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It goes without saying, there is a lot more to Sicily, the Mediterranean island just off the 'toe' of Italy than lemons and the Mafia. With a proud cultural heritage, Sicily has had a huge impact on the world stage, and it is a truly beautiful region to visit, suitable for all ages and at all times of the year. Taking the family to Sicily is something they should all thank you for, and provide memories which will last a lifetime. Completing the laid back Sicilian lifestyle, the best way to appreciate the island is in self-catered accommodation, whether that's in a villa or a rented apartment. You can explore the spectacular surroundings at your own pace, and drink in the scenery. You'll probably end up saving money over the course of a week's holiday too!
The best known attractions in Sicily are without doubt the most dangerous: volcanoes. Sicily's Mount Etna, and Stromboli nearby in the Aeolian Islands, are two of the world's most famous volcanoes, and as Stromboli in particular is still active, it presents a uniquely safe opportunity to show your family an erupting volcano, which flings ash, molten lava and smoke into the air on a daily basis. The towns Palerno, Catania and Taormina are also all well worth visiting, full of wonderful old buildings, incredible restaurants and if you take a trip over to Agrigento in the Aeolian islands you can see some of the best-preserved ancient Greek temples anywhere in the world. Also, the weather is generally fantastic, so pack swimming costumes for everyone and prepare to do some serious beach relaxing and sunbathing at Giardini Naxos or any of dozens of other coastal locations.
Where to stay
The two sensible choices for a holiday in Sicily are villa accommodation or a rented apartment in one of the towns (Taormina in particular is a beautiful old town, or you may prefer the greater bustle of Palerno). In general, villas make a more family friendly option - most have swimming pools as standard, and plenty of garden space for younger family members to explore and run around in - but they are particularly suited to slightly longer holidays, when you have the time to really lie back and enjoy the accommodation as well as the local area. If you are opting for anything less than a week in Sicily, an apartment might be slightly cheaper for your holiday rental, and also fit more closely with the need to pack a lot of activities into a short space of time.