Sicily sightseeing

Discover the best things to do in Sicily. Read our travel tips, discover your destination through awesome pictures and plan your sightseeing including the must-see Sicily attractions.

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About Sicily

The island of Sicily is a crossroads of Mediterranean cultures. That label doesn't just apply to the feast of historical sights from the many ancient cultures that have left their mark, but is manifested in practically everything: the exotic cuisine, the energy of the big cities and the spectacular natural wonders. In just a short stay you'll find yourself trekking to the top of a volcano, diving into pristine sea water, holding back your senses in the markets of Palermo and most likely getting your historical dates mixed up as you jump from Arab domes and Greek temples to Roman amphitheatres and Norman palaces!

When to go: The hottest months of July and August pull in the crowds who head mainly for the beaches. The hot weather can make visits to the many historic sites in land quite an effort, but sea breezes do help. Choose spring and early autumn when temperatures are a bit cooler but still very pleasant if you plan to do a lot of sights and outdoor activities. The beaches will be less crowded then too and it's possible to take a dip as late as November!

Essential eats: Arancine is a popular street food that consists of a fried rice ball filled with meat, cheese, marinara sauce and sometimes vegetables. Manicotti and other pasta dishes commonly feature marinara sauce and seafood. Sicily is where the famous cannoli originated. The delectable dessert features a sweetened ricotta cheese filling within a tubular crispy wafer.

Top wines of Sicily: Marsala, Moscato, Nero d’Avola, Primitivo, Zibibbo

Get your bearings: The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily lies off the toe of the boot of Italy, separated from the country by the narrow Strait of Messina.

Fun fact: The 14 lines of rhymed poetry known as the sonnet was invented by a local poet at the Giacomo da Lentini school.

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Palermo

City

palermo beach
hotels from $ 26.63 per night
beach

What are some of the most highly recommended attractions in Sicily?

Answer

What are some of the most highly recommended attractions in Sicily?

History buffs need to be sure to visit the ancient ruins of Agrigento, Segesta, Siracusa and the many other locations on the island. If looking for adventure, Mount Etna is the largest volcano in Europe and does not disappoint. The site is an active volcano, but precautions are taken to ensure that it is safe for tourists to visit any time of year.

Venturing through the Nebrodi Mountains reminds many tourists of Switzerland.

The western region of the island is prime wine country, which offers great touring opportunities for lovers of wine-tasting events. Sicily also has dozens of beaches, both private and public, if enjoying the surf and sun on an Italian vacation is preferred.

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Etna

Holiday Area

Etna
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Why everything tastes so good in Sicily

As a real foodie and gourmet, you won’t find any better food than in Sicily. Here’s why:

  • Eating in Sicily you can literally ‘taste’ the island’s stunning weather! Everybody who has had the pleasure to taste a tomato grown under the Sicilian sun will never ever want to have greenhouse grown veggies again.
  • You can also ‘taste’ Sicily’s turbulent history: Wine and olives from the Greeks; wheat from the Romans; sugar, almonds, marzipan, and exotic spices from the Arabs. Every conqueror has left his own delicious contribution to Sicily’s culinary traditions.
  • Could there be a better place to taste fish? The Mediterranean Sea spoils Sicilians with its unique marine diversity, which means pure indulgence for me every summer…
  • Meet the team

    A nature lover, Ugo is passionate about travel. When he’s not on the road, he spends his time planning his next trip!

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    Traveler Stories

    Why I love Sicily

    The people of Sicily never cease to amaze me with their genuine friendliness and welcoming nature.

    From the residents of local villages to the employees of the many public service occupations, Sicilians go the extra mile to ensure that guests feel at home. Sicily is truly a beautiful region with amazing people who are more than willing to share their culture.

    As often as I can, I particularly enjoy touring archeological sites in the evening because many locations feature nighttime illumination. The weather cools down at night, making such excursions very pleasant during summer. On one of my early visits to the country, the concern and warmth of the people became apparent when my taxi driver insisted on standing by in the dark until I was safely within my accommodation.

    About the author

    As an art, history and travel enthusiast, Maggie loves visiting Sicily and exploring the many archeological sites that are steeped in human history.

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    Siracusa

    City

    siracusa art 05
    hotels from $ 38.84 per night
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    Travel Tips

    Things worth remembering in Sicily

    Where to stay in Sicily

    Whichever area you choose to stay in, chances are you'll have a good mix of everything you desire from a holiday in Sicily: great beaches, extraordinary food, historical sights and natural beauty.

    East Coast

    The East Coast is centred around the city of Catania, one of the main entry points onto the island. Base yourself there and explore the coastline and historical towns such as Etna for the volcano, Acrieale with its excellent spas or Taormina, home to some incredible Greek and Roman ruins. There are plenty of quality beach resorts in the area too.

    North Coast

    Palermo, the capital of the island, is the focus point on the North Coast. Visiting the city is a true experience, and then it's easy to travel quickly to some of the best beach destinations on the island such as San Vito Lo Capo or Cefalu. The vibrant city of Trapini is on the western tip.

    South Coast

    History lovers should head south for the famous sites, such as those at Agrigento. The charming towns along the coast, like Sciacca and Mazara del Valla, are still dominated by the fishing industries and the quality seafood finds its way into the very particular local cuisine here. It's also a good option if you want to go inland to towns such as Modica and Ragusa, all melting pots of the many civilizations that have inhabited the island.

    Islands

    Sicily is not just one island! There are plenty of smaller ones just off its coastline. Panterlleria, Favignana and Lampedusa offer superb natural coastlines with wild beaches. A special mention must go to the volcanic Aeolian Islands off the northern coast, which make for truly unique holidays in places such as Vulcano.

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    Pantelleria

    Holiday Area

    pantelleria wine
    wine

    Region snapshots

    Sicily

    What are the most common and available modes of transportation?

    Answer

    What are the most common and available modes of transportation?

    All of the major cities in Sicily offer public bus and train transportation. Buses regularly travel to and from the airport as well. Just remember to locate destinations by Italian name on bus or train schedules.

    Horse-drawn carriages and taxis are available. However, rates vary between individual drivers, so be sure to read any posted signs or ask in advance if you don't see a listing. Car rental is an option, but heavy traffic and narrow streets may encourage you to opt for public transportation instead. If you're an outdoorsy type, consider renting a bicycle to pedal yourself around various attractions within a city. You'll enjoy the fresh air, and it may offer you a chance to explore something off the beaten path.

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    Catania

    City

    catania art
    hotels from $ 32.18 per night
    art

    Lampedusa

    Holiday Area

    lampedusa
    beach

    Giardini Naxos

    City

    giardini naxos art
    hotels from $ 44.38 per night
    art

    Favignana

    Holiday Area

    favignana
    beach

    Region snapshots

    Sicily

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    Taormina

    City

    taormina art
    hotels from $ 55.48 per night
    art

    Cefalù

    City

    cefalu beach
    hotels from $ 40.81 per night
    beach

    Region snapshots

    Sicily

    Favignana

    City

    favignana beach
    hotels from $ 41.2 per night
    beach

    San Vito Lo Capo

    City

    san vito lo capo beach
    hotels from $ 44.38 per night
    beach

    Agrigento

    City

    agrigento art
    hotels from $ 44.38 per night
    art

    Trapani

    City

    trapani beach
    hotels from $ 49.93 per night
    beach

    Region snapshots

    Sicily

    Region snapshots

    Sicily

    Vulcano

    City

    Vulcano Spa Photo
    hotels from $ 42.16 per night
    spa

    Gioiosa Marea

    City

    Gioiosa Marea Beach
    hotels from $ 54.37 per night
    beach

    Region snapshots

    Sicily

    Marsala

    City

    marsala beach
    hotels from $ 44.38 per night
    beach

    Noto

    City

    noto beach
    hotels from $ 48.82 per night
    beach

    Ragusa

    City

    ragusa beach
    hotels from $ 49.93 per night
    beach

    Castellammare del Golfo

    City

    castellammare del golgo beach
    hotels from $ 44.38 per night
    beach

    Region snapshots

    Sicily

    Region snapshots

    Sicily

    Sciacca

    City

    sciacca beach
    hotels from $ 38.84 per night
    beachspa

    Modica

    City

    modica beach
    beach

    Region snapshots

    Sicily

    Mazara del Vallo

    City

    mazara del vallo beach 05
    hotels from $ 42.16 per night
    beach

    Acireale

    City

    acireale art
    hotels from $ 49.93 per night
    artspa

    Mondello

    City

    mondello beach
    hotels from $ 55.48 per night
    beach

    Pantelleria

    City

    pantelleria wine
    hotels from $ 55.48 per night
    wine

    Region snapshots

    Sicily

    Terrasini

    City

    terrasini beach
    hotels from $ 55.48 per night
    beach

    Castiglione di Sicilia

    City

    castiglione di sicilia nature
    hotels from $ 44.38 per night
    nature

    Nicolosi

    City

    nicolosi nature
    hotels from $ 48.82 per night
    nature

    Piazza Armerina

    City

    piazza armerina beach
    hotels from $ 61.03 per night
    art

    Linguaglossa

    City

    linguaglossa wine
    hotels from $ 49.93 per night
    wine

    Trecastagni

    City

    trecastagni wine
    hotels from $ 44.38 per night
    wine

    Zafferana Etnea

    City

    zafferana etnea wine
    hotels from $ 72.12 per night
    wine

    Lampedusa

    City

    lampedusa beach
    hotels from $ 47.71 per night
    beach
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