A long coastline full of gorgeous beaches, legendary food and some of the finest art and culture around, it is a great destination for all tastes. Not forgetting the weather – the sunshine is pretty amazing, too. Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean, and has all the charm and history of a holiday in Italy with its own unique culture, away from the mainland. It’s easy to get around on the island, so you can have the best of both worlds with the hustle and bustle of the cities, such as the capital Palermo, and the eastern coast such as Cafalu for traditional sun and sea.
Can’t decide what you want from your holiday this summer? Check out more recommendations on where to go in July
If you love art or you’re looking to soak up a little culture on your summer holiday, you can’t go wrong with Sicily. It has a fascinating, mythical history which has resulted in some fantastic sights. The capital Palermo is home is Baroque architecture and a variety of castles, galleries and museums. The site of ancient Greek temples, the Valley of the Temples is also well worth a look. To explore some of the island’s more natural heritage, plan a day trip to the staggeringly huge Mount Etna, the island’s sacred mountain.
For a holiday in Sicily off the beaten tracks, we recommend you explore inland – less touristy than the beaches – and get close to the local scenery. To really savour the unique atmosphere of this country, head to Catania. Warning: the little city, once elegant, has lost its lustre. But it is precisely its rough temperament and its somewhat dilapidated streets, its Roman and Greek ruins and its Baroque monuments that must be visited. Its soul is hidden somewhere between the clamour, fury and laughter at the Piazza Pardo Fish Market.
To adopt a local vibe and pull off a successful getaway in Sicily, start by taking your time: a late dinner, then an ice cream at a terrace cafe. Finally, well after midnight, head out to one of the nightclubs. It’s all happening in Palermo, particularly in the city centre.
There are many all-night pizzerias in Palermo. A holiday in Sicily can include nightlife and food together!
Also in Palermo, the Grigoli Francesco is known to be one of the best techno joints in Europe (and yes, in Sicily). For some jazz, head to the unmissable Villa Costanza.
Whether you fancy a cultural break to attack the listed sites or to kick back on the beach, a holiday in Sicily can give you all of this!
All year round, Sicily hosts numerous traditional festivals, which are often religious. If you prefer to party, go to the World Festival on the Beach in May. Spring is definitely the best time to go to Sicily. Avoid summer, as it is too hot, especially in August, when holidaymakers flock to the island from the mainland.
If you’d like to spend some time during your holiday in Sicily lazing on the beach, head to the fishing village of Celafu, on the northern coast, which offers exceptional white sand beaches. Between swims, climb up La Rocca to admire the scenery.
Although sea transport is well developed, particularly to the mainland, Sicily still has a serious shortage of infrastructure. On the other hand, the roads are in rather good condition. We suggest you take the bus or a car. Note that Sicilians have a rather “sporty” way of driving!
The food in Sicily is unique, and always delicious. If you’re up for trying new things, you’ll love the mix of Mediterranean flavours with Greek influences. The seafood is particularly good, and you’ll find plenty of Italian classics such as pizza and pasta. One favourite on the island is arancini di riso, which is fried rice balls filled with cheese or meat. For nightlife, the bigger resort towns such as Cafalu are good for a choice of bars and clubs, or if you’re sticking to Palermo, there are plenty of alfresco bars and restaurants that are great places to relax on a warm evening.
If Italy is a foodie paradise, then Palermo is its capital! Are you ready for a food-themed holiday? Sicilians have developed an art of cooking mixing aristocratic and popular cultures, and Arab and European influences. Lunch can easily start at 1:00 p.m. and finish around 4:00 p.m.
As always, the best addresses are in the little spots that you stumble across when out and about. However, don’t miss: Ristorante Cin Cin, in the heart of the city in an old historical building, and Corvo dei Beati Paoli, close to Steri castle, which serves pizzas to make your Italian grandmother green with envy.