Sicily is nothing short of a dreamland. The largest island in the Mediterranean Sea shelters breathtaking ancient structures like Greek temples and is a treasure house of natural wonders. Today, we are going to share with you the 10 best places that you surely need to visit in Sicily.
Number 10: Aeolian Islands
Situated off the north coast of Sicily, the series of seven islands continues to pique the curiosity of travelers. This volcanic series of islands still has some active volcanoes. The stunning coastline is marked by the presence of rugged rocks and cliffs. To reach this beautiful island, you have to embark on a thrilling boat ride from Messina or Milazzo. The fumaroles and thermal springs are hot spots for tourists, and you just can’t miss out on these special attractions. Explore the prehistoric sites on the Aeolian Islands, and have a great time ‘living’ the adventure involved in the myriad of water sports.
Number 9: Cefalu Cathedral
The huge, imposing structure of the Cefalù Cathedral has an interesting historical background. It was constructed on the initiative of Norman King Roger II. He did so, as a part of a religious offering, to express his gratitude to God for battling and surviving the storm during one of his deadly sea expeditions. The semicircular dome of the cathedral features a vibrant mosaic symbolizing Christ. The extremely ornate plaster work in the choir, along with the fabulous baptismal font that traces back to the 12th century, will puzzle you into utter admiration of the cathedral. The cathedral offers a beautiful sight of the vibrant fishing harbors and glimmering white sand beaches, where you can simply stroll and have the best relaxing moments of your life.
Number 8: Valley of the Temples
Get lost in the architectural beauty and ancient Roman and Greek history as you explore the vast collection of temples and tombs in Agrigento, located on Sicily’s southern coast. Though several of these temples have fallen prey to the ravages of time, the beautiful Doric temple of Tempio di Concordia is in surprisingly good condition and is well-preserved. Other must-visit temples include the Temple of the Olympian Zeus and the Tempio di Juno Lacinia. While the Zeus Temple belongs to the Western Group, the Juno Lacinia Temple falls into the category of the Eastern Group. You may choose to stay in this ever-beautiful place by booking the luxurious stays located here.
Number 7: Palermo
You just can’t help but stop by the ever-bustling capital city of Sicily, which is, Palermo. The charming city was established by the Phoenicians thousands of years ago. It was then known as the “City of Delights,” owing to its lovely gardens and stellar architecture. Explore the fascinating city markets, and go on an exciting shopping journey. Explore the popular museums found here. Visit the two famous churches, the Cappella Palatina and La Martorana, and admire the vibrant, artistic mosaics that adorn the historic structures. Have a thrilling time exploring the spooky catacombs at the Capuchin Monastery. Lastly, after you are done draining your calories with all the walking and exploring activities, treat yourself to delicious local cuisine by crashing at any of the cozy restaurants in Palermo.
Number 6: Taormina
Taormina lies on a rocky terrain of hills and offers captivating views of Mount Etna. The steep, narrow hill may create hostile challenges for you, but that’s where the thrill is, right? Bathe in serenity as you get a chance to calm your mind in this pretty little hilly area. The specialty of Taormina is that its aesthetic streets give way to terraces that offer picturesque views of the sea and mountains. The huge Greek Theater has to be on your list. From here, you can get spectacular views of the area surrounding you. It was built long ago, in the third century BC, by the Greeks, but it still stands strong to this day. Get lost in the rich Greek and Roman architectural grandeur and make the most of your time spent in this splendid town.
Number 5: Messina
The grandest way to step onto Messina is to travel by ferry from the mainland of Italy. As you reach the port, you can sense the utter charm of the harbor city. The majestic sloping hills, along with the olive, orange, and lemon tree-lined pathways, add to the overall beauty of the place. Explore the history and divine charm of the Church of Santissimia Annunziata dei Catalani. Stroll through the serene botanical gardens. Don’t forget to take lovely snaps of the Porta Grazia, and make your social media followers envious of you.
Number 4: The Cathedral of Monreale
The Cathedral of Monreale stands strong to date as a representative of the history, art, culture, and administration of Sicily under the reigning Normans. You will be surprised to know that it exists just the way it looked way back in the 1100s. The structure upholds the fascinating Byzantine tradition of being adorned with vibrant, colorful mosaics. Apart from bright colors, the mosaics also bear quotations from the Bible. The 228 double columns and the stunning motifs inscribed on the stone carvings add to the attractiveness of the Cathedral. You can also have a relaxing time in the beautiful garden, which features a fountain in one of the corners. The dazzlingly colored precious stones further beautify the columns. Let the rich history of the past come alive as you embark on a journey of exploration.
Number 3: Catania
This seaside port city of Catania is stuffed with quaint local bars, exclusive drink kiosks, and loads of street food joints. The city always bustles with activity, so you are going to have endless fun exploring every bit of it. The Baroque architectural styles of Piazza del Duomo and the Church of San Benedetto add to the charm of the place. Explore the ruins of the Roman Amphitheatre at Catania and have a great time discovering unique facts about the historic bathhouse of Terme Achilliane. Do visit Piazza Carlo Alberto Market to try some lip-smacking local ccuisine Have fun!
Number 2: Syracuse
Syracuse used to be one of the most crucial cities of the ancient world in the West. This charming city is packed with lots of churches, archaeological sites, gardens, and Greek and Roman temples. It is in Syracuse’s archaeological park that the large Greek Theatre along with an equally spacious Roman Amphitheater is present. Explore the other historical structures such as the super large Altar of Hiero II. Get lost in the ancient, classical world, and gain a surreal experience that you will cherish throughout your lifetime.
Number 1: Mount Etna
Overlooking the east coast of Sicily, the mysterious Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and interestingly, its height doesn’t stay the same. It continues to change with every recent lava eruption that takes place here. Explore the beautiful Mount Etna by going for a cable car ride. Have a thrilling time exploring the hot springs, lava flows, and fumaroles either by walking or driving. If you visit Mt. Etna during the winters, you can have a great time snow-skiing on the lovely white slopes. Ferrovia Circumetnea, a special narrow-gauge railway, offers the tourists a lovely chance to go circling the mountain while enjoying spectacular views of the castles, historical sites, and natural beauty. It is going to be a special experience, for sure!
Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Sicily on a Map
Which of these activities are you most excited to visit in Sicily? Let us know in the COMMENTS section below.