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.
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.
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 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.