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Wednesday, November 23, 2022

The 8 best places to visit in Sicily [+ where to tay]

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The Mediterranean island of Sicily is a treasure trove for seashore bums, journey nuts and foodies alike. Greek temples within the South, Baroque beauties within the East, glowing seashores within the North, and pink salt flats to the West, there are such a lot of stunning locations to go to in Sicily. Amongst all one of the best issues to do in Sicily, these 8 locations signify the perfect this Italian island has to supply.

However earlier than we begin our record of  Sicily must-see locations, let’s speak about touring to Sicily. When planning your journey to Sicily, take into account that transportation is as vital as lodging. 

You will discover some sensible recommendations on getting round Sicily beneath. The issues to do and the lodge recommendations are listed along with one of the best locations in Sicily to go to. This manner, you’ll be able to plan your journey correctly and benefit from your time on this unimaginable area of Italy.

Palermo is simply among the finest locations to go to in Sicily!

Getting round Sicily points of interest

Sadly the general public transportation community in Southern Italy is spotty or just nonexistent. Subsequently the simplest and most time-efficient method to get across the island is by renting a automotive.

Take a look at Rentalcars and Auto Europe web sites, they provide a variety of automotive leases, from finances to luxurious autos. You possibly can examine costs and select the automotive and the insurance coverage protection that fits your Sicily vacation.

Driving in Sicily isn’t for the faint-hearted: stopping at pink lights is elective, the precise of manner is all the time taken, and motorbikes whizz by in any respect hours of the day. 

It doesn’t matter your itinerary of the place to go in Sicily, be assertive. All the time look thrice and by no means take your eye off the Vespa drivers and try to be good as gold.

Practicalities for renting a automotive in Sicily

  • Drivers exterior of the EU might be required to hold an Worldwide Driving License with them always. 
  • Make sure the rental automotive comes with Collision Harm Waiver Insurance coverage (obligatory by Italian legislation)
  • Carry the automotive again with a full tank

Speaking about insurance coverage, not solely your automotive wants protection. Having complete journey insurance coverage is all the time a good suggestion, particularly in case you are as much as some adventurous actions in Sicily or in case you are touring from overseas. 

Take a look at World Nomads, Security Wing, and HeyMondo, these are reliable worldwide journey insurances. Select the one that matches your pocket and your fashion of touring. For long-term journey, learn Love and Highway Insurance coverage Information right here.

Ruins of the Greek Roman Theater with Mount Etna erupting, Taormina, Sicily, Italy.
Sicily has seashores, historical past, pure wonders and scrumptious meals!

8 Finest locations to go to in Sicily

 To maximise your time on the island, your selection of which space to remain in Sicily is vital. Jap Sicily is finest explored from Catania, whereas Western Sicily is ideal for exploring utilizing Palermo as a foundation. 

Sicily may look small on a map, however don’t let measurement deceive you, driving from one finish to the opposite finish of the island can shortly flip right into a 3-hour drive.

So right here they’re, Sicily’s finest locations to go to.

1. The biggest metropolis on the island – Catania

Catania is the most important metropolis on the island and the entry level for a lot of vacationers into Sicily. Flying into Catania, you’ll catch superb views over Mount Etna, situated on the town’s doorstep.

Panoramic aerial view of Piazza Duomo in Catania with the Cathedral of Santa Agatha and Liotru, a symbol of Catania, Sicily.
Catania deserves a few days in an effort to discover the town and its environment.

With a buzzing historic heart, thriving road meals scene, and a plethora of palazzi to go to, there may be greater than sufficient to do in Catania. Stroll down Through Etnea, lined with Baroque palaces and ending in probably the most spectacular views over Mount Etna. Traverse the Piazza del Duomo and pop into the gorgeous Duomo. The doorway payment of €7 consists of entry to the cathedral, the museum, in addition to the Thermal Baths.

Savor a number of the metropolis’s finest road meals on the native markets: A’ Piscaria Mercato del Pesce or Fera ‘O Luni (Mercato di Piazza Carlo Alberto). Attempt the queen of all road meals, Arancino. A rice ball full of ragu (meat) or butter (vegetarian-friendly) and fried to perfection. When strolling across the markets, preserve your belongings shut as pickpocketing is understood to happen. 

Winer lovers may also go to the wineries round Catania. Here’s a 5-star personal tour that goes to three wineries within the area, good for a day journey from Catania.  

If a guided tour to Mount Etna and/or Taormina is in your bucket record, Catania is a superb place to start out from. Loads of excursions provide pick-up and drop-off out of your lodge in Catania at very reasonably priced costs. All the main points about visiting Mount Etna and Taormina are listed beneath, so you’ll be able to plan your journey to Catania first after which see these different two unimaginable locations.

The place to remain in Catania, Sicily:

Now that you already know what to do in Catania and easy methods to benefit from your go to to Mount Etna, let’s speak about one of the best locations to remain in Sicily. You possibly can keep in Catania for a couple of days to discover the area, as there are many lodging choices within the metropolis.

Take a look at our prime picks for lodging in Catania:

(click on on the title of the lodge for photographs and room charges)

2. The Greek amphitheater of Taormina

The village of Taormina is splendidly quaint and provides spectacular views of Mount Etna. A wander across the little streets of the outdated city is sufficient to warrant a go to. Add to that the second largest Greek Amphitheater in Sicily (the primary being in Syracuse) and it skyrockets to the primary spot on locations to see in Sicily.

Photo of a Greek amphitheater in Taormina, one of the must visit places in Sicily, Italy.
Taormina has all of it: historical past, seashores and Mt Etna views.

The Greek Theater dates again to the third century BC and was initially constructed to host theater spectacles. Throughout Roman instances, it was remodeled into an Enviornment the place video games and gladiator fights had been held.

Lately the theater has returned to its roots and is as soon as once more a Theater. Throughout choose months of the 12 months, Greek tragedies are carried out on this very stage.

Taormina is a very talked-about place to go in Sicily. Because the city is small, it tends to get crowded in the summertime months. One of the simplest ways to avoid the hordes of vacationers is to return early within the morning. Go to the amphitheater proper when it opens at 09.00 earlier than heading into city to discover.

Listed here are a couple of excursions you’ll be able to be a part of to get a extra in-depth understanding of this Sicily prime points of interest and expertise a singular facet of Taormina: 

(click on on the title of the expertise for more information)

The place to remain in Taormina, Sicily:

Spending the evening in Taormina may be a good suggestion if you wish to catch the dawn and be the primary one within the amphitheater, or possibly be a part of an early morning boat journey to the Blue Grotto and Isola Bella.

Listed here are a couple of choices of accommodations in Taormina for you.

(click on on the title of the lodge for photographs and room charges)

3. The capital Palermo

No journey to Sicily is full and not using a go to to its stunning capital. The Historic Heart of Palermo has undergone an enormous transformation within the final 10 years. Palazzi have been restored to their former glory and tourism infrastructure has been added (whats up English indicators!). On prime of that, the Authorities has cracked down severely on petty crime, making a stroll via the middle a nice and protected exercise.

Areal photo of Palermo showing its churches and old town.
There are such a lot of issues to do and see in Palermo and its environment that you could possibly keep every week there.

There are many issues to do in Palermo. Ideally, you spend no less than two full days taking in every little thing the town has to supply. The UNESCO World Heritage website of Norman Palace on the entrance of the Historic Heart is the right place to kick off your first day. Nestled within the internal folds, the Palatine Chapel in all its glory awaits.

From the Norman Palace, head to the Cathedral of Palermo, the surface is spectacular, however the inside is relatively stark. The doorway is free, however a go to to the rooftop (extremely really helpful) requires a €5 ticket.

In case you are a lover of church buildings, be sure that so as to add the Baroque magnificence Chiesa Santa Catarina to your record. Attempt do-it-yourself sweets from the nuns of the cloister and climb the steps to the roof of the church for one of the best views over the Historic Heart of Palermo.

Palermo is dwelling to the perfect road meals the nation has to supply. A spleen sandwich is the right hangover remedy after an evening in town. Seize yours is the Vucceria market or off-the-street distributors in Corso Vittorio Emmanuele.

Right here is our suggestion for distinctive actions in Palermo: 

(click on on the title of the expertise for more information)

Palermo is your getaway to Sicily’s West Coast. The important thing to planning an unimaginable itinerary in Sicily is to consider your journey objectives. You possibly can plan a highway journey between the small villages and medieval cities, staying in a unique place each evening.

Or you’ll be able to keep in Palermo for longer and plan every day journeys to Sicily’s well-known seashores and points of interest like Castellammare Del Golfo, San Vito Lo Capo and its historic websites, and likewise to Zingaro Nature Reserve that gives beautiful views and seashores, a paradise for swimming. 

The place to remain in Palermo, Sicily:

You most likely will keep in Palermo for a few days, so selecting good lodging is essential.

Take a look at these lodge recommendations for a very good evening of sleep in Palermo. 

(click on on the title of the lodge for photographs and room charges)

4. The prettiest village on the island: Ortigia

The island of Ortigia is situated proper off Syracuse. It’s linked to the town by a set of two bridges that traverse the Mediterranean Sea. The island itself is tiny, the complete loop round is a mere 3.5 kilometers. But regardless of the seemingly small measurement, there may be loads to do on Ortigia island to maintain you busy for no less than a full day.

Photo of an alley in Ortigia, a baroque town that is one of Sicily top attractions.
Ortigia is beautiful; you should go to it when touring in Sicily!

Along with Noto and Ragusa, Ortigia is called one of many “Baroque Beauties” or “Baroque Cities”. Strolling across the heart, it would shortly turn into clear why.  The sheer quantity of fantastic baroque structure packed on the facades and balconies of the buildings is in contrast to something you’re prone to encounter wherever else.

The spotlight of Ortigia is the Cathedral of Syracuse (regardless of the title, it is rather a lot situated in Ortigia on Piazza Duomo). This historic Greek Doric temple was “transformed” right into a church across the seventh century AD. On the identical sq., the Church of Santa Lucia alla Badia stands to the precise of the Cathedral and is equally value popping into.

In the course of the summer season months, Ortigia has loads of pop-up Lidos (seashore bars and eating places) dotted across the shores of the island. Mix a go to to the little city with a soothing afternoon by the ocean.

Take a look at these actions and plan the right go to to Ortigia combining historical past, structure, sea and meals:

The place to remain in Syracuse and Ortigia:

Together with Ortigia, Syracuse can be a must-visit place in Sicily. You possibly can keep in each cities and get round them simply. In the case of selecting one of the best place to remain, Syracuse can have extra choices than Ortigia. However if you wish to get up in a fairytale-like metropolis, Ortigia is the right place for it. Click on on the title of the lodge for photographs and room charges.

Right here is our decide for accommodations in Syracuse:

 And here’s a distinctive place to remain in Ortigia: 

5. The Arab-Norman Cathedral & Cefalu Seashore

The sleepy fisherman village of Cefalu is among the hottest locations to go to in Sicily each for locals and vacationers alike. The Historic Heart is a superb maze of little streets dotted with little shops and eateries. Permit your self the posh of a languorous stroll (Google Maps may be very spotty in these little streets, so that you may as nicely save your self the frustration and never flip it on!).

Beautiful view of Cefalu beach, Palermo, Sicily.
A visit to Sicily isn’t full with sunny days by the seashore!

When the climate will get too scorching, the heat-averse traveler has three choices. Possibility one is a go to to the UNESCO-classified Arab-Norman Cathedral of Cefalu and marvel on the byzantine mosaics. Make sure that to climb the towers for one of the best views over Cefalu and, in case you are fortunate, to discover a refreshing breeze. Tickets for the Cathedral will set you again €5 and an extra €5 if you need to go to the treasury and cloisters. You possibly can go to it by your self or be a part of a guided strolling tour to be taught extra about this unimaginable Sicily landmark. 

Possibility two is to easily strip down and make a beeline for the seashore. Cefalu is situated proper on the ocean and has a protracted stretch of sandy seashore good for swimming breaks. The seashore does are typically a very talked-about possibility for a lot of vacationers and thus, you’ll almost definitely be sharing your little swath of sand with fairly a couple of different individuals.

Possibility three is to be a part of a cooking class at a neighborhood’s dwelling. Or when you’ve got time, you are able to do the three actions and luxuriate in one of the best of Sicily: historical past, meals and nature. 

The place to remain in Cefalu, Sicily

In the case of staying in Cefalu, you’ll be able to select between accommodations, Mattress & Breakfasts and personal flats.

Listed here are our recommendations for lodging in Cefalu, click on on the title of the lodge for photographs and room charges.

6. The Cathedral and Cloisters in Monreale

Monreale is situated simply exterior of Palermo, the truth is, the village of Monreale has not solely a UNESCO-classified Arab-Norman Cathedral it additionally provides the perfect views over the bay of Palermo. Whereas the Cathedral is, in principle, free to enter, buying a €6 ticket will grant you entry to the rooftop terraces, the Ruano chapel and the cloister.

Photo of a Byzantine mosaic at The Cathedral and Cloisters in Monreale, Sicily. This is one of the best places to visit in Sicily.
Sicily Byzantine mosaics that may dazzle you.

Whereas the Cathedral may look stark from the surface, upon getting into, the very first thing you’ll discover is the ornately embellished inside. A whopping 3500 sq. meters of golden Byzantine mosaics cowl the ceiling and the naïve depicting numerous biblical scenes.

Except for the Cathedral, don’t skip the Benedictine Cloister situated simply across the nook. The internal courtyard has probably the most intricate column, every embellished barely in another way and narrating scenes from the Previous and New Testaments.

Right here is an attention-grabbing guided tour in Monreale that may enable you navigate via the Cathedral and all the main points of the place.  

The place to remain in Monreale

Monreale is a really small little village and is, due to this fact, finest mixed with both half a day on the seashore (the closest seashore being Mondello) or Cefalu. As for lodging on the town, there aren’t many, so take a look at our suggestion of locations to remain in Palermo. It’s the most important metropolis near Monreale and can provide higher choices for accommodations. 

From Palermo, you’ll be able to drive to Monreale or be a part of a half-day tour from Palermo to Monreale and Cefalu

7. The lively volcano Mount Etna

Top-of-the-line locations to go to in Sicily for the lively traveler is, certainly, Mount Etna. At 3.357 meters, it’s the highest volcano in Europe. The excellent news is, regardless of the actual fact the volcano continues to be lively (the final eruption dates again to 2021), it’s completely protected to go to the volcano.

Photo of a field with Mount Etna in the back. Mt Etna is among the best places to visit in Sicily.
Mount Etna is the best volcano in Europe and it’s lively.

It’s potential to go to Mt. Etna solo till 2900 meters. The trek between 2900 meters and the summit at 3500 can solely be completed with an organized tour (legally, for security causes, this a part of the volcano can’t be visited and not using a educated information).

Park your automotive at Rifugio Sapienza (1935 meters above sea degree), and from there, pay €35 euro (a method) for a cable automotive experience to take you as much as the summit station (2500 meters). Upon reaching the summit station, a 40-minute hike will take you as much as the final viewing level at 2900 meters.

Most organized excursions will begin from the guests heart in Rifugio Sapienza. Sure excursions embrace the ticket value for the cable automotive and provide guests the choice to hire windbreakers and different gear. Make sure you ask prematurely what’s included within the value for the tour.

Beneath are a number of the best-rated Mount Etna guided excursions supplied on the GetYourGuide web site. You possibly can ebook them on-line and prematurely so that you save time when you’re in Sicily.

8. The easiest Greek temples exterior of Greece within the Valley of Temples

The archeological website often known as the Valley of Temples covers a powerful 1300 hectares, full of Almond bushes, 8 very well-preserved historic Greek temples, and quite a lot of completely different ruins. The Valley of Temples in Southern Sicily is among the most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage websites in Sicily, actually probably the most distinctive place in Sicily. Some say the Greek Temple of Heracles (Hercules) is one of the best preserved Greek Temple on the earth (yep, you learn that proper!).

Photo of an ancient site in the Valley of Temples, one of the famous attractions in Sicily.
The unimaginable Valley of Temples covers a powerful 1300 hectares.

Getting across the park is finished on foot (carry good strolling sneakers) or by taking the little shuttle that runs between the assorted temples. The shuttle features as a hop-on/hop-off bus and prices €8. 

Obtain the park’s app to get each a map and loads of attention-grabbing historic information concerning the numerous temples and the park itself.

Tickets value €10/particular person and may be purchased on the entrance. If you happen to come by automotive, park your automotive within the allotted parking reverse the doorway and ensure to carry cash to pay for the parking earlier than you allow (no playing cards accepted).

It’s also possible to purchase the Valley of Temples skip-the-line ticket prematurely. That may assist you to go straight into the park with out the necessity to queue for the ticket, which is usually a time saver throughout peak hours. An alternative choice is to purchase the skip-the-line ticket plus guided tour. 

Agrigento is the closest metropolis to Sicily’s Valley of Temples, and from there, you’ll be able to attain the park by public transportation, taxi or driving. However you can even go to the Valley of Temples as a day journey from different cities in Sicily and even from Palermo in case you don’t thoughts spending hours on the highway. 

The place to remain in Agrigento

Agrigento is one of the best place to remain close to the Valley of Temples, listed below are our suggestions.

Wrapping up our Sicily must-see locations information

One may spend a lifetime exploring Sicily and nonetheless come up in need of time. Consider the Aegadian Islands close to Trapani metropolis you could go to, the sports activities actions and boat journeys you are able to do, and all the gorgeous seashores you’ll be able to go to.

Structure lovers and historical past buffs could be misplaced among the many historic cities, archaeological websites, and charming seaside cities. As you’ll be able to think about, Sicily is a kind of locations the place you end your vacation already considering of your return journey. 

The extraordinary quantity of pure and historic magnificence to be present in Sicily is unparalleled wherever else in Europe. Mix that with wonderful conventional Sicilian delicacies (Pasta à la Norma all day day by day) and a number of the finest seashores within the Mediterranean and it’ll turn into abundantly clear why Sicily is Italy’s & the remainder of Europe’s favourite vacationing spot.

Are you planning to journey to Sicily quickly? Which of those cities and points of interest are in your Sicily itinerary? 

Love this Sicily finest locations to go to information? Pin it for later!

The best places to visit in Sicily to add to your itinerary.Discover why Sicily is the perfect destination in Italy. Here are Sicily's top attractions and landmarks, what to do in each of them, tours, and where to go. Plus, where to stay in Sicily, best cities and hotels for your holiday, and info about planning your journey. From renting a car to Sicilian food to try. Sicily Italy | Sicily places to stay | Sicily hotels | Catania | Palermo | Taormina | Cefalu | Sicily things to do |
The 8 best places to visit in Sicily [+ where to tay] 11

Writer: Caroline Muller

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