Syracuse, Sicily Syracuse, Sicily

Sicily may be Italian but that does not mean that she is tied to the ‘mother’ country by its apron strings. No, Sicily is an island unto herself, individual, formidable and often quite beautiful.

Catania

For all its Baroque grandeur, the city and capital of Sicily, is not frequented by the same number of tourists who flock to Syracuse and Taormina. Most people briefly pass through Catania on their way to Mount Etna or Syracuse. That is unfortunate because, Catania has something to offer those willing to unveil its historic treasures. The city has two Roman amphitheatres and an Odeon; Ursino Castle is a 13th century coastal fortress, located in Piazza Federico di Svevia, and houses a museum; and many of Catania’s wide streets and wonderful palaces date from the 18th century. There are two large street markets that are particularly interesting and sell everything from food and clothing to traditional handicrafts. Catania is also a good point for making connections to other places when travelling by train or bus. There are fairly frequent train departures to Taormina, Syracuse, Messina and the mainland.

Catania, Sicily Catania, Sicily

Mount Etna

Known locally, simply, as ‘the mountain’, Europe’s greatest natural wonder is a living, sacred mountain of legend and myth. Mount Etna is Sicily’s highest peak at approximately 3320 metres, its height changes with each eruption. It is not generally regarded as being particularly dangerous as thousands of people live on its slopes and in the surrounding areas, but it has been destructive in the past. Visits to its summit are not always possible but when permitted are a thrilling experience. Take a jeep excursion to the upper regions, which are covered with snow for four months of the year. Dress warmly in summer too; it’s always cool at the top.

Mount Etna, Sicily Mount Etna, Sicily

Nebrodi Mountains

The Nebrodi Mountains host a unique and wonderful ecosystem, marked by thick woods, high pastures, an abundance of lakes, rivers and natural springs, and a wide variety of plants and animals. To the west are the Madonie Mountains, to the east the Peloritani Mountains, to the north the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Aeolian Islands, and to the south the mighty Mount Etna. This lush green mountainous region offers the great beauty and elegance of the Nebrodi Griffon and Golden Eagle. Small medieval villages retain age-old traditions and typical produce, from Nebrodian black swine sausages to local cheeses, are particularly tasty and renowned. From here you can visit one of the many splendid Tyrrhenian beaches, inlets and resorts such as Capo d’Orlando, Brolo and Tindari.

Nedbrodi National Park, Sicily Nedbrodi National Park, Sicily

Piazza Armerina

Villa Romana del Casale, located 5km outside the town of Piazza Armerina, is an imposing Roman Villa and one of the most luxurious of its kind containing the richest, largest and most complex collection of Roman mosaics in the world. This ancient site, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, is definitely worth a visit.

Piazza Armerina, Sicily Piazza Armerina, Sicily

Taormina

Some would say that, despite the crowds in summer, Taormina is indisputably the loveliest resort in Sicily. Few places can match its superb, natural position perched on a series of high terraces overhung with semi-tropical gardens, surveying a breathtakingly beautiful coastline. There is a cable-car (c.2 Euros each way) that runs down to the shingle/rock beaches of Mazzaro. The sand beaches of Giardini Naxos and Letojanni are both easily reached by bus. In addition to the fantastic beaches, the town itself has winding medieval streets and tiny alleyways which hide great restaurants, cafés and ice cream bars. Locally, the Greco-Roman theatre, the Odeon and the medieval palaces and churches provide a great deal of interest. A trip to the spitting crater of Mount Etna (when the mountain is not erupting) is an unforgettable experience and Taormina is well situated for day trips to Catania, the Aeolian islands and the historically wealthy town of Syracuse. For those who hire a car, the coastline between Catania and Taormina is home to many fishing villages like Acitrezza and Acireale with excellent restaurants serving a variety of sea foods.

Taormina, Sicily Taormina, Sicily

Syracuse

Syracuse and the old town centre of the city, Ortigia, have been appointed as UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a must for anyone visiting Sicily. A city of amazing culture and history, Syracuse is unsurpassed for its ancient architecture. Castello Maniace, an impressive fortification standing on the tip of Ortigia Island, guards one of Syracuse’s two ports - the views across the sea from here are superb. Then there is Piazza del Duomo, considered to be one of Italy’s most beautiful piazzas, which is home to the city’s ancient and splendid Duomo. The old town on Ortigia Island is a compact area of small, narrow streets, ideal for exploring.

Syracuse, Sicily Syracuse, Sicily

The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
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