by Laura Chapman,
Sicily is a beautiful place to visit, particularly if you are looking to indulge in traditional luxury and find a part of Italy where time has stood still. However, there is much more to Sicily than the capital Palermo and this article seeks to highlight this and other areas of Sicily where the highest quality break is combined with Italian beauty.
As the capital of Sicily then Palermo is inevitably one of the most popular tourist destinations of Sicily. As a result it can be highly populated in the height of season and in turn this can make it chaotic for first time visitors. Scratch the surface though and you will uncover a vast history and culture in Palermo and visitors will enjoy what the city has to offer in this respect as well as the bustling streets and shopping areas. Palermo is home to monasteries, art galleries and museums and also has a spectacular cathedral. Not only is Palermo worthy of exploring in its own right but it also serves as a good base for finding and visiting other areas of Sicily that are nearby.
As far as places in Sicily go then Taormina does attract a lot of tourists, however this is with good reason. The town is situated high up in the cliffs, which means it has one of the best views of Sicily. The beauty on offer in Taormina is one of the many reasons that jostling with tourists is worthwhile. Taormina is also a place for fine food and some celebrity spotting as the town has attracted the likes of Robert de Niro and Tom Cruise. Travelling to Taormina off season will mean that it is a little quieter and means you can browse the quaint shopping areas at your leisure. One of the most famous spots in Taormina is at ‘teatro greco’ or Greek theatre, this is also where panoramic views of Sicily can be enjoyed the most.
Cefalu is famous for it’s beautiful beaches and is often regarded as one of the most spectacular places in Sicily. Location wise it is roughly an hour from Palermo and with beauty all around travelling in or out of Cefalu you will not be disappointed. As well as the famous beaches, Cefalu is also famous for its attractive array of churches and buildings which definitely warrant a couple of days to explore properly. Cuisine wise Cefalu is renowned for its seafood dishes and as a popular tourist destination there are plenty of restaurants to choose from offering a range of foods.
As Europe’s largest active volcano Mt Etna is also one of the most famous features of Sicily. Any trip to Sicily would not be complete without visiting Mt Etna. The volcano is continuously erupting and quite amazingly there are villages and towns which are situated on its slopes. Activities such as skiing take place all year round in Mt Etna and there is also a train that travels around the mountain from Catania called the Circumetnea which also stops at various towns and villages en route.
Providing you are staying in Sicily for a few days then Agrigento should be on your list of things to do there. Situated in the middle of the Southern coast there lies complete Greek ruins which are the best example outside of Greece. Climate wise in the summer it is very hot and busy so for those looking to travel at a steadier pace the spring might be a more preferred option.
Comprising of seven islands the Aeolian Islands are volcanic islands that offer beauty, tranquillity and great views for visitors. Accessible by ferry the weather is kinder in the summer although this also attracts more tourists. The beaches on offer are some of the finest in Sicily and the food as you might expect in this region is delightful, in particular the seafood available there. For island lovers to get away from the crowds visiting out of season is recommended as the islands are sadly no longer an undiscovered gem of Italy.
Whether your reason for visiting Sicily is for a wedding, a luxury holiday or for a wine tasting expedition then you are sure to find everything you need in Sicily to make your holiday memorable and special.
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