ONLY 2.5 HOURS FROM THE UK
The melting pot of the Mediterranean
Upon arrival in Sicily, although technically still in Italy, your senses tell you otherwise! This beautiful island’s rich and colourful past, colonized by the Greeks, Normans, Romans and Moors (to name just a few), has given rise to an incredible land of contrasts – from the fascinating ‘souks’ of Palermo and the tuna fisheries of Trapanito the majestic Greek temples of Agrigento and the baroque treasures of the south east.
Only a two and a half hours’ flight from the UK, Sicily truly is the ‘melting pot’ of the Mediterranean and is its largest island, perfectly nestled between the toe of Italy and the North African coast. Blessed with a fabulous climate, summers are long with temperatures sometimes reaching 25°C even as early as March/April and as late as October/November.
Today’s Sicily boasts a delightful range of accommodation, from characterful Moorish farmhouses, friendly family run three star B+B’s to stylish four star boutique properties and luxurious five star palaces. Whether you wish to simply relax and indulge yourself in one of the many exquisite hotels we offer, or explore this magical island with a multi-centre holiday – or a combination of the two – we will be pleased to assist!
Due to its strategic trading location in the Mediterranean, Sicily was fought over and colonized during past centuries by the Greeks, Normans, Phoenicians and the Moors. Each of these civilizations left its mark on the island providing today a rich collection of stunning Greek temples and sites, namely those of Segesta, Agrigento, Selinunte and Siracusa. Beautifully frescoed Norman churches can be found throughout the island (especially in Palermo) and the small baroque gems such as Ispica, Scicli and Ortigia are simply breathtaking.
Sicily is a gastronomist’s paradise! Take Italy’s delicious cuisine and embellish it with wonderful local sun drenched produce, together with spices brought over by the Moors.
Western Sicily’s cous cous with fish, pasta dishes using fennel, pistachio and raisins, fresh seafood (don’t miss a visit to Vittorio’s in Porto Palo!). Sicilian ice cream, probably the best in Italy, served up in a sweet bun (brioche) and the ‘granita’ (water ice) is simply divine. Wine production is now better than ever with some excellent reds, such as the fruity Cerasuolo di Vittoria and fine whites such as Inzolia. We can even offer properties specialising in gastronomy with cooking lessons, so please do ask.
Spring in Sicily is a wonderful time to visit with beautiful yellow fields of wild flowers providing a striking contrast to rolling green hills and deep blue skies reflecting against the lovely Mediterranean sea. You may catch sight of some rare species of birds which pass through enroute to or from Africa – the wild Vendicari nature reserve in the South East is a good spot for this. Dolphins are frequently viewed both around the Plemmirio Marine Reserve near Ortigia and the stunning coastline of the Zingaro Marine Reserve between Scopello and San Vito Lo Capo.
Boasting a fine collection of both sand and pebble beaches, providing safe bathing and some excellent snorkelling. For those looking for the ultimate in beautiful, wide sandy beaches, San Vito Lo Capo is reminiscent of the tropics, with its fine white sand and crystal clear waters. Cefalu’s sandy beach, with excellent bathing for children, is very close to both its lively resort centre and hotels. The Zingaro Marine Reserve has some lovely coastal walks and little pebble coves with superb snorkelling, as do the rocky inlets around Taormina.
Touring & Multi-centre
From the exotic, wild West to the mesmerising Mediterranean East, a stay in two or three locations of this idyllic island really paints a perfect picture and adds real variety. Perhaps explore for a week and then relax, or mix a character property with a luxury one. Avoiding Palermo and Catania, driving is relatively easy, but if you’d prefer we’d be happy to arrange a private transfer from one area to another! Please see page 39 of our brochure for more details.
Whilst a car will offer you the freedom to explore this fascinating Island at your own leisure, a car is not required in some of the larger towns like Palermo, Taormina and Cefalu.