Choose only 10 among the most beautiful places of a fabulous region like Sicily turns out to be an absolutely impossible undertaking, one that not even the best Cicero would be able to complete without raising some criticism.
In any case, we wanted to unbalance ourselves by formulating a ranking as impartial as possible on the Sicilian wonders. History, art, culture and nature intersect in a fantastic plot, able to capture the heart of every free spirit, of all passionate traveling souls: here's what to see in Sicily, the 10 most beautiful places to visit in 2020, incredible pearls to leave you breathless.
- San Vito Lo Capo, Zingaro Reserve and Scopello
- Taormina and Isola Bella
- Palermo, Monreale and Cefalù
- Etna Park and Alcantara Gorges
- Lampedusa and the Rabbit Beach
- Syracuse, Ortigia and Cavagrande del Cassibile
- Scala dei Turchi and Valley of the Temples in Agrigento
- Val di Noto
- Favignana and Levanzo
- Lipari, Vulcano and Stromboli
- User questions and comments
1 - San Vito Lo Capo, Zingaro and Scopello Reserve
When one thinks of Sicilian beauties, one cannot help but consider its sea. Of all the fantastic beaches scattered along the west coast, one in particular stands out: the beach of San Vito lo Capo.
The famous seaside resort does not need any presentation, its qualities are known to all, Sicilians and not.
For many it is "a Sicily apart": tidy, organized, full of efficient services and with excellent programming, with the summer season full of concerts and events, among which the Cous Cous Fest stands out.
In the territory of San Vito Lo Capo there is the Riserva dello Zingaro, an unspoiled corner of paradise, with beautiful coves and seabeds for lovers of the sea, but also trekking routes in the middle of the Mediterranean scrub. Finally, a few kilometers from the reserve lies Scopello, fraction of the municipality of Castellammare del Golfo famous for its stacks and the tonnara.
2 - Taormina and Isola Bella
Taormina deserves praise for its archaeological wealth. The Ancient Theater, the Numachie, the Odeon and the Castle of Monte Tauro, but also the Duomo and Palazzo Corvaja, we recommend that you visit these precious gems through an organized walking tour, in order to appreciate their historical importance.
As if that were not enough, they also add wonderful beaches and coves, like the Baia delle Sirene and above all the magnificent Isola Bella. The latter is known as the "pearl of the Mediterranean", and it is an islet connected to the coast by an isthmus that only resurfaces at low tide.
You can reach the beach connected to the island via a staircase, but beware of the ascent which can be extremely tiring due to the scorching heat. If you don't feel like striving, use the cable car, or better yet, visit the area on a cruise along the coast with a swim at Isola Bella.
3 - Palermo, Monreale and Cefalù
For a tourist who really wants to experience Sicily, Palermo is a city to discover, even better if you do it through a tour of gastronomy and history (you are in the Italian capital of street food!).
Artistic, historical and cultural reference point of Sicily, the city offers many things to see: the Cathedral, the Quattro Canti, the Massimo Theater and the Politeama, the Martorana Church and the Palatine Chapel, Palazzo dei Normanni, La Zisa and Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri. The tourist bus tour allows you to visit all the must in one day, therefore it is the ideal solution if you are doing a traveling tour of Sicily and therefore you are in Palermo for a short time, it also greatly facilitates travel (walking under the sun in summer can be very tiring).
After admiring Palermo, you need to dedicate a second day to the nearby cities of Cefalù and Monreale, whose cathedrals are among the Unesco heritage. To reach them, simply book a convenient half-day organized tour with transfer included. Finally, if you have more time left, dedicate a third day to Mondello and Sferracavallo, the seaside districts of Palermo.
4 - Etna Park and Alcantara Gorges
The Etna park is a destination to visit at any time of the year.
If you visit the area in summer, the reserve offers an inordinate amount of opportunities, understood as guided tours, sports activities and excursions.
Our advice is to take a morning excursion from Catania
and then move towards the Alcantara Gorges, another breathtaking natural attraction (comfortable combined tours are also available).
If, on the other hand, you prefer a romantic experience, opt for a sunset tour on Etna, and dedicate the morning to visiting some nearby seaside resorts such as Acireale, Aci Castello, Aci Trezza.
Also in winter the park is an attraction of enormous interest, just think that it is the most important ski destination of the whole island. You can also visit the main Etna pedimontani villages such as Bronte, Zafferana and Nicolosi.
5 - Lampedusa and the Rabbit Beach
The island of Lampedusa is certainly among the destinations not to be missed in Sicily, especially for sea lovers. Here is the most beautiful beach in the world: la Rabbits Beach, awarded the prestigious recognition by the TripAdvisor community.
Surely the unmissable experience is the boat tour of the main coves, and the daily excursion to the island of Lampione (about 40 km away), also you can easily reach the island of Linosa by ferry (53 km away).
6 - Syracuse, Ortigia and Cavagrande del Cassibile
It is truly amazing how Syracuse manages to enclose such a large number of attractions. L'Greek amphitheater and the Ear of Dionysus in Neopolis Park, the Fonte Aretusa, the Baroque Cathedral and the Maniace Castle on the island of Ortigia, the historic city center, are unique rarities, which we recommend you to discover through an excellent guided walking tour.
In the surroundings of the city, it is possible to admire naturalistic places of great importance, such as the Necropolis of Pantalica (51 km away) and the Reserve of Cavagrande del Cassibile (40 km away), where i lakes of ancient Avola. These beautiful mirrors of water are immersed in a natural territory of immense charm. To reach them you have to suffer a little. The path is particularly tiring, perhaps too much, especially for people out of shape and for people a little older in age, but their sight is able to repay any physical effort ... Other places of interest nearby are the beach of Fontane Bianche (17 km), Avola (25 km) and Noto (37 km).
7 - Scala dei Turchi and Valley of the Temples in Agrigento
Even the province of Agrigento deserves a place in our colassification due to the presence of two unique attractions: Scala dei Turchi and the Valley of the Temples!
You just need to look at the Scala dei Turchi beach on a postcard to be literally struck by evocative beauty of its landscape. Superb, majestic and imposing, the ivory-colored cliff rises above the sea, giving unforgettable emotions to tourists and visitors.
Unfortunately, access is often forbidden due to landslides, so the best way to admire it is by sea via a 'catamaran excursion.
A little more than 12 km away is the Valley of the Temples, one of the best preserved archaeological parks in the world, as well as one of the most important testimonies of the Hellenic civilization of Sicily.
To live an exciting experience we recommend the E-scooter tour or the night visit.
8 - Val di Noto
The Val di Noto is located between the province of Catania and the Syracusan one and contains eight beautiful baroque cities UNESCO heritage: Catania, Ragusa, Caltagirone, Noto, Modica, Militello, Scicli and Palazzolo Acreide.
Not far from it you can visit naturalistic sites such as Cavagrande del Cassibile, the wildlife oasis of Vendicari and the Plemmirio Marine Reserve, and places of archaeological interest such as Pantalica, Palazzolo Acreide and the Neapolis of Syracuse.
Surely the best way to visit these areas is to stay in Catania or Noto and from here leave for the various municipalities.
9 - Favignana and Levanzo
We cannot leave the beautiful Egadi Islands out of the ranking. Even before docking on Favignana, you will be amazed by the beauty of the island. The largest of the Egadi Islands, it is covered in bright white houses with contrasting blue or green windows and is surrounded by turquoise waters. It offers fantastic scenery as well some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Italy. Equally fascinating is Levanzo, smaller and more intimate, an ancient fishing village to discover and understand, immersing yourself in a slow and relaxed atmosphere.
The Egadi Islands can be reached from the ports of Trapani and Marsala. You can choose to stay in Favignana for a few days and then make excursions to Levanzo and Marettimo.
10 - Lipari, Vulcano and Stromboli
The Aeolian Islands are a popular destination, especially loved by foreign tourists. These are 8 islands of volcanic origins, one more beautiful than the other, able to guarantee postcard sceneries. There is no island that can "represent" the entire Archipelago, because they are all characteristics and different from each other, but if we had to recommend two to base ourselves on, we would say Lipari and Vulcano, the "most touristic of the group. ", therefore those with the greatest choice of hotels and restaurants and better connections with the others. However, the active volcano Stromboli also deserves a visit, especially for the possibility of making an unforgettable trekking at sunset in Sciara del Fuoco, an impressive depression from which lava flows.
Again we recommend stay on one of the main islands, and then visit the other nearby through excursions by sea. If, on the other hand, you have very little time available, you can participate in simple organized cruises departing from Milazzo, Taormina and Tropea.
Plan your stay in Sicily: how to get there and where to sleep
Sicily lends itself to different types of travel. Arriving is very simple, three airports are available located in Palermo, Catania and Trapani (flights starting from € 23,00 -).
If you want to enjoy the sea and some excursions, stay in a location on the coast or on an island. We recommend Castellammare del Golfo for the western area, Fontane Bianche for the eastern area, Favignana for the Egadi Islands and Lipari for the Aeolian Islands (find the best offers on booking).
For a complete itinerary between sea, culture and history, organize an "on the road" trip by renting a car (from € 42,00 per day). You can land in Palermo and leave from Catania, or make a complete tour and leave from the capital. If you are short on time, visit only one of the two sides according to your preferences. For Western Sicily, stay in Palermo and San Vito Lo Capo (accommodations from € 50,00 per night), for Eastern Sicily, base yourself in Catania, Taormina and Noto (accommodations from € 50,00 per night).