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38°42.340'N, 013°10.550'E Chart icon.png
lat=38.70567 | lon=13.17583 | zoom=13 | y
Italy Ustica S.jpg
Satellite Image of Ustica

Ustica is a small island, of about 1400 inhabitants, in the Aeolian Island Archipelago and is situated some 60 nM north of Palermo in Sicily. It is a low key and charming island mostly dedicated to underwater tourists who are taken in organized groups to its numerous underwater grottos.

There is considerable diving activity from Ustica.

The tiny harbour of Cala Santa Maria at Ustica


1976 - Cappo di Bonifati to Capo San Víto
53180 - Napoli to Palermo including Isole Eolie
53181 - Plans in the Tyrrhenian Sea
52180 - Strait of Sicily-Northern Reaches


See Italy.


See Aegean to West Mediterranean Passages.


Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


The approaches to Ustica are straightforward without any dangers. The harbour at Cala Santa Maria is at the easternmost extremity of the island.



Chart of Ustica Harbor

Cala Santa Maria

Cala Santa Maria/wiki/Ustica#Cala_Santa_Maria
Harbour icon Cala Santa Maria [[Ustica#Cala Santa Maria|Cala Santa Maria]] 38°42.489'N, 013°11.803'E

There is only one anchorage, the small main harbour of Cala Santa Maria. During the season, it is invariably filled to capacity. Since there are no alternative anchorages, Ustica should only be visited in settled weather.

It is supposed to be crowded during the summer but during my two visits, both in October, I had room enough to moor side-to. --Istioploos Greece Icon.png 14:22, 14 July 2008 (MDT)

We visited by ferry from Palermo in May and were glad we had left Athene in Palermo since there was no space in the harbour. While we were there, a French yacht arrived and promptly sailed off again. --Athene of Lymington 17:30, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Marinas & Yacht Clubs



Just to the south of the ferry dock - which is actually outside the harbour breakwater - an anchorage can be found in 20m half a cable off the cliffs in the vicinity of Grotto Azzura. It is by no means an ideal anchorage but in typical settled summer weather it is doable. We were there the day after a three-day mistral had gone through and even with a large NNW swell, the mistral had produced there was sufficient protection tucked in behind here behind the land. In any case if you are arriving from the east having cruised the rest of the Aeolian islands you will not be too perturbed by the lack of all-round shelter or depth and steepness of the ground in which you attempt to anchor, as these conditions will have come to seem normal by now.--SUZIECREAMCHEESE


Water Near the fuel station
Electricity N/A (Not Available).
Toilets N/A
Showers N/A
Laundry ?
Garbage ?
Fuel There is a fuel station at the SE entrance of the harbor.

There is very tight maneuvering room. The station is attended every day from 0700 to 1900

Bottled gas N/A
Chandlers None
Repairs N/A
Internet N/A
Mobile connectivity ?
Vehicle rentals There is one agency in the village


  • Some limited shopping in the village, about 10 minutes on foot up the hill from the harbour.
  • There is a good bakery in the village.

Eating out

Good restaurants in the village.


There are twice daily ferries from and to Palermo on the mainland (fast ferry Ustica-Palermo 1 hr 15 mins; slow ferry Palermo-Ustica 2 hrs 20 mins).



Ustica has been populated since about 1500 BC by τηε Phoenicians. In ancient Greece, the Island was named Osteodes (Οστεώδης - ossuary) in memory of the thousands of Carthaginian mutineers left there to die of hunger in the 4th century BC. The Romans renamed the island Ustica, Latin for burnt, because of its black rocks. More recently during the fascist period, Ustica was used as a place for exile for the political opponents of the dictator Mussolini.

Places to Visit

The village, up the hill, is small and picturesque. It is a delight to wander in its narrow streets. Several of the houses have colourful murals painted on their outside walls. Taking nice long hikes in the island is also great fun. NE of the harbour, past the ferry terminal, are the remains of a Bronze Age village at Faraglioni.

Diving is a major activity here.

In the Town
The ferry terminal
Main street
A beautiful Ustica mural


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)



See Italy.


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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SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Lighthouse, Istioploos, Athene of Lymington

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