Off the East coast of Sicily, by the town of Aci Trezza, lie the Isole dei Ciclopi, or Cyclopean Isles: three curious column-shaped islands formed from consolidated lava. It is believed that these isles were once attached to mainland Sicily. In his book the Odyssey, Homer creates a story about the way in which they got detached: according to the legend, when Odysseus visited Sicily, it was inhabited by the Cyclopes – hence the name of the isles. After being captured by the Cyclops Polyphemus, Odysseus blinds him by drilling a wooden stick into his eye, and he manages to escape with his men. As they are sailing away, the blinded and enraged Polyphemus seeks vengeance by throwing these very rocks at them.
My Sicilian friend Salvo, who is an avid kayaker, took me on a kayak excursion around these isles! You can also paddle, or rent a boat to explore the isles up close.