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A fascinating island steeped in myths, legends and a diverse cultural history, holiday villas in Sicily offer a charming and captivating escape. Fill your days exploring ancient ruins, beautiful baroque towns and areas of natural beauty, including its incredible beaches. It is an island bursting with the character and warmth of the Siciliani, which is reflected in the delicious cuisine, friendly hospitality and vibrant streets.
The landscape of Sicily is a blend of sun baked hills and varied coastlines that ranges from pristine sands to rocky coves. The highlight is of course Mount Etna, a UNESCO world heritage site. Adventure seekers can climb to the top of Europe's largest active volcano. Or, for a more relaxed trip, why not join a 4x4 tour? Elsewhere, Sicily has 6 more UNESCO sites - more than enough to satisfy any budding historian. Our villas in Sicily offer you the chance to immerse yourself in local life, from shopping in colourful markets to sipping on aperitivi in bustling piazzas.
Where is Sicily?
Sicily is in the central Mediterranean Sea. It's located to the south of the Italian mainland, separated only by the Straits of Messina. It’s the largest island in the Mediterranean and is just 62 miles from Africa. Many of our villas are in the south east portion of the island and you can access this part of Sicily via Catania airport.
Sicily has a typical Mediterranean climate, with mild wet winters and hot, dry summers. July and August are very hot and dry with temperatures soaring well into the 30s. Spring and Autumn are usually a pleasant time to visit with slightly cooler weather in the low and mid 20s.
As in most Italian towns, evenings start with a passeggiata – a gentle stroll through winding streets and buzzing piazzas. Many restaurants spill out on to the streets so you can enjoy people watching, as well as stunning local architecture while tucking into your delicious dinner. Night owls can continue the fun in a chic bar. Some even have enviable coastal settings perfect for cocktails with a view.
The birthplace of famous mathematician Archimedes, Sicily has a long and eventful history. Due to its strategic position in the Mediterranean sea, Sicily has been fought over and invaded by Arabs and Normans, Greeks and Romans and many others. It wasn’t until 1860 when it finally unified with Italy in 1860. This colourful history means Sicily now offers a dynamic mix of architecture, food and culture that is a treat for any visitor planning a villa holiday to Sicily.
Thanks to its diverse history, the island has many festivals and cultural events that contribute to the lifestyle of the Siciliani. Each town has its own patron saint, who are celebrated in spectacular fashion with fireworks, processions and plenty of food and drink.
Food is a huge part of Sicilian culture too. Many of the smaller towns and villages have festivals dedicated to their local pride, such as pistachios in Bronte and Cous Cous Fest in San Vito Lo Capo. Another notable event is the stunning flower festival of Noto. Held in May each year, the streets are lined with murals made of brightly coloured, fresh flowers.
The Sicilians also make the most of their archaeological sites. Rather than guard them in red tape, ruins such as the ancient Greek theatres in Siracusa (Syracuse) and Taormina hold concerts, theatre and film festivals. Rest assured, you’ll never be short of things to do in Sicily.
Places of Interest
A huge draw to the island is Mount Etna, the iconic volcano in the north east of Sicily. The energetic can embark on a hike from base station, while it’s also possible to take a cable car and 4x4 excursion to the top among other options for getting to its fiery peak.
The south east corner of Sicily is known as Val di Noto. Home to beautiful UNESCO world heritage sites such as Ragusa, Noto, Scicli and Modica, each of these Baroque towns has spectacular architecture and great spots for food and drink.
Taormina is another popular tourist destination that’s well worth a visit. Take the cable car up to this sky-high settlement and soak up the glamour of the designer boutiques and cosmopolitan bars. Not to be missed either is the ancient Greek theatre, set against an epic sea and mountain backdrop.
A history enthusiast’s paradise, Sicily has countless more awe-inspiring heritage sites to visit. From the archaeological park in Siracusa and the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, to the Necropolis of Pantalica, the options are endless.
Sicily is very proud of its cuisine – like the rest of Italy! In its various native dishes, you’ll find Arab, Greek and Roman influences among others. Be sure to try arancini - fried rice balls often filled with ragu, pistachios or cheese and spinach. Another classic is pasta alla Norma, a pasta dish with a rich sauce of aubergine, tomatoes and salted ricotta cheese. All of this delicious food can be enjoyed with the local wines while taking time out from meandering streets and lively piazzas. Being an island, seafood is also a great option, best sampled on the gorgeous coastline.
Make sure you save room for dessert too, as it will not disappoint. Cannoli has to be the most famous of all Sicilian pastries - a crispy buttery case filled with sweetened ricotta. There’s always gelato too, of course. And for something a little different, try a refreshing granita. This crushed ice delicacy is always flavoured with fresh seasonal ingredients such as pistachio or lemon. It’s also served with a sweet brioche as an indulgent breakfast treat – bliss!
Things to do for families
Sicily is famous for the art of puppetry and, in Siracusa, master puppeteers can entertain little ones at La Compagnia dei Pupari. After, why not explore the brilliant puppet museum too? Siracusa also gives you a chance to take to the seas and explore the stunning coast with its hidden bays and caves.
For daredevil youngsters, there’s Etnaland near Catania – both a theme park and water park, with a fantastic night time roller coaster! Another great option for those with energy to burn is Parcallario Adventure Park. This vast treetop adventure course set in acres of woodland is sure to entertain.
Our villas in Sicily are carefully selected for location and quality, aiming to provide you with a comfortable holiday base. With Villa Plus, you can enjoy your private pool, or venture out to explore the local delights. All villas are located in Sicily’s stunning south east, home to incredible architecture, miles of golden coastline and interesting historic sites. We’re on hand 24-7 to ensure your Sicilian holiday is the perfect getaway.
We are members of ABTA which means you have the benefit of ABTA’s assistance and Code of Conduct and we provide financial protection for non-flight packages, by way of a bond held with ABTA. Plus, we strive to make the booking process as quick and easy as possible. You can book flights, car hire, transfers and insurance right here. This means you can spend less time organising your holiday and more time dreaming about time spent by your private pool.
All of our villas in Sicily are located in the island's stunning south east. This intriguing region has a diverse offering including fascinating UNESCO world heritage sites, miles of gorgeous sandy beaches and excellent food and wine. Our resorts range from laid back beach centres to vibrant cities, with historic jewels and the enticing coastline within easy driving distance.
Fontane Bianche is a small beach resort located on Sicily’s pristine south east coast. Situated to the south of Siracusa (Syracuse), the energy of the city, its vast dining options and historical sites in just a 25 minute drive. Or you can simply sit back and relax on Fontane Bianche’s beautiful beach. Backed by a few bars and restaurants, you’ll have all you need for that perfect beach break.
Punta Secca is an attractive seaside town perched on Sicily’s southernmost point and made famous by the Inspector Montalbano television series. With its gorgeous beach dotted with charming bars and restaurants, it’s an ideal setting for a relaxing villa holiday in Sicily.
A lesser known Baroque town of southern Sicily, Ispica offers historic buildings, a laid-back atmosphere and a glimpse into local Sicilian life. The nearby coastal region of Marispica is easily reachable by car, with its miles of sandy shores and dunes to enjoy.
With historic sites a plenty, a spectacular array of bars and restaurants and gorgeous beaches within easy reach, Siracusa (Syracuse) has something for everyone. Set on Sicily’s south eastern coast, it is divided into the mainland and island of Ortigia - its cultural heart. Siracusa has a rich and colourful history that can be experienced by simply wandering the busy streets and browsing the many shops and markets. Don’t miss the dramatic ruins of the archaeological park and Ortigia’s spectacular Duomo.
From discovering some of its absorbing historic sites to tucking into delectable cuisine, taking a villa holiday anywhere in Sicily comes with plenty of things to do for the inquisitive visitor. After all, where else can you climb to the top of an active volcano, visit a traditional chocolate shop and hike through a beautiful nature reserve on one magical getaway?
Step back in time on your visit to the impressive archaeological park of Siracusa (Syracuse). This large and important park features ancient Greek and Roman ruins – including the awe-inspiring Greek Theatre, which is undeniably the main attraction. Stand above the cavea (seating sections) of this 5th century BC marvel and see all the way down to the stage. Believe it or not, the theatre is still in use today – hosting a Greek Theatre festival each summer. Other sites in the park include the Roman Theatre and the Ear of Dionysius, a large cave used as a prison by the Tyrant, Dionysius.
Modica, one of the UNESCO Baroque towns of Val di Noto has a long established chocolate making heritage. Walking through the town’s fascinating streets, it’s hard to miss the shops, museums and souvenirs dedicated to the art of the chocolatier. There’s even a little train that you can board for a chocolate tour. Be sure to visit Antica Dolceria Bonajuto, the oldest chocolate shop in Sicily. You can taste the chocolate, which uses an ancient Aztec recipe, free of charge. Or, join one of the history of chocolate or bean to bar production tours - both of which end with delicious tastings. You can also purchase a wide range of chocolate and biscuits, fresh cannoli and even chocolate beer!
It’s hard to ignore one of Sicily’s most dominating sights – and the tallest active volcano in Europe. To experience Mount Etna, you have a few different options – taking a cable car, followed by 4x4 journey to the top or an epic hike from base camp for the adventurous. The view from the top cable car station is magnificent, with panoramas of the mountains, sea and towns below. Venture higher and you can peer into the deep craters at the summit. Conveniently, there are some restaurants where the cable car departs and souvenir shops too.
A resting spot for migrating birds travelling to and from Africa, you could encounter creatures such as herons, stalks and flamingos on a visit to Vendicari. In recent years, Caretta Caretta turtles have returned to nest here after a long hiatus – confirming the area’s status as an untouched paradise. This beautiful reserve is also home to dunes, juniper forests, lagoons and unspoiled sandy beaches. There are no facilities here, so pack a picnic and enjoy a serene coastal walk among nature. You’ll find the Vendicari Nature Reserve between Lido di Noto and Marzamemi.
Sicilians are very proud of their locally produced food and drink, with wine being no exception. Popular options include Nero d’Avola, made from an indigenous grape and Cerasuolo di Vittoria, a blended variety from Ragusa. You can enjoy tastings, tours and cellar visits at many of the vineyards in the south east of Sicily. There's even a grape grown on the foothills of Mount Etna that goes into producing the unique wine, Etna Rosso. You’ll find it in bars and restaurants and also at ViniMilo Festival, an annual celebration of local food and wine held in August on the slopes of Mount Etna.
Sicily has a varied coastline of dramatic rocky cliffs, hidden coves and long stretches of pristine sand. The larger beaches often have private lidos where you can hire sunbeds and parasols, as well as recharge with a refreshment. In smaller bays, you’ll often find locals pitched up for the day with their own sunloungers and picnics – a great way to see local life in a relaxed setting.
If you’re staying in or around Siracusa (Syracuse), then you may want to escape the busy streets and retreat to the coast. Arenella Beach is nearest and has a main sandy bay, with rugged rocky sections either side that are ideal for snorkelling. There is also a small, hidden bay only accessible by foot. You’ll find a couple of beach bars with light refreshments on offer too, plus sunbeds and parasols available to hire.
In an area of untouched natural beauty sits Calamosche Beach, a sandy bay sheltered from the elements by rocky headlands. Part of the Vendicari Nature Reserve south of Lido di Noto, visiting this beach involves parking up and walking for 15-20 minutes. Depending on when you visit, you may spot migrating birds on your way to the beach. There are no facilities here, so pack a picnic and enjoy this unspoiled, rugged setting.
On Sicily’s gorgeous south east coastline, Fontane Bianche is a popular spot for Italian holidaymakers. The unspoilt sand, striking blue water and good variety of bars and restaurants along the shoreline make it a great choice. This sheltered bay has sand that shelves gently into the water, ideal for families. There are a couple of private lidos where you can hire sunbeds and parasols for the day, as well as free sections of the beach. Often, there is a lively and family friendly atmosphere.
This beautiful sandy beach lies just 4 miles from the elegant Baroque town of Noto, making it a great stop for a dip after sightseeing. The beach is well served by bars and beach clubs offering refreshments as well as sunbeds and parasols to hire.
Nestled in the wine making region of the south east of Sicily, the beach of Marina di Avola has a wide stretch of soft sand. There’s a laid back lido often playing gentle music, well stocked with cold refreshments. Sunbeds and parasols are available to hire.
The lively holiday town of Marina di Ragusa has a long, expansive stretch of sandy beach with prestigious Blue Flag status. There are many cosmopolitan bars and restaurants on the sand and sunbeds and parasols are available to hire from lidos. Watersports such as kayaking and snorkeling are also popular here. This stretch of coastline runs parallel to a busy promenade, offering a wide range of seafood and authentic Sicilian restaurants.
Fans of the Inspector Montalbano series may know Punta Secca as the fictional home of the detective, which overlooks the Mediterranean. The sand here is golden and fine and the waters are delightfully shallow - ideal for bathing. You'll also find a few laid back restaurants perched on the shoreline.