Sicily, the gorgeous island of dazzling landscapes, diversity and hidden gems!
Experience Sicily, just the way Mona and Rana did in July 2019! Start your stay at Taormina, our number one pick would definitely be Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, it hosts such a warm and family like atmosphere with great views. Moving on to Belmond Villa Santa Andrea, enjoying the spectacular views of the ocean and vibrant nights at the hotel.
Now let's talk experiential shall we? Rent a convertible car and start your Sicilian road trip from Taormina to discover the hidden gems of the island. Drive through Cefalu and Palermo before reaching Viacolvento Marsala, a high standard 4* hotel which honestly surprised Mona, here you can take a boat ride to the island of Favigana, the waters cannot be clearer here, seriously! Then drive Agrigento, a hilltop city on Sicily's southwest shore, boasting with ancient ruins and culture, here you must pay a visit to the Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most outstanding examples of Greater Greece architecture, and a stay at Villa Athena is a definite must! Then move on to the old town of Ragusa Ibla (try the 2 star Michelin restaurant here, Ciccio Sultano), which is home to many baroque buildings. In Noto, stay at Masseria Della Volpe, a superb property set in the Sicilian country side, Casale Modica. Continue your road trip to your final destination, Ortigia, a small island which is the historical centre of the city of Syracuse before driving to the majestic active stratovolcano, Mount Etna for a full day hike.
Rana chose to experience the Aeolian Islands north of Sicily, and she recomends doing it by yacht.
Seductively beautiful and perfectly placed in the heart of the Mediterranean, Sicily has been luring passersby since the time of legends. The land of the Cyclops has been praised by poets from Homer to Virgil and prized by the many ancient cultures – Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Elymians, Romans and Greeks – whose bones lie buried here. Whether in the classical perfection of Agrigento's Concordia temple, the monumental rubble of Selinunte's columns or the rare grace of a dancing satyr statue rescued from Mazara del Vallo's watery depths, reminders of bygone civilisations are everywhere.
The balmy Mediterranean island of Sicily has a distinct cuisine that’s steeped in history. Take a trip to a market and alongside staples like capers, tomatoes, olives and aubergines, all the ingredients will be home-grown, as although Sicilians export their delicious produce, they shun imports, so diet is a true representation of the terrain.
Sparkling Seas, Restless Mountains
Sicily's varied landscape makes a dramatic first impression. Fly into Catania and the smoking hulk of Etna greets you; arrive in Palermo and it's the sparkling Golfo di Castellammare. This juxtaposition of sea, volcano and mountain scenery makes a stunning backdrop for outdoor activities. Hikers can wind along precipitous coastlines, climb erupting volcanoes and traipse through flowery mountain meadows; birders benefit from the plethora of species on the Africa-Europe migration route; and divers and swimmers enjoy some of the Mediterranean's most pristine waters.
A region steeped in history, today there's a host of incredible Greek ruins to visit in Sicily and among the very best are the Valley of the Temples, Segesta and Selinunte.
& Surprisingly Nightlife
Nightlife ranges from beachside clubs to live performances at Italy's largest opera house, Teatro Massimo.