For a 2017 holiday destination that’s sun-kissed, steeped in history and serves up some serious island adventure, head to Sicily. The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily, nestled just off the toe of the boot of Italy, has a lot to offer. Boasting some of the Med’s most beautiful beaches and breathtaking countryside, Sicily holidays have a scenic spot to savour at every turn.
Whether you’re on the island to immerse yourself in Italian history and heritage or would prefer to soak up the sun on the beach, Sicily holidays let you do all this and more. Tuck into top-notch local cuisine in a beach front restaurant, scale the slopes of the enigmatic Mount Etna or make a splash in the ponds and waterfalls in the wilderness at Cava Grande. To explore the nearby islands, hop on a boat in Milazzo and set a course for the Aeolian Islands. Expect unspoilt beaches, picturesque towns and more volcanic hotspots to enjoy - including mud baths, hot springs and thermal waters warming the sea lapping at the shores.
Most popular hotels in Sicily
Hotel Dei Pini
Hotel Eden Riviera
Grand Hotel Villa Politi
Taormina Mare, Sicily
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Italian
- Time Zone: GMT +1
- Average flight time: 3h 35m
When to go
(°C) Avg. High Temp
A holiday to the island of Sicily is a holiday full of adventure. Whether you’re hiking the slopes of Mount Etna, retreading the gladiatorial footsteps on the island’s historic ruins or discovering hidden gems in Sicily’s rural villages - there’s something exciting to discover whereever you go. The often dramatic coastline is perfectly combined with the island’s dramatic and fiery volcano. From undersea shipwrecks to a theme park at the base of Mount Etna, Sicily is full of surprises. Catania is a city where many buildings were rebuilt using lava from Sicily’s volcano and beneath the streets of Syracuse kilometres of catacombs lie pillaged and barren after thousands of years. Everything from the ancient Greek temples in Agrigento to the island’s cuisine is stamped with the UNESCO seal of approval and, if you manage to discover all of Sicily’s hidden secrets, you’re just a boat ride away from more islands to explore.
Wine and Dine
The birthplace of many of Italy’s most famous dishes, Sicily is an island rich in gastronomic history. Pasta was invented here, and two popular dishes, Pasta alla Norma or Pasta con le sarde, are staples on many menus. From starters to desserts, the theme is indulgence. Fried foods, comforting carby pasta dishes and the sweet and delicious cannoli are all highlights you’ll be salivating over during your stay. Health conscious foodies needn’t worry, the Mediterranean diet still prevails on many menus. Fresh seafood, locally produced olive oils and sun-ripened vegetables bring a welcome balance to the indulgent dishes. Expect a huge amount of variety - it reflects Sicily’s many cultural influences formed over thousands of years. Be sure to try the local wines during your stay. Sicily’s wine industry has turned things around in recent years. No longer churning out mediocre wines, they are now a force to be reckoned with on any wine list.
For a family holiday destination that keeps visitors of all ages entertained, Sicily is ideal. Little ones will be seriously impressed that they’re holidaying on an island that has its own active volcano, and even more excited when they realise they can take part in activities on its slopes too! Hiking, biking and quad biking activities all get you closer to the volcano, while the EtnaLand theme park gives everyone chance to let off some steam on the rides and waterslides. The animals, botanic gardens and life-size dinosaur park at the Bioparco Di Sicilia will delight travellers young and old. For an evening of traditional Sicilian entertainment, the puppet theatre at Piccolo Teatro dei Pupi goes far beyond a Punch and Judy style show. Elaborate costumes, a wonderful theatre and a changing calendar of shows through the year keeps this show at the top of its game. With horse-riding, adventure parks and so much more to explore - plus, of course, Sicily’s incredible beaches, there’s so much for families to explore on a Sicily holiday.
Action and Adventure
As Europe’s highest and most active volcano, Mount Etna is an obvious place to seek out some adrenaline boosting fun on a Sicily holiday. The slopes are extreme with a capital E. Ski down the slopes in winter and you can take to the ashy piste in the summer. Skiing down the volcanic ash gives skiers a whole new terrain and outlook to enjoy. Hikers can scale the volcano in a day, with guided tours available. You can whizz up the steep inclines on a quad bike or, head to Etna Land for some water based fun in the award winning waterpark. Away from the volcano, there’s still plenty of Sicilian landscape to explore. Undersea caves and atmospheric ship wrecks are waiting to be explored off the coast and inland there are miles of stunning cycling routes to discover - either on a guided tour or heading out on your own rented bike. Peddle through vineyards and olive groves, cycle the coast or zip through rural villages. If you’re looking to really explore the hidden side of Sicily, head to Cava Grande. The canyon is one of Sicily’s nature reserves and the long trek rewards you with ponds and waterfalls to explore and gorgeous scenery. For less of a trek with similarly stunning scenery and wildlife, the Gole di alcantara is easier to get to.
Life's a Beach
With some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean, a holiday to Sicily gives you the chance to top up that all important vitamin D on some stunning stretches of shoreline. With a diverse coastline, there’s a beach for every kind of visitor. Rugged coasts with pebble filled coves are perfect for explorers. Idyllic soft sands and clear seas make the ideal base for sunbathers and snorkelers and deserted shores are ideal for couples looking to get away from it all and enjoy a stroll along the sands. Active beach fans can hit with waves with a range of water sports or dive in to explore the island’s wrecks and sea life. If you’re visiting in winter, the EtnaLand theme park’s water slides and huge wave pool are the ideal place to make a splash without worrying about the weather.
Sicily’s nightlife is as diverse as the beautiful island that hosts it. If you want to dance into the early hours, head to discos, clubs, beach parties and lidos - all hosting fantastic parties. For a more laid-back evening a visit to the island’s wineries and vineyards will see you relaxing and enjoying the best of Sicily’s wines and finest cuisine. For theatrical evenings with a twist head to the archeological ruins in Taormina, Syracuse or Segesta for rock, pop, opera and classical concerts in the open air. Chic evenings immersed in the pomp and splendour of the theatre’s in Palermo and Catania cannot be beaten. The colour and drama spills out onto Sicily’s streets during festival season when the night sky lights up with fireworks after the fun filled events from the traditional festivals known as Sagra’s and Kermises.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, Sicilian honeymoon or just some quality time together as a couple, Sicily is waiting to welcome and pamper you on its sun-kissed island. Whether you watch the sun dip into the sea on a sunset catamaran cruise or take a fast paced helicopter flight over the island and its neighbours - there’s a perfect moment to share around every corner. Hike up the slopes of Mount Etna to catch an early sunrise or head to the island’s vineyards for a spot of wine tasting. The Greek ruins in the charming city of Taormina transport you into another world, where you can leave the worries of everyday life behind. Hit the beaches to top up that all important tan or head to one of the many excellent spas on the island for a couples massage, rejuvenating treatment and a dip in the pool. Sicily was made for romantics. Everything from the stunning scenery to world class cuisine makes this destination a place to enjoy those once-in-a-lifetime holiday moments.
You can’t experience culture on a Sicilian holiday without making food a major part of your cultural discoveries. The Mediterranean diet is considered so important it’s been recognised by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage. And it’s easy to see why. The island, and the island’s restauranteurs, take their food very seriously and wherever you visit on the island you’re guaranteed a fantastic meal. There’s no better place to enjoy great food, great scenery and part of Sicily’s heritage than in Taormina. With Mount Etna looming on the horizon, a stroll around this city’s winding streets takes in medieval buildings, cafes and restaurants all in a quintessentially Italian setting. On the outskirts of the city the views from Greek ruins over the rest of the island really are breathtaking. Travel further back into Sicily’s past with a trip to Agrigento. Here, in the Valley of the Temples, are some of the most astonishing examples of Greek architecture. A UNESCO archaeological park, it’s one of Sicily’s most famous attractions. Seven temples stand in the sunshine - but it’s the Temple of Concordia that really steals the show.