Its name seems to derive from “Insula Fimi”, the island of Euphemius, named after the Byzantine governor of Sicily. Geographical isolation, which offers protection from human aggression, and the wealth of food resources are the distinguishing features of this island, allowing the settlement and rapid numerical expansion of one of the most important colonies of Yellow-legged Gulls in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The Isola delle Femmine Oriented Nature Reserve was established in 1997 by the Sicilian Region and has been managed by Lipu since 1998.
The island is a strategic point during migrations: species such as the Cormorant, Grey Heron, Kingfisher and Little Egret stop here to regain their strength before setting off again, as do numerous small passerines, some of which are also nesting, such as the Black Redstart, Crested Lark and Yellow Wagtail, as well as birds of prey from the surrounding areas such as the Buzzard and Peregrine Falcon. In addition to various species of birds, there are also the Field Lizard, the Green Whip Snake, the Wild Rabbit, numerous colourful butterflies together with various beetles. The marine reserve area includes some of the most interesting seabeds surrounding the island, whose main characteristic is the variety of environments.
Services and facilities
A nature trail is being created that will run along the perimeter of the island. The Oasis Visitor Centre is located in a comfortable small villa, where parking is possible, on the seafront of Isola delle Femmine, overlooking the island. In the nearby town of Isola there are ample opportunities for accommodation and catering.
To visit in the area
The nearby Zingaro Nature Reserve, a splendid example of a coastal environment with rich Mediterranean flora and fauna. And, of course, the city of Palermo.
Locality Isola delle Femmine (PA): Via Piano Ponente 25. The Reserve is located about 500 metres from the coast, in the municipality of Isola delle Femmine, 15 kilometres from Palermo and 7 from the Falcone-Borsellino airport (Punta Raisi).
Open to the public: The Reserve is open to the public all year round, every day, although guided tours are only available by prior arrangement (8.30am-1pm and 2.30pm-5.30pm). Guided tours for groups or school classes must be booked at the visitor centre. Possible closure during the winter months due to sea conditions that do not allow docking on the island.
How to get there: From Palermo, take the ring road towards Trapani, take the A29 motorway (Palermo-Trapani), exit after about 5 kilometres at the Isola delle Femmine junction, continue through the centre of the town and follow the signs for “Torre in terra”. The Oasis offices are located a few metres from the tower.
Surface area: 15 hectares
Telephone/Fax: 091 8616167
Manager: Vincenzo Di Dio