Sicily Travel Guide

Welcome to the Sicily travel guide.

Sicily is an Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea that is known for its varied backdrop, spectacular scenery and diverse population.  The coastline of the island is just as varied as the landscape of the island, ranging from sandy beaches set on beautiful coves, to steep cliffs and rocky crags.  As the largest of the twenty regions of Italy, Sicily seems as though the sun shines a little more, the music sounds a little clearer and life is fully enjoyed in the moment.


This is the place where the mountains meet the sea.  Sicilia, the island in the sun, is home to heavenly beaches, majestic mountains and Europe's greatest natural wonder, Mount Etna.  The coasts are gold with orange and lemon orchards.  Each scenic region offers something different; in northeastern Sicily's Nebrodi Mountains you'll find unexpectedly lush forests.  In the central regions you'll encounter rugged land and rolling hills.  Dignified vineyards, ancient olive groves, hardy almond orchards and endless wheat fields complete the picture.


Sicily is far more than just an island; you can discover the world here.  Sicily was the world's first multicultural society; Italy's most historically cosmopolitan region, there's no other place on Earth like it.  This island region is a unique place full of art, archeology, history, folklore and breathtaking scenery, and, of course, great food.  It's almost a nation unto itself.  This enchanting land offers numerous styles of accommodation, a vast selection of gastronomic choices and countless activities and attractions which will provide you and your loved ones with the most unforgettable vacation experience you have ever taken.


Sicily Weather and Best Time to Visit


The Sicily is situated in the southern Mediterranean, no more than 100 miles from the North African coast, so has the benefit of sunshine for much of the year.  Even the winter months are mild on the coast with daytime temperatures in the low 60s, but inland it can be quite cold and stormy, with sufficient snow for skiing and sledging on Mount Etna, and around Enna in January.  The rest of the year is a delight, though the temperatures in July and August can be very hot and dusty if the Scirocco wind is blowing from the Sahara.


Spring is a wonderful time to visit Sicily. The almond trees are in bloom in February and by mid-March the daytime temperatures in the mid-60s F.  Only occasional showery rain occurs and the countryside is carpeted by both spring and summer wild flowers, blooming together in profusion and everywhere is very green following the winter rains.  There are lovely sunny days and sightseeing, walking and mid-day sunbathing are all possible.


Summer runs in Sicily from May to October.  Average temperatures are between 80-90˚F and days are either sunny, or very sunny.  Beaches are filled with sun worshippers, cooling off in the sea, whose temperature has risen to 77˚F.  The towns, restaurants, bars and cafés are crowded late into the evening as everyone comes out once the temperature starts to fall; August is particularly busy as many Sicilians return home from other parts of Italy for their summer holiday.  By September, the searing heat of mid-summer has decreased to temperatures in the 80s that seem like glorious summer to visitors from Northern Europe.


By the end of October the autumn storms begin and so there may be a day or two of rain.  However temperatures are still in the mid-70s F and the weather is ideal for sightseeing.  November and December are not ideal months for a prolonged visit to the island.  Temperatures by December are in the low 60s F and the winter storms can be cold, windy and wet.  However, by comparison with Northern Europe it is warm and the towns, cities and historic sites are less crowded.


Experience Sicily


To fully experience Sicily, and all it has to offer, spend some time at Sicily’s spectacular beaches.  Mondello is where the citizens of Palermo flock on summer days to escape the stifling heat of the capital city.  In Sicily, Mondello Lido is outclassed in fashion only by the beaches at the foot of Taormina.  Its wide, sandy beaches extend for 1.25 miles from Monte Pellegrino to Monte Gallo.  The best sands in northeast Sicily are found at the resort of Mortelle, which is where the Messinese themselves go to escape the scalding heat in their capital.  The resort lies 7.5 miles north of Messina at the northeast tip of the island.  The area is filled with good sandy beaches, so you can take your pick. The best-accessorized strip is Lido dei Tirreno.


Spiaggia Sabbie Nere is as unique as they come in Sicily.  Completely off the beaten trail, "Black Sands Beach" is the finest in the Aeolian archipelago; that is, once you get over the fact that its sands are black and not powdery white.  Beaching it here is something to tell the folks back home about.  The best-equipped beach in Sicily, Lido Mazzarò is also one of the finest, a favorite sea-bordering strip of sand and gravel once frequented by the stars of Hollywood's golden age and still as interesting as ever.  A 15-minute cable-car ride down from the medieval town of Taormina, the beach is a hot spot from April to October.  Bars and restaurants border the sands.


Situated on the waterfront near Taormina, Giardini-Naxos is one of the most sophisticated seaside resorts of Sicily.  The sandy beach, one of the island's best, lies between Capo Taormina in the northwest and Capo Schisò in the south.  It may lack Taormina's medieval charm, but it's filled with good hotels, fine swimming, and excellent restaurants.  Southeastern Sicily has a number of beaches, some of them quite tacky, but Marina di Ragusa is the best of the lot.  This is quite an appealing area, and if Ragusa is too hot in summer, you might drop anchor at a hotel here and visit the ancient city on a day trip.  The resort also has the best ice-cream bars, pubs, and watersports in the area.