A summer break in Sicily

The saying goes that there’s no place like home, but nearby Sicily has become a home away from home for many locals who enjoy short, frequent getaways where adventure meets relaxing moments on stunning beaches, food markets whet the appetite for hearty, Mediterranean meals, and historic and architectural sites abound.

sicily

At the moment regular flights depart from Malta International Airport to Catania and Trapani, with Palermo being added to the route network towards mid-July. To celebrate the launch of this route, AirMalta have some special offers you might wish to check out.

To help you plan your trip to Sicily better, here are a couple of recommendable spots and activities for each of the three Sicilian destinations.

CATANIA

Catania is found on the East coast of Sicily, lying at the foot of Mount Etna, which is the highest, active volcano in Europe. One can book a day tour to explore the area and marvel at the interesting terrain forged through the numerous eruptions of this very active volcano. Mount Etna and the surroundings make up an ideal spot for adventurous travellers, who enjoy trekking, hiking, and climbing.

For travellers who are more into the sights, sounds, and smells that characterise a market place, we suggest the ’A Piscaria at the heart of Catania. As the name suggests, this market is famous for its wide selection of fresh fish. However, beyond this it provides a unique experience that thrills all five senses.

Recommended eating places (according to Trip Advisor)

  • Da Antonio (Italian/Mediterranean)
  • Sushi Live (Asian/Sushi/Vegetarian)
  • I Quattro Mari (Italian/Mediterranean/Seafood)

TRAPANI

Trapani lies on the west coast of Sicily and today still retains its importance as a fishing port. Overlooking Trapani from Monte San Giuliano is the medieval town of Erice, which can be reached via cable car. In the 15 minutes it takes to get up from Trapani to Erice you can enjoy breath-taking views and snap a couple of photos for your holiday album!

Recommended eating places in Erice (according to Trip Advisor)

  • Il Frutto della Passione (Mediterranean/Seafood/Vegeterian)
  • Pasticceria San Carlo (bakery)
  • Monte San Giuliano (Italian) 

A popular town in the Province of Trapani is San Vito Lo Capo, which is nestled between mountains and is also home to a popular beach. San Vito Lo Capo is well known for two summer festivals, the International Kite Festival and the couscous festival in September. The Kite Festival is quite the spectacle, as kites of different colours and sizes brighten up the already vibrant blue skies of this small town.

Recommended eating places in San Vito Lo Capo (according to Trip Advisor)

  • Peraino (Italian/Delicatessen/Wine Bar)
  • Il vero cannolo di piana degli albanesi (Artisanal products)
  • Pizza e sfizi (Italian/pizzeria)

From Trapani you can easily catch a ferry to Naples in Italy, the Aegadian Islands, namely Favignana, Levanzo, and Marettimo, and Pantelleria.

PALERMO

Palermo lies to the south of Sicily and is the capital of the island. The city brings together history, culture, gastronomy, and night life. Some suggest that to get an initial feel of Palermo, you should wander the streets of the old city and get lost in the architecture that enriches the capital. Palermo hosts a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites including the Palazzo Reale with the Cappella Palatina, the Chiesa di San Giovanni degli Eremiti, the Chiesa di Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio, the Cattedrale di Palermo, and the Palazzo della Zisa.

And if a good bargain is what you’re after, a visit to the open-air markets of Palermo is definitely a must. Two of the better known markets are the Vucciria market and Balloro. The former offers all kinds of fresh seafood, local produce, souvenirs and handcrafts, while the other the latter sells food and clothes. May we remind you that the ability to haggle always comes in handy when visiting such markets!

For more shopping and a wide range of brands, you can visit the Sicilia Outlet Village, which is about 70 minutes away from Palermo and 40 minutes away from Catania.

Recommended eating places in Palermo (according to Trip Advisor)

  • Il Ragno (Italian/Pizzeria)
  • Carizzi d’Amuri (Italian/Seafood)
  • FlaM Osteria Contemporanea (Seafood/Mediterranean/Gluten free)

Need more inspiration where you can head off to this summer? Download our summer schedule here.

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