 for a 12 metre yacht. Although the pontoons are very full it seems Giuseppe, the very helpful manager, will find you a spot if necessary. If you want to make sure maybe call ahead.
- Diporto Sea Assistence
- Contact: Giuseppe Filippi
- Information: +39 392.5216883
- Mob: +39 389.4876828
- Tel: +39 (0)922.530024
If you are in need of help talk to Giuseppe; he is a well connected local and will go the extra mile to help you.
Marinas & Yacht Clubs
It was formerly possible to anchor in the outer harbour in 4.0 - 5.0 metres in mud, clear of the fairway, although shelter is rather poor in southerly winds. However, anchoring in the outer harbour is no longer permitted and recently (August 2014) a yacht was heavily fined for doing so.
Offshore Islands and Groups
Yacht Repairs and Services
Submit addresses and contact details of marine related businesses that are of interest to cruisers.
Slipway and mobile crane (50T). Engine, electrical repairs. Steel and fibreglass repairs. Sail repairs. Divers.
Fuel, Water, & Electricity
Fuel station on the NE quay (0800 - 1300 and 1500 - 1800). Water and electricity on the pontoons.
Things to do Ashore
Although the modern town is somewhat featureless, it does boast some interesting mediaeval buildings, including the 14th century century cathedral and the 13th century Church of Santa Maria dei Greci ("Our Lady of the Greeks"), which was constructed on the site of an ancient Greek temple. Most of the finds from the Greek and Roman occupation of the area are displayed in the town’s archaeological museum. There are also some spectacular cliff walks in the area. However, the main attraction of Porto Empedocle is its proximity to the ancient Greek city of Akragas, better known under its later Roman name of Agrigentum. The Valle dei Temple (Valley of the Temples) here contains the remains of five Doric temples along a ridge overlooking the modern city of Agrigento. Of the five temples, the most complete is the Temple of Concord, built around 440 BC.
Grocery & Supply Stores
Numerous supermarkets and provisions shops in the town.
Numerous restaurants in the town. As Porto Empedocle is an important fishing harbour, fish is especially good here.
From internet cafes.
Motorbike & Car Rentals
Several outlets in the town.
Bins around the inner harbour.
- On exiting the harbour, turn right and walk along the main road for about 1km, where you will then find a bus terminal on the right, with buses up to Agrigento about once per hour.
List popular passages/routes, timing, etc.
Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.
List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)
- Porto Empedocle at the Wikipedia
References & Publications
- On first entering, and encouraged by a helpful person ashore, we tied to what transpired as being the fuel dock. The Guardia Costiera arrived a few minutes later. They were very courteous but advised that we must go and anchor in the West part of the harbour. One yacht that had arrived earlier and managed to get stern to at one end of the fuel area managed to persuade the Costiera to let them remain stern to. Later, once at anchor, we were surprised to see big ferries and cruise ships entering and mooring along the main wharf. Oct 2009 --Wayward
- We anchored in the outer harbour. On dinghying in, we did not see anywhere one could park a yacht. The water there is pretty oily too. The harbourmaster was concerned for us because of forecast SE gales, and said if the wind 'improved' (i.e. increased) we should tie up to the main wall behind a barge. It was a bit rolly, but otherwise fine. April 2013 --LifePart2
Last Visited & Details Checked (and updated here)
Date of member's visit to this Port/Stop & this page's details validated:
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