Your Trip to Sicily: The Complete Guide SEE FULL GUIDE prev next Things to Do in Palermo Best Beaches Things to Do Near Mt. Etna Guide to Valley of the Temples Food to Try Best Wineries Best Time to Visit Weather & Climate Best Hotels Things to Do in Sicily Your Trip to Sicily: The Complete Guide close Overview Europe Italy Sicily The Top 15 Things to Do in Sicily By Elizabeth Heath Elizabeth Heath Twitter Elizabeth Heath has lived in the Umbria region of Italy since 2009 and has been writing for TripSavvy since 2017. She has also written for Frommer's, Huffington Post, USA Today, and more. TripSavvy's editorial guidelines Updated on 05/13/21 Share Pin Email Gina Pricope / Getty Images Sicily is not only Italy's largest island, it's also the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Its history spans thousands of years, and its terrain is vast and varied, ranging from snowy peaks to balmy, tropical beaches. Sicily's cities are also diverse and richly cultured—think seaside outposts, remote towns, and teeming historic centers lined with Baroque monuments. And there are Greek and Roman ruins everywhere; they sit beside busy downtowns, glorious beaches, and on remote hilltops. To see all there is to see in Sicily would take weeks or months, so we've listed below the top 15 things to do on the island. If you don't fit them all in on your first trip, there's always next time! 01 of 15 Go Back in Time at the Valley of the Temples TripSavvy / Linda Strauta View Map Address 92100 Agrigento, AG, Italy Get directions Phone +39 0922 183 9996 Web Visit website Rome may have its ancient ruins, but few archaeological sites in the Eternal City are as old as the Greek ruins in the Valley of the Temples. Dating to the 6th century BCE, this UNESCO World Heritage Site covers more than 2,300 acres. Of its seven Doric-style temples—each in varying conditions—the Temple Concordia is the best preserved. In addition to its outstanding examples of Greek monumental architecture, the Valley of the Temples affords sweeping views of the surrounding countryside. It's set just outside the city of Agrigento, also built on ancient foundations. 02 of 15 Marvel at Mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale Tim Graham / Getty Images View Map Address SP90, 94015 Piazza Armerina EN, Italy Get directions Phone +39 0935 680036 Web Visit website It's not clear who the owner was—maybe Roman emperor Maximian, who ruled from 286 to 305?—but whoever built the opulent Villa Romana del Casale was an extremely high-rank individual with good taste and lots of money. The UNESCO World Heritage Site showcases one of the finest, most extensive examples of Roman mosaic art, its floors decorated with nearly 40,000 square feet of beautifully detailed mosaics. As a result of a 12th-century landslide that covered the villa, they remain in excellent condition to this day. It's located about a 90-minute drive from Catania. 03 of 15 Take a Hike on Mount Etna Apexphotos/GettyImages View Map Address Mt Etna, 95031 Adrano, Province of Catania, Italy Get directions When Mount Etna isn't spewing lava (most recently, the volcano spectacularly erupted in February 2021), visitors can hike along several different trails of varying levels of altitude, length, and difficulty. Itineraries may take you to the edge calderas, through lava caves, or past the rows of grapevines and other crops that flourish in Etna's fertile volcanic terrain. The Parco dell'Etna has two visitor centers and an observatory, and can arrange guided tours of the park. 04 of 15 Sip Sicilian Wine David Silverman / Getty Images The volcanic terrain around Etna and on the Aeolian Islands, as well as fertile areas across the rest of Sicily, produce some highly coveted wines. Wine aficionados should definitely plan some winery visits for tours and tastings, and maybe even an overnight stay. The Etna wine-growing region is an obvious choice, but there are also noteworthy wines being produced in the west (including around Marsala), and in the Monreal and Alcamo regions near Palermo. Read more in our guide to wine tasting in Sicily. Continue to 5 of 15 below. 05 of 15 Eat Street Food in Palermo Corbis via Getty Images / Getty Images View Map Address Palermo, PA, Italy Get directions Ancient, fascinating, beautiful, and teeming with life, Palermo is a must-see stop in Sicily. It's also one of the best places in all of Italy to eat street food, which was part of the culture here long before it became trendy. The city's open-air markets are fine places to try arancini (fried rice balls), cannoli, pizza, and panino con le panelle (sandwiches made with fried chick-pea patties). More adventurous eaters can try pane con la milza, sandwiches stuffed with stewed spleen, as well as an array of other offal-based dishes. 06 of 15 Sample City and Sea at Taormina TripSavvy / Linda Strauta View Map Address 98039 Taormina, Province of Messina, Italy Get directions North of Catania, on the eastern coast of Sicily, Taormina offers a little bit of everything: Greek and Roman ruins, a romantic medieval historic center, and gorgeous beaches not far from town. It's a stop on many tours of Sicily, and a good place to base yourself for exploring the northern side of Mount Etna. Enjoy lofty views from the ancient Greek theatre, wander the narrow street of the centro, and take the cable car down to Mazzarò beach. 07 of 15 Island Hop in the Aeolians Gabriele Scotto di Fasano / Getty Images View Map Address Lipari, 98050 Lipari, Province of Messina, Italy Get directions "Otherworldy" doesn't begin to describe the Aeolian islands, a group of seven volcanic islands off the northeastern tip of Sicily. Black-sand beaches, spewing volcanos (on Stromboli and the Vulcano islands), dazzlingly blue seas filled with marine life, bubbling thermal mud, Greek and Roman ruins, and tiny towns—some without cars—make the Aeolians one of the most unique places in the Mediterranean. Ferries leave from the Sicilian port of Milazzo and connect all the islands, though less frequently in the off-season. 08 of 15 Go Greek in Syracuse and Baroque on Ortigia Island Maremagnum / Getty Images On an island full of Greek ruins, the city of Syracuse (Siracusa in Italian) may have the most. Its vast archaeological park features the remains of a Greek city—one that rivaled Athens in size and importance—including the largest Greek theatre in Sicily. A hop over to the connected island of Ortigia takes you closer to the modern age—but just barely. Ortigia Island serves as the historic center of Syracuse, and offers an enchanting ambiance of Baroque architecture, narrow cobbled streets lined with shops and eateries, and a gorgeous seafront. Continue to 9 of 15 below. 09 of 15 Take a Tour of Trapani MartinM303 / Getty Images View Map Address 91100 Trapani, Province of Trapani, Italy Get directions Like so many of Sicily's coastal cities, Trapani offers a divine mix of ancient and more recent history. The Sicilian city rose to riches in antiquity when, along with nearby Marsala, it became a center for the salt trade. Visit Baroque cathedrals, close-by beaches, and the salt pans and windmills between Trapani and Marsala. Trapani is also a fine base for exploring the coast and interior of western Sicily. 10 of 15 Bask in the Sicilian Baroque Westend61 / Getty Images When a massive earthquake leveled the towns of the Val di Noto (Noto Valley) in 1693, they were built back in the prevailing ornate style known as Sicilian Baroque—considered a hybrid of Italian and Spanish Baroque. Noto, Ragusa, Modica, and Catania are among the Val di Noto cities that form a combined UNESCO World Heritage site for their outstanding representations of Sicilian Baroque art and architecture; plan a visit to wander the streets and admire it up close. 11 of 15 Pause in Pretty Cefalù Tripsavvy / Michela Sieman View Map Address 90015 Cefalù, PA, Italy Get directions Regarded as one of the prettiest villages in Sicily—and that's saying a lot!—Cefalù sits on the northern coast about 40 miles east of Palermo. It's dominated by the Promontory of Hercules, a huge rock formation on which sit the ruins of the Greek Temple of Diana, plus evidence of a settlement dating to the 9th-century BCE. The town below has Greek, Byzantine, Norman, and Arab roots, giving it a fascinating mix of architectural styles and monuments. A pretty harbor and plenty of nearby beaches complete the scene here. 12 of 15 Head to the Market in Catania FlickrVision / Getty Images View Map Address 95131 Catania, Province of Catania, Italy Get directions There's plenty to see in Catania, Sicily's second-largest city. Part of the Val di Noto UNESCO area, Catania is rife with Sicilian Baroque architecture, including the Duomo (main cathedral). But without a doubt, the Catania Fish Market, "La Pescheria" in Italian, is one of the most colorful, authentic experiences in the city. Wander through and you'll find not just a dizzying area of fresh fish and sea life, you'll also hear the chaotic sounds of vendors hawking their goods, haggling customers, and scavenging seagulls. The market also sells produce and tasty street food. It's open Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Continue to 13 of 15 below. 13 of 15 Watch the Sunset from the Scala dei Turchi Tripsavvy / Michela Sieman View Map Address Stair of the Turks, 92010 Realmonte, AG, Italy Get directions If you make it down to Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples, don't miss a nearby natural landmark, the Scala dei Turchi (the Turkish Steps). These sea cliffs, composed of layers of sediment that have taken on a step-like formation, are an incredible sight and a popular spot for watching the sunset. Two sandy beaches lie on either side of the steps. 14 of 15 Go Wild in the Zingaro Nature Reserve Atlantide Phototravel/Getty Images View Map Address 91010 San Vito Lo Capo, Province of Trapani, Italy Get directions Phone +39 0924 35108 Web Visit website For intrepid nature lovers, the Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro, or Zingaro Nature Reserve, is one of the most rewarding experiences in Sicily. The reserve, established in 1981, can only be visited on foot. While you'll find a few houses and picnic shelters here, you'll otherwise traipse through undisturbed natural areas to reach small, perfect beaches, many of which are accessed via steep staircases. 15 of 15 Soak Up the Sun at San Vito Lo Capo Beach nadisj/GettyImages View Map Address 91010 San Vito Lo Capo, Province of Trapani, Italy Get directions If the Zingaro Nature Reserve requires a little too much roughing it or you have little kids in tow, head instead to San Vito Lo Capo. Located at the tip of the promontory, the small, touristy town fronts a perfect half-moon-shaped beach that's lapped by shallow turquoise water. This is one of the best beaches in Sicily, so don't expect to have it to yourself if you visit in high season. Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit How to Plan a Trip to Sicily A Visitor's Guide to the Valley of the Temples, Sicily When to Visit Sicily The 10 Best Wineries in Sicily Visiting Agrigento Sicily and the Greek Temples 12 Foods to Try in Sicily Find the Perfect Italian Island Here's How You Can Get to Sicily Catacombs to Street Food: The 16 Best Things to Do in Palermo The 14 Best Day Trips from Rome The Best Beaches in Sicily What to See in Taormina Sicily The 9 Best Sicily Hotels of 2021 11 Great Things to Do in Sardinia, Italy What Are the 20 Regions of Italy? Where Can You See Greek Temples and Towns in Italy?