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Plan Your Sicily Holiday: Best of Sicily

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Explore Sicily

Sicily is unlike anywhere else in Italy. Sure, the Mediterranean island offers everything that makes Italy a major destination: beaches, wine, food, and architecture—but all with a Sicilian twist. Rustic fare makes the most of local produce from rich cannoli to crispy creamy arancini. When you’re ready to get up from the table, tour the Baroque architecture of Catania, the holy monuments of Agrigento, and beach clubs at Mazzaro. Winemaking on the island dates back to the Greeks and the volcanic soil leads to excellent Nero d’Avola native grapes. Offshore islands give more chances to explore. Lampedusa is the spot for white-sand beaches and clear water for snorkelling, while the volcanic island of Vulcano is a favourite for hot springs. Want more Sicilian magic? We’ve got additional recs below.
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Essential Sicily

How to do Sicily in 3 days

Crystal-clear water, medieval fortresses, and all the olives you can eat
Read on

Driving around Sicily to find its best beaches

My husband and I spent 10 dizzy days exploring Sicily's 900-mile Mediterranean coastline. While the trip cost us some nerves—navigating Sicilian traffic is not for the faint hearted—we discovered everything from secluded caves beneath rugged cliffs to hidden pebbled nooks where we were the only ones basking in the sun. Here are a few of our favourite sun-soaked beaches in Sicily.
Charlene Fang, Florida Keys, FL
  • Spiaggia di San Vito lo Capo
    Just a stone's throw from Palermo, San Vito Lo Capo feels like a slice of Brazilian paradise. With its crescent of gold-and-pink-kissed sand—thanks to coral and crushed seashells—this beach has gentle waves that are perfect for the kiddos. Arrive early to beat the crowd, snag a spot near the water, and maybe buy cold coconut slices from the vendors. And don't miss the snorkelling by the rocky outcrop—it's where the fish are hanging out.
  • Cala Tonnarella dell'Uzzo
    A hot, dusty hike through Zingaro Nature Reserve rewards you with some of Sicily's most untouched beaches. Think hidden coves with pebbly shores and waters so clear you'd swear you're in a giant pool. Set off from the reserve’s north entrance and in under 15 minutes you’ll reach its largest and busiest beach, a strip of white sand cradled by limestone cliffs. Get there early and pack a picnic lunch because there are no vendors.
  • Spiaggia dei Conigli
    Also known as Rabbit Beach, this stretch of pristine sand on the island of Lampedusa—accessible by flight or ferry—is one of the best beaches in Italy. Technically part of Sicily, the island is actually closer to Africa than to Europe. A secluded sanctuary with no facilities (pack everything that you'll need), you might spot loggerhead turtles laying their eggs. Access from June to October is by booking only, so plan ahead.
  • Cala Dell' Uzzo
    This small pebble beach surrounded by craggy rocks—the second of the six beaches in Zingaro Nature Reserve—was my favourite because of its secret cave and crystal-clear water teeming with fish. But what made it extra special was the journey there. The section of trail between Cala Tonnarella and Cala dell’Uzzo is one of prettiest spots along this part of the coastline. There’s no shade, so pack an umbrella and everything else you’ll need, including water.
  • Isola Bella
    The Pearl of the Ionian Sea (and star of White Lotus), Isola Bella is worth visiting just so that you can ride down by cable car. (You can also walk, if you prefer.) The bluish-green water is perfect for a refreshing dip, but bring water shoes for the pebbled shoreline. The real treasure is beneath the waves, where parrot fish and Napoleon wrasse swim freely. There are sunbeds for rent, or just bring a towel.
  • Spiaggia Caldura
    You could spend time at the crowded Lido Angeli del Mare in the centre of Cefalù, but we decided to walk an extra 20 minutes to this pebbled beach framed by magnificent cliffs. Quiet and unspoiled, it’s a favourite of locals who come here to dive from the cliffs, sit in the sun, or snorkel around the reefs. Get here via a steep staircase from the Blue Bay Hotel’s car park.
  • Scala dei Turchi
    Less of a beach and more of a “social media made me do it” attraction, these blinding white cliffs carved into a staircase by wind and sea—hence the moniker “Turkish Steps”—is worth a visit if you’re in Agrigento, especially right around sunset. While you can no longer climb it, you can still admire it from the clay-coloured beach while you take a dip in the cool, clear water.