Located at the southern tip of mainland Italy, the magical island of Sicily is packed full of things to do and places to enjoy. If you want to experience the true essence of Italian culture, stunning natural beauty, delicious authentic cuisine and ancient archaeological sites, this is the place for you. This post contains some suggestions for what you should see and do when you visit Sicily.
WHERE TO VISIT
With so much on offer, it can be tricky to figure out the must-see spots. If in doubt, make sure you add the following to your destinations list.
Nestled on the east coast, this famous volcano is the highest in Europe, sitting at 3,327 m. As it’s active, the landscape is truly special. There are many hiking trails through woods and orchards, as well as skiing spots in winter and excursions to the crater, where you can hear the rumbling of the volcano.
This is the capital of the island and it’s packed full of beautiful architecture and cultural wonders. As you meander through the picturesque streets, you can explore famous sights, such as Palermo Cathedral, the Palatine Chapel and the Royal Palace, which date back to the 9th century! Then, grab a cannoli and a coffee as you soak up the sun in a street-side café.
This picturesque town is in the northeast of the island and sits on a high hilltop very close to Mount Etna. Thanks to its location, visitors can enjoy fantastic views over the Mediterranean Sea as they wander around the town, which is full of ancient architecture, charming cafes and great shops. A visit to Teatro Antico di Taormina is a must. It’s an ancient Greek/Roman theatre that’s still in use today.
WHAT TO EAT
Food draws many tourists to Sicily who want to sample some of its world-famous dishes. It’s a hugely fertile island growing a wide variety of produce, such as olives, oranges, grapes, almonds, pistachios and more. Plus, its coastline offers a range of delicious seafood, so you can enjoy plenty of fresh fish dishes during your visit. Some of the best plates are listed below.
Mouth-wateringly delicious, these stuffed rice balls are coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried, creating the perfect combination of soft and crunchy. They’re usually filled with either meat ragu, cheese, seafood or seasonal vegetables.
These are the local catch in Sicily, so you can expect them to be fresh and tasty. They’re often used in pasta dishes or served on their own with accompanying sides.
This hugely popular dish is made using tomatoes, eggplant and delicious ricotta.
This is a type of pizza often eaten on the street, but it’s very different from the typical thin-based Italian pizza. The base of sfincione is thick, spongy and seriously tasty. It’s often topped with cheese, olive oil and onions.
WHICH ATTRACTIONS TO SEE
There are plenty of amazing attractions in Sicily, so you’ll be spoilt for choice during your holiday. Make sure you take the time to see the following.
THE VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES
Located in Agrigento, the Valley of the Temples is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most famous archaeological attractions on the island. It’s a large park containing eight temples, plus remains dating back to around 430 BC.
VENDICARI NATURE RESERVE
This large nature reserve is one of the most beautiful areas on the island. It’s a popular birdwatching destination, with flamingos, herons, white and black storks, spatulas and more, depending on the time of year. The rocky coastline also makes for the perfect place to snorkel.
Here, you’ll find around 6 km of beautiful Mediterranean coastline, with sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters perfect for a day embracing the sun. There are lots of opportunities to spot wildlife, including marine life, so make sure you take your snorkel with you to the beach.
Whether you love to explore historic architecture, spend time sampling traditional cuisine or seeing the very best of mother nature, there truly is something for everyone in Sicily. Why not book your trip today?