This beautiful Italian region has become one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations. One of the main reasons for Sicily’s popularity are its breathtaking natural landscapes with paradisiac beaches and protected areas where you can enjoy nature to the full. Sicily also has cities that have borne witness to our evolution and have given us precious treasures in the form of its monuments.
This article will give you more than enough reasons to plan your next holidays in this marvellous destination.
Discover the city of Palermo:
Travelling through the streets of Palermo, it is almost impossible not to feel a part of its exciting history. This city, which was founded in the 8th century B.C., still bears many marks of the civilisations that lived there since its beginnings.
Palermo was named the capital of Sicily and is also one of its most populated cities. Although, over the years, Palermo has seen both moments of true splendour and others of decadence, it is a great tourist attraction for those who enjoy travelling to the past, discovering ancient cities.
Palermo’s history goes back so far that it is easy to appreciate various artistic influences in its heritage buildings, as well as features that are characteristic of different cultures.
In this case, I recommend a visit to the most emblematic monuments:
San Giovanni degli Eremiti:
This is one of the first Western churches reflecting Arab and Byzantine influences. Its most distinctive feature is its red domes, inherited from the Arab culture, reflecting the Muslim presence on the island. Another distinctive feature of this building is its Gothic-style bell tower.
The Norman Palace:
Although, due to the passage of time, this palace has been rebuilt and modified reflecting the tendencies of each period and owner, its architecture still maintains elements dating back to its construction in the 12th century.
This is another of Palermo’s monuments that can’t be missed if you want to experience the city’s history. This church is a sign of the wealth in Palermo’s times of splendour. The cathedral’s two chapels, the Sacrament Chapel and the Chapel of Santa Rosalia, are adorned by true treasures.
The most beautiful beaches:
Sicily is also the home of many impressive beaches, worthy of admiration the world around. Although they are not the Mediterranean’s most popular beaches, they have nothing to envy of the most well-known beaches.
There is great variety among these beaches, from those offering all the normal services to those that are almost virgin, where visitors can be in total contact with nature, far from civilisation.
Some of the most popular include Mondello Beach, Calamosche Beach and the beaches of Taormina, in particular Isola Bella.
This marvellous beach is located just 13km from the city of Palermo. Access from the city is not complicated and you can get there by either car or bus.
The short distance separating the beach from Palermo means that it is popular and, for this reason, you can find all the necessary services there, with every comfort within your reach.
Mondello Beach is the perfect example of a Mediterranean beach. Its turquoise waters, fine sand and natural environment, offer scenery of breathtaking beauty.
Located within the Vendicari nature reserve, this beach is one of the most beautiful in the region. If you are looking for somewhere secluded and peaceful, where you can get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this is the perfect place for you.
Calamosche Beach is surrounded by rocky formations that shelter it from currents, resulting in normally calm waters. Moreover, this beach is popular among those who enjoy diving or snorkelling because of the varied sea life that can be found there.
This beach can be reached by walking along a path from the carpark to the sandy area. Although the path is about 1 kilometre long, it is worth the effort when you are rewarded with such an enchanting place at the end of your walk.
Beaches of Taormina:
In Taormina, you will find paradisiac beaches where you can enjoy the sea’s charms to the full.
Due to Taormina’s location, upon a high mountain, its beaches offer an unparalleled beauty, making them unique.
One of the most well-known beaches in the region is the Isola Bella. This beach is almost virgin and is characterised by its almost wild environment and the beautiful turquoise colours of the sea. In addition, one of its most distinctive aspects is the islet located in its waters, which attract a great deal of attention among visitors.
Visit the Egadi Islands:
A visit to the Egadi Islands is a must if you travel to Sicily, since they are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the Mediterranean.
The Egadi Islands are an archipelago made up of the Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo Islands and are located very close to the city of Trapani. You can get to any of the islands by taking a ferry from the Port of Trapani or reserving a trip with one of the agencies in the city.
These marvellous islands also offer magnificent beaches where you can enjoy yourself relaxing on the shore or diving in their waters.
Moreover, a visit to the historic centre of Favignana is also very interesting. Favignana is very picturesque and offers various tourist attractions such as museums, churches and palaces that are highly regarded heritage sites. I also recommend that you try the local specialities in the island’s restaurants and bars.
Visit the Valley of the Temples:
Another important tourist attraction in Sicily is the Valley of the Temples. The Valley of the Temples is a group of Greek temples that date back to 580 A.C. and are considered the oldest and best conserved outside Greece.
In total, there are seven monuments, with the best preserved being the Temple of Concordia. This temple was given its name because an inscription of the word “Concordia” in Latin was found nearby. It is also one of the most accurately built temples and most representative examples of Doric architecture.
It belongs to the archaeological area of Agrigento, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and includes places in the city where there have been other important discoveries.
As you can see, Sicily offers: the excitement of discovering the legends of our ancestors, the possibility of experiencing first-hand the cultural development of ancient civilisations and the pleasure of being able to enjoy the blessings of nature in an environment of unparalleled beauty.