Sicily for Families
Are you ready for an adventure of a lifetime with your family? Look no further than Sicily in 2023! This little piece of paradise on earth boasts stunning beaches, ancient ruins that’ll make your history-buff hearts skip a beat, and a culture that’ll leave you wanting more. Trust us—there’s no better place to bond with your loved ones over delicious local cuisine and make memories that’ll last a lifetime.
In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey of discovery, from finding the coziest abodes to rest your heads to the must-see and must-do things. No more staring at the calendar waiting for the perfect time to plan; let’s start now and make your Sicily trip one for the books! P.S. The weather in Sicily tends to be warmer than the rest of the country.
Is Sicily a good place in Italy for families to visit?
Yes, Sicily is a unique place for families to visit. There are many activities and attractions that will appeal to people of all ages, including beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, and cultural attractions.
One of the best things about Sicily for families is that there is a wide range of accommodation options available, including family-friendly hotels and holiday rentals. Many of these options offer amenities such as children’s pools, play areas, and kid-friendly activities to keep the whole family entertained.
Sicily is also a very safe destination, with a low crime rate and friendly locals who are happy to help out if you need any assistance. This makes it an ideal destination for families who are looking for a hassle-free holiday.
Overall, Sicily is an excellent choice for families who want to experience the beauty and culture of Italy while also having the opportunity to relax and enjoy some fun in the sun.
How is Sicily different than the rest of Italy’s touristy cities
Sicily is a unique and fascinating destination that differs from the rest of Italy in many ways. Some of the things that make Sicily stand out include:
- Geography: Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and it is located just off the southern coast of Italy. This island location gives Sicily a distinct character and culture that is different from the mainland.
- History: Sicily has a rich and varied history that spans thousands of years. The island has been conquered and inhabited by a number of different cultures, including the Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Normans, and this has left a lasting influence on the island’s culture, architecture, and cuisine.
- Culture: Sicily has a vibrant and distinct culture that is influenced by its history and its location in the Mediterranean. The island is known for its colorful festivals, lively music, and delicious cuisine, which includes a mix of Italian, Greek, and Arab influences.
- Landscape: Sicily is home to a diverse range of landscapes, from rugged mountains and sweeping coastlines to fertile valleys and beautiful beaches. This variety makes it a great destination for outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and water sports.
Where is best for families in Sicily?
Some of the best places for families to visit in Sicily include:
- Palermo: The capital of Sicily, Palermo is a vibrant and lively city that is full of cultural attractions and activities. It is home to many museums, churches and palaces, as well as a bustling food scene and a lively nightlife. A great tip is to do the sea spots tour with Luca.
- Catania: Located on the east coast of Sicily, Catania is a lively and vibrant city that is known for its lively nightlife, bustling food scene, and cultural attractions. It is also a great base for exploring the nearby Mount Etna, an active volcano that is a popular destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Many people start their trip in either Parmo or Catania.
- Noto: The city is known for its stunning Baroque architecture, with many buildings and churches dating back to the 18th century. The main street, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, is a picturesque promenade lined with colorful buildings, making it the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll. It is. a lot smaller than Catania, but beautiful, especially during sunset. The rocks used to build the city have become more golden over time, so when the sun sets, it’s picture perfect.
- Taormina: Located on the east coast of Sicily, Taormina is a beautiful hilltop town that is surrounded by both stunning beaches and countryside. It is known for its Greek theater, which offers amazing views of the coast, and its narrow streets, which are lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes. This is a great city to catch a cable car and go up to the top of the hill for the panoramic views.
- Agrigento: Located on the south coast of Sicily, Agrigento is home to the Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is home to some of the most well-preserved ancient Greek temples in the world. Agrigento is also a great base for exploring the beautiful beaches and countryside of the surrounding region.
Cefalu: This is a charming coastal town in Sicily that’s perfect for families looking for a fun-filled vacation. The town also offers a variety of activities for families to enjoy. The historic center of Cefalu is a maze of narrow streets and alleys, perfect for a family treasure hunt. Families can also take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque promenade and enjoy the local seafood. The town also has a lively street market where families can shop for traditional Sicilian souvenirs and products.
Photo by Catherine Grace Cumming on Unsplash
Families with children who love nature and outdoor activities can visit the nearby nature reserve of La Rocca, where they can hike, picnic, and admire the stunning views of the town and the sea. There are also several playgrounds around the town for children to play and have fun.
Syracue, the Island of Ortigia is a must visit! The whole town looks like a postcard and is super safe. It has greatt food markets and you can get here by train from Catania.
Which part of Sicily has the best beaches
Sicilian beaches are stunning, and it can be difficult to choose the best beaches. Some most popular beaches are:
- Mondello Beach: Located near the city of Palermo, Mondello Beach is a long, sandy beach with crystal-clear waters and a picturesque promenade. It is a popular destination for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.
- San Vito Lo Capo Beach: Located on the northwest coast of Sicily at the foot of Monte Monaco, San Vito Lo Capo Beach is a long stretch of gorgeous white sand—almost 3 km long. It is a popular destination for swimming, sunbathing, and diving. So much so, that if you visit in July or August, you may not find a place on the sand for yourself. https://wearepalermo.com/news/comprehensive-guide-visiting-san-vito-lo-capo/
- Lido La Pigna: Lido La Pigna is a beach located on the north coast of Sicily, known for its crystal-clear waters and its golden sand. It is a great destination for families looking for a relaxing beach vacation. The beach has a wide range of facilities and services, including sun loungers, umbrellas, showers, and changing rooms. It also has several bars and restaurants making it ideal for families with small kids. It is also less rocky than Isola Bella Beach.
- Calamosche: Since it is a nature reserve, Calamosche is a less-crowded beach and more remote. This is good and both bad, as you need to walk 20 minutes to get to the beach, and also no amenities—just nature. The water is calm, as it’s bookended by two headlands that protect it from currents. It’s perfect for swimming and snorkeling, and these waters are safer for smaller kids and not-so-strong swimmers. There are paid parking lots on private properties for a small fee. http://www.vendicari.net/vendicari-beaches/calamosche-beach/
- Isola Bella Beach: Located on the island of Taormina, Isola Bella Beach is a small, sandy beach that is surrounded by cliffs and crystal-clear waters. It is a great place to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery, because after all, Isola Bella translates to “beautiful island.”
- Cala Rossa Beach: Located on the island of Favignana, Cala Rossa Beach is another small, sandy beach that is surrounded by cliffs and crystal-clear waters. It is a popular destination for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling.
- Cefalu: You can actually stay at the hotel where White Lotus season 2 was filmed. The San Domenico Palace, Taormina, a Four Seasons Hotel, serves as the show’s filming location. The town boasts a beautiful sandy beach where families can spend the day swimming, sunbathing and building sandcastles. The near-transparent waters of the Mediterranean Sea are perfect for snorkeling, and the nearby rock formations make for great exploration.
- Scala dei Turchi: Scala dei Turchi beach, also known as the “Stair of the Turks,” is a unique and beautiful destination for families looking for a mix of natural beauty and cultural significance. The beach gets its name from the white clay cliffs that resemble a staircase, and it’s a great spot to take a walk and admire the scenery. The beach area is accessible from the parking areas above by either a long stairway or a sloping path.
Although walking on the natural stepped formation is no longer allowed due to conservation efforts, families with children can still appreciate the safe and clean waters of the beach, which are perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
The beach is also a great spot for sunbathing and relaxing, and there are several beachside restaurants where families can enjoy delicious local seafood.
The beach is also located near the archaeological site of Heraclea Minoa, which is an ancient Greek city, and it’s a great opportunity for families to learn more about the island’s history and culture. https://www.thewholeworldisaplayground.com/la-scala-dei-turchi
Best way to travel through Sicily with kids
There are a few different ways to travel through Sicily with kids, depending on your preferences and budget. Some options to consider include:
There are a few different ways to travel through Sicily with kids, depending on your preferences and budget. Some options to consider include:
- Renting a car: Renting a car is a convenient way to explore Sicily with kids, as it allows you to go at your own pace and visit the attractions that interest you. It is also the best option in my opinion. Just be aware that traffic and parking can be a challenge in some parts of the island. There are only about 4 main highways, so the rest are country roads. Beware that in many of the cities, you are not allowed to go downtown, as they are trying to minimize traffic.
It is vital that you follow the speed limit. They have traffic cameras, and they sure don’t mind sending you fines well after your trip is over. Noleggiare is a good Italian car rental if you decide to rent a car in Sicily. Find out more about renting a car in Italy in my 411 of Driving in Italy blog post.
- Taking the train: The train is a good option for families who want a more relaxed way to travel. Sicily has a good rail network that connects the major cities and towns, and trains are generally reliable and comfortable. According to Lonely Planet,
“The main line runs east from Palermo to Messina and then south to Syracuse via Catania. Trains on these routes are fast and comfortable.”
- Using public transportation: Public transportation, including buses and taxis, can be a budget-friendly way to get around Sicily with kids. Just be aware that schedules and routes can be less reliable than in some other parts of Europe.
- Booking a guided tour: If you want to make the most of your time in Sicily and have someone else take care of the logistics, you might consider booking a guided tour. Many tour companies offer family-friendly tours that are designed with kids in mind.
Overall, the best way to travel through Sicily with kids will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Just be sure to plan ahead and consider the age and interests of your kids when making your travel plans.
12 unique things to do in Sicily for a Family Vacation
- Visit the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is home to some of the most well-preserved ancient Greek temples in the world.
- Explore the ancient city of Syracuse, which has a rich history dating back to the ancient Greeks.
- Go to rooftop bars for happy hour and views. Example Seven, Restaurant & Bar.
- Book a Sea Spots Tour with Luca.
- Take a boat trip to the Aeolian Islands, a group of seven volcanic islands located off the coast of Sicily.
- Visit Mount Etna, an active volcano that is a popular destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.
- Go snorkeling or diving in the crystal-clear waters around the island.
- Take a cooking class and learn how to make traditional Sicilian dishes.
- Visit the historic city of Palermo, which is home to many museums, churches, and palaces.
- Go horseback riding through the countryside and explore the island’s beautiful landscapes.
- Visit the medieval town of Erice, which is perched on top of a mountain and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
- Take a trip to the island of Favignana and visit Cala Rossa Beach, a small, sandy beach that is surrounded by cliffs and crystal-clear waters.
Top Resort or hotels in Sicily for families
Sicily has a wide range of accommodation options for families, including hotels, resorts, and holiday rentals. Some of the best resorts and hotels for families in Sicily include:
Hilton Giardini Naxos: Located on the east coast of Sicily, the Hilton Giardini Naxos is a family-friendly resort that is surrounded by beautiful beaches and gardens. The resort offers a range of amenities for families, including a kids’ club, a children’s pool, and a playground.
Grand Hotel Minareto: Located on the island of Syracuse, the Grand Hotel Minareto is a luxurious, family-friendly resort that is surrounded by beautiful gardens and a private beach. The resort offers a range of amenities for families, including a kids’ club, a children’s pool, and a playground.
Hotel Villa Fiorita: Located in the town of Taormina, the Hotel Villa Fiorita is a family-friendly hotel that is surrounded by beautiful gardens and a private beach. The hotel offers a range of amenities for families, including a kids’ club, a children’s pool, and a playground
Hotel Nautilus: Located on the island of Favignana, the Hotel Nautilus is a family-friendly hotel that is surrounded by beautiful beaches and gardens. The hotel offers a range of amenities for families, including a kids’ club, a children’s pool, and a playground.
Sicily has many great resorts and hotels that are perfect for families, so you are sure to find a place that meets your needs and budget. Just be sure to read reviews because there is a wide variety of experiences, so take the time to find what’s right for you.
Budget-Friendly Hotels In Sicily
If you want a more budget-friendly hotel option for when visiting Sicily, we got you covered.
Agriturismo Sicilia Santa Margherita sul mare con piscina. They offer family style dinner and wine is included.
Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa . Historical hotel close to many attractions at a great price. Breakfast is included.
Romano Palace Luxury Hotel. High-end getaway with a posh restaurant & an upmarket pizzeria, plus private beach access & a pool.
Nautilus Hotel. The hotel was recently rebuilt and has all the latest technologies. It’s situated on the beautiful beach in the heart of Giardini Naxos.
|Torre Don Virgilio Country Hotel. Genteel rural property featuring complimentary breakfast, plus a library lounge & an outdoor pool.||https://torredonvirgilio.it/|
Please keep in mind that these prices are just estimates and may vary depending on the time of year and availability. It is always a good idea to compare prices and read reviews before booking a hotel or resort to find the best option for your budget and needs.
What to pack for a Family of 4 for a summer vacation trip to Sicily in 2023
Sunscreen protection: Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect yourself and your family from the sun.
Beach gear: If you plan on spending time at the beach, be sure to bring swimsuits, beach towels, sand toys for the kids, and you might consider a change of clothes for everyone for a comfortable, sand-free trip back.
Comfortable shoes: You will likely be doing a lot of walking during your trip, so make sure to pack comfortable shoes such as sneakers or sandals.
Travel documents: Don’t forget to bring your passport, travel insurance documents, and any other important documents you may need.
Entertainment for kids: Consider packing some small toys, books, or other items to keep the kids entertained during your trip.
Money and credit cards: Make sure to bring enough cash and credit cards to cover your expenses during your trip.
Overall, the key is to pack light and bring only the essentials. By doing so, you will be able to enjoy your vacation in Sicily without being weighed down by heavy luggage.
Unique foods to try in Sicily
Sicily is home to a delicious and varied cuisine that reflects the island’s rich history and cultural influences. Some well-known foods to try in Sicily include:
Arancini: Arancini are deep-fried rice balls filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables. They are a popular snack in Sicily and can be found at many street food stands and cafes.
Sicilian Pizza: Sicilian pizza is different from the traditional Neapolitan pizza. It is thicker, square-shaped, and often topped with ingredients such as anchovies, capers, and olives.
Pani ca meusa: A street food sandwich made with a fried or grilled pork or veal spleen, lung and sometimes heart. It is usually served on a bun with lemon and salt
Pasta alla Norma: Pasta alla Norma is a popular Sicilian pasta dish made with tomato sauce, eggplant, and ricotta cheese. It is named after the opera “Norma” by Vincenzo Bellini, a native of Catania.
Cannoli: Cannoli are a traditional Sicilian dessert made with a fried pastry shell filled with sweet ricotta cheese. They are often served with chocolate chips or candied fruit.
Granita: Granita is a popular Sicilian frozen dessert made with shaved ice and flavored with fruit syrup or coffee. It is often served with whipped cream or a dollop of gelato. Kind of like our snowcone meets gelato.
Sfincione: A type of pizza, typically from Palermo, it’s usually made with a thick dough, tomato sauce, and toppings such as onions, anchovies, and caciocavallo cheese.
Overall, there are many delicious and unique foods to try in Sicily, so be sure to leave room for trying some new and exciting dishes during your trip.