The 5 Best Places to Visit in Sicily

Why settle for the ordinary when Sicily’s shores beckon with fascinating tales from ancient history and natural wonders unlike those of anywhere else in Europe? 

This Mediterranean jewel is more than just an island getaway: Sicily has been an arena for thousands of years, where civilizations have vied for dominance. And every people who have established themselves on this island has left a unique archaeological, architectural, and cultural legacy. Then, there’s Sicily’s matchless beauty…

Join us as we explore some of the highlights of this island, from the cloud-piercing heights of Mount Etna to the silent, ancient whispers of the Valley of the Temples.

We hope we provide you with plenty of inspiration for your future Sicilian adventures. Please be sure to check out our Sicily Tour Packages before you go; our Discovering Sicily 7-Day Tour, in particular, visits three of the destinations below! 

Balcony adorned with flowers overlooking a bustling street of Taormina Sicily near historical buildings.


Taormina is one of Sicily’s quintessential summer retreats, renowned for its blend of historic charm and modern vibrancy. This fabled town, picturesquely located on a mountainside, first flourished under Greek and Roman influence, and has remained a popular destination for travelers ever since. 

Today, its appeal is further magnified by its proximity to Catania airport, approximately an hour’s drive away, making it an accessible destination for those in pursuit of the Sicilian dolce vita

For those wishing to pick up something unique while in the town, Taormina’s labyrinthine streets are home to an array of artisanal treasures, from exquisite ceramics to fine leather items. 

The Greco-Roman theatre, not just an architectural marvel but also a vibrant venue for music festivals, commands panoramic views that stretch to the imposing Mount Etna. 

For those seeking tranquillity away from the summer buzz, the shoulder months of April, May, September, and October offer an idyllic escape, with perfect weather and fewer crowds. 

Whether it’s indulging in a traditional granita at a local bar, exploring the hidden coves of Isola Bella, or soaking in the wide-angle vistas from Chiesa Madonna della Rocca, Taormina encapsulates the essence of Sicilian elegance and history.

Snow-capped mount etna overlooking a sicilian town with lush greenery.

Mount Etna

Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, is a towering presence in Eastern Sicily, lying at the convergence of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates. This UNESCO-listed marvel offers a diverse range of experiences, from exploring deep-red volcanic craters and taking a cable car ride to visiting vertiginous vineyards renowned for the exquisite Etna Rosso wine. 

The volcano’s slopes offer breathtaking views across Syracuse and the azure sea, making it a must-visit destination for photography lovers. Adventurers can hike around the viewing stations or engage in a guided tour to the summit’s steaming heart, while winter offers the unique opportunity to ski its slopes. 

For those seeking a less trodden path, tours with naturalist guides offer intimate encounters with Etna’s history, including visits to lava caves and the southeastern crater, its most active area.

Trek on Mount Etna as part of our 7-Day Sicily Tour!

cenic view of a lighthouse perched on a rocky island surrounded by the vast water.


Syracuse, once the preeminent city of the ancient Western world, is a jewelry box of history, culture, and culinary delights. The heart of its ancient grandeur is the island of Ortygia, where a maze of charming streets leads to remarkable archaeological sites, including the Parco Archeologico della Neapolis with its iconic Ear of Dionysius and the ancient Greek theatre. This city, larger than Athens in its 8th-century BC zenith, was home to Archimedes and lauded by Cicero as the most beautiful of Greek cities. 

Today, Syracuse invites exploration beyond its historical sites. The Ortygia Street Market, for instance, offers a feast for the senses with fresh local specialties. Noteworthy are the grand Piazza del Duomo and Castello Maniace, while the Arethusa Spring at sunset provides enchanting views.

You can explore Syracuse on our Week-Long Discovering Sicily Tour. And, if you want to enjoy an extra epic adventure in Italy, you can book a spot on our Sicily & Amalfi Coast Tour, which includes everything on our week-long Sicily tour plus four unforgettable days on the gorgeous Amalfi Coast. 

Valley of the Temples

The Valley of the Temples stands as a monumental testament to ancient Greek architecture and civilization in Sicily. Nestled in Agrigento, this archaeological marvel spans a rocky promontory where the temples, dating back to the 5th century BCE, once signaled to ancient mariners their return to one of the Western world’s largest cities. 

Among its many temples, the Temple of Concordia is exceptionally well-preserved, embodying the grandeur of Greek accomplishments beyond their homeland. The site, ideal for a day’s exploration, also includes the intriguing remains of an Atlas at the Olympeion field and the Temple of Hera Lacinia. 

To enhance your visit, pre-book tickets to bypass the queues, allowing more time to enjoy the rich history that permeates this remarkable site. We also recommend visiting the Museo Archeologico, one of Sicily’s finest museums. 

Nearby, Agrigento’s medieval core and Via Atenea’s lively trattorias offer a perfect conclusion to a day of historical discovery.

Sunset over the picturesque island of Aeolian, Italy, showcasing vibrant hues of orange and pink painting the sky.

Aeolian Islands

The Aeolian Islands, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are among Sicily’s premier destinations, especially for coastal explorations. Born from ancient volcanic activity, this archipelago consists of seven distinct islands that rise majestically from the Tyrrhenian Sea, about 30km from Sicily’s shores. Their formation is a testament to the dynamic natural processes that continue to shape our world, offering a blend of geological wonders and serene landscapes. 

Inhabited by a people famous for their hospitality, these islands invite exploration! Whether it’s the therapeutic hot springs of Vulcano, the lush greenery of Salina, or the dramatic volcanic eruptions of Stromboli, each island presents its own set of unique experiences and natural beauty. 

Their accessibility from mainland Sicily makes them an ideal getaway for those seeking an immersive journey into nature’s artistry, where the elements of earth, water, and fire converge to create a captivating escape from the mundane. The Aeolian Islands not only offer a picturesque retreat but also a profound connection with the ancient forces that sculpted them.

This brings a close to our selection of 5 must-visit spots in Sicily. Check out our selection of Tours in Sicily and Multi-Day Tours of Italy before you go. 

If you have any questions, please get in touch.   

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