Who we are
We are a permaculture hostel in the south of Sicily. Founded by me, Siri (Iris Herrmann) and my son Paul.
I, Siri Weltenseglerin, did not have a home of my own for 7 years - I lived on boats, worked as a skipper, explored the Mediterranean and crossed the Atlantic 2x, braving many a storm. But at some point the desire for a home became overwhelming: to have more social contacts, to create something of my own, to have a home base and finally to be able to dance Tango Argentino again. I've always said that when I've had enough of sailing, I'd like to open a hostel somewhere in this world. I couldn't imagine living alone anymore and so I am looking forward to this way of living together in a community.
I`m Paul, an enthusiastic biologist with a heart for permaculture. I studied molecular biology in Berlin for eight years and am now involved in the realization of this project; however, unlike Siri, I do not live at VELA VEGA year-round. I learned how human life can function not alongside but with nature during a six-month stay on a permaculture farm in the heart of Nicaragua. My main interest is to discover and understand symbioses in nature and finally to incorporate this idea of a common togetherness into our permaculture project. In doing so, an awareness of the beauty of nature and an understanding of man's dependence on the preservation of his ecosystem are of great importance. Nature is our greatest teacher, who can show people how to be happy with themselves and their environment.
What we offer
Far away from the stress of everyday life, we live in a green ecological oasis directly by the sea, which offers space for development and tranquility. We want to create an alternative concept of living, where hostel guests live together with workshop participants and leaders as well as our volunteers and thus experience a diverse togetherness. Meeting and exchange are very important to us. Therefore we offer workshop leaders to organize trainings, seminars, Pilates or Yoga retreats, art workshops, dance evenings and much more on our large terrace with sea view and in the common rooms. In addition, we are also open to make our premises available for therapeutic settings, such as dance therapies or family constellations.
We have designed the garden of our hostel not only as a habitat for plants and animals, but we also spend social afternoons there in the hammocks of the palm garden or common evenings at our fireplace by the campfire. Here at VELA VEGA we can cook, dance, garden and generally celebrate life together. We want to give all travelers and workshop participants a home for the time of their stay; a place of experience and well-being.
Where we are
We fell in love - in love with bella Sicilia, with the dolce vita, the sun, the sea, the endless hospitality of the Sicilians and of course with the culinary variety of Italian food and the delicious wine of this region. In May 2021 we found this beautiful villa between Licata and Gela, on a pristine natural beach. It quickly became clear to us that we wanted to create our, permaculture-influenced, living space here.
In front of VELA VEGA you can camp for a few days in the dunes overlooking the sea. Park4night van travelers and campers we give the opportunity to use our outdoor shower and our planned compost toilet on their Sicily round trips. We also offer motorcycle travelers or bicycle travelers to spend a few nights with us. For those who do not want to spend only beach vacations in Sicily, we also offer excursions in the nature to the limestone terraces Scala dei Turchi, the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, typical Sicilian ceramic art in Caltagirone or the excavation site of Villa Romana in Piazza Armerina, and of course to the medieval towns of Licata and Butera with their small castles.
How do we want to implement this
We only have this one world - with all its beauties, resources, problems and solutions. In all the years we have traveled, we have tried to keep our ecological footprint as small as possible. We have avoided flying and have sailed or hitchhiked instead. We would now like to continue this and develop VELA VEGA into a sustainable permaculture project. To do this, we are creating a self-sufficient garden, equipping the hostel with solar panels and its own water treatment system, and striving to live as plastic-free as possible. To counteract Sicily's garbage problem, we organize garbage collection campaigns on the beach, for example, and try to promote garbage avoidance.
We want to set an example of nature conservation not only to the guests of our hostel, but also to the people around us, and together develop a culture of respect and mindfulness. Permaculture for us means living in harmony with people and nature.