What to do in Sicily: 60 places you absolutely must not miss
Updated: Aug 23
If there's one place in Italy that embodies the authenticity and beauty of the Mediterranean, it's undoubtedly Sicily. This magnificent island, nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean, offers a unique experience for anyone who visits: from crystal-clear seas to towering mountains, from ancient history to vibrant culture, from delicious gastronomy to artistic and architectural treasures, Sicily has it all. And if you're looking to discover the most beautiful and characteristic places of this land, you're in the right place.
In this article, we'll guide you through the 60 must-visit places in Sicily. We've handpicked a range of unique spots that will leave you breathless and make you fall in love with this stunning island. Whether you're planning a vacation or you're a local wanting to explore your homeland, this guide will help you uncover the true essence of Sicily. Join us on this thrilling journey and get ready to be swept away by the beauty of this enchanted land.
Cammarata: A picturesque town nestled in the mountains of central Sicily. Here, visitors can explore the 13th-century Church of San Nicola and the Cammarata Castle. The town also offers nature hikes through its surrounding hills and reserves.
Monti Sicani: A mountain range in western Sicily, perfect for hiking, horseback riding, or simply soaking in the breathtaking views. The region is renowned for its gastronomic delights like pecorino cheese and olive oil.
Catania: Sicily's second-largest city on the eastern coast. Highlights include the Catania Cathedral, the Elephant Fountain, the Roman Amphitheater, and Ursino Castle. Catania is also celebrated for its vibrant open-air markets and delectable local cuisine.
Aci Castello: A coastal town north of Catania, known for its Norman Castle perched on a lava rock overlooking the sea. Boat tours are available to appreciate the coastline.
Aci Trezza: Another coastal gem north of Catania, where visitors can stroll by the harbor, walk along the seafront, and marvel at the Faraglioni - large volcanic rocks off the coast.
Etna: Europe's tallest active volcano and one of the most active globally. Adventures here range from hiking to quad biking, all while enjoying the unique volcanic landscapes. The region is also a hub for exquisite wine production.
Simeto River Mouth: A protected natural area on Sicily's eastern coast, ideal for hiking, bird-watching, and immersing oneself in pristine nature.
Brucoli: A charming fishing village on the eastern coast, where visitors can explore the harbor, walk by the sea, and savor fresh seafood in local eateries.
Caltagirone: An inland city renowned for its artistic ceramics. The Ceramic Museum is a must-visit, as are the local craft shops.
Piazza Armerina: An inland city famous for its Roman Villa del Casale, a 4th-century archaeological site boasting magnificent mosaics and a historic center.
Ortigia: An island at the heart of Syracuse, renowned for its architectural and artistic wonders. Key attractions include the Syracuse Cathedral, Apollo Temple, Artemis Fountain, Maniace Castle, Greek Theatre, and the Archaeological Museum.
Plemmirio Marine Protected Area: Located on Sicily's southeastern coast near Syracuse, it's a haven for scuba diving and marine life appreciation.
Cavagrande Lakes: Natural lakes in the Anapo valley near Syracuse, offering hiking and stunning natural landscapes.
Noto: A Baroque city in the province of Syracuse, where visitors can admire historic buildings like the San Nicolò Cathedral, Ducezio Palace, and Tina Di Lorenzo Theatre.
Vendicari Reserve: A protected coastal area in the province of Syracuse, boasting beautiful beaches like Calamosche and diverse local fauna and flora.
Fornace Penna: An old furnace in Modica, Ragusa province, showcasing the beauty of an ancient industrial artifact and the brick-making process.
Ispica Caves: Caves carved into the rock in Ispica, Ragusa province, offering excursions to discover the beauty of the underground world.
Marzamemi: A quaint fishing village located in the province of Syracuse. Here, you can relish the beauty of the sea and beaches, and delve into the history and culture by visiting the Old Village and the Castle of the Villadorata Princes.
Isola delle Correnti: A small island at the southernmost tip of Sicily. It's a haven for beach lovers and divers keen to explore the stunning marine life.
Modica: Nestled in the province of Ragusa, Modica is famed for its artisanal chocolate. Visitors can explore ancient churches and Baroque palaces like the San Giorgio Cathedral, the Municipal Palace, and the Beneventano Palace.
Scicli: This picturesque village in eastern Sicily is renowned for its Baroque buildings and rich cultural history. Notable sites include the Beneventano Palace, the Church of San Giovanni Battista, and the Church of Santa Maria la Nova. Nearby marine caves, such as the Grotta dei Santi and the Grotta dei Pescatori, are perfect for boat tours.
Sampieri: A beach resort a few kilometers from Scicli, known for its sandy shores and crystal-clear waters. The Torre del Fiume, a 16th-century watchtower, offers spectacular coastal views.
Marina di Modica: A beach resort on Sicily's southeastern coast, celebrated for its white sandy beaches and clear waters. Nearby attractions include the San Giorgio Church and the Modica Castle.
Donnalucata and Plaja Grande: These beach resorts in the province of Ragusa are famed for their golden sandy beaches and clear waters. Donnalucata boasts the 17th-century Torre di Donnalucata and the Church of San Giovanni Battista. Plaja Grande offers various water activities, from snorkeling to windsurfing.
Punta Secca: A beach resort on Sicily's southeastern coast, known for its golden beach and clear waters. The Punta Secca Lighthouse, an 18th-century watchtower, provides a panoramic view of the coast.
Marina di Ragusa: A beach resort on Sicily's southeastern coast, famous for its white sandy beaches and clear waters. Key attractions include the Donnafugata Castle, an 18th-century noble residence, and the Church of Santa Maria di Porto Salvo.
Ragusa: A hilltop city renowned for its Baroque architecture, ancient buildings, and historical monuments. Highlights include the San Giovanni Battista Cathedral, the Sortino-Trono Palace, and the Ibleo Garden.
Ragusa Ibla: An ancient district of Ragusa, celebrated for its Baroque architecture and winding streets. Key sites include the San Giorgio Cathedral, the Cosentini Palace, and the Church of San Giuseppe. The district is also known for its traditional Sicilian eateries.
Agrigento - Valley of the Temples: Located on Sicily's southwestern coast, the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento is among the island's and the world's most significant archaeological sites. It's a vast complex of Doric temples dating back to the 5th century BC, including the Temple of Jupiter, the Temple of Hercules, and the Temple of Concordia. The site was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
Scala dei Turchi: This striking white rock formation on Sicily's southwestern coast near Agrigento is named after the Saracen pirate invasions of the past. The rock rises about 50 meters above the sea and is known for its vibrant hues at sunset. Visitors can walk on the formation and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding coast.
Eraclea Minoa - Foce dei Platani: Located along the southern coast of Sicily, Eraclea Minoa is an ancient Greek city boasting a well-preserved archaeological site. The beach of Eraclea Minoa is among the region's most beautiful, and the nearby Foce dei Platani offers ample opportunities for nature excursions.
Mazara del Vallo: This coastal town is renowned for its historic center filled with historical buildings, churches, and museums. It's also recognized for its fishing port and the vast array of seafood available in its eateries.
Terme di Sciacca: Located on Sicily's southwestern coast, this spa town is celebrated for its healing waters and therapeutic properties. Here, one can unwind and seek treatment in one of the many spa centers.
Marsala: Known for its fortified wine, Marsala also has much more to offer. The historic center houses numerous churches, historic palaces, and museums, while the nearby Stagnone Nature Reserve is perfect for boat trips and birdwatching.
Favignana: Situated about 7 kilometers off Sicily's western coast, this island is famed for its crystal-clear beaches, caves, and natural coves. It offers a plethora of outdoor activities, from diving and hiking to cycling.
Saline di Trapani e Paceco: Located along Sicily's northwestern coast, these salt pans have been operational since ancient times and represent a significant historical, cultural, and natural heritage. Here, one can visit traditional windmills, stroll through the salt channels, and observe numerous migratory birds nesting.
San Vito Lo Capo and Zingaro Nature Reserve: Located on Sicily's northwestern coast, this beach resort is known for its white sandy beach and the nearby Zingaro Nature Reserve, a protected area of outstanding natural beauty with hiking trails and secluded beaches.
Erice: Perched on a hill above Trapani, Erice is a well-preserved medieval town with numerous churches, historic palaces, and a castle. It offers panoramic views of the surrounding coast and the nearby island of Favignana.
Mondello: Just a few kilometers from Palermo's center, this beach resort is famous for its long white sandy beach and crystal-clear waters. It's a hub for various water sports, such as windsurfing and kitesurfing, or simply relaxing and enjoying the landscape.
Bagheria: Located in the province of Palermo, this town is known for its Baroque and Neoclassical villas, many of which are open to the public. Notable villas include Villa Palagonia and Villa Cattolica.
Palermo: Sicily's capital is renowned for its history, architecture, and culture. Key attractions include Palermo Cathedral, the Norman Palace, the Church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti, Ballarò Market, and the Massimo Theater. Be sure to savor the local cuisine, featuring delicacies like pasta with sardines and cannoli.
Cinisi: Located on Sicily's western coast, Cinisi is a picturesque town known for its sandy beach and the Cinisi Castle. Magaggiari Beach is a perfect spot to relax and enjoy the sea, while the castle offers breathtaking coastal views.
Cefalù: This picturesque coastal town east of Palermo boasts attractions such as the Cefalù Cathedral, the Rocca di Cefalù, and the Mandralisca Museum. The Cefalù beach is among Sicily's most beautiful.
Tusa: A small village on Sicily's northern coast, Tusa is known for its crystal-clear sea and rocky coastline. One of Tusa's main attractions is the San Giorgio Beach, perfect for long beach walks or snorkeling.
Milazzo: A port city on Sicily's northeastern coast, Milazzo is known for its castle and marina. From the port, ferries depart for the Aeolian Islands.
Aeolian Islands: An archipelago off Sicily's northeastern coast, these islands are known for their stunning beaches and wild nature. Lipari is the largest and most populated, while Stromboli is famous for its active volcano.
Taormina: A town on Sicily's eastern coast, Taormina is known for its Greek theater, historic center, and breathtaking coastal views. Must-visit spots include the Ancient Theater, Corso Umberto, and the Public Garden.
Calatabiano Castle: A medieval castle a few kilometers from Taormina, it's renowned for its panoramic position and stunning architecture. From here, one can enjoy panoramic views of the coast and Taormina.
Egadi Islands: An archipelago off Sicily's western coast, these islands are known for their beautiful beaches and pristine nature. Favignana is the largest and most popular.
Enna: A hilltop city in central Sicily, Enna is known for its historic center and the Lombardy Castle. The castle provides panoramic views of the city and surrounding countryside.
Castellammare del Golfo: A beautiful town in the province of Trapani, characterized by a medieval castle overlooking the sea. The town is known for its stunning beaches, including Playa di Castellammare.
Capo d'Orlando: A beach resort in the province of Messina, it's known for its long sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife. One of the town's main attractions is the seafront promenade, perfect for evening strolls.
Tindari: An ancient town on Sicily's northern coast, it's known for its archaeological site, which includes a Greek theater, a Roman villa, and a stunning basilica overlooking the sea. Visitors can also explore the nearby nature reserve, home to a beautiful lagoon and various bird species.
Gole dell'Alcantara: These are a natural wonder located in the province of Messina. They consist of a series of deep canyons and gorges carved by the Alcantara river. Visitors can enjoy hiking, rafting, and swimming in the crystal-clear waters. The park also features a visitor center, a botanical garden, and a natural history museum.
Sambuca di Sicilia: This is a charming hillside village located in the province of Agrigento. It's known for its beautiful architecture, including several churches and Baroque palaces. The town also boasts stunning views of the surrounding countryside, and visitors can enjoy hiking, cycling, and horseback riding.
Pantalica: This is an archaeological site located in the province of Siracusa. It houses over 5,000 ancient tombs carved into the cliffs, along with several imposing rock-cut temples. The site is surrounded by beautiful nature, including forests, waterfalls, and rivers.
Portopalo di Capo Passero: This is a fishing village located at the southernmost tip of Sicily. It's famous for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and excellent seafood restaurants. Visitors can also explore the nearby nature reserve, which hosts a variety of bird species.
Gibellina: This is a unique town located in the province of Trapani. It was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1968 and was rebuilt as a modern art installation. Visitors can explore the town's open-air museums, which feature sculptures and paintings by some of Italy's most famous artists.
Mondello: This is a beach resort located on the outskirts of Palermo. It's famous for its beautiful beach, considered one of the most beautiful in Sicily. Visitors can also explore the town's historic center, which features several Art Nouveau-style villas and a charming promenade.
Bagheria: This is a small town located on the outskirts of Palermo. It's famous for its beautiful villas, including Villa Palagonia, which features strange sculptures of monsters and other mythological creatures. The town also boasts several Baroque churches and a charming historic center.
If you've made it to the end of this article, it means you're ready to discover the treasures of Sicily. We're sure you won't be disappointed, as this land can amaze and enchant anyone who visits. So, don't waste time and start planning your next adventure on this wonderful island. And if you need further advice, don't hesitate to contact us: we'll be happy to help you plan your perfect trip to Sicily!