Where to stay in Sicily: Best Areas and Hotels

Where to stay in Sicily will depend on what you are looking for and how much money you have. This blog post will give you some information on the best areas to stay in Sicily. Read on and find out!

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and the southern-most landmass of Italy. With a balmy, subtropical climate and accommodating tourism industry, Sicily is a hugely popular destination with travelers year-round.

Famous for its sprawling sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, as well as its lemons, distinct cuisine, and historical ruins, the island is a treasure trove of exciting things to do, see and try.

From fully catered resorts, along the shores of golden beaches, to adventurous excursions up active volcanoes and a plethora of options in between, Sicily has it all. 

📌16 Best Areas To Stay In Sicily

We have taken the liberty of narrowing down the options to what we believe are the twelve best areas in Sicily for visitors. By summarising what each of these regions specifically has to offer, we hope to help you chose where is best suited for your perfect vacation.

Best areas to Stay in Sicily Italy Map

Too see more detail of best areas to stay in Sicily, go to google map;

💖 Best Area:Palermo
💎 Best luxury hotel:Grand Hotel Wagner
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Mercure Palermo Centro
💰 Best budget hotel:Casena Dei Colli, Sure Hotel Collection By Best Western

1. 💖 Palermo, the capital, where to stay in Sicily for first time visitors

Where To Stay In Sicily Italy – Palermo
Palermo 

Palermo is the regional capital of Sicily. A historic port town with multi-cultural history, the city was awarded the title of Italian Capital of Culture in 2018.  It is a relatively safe city with low rates of violent crime, among the safest cities in Italy for street crime.

Bearing the distinctive marks of its Moorish heritage, you can still find many open-air markets around Palermo, many of which resemble traditional Arabic souks and bazaars. This is an excellent place to sample an array of street food. In fact, some companies even offer street food tours, perfect if you want to learn a bit about the variety on offer.

With such a long and culturally varied history, Palermo is full of beautiful buildings in a variety of architectural styles. The Cattedrale de Palermo is a particularly grand example. The 12th-century cathedral is surrounded by streets lined with markets, and you can find several museums and art galleries nearby.

If you’re looking for beaches, you will need to travel a little outside of the city. Despite being a port town, the shores directly in Palermo aren’t great for lounging or swimming. The most popular beach around Palermo is in the village of Modello, about 20-minutes away by bus. A traditional fishing village, this is a great opportunity to try some fresh, local seafood too.

In the winter, the temperature drops, and even snowfall is not unheard of. If you are looking to soak up some winter sun, you are best to avoid this area and heading further south.

Falcone Borsellino /Palermo Airport is 23 km northwest of central Palermo, to travel from the airport to the city center, you can take a taxi, it can take 40-50 minutes; a shared shuttle bus or the cheapest way to get to central Palermo is the Prestia e Comandè bus, or the train -the Trinacria Express runs between Palermo airport and Stazione Centrale every hour.

The best way to get around Palermo is by walking on foot; you can also rent a bike and cycle around Palermo with BiciPA. You can also use public transport: the AMAT bus and tram network. You can buy the tickets at tobacco vendors and AMAT kiosks for €1.40 for 90-minute, or you can buy tickets on the bus for €1.80 only for that bus ride. Don’t forget to tap your ticket on the tram/bus, or you could get a fine!

Palermo offers a good selection of accommodations from budget bed and breakfast, guesthouses, apartments to mid-range and luxury hotels.

You should stay in Palermo if you love food, you want to appreciate Sicily’s Arabic heritage, you love architecture, beaches are not your priority.

Best things to do in Palermo:

  • Check out Palermo Cathedral, St. John of the Hermits, the cathedral of Monreale
  • the Royal Palace of Palermo or Norman Palace with its Palatine Chapel, located on Piazza Independenza
  • Palermo Archaeological Museum, close proximity to the Teatro Massimo
  • Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele the largest theatre in Italy and Europe
  • La Martorana, Cathedral of St. Mary of the Admiral
  • Capuchin Abbey and Catacombs
  • Palermo Food Markets: Ballaro Market, Cap and Vucciria Market
  • Sicilian Regional Art Gallery, in Abatellis Palace
  • Palermo Botanical Garden
  • Fontana Pretoria, monumental fountain
  • Ustica Island, Mondello Beach
  • Quattro Canti crossroads, a intersection of Via Vittorio Emanuele and Via Maqueda

Where to stay in Palermo Sicily:

Best luxury hotel: Grand Hotel Wagner This 5-star hotel provides exceptional interiors that are featured in the famous Italian film ‘The Leopard’. It’s located close to the most famous attractions in Palermo such as Teatro Politeama Palermo, Palermo Archeological Museum, Teatro Massimo, Teatro Biondo, Fontana Pretoria, and Church of San Cataldo.

Best mid-range hotel: Mercure Palermo Centro is a contemporary 4-star hotel at the heart of Palermo, near the busy port, just a few minutes’ walk from some of Palermo’s top attractions such as Palermo Cathedral, Teatro Politeama theatre, Palermo Harbour, and Palermo Train Station.

Best budget hotel: Casena Dei Colli, Sure Hotel Collection By Best Western is a sophisticated, modern hotel offers spacious rooms and balconies overlooking the gardens. Situated a little further out from the town centre, this is ideal for anyone who wants a quiet area that still offers the conveniences of a town. Palermo Port and Monreale can be reached within a short drive.

Other recommended hotels in Palermo:

Hotel Politeama is a superb hotel in a fantastic location at the centre of Palermo, within easy walking distance of some of the town’s most popular districts and attractions such as Teatro Politeama Palermo, Piazza Castelnuovo, and Palermo Archeological Museum.

B&B Hotels – Hotel Palermo Quattro Canti is a fabulous hotel, right at the heart of Palermo’s historic town centre., next to piazza of Quattro Canti. The hotel’s rooftop terrace offers beautiful views of the fountain in Piazza Pretoria.

🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN PALERMO

Check out the virtual tour of the best places to stay in Sicily in this video or continue reading:

Where to stay in Sicily: Best Areas to Stay in Sicily, Italy

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2. Catania, a picturesque port city in eastern Sicily

Where To Stay In Sicily Italy – Catania
Catania

Catania is the second-largest city in Sicily. With a history of occupations and rebuilding, due to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, the city is home to an eclectic mix of building styles. 

One of the most iconic buildings in Catania is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Monastery San Benedetto. First built in 1355 and then rebuilt over the centuries following earthquake damage, the building is stunning inside and out. It also boasts its own art museum in its abbey.

Set at the base of Mount Etna, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, the city has been damaged by eruptions on multiple occasions. In fact, large parts of the old iterations of the town have been buried under lava. Over the years, portions of these buried buildings have been excavated, allowing visitors to view an underground glimpse into Catania’s past.

Despite the destructive power of Mount Etna, the volcanic soil around it is particularly fertile, making it a great place to grow Sicily’s famous lemons. These are best enjoyed by indulging in the Catania culture of ‘kiosks’, small stands selling freshly mixed, refreshing beverages, made from fruit syrup, soda water, and salt.

Sicily’s proximity to Etna also makes it a great place to stay for anyone who wants to venture up the famous angry mountain. A number of walking tours are available, both for those who want to approach the summit, as well as those who just want to explore the surrounding foothills.

Catania’s crime rate overall is moderate, be alert and aware of pickpockets, and motorcycle-riding snatch thieves targeting handbags, wallets, avoid walking at night on the street.

Stay in Catania if you love historical buildings, you want to sample the freshest Sicilian lemonade, you want to explore the famous Mount Etna, you want a more laid-back city break.

Best things to do in Catania:

  • visiting Basilica Cattedrale Sant’Agata or Catania Cathedral, a Roman Catholic cathedral in Catania, dedicated to Saint Agatha
  • Piazza del Duomo, a main square with the Elephant’s Fountain, Catania’s Palazzo Municipio
  • Ursino Castle, ancient Norman fortress, houses the Municipal Museum
  • Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe.
  • Monastero dei Benedettini, Benedictine Monastery complex
  • Catania Museo Civico, the Civic Museum of Catania
  • San Nicoló l’Arena, the largest church in Sicily
  • Teatro Romano, a Roman Theatre is set in between the Benedictine Monastery and Catania Cathedral
  • Via dei Crociferi, with 4 churches Church of St. Francesco Borgia, Church of San Benedetto, Church of St. Francis Assisi and Church of San Giuliana.
  • Porta Garibaldi,  a monumental gate 
  • Aci Castello
  • Catania Orto Botanico, Botanical gardens of Catania
  • San Giovanni Li Cuti, Lido Azzurro,

Where to stay in Catania Sicily:

Habitat is an incredibly unique, upscale boutique hotel at the heart of downtown Catania. You will be staying mere meters from iconic sites like Catania Cathedral, Catania Amphitheatre, Roman Theatre of Catania, Stazione Catania Centrale, and Ursino Castle. It provides rooms with a flat-screen TV, air conditioning, a shower, the private bathroom also comes with a hairdryer, free toiletries, and towels.

Palace Catania | UNA Esperienze is a gorgeous luxury hotel that really lives up to its name. Featuring elegant furnishings and artistic décor throughout, this property maintains the palace theme without ever overstepping into tackiness. Within walking distance from Catania Cathedral and Massimo Bellini Opera House. It has a rooftop terrace with a bar, restaurant, and unforgettable views of Mount Etna, and modern rooms with air-conditioning, and free wifi.

Airone City Hotel is a chic hotel on the outskirts of Catania. Out of the city center, 4km from Piazza Duomo, you can enjoy a quieter neighborhood whilst staying just a few minute’s drive from the city’s iconic attractions. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, with large bathrooms. Free wifi is available throughout the hotel and a summer outdoor pool area is available for use in the summer.

Other good hotels are ‣5-star hotel Duomo Suites & Spa ‣4-star Four Points by Sheraton Catania Hotel and ‣budget hotel San Max Hotel

🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN CATANIA

3. Cefalu, where to stay in Sicily with family

Where To Stay In Sicily Italy – Cefalu
Cefalu 

In the north of Sicily is the coastal town of Cefalu, a relatively small town, considering the crowds of tourists that flock here each year. The two primary draws to the area are the medieval cathedral and the picturesque beaches.

The Cathedral of Cefalu is a Norman structure, built in the 12th-century and remarkably well preserved. The equally well-preserved mosaics on display here are exquisite examples of Byzantine art and are some of the best surviving specimens in Sicily.

Arguably the main reason for the town’s popularity is its beaches. The buildings of the old fishing town press right up against the shoreline, providing beautiful scenery and some very conveniently placed hotels. If you want to stay within just a few steps of the closest beach, this is the town for you. Some hotels even have their own private beaches for guests to take advantage of.

The close proximity to the beaches makes it an ideal location for anyone traveling with children. Not having to worry about carting a car full of beach gear and excited children miles to the nearest beach makes for a much more relaxing vacation.

For the same reason, the town is perfect for anyone who doesn’t intend to hire a car. The central train station is within walking distance of the shore, so you can easily drop your bags at your beachside hotel and head out into the sun.

Stay in Cefalu if you want to be near to some of Sicily’s most beautiful beaches, you have an appreciation for Norman-Byzantine architecture and mosaic art, you are traveling with children want a safe town – a family resort town, you won’t be traveling in a car.

Best things to do in Cefalu:

  • Visit Cefalu Cathedral
  • Walking along the promenade of Cefalù, from the Lungomare Giuseppe Giardina to Vittorio Emanuele Street
  • admire the picturesque harbour, alleys and medieval buildings: Lavatoio, Osterio Magno
  • Check out the Museo Mandralisca, a Cefalù’s town museum
  • Relax at Piazza del Duomo
  • Swim at Cefalu beach
  • Take a photo at small cove called the Molo
  • Hike up La Rocca, famous for being the site of a Norman castle, and explore the Tempio di Diana, a Roman temple of Diana
  • Try food at Il Normanno reataurant in Via Vanni, Ristorante Le Chat Noir, Al Porticciolo, and Tentazioni Mediterranee.
  • A trip to the volcanic Aeolian Islands, or picturesque Castelbuono

Where to stay in Cefalu Sicily:

Ossuna Bay Hotel Boutique This boutique hotel is a beautiful, modern hotel in an impeccable location. Just 40 yards from Cefalu Beach, and only a few minutes’ walk from star attractions like Cefalu Cathedral, also close to La Rocca and Bastione Capo Marchiafava. it offers rooms with a wardrobe, a desk, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, and free wifi. You can also find a bar, free private parking, a shared lounge, and enjoy a continental breakfast.

Cortile Umberto I This bed and breakfast is a gorgeous boutique hotel celebrating the traditional style of Sicily. Located close to Caldura Beach, La Rocca, Bastione Capo Marchiafava, Cefalù Cathedral and Salita Saraceni. it offers air conditioning rooms with a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom with a bidet, and a hairdryer, a fridge, a toaster, and a kettle.

Taliammari is a superb guesthouse right up against the sea. The spacious modern rooms boast airy bathrooms and balconies opening to sea views, just meters from the water’s edge. It features family rooms, a terrace, free WiFi, paid private parking. Each room has a desk, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, bed linen, and towel, and a wardrobe.

Other good hotels are ‣5-star hotel Calette N5  ‣4-star Hotel Kalura and ‣budget hotel Kefa Holiday – Alla Corte Accommodation

🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN CEFALU

4. Taormina, where to stay in Sicily East Coast for nightlife & sightseeing

Where To Stay In Sicily Italy – Taormina
Taormina

Further north along the coast, to the east of Mount Etna, sits the town of Taormina. Set in the hills between the volcano and the coast, this is another popular spot for those looking to explore the mountain. It is the safest town in all of Sicily.

The best way to get around Taormina is on foot; renting a scooter is also a good option, driving a car around Taormina is not recommended as not enough parking spaces and the roads are narrow and steep. You can easily walk within 15 minutes from one end to the other of town, and you can also use a cable car to the beach runs every 15 minutes.

The town itself still retains much of its old medieval architecture. The 13th-century Duomo di San Nicola still displays some of its original features, despite numerous alterations through the centuries.

The center of Taormina is formed of winding streets and alleyways, populated with little craft and antique shops. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon picking up some unique souvenirs and tasting some traditional food at the local cafes.

In June the area comes alive as it hosts the Taormina film festival, which draws Hollywood stars and industry professionals to the area for weeks of filming, screenings, and press releases. You can often find some familiar faces wandering the alleyways and beaches, so if you have ever wanted to get up close and personal with the stars, this is your chance.

Possibly the most significant attraction in this area is an ancient Greek amphitheater. Nestled in the hills, with views out over the surrounding valleys, the preserved ruins of this ancient stadium still host live music and theatrical performances.

Evidence of the ancient Romans can also be found near the Palazzo Corvaja, in the ruins of the smaller Odeon theatre, built-in 21BCE during the town’s time as a military base. The Palazzo Corvaja itself was once the seat of the Sicilian Parliament and now houses the Museum of Art and Tradition.

The best beaches in Taormina are Isola Bella, Pearl of the Mediterranean, a pebble beach fronting the islet, with the lush vegetation; Giardini Naxos with its famous Recanati Beach, a fine sand beach where you can rent umbrellas and sunbeds; Mazzarò beach, pebble beach, the cable car station that connects easily Taormina city center to the beaches; Letojanni Beach a few steps from the village of Letojanni; Mazzeo Beach, Spisone Beach, Sant’Alessio Siculo with its famous Castello di Sant’Alessio.

Other attractions to explore such as Panasia Beach, Teatro Antico di Taormina – the ancient Greek theatre; and Castlemola village, a hilltop village nestled above the historic town of Taormina, with views of Mount Etna.

Stay in Taormina if you love history, you want to stay in a beautiful medieval town with stunning views, you love film and want the chance to meet some big industry names, you would like to experience a show in an ancient Greek amphitheater, you want to explore Mount Etna.

Where to stay in Sicily Taormina:

Hotel Villa Belvedere boasts beautifully elegant interiors and stunning views of the surrounding landscape, Naxos Bay and Mount Etna. Taormina Cable Car – Upper Station and Taormina Cable Car – Mazzaro Station are within walking distance. You also have many beaches nearby such as Isola Bella Beach, Villagonia Beach, and Mazzarò Beach.

Hotel Villa Carlotta is an exceptional, stylish boutique hotel overlooking the ocean and just minutes from Taormina’s historic attractions such as the Ancient Theatre of Taormina, Taormina Cathedral, and Cable Car Stations.

UNAHOTELS Capotaormina is a gorgeous hotel set on a peninsula poking out into the sea, providing the best panoramic ocean views of Giardini Naxos Bay and Isola Bella Island. In addition to the beautiful pool area set against a dramatic cliff, guests can also enjoy the luxury of a private beach

🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN TAORMINA

5. Syracuse/ Siracusa, where to stay in southeast Sicily for history buffs

Where To Stay In Sicily Italy – Syracuse
Syracuse

To the southeast is the ancient city of Syracuse. So historically significant that the city as a whole holds UNESCO Heritage status, the city is a must-visit for anyone with a love of classical history and culture.

If you want to experience the atmosphere of historic Sicily, you should head to the old town of Ortigia. Boasting beautiful architecture, walking around this mostly pedestrianized quarter is like taking a step back in time and you can visit the nearby Syracuse morning market to pick up some fresh local delicacies to snack on.

The winding streets of Syracuse’s old town are a charming place to spend an afternoon observing traditional Sicilian life. Pop into some of the small, local shops to pick up some unique, Syracunian souvenirs.

The most famous landmark in the area is the Grand Theatre of Syracuse. One of the largest Greek amphitheaters in the world, the site draws tourists from across the world, to marvel at the 5th-century architecture. In summer each year you can experience the theatre as it was meant to be, as the Festival of Greek Theatre puts on a varied itinerary of plays in the open air.

About 14 miles outside of Syracuse city, lies the ancient UNESCO heritage site of the Necropolis of Pantalica. With a history stretching as far back as the bronze age, and many of the old structures still standing and able to be explored, it’s well worth the drive out if you have the time.

Other attractions to check out including Neapolis Archaeological Park, home of the most important ruins of the old Greek-Roman city of Syracuse; Ortigia market, Castello Maniace – a citadel and castle in Syracuse, Ortigia beach, and Cathedral of Santa Maria Delle Colonne – an ancient Catholic church.

Stay in Syracuse (Siracusa) if you love classical history, you want to experience classical theatre at one of the world’s greatest ancient amphitheaters, you want to soak up the traditional culture of Sicily.

Where to stay in Syracuse Sicily:

Grand Hotel Villa Politi is a lovely hotel with classic elegance. Set on a cliff, in the centre of a unique natural rock formation, the hotel provides sweeping views of the ocean in one direction and striking perspectives of the rocks and mountains in the other. The hotel itself is stylishly decorated and features a comfortable pool area surrounded by trees. 

Caportigia Boutique Hotel is a superb city hotel situated within a mile of many of Syracuse’s most popular attractions. Within walking distance from Porto Piccolo, also close to Syracuse Cathedral, Archaeological Park of Neapolis, and Catania Fontanarossa Airport is just 50km away.

Hotel Henry’s House is a charming boutique hotel at the southern end of the Island of Ortigia. Boasting gorgeous ocean views and just a few minutes’ walk from iconic sights like the Duomo di Siracusa Cathedral, Castello Maniace while the Neapolis Archeological Site is 3km away. The hotel itself is decorated in a quirky, bohemian style, and offers rooms with balconies overlooking the ocean or surrounding town.

🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN SYRACUSE

6. Trapani, a great area to stay in Sicily for quiet feel

Where To Stay In Sicily Italy – Trapani
Trapani

Trapani is still a major fishing town, with much of its economy reliant on the busy harbor. With this in mind, Trapani is a great place to visit if you want to try some of the freshest seafood you are likely to find.

The town is also a major exporter of marsala wine, which you can sample at one of the intimate harbor-front bars. The city of Marsala itself is also only about a 45-minute car ride away if you want to sample the wine straight from the source.

Trapani is a popular stopping off point for anyone looking to explore the islands of the Egadi archipelago. The three main islands of Favignana, Levanzo, and Marettimo are accessible by ferry, and each has its own distinct appeals.

Whilst you could squeeze them all into a single day if you are short on time, you could easily dedicate a day to each of you are staying longer.

For some stunning views of Trapani, head up to the nearby mountain village of Erice. A beautiful, medieval town in its own right, full of traditional cafes and souvenir shops, the real gem is Erice Castle.

Perched on a cliff high above Trapani, the fortress offers panoramic views out over the city and across the ocean. On a very clear day, you can see all the way across the African continent.

You also have Saltworks, giant salt fields, with windmills; Trapani’s Old Town, Cattedrale di San Lorenzo – the church of San Lorenzo, Santuario dell’Annunziata, Piazza Garibaldi, Torre Colombaia, 14th-century defensive tower – Torre di Ligny, Museo Regionale Pepoli, and Sant’Agostino.

You can also explore a museum of illusions, the Scurati Caves, Trapani Cathedral, Trapani Harbour, Funivia Trapani Erice while staying in Trapani.

Stay in Trapani if you love seafood; you want to have day trips to San Vito Lo Capo and Castellammare del Golfo; you want to explore the Egadi peninsula; you want to experience some of the most impressive views in Sicily.

Where to stay in Trapani Sicily:

Central Gallery Rooms- Palazzo D’Ali’ Staiti XIX boasts gorgeous, spacious rooms in a beautiful historic building in an unbeatable location. Situated right by the seafront, and just minutes from some of Trapani’s top attractions and hospitality, this hotel blends luxury, convenience, and comfort into the perfect package. Wi-fi and air-conditioning are present throughout the hotel, and the surrounding pedestrian-only streets make for a wonderfully quiet, relaxing environment.

Room Of Andrea is a charming boutique hotel offering a variety of stunningly decorated rooms, ranging from cosy, wood-accented minimalism, to grand, opulent suites. Close proximity to Trapani Port and Funivia Trapani Erice; Trapani Airport is just 25km away.

Hotel San Michele is a stunningly decorated hotel at the heart of Porto di Trapani. Just a few minutes walks from the majestic Trapani Cathedral, Trapani harbor, and just half a mile to the nearest beach, the hotel is perfectly situated. Rooms are bright and spacious with an artful flair and all boast flatscreen TVs, minibars, and complementary toiletries.

🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN TRAPANI

7. Castellammare del Golfo, a charming seaside town on the north-western coast of Sicily

Where To Stay In Sicily Italy – Castellammare del Golfo
Castellammare del Golfo

The town of Castellammare del Golfo gets its name from the prominent medieval fortress that still stands strong along the cliffs jutting out into the sea. The castle is open to visitors and boasts its own museum, with exhibits on the anthropological and cultural development of the area.

The town itself is full of shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants, many of which overlook the marina. As a historically significant port town, you can also find buildings and places of worship in the styles of the many different peoples that have held power over the area throughout the centuries.

The peninsula on which Castellammare del Golfo sits is considered one of the most beautiful in all of Sicily. Take advantage of the beautiful scenery and crystal-clear waters by stopping at one of the bars or restaurants along the busy fishing harbor for a lunch of freshly caught fish. 

Alternatively, spend your afternoons soaking up the sun on one of the city’s nearby beaches. The most popular beach is Plaja, but there are several to choose from if you want somewhere quieter.

Castellammare del Golfo is situated almost equidistant between Palermo and Trapani, about 20 miles from each, and both make for interesting day trips if you have the time.

Stay in Castellammare del Golfo if you want a city break with easy access to comfortable beaches; you want to visit Palermo, Zingaro Nature Reserve or Trapani, but don’t necessarily want to stay there.

Best Hotels in Castellammare del Golfo:

Sopra Le Mura  is a lovely, modern hotel directly overlooking the bustling harbour. Guests can enjoy a breakfast of traditional Sicilian delicacies and pastries, and relax at the onsite bar and streetside terrace. Cala Petrolo Beach, Lido Sunrise Beach, Lido Zanzibar Beach are popular beaches nearby.

Hotel Cala Marina offers a cosy blend of traditional and contemporary style, just metres from the sea. Each room is decorated in classic Mediterranean style with balconies overlooking the Castellammare marina.

Hotel Punta Nord Est Is a superb, modern hotel with spacious rooms overlooking the sea. Guests can spend their days relaxing at the large pool area and garden or adjacent sun terrace. Also within walking distance from Castellammare del Golfo Harbour and Castellammare sea promenade.

🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN CASTELLAMMARE DEL GOLFO

8. Agrigento, home of the Valley of the Temples

Where To Stay In Sicily Italy – Agrigento
Agrigento

Starting life as the ancient Greek colony of Akragas, around 580BCE, Agrigento has a long and colorful history, with many of its ancient structures still well preserved and open to visitors. The city is generally safe, but be aware of pickpockets and keep an eye on your belonging as common sense when you’re traveling to any city.

The most famous tourist attraction in Agrigento is the Valley of the Temples. Whilst many of the temples that once stood along this ridge have fallen to time, earthquakes, or invasion, several impressive examples still stand. Most notable are the Temple of Hera and the incredibly well-preserved Temple of Concordia

You can travel by city buses to get to the Valley of the Temples from the Agrigento/bus train station in 8 minutes, stops at Museo Archeologico/ Insula Romana and Punta di Ristoro/Templi.

The surrounding area is full of even more ancient sites to explore, including the still scorched remains of sacked temples and numerous necropoleis. Many of the artifacts excavated from the area are on display at the nearby Regional Archaeological Museum.

The main town has mostly moved on from its medieval history and now boasts a modern array of shops, bars, and restaurants catering to the busy tourism industry.  Most of the action centers around the bustling main street of Via Atena. 

You can still find some examples of historical buildings scattered amongst the newer mansions and high-rises. The beautiful, 13th-century Santa Maria Dei Greci church in Agrigento old town is worth a visit. It’s situated at the end of Via Atena and is a lovely example of gothic architecture, built on the foundations of an ancient temple of the goddess Athena.

You can also check out Agrigento market, Scala dei Turchi – a white rocky cliff located on the coast of Realmonte, near Porto Empedocle; Capo Rosso beach in Realmonte – a beautiful beach situated near the famous Sacala dei Turchi beach, and Torre Salsa Nature Reserve – located midway between Sciacca and Agrigento.

Stay in Agrigento if you love history and wandering old ruins; you love ancient temples specifically; you are willing to travel a little for the beach.

Where to stay in Agrigento Sicily:

Le Terrazze di Pirandello – Offering a range of spacious apartments and cosy rooms, each uniquely decorated to a high standard, this B&B has options to suit every preference. Close proximity to Heraclea Minoa, and Teatro Luigi Pirandello.

Doric Boutique Hotel is a stunning luxury resort in the tranquil Sicilian countryside, overlooks Juno’s Temple. Also close to the Valley of the Temples, Agrigento centre, Porto Empedocle ferry harbour, and Scala dei Turchi.

Colleverde Park Hotel is an elegant, traditional hotel set into gorgeous gardens on a hill overlooking historic ruins. Just a short walk from the area’s iconic archaeological sites and boasting a restaurant serving traditional Sicilian cuisine, this is an ideal hotel for anyone who wants to say surrounded by the local culture.

🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN AGRIGENTO

9. Noto, where to stay in south-east of Sicily for Baroque architecture

Where To Stay In Sicily Italy – Noto
Noto

Destroyed in the 17th century by a terrible earthquake that devastated the south-eastern coast of Sicily, the city of Noto was completely rebuilt in the Baroque style. That legacy has led to Noto is famous for its stunning architecture, distinct from cities with more eclectic historical sites.

Truly the architectural marvel that is Noto can’t be understated. The historical beauty of the town has earned it UNESCO Heritage status, and you will be able to see why the second you arrive. 

Full of gorgeous cathedrals, churches, and palazzos, you won’t get bored of wandering the magical streets of Noto.

The city leans into its refined atmosphere, boasting a plethora of fashionable shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars, all nestled amongst the sweeping architecture. 

The artistic roots of the city are also honored by the many murals to be found painted across the stairs around town. Easy to miss when you are upon them, keep your eyes peeled when approaching public stairways and you may spot an unexpected masterpiece.

In May, the road leading up to the Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata is transformed into a wonderland of color, as the Infiorata di Noto, or the Noto Festival of Flowers, fills the streets with beautiful floral displays. Don’t just expect your standard bouquets, the arrangements on show blanket the participating roads. Perhaps avoid the town in late May if you suffer from hay fever.

The city is also popular for its beautiful beaches, with San Lorenzo and Avola just a quick car ride away. 

Stay in Noto if you love Baroque architecture; you want a more refined city break with less of the tourist crush; you are visiting in May and want to attend the flower festival; you want a city break with access to some beautiful beaches.

Where to stay in Noto Sicily:

Battimandorlo is a stunning contemporary hotel in beautiful scenic surroundings. An onsite restaurant and bar provide a continental breakfast and traditional Italian cuisine for lunch and dinner. Within short drive from Cattedrale di Noto, Vendicari Natural Reserve, and Comiso Airport.

Hotel Flora is a beautiful modern hotel at the heart of Noto’s historic centre, next to the Porta Reale gate. Within walking distance to the must-see attraction like Noto Cathedral, and also easy to explore the Baroque buildings of this Sicilian town.

Villa Felicia is a charming, rustic hotel surrounded by lemon groves, with orange trees growing in the gardens around the outdoor pool. If you are looking for a quirky, bohemian alternative to contemporary chain hotels, this is a delightful option. The interior is beautifully decorated with wood accents and antique furniture, and there are plenty of common areas both inside and out to enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

10. Ragusa, a historical area in southeastern Sicily

Where To Stay In Sicily Italy – Ragusa
Ragusa

Similarly to Nota, much of Ragusa was destroyed by an earthquake in the 17th century and rebuilt in the baroque style. Although less renowned than its coastal cousin, you can still find some beautiful examples of baroque architecture in the old town of Ragusa Ibla.

A deep ravine separates the town into two sections, Ragusa Ibla and Ragusa Superiore, connected by four bridges. Ragusa Ibla is the old town, full of history and pretty buildings. The winding network of backstreets is home to characterful shops and intimate cafes.

Ragusa Superiore, or Upper Ragusa, is the modern part of town, full of bars, shops, restaurants, and the usual conveniences you expect from a modern city. The biggest attraction on this side of the city is the 18th-century Ragusa Cathedral, an architectural beauty to rival some of the examples in the old town.

Head up to the top of Ragusa Superiore for some truly beautiful views of the entire city.

Being further inland than most of the other cities on this list, this is not the best area if you prioritize spending time on the beach. Whilst Ragusa does have some attractive beaches along its nearest coast, they are all quite a journey away.

Stay in Ragusa if you want a city break full of beautiful baroque architecture; you want to stay in one of the safest places to stay in Sicily; you don’t care about being near beaches.

Best Places to Stay in Ragusa:

San Giorgio Palace Hotel Ragusa Ibla is an utterly beautiful boutique hotel converted from a historic stone palace, with lovely views of Santa Domenica Valley. It’s also located near the Cathedral of Saint George, a typical Baroque architecture, and Giardino Ibleo park.

Itria Palace is a gorgeous, modern 4-star hotel in a historic building and surroundings. The elegant rooms boast luxurious bathrooms, accented with exposed original stone architecture and traditional Mediterranean tile. The dining area is set in a beautiful historic stone room with vaulted ceilings and arched windows and doorways. Anyone who loves luxury and history in equal measure is sure to enjoy their time here.

Iblaresort Boutique Hotel offers stunning views of San Leonardo Valley and Baroque buildings. Located close proximity to San Giorgio Duomo, Marina di Ragusa beaches, and Modica.

🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN RAGUSA

11. Piazza Armerina, a beautiful medieval town in Sicily

Where To Stay In Sicily Italy – Piazza Armerina
Piazza Armerina

The inland town of Piazza Armerina, far from the golden beaches of Sicily’s coastal towns, may seem like an unusual tourist hotspot at first glance. However, the town is hugely popular with travelers, due to the famous 4th century Villa Romana del Casale.

Exceptional for its sheer size, which took several excavations before it was fully appreciated, the villa draws crowds of tourists year-round to explore the ancient structure. The beautifully preserved, vibrant mosaics housed within the villa display a visual representation of ancient Sicilian life.

In August, the town hosts the Palio dei Normanni festival. For several days, the city celebrates its medieval heritage with re-enactments of battles, jousting, horse races, and parades. If you love history, you won’t want to miss this annual event.

Stay in Piazza Armerina if You enjoy exploring classical ruins; You are interested in art history; You are visiting in August and are interested in historical re-enactments; Beaches are not important for your trip.

Best Places in Piazza Armerina:

Agriturismo Bannata – this unique boutique hotel it set in the beautiful surroundings of the Ronza Natural Park and in the grounds of a working farm. It’s ideal for anyone looking for a quiet countryside location from which to experience everyday Sicilian life. Close proximity to Piazza Armerina, Villa Romana del Casale, and the center of Enna.

Villa Trigona – once a home to nobles, this hotel celebrates the building’s history by maintaining a traditional theme throughout the décor of the common areas, accented by a unique collection of antique furniture.

B&B Borgo Antico is located in a traditional building at the heart of Piazza Armerina. The central location means guests will be spoilt for choice by all the shops, cafes, and restaurants just moments from their door.

🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN PIAZZA ARMERINA

12. Scopello, a charming coastal village near San Vito Lo Capo beach

Where To Stay In Sicily Italy – Scopello
Scopello

The quaint, coastal village of Scopello is an up-and-coming tourist destination, drawing an increasing crowd of visitors with its picturesque scenery and traditional, small-town atmosphere.

Aside from the charming village itself, the biggest attraction in the area is the rock formations jutting out into the cove. Its crystal-clear waters are an irresistible draw to swimmers, who flock to the bays around Scopello, despite the rocky shores, to explore its marine life and distinctive stone structures.

With an increasing tourist market threatening to deplete the very small-town charm that makes this destination so popular, you may want to visit sooner rather than later, before it loses its charm.

Stay in Scopello if you want to experience small-town Sicily; you want a break away from the more well-known tourist hub.

Best Places to Stay in Scopello:

Casale Corcella is an ideal property to consider if you are looking for a quiet location in beautiful countryside surroundings.

Torre Bennistra is a charming, traditional hotel that shows off the best of the local culture. The rooms are each uniquely decorated in a typical Mediterranean style, with balconies or furnished terraces providing views of the sea and nearby historic sights. The onsite restaurant serves Sicilian cuisine, prepared with locally caught fish. 

 B&B Tre Giummare is a superb, rustic B&B with stunning views of the ocean and mountains. Far from large towns, the area is quiet and serene.

🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN SCOPELLO

13. Messina, great for learning about local culture

Messina is the closest point on the Island of Sicily to mainland Italy. It is a port city that welcomes Mediterranean cruise ships. The result is that tourism plays a large role in its economy alongside locally-produced grapes, olives, and fruit.

Two of Shakespeare’s plays were based on Messina; it has existed for many centuries. The heart of Messina is its huge square with its cathedral and bell tower. The city is filled with museums, and galleries, while its architecture is evidence of local skills.

Getting around Messina easily with public transport, with buses taking you throughout Messina. Many of its highlights are within walking distance and if needed, call a cab at Piazza Duomo, the Piazza Cairoli, Central Station, and the Via Calabria.

Expect a vibrant nightlife here and choose from cheap budget hotels and B&Bs to luxury places for accommodation.

Stay in Messina if Architecture is a real interest of yours; You want plenty of accommodation choices; You enjoy learning about local culture.

Where to stay in Messina Sicily:

Elysium B&B This bed and breakfast is located a few steps from Sant Elia Church, close to University of Messina, Duomo Messina, Church of the Annunciation of the Catalans, and Reggio di Calabria Airport Tito Minniti Airport.

Caio Duilio B&B Located just a few steps from the popular shopping street of Viale San Martino, Piazza Cairoli- the city’s main square, the Duomo of Messinam, Regional Museum of Messina, Messina Central Train Station and bus terminus, and the ferry terminal for ferries to and from Reggio Calabria.

Residence Acqua del Conte This 4-star boutique hotel is located in the centre of Messina, offers rooms with air conditioning, a TV, wood floors and a private bathroom. You can easily reach the beaches of Pace within a short ride by the bus stop outside of the property.

🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN MESSINA

14. Milazzo, home of Castle of Milazzo

Legend has it that Milazzo was the place in ancient times where Ulysses fought Polyphemus as recounted in the Odyssey. This port is popular with the many boats sailing in this part of the Mediterranean. It is not a big place, yet it appeals to visitors wanting access to the sea, and its lovely beach.

Public transport links the harbour to all parts of the town where you will find all the amenities a visitor might want. You will find Milazzo walkable as well. The Castle of Milazzo is the main landmark which is in a prominent position on the hills. There are other ornate religious buildings and churches, largely in Baroque style.

You will find everything from budget accommodation to high-end luxury hotels. 

Stay in Milazzo if you want a good range of accommodation; Access to ferries and boats is important; You are interested in architecture.

Best places to stay in Sicily in Milazzo:

Hotel Medici Located in Milazzo’s historic centre, in a 19th-century building, within easy walking distance from the cathedral, the castle, and the harbour for ferries to Aelioan Islands, public beach – Baia del Tono Beach and the seaside promenade.

Manzoni 46 – Ospitalità siciliana Set in front of the Port of Milazzo, just within a short stroll from Baia del Tono Beach, Milazzo Harbour, provide air-conditioned rooms with free wifi, a terrace, and free private parking.

🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN MILAZZO

15. San Vito lo Capo, good for rock climbing

The coast of Sicily is its big attraction. San Vito lo Capo is just a small coastal town that is somewhat off the beaten track but that is part of its appeal. The immediate area is mountainous, so rock climbers are attracted to San Vito lo Capo as well as those wanting to be on a beach. The town’s beach has a blue flag.

It is ideal for family holidays with lovely seafood restaurants, good swimming, and plenty of places to explore. It is walkable which is good because public transport is limited. The fortress, watchtower and lighthouse are the town’s highlights. 

Hotels range from 2 to 4-star while there are also B&Bs, apartments and rural rooms in farmhouses to let. While you should not expect night clubs, there is enough in the town for everyone to enjoy their nights.

Stay in San Vito lo Capo if Your hobby is rock climbing; Accommodation choices are important; You want a feel of rural Sicily.

Best places to stay in San Vito lo Capo:

Timbuktu Hostel This hostel offers both ocean views and moutain views in San Vito lo Capo, 35 km from Trapani, 49km from Marsala, and 44km from Favignana. it’s close to Monte Cofano Natural Reserve, Cornino Bay, San Vito Lo Capo Beach, and Grotta Mangiapane.

B&B Selene Located just a few steps from the village’s sandy beach, this bed and breakfast is close to Monaco Moutain, Cofano Moutain, and Erice Moutain. You can cycle to discover the surrounding area.

🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN SAN VITO LO CAPO

16. The Aegadian Islands, a remote location on Sicily

These islands off Sicily’s northwest coast are in a small group of 5. The cave paintings on two of them, the largest, Favignana, and Levanzo, are worth a visit. They date back many centuries. The permanent population on these islands is very small, but extra workers and day trippers significantly add to the numbers in the summer.

There are boats to take you from island to island. On land, it is easy just to walk and explore. Water sports and the beach both attract tourists and there is certainly no problem just relaxing. 

The two main islands mentioned above have hotels, mid-range and better. Budget travellers are better advised to look on mainland Sicily and visit the islands on day trips. 

Stay in the Aegadian Islands if You want a remote location; Your budget allows you to pay for good accommodation; Sicily’s architecture has limited appeal.

Best places to stay in the Aegadian Islands:

L’Oasi Villaggio Albergo This eco-friendly family-run resort is located in a floral Mediterranean garden, within walking distance from Cala Graziosa beach, Favignana harbour, and surrounded by orange blossom, lemon trees and jasmine

Albergo Bouganville This 3-star hotel is set on the island of Favignana, offers a family-run restaurant that serve Sicilian seafood. It’s 1km from San Leonardo Quay, where you can catch ferries to Trapani; within walking distance from Lido Playa beach, and Florio della Tonnara beach.

Tempo Di Mare This 4-star mid-range hotel offers breathtaking views of Levanzo Island, located within walking distance from Piazza Madrice. It features rooms with light-wood furniture and whitewashed walls, and a sea-view restaurant with Sicilian specialties like pasta with sardines, wild fennel, and pine nuts.

🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN AEGADIAN ISLANDS

Best Areas To Stay In Sicily For Best Beaches? 

The small town of Cefalu is famous for its beautiful beaches. Despite the millions of tourists who visit each year, the area still feels less crowded and more relaxed than the bustling beach cities of Catania or Palermo.

The nearby Hotel Kalura is very affordable considering it has direct access to its own private beach. Perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to worry about hunting for a free space during peak sunbathing time.

Best Areas To Stay In Sicily For A Week?

If you are planning to be in Sicily for more than a couple of days, consider staying around Castellammare del Golfo. Full of historical attractions, sprawling beaches, and trendy bars, the town is perfect for a relaxing vacation. 

Take full advantage of your week-long break by visiting the neighboring tourist hubs of Palermo and Trapani. Each just 20 miles away and boasting a slew of famous historical sights, they make perfect day trips, without having to put up with the constant crush of fellow travelers.

Where To Stay In Sicily In January? 

The dead of winter may not be the most obvious time to visit a summer paradise like Sicily but visiting in the off-season has its perks. Aside from fewer crowds and lower prices, the mountainous island is actually home to several popular ski resorts.

If you’ve never considered the thrill of skiing down an active volcano, you may want to start. The sturdy volcanic landscape makes for particularly smooth ski trails, perfect even for beginners.

Where To Stay In Sicily In February? 

February is typically the coldest month in Sicily’s climate. It’s not unheard of for the north of the island to get cold enough for snow, so I recommend sticking to the southern cities during the winter months. You still shouldn’t plan for comfortable sunbathing weather though, as temperatures across the island will have you reaching for a jacket.

Since sunbathing by the beach is off the menu, consider heading to an inland town like Piazza Armerina, to enjoy wandering around the historical landmarks without the pressing crowds of the summer tourist season.

Where To Stay In Sicily In March? 

Temperatures in March are still cool, but just starting to creep back up to Sicily’s balmy spring climate. Take advantage of the comfortable weather and lack of tourist-season crowds to explore some of Sicily’s most popular attractions in a more relaxed atmosphere. 

Taormina is one of the most popular tourist towns during the summer, with a packed calendar of festivals and events drawing crowds and driving up prices. Visit in the off-season to really appreciate the history of this medieval town and its ancient structures, without hundreds of other tourists crowding in for photos.

Where To Stay In Sicily In June? 

If you are heading to Sicily in June, you absolutely have to consider staying in Taormina.

A gem of culture and history year-round, the town comes alive in June, with the arrival of the Taormina film festival. Full of film screenings, previews, and press conferences, this is a world-renowned festival that draws some big Hollywood names. Ideal for anyone interested in film or rubbing shoulders with the stars.

This is also the first month of the year in which you can experience a live performance at the ancient Greek amphitheater. 

Hotels in this area can get quite pricey but the B&B Evelyn is a relatively affordable option. Located in the heart of the town, near to the amphitheater, and with an ‘exceptional’ review score, the B&B Evelyn will keep you close to the action, without compromising on quality or your budget.

Where To Stay In Sicily In July? 

July is one of the hottest and busiest months in Sicily’s calendar, so you may want to consider staying somewhere away from the worst of the crowds.

The little coastal village of Scopello is still relatively low key, and the crystal-clear waters around the quiet bay are perfect for cooling off with a swim. The tiny town provides a charming taste of authentic Sicilian life, with a growing variety of accommodation options.

Where To Stay In Sicily In April? 

By April, the warmer temperatures are returning, bringing with them the attraction of the island’s beaches. However, despite the summer rush not yet having arrived, the Easter holidays bring with them an influx of local tourists to many of the major attractions.

Consider taking the opportunity to hike some of the trails around the base of Mount Etna in comfortable temperatures. Catania and Taormina are both situated close to the mountain, with plenty to keep you entertained on days you don’t feel like going on a trek.

Where To Stay In Sicily In August? 

If you are visiting in August and want to really experience the history and culture of Sicily, consider heading to Piazza Armerina

A beautiful town filled with baroque architecture, Piazza Armerina hosts a yearly festival in August, dedicated to its medieval heritage. The festival involves several days of historical re-enactments, competitions, and parades.

If you choose to spend your vacation in this architectural beauty of a town, you can carry the artistic appreciation through to your accommodation at the Suite D’Autore Art Design Gallery. A chic hotel at the heart of the city, each room boasts a unique designer flare. Guest reviews are very positive, garnering the hotel a ‘fabulous’ score on booking.com.

Where To Stay In Sicily In October? 

Autumn is peak grape harvesting season and, as the capital of Italy’s wine production, Sicily in October is a great place to being for wine connoisseurs. The city of Marsala is known across the world for its eponymous wine variety, so keep an eye on local media in the area, to see what events and festivals the area will host this year.

Where To Stay In Sicily In December? 

In December, temperatures will likely have dropped below comfortable swimsuit weather. Whilst, not an ideal time to work on your tan, you can still enjoy December vacation in Sicily if you know where to look.

The southern city of Catania will be even more relaxed without the summer press of tourists, allowing you to experience more of the local culture, and prices for accommodation and tours are generally more affordable than in peak-season. 

Where To Stay In Sicily In September? 

September is a great time to visit Sicily. The temperatures are still delightfully balmy, but down from the sweltering highs of midsummer, and the crowds of tourists have started to dissipate. 

Trapani, with its beautiful beaches and nearby islands now noticeably less crowded, is an ideal location to take at the end of the Sicilian summer.

Where To Stay In Sicily In November? 

By November, temperatures will have noticeably dropped below what most would consider comfortable sunbathing weather. If you are set on spending your vacation by the beach regardless, you may want to consider looking at Messina in the north-east of the island, where you can catch ferries to the Aeolian Islands.

Protected from the worst of the polar front by mainland Italy, Messina often stays a few degrees warmer than other areas of the island. Perfect for squeezing in a few more weeks of beach hopping.

Best Places To Stay In Sicily Without A Car? 

If you are not planning to hire a car for your Sicilian vacation, I recommend you consider staying in the northern town of Cefalu. 

The town is small enough to comfortably explore by foot, but still has plenty to keep you occupied, as evidenced by the millions of tourists who visit each year. The main draw to the area is the comfortable beaches, just steps away from the bustling town center.

The Artemis Hotel is perfect for travelers without a car. A stone’s throw from the beach and just 350 yards from the Central Train Station, it’s hard to beat for sheer convenience. With beautiful rooms, set in a converted 1950’s convent, you won’t be sacrificing quality for location and past guests agree, awarding it a ‘fabulous’ review score on booking.com

Where To Stay In Sicily Catania Or Palermo? 

Catania and Palermo are the two major cities in Sicily. Whilst both offer a vibrant, multi-cultural experience, full of food and history, they still hold distinct appeals from one another.

Palermo is considered the more refined of the two. Full of fashionable bars, restaurants, museums, and art galleries, Palermo leans into its status as the Italian Capital of Culture. If you’re looking for the typical trappings of a city break with a Sicilian twist, Palermo is for you.

Catania is more laid back. A city founded on adaptability and frequent rebuilding, much of the culture here is based around creativity and community, as you’ll notice from the prevalent kiosk culture. The more adventurous amongst you will appreciate the opportunity to explore nearby Mount Etna.

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Sicily is a cultural and historical playground, bursting with vibrant and varied attractions, owing to its multi-cultural history. With a character completely distinct from mainland Italy, everyone can find somewhere on Sicily to host their dream vacation. With so much to see, don’t be surprised if you find yourself planning a return trip.

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