A large number of tourists go to Sicily every year. Whether it is due to the picturesque nature, crystal clear sea, historic buildings, gastronomic experience, sandy beaches, or romantic cities.
This largest Italian island will simply enchant you with a number of incredible contrasts and breathtaking views so we have prepared a list of some of the best places to visit in Sicily for you.
Sicily is full of contrasts. From the bustling centers, you can reach places that are untouched by tourists in a few minutes. Newly built buildings stand in the immediate vicinity of historical monuments. While the mountain peaks will be covered with snow, you will lie on the beach and sunbathe.
There is really no shortage of beautiful places. Here you can visit ancient buildings, magical cities and nature reserves. Let’s look at the ten most interesting now.
Fly to Sicily
Sicily has 2 international airports (Palermo and Catania)which handle flights of mostly low-cost airlines from all around Europe. You may think first before buying the flight ticket what sights would you like to see as both airports are located on different sides of the island. Fly to Catania to be closer to Mount Etna, Messina or the Aeolian Islands or fly To Palermo to see this old, beautiful city, Cefalù, Favignana Island or Corleone).
The direct flight from the UK takes around 3 hours.
Getting around Sicily
The public transport in Siciliy is rather reliable, however, the island is very large and with the best sights being spread out all around the island, the best option to see these remarkable places is by renting a car.
You can rent your car right upon arrival at the airport.
We recommend purchasing comprehensive car insurance when renting your car as the traffic might get heavier/chaotic mostly inside larger cities of Sicily and with some local drivers not being so considerate to others.
As probably most of the visitors, if you go to Sicily by air, Palermo will probably be the first place you find yourself in Sicily. Before you travel to Sicily, be sure to take at least a few days to explore this Sicilian capital. During your wanderings around the city, you should visit the Cattedrale di Palermo, to which crowds of tourists head daily. You don’t have to admire only its exterior and interior, but for a few Euros, you can have look at the very roof of the cathedral (recommended for an amazing view of the whole city and mountains behind it). You can also reach Piazza Pretoria via Quattro Canti. Here is the Fontana Pretoria, which is also called the Fontana della Vergogna (“Fountain of Shame” or “Fountain of Shame”) due to a large number of naked statues. Palermo is also the pride of two theatres: Teatro Massimo and Teatro Politeama.
A place considered the most beautiful holiday resort in Sicily. A magical city that will captivate you despite the onslaught of tourists during the high season. Narrow streets full of fragrant restaurants, beach houses, Rocca di Cefalù mountain above the town descending to the clear sea, a sandy beach and the magnificent Duomo di Cefalù.
When visiting Sicily, you should definitely not miss the city of Cefalù. Whether you spend the day walking around the city, relaxing on the beach or hike to Rocca di Cefalù (the journey might not be easy for everyone, especially during hot summer months as it involves walking on a very steep hill), you will definitely not regret it.
Mount Etna – The active volcano
Not knowing what could be a greater symbol of Sicily than the Mount Etna itself – the highest active volcano in Europe. Her visit is an amazing experience for everyone and attracts a large number of tourists. It can be seen from afar. If you are not a passionate hiker, you can get to Mount Etna by cable car and then take a jeep ride. The hike to Mount Etna is challenging but manageable and there are many ‘minibus’ tours going uphill every day (if the weather and current Etna eruptive situation allow it).
It is a long journey to visit Mount Etna from Palermo so we would recommend flying to Catania if this is your main interest when visitng the island.
This beautiful town is full of excellent restaurants, luxury shops and charming streets. The big attraction here is the Greek theatre, which offers a view of Mount Etna itself. At the same time, this city is called the most expensive destination in Sicily. However, its location high above the sea and the beauty of the city are definitely worth it.
Scala Dei Turchi
Near the town of Agrigento, on the southwest coast, there is a rock formation called Scala Dei Turchi. The stairs of the Turks can look like a snowy mountain from a distance. However, it is not ice or snow, but marl (a mixture of clay and carbonate). As the name suggests, it is an irregular staircase towering over a sandy beach. So if you go for this gem, you can make your trip more pleasant by swimming directly under the white stairs. You will probably meet a small number of tourists here. This is also due to the fact that entry is free.
Agrigento – Valle dei Templi
The Valley of the Temples, located on the southern outskirts of Agrigento, is a popular archaeological site for tourists. This place will not be a joyful experience only for history lovers. Here you will find the preserved remains of the once largest Greek temples in the world. In 1997, the Valley of the Temples was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Don’t expect such a remnant of the remains of historic buildings as in the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento here. In contrast to the Valley of the Temples, there is only one solitary Greek temple on the hill and a Greek theatre on the opposite hill. Nevertheless, Segesta is one of the most breathtaking ancient monuments on this island. The reason is not only these two historic buildings but also the breathtaking nature all around. Thanks to the distant views, green hills and the scent of nature, you will surely love the feeling of this place.
A city with a great reputation, located in the interior of the island. The town itself attracts tourists more of an attraction. Whatever comes to mind mentioning this name (perhaps The Godfather?), be sure to consider visiting it. Don’t expect romantic streets, picturesque houses or luxury restaurants here. It is worth mentioning, however, the view of the city, which is offered from the mountain located on the southeast side of the city.
The last place not to be missed is the Aeolian Islands. The peaks of volcanoes that rise above sea level are located on the northern coast of Sicily. When visiting Sicily, you should visit at least one island of this archipelago. The most visited are the island of Lipari, Vulcano and Stromboli. As in the whole of Sicily, you will be offered the most beautiful views.