The 9 Most Beautiful Places in Sicily

Written by Rem Malloy, since 1995 Rem has been guiding and designing trips to Italy and all of Western Europe and is considered an expert in his field for over 30 years.

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Mt. Etna Sicily at dusk

Floating blissfully in the middle of the Mediterranean, Sicily tugs at the hearts of travelers far and wide. This Italian island is celebrated for its natural beauty, delectable cuisine and ancient marvels, offering a tantalizing tapestry of things to do. From the imposing shadow of Mount Etna to the charming villages of the Sicilian countryside, there is so much to discover on a tour of Sicily.  

However, there are so many places to visit in Sicily which can make planning an itinerary for your trip quite the challenge. The main allure of Sicily is its effortless elegance, which makes it one of the most beautiful places in Italy. By including some of the prettiest places in Sicily in your travel plans, you can rest assured that your trip will be filled with wonder and splendor. 

In this article, we showcase 9 of the most beautiful places in Sicily that will take your breath away. First, we will take a look at the prettiest cities in Sicily before exploring the most beautiful beaches. We then highlight idyllic islands near Sicily that you can visit for a more dynamic experience.

If you’ve been dreaming of the beautiful places in Sicily that you could see on vacation, then this is the guide for you.

The Most Beautiful Cities in Sicily

The island is dotted with a variety of cities, towns and charming villages which are some of the most beautiful places in Sicily. Cities like Syracuse and Catania are brimming with historic architecture and ancient wonders that please the eye. Likewise, Castemola offers some of the best countryside views in Sicily, making it one of the prettiest places on the island. 

Syracuse

One of the most famous cities in Sicily, Syracuse is an ideal place to visit if you want to experience the ancient beauty of the island. Syracuse was founded nearly 3000 years ago by the Ancient Greeks and was known for producing the greatest poets, philosophers and mathematicians. This rich culture is still present today as the city has been granted UNESCO World Heritage status and has a plethora of breathtaking ancient ruins to explore. 

Travelers seeking the most beautiful places in Sicily will be blown away by the delights of Syracuse. Ortigia Island is the historic heart of Syracuse and one of the best places in Sicily to see stunning Baroque architecture. If you want to step into the past and experience the majesty of Syracuse’s ancient heritage, then be sure to take a trip to The Archaeological Park of Neapolis, where you can find gorgeous Greek and Roman ruins. 

Catania

Also situated on the eastern coast, Catania is one of the most beautiful cities in Sicily. Like Syracuse, Catania is a UNESCO World Heritage site and dazzles visitors with attractions such as the Catania Cathedral and Palazzo Biscari. One feature that puts Catania above the rest when it comes to the most beautiful places in Sicily is its unique position at the bottom of Mount Etna which offers captivating views of this natural wonder. 

As the second largest city in Sicily, Catania has plenty of beautiful sights and astonishing attractions that make it one of the prettiest places on the island. Start your visit by wandering through the Piazza del Duomo and take note of the Elephant Fountain, for it is the shining symbol of Catania. If you’re yearning to see the artistic beauty of Sicily, be sure to visit Castello Ursino where the Civic Museum houses artifacts, sculptures and paintings that bring Catania’s history to life.

Castelmola

Another beautiful town in Sicily is Castelmola, perched above Taormina and offering idyllic views of the Ionian Sea. Its advantageous position inspired the Normans who built an imposing castle at the site. These days, the town is much more quaint, with tiled-streets, narrow alleys and a charming local ambience.  

Being at a higher altitude, Castelmola is one of the best places for views of Sicily’s scenery. You can take in idyllic vistas of the rolling waves and surrounding natural beauty as you explore the cobblestone streets. Being much smaller than other towns in Sicily, Castelmola is the perfect place for travelers who want some relaxation away from the hustle and bust of Sicily’s major tourist areas.

The Most Beautiful Beaches in Sicily

One of the most inviting features of Sicily is its breathtaking beaches which are the perfect place to soak up some sun and relish the natural beauty of the island. Sicily has 620 miles of coastline with sheltered coves, sandy beaches and rugged cliffs. When it comes to the most beautiful places in Sicily, the beaches certainly take the cake. 

Scala dei Turchi

Known to visitors as the Steps of the Turks, this astonishing natural rock formation is one of the prettiest places in Sicily. It is revered for its striking white marl cliffs which have been sculpted into a series of terraces through erosion. The formation creates a stark contrast to the deep blue of the Mediterranean, making it one of the must-see places in Sicily. 

Scala dei Turchi is situated between two beaches, meaning visitors can enjoy some refreshing time on the warm sands after admiring the stunning steps. It can be easily reached from Agrigento which is just a 20-minute drive away. To really experience the beauty of this part of Sicily, combine your visit with a trip to the Valley of the Temples which exude ancient beauty and wonder.

Taormina

Taormina is known for its gorgeous natural beauty and innate charm, but the most attractive feature of this Sicilian town is its beaches. The area around Taormina has some of the best beaches in Sicily, from colorful pebble beaches to soft, sandy shores, it’s one of the most beautiful places in Sicily when it comes to seaside escapes.

When it comes to beautiful places to see in Sicily, Taormina is sure to please every traveler. If you want long stretches of sand and a bustling beachside atmosphere then head south to Giardini Naxos. On the other hand, the small island of Isola Bella is a must-see for travelers who want to experience unique beaches in Sicily. 

Mondello

Separated from Palermo by Mountpeligrino, Mondello was once a quaint fishing village and has now become one of the island’s most sought-after beach towns. This seaside settlement is famous for its crystal-clear waters and arresting Liberty-style architecture, making it one of the most beautiful places in Sicily. 

Being situated between two mountains means there’s plenty of opportunities for hiking the Sicily scenery, which unveils a rugged yet irresistible landscape. However, the centerpiece of the resort is Mondello Beach, a 1-mile stretch of white sand that is well maintained for visitors. The clear turquoise waters make for the perfect backdrop and you may even be lucky enough to encounter some local wildlife as you wade into the embrace of the Mediterranean sea.

The Most Beautiful Islands Near Sicily

While this Italian island is filled with vibrant towns and picturesque beaches, some of the most beautiful places in Sicily can be found offshore. There are various islands around Sicily that offer visitors the chance to discover unspoilt scenery on a delightful day trip. Visiting these beautiful islands near Sicily can add more variety to your trip and allow you to spend some time on the azure sea.

Favignana

Favignana is the largest of the Egadi Islands and is just 4 miles off the west coast of Sicily. It is easily reachable from Palermo via a ferry and has a range of things to do such as cycling, hiking and immaculate eateries. Due to its shape, Favignana is often called the ‘butterfly of the sea’ and is part of the largest protected marine area in Europe, meaning visitors can relish the unspoiled natural allure.  

Favignana is often described as a paradise for beach lovers, with its crystalline waters and pristine sandy shores. The island’s gentle slopes and scenic vistas are dotted with wildflowers and cactus plants, putting it in the running for the most beautiful place in Sicily. This natural elegance is highlighted by the various cultural influences that have impacted the island with Phoenicians, Romans, and Arabs each leaving their mark on Favignana.

Levanzo

Our next most beautiful island near Sicily is also part of the Egadi Archipelago and can be reached from Trapani in just 30 minutes. Levanzo is the smallest of the islands in this group but it draws in visitors with its serene atmosphere and untouched beauty. The island is dotted with hidden coves and pristine beaches that break up its rugged coastline.

The island has just one village, also called Levanzo, which exudes charm and beauty. Whitewashed houses are clustered along narrow streets and create a feeling of stepping back in time. While the quaint town is a lovely feature of Levanzo, visitors should also make time to visit Grotta del Genovese, a prehistoric cave that features Neolithic paintings and carvings.

Aeolian Islands

When discussing the most beautiful places in Sicily, we’d be remiss not to mention the Aeolian Islands. This UNESCO World Heritage site is found off the northern coast of Sicily and is supposedly where the wind god Aeolus from the Odyssey lived. There are 7 islands that make up the group, but they’re all so beautiful that we couldn’t pick just one. 

The Aeolian Islands are accessible by ferry from Milazzo, which is about a 1-2 hour trip. There are also ferries from Palermo, which take approximately 4 hours if you’d prefer a more scenic route. Each of the seven islands boasts stunning natural wonders and volcanic landscapes that make for incredible photo opportunities, so be sure to bring along your camera. 

Some highlights of the islands include the Lipari Castle, which offers panoramic views of the Tyrhean sea, and the smoking craters of Stromboli. The islands reveal hidden beauty at every turn, making a visit to the Aeolian islands a feast for the senses. With enchanting villages, golden beaches and azure waters to dive into, the Aeolian Islands are without a doubt one of the prettiest places in Sicily. 

Summary

Overall, it is clear that there are plenty of beautiful places in Sicily that are the perfect addition to any Italian vacation. Travelers seeking ancient architecture and authentic charm will find the cities and towns in Sicily idyllic and inviting. Whereas those who desire the natural beauty of the coast will find beaches like Mondello and Isola Bella to be exceptionally enchanting. 

There is still more beauty to be found beyond Sicily’s shorelines. The Egadi and Aeolian Islands provide travelers with unspoilt natural beauty and exciting opportunities to step into the past and relish the calming atmosphere of these Mediterranean gems. 

Whether you seek the most beautiful towns in Sicily or the prettiest beaches, one thing is certain. The innate beauty of the island will leave you wishing you could stay forever. 

Have you been considering a sensational Sicilian tour? Contact Italy4Real now to get planning your custom Italy tour or browse our fine selection of tours and experiences

About the Author

Rem Malloy started Italy4real back in 1995 with his mother, Deborah de Maio.

He specialises in Italian tours as well as customised tours to France, England, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Greece and Spain. He was also featured in the Travel Channel show Mysteries at The Museum in 2016.

Rem has family in Italy and his mothers home town is Cava di Terrani, near the Amalfi Coast. The family has a street named after them in Sorrento, Via Luigi de Maio; a relative who was mayor of Sorrento.

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