Sicily and the Aeolian Islands Holidays

Holidays to Sicily and the Aeolian Islands give visitors the chance to experience a unique region of Italy with its own history, culture and cuisine. Sitting right at the tip of Italy, Sicily is the largest and most populated island in the Mediterranean and offers a fascinating mix of cultures and architecture. Throughout Sicily’s history, the island has been colonised by the Arabs, the Greeks and then the Romans. Today, visitors can still see vestiges of its interesting past in the Greek temples, Roman architecture, mosaics and Arabic-influenced cuisine. Explore the historic city of Palermo, admire the views from Taormina’s dramatic clifftop location and spend time by the sea in Cefalu.

The UNESCO World Heritage Aeolian Islands lie just north of Sicily and offer a carpet of picturesque landscapes and natural attractions – steaming volcanoes, small rocky coves lapped by azure blue seas and green hills, perfect for hiking. The Aeolian Islands are also known for their excellent cuisine, from unique pasta dishes and cheeses to desserts and cakes, and of course fresh seafood.

Discover Sicily and the Aeolian Islands like no other

Holidays to Sicily and the Aeolian Islands may be a popular, but there are still plenty of local, insider places to explore. Make sure to save some time to visit one of Sicily’s hidden gems – Noto. With its magnificent cathedral and baroque beauty, it will delight and surprise history and culture lovers.

For one of the best views in Sicily, make your way to the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo in Taormina. Sit up in the restaurant on the roof terrace and enjoy a local bottle of wine or some delicate Sicilian cuisine, while looking out across the craggy clifftops, calm Mediterranean Sea and the smoking crater of Mount Etna.

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Your plans, our expertise

Start planning your Citalia holiday by getting in touch with one of our Personal Travel Planners.

Lines open: Monday to Saturday 09:00 to 17:30 (Wednesdays from 9:30), Bank Holidays 10:00 to 16:00.

Things to do in Sicily and Aeolian Islands

It may be busy and a little hectic but there are many reasons why you should visit the historic Sicilian capital of Palermo during your Sicily holiday. It’s filled with charming buildings, romantic Baroque facades, dazzling Byzantine mosaics and many contemporary art galleries.

Take a trip to the ancient Greek city of Syracuse and visit its many sights, including the magnificent Greek Theatre, the ancient Temple of Apollo or the grand Maniace and Eurialo Castles. As well as history, visitors will find plenty of culture here. Make sure to spend an hour or two wandering around the impressive Piazza del Duomo and browsing the Ortigia market for fresh produce.

Holidays to Sicily and the Aeolian islands wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Mount Etna - one of Sicily’s most iconic attractions and a beautiful sight to witness. Europe’s most active volcano, it has been active for 3,500 years and stands at 3,329 metres high. Admire its might and power from afar or get up close with a hike up to the crater.

Destinations in Sicily and the Aeolian Islands

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Agrigento
Agrigento is one of Sicily’s best known towns, offering visitors a taste of medieval Italy along with roots that delve deeper into the past. Once one of the world’s largest cities, this hilltop settlement is now a modern city with an atmospheric centre, filled with winding alleys and bustling piazzas. 
Town of Castelbuono on the Madonie mountains, Sicily, Italy
Castelbuono
You’ll find the miniature medieval town of Castelbuono squirrelled away in the mountains of the Parco delle Madonie. Its cobbled streets and frescoed churches wind up a hillside to a grand 14th-century castle, once the home of one of Sicily’s most powerful noble families and now the location of the Civic Museum of Castelbuono.
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Cefalù
Holidays in Cefalù give you a microcosm of the best of Italy. Whatever attracts you to Sicily, or even the beautiful country itself, you’ll find it in this coastal town whose character greatly overcomes its modest size.
Giardini Naxos Taormina views in the spring
Giardini Naxos
Giardini Naxos is an affordable and laid-back resort, close to Taormina and with plenty of charm of its own. Stretching along the beachfront in the same wide bay as Taormina, this authentic Italian town thrives in the summer, and offers a tranquil Sicilian holiday outside of peak months.
coast in Lipari Island, Sicily, Italy
Lipari
Holidays in Lipari take you to the beautiful area of Sicily and the Aeolian Islands, which can be found just off Italy’s southwest coast. The island is set out over 15 square miles, and is still the largest of the Aeolian Islands. It offers beautiful scenery and an untouched feel you won’t find in many places.
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Marina di Ragusa
Marina di Ragusa is a charming seaside town that offers visitors to Sicily a great base for an authentic Italian escape. With a dazzling sandy beachfront and plenty of great dining options, the town is an ideal Italian summer holiday hotspot - yet it also manages to maintain a more relaxed atmosphere than some of Sicily’s larger towns, and is great for visitors seeking to experience Italy’s more laid-back side.
Marsala, Italy. Stagnone Lagoon with vintage windmills and saltwork, Trapani province, Sicily.
Marsala
Holidays to Marsala in Sicily offer a unique blend of culture, history, and gastronomy. Start planning your Italian getaway today to explore the charms of Sicily’s western coast.
Aerial view of Noto including Basilica Minore di San Nicolò and Palazzo Ducezio, Sicily, Italy
Noto
Most people after a city break in Sicily don’t look beyond famous faces like Syracuse and Palermo – but that’s where they’re missing a trick. Retreating to the southeast coast of Sicily, Noto holidays offer sensational orchards and vineyards huddled between the low hills. From beautiful Italian landscapes to historical buildings, Noto is a stunning hilltop treasure with domed churches and golden palazzos just waiting to be explored.
Famous fountain of shame on baroque Piazza Pretoria, Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Palermo
Palermo is a bustling, ancient port city located on the north-western coast of the island of Sicily, located right at the tip of Italy’s boot shape. Palermo has its origins in the medieval ages and, over the centuries, the city has been home to several civilisations and today remains steeped in a mix of Italian and Arabic heritage.
a castle with water in the background
Ragusa
Ragusa (the setting of the TV detective show Inspector Montalbano) is one of Sicily’s most photogenic towns, a jumble of baroque buildings sprawled across a hillside in the UNESCO-listed Val di Noto. The town is split into two.  For a more historic Ragusa holiday, Ragusa Ibla is where you want to be. The other side, Ragusa Superiore, offers a more modern Italian holiday.
Beautiful cityscape of Ortygia (Ortigia), the historical center of Syracuse, Italy. Skyline of a European coastal town with turquoise transparent water and picturesque clouds in the sky
Syracuse
Holidays in Syracuse are an immersive voyage of discovery through the ages. Situated on the southeastern coast of Sicily and surrounded by the Ionian Sea, Syracuse is one of the most important towns in Italy for its architecture, monuments and art.
Taormina is a city on the island of Sicily, Italy. Mount Etna over Taormina cityscape, Messina, Sicily. View of Taormina located in Metropolitan City of Messina, on east coast of Sicily island, Italy.
Taormina
Taormina Sicily holidays marry history and culture to form an unforgettable Italy experience. It’s perched at the top of Monte Tauro in the foothills of Mount Etna on Sicily’s Eastern coastline, between the cities of Catania and Messina.
Wooden Classic Sailing yacht anchored in a deserted island in the Eolian Islands of the Mediterranean, with impressive cliffs and very blue sky and waters
Vulcano
An Aeolian Island adrift from Sicily’s northern shore, the mysterious Vulcano is an island well worth unpicking. A favourite of visitors looking for the unexplored, Vulcano’s beautiful volcanic landscape means fantastic hiking, black-sand beaches and natural mud springs.

Sicily Multi Centre Holidays

Take a look at our suggested itineraries for inspiration, or call our personal travel planners on 01293 765055* for a bespoke multi-centre

8 day suggested trip

Taormina and Vulcano

From £1675 per person
ATOL Protected
  • Discover the Aeolian Islands by water taxi
  • See the panoramic views of Mount Etna from the comfortable cable car
  • Take a dip in the relaxing Mud Baths

8 day suggested trip

Syracuse and Taormina

From £1189 per person
ATOL Protected
  • Chance to walk the maze of ancient streets in enchanting Ortigia
  • Driving lets you explore at your own pace
  • Step back in time with a visit to Taormina’s Greek Amphitheatre
View all multi centres

Excursions and experiences in and around Sicily and the Aeolian Islands

Experience more of Italy by adding an excursion to your holiday. To pre-book one of our specially selected excursions, please call our Italy Experts on 01293 765055*.

Handpicked hotels in Sicily

Discover the real Sicily while staying in one of our carefully selected hotels

Flight Information

Flights from the UK to Sicily arrive into Palermo (PMO), Catania (CTA) or Comiso (CIY) airports. Flights to Palermo are available from London Gatwick and London Stansted and take approximately 2 hours 50 minutes, while flights to Catania depart from Birmingham, London Gatwick, London Luton and Manchester and take approximately 3 hours. Flights to Comiso depart from London Stansted and take approximately 3 hours 15 minutes.

When to go

Thanks to its southerly location, Sicily weather offers mild temperatures all year round. Spring and autumn are both lovely times to visit, with temperatures in the high teens and early 20s (although up in the hills and on the slopes of Mount Etna it can be significantly cooler). Visiting Sicily in summer, you can expect temperatures in the high 20s – perfect for spending time on the island's beautiful beaches.

Visa Information

At the current time, British citizens do not require a visa to visit Italy.

Tipping

Whilst tipping isn’t embedded into Italian culture it is always appreciated as an acknowledgement of good service. Nowadays people generally round up a bill in a bar or cafe and leave 5-10% extra on a restaurant bill. Taxi bills are usually also rounded up.
 
On guided tours/excursions, it is customary to leave a token of appreciation for the driver and guide.
 
On small group escorted tours, it is customary to leave a token of appreciation for the driver and guide at the end of the tour.

Introduction to languages

The official language of Italy is Italian. English is widely spoken too, so getting by is easy.

Insider tips

Recommendations from our well-travelled team
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Antonia Coppolella

Sicily is known for its history and diverse cultures due to being invaded many times over the years, it also home to the stunning Aeolian Islands. Whilst staying in Taormina take a trip to Stromboli and Panarea. It is timed perfectly so that you go past Stromboli just as the sun begins to set so you can see the lava spurting out the top! It is truly amazing. 


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