With its sizzling sunshine and captivating landscapes, Sicily has long been considered the heart of the Mediterranean, with more and more travellers falling for its endless charms. Perfect for beach and outdoor lovers alike, Sicily’s landscape is the perfect mix of golden beaches, mountains and volcanoes, meaning you can split your holiday between lazy days relaxing by the sea and adventurous hikes up the likes of Mount Etna – one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
Add to that the gorgeous cuisine and quaint roads lined with lemon trees and you’ll find yourself on the holiday of your dreams.
Sicily is a crossroads of trails and mountainous landscapes, meaning the simplest way for you to really discover Sicily’s beauty is by hiring your own car. Having your own car gives you the flexibility and privacy to explore the island as a couple, going wherever your whim takes you. Be sure to spend a day travelling up to Mount Etna for amazing volcanic views as well as taking a trip around Sicily’s many vineyards. You might just find that you love road tripping so much, you’ll want to drive around the rest of Europe too!
No trip to Sicily, the gem of the Mediterranean, would be complete without enjoying some of its many stunning beaches.
Set in the island’s prettiest town, Cefalu is one of the most popular beaches in Sicily. With lots of amenities close by, expect this beach to be very busy in the summer, especially with families. Busyness aside, this beach is glorious to visit, plus you can spend the afternoon exploring the nearby shops or hiking to the top of La Rocca.
If you prefer your beaches more secluded, Marettimo Island is largely untouched by tourists, making it a welcome secret to couples wanting a peaceful afternoon away from the crowds. You can choose to relax on the pebble beach, or as most do, find your own little rock cove to relax, sunbathe and swim. You can also choose to take a boat to visit some of the dramatic sea caves, or hike around the island where you may spot the rare Bonelli’s eagle on your adventure.
Food & Wine
Why not combine learning about Sicily’s history with sampling some of its finest dishes? Book on to a guided food tour and you’ll not only learn new and interesting facts about this incredible island, but you can also taste mouth-watering foods such as sweet cannelloni and arancini. It’s also definitely worth taking a tour of one of the local vineyards and indulging in some wine tasting.
Of course, you don’t need a tour to discover the culinary genius of Sicily. Simply make a list of all the foods you and your partner want to try, and from that create an itinerary of places to visit.
In Palermo, you’ll find some of the best fried food shops on the island, including I Cuochini. Be sure to try their arancini as well as their timballini di pasta, which is deep-fried pasta. For utter luxury, La Madia is a two Michelin-star restaurant in Licata. Using the best of local ingredients, expect to taste traditional dishes mixed with a modern flair, with ravioli of squid being one of their signature dishes.
Sicily may be famed for its relaxation and divine foods, but this little island also holds plenty of adventure for those looking to explore.
An absolute must for your itinerary should be a hike up Mount Etna. At 3329m, this volcano towers into the skies and is highly active – having already erupted twice this year. Hikers can choose to take a cable car halfway up and hike/climb the rest of the route. Or, if you don’t fancy the climb, you can simply get a jeep to the top for superb panoramic views, without breaking a sweat. Be sure to explore the postcard-worthy town of Taormina while you’re there.
If you love the sea, book a motorboat day trip to the UNESCO-listed chain of volcanic islands. Departing from Taormina, the tour will take you to the islands of Stromboli and Panarea where you can either explore the local shops or take a swim in the gorgeous waters. The tour will also take you near the crater of Sciara del Fuoco, which can erupt at any time.
Where to Stay
Sicily is home to numerous romantic hotels that are perfect for any couple – you’ll be surrounded by luxury and beautiful décor. However, if you prefer privacy and more flexibility, consider renting an idyllic countryside home in a hilltop town like Taormina. Not only will you have Mount Etna as a backdrop, you’ll also feel like one of the locals as you both watch the sunset from your private terrace.
Images by Alessandro Baffa, used under Creative Commons license 2.0.