When people discover that Nino and I take people around Sicily on tour they often ask ‘What are the main things we should see and do if we go there?’ Or ‘What has Sicily got that Italy hasn’t’?
So…..here are my top 6 must see places if you go there:
An ancient city, world famous for its breathtaking beauty overlooking the ocean and ancient Greek theatre, fabulous concerts during the summer months, winding streets, great shopping, and sumptuous Sicilian food – do a cooking class if you wish! This citadel has it all – the taste of cosmopolitan lifestyle, rich history, fabulous food and wines, great shopping and entertainment.
2. Mount Etna
Etna is largest active volcano in Europe at 3343 meters high – you drive up through Sicilian wine country stopping on the way to sample local produce salami, cheeses, or honey until you reach Etna in all her grandeur. The nice thing about Etna is that she is accessible for the young and the 'young at heart' and you can go to whatever height you wish in the Funivia (cable car) at 2500 meters or the 4WD trucks up to 2900 meters. You will see many trekkers moving up and down the mountain enjoying what seems like ‘moonwalks’ in the summer time.
Palermo is fascinating and the capital of Sicily is over 2700 years old. She has a unique history, both ancient and modern, which will keep you enthralled when you hear the stories of life in Palermo. One of the best ways to see the city is by horse and cart ride to really get a feel for it. When we visit Palermo we often dine out in one the nearby coastal towns for a twelve course meal! (Yes I said 12)
4. Aeolian Islands
There are seven islands in the Aeolian archipelago in Tyrrhenian Sea just north of Sicily – Vulcano, Salina, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi, Panarea and Lipari. Here is a photo of our stopover on the island of Vulcano on last year’s Sicily Tour. People come from around the world to bathe in the sulphuric waters that are said to be great for your health. You can just swim in the incredibly warm ocean too and you will be often surprised by the little warm spurts of water under your feet!
In my opinion, Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples are one of the truly hidden gems of Sicily. The experience is similar to being at the Acropolis in Athens only better and not as crowded – you look and listen in awe to the story of the inspiring ancient civilization that built seven temples dating back to 6th Century BC. The Valley is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city itself has beautiful winding streets and the beachside town of nearby, San Leone, has breathtaking turquoise waters and beaches.
As you go from top to bottom in Sicily you experience the differences in the geography of this amazing island and Siracusa is a unique coastal city situated on high rocky coastline. The waters change colour here to a darker, deeper green. This beautiful old city played a key role in ancient times, when it was one of the major powers of the Mediterranean world. Siracusa is located in the southeast corner of the island of Sicily, next to the Gulf of Syracuse beside the Ionian Sea. Siracusa’s highlights include the Castle on the island of Ortigia and the ancient ruins at the Neapolis Archealogical Park, another World Heritage site! There is a cave in the archeological site known as the Ear of Dionysius and it is believed Italy’s famous painter, Caravaggio, gave it the name that refers to the famous tyrant of Siracusa, Dionysius. One legend says the cave was used as a prison for political dissidents and by means of the perfect acoustics, Dionysius eavesdropped on the plans and secrets of his captives. Another more gruesome version claims Dionysius carved the cave in that shape so that it would amplify the screams of the prisoners being tortured. You can still hear the echo when you are in the cave today!
So, why stop at 6?
I could go on and on and tell you more about other great places and experiences such as Punta Secca, Cefalu, Ragusa Ibla, Forze D’Agro, Milazzo, wineries, boating, fabulous beaches and so on….but I don’t have time sorry….you will just have to come! Check out some more photos of Sicily on our photo gallery page.
Check out our new 3, 5, 7 and 10 day tours around Sicily
Why come with us?
You will truly experience the culture, the food and the lifestyle
We have Sicilian and Italian roots and connections
We speak Italian and dialect
We know the hidden gems of Sicily
We have a fierce and passionate love for Sicily that we want to share with you
You will enjoy personalized service in a small group
You will make some new friends and connections along the way