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view of iconic white boats docked at the port in Italy

Sicily holidays are perfect for a family adventure or solo exploration. Famed for its rich history, stunning beaches, delicious food and beautiful landscapes. You may even recognise a handful of these iconic locations on the silver screen. But there is so much more to uncover about this Italian Island. Delve into our guide for Sicily holidays to ensure you tick off all the best attractions to visit and eat in the best restaurants on the island.

Table of Contents:

Sicily Key Facts

  • Language spoken: Italian and Sicilian, however many people on the island speak French, German, Arabic and Romanian also.
  • Capital City: Palermo
  • Area size: 25,711km²
  • Island group: Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Population size: Sicily has an estimated population of 5 million.
  • What is the island known for?: Sicily is known for its beaches, beautiful architecture, vineyards and cathedrals.

3 Reasons to Visit Sicily

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. This large Italian island boasts so many reasons to visit that choosing a top three was difficult. Travellers flock from all around the world to feel its magic, experience Sicily’s warming weather and to see the beauty it holds. But our top 3 reasons why you should book a Sicily holiday are:

  • Incredible Wines – Sicily may not be the first location you think of for award winning wines, but over the last decade or two, it has begun to make its mark. Most notable are the vineyards that have produced vintages grown on the unique terroir of Etna (the hillside of the active volcano). If sampling Italian wines is on your Sicilian holiday list, be sure to book into a vineyard tour.
  • Dreamy Beaches – Sicily’s beaches are the perfect escape for a relaxing break from everyday life. The popular Italian island is surrounded by crystal blue waters ideal for cooling off during your hot Sicily holidays. Adults and kids alike can share the joy the golden shorelines bring on your next family holiday to this Italian island.
  • Fascinating History – More than just a beautiful location, Sicily is one of the best Italian islands for history. Steeped in historic ruins, a Sicily holiday wouldn’t be complete without visiting the historic sites which can date back to the 3rd century BC. Popular choices to explore include the city of Syracuse, the Valley of the Temples or the greco-Roman Theatre of Taormina, which was used in the 1999 film The Talented Mr Ripley.
sandy beach bay surrounded by crystal clear blue waters

Best Places to Stay in Sicily

Sicily offers many different types of holiday accommodations. From luxury Italian villas on the beach to all-inclusive hotels. Here are three of the best regions to stay in during your Sicily holidays:

  • Palermo – Sicily’s capital is located on the north coast of the island. The walkable city is the perfect place to lose yourself and relax in the atmosphere Sicily has to offer its guests. What makes this area even better is the short distance from the airport. Located just 28.4km away from the city centre, you can begin exploring in as little as 30 minutes out of the airport!
  • TaorminaTaormina is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Island of Sicily. Even more so thanks to the rise in popular TV and films set in Sicily, such as White Lotus season 2 and The Godfather. The area’s winding streets and breathtaking cliff landscapes are the perfect backdrop to your Sicily holiday.
  • Catania – Sicily’s second largest city is Catania. Located in the shadows of Mount Etna, on the Ionian Sea, Catania can be a wonderful location to spend your holiday. Be sure to locate The Fish Market held daily. Don’t worry, fish is not all that is sold here! It’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in the culture of Sicily, while eating delicious cuisines.

4 Best Places to Eat in Sicily

Sicily has a wide range of restaurants to cater for you while on holiday. From traditional Italian cuisine to modern flavours which provide a special twist. Here are some of the best places to eat during your Sicily holidays.

  • Duomo Ristorante – For Michelin-starred quality, try Duomo Ristorante. Not only is the food superb, you also have the luxury of hilltop views and historic sights while you dine.
  • Osteria Ballarò– For seasonal food, sourced from small artisan producers, try Osteria Ballarò.
  • Osteria Da Rita – For authentic Sicilian food the whole family can enjoy, try Osteria Da Rita.
  • Gourmet 32 – For a contemporary twist on classic Sicilian dishes, try Gourmet 32. Perfect for a luxurious date night for any couples.

Best Activities to Do in Sicily

Whether you are on a family holiday to Sicily or on a romantic couples retreat, there are lots of things to do on this large Italian island. Here are just a few examples of what Sicilian holidays could involve:

  • Ride Up Mount EtnaMount Etna is hard to miss when you’re on holiday in Sicily. Many would question why someone would want to climb up an active volcano, but it’s an opportunity not to be missed. There is a cable car which can take you to 2,900m. If you want to go further, you must be part of a guided tour.
  • Drink Volcanic Wine – Vineyard tours can always be a highlight of a holiday. What can make it even more special is tasting volcanic wines on the lower slopes of Mount Etna. This unique experience is understandably popular, so ensure you book in advance.
  • Historic Temple & Tomb Tours – Family holidays to Sicily can be an opportunity to learn about the ancient sites which give the Greek islands a run for their money. The tombs and temples to try and visit include the Valley of the Temples near Agrigento, and Tempio della Concordia.

There are also many wonderful blue flag beaches with calming views across the island and surrounding water. Not to mention lots of local bars, restaurants and shops worth exploring too.

How to Travel to Sicily

Travelling to your Sicilian holiday can be relatively easy thanks to direct flights from London as well as further afield.

  • By plane – Whether you are venturing from Europe or further afield, flying into this Italian island may be the easiest option. Sicily has two national airports (Lampedusa and Pantelleria) and four international airports in Catania, Palermo, Trapani and Comiso. You can reach Sicily by plane from the majority of European cities or on long haul flights from further afield. Similar to finding direct flights to Greece, direct flights from the UK are easy to come by with all major UK airlines (British Airways, TUI, EasyJet, Ryanair). The major airports which fly to Sicily include:
  • By ferry – Sicily has a ferry service which is connected to Genoa, Naples, Sardinia and Malta.
  • By train – You can reach the Italian island of Sicily by train as there are connections from Rome and Naples to Messina.

Inspiring Italian Island Adventures

We hope this guide has been a helpful introduction to everything that awaits you on a Sicily holiday. All that’s left for you to do is pack your eco-friendly travel essentials and make sure to remember your passport! If Sicily isn’t your first holiday choice, why not check out our tips for the Netherlands or journey further afield with a holiday to America? For regular travel inspiration, follow Virtual Wanderlust on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.


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