Holidays in Sicily offer a world of adventure, history, and natural splendour that is unlike anything else. From the giant that is Mount Etna to the ancient Greek ruins in Taormina, Sicily offers something for everyone.
Here are the top 5 things to do in Sicily to ensure you enjoy the trip of a lifetime.
History exploration in Palermo
As the capital of Sicily, Palermo holidays offer a mixture of ancient buildings and a bustling city on the northwestern coast of Sicily. Originally inhabited in the medieval ages, Palermo offers a lot for history lovers to discover from its Arabic and Italian heritage.
Walking the streets you can savour the immaculate architecture, taking you back in time. Palermo is home to Italy’s largest opera house, the Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele. Here, you can explore the incredible architecture that graced one of the greatest movies of all time, The Godfather. Built in the late 19th century, the theatre can host up to 3,000 people during one of its famous dance, opera, and classical music performances.
The 12th-century Palermo Cathedral is another must for holidays in Sicily, housing many royal tombs that are once in a lifetime.
Conquer the great Mount Etna
One of the most popular activities in Sicily is to visit the mammoth Mount Etna, Europe's highest and most active volcano. Climbing to the top of Mount Etna is quite a feat, but all the more worth it when you see the amazing views of Sicily.
Scaling the magnificent volcano gives you a chance to explore Sicily's stunning natural landscapes while soaking in the stunning Sicilian sunshine.
There are various routes to choose from, each providing different scenic views, so finding the right one for your activity level and desire is important before you get going. Some popular routes include the Southern Route (Piano Provenzana) and the Northern Route (Rifugio Citelli).
For those who aren’t into hiking, have no fear, you won’t miss the gorgeous views. Luckily, there is a cable car from Rifugio Sapienza. Once you reach around 6,000 feet, there are two options, a 4x4 tour or a guided hike to the top.
If summiting Mount Etna is a little too adventurous for you, then the sheer panoramic views of the incredible volcano are just as awe-inspiring.
One of the best views of Mount Etna can be found at Hotel Villa Diodoro in Taormina. Situated on a hillside, you have access to breathtaking views of Mount Etna and the Bay of Naxos. The hotel is next to Giardini della Villa Comunale, the gorgeously landscaped gardens with views overlooking the incredible city and ocean. The terrace invites you to sit back with a local cocktail as you dive into the calming swimming pool while soaking in the amazing panoramic views.
Discover the ancient ruins at the Valley of the Temples
The Valley of the Temples (Valle dei Templi) is one of the most significant archaeological sites in Sicily and is a true gem for history lovers. Situated just outside the city of Agrigento, this historic site is a must-see on your holiday to Sicily.
Founded around 582 BC, the site was originally a hub for Greek civilisation in the city of Akragas. Today, the thousands of visitors each year can explore the incredibly well-preserved ruins and Greek temples that provide insight into what life was like so many years ago.
Keep an eye out for the Temple of Concordia. It is one of the most well-preserved Greek temples in the world and was dedicated to the goddess Concordia. There are six other must-see temple ruins, including Hercules, Asclepius, Castor and Pollux, Olympian Zeus, Juno, and Vulcan.
Scala dei Turchi is a gorgeous resort in Sicily located only a few minutes from the Valley of the Temples, providing you with the perfect spot for history hunting in Sicily. Here, relaxation is key after days of walking the tremendous temples. The lounge bar, cafe, and main restaurant invite you to sit back and soak in views of the incredible Mediterranean Sea and lush gardens. You can also enjoy soaking up the Sicilian sun with a cocktail at the onsite swimming pool.
Savour the Aeolian Islands
Just off the coast of the sensational Sicily, the Aeolian Islands await with history and adventure at every turn. Made up of seven islands, this volcanic archipelago is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that invites you to explore its fantastic landscapes.
Lipari is the largest of the islands and is situated on Italy’s southwest coast. Here, the untouched atmosphere and architecture provide a glimpse into what island life is truly like on this little slice of paradise. From the quaint fishing villages with gorgeous beaches to historical sites and famous coves, Lipari holidays offer something for everyone.
Another must-see of the Aeolian Islands is Vulcano, where mystery and history meet for an all-out adventure. The black sand beaches and relaxing mud baths invite you to soak up the revitalising nutrients this island offers. The volcanic landscape is incredibly unique and is ideal for hiking up to Fossa di Vulcano’s peak, which takes around three hours.
Both islands are stooped in Greek myth, making them all the more fun and exciting to visit. You can truly become part of the history here, experiencing the natural untouched islands firsthand.
Take a step back in time at the Greek Amphitheatre
The Greek Amphitheatre in Taormina is one of Sicily’s most famous historical sites. The marvellous wonder was built in the 3rd century BC and once welcomed up to 5,000 spectators in ancient times.
The amphitheatre changed under Roman rule to include a more Roman aesthetic, but it still holds much of its Greek style to this day. The Greek period saw the amphitheatre used for plays and meetings, while during the Roman era, it was a fight to the death for the gladiators.
While what remains today is only a fraction of what this incredible site once was, much has been done to restore it to its former glory. Today, classical and rock concerts can be enjoyed here, but it is also open to history explorers during the day to discover the amazing architecture with a stunning ocean backdrop.
Discover the Real Italy with Citalia
Are you ready to explore these top things to do in Sicily? Citalia are the UK’s leading Italy specialist with over 90 years' experience in tailoring holidays to Italy. Experts are on hand every step of the way to ensure you make memories to last a lifetime. It’s never too late to start planning your Italian escape!
Visit citalia.com to discover the real Italy on your next adventure. Andiamo!
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