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The alluring island of Sicily boasts a great mix of history, culture, food, and natural beauty. As the largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily has been a melting pot of cultures for generations with each one making its mark. From ancient ruins to stunning beaches, bustling cities, and delicious cuisine, Sicily offers something for everyone (and it’s not as crowded or expensive as Rome, Florence, or Venice).
Here are five things you can’t miss on your visit.
5. Explore the Ruins in Agrigento
Sicily is a treasure trove of archaeological wonders, with well-preserved ruins from several ancient civilizations. Among the most famous is the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. This UNESCO World Heritage site features incredibly well-preserved Greek temples. We had a rental car, but there are plenty of companies that can be hired to take you here whether as part of a tour or privately (here is one).
Can’t Miss: The Temple of Concordia is ranked among the best-preserved structures of Ancient Greek civilization. Fight the heat (or go off season) and check out this impressive temple.
Address: 92100 Agrigento, Free municipal consortium of Agrigento, Italy
4. Sunbathe on Sicily’s Beautiful Beaches
With its extensive coastline, Sicily boasts an array of stunning beaches. Head to San Vito lo Capo for pristine white sands or visit Isola Bella, a small island nature reserve near Taormina. For a unique beach experience, head to Scala dei Turchi, a stunning white limestone cliff in Agrigento, ideal for sunbathing and picturesque sunset views. We didn’t get to take one, but there are lots of boat tours available here. If you want a good mix of history and beach, head to Cefalu to wander its Old Town and then soak up the sun (pictured in the featured image).
Can’t Miss: If you’re a White Lotus fan, explore Isola Bella after strolling Taormina and the area’s gorgeous coastline.
Address: Scala dei Turchi: Coast of Realmonte, near Porto Empedocle, Sicily | Isola Bella: Near Taormina, Sicily
3. Watch Mount Etna Erupt
Dominating the Sicilian skyline, Mount Etna is Europe’s most active volcano and an iconic symbol of the island. Adventurous travelers can embark on a trek to its summit and witness breathtaking panoramic views. Alternatively, take a jeep tour to explore the rugged volcanic landscape and learn about the geological marvels of this majestic mountain.
Can’t Miss: We watched it lightly sputter while in Taormina. It’s cool to see the lava from a distance, especially at night. None of the locals seem to pay it any mind. Have a cocktail as you watch this natural wonder.
Address: Catania, Sicily
2. Pay Your Respect to the Mummified Capuchin Monks
The Capuchins are renowned for their dedication to serving the community. Even in death, they provide a tourist attraction in their iconic catacombs, where the remains of thousands of mummified monks and local citizens are displayed. This creates a unique and somewhat macabre attraction for visitors and pilgrims alike.
Can’t Miss: Check out the evolution of fashion on the hundreds of mummified citizens (aside from the monks who fill these halls).
Address: Piazza Cappuccini, 1, 90129 Palermo PA, Italy
1. Savor Sicilian Cuisine
No trip to Sicily is complete without indulging in its cuisine. From the iconic arancini (fried rice balls) and pasta dishes like Pasta alla Norma (with eggplant) to the fresh seafood and delectable desserts like cannoli and cassata, Sicilian food is a tantalizing journey for the taste buds. Explore local trattorias and family-run restaurants to experience authentic Sicilian flavors.
Can’t Miss: One of my favorite meals (two years in a row) was at Il Salumaio di Santamarina. I find myself dreaming about its amazing antipasti and Pasta alla Norma.
Address: Il Salumaio Di Santamarina: Via del Celso, 3, 90134 Palermo PA, Italy
Sicily offers everything you could want in a Mediterranean-island vacation with the right mix of delicious food, history, culture, and more.
Bonus Hotel Pick: The Alma Hotel in Palermo, is the perfect base to explore the region. Nestled in the heart of the city, this boutique hotel offers comfortable rooms, good air conditioning, reliable Wi-Fi, and a nice breakfast with homemade cakes and baked goods. Its prime location allows visitors to easily explore the vibrant streets of Palermo, immersing themselves in the city’s rich cultural heritage. My full review can be found here.
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