Thanks to it’s beauty and enormously diverse elements, Sicily is a heavenly holiday destination. Beautiful beaches, interesting sights, delicious food and so on. There’s a lot to do and visit, which can make planning for a short holiday difficult. Below you will find the most beautiful sights in Sicily according to CAP. Looking for a nice holiday home in Sicily? Check out our selection and find a holiday villa with pool in Sicily that will make your whole family happy.
We advise to make a day trip out of the sights in Sicily listed below you. That way you’ll be able to enjoy them to the fullest.
The capital of Sicily is one of the most interesting cities in Italy. Palermo is bursting with history and culture. The cathedral is the showpiece of the city and was originally built as a mosque by the Saracens, so due to the different uses and renovations it is now a mix of architectural styles. Another not-to-be-missed attraction in Palermo is the Palazzo Dei Normanni, the oldest royal palace in Europe. Here, you will also notice a mixture of Arab and Western architectural styles thanks to the history that the building has known. The famous Capella Palatina of the Palazzo dei Normanni with walls, ceilings and statues entirely in gold is a masterpiece. In Palermo you can also visit the old Teatro Massimo or just spend a nice day in the cozy city.
Cefalù is an extremely cosy town that embodies the atmosphere of authentic Sicily. It is situated on the beach and the old houses under the blue sky are simply picturesque. Enjoy the tranquility, the sea and experience la dolce vita. At CAP we have the perfect holiday villa on Sicily so you can enjoy an Aperol Spritz with sea view in the tranquility of your own garden.
Taormina is a very charming town that is a nice destination for a day trip. It is situated on a lovely beach where you can spend a warm afternoon. In the morning you can visit the ancient Greek theatre, which was later transformed into a Roman theatre. Moreover, the theatre has a breathtaking view over the island.
4. Excursion to Mount Etna
Mount Etna is perhaps Sicily's most famous landmark. Europe's largest active volcano is of course an exciting option to bring some activity into your holiday. With a guide you will get closest to the top of the volcano and you might even get to see lava! There are also possibilities to start your climb by public transport from Catania. An unexpected touch for those who have never visited Mount Etna, is that on the fertile ground around it you can also get delicious wines.
5. The Aeolian Islands
Northeast of the coast of Sicily are the Aeolian Islands, an archipelago consisting of seven islands, all protected by UNESCO. That keeps them intact and that is good news: they are real beacons of natural beauty. Through various websites or with the help of tourist information on Sicily itself, you can book excursions by boat so that you can pass all the islands, which is highly recommended. Not only is it wonderful to spend a sunny afternoon on the water, there is also a chance that you can spot dolphins. On the island of Stromboli there’s a volcano with the same name, that you can climb by yourself or accompanied by a guide, super fun for the sports enthusiasts among us.
Syracuse is another example of a beautiful Sicilian city whose fascinating history can be seen in its various monuments and architectural styles. During ancient times, Syracuse was one of the most powerful cities in the Mediterranean. The Neopolis Archaeological Park is a must see attraction in Sicily. An ancient amphitheatre, catacombs and other remnants of it are truly impressive. The archaeological museum of Syracuse offers more explanation about the history and unique objects are on display. It is one of the most important archaeological museums of Europe. Throughout Syracuse you will quickly notice the common thread: the Greek and Roman history that took place there.
7. Valley of the Temples
The Valley of the Temples, also called Akragas, is undoubtedly an unmissable attraction when you are in Sicily. It is called 'Valley', but actually the site is situated on a ridge near Agrigento. There are seven Doric-style temples here and the site is protected as a UNESCO world heritage site. You do pay a bit for a guided tour, but in a place that has such a fascinating and ancient history, it is worth it.
8. Scala dei Turchi
Scala dei Turchi is a rocky cliff on the coast of Realmonte. The beautiful white rocks of a kind of limestone owe their name to their shape reminiscent of white steps and to the fact that this was the location where the Moors landed in Sicily. The beautiful contrast between the blue of the sky and the sea with the white cliffs attracts many tourists every year, so planning a visit in low season will give you a better chance of having a wonderful holiday peak. However, the cliffs are located on one of the most beautiful beaches in Sicily, so even in the summer months an afternoon at the Scala dei Turchi is definitely a good idea.
9. Gorge of Alcantara
The Gorge of Alcantara is a good change for cultural excursions. You can swim, hike and even canyoning in the beautiful surroundings of the rock formations. Most visitors come to the Gorge through the Gole Alcantara Parco Botanico e Geologico visitor centre. This is where the Gorge is the highest and you can walk along the river between the basalt columns. Fancy some action? You can also book tours such as jumping, body-rafting, canyoning or a combination tour with which you first visit Mount Etna and then Alcantara.
High on top of a hill lies the ancient town of Erice. Legend has it that Erice was founded in honor of the goddess Venus. In keeping with this tradition you can still visit the Castello di Venere, the castle of Venus. In the castle you can admire archaeological remains such as the ancient Temple of Venus and the well of Venus, of which it is said that the goddess bathed here. In Giardini del Balio there is also a beautiful statue of the goddess in the water. From the gardens you have a beautiful view over Sicily that reaches so far that you can even see nearby islands in clear weather. Looking for a holiday home with Erice? The beautiful holiday villa Casa Valderice with outdoor kitchen and pool has a typical Sicilian decor and is located a stone's throw from Erice, Trapani and Marsala. Also Villa Laura, a spacious holiday home with a large swimming pool near Marsala, is located on the west coast of Sicily.