Prepare to be seduced by Sicily, for it is an island of dazzling diversity. Seen in its cultural influences, gastronomy, architecture, and indeed its landscapes, visiting it is a tantalising experience. Stretching from Palermo to Messina you’ll discover the north coast of Sicily, and see these distinct landscapes in all their glory.
Head for the coast to see why Sicily's beaches are considered amongst the best in the Mediterranean. Take Cefalu - beautiful soft white sands, crystalline sea and incredible sunsets, and it's right next to an impressive Arab-Norman architectural masterpiece, making this one attractive coastal spot the whole family will love. And wandering around its pretty town, complete with cobbled streets, superb restaurants, picturesque piazzas, cathedral and ancient churches (the epitome of picture-postcard perfection) – it is indeed one of life’s simple pleasures.
Mondello Beach in Palermo is also considered one of the finest on this stretch of coastline, as well as the fishing village of Capo d'Orlando, but really, you can’t go wrong when it comes to any seaside action in Sicily.
Travelling along the coast you'll find historic sites including Solunto - an excavated Roman historic town. Here you can walk amongst the courtyard villas, mosaic floors and a weed-covered amphitheatre for an atmospheric experience you won't forget.
Mountains & National Parks
Head inland and come across the dramatic hills and plains of northern Sicily, as well as some pretty impressive mountain ranges. The Madonie mountains, a regional natural park, is a joy to hike through. Medieval villages are nestled amongst the peaks, and the gastronomic delights on offer at the local restaurants have a special reputation all of their own. Wildlife more your thing? You might want to try the Nebrodie Mountains. Also a national park, it is renowned for its fauna; wild cats, porcupines and black pigs to name a few, so don't forget your binoculars!
Want to get out on that gorgeous crystal-clear sea? A day trip to the Aeolian Islands is a must! The UNESCO protected islands are nature's own playground, with its aquamarine waters the perfect place to enjoy any number of water sports. Smouldering volcanoes, hidden coves, black sand beaches and vast vineyards producing some delicious Sicilian wine all await you.
The jewel in the crown of the northern coast, of course, is the capital of Sicily itself: Palermo. The main gateway to the island, it's crumbling grandeur, the imposing cathedral (one of the finest Norman buildings in Sicily), Baroque palaces and Arabic domes make for incredible sightseeing. And, there really is something to see at every turn.
But, don't forget to take a break, for relaxing in one of the old squares is a treat in itself. Just make sure you try some arancini from an authentic street food stall, take a seat in a restaurant for some seriously sumptuous seafood, and then finish off with the finest gelato you've ever tasted - all while basking in the Sicilian sun. Sounds like bliss to us.