(age at the date of return)

Sicily

Choose from a rage of hotels on Italy's largest island

Sicily is an island steeped in thousands of years’ worth of intriguing history. Thanks to its outpost off the south-west coast of Italy, it’s had a near-continuous ebb and flow of settlers – from North Africans and Romans to Ancient Greeks and Normans. Everything from the food to the architecture is a cultural mash.

Fans of classical history can walk through the Valley of the Temples or admire the pristine Greco-Roman amphitheatre above Taormina. Meanwhile, Syracuse is home to Ortygia – the Ancient Greek city centre.

Mount Etna rises above the island on the east coast. Hiking, wine tasting and scenic train trips are the best way to spy the spectacular sea and volcano views.

  • from£510pp

Stunning views of Europe's largest active volcano, sweeping sea vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see and gardens full colour.

  • from£480pp
South Eastern Sicily

This part of the island is known both for its natural beauty, with lovely sandy beaches and nature reserves.

  • from£540pp
Western Sicily

To see more of this fascinating island, take a drive towards the west and back in time to ancient Greece, with a visit to the Valley of the Temples at Agrigento and the Temple at Segesta, standing majestically on a ridge overlooking the sea.

  • from£618pp
Aeolian Islands

The four elements come together in this unique volcanic archipelago of 7 islands off the north east coast of Sicily.

  • from£589pp
Cefalu

Cefalù is one of Sicily’s true delights; a charming historical town packed with places of interest and a fine, long sandy beach.

Places to see in Sicily

Visit Mount Etna the most active volcano in Europe, you take a stroll up the slopes and wonder at its 'moon scape' geography. Sicily has a rich history due to its lengthy history of different occupiers, visit the ancient Amphitheatre of Taormina, it seated 10,000 first built by the Greeks and extended by the Romans.

Valley of the Temples is a great day out and one of the most significant historical sights in the world

Syracuse

Visit the archaeological site with one of the largest Greek theatres of the ancient world, the Roman amphitheatre and museum. Time to explore the historic centre of Ortigia with its maze of narrow streets.

Palermo and Cefalù

Visit the vibrant and eclectic city of Palermo with important Arab-Norman monuments and a touch of local colour in the typical “il Capo” market. Then drive to Cefalù with its stunning Byzantine mosaics.

Temples of Agrigento & Piazza Armerina

This amazing archaeological park, a UNESCO world heritage site, contains six Greek temples from the 5th and 6th centuries BC. The Roman Villa at Piazza Armerina is famous for its wonderfully preserved mosaics including the famous women exercising in their ‘bikinis'.

Lipari and Vulcano

By boat from Milazzo to Lipari visit the old town. Sail around the island to see the 'needles' and the Horse Cave. At Vulcano  swim in the warm sulphurous sea water and enjoy the beach.

Sicilian Festivals

The unique and unforgettable backdrop of the Greek Theatre in Taormina is the setting for the Taormina Arte festival, a series of music and dance performances. Taormina Film Fest held in June is world-renowned. The Greek Theatre Festival is held in Syracuse during May and June when classical Greek tragedies are performed in the amphitheatre at sunset.

Infiorata di Noto takes place on a weekend in May when the streets of the pretty town of Noto are covered in flower petals creating open air works of art.

Most towns and villages in Sicily hold their own festivals to celebrate their local food and wine. Piana degli Albanesi near Palermo holds a cannoli festival the last week of May where you can sample all sorts of tasty cakes and La Sagra del Mare is celebrated in Marzara del Vallo near Marsala in the 3rd week of August when huge frying pans are used to cook up fishy feasts.

Sicilian cuisine has been strongly influenced by the many cultures that have passed through the island. For example, the north African influence of cous cous with fish and the many desserts with honey, almonds and raisins. Dishes are flavoured with the abundant herbs that grow in the warm climate of Sicily such as rosemary, basil, parsley and oregano.

Try Sicily's local cheap fast food, arancine, which are fried rice balls with lots of different fillings. Famous pasta dishes include pesto all Trapanese with almonds and tomatoes or pasta alla Norma with aubergines.

The modern method of making ice cream was invented in Sicily and so gelato is fundamental to everyday life. Another ‘must’ are the cannoli, a cripsy pastry filled with fresh ricotta cheese and served at breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Vines have been cultivated here for centuries and there are now many varieties of grapes producing white and red wines. Try Nero d’Avola, Cerasuolo di Vittoria or Bianco d’Alcamo.