Sicily – highlights and top tourist attractions

Sicilian sun

When you think of Sicily, do you think of beautiful beaches, romantic places and Mount Etna? So you are pretty much right! But the largest island in the Mediterranean has much more to offer. TUI employee Catherine was in Sicily for the first time and brings you her favorite Sicilian highlights and landmarks.

Sicilian sun

The sun almost always shines in Sicily. You can buy a ceramic Sicilian sun and coat of arms just about anywhere.

Three corners, three mountains, countless landmarks, and the sun is almost always shining. Sicily has been on my bucket list for a long time! I finally have it The sunny island at the tip of Italy's boot Explore – and it was worth it. Here in Sicily, tomatoes still taste like tomatoes, and there are all kinds of eggplant.

Also: great scenery, great weather, and beautiful places. Etna always dominates the image of Sicily, and the sea is never far away. All that's missing is Russell Crowe roaming through cornfields – like in “Gladiator.” I loved Sicily and you will love it too – especially these highlights and The most important attractions in Sicily:

Taormina – a picturesque city located on the eastern coast of Sicily

Taormina is fun. Shopping, gelato and of course tapas at Corso Umberto, sometimes with background music. About one of the most important attractions of ancient Taormina Greek theatre To explore, you need to be in front of the gate at exactly nine in the morning when the gate opens, while the Crusaders are still sitting at the breakfast table. Then it fills up quickly. The view from the stone steps over the bay Giardini Naxos and Mount Etna Wonderful thing.

My nutritional advice: Parmigiana – a delicious eggplant casserole, and granita – a type of sorbet with or without a sweet roll – is refreshing. Also try the arancini, delicious fried rice balls with different fillings. Simply enjoy Sicilian fast food for a handy lunch.

My advice to the restaurant: The pesce crudo (raw fish) at Osteria Santa Domenica is a bit expensive, but a real treat! The best granita is at BamBar in Taormina.

Probably the most colorful fruit stand in Taormina

The coastal city of Cefalù

Cefalù It is located under a rock head by the sea. Even the first view of the coastal city is gorgeous. You can get lost in the winding streets of the beautiful old town. You should definitely visit the Norman Cathedral The Most Holy Savior With many mosaics and artistic treasures. Marble is beautifully made!

Cefalù

Don't miss: Cefalù

Marble tower in Cefalù Cathedral

Don't miss: Cefalù

Marble tower in Cefalù Cathedral

Palermo – the vibrant capital of Sicily

A highlight among Sicily's tourist attractions is the island's capital. Palermo is a very lively city It moves. A lot is invested in modernization, and progress is being made little by little. Unfortunately, high unemployment rates, especially among young people, are a problem. Even if the residents of Palermo do not like to be asked about the mafia, traces of their activities can be found in many places on the island.

The ornate mosaics in the church are particularly beautiful Sta Maria del AdmiraglioOne of the most important tourist attractions in Palermo. It is located near the Pretoria Fountain in the city centre. The fountain caused a sensation when it was installed in the 16th century because it was too large for the allotted space and the figures were depicted quite freely. In the Palermo Cathedral You can see Arabic letters in the entrance area. There are some examples of churches being converted into mosques and then taken over by Christians again.

Palermo Cathedral

Cathedral details

The Norman Cathedral is also worth seeing Montreal, very close to Palermo. Spread over an area of ​​more than 6,000 square metres, you will find mosaics on a golden background that will take your breath away. Like a kind of ancient comic book, the Old and New Testaments are immortalized on the walls and explain the story of the Bible to people, most of whom cannot read.

The Cathedral Monastery of Monreale is famous.

Fall of Man: Everyone has always blamed the one who is supposed to be the weakest. Adam against Eve and Eve against the serpent.

The inner courtyard of the cathedral is also beautiful

The municipality of Erice – where the smallest and narrowest street in Sicily awaits you

Erice is a medieval city, and unfortunately it is an uninhabited city, where you can find the smallest and narrowest alley in Sicily. Only one person can cope with this condition and they should not be overweight. The view over the salt pans and the city Trapani Impressive and the coast is beautiful. Make sure you try these almond pasteDelicious Sicilian almond pastries.

Eres in Sicily

A view from Iris of the beautiful coastal landscape

Temple after temple – from Segesta via Selinunte to Agrigento

Nowhere in the world are there so many well-preserved Greek temples as in Sicily! For me, it's heading south into the country. Here you will meet the first exceptionally isolated Greek (Temple in Segesta).. All columns have been completely preserved and are located freely in the beautiful landscape.

in SelinunteJust about 50 kilometers south, you'll find the remains of a Greek city built around 600 BC. was established. In addition to the large temples that have already been restored, many huge puzzle pieces remain. It is unbelievable that these gigantic structures have been around for over 2,500 years and the means by which they were built.

(Temple in Agrigento).

Well preserved temple in Agrigento

Temple in Selinunt

Temple in Selinunt

Well preserved temple in Agrigento

the (Tall der Temple in Agrigento). giant. You will reach it after another 90 kilometers along the coast. It is actually a high plateau about two kilometers long, on which there are well-preserved and restored temples. Some plaster can even be seen, as the temples were originally white or even colored. I can imagine how this facility deterred potential attackers as it was visible from a distance from the sea.

Beautiful flowering landscape

You can find beautiful flowering landscapes everywhere here

Girgentana goat

Girgentana goat comes from Agrigento

You can find beautiful flowering landscapes everywhere here

Girgentana goat comes from Agrigento

The Greek cities were once very rich, and Sicily was known as a granary. Therefore there were many armed conflicts. The visit is also enjoyable because the surrounding plants are very beautiful and interesting. Here you'll find olive groves, flowering capers, agaves, and even the rare Gergentana goat with its spiral horns, which are native here.

Piazza Armerina – the magnificent Villa Romana del Casale

The origins of the Villa Romana del Casale near Piazza Armerina are still not fully understood. What is certain is that wealthy people built, rebuilt and decorated this wonderful complex several times. Today we may find it inappropriate to paint walls with colors using frescoes… Detailed mosaic floors To decorate. But it is impressive how carefully the mosaics are designed, with the stones sometimes being less than 0.5cm in size.

The invention of the bikini appears to have occurred long before the 19th century, as can be seen in the famous mosaics of bikini girls. However, in this case, it is vintage sportswear, not swimwear. The illustrations (and not just those of the exotic animals) are impressive and still look lively.

Colonnade in the square of Villa Romana del Casale | shutterstock/k. Roy Zerlock

Bikinimation at Villa del Casale

Bikinimation at Villa del Casale

Colonnade in the square of Villa Romana del Casale

Bikinimation at Villa del Casale

Syracuse – the picturesque birthplace of Archimedes

Archimedes was at home in Syracuse Famous mathematician of antiquity. According to legend, he was there during the Roman invasion in 212 BC. When they occupied the city in 200 BC, he was absorbed in his research and said very coldly to the soldier who finally killed him: “Do not disturb my circles.” Those were his last words.

In the old town on Ortega Peninsula The cathedral stands with its magnificent Baroque facade. Inside, it is clear to see that it was practically built around the ancient Temple of Athena, with columns beautifully integrated. The cathedral is one of the oldest Christian churches in the western Mediterranean. In the city centre, the remains of the Temple of Apollo can be seen, with modern traffic rushing by.

Visit Etna – a world in itself

The highlight of my Sicily tour is the rise of Mount Etna, one of Sicily's most stunning sights. First by bus about 1900 meters to the mountain station which has a large car park, restaurants and shops. Here you can explore some of the many ancient craters. There are more than 200 of them because Etna is almost constantly active.

Access to Mount Etna is via lava fields to an altitude of approximately 2800 metres

Crater rim on Etna

Crater rim on Etna

Access to Mount Etna is via lava fields to an altitude of approximately 2800 metres

This is a good thing because it constantly releases steam, ash and sometimes lava and thus pressure, reducing the risk of large catastrophic eruptions – or so we are told.

I definitely recommend going to the top, where you can take a cable car and ATV to an altitude of approximately 2900 metres. Here you can hike around the newer craters on your own or with a mountain guide, touch the hot lava sand, see the remains of snow and traces of sulfur on the summit and enjoy the absolutely stunning landscape and view. It's windy and cold here, so don't forget a jacket and jacket.

Sicilian beach Giardini Naxos

(Giardini Naxos in Sicily).

After all the sights on this wonderful island, I decided to spend a relaxing day at the beach Giardini Naxos Granted. Seeing the smoke of Mount Etna from the water is somewhat unreal. I will never forget this great trip. It won't be my last either. Basically, I just got a taste for it. Arrivederci – presto.

Map of Sicily's attractions at a glance