Visiting Sicily in summer has long been popular with lovers of beach life, from Italy and around the world. The alluring island also entered the spotlight recently, as the second season of the popular show White Lotus was set there.
Whether you’re planning a laid-back summer getaway or a springtime adventure, Sicily’s beaches appeal to travelers seeking stunning coastal landscapes and a relaxing seaside break.
Here are some of the reasons why Sicily’s beaches are among the best in Europe.
Why Visit the Best Beaches in Sicily?
Sicily boasts a great range of beaches, offering travelers real variety. From the golden sands of San Vito Lo Capo, to the rugged and rocky coastline of Scala dei Turchi, the island has something for every beach lover.
Sicily boasts a Mediterranean climate, enjoying hot, dry summers and mild spring weather. This makes almost every day the perfect beach day.
Pre and post-beach dining in Sicily means feasting on the freshest seafood, locally produced wines, and delectable flavor combinations, thanks to the island’s rich culinary heritage.
Culture and History
Various Sicilian beaches are located just a short distance from historical and cultural sites, allowing travelers to experience the ideal combination of sunbathing and sightseeing.
From deluxe accommodations to delicious dining, Sicily can provide travelers with an affordable yet decadent seaside experience.
Even during the peak summer season, it’s possible to find less crowded beaches in Sicily. This means you can sample a slice of paradise – without the hassle.
Without further ado, let’s check out what some top travel creators rate as the best beaches in Sicily.
Best Beaches in the Palermo Area
Recommended by Alexandra from Cooltourismical
Mondello, located within a short 20-minute bus ride from Palermo’s bustling city center, is a quaint neighborhood showcasing early 20th-century architecture. Still, what really makes it famous is its breathtaking beach. It’s one of the most spectacular in Sicily.
The beach itself stretches across 1.5 kilometers – or around a mile – of white sand, lapped by crystal clear turquoise water. Mondello Beach also boasts a dramatic mountainous backdrop, with Mount Gallo to the left and Mount Pellegrino on the right.
Colorful beach umbrellas dot the shoreline, and there’s a lively promenade lined with appealing seafood restaurants, cafes, and gelato shops. This offers culinary experiences just as delightful as the panoramas.
Originally a modest fishing village, Mondello underwent significant transformation in the 20th century. It has since evolved into a fashionable resort, and was once an exclusive summer retreat for the Sicilian aristocracy.
The elegant Liberty-style villas lining the seafront were built when the Art Nouveau movement swept through Europe. Today, these architectural gems are concealed in plain sight, behind swaying palms. Bougainvillea and frangipani also add a touch of color to the postcard-perfect scene.
The focal point of Mondello Beach is a sunny, golden-yellow building, which almost appears to float above the sea. This is the Antico Stabilimento Balneare di Mondello, an old bath house. It’s decorated with friezes and stained-glass windows, and crowned with turrets and domes.
Mondello beach is one of the best Palermo day trips, not only because of its beauty, but also due to its proximity to the city. It also has a welcoming, family-friendly atmosphere. That’s why this popular beach can get very busy in summer, especially during July and August.
Fortunately, though, the good weather tends to last from late May to early October, giving visitors more time to enjoy the beach with fewer crowds.
Cinisi Beach, nestled on the Sicilian coastline, is a hidden gem offering a slice of paradise. It feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of more crowded destinations.
Cinisi Beach is a must-visit for those looking to experience unspoiled Sicily without the crowds. Easy access, combined with natural beauty and an authentic Sicilian atmosphere, makes it a perfect destination for anyone seeking a tranquil beach getaway.
Whether you’re flying in, or exploring Sicily by road or rail, Cinisi Beach makes a delightful stop during your Sicilian adventure.
Here’s what makes Cinisi Beach stand out, as well as how to get there.
Cinisi offers a stunning natural landscape, with clear turquoise water and golden sand. It’s the perfect setting for a day of relaxation, or a romantic sunset stroll.
Unlike its more famous counterparts, Cinisi offers a truly peaceful retreat. You can unwind without the crowds here, making it the perfect destination for a quiet beach day.
Authentic Sicilian Charm
The town of Cinisi exudes a traditional Sicilian vibe, with friendly locals, delicious cuisine, and a laid-back lifestyle. This invites you to slow down and savor the moment.
Local Cultural Sites
Cinisi is not just about the beach; it’s also close to fascinating historical and cultural sites, offering a well-rounded experience of Sicilian heritage and natural beauty.
How to Get to Cinisi Beach
By Air: The nearest airport is Falcone-Borsellino Airport (Palermo Airport). This is only about 10 minutes’ drive from Cinisi, making it very accessible to international and domestic travelers.
By Car: From Palermo, take the A29 motorway towards Trapani and exit at Cinisi. The scenic drive takes about 30 minutes, and offers beautiful views of the Mediterranean and Sicilian countryside.
By Public Transport: Regular buses run from Palermo to Cinisi, providing an affordable and convenient option for travelers. The journey takes approximately 40 minutes to an hour, depending on the service selected and traffic levels.
By Train: Cinisi is also accessible by train, with the Cinisi-Terrasini station located just a short distance from the beach. Trains from Palermo Central Station to Cinisi-Terrasini run frequently throughout the day.
Best Beaches in the Taormina Area
Recommended by Jackie from Jou Jou Travels
Isola Bella is located on the northeastern coast of Sicily, and is an unmissable stop on your trip to Taormina. This small, lush island is surrounded by turquoise water, and is a great place for lounging on a sunny day. You can rent sunbeds here, costing around10 to 30 euros. Do note that this is a rocky beach, though.
Isola Bella is also located next to another beach, Spiaggia La Pigna, which you might pass on the way. If you visit the La Pigna Restaurant here, you can enjoy freshly-baked pizza followed by delicious tiramisu served in a cup.
Accessing Isola Bella is easy, as you can take the cable car down from Taormina to arrive in minutes.
In the center of the island, you’ll find the Palazzo Borromeo, a baroque masterpiece surrounded by terraced gardens. These are filled with exotic plants, sculptures, and colorful blooms. The island is a great place for snorkelers and swimmers, too.
If you want a break from the beach, you could always take a boat tour to nearby attractions like the Grotta dell’Amore, Capo Taormina, the Grotta delle Sirene, and the Scoglio dell’Elefante.
The best time to visit Isola Bella is during the late spring and early summer months, when the weather is mild, and the gardens are in full bloom.
By Jackie of Jou Jou Travels
Also check out Best Taormina Beaches
Best Beaches in Western Sicily
San Vito Lo Capo
Recommended By Marianne from Pasta, Pretzel’s and Passports.
If you are looking for the perfect Sicilian beach, then San Vito lo Capo should be at the top of your list. This lovely little beach town has everything you could possibly need for an enjoyable day by the sea.
The beach here is absolutely gorgeous. With white sand and clear turquoise waters, set against a backdrop of rugged cliffs, San Vito lo Capo looks like a picture postcard! Plus, it’s not overrun with tourists, so there’s plenty of space to relax and enjoy the view.
Even so, as with most beaches in Sicily, summertime is quite busy. Visiting in late spring or early autumn is your best bet, if you want more space to stretch out. You’ll enjoy warm weather and there will be fewer people around, which is always a plus.
When you’re not enjoying the beach, the town of San Vito lo Capo offers several restaurants, cafes, and gelaterias to satisfy every palate. You will even find a lively nightlife scene, with a wide range of bars serving cocktails until the wee hours.
Along the main strip, you will also find small boutiques for shopping, plus several local attractions to visit. There’s also the opportunity to book half-day cruises, or do some hiking.
Getting to San Vito is pretty easy. You can drive from Palermo or Trapani in no time. Many nearby small towns also offer bus routes that will take you right into town. Given how compact San Vito lo Capo is, getting around on foot should be no problem at all.
If you are planning to stay overnight, San Vito lo Capo offers a variety of accommodations. From quaint rental properties to hotels and small resorts, it’s simple to find the perfect place to rest your head after a day in the sun.
Parking San Vito Lo Capo Beach
Parking in San Vito Lo Capo, a popular tourist destination in Sicily, Italy, is organized by color-coded lines.
- Blue lines indicate paid parking areas, with rates of €1.00 per hour from Monday to Friday, and €2.00 per hour on Saturdays and Sundays, from 08:00 to 24:00.
- Yellow lines are reserved for residents who must display a pass on their car dashboard. These areas are divided into zones A through G.
- White lines indicate free parking areas, but with a time limit ranging from 30 minutes to a maximum of 1 hour.
There are parking facilities at the entrance to the town, approximately a 15-minute walk from the historic center and beach. Another car park is located at the port. For a more secure option, there are services offering secure parking where the entire rest area is monitored on video 24 hours a day, with insurance in case of theft and fire.
During the summer months, parking can get busy, so it’s advisable to plan ahead. Some services offer online booking to reserve a parking spot in advance.
Punta Secca Beach
Recommended by Soumya of Stories by Soumya
Spiaggia di Punta Secca or the Beach of Punta Secca is one of the prettiest beaches in Sicily. It is famous not just for its golden sands and azure waters but also for being one of the main shooting locations in the famous Italian detective series Commissario Montalbano.
In the show, Inspector Salvo Montalbano, or Commissario Montalbano, the protagonist, lives in a house by the Punta Secca Beach (often called the Montalbano Beach) and swims in the sea every day. He also spends some of his most thoughtful moments on the beach while working on cases.
It goes without saying that Spiaggia di Punta Secca is a mecca for Montalbano fans who throng the beach and the house in the summer season. They often visit on guided Montalbano tours that are extremely popular.
If you’re not a Montalbano fan, you can still soak in the sun at the beach, swim, and enjoy a gorgeous sunset. Do not forget to take a relaxing stroll through the sleepy town of Punta Secca.
You can easily get to Punta Secca by car from the historic town of Ragusa in Sicily. The drive takes around 45 mins to 1 hour.
Lo Zingaro beaches
Recommended by Ausra from The Road Reel
Carved by the time, the sea and the wind, the Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro was Sicily’s first protected area. The coastline is dramatic here – think orange-hued cliffs plunging into the mesmerizing turquoise waters of the Mediterranean.
The Lo Zingaro landscape ascends majestically, with lush green mountain sides reaching up to 1,000 meters. Scattered among this rugged are hidden pebbly coves. This makes Lo Zingaro home to some of the most stunning beaches Sicily has to offer.
Lo Zingaro Nature Reserve is located on the northwest coast of Sicily, nestled between the charming seaside towns of Castellammare del Golfo and San Vito Lo Capo. It is thus easily accessible via these two gateways, both of which can conveniently be reached via local coastal roads.
A day pass is required to enter the Zingaro Nature Reserve, and this costs 5 EUR. To reach the pebbly beaches of Lo Zingaro, prepare yourself for a scenic, yet fairly easy coastal hike of around 7 kilometers (or 4.5 miles). The closest beach to the south entrance is Cala Capreria, while the breathtaking Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo is the closest one to the northern gate.
If you’ll be visiting in summer, expect the temperature to rise above 30℃ (around 86℉), often reaching 35℃ plus (about 95℉) around midday. To beat the heat, consider arriving as early as 7 or 8 am, if you can. It’s important to bring supplies, such as water and snacks, although you’ll find a few places to refill along the way.
If you are driving in Sicily, then it’s very easy to get to Lo Zingaro Reserve. If you do not have your own wheels, public buses are available, departing from Castellammare del Golfo (Piazza Repubblica) and Scopello (Borgo) to the reserve’s southern entrance. For the more adventurous, a scooter ride or a cycling trip from nearby towns could be a thrilling way to travel, though you should be prepared to tackle the hilly terrain.
Best Beaches in Levanzo
Recommended by Sonia from Carey On Travels
Nestled in the sparkling Mediterranean Sea, Levanzo is the smallest of the 3 Egadi Islands, and is located off the western coast of Sicily. Levanzo’s beaches are some of the most picturesque in Sicily, and are known for their crystal clear turquoise waters and pebbled shoreline.
The island’s unspoiled natural beauty is its biggest allure, making it perfect for those seeking a peaceful escape from the crowds.
The 50-minute ferry ride from Trapani, Sicily, ends in Levanza’s main town, made up of about 30 white-washed houses set on a beautiful harbor. The ideal time to visit Levanzo is between May and October, when you can benefit from the perfect blend of sunny skies and comfortable temperatures, which are ideal for swimming and sunbathing.
If you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting in May, June, September, or October instead. Visiting Western Sicily, check out Planning 1 Week Western Sicily Itinerary.
Here are some of the best Levanzo beaches to visit.
This pebble beach sits on a broad bay, lapped by stunning, crystal-clear waters. The beach is 3 kilometers (or under 2 miles) from town. If you’d prefer not to walk, you can arrange for a boat to take you there from town.
This is a quiet snorkeling spot in the bay. It’s a 15-minute walk from the ferry dock, and tends to be less crowded than the next few beaches on this list.
This secluded beach can be accessed via a pleasant 15 to 20 minute hike from town, and visiting is a must. Its turquoise waters and diverse marine life make it a perfect spot for snorkeling. Its shady picnic area is also perfect for an al fresco lunch.
Cala Fredda and Cala Dogana
These are the most accessible beaches in Levanzo, as they are the closest to the port. Both are great spots for relaxing and taking a quick dip in the sea. Because of their proximity to the port, though, they can get quite crowded, especially in summer.
Overall you can’t go wrong when choosing the best beaches in Sicily. Think about parking, amenities available at chosen beach and your style. Also check out best Beaches in Taormina and Best Beaches in Catania.