Planning your trip and still confused about what to see in Sicily and where to go?
Itineraries are multiple, and we will try to cover the best ideas in further articles. However, here are some tips that may be useful for initial planning.
What to see in Sicily if you love nature, trekking or volcanoes
Whether you are into trekking or not, Etna should be on your list unless you’ve really had enough of mountains and volcanoes in your life. Etna is best explored with the base in Catania, Acireale, Giarre or Taormina, or nearby towns. It is only possibly with direct public transport connection from Catania downtown. Acireale downtown and Giarre downtown aren’t typical tourist destinations, but their coastline and suburbs are among the most charming and scenic destinations in Sicily.
Surely, Etna isn’t the only natural wonder worth exploring here. Riserva dello Zingaro, Stromboli, Calamosche, the Nebrodi mountains are just some of the names worth considering for a visit.
What to see in Sicily if you appreciate history and archeology
Classical Heritage in your Sicily Itinerary
Agrigento with its Valley of the Temples in the south, Villa Romana del Casale (near Piazza Armerina in central Sicily), Segesta and Selinunte (pick at least one!), Necropoli di Pantalica near Syracuse and Taormina’s Greek Theatre with its breathtaking views are top attractions if you are into classical heritage and Greek ruins.
Of course, Siracuse Archaeological Park is a must and should be on a priority list!
More History, Mosaics, Architecture?
Add to the list above Palermo’s magnificent architectural monuments – living proudly across times and eras. Then add a scenic Erice with its castles, Monreale and Cefalu cathedrals and respective charming downtowns.
Explore Syracuse and its downtown Ortigia, then Ragusa Ibla, Modica, and of course Noto for their special baroque masterpieces and atmsophere.
Follow to unveil Catania’s bustling center stuffed with late baroque masterworks all accomplished in black lava stone. And proceed north for Forza d’Agro, Castelmola or Savoca near Taormina – and you’ll have enough of architecture and history for the next year to come.
But then.. what about doing something different?
Yes, you can find amazing sites of the world heritage importance in less touristy places. Caltagirone, Scicli, Caltanissetta, Enna, Randazzo, Sciacca, Marsala, Mazzara del Vallo, Piazza Armerina, Trapani are less touristy and well worth a day-visit if you have time. Want even a more genuine but historically significant place?
Try Bronte, Adrano at the backyard of Etna, Castelbuono at the Madonie or Montalbano Elicona in the Nebrodi. Without a doubt, Agira is topping the off-the beaten-track list, probably the most undervalued touristically town in Sicily.
Agira is best to discover with a local who will probably show you pieces of ancient Greek theater in his garden or the remains of something aged deep centuries B.C.
What to see in Sicily if you fancy the beach?
The Aeolian islands, Favignana, Ustica or even Lampedusa are well worth a separate trip, but there are also great places on Sicily’s mainland!
Here is a brief list of the areas to explore:
- Mazzaro bay and Isola Bella in glorious Taormina
- Giardini Naxos with its sandy coast – untypical for that part of Sicily (if you stay to the north of Catania)
- Marzamemi, Fontane Bianche to the south of Siracuse province
- Scenic Faraglioni coast beside busy-all-year-round Catania
- Castellammare del Golfo, and Scopello near Trapani
- Scala dei Turchi near Agrigento
- San Vito lo Capo and of course Cefalu
- Marina di Ragusa, Donnalucata and Pozzallo in the south-east
- Mondello near Palermo, especially out of the high season
– are just some of the obvious choices to explore.
All of these are within relatively easy reach by public transport in high season. If you have a car – the options easily double.
Wine and Dine
There’s another good example of the fact that there are no poor choices in Sicily!
Wherever you go, you can find a feast for your senses.
And even though a typical local can easily drive 50 km and more to go for a dinner in a particular place on a regular Saturday, you will easily find something close wherever you stay. Palermo, Trapani, Sciacca, Ragusa, Catania, Acireale, the Madonie Mountains, the Nebrodi mountains, Enna, Siracuse are famous for local specialties whether it is seafood, black pork, cheeses, couscous, vegetable dishes, street food or sweets.
However, Sicily is a real parade of food – any village and town will have a surprise to offer! For the wine Marsala, Mt. Etna and Avola are home areas for the best wineries in the region!
Now as you have a long list of suggestions and ideas, it is up to you to sit down with a good map and outline your own Sicily itinerary. This article will give you a start, and you can explore more on this web-site.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want a portion of constructive criticism on your plan. It’s our pleasure to help curious minds explore our wonderful island!