20 things to do in Sicily before you die Sicily holds a special place in the heart of all who visit its golden shores, thanks to the unique natural, historical and cultural treasures begging to be discovered on this beautiful island. Whether you are planning a first-time visit or are keen to return for more, here are a few top things to do in Sicily before you die…
1. Indulge in sumptuous street food in Palermo
A must-do for the travelling foodies, highlights include the cylindrical pastries, cannoli, and the delectable pasta con le sarde, a pasta dish featuring plump sardines in a light tomato sauce.
2. Explore the awe-inspiring Valley of the Temples
One of the most popular archeological sights, these magnificent temples stand silhouetted against the skyline near to Agrigento. Wander amongst ancient columns, altars, statues and the crumbled ruins of a once mighty civilisation.
3. Relax on the golden sands of Lampedusa
Rabbit Beach wins rave reviews for its milky-white sands and vivid aquamarine waters, but the island of Lampedusa offers a selection of hidden paradise beaches that are more likely to fly under the radar of the tourist hordes.
4. Wander the medieval streets of Ortygia
A stunning, medieval island connected to mainland Syracuse, Ortygia is a labyrinth of winding alleys, shady piazzas and colourful markets where you experience traditional Sicilian life.
5. Visit the magnificent Cathedral of Monreale
This beautiful 12th century cathedral is decorated with exquisite gold leaf and glass mosaics depicting scenes from both Old and New Testament.
6. Marvel at the mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Villa Romana offers visitors the chance to step back in time with a history depicted by a succession of perfectly preserved mosaics.
7. Hike Mount Etna
Get acquainted with Europe’s largest active volcano and hike your way up into the clouds on a guided tour. Absorb the beauty of the surrounding national park, wander the rock paths to visit the craters, and enjoy breath-taking views of the island.
8. Discover the Baroque cities of the south
The eight Baroque towns of Sicily’s deep south offer honey coloured stones and streets alive with fancy facades, ornate balconies and intricate stonework. Noto and Ragusa are two of the best known whilst Modica is also famous for its local chocolate.
9. Swim in the crystalline waters of Cala Rossa
Cala Rossa, situated on Favignana, may no longer be classed as a secret, but this rocky bay with its shimmering, crystal clear waters is still captivating for anyone who loves the coast.
10. Get back to nature in Lo Zingaro Nature Reserve
Grottoes, caves and bays litter the coastline of Lo Zingaro, whilst cliff treks lead through rich landscapes of flora and fauna, offering mesmerising sea views for those that want to escape the hustle of humanity.
11. Travel from Trapani to Erice by cable car
Fly high into the sky from the harbour town up to the cobbled streets of Erice with its two fairytale castles perched in on the cliffside.
12. See a show in the atmospheric Greco-Roman amphitheatre in Taormina
This ancient stone amphitheatre plays host to a programme of Greek plays and performances during the summer months. Enjoy the show with the whole of beautiful Taormina laid at your feet.
13. Take a boat trip around the Egadian Islands
Snorkel and swim to your heart’s content as you explore the coastline of this Sicilian island chain and enjoy the rustic, rugged beauty of these western isles.
14. Try the cous cous of San Vito Lo Capo
This North African dish is celebrated every year with a huge Cous Cous Festival held on the shores of this beautiful beach town.
15. Witness the eruptions of Stromboli
The Aeolian Islands offer volcanic activity galore – watch the fiery fountain of Stromboli from aboard a boat at sunset.
16. Take part in the carnival of Acireale
One of the best loved carnivals in Sicily; eat, drink, sing and dance your way through the celebrations of Holy Week and other key dates in the calendar.
17. Relax into traditional Sicilian life in Enna
Explore the traditional town of Enna, deep in Sicily’s interior. Panoramic views and tranquil surrounds make this a charming destination, off the typical tourist path.
18. Sip the local wines of Marsala
Marsala is famous for its selection of local wines, a must-try for any fan of the amber nectar.
19. Learn to dive in Ustica
There are a variety of excellent dive spots around Ustica and the diversity of marine life offer one of the best underwater experiences in the Mediterranean.
20. Sample the seafood of Mazara del Vallo
This famous fishing town is renowned for its fresh-off-the-boat seafood –from seafood pasta to sashimi, you will find it all in the restaurants of the town.
Check out our travel guide for more top places to see, and don't forget to find the perfect villa or apartment for your stay in our collections.