A Sicilian seafront gem

Just 40 kilometres east of Palermo, the magnificent Sicilian resort town of Cefalu seems almost to have risen from the azure sea. Jutting out into the ocean beneath dramatic cliffs, Cefalu holidays are impossibly picturesque, and the resort has as its centrepiece a beautiful Norman cathedral with twin towers and a gilded Byzantine interior.

As well as architectural beauty, Cefalu is naturally blessed, with a perfect half-moon beach of golden sands within walking distance of the town, and several other beautiful bays within easy reach. The gorgeous turquoise sea here is perfect for swimming, snorkelling, diving and whatever water sports you fancy, as well as boat trips to explore the coves along the coast. It’s also a great springboard for investigating further afield, perhaps via a trip to Mount Etna or Syracuse. For a Sicilian resort that really stands out for its beauty, history, cuisine and coastal romance, holidays to Cefalu are a very savvy choice.

Your Cefalu questions, answered

Cefalu is one of Sicily’s most popular and picturesque resorts, but there is plenty of accommodation at all levels and you can eat out inexpensively, too.
Yes – Cefalu has a mild Mediterranean climate. The hottest season is from June to August, but spring and autumn weather is usually lovely, and the winter months are often sunny, too.
Cefalu has the perfect combination of long hot summers and mild winters. If you love lounging on the beach, summer is a good time to go. But spring and autumn can be even better. With good temperatures and fewer crowds, they are ideal times for a holiday. These seasons are also good for exploring the cathedral and shops, as well as relaxing with coffee and fresh pastries in the piazza. If you fancy a hike in the mountains or a few day trips by car, the cooler temperatures in early or late winter may suit you better.
There’s some superb street food on offer, including ‘arancini’ (fried rice balls) and the local version of focaccia. You can also eat incredibly good seafood and Sicilian dishes in local restaurants.
Cefalu has a good mix of golden sands and secluded rocky coves. Cefalu beach is the most popular spot. It’s in the centre of town so easy to get to. There are plenty of facilities and you’re close to hotels and sightseeing attractions. But it’s not the only good beach. Settefrati and Mazzaforno beaches have plenty of space in natural surroundings. And the small coves of Mendolido and Kalura are just as perfect for tranquil escapes. Mendolido is a sandy bay hidden along the coast. While Kalura beach has a wilder landscape that’s very peaceful.
With fun-filled resort hotels, nice beaches and relaxed dining, there’s plenty for families to love about Cefalu. The Αcqua Verdi water park is just 10 minutes drive down the coast. The medieval winding streets and beautiful buildings make it a good choice for a romantic break too. With ancient monuments and museums to discover, it’s not short on culture either. Foodies will enjoy Cefalu’s cafes and restaurants, which serve some of the best Sicilian cuisine. And nature-lovers will find the mountains and surrounding countryside hard to pass up.
Cefalu has a weekly market with a colourful array of fruit, vegetables and cheese, as well as clothes. But it’s not the only place for shopping. This lovely old town is full of quaint little shops that you’ll love exploring. You’ll find bakeries selling tempting fresh pastries and traditional shops selling authentic crafts. There’s more than one opportunity to find souvenirs.
For its size, Cefalu has a surprising array of cafes, restaurants and bars. And these bustle with energy during the day and evening. The sociable seating spills out into the square and surrounding streets, giving the town a lively feel at night. You’ll find plenty of places to sit and enjoy an evening meal or drinks. You’ll even find a spot or two for music and dancing if the mood takes you.
Cefalu is well-known for its beautiful medieval buildings that cling to the rocks. But this picturesque little town is perhaps most famous for its cathedral. It’s an architectural gem that towers over the bustling piazza. The seafront houses, preserved bathhouse and ancient narrow streets add to the charm. It’s a good place to explore during the day. And, lit up at night, it’s really quite a sight. But it’s not simply the architecture that Cefalu’s famous for. There’s the food, natural scenery and beaches too.

Best things to do in Cefalu

Explore the cathedral

With two towers, the imposing, biscuit-coloured Cefalu cathedral dominates the centre of the town, and the interior is packed with glittering and glorious Byzantine mosaics.

Climb for a view

Walk up to the Temple of Diana, above the town. Built in the 4th century BC, it has incredible views across Cefalu and the coast.

Take an evening stroll

In the early evening, it’s the local tradition that everyone in town ambles up and down the promenade, for some friendly people-watching and plenty of beautiful sea views.
Beaches