Whether you voted Leave or Remain, the cataclysmic events of the past week have certainly made the future seem uncertain. But we can reassure anyone considering a holiday in Sicily, that in or out of the European Union, the British are still European, and will continue to be welcome in Sicily — after all, we not only share a Norman heritage, but British and Sicilians have worked together for centuries, in particular in the fortified wine trade! The region still offers exceptional value for money, and to put the minds of our British clients at rest, we at Travel Sicilia want to do all we can to make booking a holiday in Sicily as straightforward as possible in a period when exchange rates are likely to be volatile.
July is hot, and can be very hot, and even Sicilians don’t stay on the beach all day. Holiday places are lively, but not yet crowded, and often it is the grandparents, one parent and children who are on holiday, as the other parent is still at work.
Average high temperature 26°C
Average low temperature 18°C
Average sea temperature 25°C
Average sunshine hours 14
Average rainfall 10mm
June is amazing. It feels like high summer – indeed most children stop going to school in the first week of the month because it is too hot to concentrate. The beaches begin to get popular – and hardy Anglo Saxons will no longer be the only people swimming – but sands are not crowded, and it is usually easy to find a remote beach to have to yourself.
Average high temperature 25°C
Average low temperature 18°C
Average sea temperature 20°C
Average sunshine hours 13
Average rainfall 10mm
Commanding fantastic (and famous) views over two sweeping bays, Taormina is Sicily’s most glamorous resort, and has been since the early 20th century, when it numbered D.H. Lawrence among its expatriate residents.
1. An evening stroll around Taormina. Explore Taormina and indulge in a little window shopping and people watching, then choose a bar with a fantastic view for a romantic aperitivo.
2. Follow the steep path, used for religious processions, that leads from the Via Circonvallazione to the cliff-top chapel of Madonna della Rocca. At its most evocative at sunset, of course.
3. From June to September Taormina runs an eclectic season of film, music, dance, theatre, Classical and rock music, stage in the ancient Greek theatre. Unforgettable, with Taormina at its buzziest.
Villa Valguarnera Villafranca, the glorious villa whose renaissance inspired Cinema Paradiso director, Giuseppe Tornatore to create Dolce and Gabbana’s most glamorous perfume commercial.
May is also fantastic, with the wild flower displays continuing (the higher up you go, the better they will be now), and there are definitely days when people unaccustomed to hot weather may feel it is too hot to rush around at mid-day – which is why Sicilians like to have a relaxed lunch and a siesta!
1. Climb Stromboli and see it erupting a night – and have a birds’eye view of the sunset over the entire Aeolian archipelago.
2. Take a boat trip around the magical islets off Panarea where you can snorkel over magmic bubbles and the remains of a drowned Roman port.
3. Wallow in the sulphurous mud baths of Vulcano, then cool off by swimming over the fumeroles in the sea.
4. Have a lazy day in Lingua, Salina, eating pane cunzato and granite at the waterfront café, Bar Alfredo, then swimming from the quiet pebble beach alongside the lighthouse.
5. Follow the old mule tracks to the abandoned village of Zucca Grande on Filicudi, then laze away the afternoon in the stylish eco-lido at Pecorini Mare.
6. On Salina, take an evening walk from Leni, through the Vallespina to Pizzo Corvo and watch the sun set behind Filicudi.
1. Try the fantastic ice creams at the Caffe di Noto on Via Bagno Cicerone – flavours include prickly pear, chocolate with chilli, mango and raspberry.
2. Go for a long swim in the early evening , when the crystal-clear waters become opalescent in the sunset.
3. Hike up through pinewoods scented with wild fennel to the remains of Cefalù’s Greek Temple to Diana and medieval fortifications. Even better, come in time for sunset and bring a chilled bottle of Prosecco, a couple of glasses and a few choice morsels from a local deli, for a romantic aperitivo picnic. A headtorch might be useful for the descent.
4. Visit Cefalù’s fantastic Norman Duomo , with its fantastic Byzantine mosaics at different times of day, to see how they alter in the changing light.
5. Time a visit to Cefalù’s Museo Mandralisca (fondazionemandralisca.it) to coincide with lunchtime – so that after puzzling over Antonello da Messina’s inscrutable Portrait of an Unknown Man, you can relax over a tuna sashimi on caponata or pasta with swordfish and lemon zest at La Galleria, a chic café with cultural centre just down the road.
April is a fantastic time to visit Sicily.
Spring flowers now make multicoloured carpets of inland meadows, and the markets are full of spring vegetables – fava beans, peas, asparagus, early strawberries.
The sea is warming up, and for most days you can dress as you would for a warm English summer’s day.