Photo of Sicily

Visit Sicily

Sicily is a large island off the southern tip of Italy, with a coastline offering fantastic beaches, dramatic inland mountain scenery including Mount Etna, many attractive towns and villages, and numerous ancient historical monuments.

Sicily - a guide and places to visit

For a summary of the most popular sights in the region see also Sicily places to visit.

Eastern Sicily

Starting perhaps from Milazzo and Messina in the north-east of Sicily, travel down the eastern side of the island where Taormina has Greek and Roman ruins and is a good introduction to the history of Sicily.

MilazzoContinuing south past Mount Etna and the resort at Giardini Naxos, there are some fine 18th century buildings at Catania, a norman castle and old town at Paterno to enjoy, the hilltop town of Motta Sant'Anastasia, as well as the towns of Adrano and Centuripe.

Along the coast are the scenic 'islands of cyclops' at Aci Trezza, and Acireale.

Nearby you can visit the town of Mascali, rebuilt in the 1930's after the historic town was destroyed by lava flows from Mount Etna.

To the south-east the highlights include Syracuse, the ancient Greek capital (and the important prehistoric site at Cassibile nearby) and the attractive town of Noto.

Travel a little inland to Pantalica to see the 3,000 year old burial tombs, then to the hill town of Ispica for some extensive prehistoric caves. The ancient ruins at Akrai can be seen at Palazzolo Acreide, and visit also the nearby town at Buscemi.

To the north-west of of this part of south-west Sicily there are several important religious monuments at Vizzini and Mineo.

In the heart of Sicily, there is a great deal to explore and scenery to enjoy. Two particular highlights are the towns at Piazza Armerina and the old town of Enna. You can also visit Comiso and the churches of Chiaramonte Gulfi, passing perhaps by the interesting baroque towns of Modica, Ragusa and Scicli. On the coast close to Comiso, at the resort of Santa Croce Camerina, don't forget to visit the substantial ancient ruins at Kamarina.


Southern Sicily

LampedusaFar off the coast of southern Sicily (close to Africa) you can visit the Pelagian islands such as Lampedusa and Linosa, along with the scuba-diving island at Lampione.

Along the south-west coast of sicily see the historical town of Gela, also Butera a little way north and Licata. Then continuing along the south-western coast, visit the town of Agrigento and nearby Realmonte before heading to the coastal town at Sciacca.

Visit the town of Caltabellotta, a little inland and then on perhaps via Menfi to the temple ruins at Selinunte.

A little west of Selinunte is the historical cathedral and port town of Mazara-del-Vallo, then be sure to try the local renowned wine at Marsala, before heading inland to visit San Cataldo.

Western and central Sicily

TrapaniAt the western edge of Sicily the near neighbour towns of Trapani and Erice each have their own particular charm and interest, while Paceco is another interesting town in the region, best known perhaps for its salt Works nature reserve.

Marsala stands almost at the western limit of Sicily, while the village of Castellamarre del Golfo, natural reserve of Zingaro and town of Alcamo are near Trapani.

Inland to the north of Gela is the town of Aidone and the important archaeological site at Morgantina, while Piazza Armerina is a popular destination, especially for the mosaics at Villa del Casale.

Offshore from Trapani you can visit the caves on the Aegadian Islands of Favignana and Levanzo, or travel inland to the temple at Segesta, one of the best to be found on Sicily.

Northern Sicily

The north-west of the island also includes the very beautiful city at Palermo (and neighbour Bagheria), in a great scenic location. From Palermo be sure to also visit the cathedral at Monreale and Terrasini, the town of Partinico and the resort at Cinisi, and the castle at Carini. The archeological site at Iato (San Giuseppe Jato) is also noteworthy.

LevanzoThe main other towns along the northern coast are Termini Imerese and Cefalu, an attractive resort with a fine cathedral, with Trabia, Tusa and Campofelice di Roccella being nearby.

Caltavuturo, Polizzi and Petralia (in the Madonie mountains) are a little way to the south of here, as is the village of Sperlinga, while the Norman castle at Caronia is one of the oldest in Sicily.

The castle and arab baths at Cefala Diana are also recommended, ans also the town at Corleone to the south of Palermo. Don't miss the Calatrasi castle at Roccamena a little to the west.

Towards north-east Sicily the historic towns of Castroreale and Patti also deserve to be explored, and Naso has several interesting churches to visit. Nearby both Tindari and Oliveri have interesting highlights to explore and a little way south of here visit the fort and medieval town of Montalbano Elicona (with the standing stones of Argimusco) and Randazzo.

One of the beach resorts here is Capo d'Orlando and off the north-east coast of Sicily, a very popular destination to visit in this part of Italy are the Aeolian Islands, including Lipari, Filicudi, Stromboli, Vulcano and the small islands of Panarea and Ustica.

Sicily highlights - a photo gallery

  • agrigento-temple-concordia
  • castiglione-di-sicilia
  • cefalu-beach
  • etna
  • lipari
  • noto
  • san-vito-lo-capo-beach
  • taormina
  • zingaro-natural-reserve

Most Beautiful Villages - Sicily

The following Italian towns and villages in Sicily are listed among the 'most beautiful villages in Italy': Castelmola, Cefalu, Geraci Siculo, Montalbano Elicona, Novara di Sicilia, San Marco d'Alunzio and Savoca.

Orange Flag Tourism towns in Sicily

The following Italian towns and villages in Sicily are listed among the 'Orange flag towns in Italy'(a national tourist award): Sutera

For more travel and visitor information see Sicily.

See also Find Sicily hotels

Map of Sicily and places to visit


Sicily places to visit