Sicily from Etna’s volcanic landscape to dazzling white beaches to the south

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Sicily is situated off the ”boot” of Italy, close to the Italian mainland and not far from Africa. The island is fascinating, and large enough to warrant several visits if you really want to see it all. Why not take a tour of its wineries, or its wealth of historical attractions will keep history buffs busy for as long as they choose. The beaches are beautiful; you may even have one all to yourself! Golf vacations are a popular option which is described in detail in other sections. You can explore the island by car or by bike. It´s no wonder the island´s popularity is growing.

This is where you find the true blend of what we could call “the Mediterranean culture”. Here, you can find Greek temples, Norman churches, and baroque palaces. A melting pot of “cultural threads” and history.

And as if that isn´t enough, the wild landscapes and rugged coasts of Sicily are unbelievably beautiful, and the volcanic landscapes fascinating and so different from what most of us have experienced before; Mount Etna with its snow-clad peaks towers over the island, and the virtually undiscovered beaches of the south coast are an extra bonus.

Sicily. Mondello white beach outside Palermo

Sicily. Mondello white beach outside Palermo

Want to catch those last few rays? Then Sicily is the place!

Sicily has no fewer than 2,528 hours of sunshine per year. As Sicily has almost the same climate as North Africa, albeit tempered by the ocean influence, the temperature is comfortable all year long, with only moderate fluctuations. Spring is considered by many to be the best time to visit when the flowers already start to bloom in February. The autumn is long and you can still swim in the sea in November. So from a European point of view, winter is really very short on Sicily. In the hottest months of summer, most people head for the beach or find a shady spot in the garden.

It is a true pearl and, for many, a new island destination just waiting to be explored. It´s the ideal place for travelers, who enjoy combining cultural experiences with fantastic outdoor surroundings and exciting cities that offer a completely different twist to mainland Italy.

Sicilian grape on the slopes of Etna Volcano ready for harvest

Sicilian grape on the slopes of Etna Volcano ready for harvest

There is so much to see on Sicily

Catania and Siracusa, and the whole region surrounding Mt. Etna with its typical volcanic landscape is a must. The many wine-producing regions produce local vintages you will never see on the supermarket shelves.

Traditional fishing village Aspra in Sicily, Italy

A Sicilian wine culture that stretches back 4000 years!

Here you will find both refreshingly simple wines as well as more sophisticated ones produced from local grapes with new, exciting names such as Nero d’Avola, Frappato, Calabrese, Grosso Nero, or Nerello. Here, the wine culture has existed for 4000 years; passed on from generation to generation in some of the most charming wineries you´ll find anywhere.

Picturesque Taormina is also on the shortlist of musts to visit. And don´t miss Modica and the other baroque towns towards the south if you can help it. The Greek temples at Agrigento, Selinunte and Segesta are also an absolute must. The Roman mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale in the Piazza Armerina and the massive Baroque Cathedral are also well worth a visit for history buffs.

Sicilian couscous from Trapani: The best of two worlds

The food on Sicily is a whole chapter by itself, so we´ll get back to that later. But let us just whisper a tip in your ear…couscous from Trapani or cakes from Noto. The trip is worth it just for these alone! See the video here.

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Siciliy, Golfcourse: Il Picciolo Etna Golf

Siciliy, Golfcourse: Il Picciolo Etna Golf

 

Playing golf on the slopes of Mount Etna, Sicily?

In Sicily, if you like to play golf, you can enjoy a round at the foot of Mt. Etna – surely a one-off experience? You could stay at golf hotel right at the golf course, which is in very good shape and be at the beach in the afternoon in 30 minutes and eat in the harbour of Palermo in the evening. Sicily offers the best of many wishes. Link to the golf course Il Piccolo Etna Golf

See the Greek temple, Valle dei Templi from the 5th century, UNESCO Heritage site

Agrigento, Sicily. Famous Valle dei Templi, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Greek temple, remains of the Temple of Castor and Pollux.

Agrigento, Sicily. Famous Valle dei Templi, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Greek temple, remains of the Temple of Castor and Pollux.

A great deal has changed since Goethe visited Sicily in April 1787, but the Valley of the Temples (Valle dei Templi) remains as it has been down through the ages. Here, you´ll find temples from the 5th century and if those ancient columns could talk, what tales they would tell of the numerous violent wars that have been waged around them. Don´t miss a tour to Mt. Etna either which is on UNESCO´s list of World Heritage Sites. This is one of the world´s most iconic and active volcanoes where there is almost continuous volcanic activity. Eruptions have been traced back 500,000 years and recorded for over 2700 years! It´s a once in a lifetime experience.

Read much more about Palermo, Taormina and Catania on Sicily here.

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Colosseum, the iconic monument and the ancient Rome

 

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