Luxurious Sojourn: A Guide to Things to Do in Sicily for Discerning Travelers

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Advisor - Kristen Kellogg
Curated By

Kristen Kellogg

  • Sicily

  • Italy

  • Nature Escapes

  • City Travel

  • Outdoors

  • Local Food

  • Architecture

ancient outdoor theater made of stone at the top of a mountain range
Curator’s statement

Sicily is an island destination not just for the beaches and outlying Aeolian islands but a food and wine lovers paradise too. That coupled with great energy from the bigger seaside cities to the small towns, if you have traveled to mainland Italy and looking for your next Italian escape let it be Sicily.

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Where to stay in Sicily

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Things to do in Sicily

pink building with a tree on an island

Welcome to Sicily, an enchanting island in the Mediterranean where luxury travelers can indulge in a symphony of experiences, from immersive cooking classes and exploration of historic sites to vibrant food markets, serene boat rides, exhilarating helicopter tours, golfing on world-class courses, and relaxing beach time. This 1,500-word guide is tailor-made for discerning travelers seeking the pinnacle of opulence in Sicily. Additionally, we will explore the charming towns of Taormina, Noto, and Cefalù, and take you on a journey to the Aeolian Islands. To complete your luxurious Sicilian experience, we have handpicked three exquisite luxury hotels that will elevate your stay to the realm of pure bliss. Let's embark on this unforgettable journey of indulgence and exploration in the heart of Sicily.

Indulging in Gastronomic Delights: Cooking Classes in Sicily

Sicily's culinary heritage is as rich as its history, and luxury travelers can immerse themselves in the island's delectable flavors through exclusive cooking classes.

  • Mandranova Cooking Experience: Located on an olive farm in Agrigento, Mandranova offers an idyllic setting to learn the art of Sicilian cooking, incorporating olive oil, fresh produce, and traditional recipes.

  • Casa Mia Cooking Experience: Embrace the warmth of Sicilian hospitality with Casa Mia's hands-on cooking classes. Create authentic dishes with locally sourced ingredients and learn the culinary secrets passed down through generations.

  • Regaleali Estate: Situated in the heart of Sicily, the Regaleali Estate offers cooking classes that celebrate the island's diverse gastronomy. Enjoy wine tastings and explore the vineyards for an unforgettable culinary experience.

Unveiling the Historic Charms of Sicily

Sicily is a treasure trove of historic sites that transport you to different epochs of its vibrant past.

  • Valley of the Temples (Valle dei Templi): Located in Agrigento, this UNESCO World Heritage site features well-preserved ancient Greek temples and ruins, providing a glimpse into the island's ancient history.

  • Syracuse (Siracusa): Explore the ancient Greek theater and the charming island of Ortigia, filled with historic buildings, lively piazzas, and exquisite restaurants.

  • Villa Romana del Casale: Journey to Piazza Armerina to marvel at the well-preserved Roman mosaics in this opulent villa dating back to the 4th century AD.

Exploring Vibrant Food Markets

Sicily's bustling food markets are a feast for the senses, offering an array of fresh produce, artisanal products, and traditional delicacies.

  • Ballarò Market: Located in Palermo, Ballarò Market exudes the authentic charm of Sicilian street markets, with vendors selling everything from fresh seafood to vibrant fruits and vegetables.

  • Ortigia Market: Stroll through the historic district of Ortigia in Syracuse to find a labyrinth of stalls offering local cheeses, olives, pastries, and much more.

Serenity on the Aeolian Islands

Escape to the Aeolian Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where luxury travelers can experience tranquility and natural beauty.

  • Lipari: Explore the largest island in the archipelago, boasting charming streets, boutique shops, and inviting restaurants.

  • Panarea: Discover the exclusivity of Panarea, a favorite destination for celebrities, with its chic boutiques, pristine beaches, and luxury hotels.

  • Stromboli: Admire the active volcano of Stromboli, offering nighttime hikes to witness its fiery eruptions.

Exhilarating Boat Rides and Helicopter Tours

Sicily's coastline is a tapestry of stunning landscapes, best explored by boat or helicopter.

  • Boat Tours: Embark on a private boat tour to discover secluded coves, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking cliffs, with experienced skippers catering to your every need.

  • Helicopter Tours: Take to the skies on a helicopter tour to witness Sicily's dramatic coastline, ancient ruins, and majestic volcanoes from a unique perspective.

Golfing in Paradise

For golf enthusiasts, Sicily offers some of the most picturesque and challenging courses in the Mediterranean.

  • Verdura Resort: Nestled on the southwestern coast, Verdura Resort boasts two championship golf courses, stunning views, and luxurious amenities.

  • Il Picciolo Etna Golf Resort & Spa: Located on the slopes of Mount Etna, this resort offers a scenic 18-hole golf course surrounded by lush vineyards and forests.

Beach Time and the Charms of Taormina, Noto, and Cefalù

Sicily's coastal towns are a playground for luxury travelers, with pristine beaches and captivating beauty.

  • Taormina: Perched on a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea, Taormina is famed for its ancient Greek Theater, charming streets, and panoramic views.

  • Noto: Revel in the Baroque splendor of Noto, a UNESCO-listed town with ornate churches, palaces, and lively piazzas.

  • Cefalù: Discover the picturesque town of Cefalù, boasting golden sandy beaches, a charming medieval town center, and the grandeur of the Cathedral Basilica.

Luxurious Accommodations in Sicily

Sicily offers a plethora of luxurious hotels that promise the epitome of comfort and personalized service.

  • Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo: Located in Taormina, this five-star hotel boasts stunning views of Mount Etna and the Bay of Naxos. With opulent accommodations and a Michelin-starred restaurant, it offers an unparalleled experience.

  • Grand Hotel Minareto: Overlooking the island of Ortigia in Syracuse, this luxurious retreat boasts a private beach, infinity pool, and elegantly appointed rooms and suites.

  • Cefalù Sea Palace: Situated in Cefalù, this elegant hotel offers direct access to a private beach, stunning sea views, and top-notch amenities.

  • Dimora Delle Balze: In the small town of Noto, this hotel feels like you’re staying in a luxurious home.

Getting There

  • From Catania Fontanarossa Airport (CTA): Luxury travelers can arrange private transfers or helicopter transfers from Catania Airport to their chosen hotel in Sicily for a seamless and stylish arrival.

  • From Palermo Falcone-Borsellino Airport (PMO): For travelers arriving in Palermo, private transfers or helicopter charters are available for a swift and luxurious journey to their destination.

Sicily awaits you with its opulent charm, captivating history, and extraordinary experiences. From immersive cooking classes to historic sites, vibrant food markets, exhilarating boat rides, helicopter tours, golfing, beach time, and a visit to the Aeolian Islands, luxury travelers are destined for a truly unforgettable journey. Discover the enchanting towns of Taormina, Noto, and Cefalù, and immerse yourself in the splendor of the Mediterranean's largest island. Choose from a selection of luxurious hotels that promise a haven of comfort and sophistication. Embrace the allure of Sicily, where every moment is an indulgence in the art of luxury travel. Buon viaggio.

For more on Sicily, visit Salt & Wind Travel.

Advisor - Kristen Kellogg

Travel Advisor

Kristen Kellogg

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For more Italy travel tips, check out my guide, Things To Do in Lake Como, Italy For A Luxury Trip. This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Sicily and our longer series on travel to Italy.