Our guide to selecting the perfect time of year for your holiday.
With mild winters and long, hot summers, Sicily has a longer season than many other European resorts. While some people love the sun sizzling hot, others prefer it a tad cooler. The local cuisine also changes with the seasons and throughout the year there are some wonderful celebrations and festivals. To help you decide when would be the perfect time for you to visit, here is our guide to the ever changing seasons of Sicily.
With the coming of spring, the fields are green and bursting with the colours of spring flowers. As the days grow longer and warmer the bravest might even take a dip in the sea although the waters are still too cold for most. The Easter processions, steeped in folklore and tradition, are not to be missed, the most famous being the Misteri di Trapani. It’s also time for the first of the island’s two harvests with markets overflowing with wild strawberries and other seasonal fruits and vegetables. The Sagra della Ricotta e del Formaggio in Sampieri, in the south east of the island, is one of Sicily’s oldest food festivals, celebrating Sicilian cheeses.
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Sicily in May is a riot of colour as more wild flowers bloom, temperatures are warm and rain is in frequent, making it the ideal time for walking, especially in the mountains. Attractions closed for the winter begin to open and the sea temperatures steadily rise.
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Iced granita and ice creams in a multitude of fruit flavours are popular. During May and June Infiorata festivals see stunning carpets of flowers laid out in various Italian towns and one of the most famous is held in Sicily in the Baroque town of Noto.
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This is the perfect time for walking in the higher mountains, as temperatures continue to rise. The sea is warm but the beaches remain deserted apart from at the weekends. The Scirocco wind can occasionally send temperatures soaring. The glamorous Taormina Film Fest, held in the middle of June welcomes many a Hollywood big shot to the ancient Greek amphitheatre, while Syracuse hosts their Greek Theatre Festival from mid-May to the end of June.
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Glorious temperatures both in and out of the sea, brings both locals and visitors flocking to the coast. Escape the heat and the crowds in the cooler interior which remains lush and green. Even now you’ll still find it chilly if you venture up to Etna’s summit. July is the season for peaches, watermelon and ground snails.
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Palermo holds its biggest annual festival celebrating the city’s patron saint, Santa Rosalia, with 3 days of partying and fireworks. In Taormina, the Teatro Greco welcomes international stars from the world of opera, dance, theatre and music throughout July and August while nearby Giardini-Naxos holds its annual fish festival, every weekend throughout July and August.
The beach resorts are at their busiest but there are still quiet stretches of coast that remain virtually deserted even now. The higher interior of the island brings the chance to escape the heat. The fig trees’ fruit ripens and the salt pans around Trapani are harvested. Numerous food festivals (Sagra) are held throughout August and towards the end of the month the vineyards begin their harvests.
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Temperatures drop a little while the sea remains delightfully warm and the crowds begin to disperse. Apart from the occasional coastal storms the weather is lovely. It’s the season for hazelnuts, pistachios, almonds and prickly pears. The olive groves and vineyards are harvested and a famous, multi-cultural, six day event, celebrating couscous is held every year in San Vito Lo Capo.
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Autumn brings a wonderful array of colours to the trees and vineyards. As the days start to shorten, the temperature drops and the rain is more frequent, heralding wild mushroom season. Roasting chestnuts are a common sight and the prickly pears are at their best. Days are comfortably warm and the nights chilly. With the crowds long gone it’s a fabulous time to explore the island. And every Sunday throughout October, Zafferana Etnea holds the famous Ottobrata Zafferanese, celebrating local folk traditions, crafts and produce form the region of Mount Etna.
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Each season has something wonderful to offer so whatever time of year you visit, we’re sure you’ll have a fabulous time. You’ll find more information on our website for further festivals and events held throughout the year.
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