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Most popular areas in Sicily

See all cities and destinations in Sicily

Browse through our catalogue of handpicked holiday accommodation in Sicily by using the search machine above and you will find many enticing options for hotels, apartments and villas set amidst magnificent scenery, near golden sandy beaches, and in historic and atmospheric towns throughout the island. Why not contact our Sicily travel experts and let us help you choose?

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Sicily is a destination that has it all; sun, beach, nature, culture, wine & gastronomy and, not least, an adventurous atmosphere. The amazing weather, olive groves, almond trees, the smell of orange flowers and jasmine also play their part in making Sicily a sensory and wonderful experience for you. Delicious tuna fish, swordfish, sea urchins, seafood, pork and lamb, fruit of all colours such as peaches, figs, blood oranges, lemons and tasty vegetables all accompanied by good Sicilian wine make a stay in Sicily an unforgettable experience.

Read more about Sicily

Good value with no compromises

Many parts of Sicily still remain untouched by the masses of tourists that you would find in other parts of Italy, yet Sicily's coastline is just as beautiful as Amalfi's, and Sicily's towns and villages are just as evocative as those in Tuscany and Marche. Also in general, the prices for accommodation and dining out in Sicily are lower than in many other parts of Italy's mainland, so along with the increased flights with budget airlines to Catania and Palermo airports, it means that you can enjoy a reasonably priced holiday in Sicily with no compromises.

The Authentic Sicily

Sicily is a dream come true when it comes to finding the authentic and picturesque Italy. Small charming fishing villages are juxtaposed with evocative cities with narrow streets and squares where locals often gather in the evening. Almost every town in Sicily gives us a true portrait of the real Italy.

Something that we must not forget when we talk about authentic Southern Italy is the warm hospitality that you will find upon arrival at your holiday home, or during the evening at your chosen restaurant. You will be received with open arms almost everywhere you go and this is what we love the most about authentic Sicily.

Towns

Experience a vibrant Island

There are few areas in the Mediterranean which can boast such a unique and varied wealth of historical information. Palermo is a wonderful mixture of the Norman with a touch of Arab combined with Spanish architecture, lively markets, liberty style villas, small parks and an atmosphere bordering on chaotic, but still deeply fascinating.

Ragusa, Modica and Noto all have an impressive Baroque feel to them with characteristic streets and small piazzas surrounded by beautiful countryside. Siracusa with its roots in antiquity has the charming Ortigia neighbourhood and a sensational sense of unique history. Classical Taormina has a beautiful location with Etna in the background and here you can experience the Greek theatre, many fine streets and a wonderful views over the sea.

Piazza Armerina in the heart of Sicily at a height of almost 700 metres has medieval and Baroque elements and atmospheric streets and lanes. Caltagirone is characterised by its impressive ceramics and magnificent surrounding countryside. The atmospheric harbour town of Sciacca has charming streets and squares, the inviting Mediterranean sea and many lovely sandy beaches.

History

Discover Greek & Roman footprints

The history of Sicily is fascinating as the island has been under the influence of so many different nations since the dawn of time. The Greeks were amongst the first who inhabited the island and introduced the Greek culture and lifestyle.

The Romans followed suit and also left their mark on the island. This was followed by a period where the remains of the declining Roman Empire, on the strength of Byzantium, took control of the island. In the following centuries Sicily saw Arab, Norman, French and Spanish dominance.

All of these cultures have left their mark on the island of Sicily in the form of buildings, food and dialect. And it is precisely this diverse cultural mix that makes Sicily such a fascinating experience.

Sun and sea

Find many beautiful places to swim

If you are looking for a beach holiday then Sicily has a lot to offer you all around the Island. There are long and wide sandy beaches combined with cliffs and small bays and, not least, a crystal clear sea to swim in. Whatever type of beach holiday you want, then Sicily has it all. .

The area around the town San Vito has wonderful sandy beaches with clear shallow water. Between Castellammare del Golfo and Palermo you also find smaller sandy beaches but the area is mainly characterised by rock formations. The coastal area around the towns Borgo San Gregorio, Capo d'Orlando and Cefalù offers sandy beaches in some places and smaller rocky stretches.

To the west, southwest and southeast there are long wide sandy beaches, which in some places are almost untouched. As with so many other places in Sicily you will also find occasional rocky stretches.

There are lots of opportunities for great swimming in Sicily - both along the island's own coast and also on the many small islands that lie on the northeast side of the island (the Aeolian islands) and west of Trapani. Enjoy swimming from the rocks and emerald green grottoes, crystal clear water and the chalk-white sandy beaches.

Holiday accommodation in Sicily

We love Sicily at In-Italia, and since we are sure that you will love it too for all the same reasons, we have toured the island diligently in search of the most interesting and charming accommodation to share with you. You can choose from our collection of over 100 holiday self-catering accommodation options including independent apartments / vacation rentals, private villas, apartments within a complex or agriturismo and hotels. You choose the type of accommodation that suits your needs. Maybe you would like to have complete privacy for your family or group and a pool to yourselves? If so, choose one of our handpicked villas. Alternatively if you are not sure what is best, why don't you take advantage of our 15 years of experience of travel in Sicily and let us help you choose?

Travelling to Sicily

There are international flights arriving into Catania airport on the east coast, Palermo airport over in the west and the slightly smaller airport of Trapani in the far western part of Sicily. More and more budget airlines are operating here from all over Europe so the choice is pretty good. Once you are here, the motorway that runs around the perimeter of Sicily covers approx. 2500 km and will take you to pretty much everywhere you want to go.

You will find that it is generally quite cheap to travel around Sicily using the train services also. You can check the trains on www.trenitalia.com. There are bus services which tend to be more frequent in the summer season. However, we recommend that you hire a car once you arrive to give you the maximum flexibility.

Nature

Exotic landscapes

Sicily offers the visitor incredibly varied and beautiful countryside, which reflects the changing seasons. In the northeast, the volcano Etna thunders majestically in the landscape, its slopes partially covered by vegetation and surrounded by fertile valleys. Vineyards are also found on its slopes in many places.

The southeast corner

The southeast corner of the island has been blessed with the beautiful Monte Iblei mountain, which is covered in woodland. The countryside is also characterised by rolling hills with lovely vineyards, olive groves, almond and lemon trees and the characteristic carob tree. Along the coast towards the west are the long wide sandy beaches whose crystal clear waters invite you to take a refreshing dip on a mild spring day or a warm summer day.

The north coast of Sicily

The island's north coast lives in the shadow of the Monti Nebrodi mountains, which reach impressive heights close to 2000 metres. The mountains have forest areas relieved by meadows, lakes and small villages. In the area behind the interesting town of Cefalù you find the so-called Madonie mountains which are also partially covered with forests and which have several charming and interesting towns such as Petralia Sottana and Petrali Soprana, Collesana and Gangi.

In the hills behind Palermo you can find various areas of land cultivated for vineyards, and fruit and vegetable growing. The Ficuzza forest is an impressive sight and there are many fascinating stalactite caves and atmospheric towns here.

Lo Zingaro Nature Reserve

The landscape towards the west becomes flatter but still has rolling hills relieved by rugged rock formations. The countryside appears slightly drier here in west Sicily but there are also many green oases with cultivated areas and inviting olive groves. West of Palermo you find the nature reserve Lo Zingaro, which stretches out to the coast and whose steep cliffs have large and interesting caves. The sea in the Nature Reserve is crystal clear and there are several small and peaceful lagoons.

The south of Sicily

The south coast has exciting and often remote coastal stretches. The landscape has fewer height variations than in other parts of Sicily. The hinterland is dominated by citrus and almond trees and some olive groves in certain places.

The central part of Sicily reaches great heights in places and can appear a harsh environment. Here the landscape consists of endless wheat fields and there can be a good distance between the green areas dependant on where you are.

Food and wine

Taste the African gastronomic influences

Sicily has been blessed with a fantastic selection of raw ingredients. The soil is fertile and rich in nutrients and is in many places originally volcanic. Since classical times olives and olive oil have been produced here. Today two Sicilian olive oils, one from Monti Iblei in the southeast part of the island and the other from Nocellara del Belice in the western part of the islands, are considered to be among Italy's best olive oils. Both types are characterised by a very low acid content and an intense scent. A lovely aromatic hint is achieved by adding salt to the oils.

Almond trees, fig trees, blood oranges and lemons

Almond and fig trees embellish the countryside in many places. When the almond trees blossom in February and March it gives the Sicilian countryside a completely unique character. The white flowers make a beautiful and fascinating sight. If you have never tried fresh almonds, which are in season during the summer months, then you should make a point of doing so here. The Arabs introduced citrus fruit to the island around 800 AD and today Sicily is famous for its excellent blood oranges and lemons. Sicily also produces tomatoes in the area around Pachino in the southeast corner. The tomatoes from this area are famed throughout all Italy. Other fruit and vegetables that are grown here include peaches (beautiful juicy red varieties), apricots, peppers, artichokes and aubergines. A very interesting and delicious vegetable is the special Sicilian courgette variety, which curls up and is very long. Herbs that are often used include wild fennel, rosemary, basil, fresh bay leaves and thyme.

Fish and seafood: The sea around Sicily provides a wide range of exciting culinary experiences that include the fantastic tuna and swordfish, all types of squid, various types of shrimp, lobster, mussels, John Dory fish, the so-called Cernia and the delicate sea urchin. At some fishmongers you may be able to come across the particularly delicious moray eel.

Meat, game and poultry: The preferred types of meat are pork, lamb and goat. The pork from Monti Iblei is of particularly good quality but for a thoroughly unique taste experience you have to be lucky enough to try the meat from the special black pigs that roam freely in the Monti Nebrodi mountains. Sicilian lamb has a wonderful taste and is prepared in many exciting ways. Although game is not often eaten in Sicily, you can often find rabbit on the menu and sometimes even wild boar.
Sausages and ham: The Sicilian sausages and hams that are among the best on the island are produced mainly in the Nebrodi mountains. Among the especially good ones are Fellata (pork), Pancetta Arrotolata dei Monti Nebrodi (pork) and Prosciutto dei Monti Nebrodi (ham produced from the local and free range black pigs from the Nebrodi mountains).
In the Ragusa area they make the great Salame di Chiaramonte Gulfi (pork). This area is also famed for its good pork brawn. Towards the west around Palermo they make the characteristic Buffa sausage (pork). Up towards the province of Messina you will find the good sausage Salame di Sant' Angelo (pork).

Cheese: In the area around Palermo you will typically be able to try wonderful cheeses such as Caciocavallo Palermitano (Sicilian Cinisara cattle) and Vastedda Palermitana.
In the central part of western Sicily around Trapani they produce many different interesting and delicious cheeses such as Ericino (mainly produced from sheep's milk but often also from cow's milk from the Cinisara breed), Cofanetto (mix of milk from Cinisara cattle and the special sheep from Valle del Belice), Vastedda della Valle del Belice (sheep's cheese), Caciotta degli Elimi and Provola Siciliana.

In the central highlands you find good varieties such as Canestrato (most often made from cow's milk but sometimes from sheep or goat's milk) and Piacentinu Ennese (spiced with saffron). Between Ragusa and Siracusa they make the lovely Ragusano (cow's milk) and Ricotta Siciliana.

The area around Messina and the northern part of Etna is famous for the Maiorchino cheese.
In many places in Sicily they produce various types of Pecorino often called Pecorino Siciliano and Pecorino Rosso, with added dried chilli.

Sweets
Sicily is renowned for its great ice cream produced from various lovely ripe fruits, nuts and flowers. There are an incredible number of flavours such as jasmine flower, blood orange, lemon, orange flower, hazelnut, pistachio, almond, peach and prickly pear. The Sicilians have a sweet tooth and enjoy many sweet things such as cakes. You find many different types of cakes here but the best known is "Cassata Siciliana". Sicilians also make marzipan fruits and figures, which have an incredibly sweet taste and are often very artistic.

Wine and vineyards
In recent years Sicily has undergone a revival with regard to wine production. Increasing numbers of really good and internationally recognised vineyards have been continuously springing up since the middle of the 1990s. Worth mentioning are the serious producers Tasca d'Almerita and Duca di Salaparuta who are renowned for their respective red wines Rosso del Conte and Duca Enrick, which are still considered some of the best red wines in Italy.

Whereas only a few years ago you found that many vineyards mainly used international grapes, over the past 3 to 4 years there has been an increasing interest in Sicilian grapes such as Nero d'Avola (equal in quality to Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Aglianico, Corvina etc.), Perricone, Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, Frappato, Carricante and Grillo.

Nero d'Avola is the best of the black grapes in Sicily and varies greatly in appearance depending upon the fieldwork, micro climate and vinification. There are also an increasing number of really interesting white wine producers.

Below are some of the incredible Sicilian vineyards:
Gulfi, Tasca d'Almerita, Firriato, Duca di Salaparuta, Donnafugata, Planeta, Morgante, Cottanera, Feudo Montoni, Feudo Principi di Butera, Fatascià, Cusumano, Benanti and Palari.

Many of the good Sicilian vineyards are happy to open their doors to wine loving tourists. You can try and contact the particular vineyard you are interested in to find out if it is possible to arrange a time for a visit.

Information about car rental

It is ideal to rent a car when you are on holiday in Sicily, to give you the absolute fredom to stop and start when and where you like. Also it will enable to reach the more remote parts where the tourist buses and trains don't reach. The road network is well developed and it is quite easy and safe to travel by car in Sicily as long as you use your common sense. You can book car hire in all major cities, and of course from the three airports of Catania, Palermo and Trapani. It is usually in the airports that you will find the cheapest car hire prices and the largest selection of rental cars.

Prices and tips on car rental

At In-italia, we have our own agreement with Maggiore Agency who are the largest car rental company in Italy. Here you can find prices and tips. You can also find information on car rental through companies such as Avis, Hertz and Sixt.

Search rates on car rental and get our tips and advice on insurance and the choices of car rental companies

Find your holiday accommodation in Sicily

Book your holiday accommodation in Sicily with In-Italia

You can choose from our collection of handpicked holiday accommodation including villas and self-catering apartments, B & B , vacation rentals and hotels in Sicily by using the search machine at the top of the page. Feel free to ask our experienced travel experts with over 15 years experience of travel in Sicily for free advice. Contact us by email using the contact link at the top of the page, by using the chat box to the bottom left of the page, or call us using the number to the right of the page. We look forward to making your holiday in Sicily a dream come true.

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