A nature-lover’s dream, Pantelleria is the island of the unexpected – and that includes Le Maioliche. In the town centre, here are four country-style dammusi, white-domed, lava-cube dwellings. The owner’s lively decoration shows her passion for the place: a modern kitchen at one end, a worn dining table at the other, an antique credenza full of colourful plates, striking burgundy sideboards on white walls. In the bedrooms, top-quality linens clothe antique heirloom beds; to each room its own personal touch – painted ceramic door panels, contrast black rock, grey resin floors; shower rooms are a great mix of old and modern. The black and white courtyard, sheltered from the raw beauty of the wind-blasted island, grows fuchsia-coloured succulents. Your dedicated hostesses Pat and Ale love telling guests their island secrets over a generous breakfast. Be you hiker, botanist, archaeologist or diver, you will love this place, and so will the traveller in search of quiet spots in spectacular scenery; hire a boat and set off for your very own inaccessible cove. And the local wine is a rare treat – if there’s any left.