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.
Plan your trip to Italy. Find the hidden gems of our Country and the best places to stay.
Let images and stories inspire you.Journey through Italy.
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.
As a real foodie and gourmet, you won’t find any better food than in Sicily. Here’s why:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Main points of interest
Need any help
where to stay?