Are you planning a trip to Sicily or just looking for ideas for your next vacation? Sicily is a breathtaking island known for many things, many of which are related to the riches of the prehistoric world. The island is quite big and packed with endless attractions including beaches and curious ancient ruins such as the Greek Theater of Taormina and Valley of the Temples and Villa Romana del Casale, which is now a world heritage site. The twin of cities Modica and Ragusa are also sights to behold, with their fine representation of Europe’s pinnacle of Baroque art.
Read this article till the end to discover 15 best things to do in Sicily, Italy.
15 Best Things to Do in Sicily
Tour Palermo, the capital city
There is no better place to start touring Sicily than its capital Palermo. The city is extremely rich with numerous historical monuments and structures and many fortresses and churches.
Make sure you don’t miss exploring the Massimo Theater, the Norman Palace, the Ballaro Market, and the Palermo Cathedral.
Just a few kilometers from the city, you will find Monreale Cathedral, which one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island. The stately church features tens of thousands of square feet of golden mosaics, which used up to 2200 kilograms of pure gold.
Visit the Valley of the Temples
This vast complex of tombs and temples is fund in Agrigento. They date back to 500 BC including the Doric temple of Tempio di Concordia, which is one of the well-preserved temples in Sicily.
The eastern side of the complex includes temples such as Tempio di Juno Lacinia, while the western wing you will find the Temple of the Olympian Zeus, which is the largest in the complex standing at 40 meters tall though it was destroyed by an earthquake.
Discover more ancient treasures at Selinunte
Selinunte is among the most important and largest archaeological sites in Sicily. It consists of eight ancient Greek temples from the 5th century BC. The most popular however are the temples in the Eastern Group, labeled Temple E because of its impressive architectural splendor and Temple G because of its sheer size.
The two temples are considered the zenith of the Classical period.
Discover the buried villa in Enna
Villa Romana del Casale is a villa in Enna that was buried by a 12th-century mudslide, preserving it for eight centuries. It is believed that this is one of the well-preserved villas of the Roman Empire and still has some of its original decoration.
So far, only 50 rooms of the villa have been excavated and have a mosaic floor spanning more than 3,700 square feet with decorations from current and mythos life.
Check the Greek Theater in Taormina
Set within the mountaintop of Erice, Taormina is hands down the most gorgeous town on the island of Sicily. It is loved by tourists for its beautiful setting in addition to the glorious Greek Theater and the amazing vistas of Etna Mountain.
The main road in Taormina is Corso Umberto, which cuts it in a sequence of terraces and squares, with venerable buildings, open-air cafés, and smart shops lining it.
The main landmark of the town is Greek Theater, which was built in the 3rd century BC and later rebuilt by the Romans in the 4th century BC.
Visit the Aeolian Islands
The Aeolian Islands are made up of seven atolls, all of volcanic, some instinct while others are still active. They are located on the northern shore of Sicily and can be accessed by a boat from Milazzo or Messina.
The most popular of the seven islands is Stromboli, which is known for its wild pyrotechnics each night.
Discover the towns of Modica and Ragusa
During the 1693 earthquake, most of Sicily’s southern tip was leveled, including the two towns Modica and Ragusa.
The two towns were later rebuilt in Baroque style, which they maintained to these days. Modica and Ragusa are now among the world heritage sites in Italy as well as other six neighboring towns.
Try ice cream in Syracuse
The laidback town of Syracuse and Ortigia Island lies on the east shore of Sicily. The charming Ortigia is the historical center of Syracuse and features plenty of attractions including fountains, squares, landmarks, churches, fortresses, and some great ice cream parlors.
The main attraction here includes the Piazza del Duomo, the Arethusa fountain, which is scintillating under the golden evening sun, and the port.
Make sure you grab an ice cream at Voglia Matta or Gelateria Belfiore Gelato & Cioccolato.
Ride to Scala dei Turchi
A short distance from the Valley of the Temples, you will find Scala Dei Turchi. Here you can enjoy the sights of a silver limestone cliff and the soft sand beaches.
Explore Torre Salsa Natural Reserve
This nature reserve borders Selinunte on one side and Agrigento on the other, which makes it an ideal break from the ancient monuments surrounding it.
There is also a huge sandy beach for people to relax.
Go to the Aegadian Islands
The Aegadian Islands are a perfect day trip or if you have time, several days. Boats leave Trapani to these islands a few times each day, so reaching them is not a problem.
The top 3 of the Aegadian Islands include Marettimo, Favignana, and Levanzo.
Visit the most beautiful beaches in Sicily
If exploring the beaches of Sicily Island is on your bucket list, there are many beautiful sandy beaches on the island that you may not be able to visit them all.
The most popular include Isola Bella, Cala Rossa (found in Favignana Island), San Vito Lo Capo Beach, and Calamosche Beach.
Visit Cefalu Cathedral
It is believed that Cefalu Cathedral was built by King Roger II of Norman, as a ritual offering for his people to survive a storm at sea.
The cathedral is one of the most fascinating buildings in the island, blending the elements of Greek, Arab, Norman, and Byzantine.
Ride a cable car up Mount Etna
Standing more than 3,000 meters, Mount Etna is the highest peak on the Island. The enigmatic mountain is always covered with volcanic smoke. Despite the volcanic activities, visitors can still explore most parts of the mountain on foot or in vehicles. But the best way is to ride a cable car, which will take you as high as 2,500 meters.
Tour Palatine Chapel and Royal Palace
The Palatine Chapel was finished in 1143 and is inside the Royal Palace gardens in the city of Palermo. The whole complex features diverse styles including Sicilian, European, Arabic, and Byzantine.
You can explore this vast complex through a guided tour.
To help you plan out your visit to Sicily, we listed places to visit and other amazing activities to do in Sicily, Italy. We also listed some of the best travel and tour packages, as well as excellent flight deals and accommodation.
Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of affordable Sicily hotels and resorts via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.
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