Here Are the 17 Best Beaches in Sicily
Sicily is one of Italy’s best holiday destinations because this Mediterranean island is home to some of the country’s most spectacular coastline.
This is an island of dramatic scenery and unrivaled history. Mount Etna dominates the skyline, while ancient temples and ruins overlook cities and towns.
It’s a glorious place to visit on holiday. Once you’ve explored historic sites and indulged in fine Sicilian cuisine, you can spend your days lounging around on white-sand beaches overlooking turquoise bays. To inspire your trip to southern Italy, here are the 17 best beaches in Sicily.
1. SAN VITO LO CAPO
One of Sicily’s most iconic beaches is found in the northwest of the island, overlooking the beautiful, warm waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Located at the end of a small peninsula, a two-hour drive from Palermo, San Vito Lo Capo is a popular spot for tourists looking for one of the best Sicilian beaches.
San Vito Lo Capo is a small town catering to tourists, and this can be one of the busiest beaches in the area in summer. It’s busy because it’s so beautiful, with a public beach stretching along the shore from the town towards the high cliff tops. The crescent-shaped beach is wrapped around a sheltered bay, and you can laze around the beach and take in the incredible views while enjoying fine Sicilian wine or gourmet food in the sunshine.
San Vito Lo Capo could easily be the best sandy beach in Sicily, and it’s certainly the most famous beach on the island, too.
On Sicily’s east coast, you can find the historic town of Taormina standing in the shadow of Mount Etna. This is a destination for history buffs because the town was founded almost 3,000 years ago by the seafaring Greeks who settled in Sicily. You can hike to a Saracen castle and visit the ruins of an Ancient Greek theatre, but of course, you have to save time for Taormina’s excellent beaches too.
As well as being steeped in history, Taormina is blessed with a beautiful coastline. The most famous beach here is Isola Bella. The small island of Isola Bella sits a short way off the coastline and is connected to Sicily by a thin, yet striking stretch of white sand, which makes for a spectacular sight.
After admiring the beauty of Isola Bella, you can also visit Mazzaro Beach, which is found just to the north of Taormina and is the next bay along the coast.
3. MONDELLO BEACH
On the outskirts of Palermo, you can find one of Sicily’s most famous beaches by the town of Mondello. Stretching along the coast is a beautiful, sandy beach, and it’s the perfect place to escape the city, as it’s just a half-hour car ride away from Palermo.
The town of Mondello is built right up to the coast, and the buildings, hotels and apartments form a wonderfully contrasting backdrop to the pure white sands of the beach. There are restaurants and bars overlooking Mondello Beach, meaning that you can wine and dine alfresco style as you gaze out across the sea and watch the world go by.
Being close to Palermo, Mondello Beach can get busy during the peak of the summer season, but don’t let that stop you from visiting, because everything about Mondello is perfect for your beach getaway in Sicily.
4. BAIA DI MOLLARELLA
The city of Licata is well known in Sicily for its superb coastline. In the surrounding area, you can find many contenders fighting for the crown of the best beach on the island. One of those contenders is Baia di Mollarella, where you can find a ramshackle, beachside community overlooking a spectacular bay.
It’s never too busy here at Baia di Mollarella, and the beach is the perfect place to wind down, relax and enjoy a peaceful Sicilian getaway. You can find accommodation close to the beach, as well as local bars and restaurants, making this a great spot to spend a few days in the summer sun.
Along the north coast, Cefalu is another destination that’s brimming with beautiful beaches. This is small-town Sicily, but given Cefalu’s spectacular location along the coast, the town is booming with tourists during the high season, and the population expands exponentially as visitors arrive from across Europe looking for sun and sand.
Those tourists who are searching for Sicily’s best beaches won’t be disappointed, because Cefalu has plenty of sand for everyone. The town overlooks a great stretch of beach, and along the waterfront, you can sit out and enjoy local dishes and wines as you gaze out to sea.
Not far from Cefalu is the wonderful Caldura Beach. It’s a few kilometers away, but it makes for an excellent morning or afternoon stroll.
6. CALAMOSCHE BEACH
On the south eastern coast of Sicily, Calamosche Beach is another must-visit stretch of coastline. This glorious beach is found within the Vendicari Nature Reserve, and there’s plenty of great natural scenery and hiking to be found in the area around Calamosche.
This is by no means the largest beach in Sicily, as Calamosche Beach only extends for a few hundred meters along the coast. It is, however, one of the most beautiful beaches in Sicily, despite its small stature. The white sand is fringed by low, rocky cliffs that help to form a natural barrier against the elements, making the sea calm and quiet in the small bay.
7. BUE MARINO COVE
Not far from the iconic beach of San Vito Lo Capo in the northwest of Sicily, you can find another spectacular beach at Bue Marino Cove.
In comparison to San Vito Lo Capo, which is just a few kilometers away, Bue Marino Cove sees just a fraction of the number of tourists and visitors of its neighbor. This is the rugged Sicilian coastline at its best, and you’ll discover unnervingly clear water that literally sparkles and shimmers in the sunlight.
8. TORRE SALSA
More of Sicily’s best beaches can be found along the west coast, within the protected confines of the Torre Salsa Nature Reserve. Several kilometers of sandy beaches are strung out along the coast of the nature reserve, and it’s a fantastic place to escape the crowds and get back to nature.
The coastline here is wild and raw. Rather than simply relaxing on the sands with a cocktail or a glass of wine as you do at many of the island’s more popular haunts, this is the perfect place to go hiking and to enjoy the beaches and nature simply for what they are.
9. FONTANE BIANCHI
If you’re looking for more touristy climes, then just south of Syracuse you can find Fontane Bianchi, home to one of the best beaches in Sicily. This is one of the most popular beaches on the southeast coast, as the water here is unbeatably clear.
You can lounge around on the public beaches or sit out under a parasol on a deckchair and just admire the different shades of blue, green and turquoise sparkling in the sunlight. The water is cool, calm, and shallow, and for these reasons, Fontane Bianchi has become incredibly popular with families looking to give their small children a chance to splash around in the sea.
10. SAN LORENZO BEACH
San Lorenzo Beach is another enduringly beautiful Sicilian beach, which is again found in the southeast of the island. San Lorenzo Beach is protected within the boundaries of the Vendicari Nature Reserve, and it’s a great place to visit if you are looking for pristine white sands that have escaped the touristic developments that have overtaken many other beaches in the area.
San Lorenzo Beach is both rocky and sandy in parts and there are many small, hidden coves along the coast here just waiting to be discovered. The water is calm, the sands are soft and it’s a great place to spend the day basking in the sunlight and dipping into the ocean.
On the other side of the island close to the city of Trapani, is the tourist village of Pizzolungo, which is famous for its glorious beach. This is classic Sicilian coastal scenery, where white sand beaches are woven amongst striking cliffs and rugged terrain.
The water at Pizzolungo is beautifully transparent, and it’s a popular place for swimming and snorkeling. The views from the cliffs are superb too, while there are plenty of holiday homes and resorts in the area to stay at.
12. SAMPIERI BEACH
In the south of Sicily, Sampieri Beach is one of the best beaches on the island. Stretching along the shorefront of the town of the same name, Sampieri Beach is one of the longest beaches in Sicily, running for several kilometers along the coast.
That means that no matter how popular Sampieri is becoming, there’s always room on the beach, and there’s plenty of soft, white sand and Sicilian sunshine to go around for everyone.
13. PORTO EMPEDOCLE
Named after an Ancient Greek philosopher, Porto Empedocle is a Sicilian town that’s renowned for both its history and dramatic coastal scenery. The town was founded to be the port of nearby Agrigento in the medieval era. These days, it’s become the coastal getaway for Agrigento too.
At Porto Empedocle there are winding medieval streets and jaw-dropping sea views, but you can also find golden sands, as well as the unusual natural rock formation known as the Stair of the Turks. This natural sight sees pure white rocks extending out into the ocean, and it’s a must-see attraction when you are visiting Porto Empedocle.
14. CALA ROSSA
If you’re looking for turquoise water then head to Cala Rossa, where you can find some of the most vibrantly colored ocean in Sicily. Cala Rossa is found on the island of Favignana, which is just a short ferry ride away from the city of Trapani.
It’s well worth making the crossing, to explore this scenic island and to experience the bluest waters in Sicily.
If it’s islands you want to discover, then further afield you can visit the small Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, which you can reach by ferry from Sicily.
The tiny island is a unique place to explore, and its most famous natural attractions are its golden beaches. The coastline on Lampedusa rivals and in many cases beats anywhere on mainland Sicily, and it’s well worth the ferry journey to explore this lesser-known gem.
16. RIVIERA DEI CICLOPI
Back on the mainland, one of the best stretches of coastline to visit on your hunt for Sicily’s best beaches is the Riviera Dei Ciclopi.
The Riviera Dei Ciclopi is 12 kilometers long and begins by the city of Catania. This is a place where legends and history abound, and the dramatic scenery is said to have been created by the Cyclops Polyphemus, who hurled boulders and rocks in a rage.
You can find stunning cliffs, beautiful beaches, turquoise waters and volcanic scenery that are unlike anywhere else in Sicily.
17. ISOLA VULCANO
For more unique and decidedly volcanic scenery, then head off the mainland and visit Isola Vulcano. Just a short ferry ride from Sicily, Isola Vulcano is a small but highly volcanic island, in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Isola Vulcano is home to some of the best scenery in the region, including black sand beaches. These startling stretches of coastline are formed from previous volcanic eruptions, and they stand in stark contrast to the white sand beaches found on mainland Sicily.
There are many hotels and resorts here, and when you’ve had your fair share of the golden beaches in Sicily, then take a trip over to Isola Vulcano to experience a more intriguing side of the local scenery and to see the volcanic forces at work on this small slice of Italy.
If this has whet your appetite for a trip to Sicily to explore its magnificent beaches, contact Italy4Real to discuss our fabulous range of Italian trips and tours.