Sicily is the largest of Italy’s islands, which means there is plenty of room to have the adventure of a lifetime here. Hike through dramatic volcanic landscapes, dive into crystal-clear lagoons and wander around millennia-old ruins.
One of the most recognizable natural landmarks in Sicily is the UNESCO-listed Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. Trek along miles of walkable trails leading to the top or head to Bove Valley, a depression in the landscape bordered by steep canyons. Strap on your skis in the winter, as the volcano transforms into a skiing destination.
Visit Gothic palaces, Baroque churches and one of the biggest and most spectacular opera houses in Palermo, Sicily’s largest city. Tan on the beach in Mondello, scuba dive in the ancient fishing village of Sferracavallo and take pictures from the cliffs of Madonie Regional Park.
For relaxation, soak in thermal baths in the town of Sciacca. This port town is also home to the steam-filled Stufe di San Calogero caves, which function as a kind of natural steam room. Should the Sicilian summer heat prove too much, head for Pertusa di Notaro, a grotto famous for the fresh, cold air that passes through its cracks.
Explore Sicily’s history in Syracuse, an ancient city packed with cultural treasures. Examine Greek monuments in the Park of Neapolis and the archaeological site of Pantalica Necropolis. Among the most famous of Sicily’s ancient sites is Agrigento, the setting for the Valley of the Temples, where an assortment of Greek ruins can be seen. Take a tour of the Noto Valley, home to eight late-Baroque cities that are representative of the flourishing of Baroque architecture and art in Europe.
Book your Sicily trip for July or August to experience the region’s summer festivals. Spring often offers lower prices, smaller crowds and beautiful wildflower blooms. Providing you aren’t planning on heading to the remote hinterlands, a comprehensive train and bus system can get you to most towns and villages on the island.
Sicily is a glorious island that blends natural beauty with cultural activities and offers ample opportunities for relaxation.