Sicily Tourist Information

Sicily Travel Guide

Sicily in the Mediterranean can be described as one of great natural beauty and serenity full of tourist attractions and culture. Peaceful, pastoral and mountainous landscapes surrounded by pleasant beaches are highlighted by ancient ruins which dot the fertile lowlands. Coveted since ancient times for its strategic location, the island's ancient capital of Siracusa was once named by Cicero as the greatest city of the ancient Greek empire.

Famed as more than just the birthplace of the cosa nostra, or the Italian mafia, Sicily has become one of Europe's premier tourist destinations for its irresistible beaches and unique wonders, both natural and manmade. Six mountain ranges cross the expansive island encompassing Mount Etna, one of the world's most active volcanoes. The region also boasts an array of natural reserves including: Lo Zingaro, Alcantara gorge, Ficuzza woods and wildlife sanctuary and the Maccalube geysers.

Sicily Tourist Attractions

Medieval aristocratic castles and residences can be found in nearly every town in Sicily, with some of the most well-known being the Royal Palace and Palazzo Abatellis in Palermo, Montalto Palace in Siracusa, the dark stone Paternò castle in Catani, and Palma di Montechiaro feudal fortress, just east of Agrigent. Numerous other castles, fortresses, cathedrals and cloisters dotted around the island are open for public viewing, including the astounding cathedral of Monreale.

Tourists love Sicily which is an island steeped in history, and evidence of its long past can be seen throughout the towns and villages. Taking a tour of Sicily is the best way to see Ruins, like the temple of Diana in Cefalù the Phoenician settlement of Motia (Mozia), or the Carthaginian cemetery in Palermo, are the most intact, with extensive ruins in Catania, San Giuseppe Jato, and on the Ionian coast just south of Augusta. Greek remains can still be seen in Akrai, with its small amphitheatre and 6th century BC temple of Aphrodite.

The island supports some of Italy's most fertile agricultural soil, producing a wide-range of fruits and produce that are exported around the world. Together with gifts from the sea, fresh vegetables and pasta are used to make a number of delicious local specialties, best enjoyed with a glass of homemade wine. Café culture is a way of life here, making the neighbourhood coffee house the place to meet and mix with talkative locals.

Transport Around Sicily

Visitors to Sicily can arrive by ferry or air at Palermo International Airport, although most flights connect through Rome or another major Italian city. Within the confines of the island's towns, walking is often the best way to get around, although a hire car is recommended for travel between villages, or outside of urban areas. Car ferries sail to Messina on the island's east side, although many tourists prefer to take the train directly to Palermo.

Make sure you take out comprehensive travel insurance before you travel to Sicily so that you can rest easy in the knowledge you are covered in the event you become a victim of crime. While Sicily is considered a safe holiday destination, it pays to have a good travel insurance policy.