Our guide to the best beaches, sights and eating on Sicily
With its wild beauty, historic towns and cities, stunning beaches and little known corners, Sicily still offers the independent traveller an opportunity to explore and discover. Looking for inspiration on where to go in Sicily, things to do or maybe where to eat on Sicily? Look no further.
At Further Afield we’re lucky enough to partner with several properties across the island and some of the islands off its shores (check them all out here) and in this blog we chat to the hosts at some of these amazing places to stay to get some great insider tips for the best beaches, restaurants, unmissable sights and ideas on when’s best to visit Sicily.
Where do you think are the best beaches on Sicily?
Manfredi from Susafa: For us Sicily is more than its beaches and many of our guests choose to head inland to experience the amazing activities we have to offer. Having said that a day on the beach is very easy and the nearest beautiful beach is Cefalù.
Christel from Lemon House: I love the wonderful beach “Lido Sunkisses ” near to Letojani, a few minutes drive from Lemon House. It’s a perfect day with high quality service, a large beach, comfortable sunbeds and for lunch or romantic dinner you can sample the delicious menu.
Paolo from Hotel Villa Ducale: The “Isola Bella”, which is a small island off of Taormina, now designated as a natural reserve. I love the landscape, the natural sceneries and the gastronomy, with its various culinary specialties.
Stefano from Baglio Giammaccaro: For us the best beaches are Bue Marino (above), Lido Acqua Azzurra, Baia santa Margherita for a sandy beach (below) and the Monte Cofano Natural Reserve. Each is quiet and the water is crystal clear. Beautiful.
Top things to do on Sicily?
Manfredi: The salt cathedral in Petralia and the catacombs in Gangi. The Catholic cathedral is built inside an active salt mine and has the most amazing interiors. The Crypt of the Priests “A Fossa di Parrini” (above) in the basement of San Nicolò church in Gangi is fascinating.
Christel: Don’t miss a visit to Savoca – the lead image on this blog. This Sicilian village was chosen in 1972 by the movie director Francis Ford Coppola as the location to shoot some scenes of The Godfather. It’s certainly full of mystique and history, and you can breathe in the old Sicilian atmosphere. It’s an hour’s walk in very beautiful countryside from my house.
Paolo: A trip to Mount Etna is amazing. It’s the highest active Volcano in Europe and has UNESCO heritage classification. For a great day out combine it with wine tasting in a vineyard on the slopes of the mountain where they can experience the oldest vines in the world (up to 140 years old compared to the standard 70).
Stefano: The things that you have to do are to visit Erice (above) which is high up with amazing views and a cable car connecting its two parts, the salt pans surrounding Trapani, the unspoilt and beautiful coastal Zingaro Reserve and at the end of September the Cous Cous Festival in San Vito Lo Capo.
Best places to eat on Sicily?
Manfredi: My favorurite restaurant is Susafa restaurant! I have to say that of course, but seriously we are passionate about food at Susafa and use local (growing our own as much as possible) and seasonal produce. We hold cooking classes too.
Christel: Gelsonero in Savoca (15 minutes drive from my house) has high quality food and the setting of the restaurant is wonderful with views across to the mainland of Italy. It has a truly wonderful atmosphere.
Paolo: At our sister hotel, The Villa Carlotta Restaurant (above). They are always looking for an increasingly explicit reference to the memory of taste and to the roots of the cuisine. It also has astonishing views and a romantic and exclusive setting.
Stefano: For us the best restaurants are Locanda di Castelluzzo for fresh fish and Zammu, which is a traditional trattoria where you can taste the typical Sicilian flavours.
When is the best time to visit Sicily?
Manfredi: May to September is great, with June, July and August the hottest months. Being inland we do get some cooler breezes sometimes too, but we also have our wonderful pool (above) so no problem!
Christel: May to June and then September are my favourites. Wonderful weather and perfect to combine relaxing (beach and pool) with visiting and discovering the island when it’s a little bit quieter.
Paolo: April and October. It’s when you can enjoy the island most, catching all the scents and perfumes of Sicily and time and rhythm is slowed down to the normal “Sicilian Pace” – perfect for unwinding.
Stefano: The best time is April and May because its more quiet and not to so hot, so you can go walking on the Zingaro Riserva, Monte Cofano Riserve and along the coastline. September and October for the same reasons but also the sea is warmer after the summer!