The 16 Best Beach Towns in Sicily
In Sicily, beaches are everywhere. Boasting a coastline of more than 930 miles, this Mediterranean Island is home to many seaside retreats set amidst sparkling blue waters. But with all that vast coastline, it can be daunting to find the best beaches in Sicily.
Although most tourists would come to Sicily for the beach, this gorgeous island offers much more. If you’re in the process of planning a trip to this Italian region, then you should rightly feel excited about what you are about to discover. Aside from the stunning beaches, you will find incredible sites like a Greek acropolis, volcanic vents, a Norman cathedral, and even lava flowing into the sea.
The island’s triangular shape gives it three distinct coastlines, each home to a fabulous mix of beaches. To the north is the Tyrrhenian, which is home to the Aeolian Islands. To the east is the Ionian Islands, dominated by Mount Etna, and on the south and west part of the island is the Mediterranean. If you are wondering which part of Sicily you should go to, check out this list of the best beach towns to visit in Sicily.
Located halfway between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Strait of Sicily, Trapani is home to some of the most beautiful Sicily beaches. Founded in 1905, Trapani used to be an important fishing port in the Mediterranean and the main gateway to the nearby Egadi Islands.
This lively port town is steeped in history and Sicilian culture, famous for its historical buildings designed in Baroque style architecture. Some of the most notable historic buildings in Trapani include the 14th-Century Church of San Agostino, the Baroque Palazzo Della Giudecca, and the magnificent Santuario dell’Annunziata.
As Sicily’s capital city, Palermo is home to ancient architectural sites that are well worth a visit. Check out the Palazzo Dei Normanni, a magnificent palace built during Norman times. Head to the Museo Archeologico Regionale Antonio Salinas, an archaeological museum that houses a rich collection of Punic and Ancient Greek arts, including art pieces significant to the history of Sicily.
If you’re up for some thrilling adventure, explore the creepy catacombs at the Capuchin Monastery. Palermo is also home to some of the best beaches in Italy. The closest one is Mondello Beach, which is in another town, just a few minutes away from the city.
Located in the north, Cefalù is one of the most popular beach towns in Sicily. But there’s more to Cefalù than its beautiful golden beaches.
If you’re into architecture and history, then you’ll love exploring this coastal city. It is famous for its magnificent Norman Cathedral, a 12th-century structure featuring elaborate Byzantine mosaics and soaring twin towers. And if you have more time to spare, climb to the top of La Rocca di Cefalù. This beautiful mountain is home to the Temple of Diana, a sacred megalithic building built around the 4th Century BC.
Perched on a rocky cliff above the Ionian Sea, Taormina is a charming beach town known for its beautifully restored mediaeval buildings and cobblestone streets strewn with shops, bars, and restaurants. It also has many old churches, antique shops, and an ancient Greek theatre carved directly into the rock of Mount Tauro. With its extensive beaches and rocky coves, this enchanting beach town is a favourite beach destination in Sicily for many locals and tourists.
Home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Sicily such as the Spiaggia Dei Conigli, Lampedusa is the largest among the three Pelagic Islands. On its south coast is the Area Marina Protetta Isole Pelagie, a marine life nature preserve that also serves as an egg-laying site for turtles. Featuring shallow waters with an abundance of colourful marine life, Lampedusa is an ideal destination for a snorkelling holiday in Sicily.
6. SAN LEONE
Located in the district of Agrigento, San Leone is a beautiful seaside town famous for its vast expanse of golden sands that stretches for miles. If you are looking for a beach getaway in Sicily that guarantees fun, relaxation and comfort, San Leone is the best place to be.
For lovers of nature, there are lots of coves to explore. And if you want to experience the town’s vibrant nightlife, check out the various pubs and bars on the seafront. Order a glass of your favourite cocktail and listen to the live music playing in the background.
Scopello is one of the best small beach towns in Sicily that’s perched on top of a hill overlooking the gorgeous views of the sea. Over the recent years, this sleepy fishing village has become popular not just among local tourists but also with trendsetters, including Hollywood celebrities.
Even though it’s now dotted with luxurious resorts and beachside developments, it still managed to retain its small-town charm. Scopello is a remarkably scenic spot for swimming, strolling, or an afternoon excursion at the beach.
Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, Mondello has plenty to offer. Boasting a stunning 1.5km-stretch of fine white sands, the lively beach area of Mondello is flanked by pastel-coloured beach huts, sun loungers and water-sports rental facilities.
Chill at the sunbed as you soak up the expansive sea views, hire pedal boats, or take part in some fun water sports activities. When evening comes, treat yourself to a sumptuous feast at the street food stalls and gourmet eateries that line the beach.
Marsala is a charming beach town lined with stately Baroque buildings and beautiful piazzas. If you’re planning to visit this coastal town, there are plenty of activities waiting for you to do.
You can go for a scenic evening stroll, dine at the finest restaurants, and enjoy exquisite Italian wines. If you’re someone who loves the outdoors, make your way to the Stagnone Nature Reserve, a protected site ideal for hiking and kitesurfing.
Further down the coast of Marsala, you will find a stretch of beautiful golden beaches and fancy resorts. For instance, Playa Blanca and Lido Marakaibbo feature a long stretch of white sand with fantastic beachside amenities.
10. MAZARA DEL VALLO
As one of the most significant fishing ports in the Mediterranean, Mazara del Vallo is a fascinating Italian town featuring a combination of Sicilian and Tunisian cultures.
What makes this Italian town unique is that it has a typical Islamic neighbourhood known as Casbah. Enclosed with walls, the Casbah is home to a Tunisian community that maintains the overall Islamic style of the neighbourhood. Within its walls are ancient churches that were previously used as mosques. Mazara del Vallo is also famous for its beaches, which extend towards the west coast of Trapani and have sandy and rocky bottoms.
Sciacca was historically famous for its fishing trade, ceramic manufacturing, and commercial routes. These trades are still happening today, and you can still find various ceramic shops all over town. But what makes this seaside town famous for tourists is that it has some of the best Sicilian beaches.
The most popular of these is Stazzone, a stunning beach with crystal clear waters full of rocks. There’s also the Foggia and Tonnara, which are both white sandy beaches with reefs rich in flora and fauna, a haven for snorkelers and scuba divers.
Sitting just a few kilometres west of the southernmost tip of Sicily is Pozzallo. For over 700 years, this town served as an important trading port, thanks to its proximity to Malta, which is an ideal trading post for Sicily’s Mediterranean neighbours. Today, Pozzallo still serves as a commercial and fishing port, but it has also become a popular destination.
During summer, locals and visitors flock to its beaches; Pietre Nere, Raganzino, Spiaggia del Primo and Secondo Scivolo. Most of these beaches have received the “Blue Flag” award given to the cleanest and most eco-friendly beaches, so you can be sure you’ll be swimming in safe and clear water.
Located on the eastern coast of Sicily, Syracuse is notable for its rich Greek and Roman culture, history, and architecture. This beach town is a good base for exploring Sicily’s southeast, including the Baroque towns of Noto and Ragusa, home to several incredible archaeological sites.
The coastal strip of Syracuse is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Sicily. Between Brucoli and Isola Delle Correntithere is more than 100 km of coastline, with some areas rustic and wild, while others are carefree but always exciting.
The beaches of Fontane Bianche, Calamosche, and Vendicari are some of the beaches that occupy the entire coast of Syracuse. Thanks to the gradual and monitored tourism development, these beaches can be enjoyed with the convenience of beachside amenities.
If you’re looking for the best places to stay in Sicily for beaches, choose Favignana. Whether you’re looking to enjoy some water sports activities or simply want to kick back and relax under the sun, this beautiful beach town has plenty to offer.
From sandy and rocky beaches to a secluded cove where you can have some peace and tranquillity, you don’t need to search very hard for a beautiful beach in Favignana. In fact, it’s also home to some family-friendly beaches where your kids can build sandcastles and play to their heart’s content!
Some of the most popular beaches in Favignana are Cala Rossa, Lido Burrone, Cala Azzurra, and Cala Rotonda. Each of these beaches has its pros and cons, and it generally boils down to your personal preferences and the type of activity you want to do.
Levanzo is, no doubt, one of the best beach towns to visit in Sicily. Its coast is high and steep and dotted with small coves that will leave you in awe. Within these small coves are beautiful, secluded beaches that will keep you far away from the crowds of tourists.
Cala Fredda, a gorgeous beach on the town’s southeast coast, features gravel sands with light-blue water. Its water is so clear that you can see the rocks underneath as well as the multicolour seabed.
Cala Minnola, which is also on Levanzo’s southeast coast, is surrounded by a dense pine grove, allowing you to relax in comfort even during the hottest hours of the day.
On the northern coast is Levanzo’s largest beach, Cala Tramontana. Surrounded by red rock walls, this beach has some caves that you can explore in between swimming.
The coastal strip of Agrigento is perhaps less well known compared to the other beach towns in Sicily, but it’s no less fascinating. From Scala Dei Turchi to Eraclea Minoa, Agrigento’s stunning beaches and bays can rival the other beaches in the Mediterranean Sea.
Scala Dei Turchi’s curving white walls offer an exceptional backdrop to this gorgeous beach, which is rarely crowded. Meanwhile, Porto Palo’s unspoiled dunes embody that of southern Sicily’s African soul. Despite its limited amenities, this peaceful beach will never disappoint. It has beautiful fine white sands, shallow depths, and clear seas, an excellent setting for a fun family holiday.
Another beach that’s worth checking out in Agrigento is Eraclea Minoa, which features an unspoiled nature reserve with a clear blue sea framed by sandy dunes and white cliffs. Its 5-km shoreline is partially covered with pine forests, giving it a natural shade.
If you are heading to Italy for a beach getaway, the coast of Sicily is definitely a great place to stay. It is home to more than a dozen offshore islands and a thousand km of coastline along the Tyrrhenian, Ionian, and the Mediterranean. Whether you are searching for shallow waters for your little paddlers or secluded coves that you can enjoy for yourself, Sicily has beaches for every taste.
If you’re thinking about planning a beach holiday in Sicily and need advice on where to stay, get in touch with Italy4Real and find out more about the bespoke tour services we offer.