From white shingle coves to long golden strands, from dramatic black lava bays to endless shifting dunes, Sicily has some of the finest beaches in Italy. There are beaches with chic lidos, beaches that form part of nature reserves, beaches backed by archeological sites, and beaches for those who seek the romance of beachcombing empty sands for sea glass, shells and driftwood.

BEACHES IN PALERMO AREA
Mondello
A long sandy beach with numerous lidos, backed by a bustling seaside resort, this is the favourite summer retreat of the Palermitani, and the perfect place to come if you are looking for exuberance, fun, great restaurants and a lively nightscene. The Art Nouveau Charleston restaurant is a Mondello institution!
Addaura
The fractured rocky coastline beyond Mondello is riddled with tiny coves where it’s possible to escape the crowds. The water is crystal clear – making it a favourite location for divers and snorkelers.
Balestrate
Two fine sandy beaches separated by a small rocky promontory backed by Mediterranean maquis sand a pinewood. Pretty much always sheltered from the wind by the cliffs that back it.
Cefalù
A medieval town – with one of Sicily’s finest Norman-Arab-mosaic-decorated cathedrals – and a bustling international seaside resort with a marvellous long sandy beach and wonderfully clear waters. Good breakers for body-boarding when the breeze is up.

BEACHES IN TRAPANI AREA
Baia di Guidaloca
The stretch of coast northwest of Castellammare del Golfo is one of Sicily’s most beautiful, punctuated with unspoiled coves with white pebble beaches and waters of an almost impossibly brilliant turquoise. According to legend, Baia di Guidaloca, a pretty pebble beach with a stream running across it, is where Odysseus came across Nausicaa and her friends washing clothes!
Scopello and the Riserva dello Zingaro
The Zingaro coastal nature reserve has some of Sicily’s most magical beaches – come here in low season and you may even have them to yourself. Tonnara di Scopello, just outside the reserve, is a white shingle beach with sheltered waters backed by the ruins of a tuna fishery. There are several lovely little beaches within the reserve, accessible only by footpath (follow the one marked Sentiero Basso, which hugs the coast). The closest beach to the main entrance, Cala Capreria, can get quite crowded – for more solitude, continue walking to Disa, Berretta, Marinella, Cala dell’Uzzo or Cala Tonnarella dell’Uzzo.
 San Vito lo Capo
A long, gently curving white sandy beach backed by cliffs and dominated by a dramatic, jagged headland, belonging to the lively holiday resort of San Vito lo Capo. Excellent for those looking for a great beach with plenty of facilities and places to eat.

BEACHES IN AGRIGENTO AREA
 Eraclea Minoa
A stupendous white half-moon of a beach backed by white chalk cliffs, and the remains of the Greek settlement of Eraclea sitting high on a ridge above.
 Torre Salsa
Protected by a nature reserve and backed by cliffs of marl and crystalline selenite, the beaches of Torre Salsa stretch for kilometres. For most of the year, underground streams make the dirt road to the beach too swampy for a car, so you need to walk!
 Scala dei Turchi
One of the most stunning sites in Sicily, Scala dei Turchi is a natural amphitheatre of white marl with a series of ‘steps’ eroded by the elements, and a beach at the bottom. Come in low season if you can, as it gets extremely crowded.

Villas near the beach in Sicily >>
Villa with direct sea access >>

Written by Julia Bellhouse