Leaning back on the front of our yacht as it sped along the crystal-clear Sicilian waters — its spray cooling the sun's rays on my face — I thought, “This is the life.”
JustWith, a luxury concierge company which specializes in arranging stays in private villas and booking five-star excursions on the island, set up the half-day yacht tour. My family and I boarded the impressive vessel at the harbor in Riposto where speedboats and large mega-yachts house the rich and famous when they holiday on the island. Once out of the port, the captain opened the boat’s engines, which roared to life picking up speed as we made our way through Capotaormina on the east coast of Sicily close to Taormina.
It was exhilarating; we journeyed past beautiful beaches and colorful Italian buildings with the cloud-topped Mount Etna (Europe’s most active volcano) looming in the background. Traveling by boat brings the ruggedness of the coast and its stunning landscape to life, allowing travelers to get a different feel of the island. After about 45 minutes, the engines started to slow as we found a tranquil spot for the afternoon. While relaxing, guests can enjoy the complimentary glass of bubbly as they lay back to soak up the 86 F heat or decide to make the most of the opportunity and go for a swim in the turquoise sea.
Lifejackets are provided and, be warned, if you take the plunge you’ll be jumping into incredibly cold water. Since there were numerous jellyfish, my companions chose not to stay in for long. Afterwards, the captain’s assistant prepared a lunch of tasty pasta and salad. There’s just enough time following lunch to bask in the sun for a little longer or to continue swimming. When it was time to head back to the mainland, the captain kindly allowed my nephew to step in and steer the yacht (a dream-come-true for a 7-year-old). A natural, he smiled broadly as the yacht bounced over the waves.
Photo Credit: Carol Driver
“We are committed to the notion that quality matters, bringing our guests only the very best,” said Viviana Carcione, one of the co-founders of JustWith. “We’re driven by aspiration and innovation, resourcefulness and access, fostered through our global network. We want to make the difference.”
We cruised into the port, having enjoyed a really special day and our exciting time onboard certainly made a difference to our vacation. Further services and activities can be found on Just-With.com and prices vary based on itinerary.