5 things to do in Northern Sicily

Updated on Jun 11, 2018 by Alastair McClymont

Blog > 5 things to do in Northern Sicily

Heading to the northern reaches of the island during your Sicily holiday? Here are 5 things to do when exploring this beautiful region.

Palermo serves as the main gateway to the island of Sicily, and the first impressions for the majority of holidaymakers is that of the north, famed for the island's historic and atmospheric capital city, as well as many other lesser-known treasures. Northern Sicily is another of the island's mesmerising regions, offering up an alluring concoction of history, beaches, food and hustle and bustle, and there are countless places to visit.

Palermo is often considered a great base from which to explore the northern reaches of the island, with holidaymakers predominately heading east along the north coast to encounter a number of intriguing villages and towns. If you find yourself residing in the north during your Sicily holiday, here are five things to try and tick off your to-do list in the region.  


Things to do in Northern Sicily


Marvel at Palermo's cathedral

The city of Palermo is blessed by a number of splendid historical landmarks and striking architectural gems, but it is hard to trump the grandeur of Palermo's cathedral, considered one of the finest Norman buildings in Sicily. Ensure you get photographs of this complex from every angle, as well as taking a look inside where you should hunt down the famous Virgin and Child painting. 

Image credit: VLADJ55 | Shutterstock


Sample Palermo's street food scene

There's no hiding the fact that Italy is blessed by some of the world's best cuisine, and Sicily's food certainly slots comfortably into that league. One of the best ways to get a comprehensive flavour of Sicilian cuisine is to tackle the delightful street food snacks found across Palermo. From arancini to stigghiola, the streets of Palermo are a gastronomic haven.

Image credit: Gandolfo Cannatella | Shutterstock


Admire the rooftops of Cefalu

Just over an hour's drive east of Palermo is the city and popular beach resort of Cefalu, famed for its attractive old town and beautiful sprawling beach. Wandering the old streets and spotting impressive landmarks such as Cefalu Cathedral will introduce you to the character of Cefalu, and you should also climb up La Rocca for one of the best vantage points with unbeatable views across the city rooftops.

Image credit: naten | Shutterstock


Laze on the beach at Mondello

One of the best beaches in Northern Sicily, and certainly one of the best in easy reach of the capital Palermo, is Mondello Beach. The sandy beach stretches for over a kilometre and represents a great day trip if you're staying in the capital. There are good facilities to enjoy there, including bathing stations, while the sloped sand is bound to see you heading towards the appealing turquoise water for a refreshing dip.

Image credit: Gandolfo Cannatella | Shutterstock


Watch the sunset from Cefalu's beach

One of the best Cefalu vantage points (in addition to that enjoyed from La Rocca) can be appreciated from the city's pretty and inviting beach. While the beach is highly popular during the day with sunbathers and those hoping to go for a paddle, you'll be able to get some stunning photography in the evening as the sun starts to go down. The colours reflected on the sea and the city's old buildings makes for some extremely picturesque views.

Image credit: antonino gitto | Shutterstock


Where to stay in Northern Sicily


Apartment Pino Marittimo

Located a short drive from the beautiful city of Cefalu, Apartment Pino Marittimo is tucked away in the Sicilian countryside on the edge of the stunning Madonie Natural Park and is the ideal retreat for anybody looking for a peaceful Sicilian escape. You can enjoy wonderful views of the verdant hillsides and across to the Tyrrhenian Sea from the apartment and its large balcony, while the complex's shared pool is another great spot from where to absorb your surroundings.


Grand Hotel Villa Igiea

This 5-star luxury hotel set on the waterfront close to the city of Palermo promises a stay of indulgence, comfort and quality, three concepts which go hand in hand with the Grand Hotel Villa Igiea. The hotel's historic garden, overlooking the marina and the Gulf of Palermo, is a blissful setting, and this breathtaking presentation continues inside the hotel too, where you will encounter marvellous rooms, two great restaurants and incredible furnishings and decor.


Hotel Plaza Opera

This comfortable and modern hotel is location slap-bang in the middle of the city of Palermo, presenting the perfect location for those who want to get out and explore Sicily's capital. There's much more to Hotel Plaza Opera than its location however, with the likes of stylish rooms, contemporary design and a panoramic terrace to enjoy - the latter is ideal for soaking up views across the city over an evening cocktail or two.


Does Northern Sicily sound appealing to you? Check out the rest of our accommodation in Northern Sicily and see if you can find your ideal holiday base for your Sicilian escape.


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