Sicily Holidays

An island gem

Set just off the toe of the Italian boot and rich in historical sights, natural wonders and delicious food, Sicily is a real jewel of the Mediterranean. It’s incredibly beautiful – coastal roads lead to jaw-droppingly dramatic viewpoints, and gorgeous whitewashed towns spill across emerald-green hillsides or sit next to a turquoise sea.

Sicily holidays offer the chance to discover hidden white-sand beaches and secluded coves, swim in warm azure waters, wander round Unesco World Heritage Sites or take a cable car and climb Europe’s largest active volcano, Mount Etna. Palermo, the capital, is full of ancient splendour, with exquisite palaces and lavish churches, as well as colourful street life. During the classical era, Sicily was part of Greece, and there are some astoundingly intact ancient ruins dating back to that time, including the Valley of the Temples.

The island may be culturally and scenically amazing, but holidays to Sicily are also about enjoying the good life. Sicilian food is considered a treat all over Italy and includes some of the nation’s best-loved dishes, from Arabian-influenced street food snacks to desserts dreamed up by cloistered nuns. When an island is this rich in diversity, sights and beautiful scenery, it’s unsurprising that Sicily is top of many people’s must-visit list.

Three tips for a top trip

Hire a car
Consider hiring a car, so that you can explore the island at your own pace and find places that are off the beaten track.
Visit the Aeolian Islands
Only an hour-and-a-half by hydrofoil from Sicily, these smaller sister islands are also fabulous, with incredible views and an even more relaxed pace of life.
Take a street food tour
Sicily’s street food is one of its specialities, so take a street food tour around a local market to get an insider’s view on the art of the snack.

Best attractions to see in Sicily

Valley of the Temples

With seven Greek temples supported by monumental Doric columns, this is the island’s standout site thanks to the epic remains of Sicily’s Greek era remaining remarkably intact.

Palatine Chapel

This dazzling Palermo chapel was built in the 1130s. Its eye-catching arched interior is entirely covered in jewel-like golden mosaics, topped by a superbly intricate coffered ceiling.

Mount Etna

Mount Etna is Europe’s largest active volcano. You can ascend to 2,500 metres by cable car in just 15 minutes, then walk or take a four-wheel drive to the edge of the crater.

Your Sicily questions, answered

You’re guaranteed hot weather in July and August, and it’s warm enough to swim in June and September. Spring and autumn are usually sunny, and winters are mild.

Solidified lava from the island’s two active volcanoes forms part of many buildings and streets across Sicily. Buy a prettily decorated item made from lava for yourself.

There are water sports aplenty, including surfing, kayaking and snorkelling. You can also go rafting and canyoning in the gorges, and even skiing on Mount Etna in winter.