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Top 7 Things to Do in Sicily

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Ancient theatre of Taormina in Sicily with Mount Etna in the background at sunset

Ancient theatre of Taormina in Sicily with Mount Etna in the background

From cultural tours of Palermo to unique wine-tasting experiences, here, we share the top things to do in Sicily when traveling to Italy.

The island is a treasure that captivates visitors with timeless ruins, classic culture, and mouthwatering gastronomy. From Mt. Etna to the shoreline, its scenery has shaped its culture, with cities hiding touches of ancient wonder.

From delicious food and wine to volcano trekking, reminders of the classical world, and a breathtaking coastline, these are the essential things to do when you visit Sicily.

Overview
  1. 1. Celebrate Mediterranean Heritage on Cultural Tours
  2. 2. Discover New Flavors and Culinary Classics
  3. 3. Uncover the Natural Beauty When Hiking
  4. 4. Embrace the Tradition of Sicilian Wine
  5. 5. Spend Time on the Sun-Washed Beaches
  6. 6. Explore Ancient Wonders and Heritage Sites
  7. 7. Explore the Best Museums in Sicily
  8. Experience the Top Things to Do in Sicily

1. Celebrate Mediterranean Heritage on Cultural Tours

Norrman Palace with a clear blue sky in Palermo, Sicily

Norrman Palace in Palermo, Sicily

Sicily defies a single definition. At the crossroads of the Mediterranean, the landscape brims with diversity, while the heritage blends cultures connected by former trade routes.

The cities act as living museums, providing a timeline of power struggles, empires, and partnerships that are uncovered in architecture, cuisine, and along the streets, making it one of Italy's best destinations in which to experience the depth of ancient and contemporary life.

Best Places for Cultural Tours: Palermo • Taormina • Syracuse • Agrigento  Ragusa • Erice

2. Discover New Flavors and Culinary Classics

Stigghiole, a typical Sicilian street food of lamb goat or pork bowels with onions and parsley and grilled over coals

Stigghiole, a typical Sicilian street food

Eating well in Sicily is easy, with recipes influenced by the cuisine of North Africa, Spain, and the Middle East.

The melting pot of intense flavors has created a unique collection of dishes that separate Sicilian food from that of mainland Italy, while relying on local, seasonal ingredients that unveil distinct cultural connections. By combining traditional flavors and cooking techniques, Sicily has a flair all of its own.

Best Places for Food Tours: Menfi • Scoglitti • Palermo • Modica • Syracuse

3. Uncover the Natural Beauty When Hiking

Colorful crater of Etna Volcano

Etna National Park, Sicily

The cultural history of Sicily only accentuates the beauty of nature on the island. The diverse landscapes provide access to beaches, volcanic slopes, and gorges.

Hiking trails bring opportunities to discover archeological wonders, winding rivers, puffing fumaroles, and coastal paths. Whether hoping for an intense trek or a leisurely stroll, Sicily overflows with trails.

Best Places for Hiking: Anapo River Valley • Mount Etna • Vendicari Reserve • Capo Milazzo • Castelmola • Cavagrande

4. Embrace the Tradition of Sicilian Wine

Vineyards in Sicily, Italy

Vineyards in Sicily, Italy

Wine in Sicily is not just an addition to a meal, but an extension of life. With an extensive history dating back to the ancient Phoenicians, wine has become part of the island's simple traditions, with flavors that have become further enriched over time.

From the fortifying soils of Mount Etna, one of the best places to visit, to the market stalls of Ortigia, wine in Sicily enhances the island’s mouthwatering flavors.

Best Places for Wine Tasting: Mt. Etna • Palermo • Syracuse • Noto • Taormina

5. Spend Time on the Sun-Washed Beaches

Celafù in Sicily, Italy

Celafù in Sicily, Italy

Sicily’s coastline is varied and beautiful. The best beaches shimmer with crystal-clear waters, resembling a natural artwork. The island feels like a cross between Italy and North Africa, offering rich sea life and hidden seaside corners.

White sands and cliffs smoothed by the elements offer an exceptional view of Sicily’s diverse beaches and coastline, one that’s always decorated with recliners.

Best Beaches to Visit: Mondello • Cefalù • Aeolian Islands • Riserva dello Zingaro • Scala dei Turchi

6. Explore Ancient Wonders and Heritage Sites

Temple of Castor and Pollux ruins with Agrigento in the background

Temple of Castor and Pollux ruins with Agrigento in the background

The ancient world comes into sharp focus in Sicily, with Roman villas preserved in volcanic ash and Greek temples that have withstood changing empires.

With touches of ancient Phoenician life to the preserved ruins of the classical age, glinting Byzantine mosaics to medieval architecture, the small island rivals entire countries with its ability to embrace history and bring the past to life.

Best Places for History Tours: Agrigento • Syracuse • Taormina • Segesta • Palermo • Messina

7. Explore the Best Museums in Sicily

Mosaic artwork on display in the 12th century royal chapel of the Norman palace in Palermo, Sicily

Mosaic artwork in Palermo, Sicily

Sicily can feel like an open-air museum, but inside the galleries that display its history, you can find marvels that shaped the past and informed the present.

With stunning Greek and Roman heritage, as well as dynamic Norman artworks, Sicily offers rich cultural exhibitions within museum walls and protected archeological parks, with each new destination peeling back another layer of the island’s history.

Best Places for Museum Tours: Catania • Palermo • Syracuse • Aspra • Isola di Favignana

Experience the Top Things to Do in Sicily

Aeolian island of Filicudi in Sicily, Italy

Aeolian island of Filicudi in Sicily, Italy

Sicily is the Mediterranean crossroads at which cultures from across continents have connected over millennia. Related treasures only enhance its landscapes, bringing nature and heritage to the fore. Whether you want a secluded beach escape or a family-friendly adventure to Greek temples, Sicily is an enchanting destination.

Explore our featured Sicily tours and vacations or learn more to inspire your custom trip in our Sicily travel guide.

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