Things to see and do
Every time we visit Sicily, we discover more things to see and do. As the island's so large we recommend hiring a car to really make the most of your holiday. Although you can book excursions locally if you'd rather not drive. Here's some of our top things to see in Sicily:
- Valley of the Temples: One of the most famous historical sites in Sicily, the Valley of the Temples showcase ancient Greek architecture with a series of well-preserved temples and monuments.
- Mount Etna: It dominates the skyline of Eastern Sicily and often puts on displays of lava, which you can see from Taormina. Get up close on a guided excursion where you can ascend to the summit and be rewarded with stunning views of the coastline.
- Aeolian Islands: A visit to the Aeolian Islands is a must-do. These seven islands feel a world away from Sicily, yet can be reached in under an hour by ferry. Head to Vulcano for the therapeutic mud baths, Lipari for the bustling harbour and seafood restaurants or Salina for the green mountain landscapes.
- Taormina: It's Sicily's most popular resort for good reason. The views are amazing and the history throughout the town makes exploring a dream. Don't miss the Greco-Roman amphitheatre.
- Cefalu: The town's known for its nice beach but we love the history here. The streets are mostly pedestrianised and it's small enough to walk around in a day.
- Palermo: It's one of Sicily's largest cities - visit for its history and fresh food in the daily markets.
- Syracuse: We can't believe Syracuse isn't on more people's radar. The old town of Ortigia is one of the prettiest we've seen with cobbled streets, baroque buildings and a coastal path round the old walls.
Food & drink
Sicilian cuisine is some of the best in Italy and it’s definitely the most diverse. Throughout the year there's festivals for almost every food you can think of – Sicilians take their cuisine very seriously!
Olives and olive oil are produced here with lots of varieties and pistachios are grown in the foothills of Mount Etna. You can normally find them sprinkled on top of canoli, a sweet, ricotta filled desert. The island's known for its street food – try arancini (rice-filled balls), scaccia (a type of sandwich) and calia (roasted, salted chickpeas). Head to a market like the daily one in Ortygia for the most authentic flavours. Some of the island's traditional dishes include caponata, pasta alla norma and pasta with sardines. You’ll need at least a week here to try them all.
We can’t visit Sicily without having a glass of Malvasia wine. Head straight to the source and stop at Capofaro Resort in Salina for a delicious lunch with a glass of red and sea views. The slopes of Mount Etna create the perfect conditions to grow grapes. Try Passopisciaro, Donnafugata, Gulfi for some notable labels.