A list of the top 10 things to do in Sicily without going to the beach. Explore mountains, history & food during your Sicily holidays.
While it can be tempting to spend the entirety of a Sicily holiday lazing on some of the island’s beautiful beaches, there is far more to this diverse island than the sun, sand and sea. Whether it is a stunning natural setting, a culture-rich city or an archaeological site of immense historical importance, there are countless things to do in Sicily without going to the beach. We’ve compiled a list of our 10 favourite attractions that we think deserve a place on your holiday itinerary for Sicily.
What to do in Sicily
1. Head up Mount Etna
Sicily is home to one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Mount Etna, a UNESCO World Heritgae site. There are numerous ways to experience the volcano, from enjoying distant views of it smouldering away to ascending the volcano itself on foot or by cable car.
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2. Discover chocolate and churches in Modica
Discovering Modica is easily one of the most rewarding things to do in Sicily, introducing you to a remarkable and fantastically picturesque city. Encounter the impressive churches such as the Church of St. George, before sampling some of the city’s iconic chocolate.
You can discover more in our blog post, Churches, chocolate and cheeses.
3. Visit the windmills of Mozia
One of the true hidden treasures of Sicily, this tiny island located off of the west coast of Sicily is home to numerous archaeological sites. The famous windmills of Mozia take centre stage however, providing some of the best photo opportunities in the whole of Sicily.
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4. Explore mountain towns and villages
Charm is in abundance in the mountain-top towns and villages of inland Sicily. Here you’ll experience some of most authentic aspects of the island, best discovered in Novara di Sicilia, a picturesque commune set amid verdant landscapes, and just a short drive from beautiful Taormina.
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5. Attend a festival
Sicily’s festivals and events calendar is packed full of exciting and traditional occasions, all providing a comprehensive window into the identity of the island. Getting involved in the celebrations is one of the best things to do in Sicily, whether it is the tasty Ricotta Festival in April, the Olive Festival in July or the Feast of San Giacomo in the same month in Caltagirone, whose famous ceramic steps become covered in candlelight.
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6. Take a step back into ancient Sicily
From Ancient Greece to the Roman Empire, Sicily is home to countless signs of past civilisations. A number of fascinating archaeological parks are dotted around the island, from the Temples of Selinunte and the mosaics of Villa Romana del Casale, to the UNESCO World Heritage Valley of the Temples and the ruins of Segesta.
Discover more on our blog, History & Architecture of Sicily.
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7. Sample the best of the island's cuisine
Foodies will revel in the culinary offerings of a holiday to Sicily. The island is renowned for its superb food, from the tasty street snacks in Palermo to the fresh seafood enjoyed along the coast. Don’t leave without sampling some Cannoli or a filling plate of pasta and sardines.
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8. Wander the streets of Noto
Noto’s Baroque architecture is among one of seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sicily. There are many buildings and monuments to absorb here during your Sicily holidays, mainly sandwiched in the historic centre, and including the St. Nicholas Cathedral and the Basilica of San Salvatore.
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9. Indulge in the ancient capital
Exploring the capital city Palermo is one of the top things to do in Sicily, especially for lovers of street food and markets. There is an infectious hustle bustle to the city, though it is easy to escape in favour of intriguing museums and fancy eateries.
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10. Discover Baroque Ragusa
Competing with Noto for the title of Sicily’s most picturesque Baroque city, Ragusa’s old neighbourhood is a fascinating maze of history and splendour. 18 of the city’s buildings are on the UNESCO World Heritage list, the finest being the city’s Duomo and the Cathedral of San Giovanni.
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Experience all of these attractions and more when you book a holiday to Sicily.
Anything we’ve missed that you think belongs on our list? Let us know by commenting below.