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Sicily

Often referred to as the ‘crossroads of the Mediterranean’, Sicily has a charm all of its own, despite officially being a region of Italy. With so many ancient empires having stampeded across its length and breadth, Sicily is now an island of such varied influences, including Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Elymians, Romans and Greeks, that it’s considered by some to be one of the most cultured areas in Europe and perfect for a luxury holiday.
 
The perfect destination for history nerds with less culture-loving sun worshipers in tow, Sicily, the land of the Cyclops, offers endless heritage sites and beaches to keep everybody happy. Heralded by poets and playwrights from Homer onwards, the region is littered with the remnants of bygone eras such as the Temple of Concordia in Agrigento, the ruined columns of Selinunte and the famous satyr of Mazara del Vallo.
 
While the culture buffs get their glasses in a twist over these truly indescribable monuments, water babies can take advantage of the island’s paradisiacal shores. Particularly popular spots include the picture-perfect Fontane Bianche, the volcanic Golfo di Castellammare and the secret coves and soft sands of Piazza Armerina. The best bit? The water temperatures rarely dip below 15 degrees so you’re almost guaranteed some pleasantly balmy bathing.
 
Foodies are also going to love this incredible getaway as its absolutely packed with boutique eateries, gourmet food shops and, of course, acres and acres of lush vineyard estates. The area’s cuisine, like its culture, is a myriad of historical influences and includes the spices of the Middle East, the indulgence of the Greeks and the ideal small portions of mainland Italy. As a key producer of vino, cheese, oil and nuts, you’ll never be short on places to grab a quick bite or a seriously sumptuous meal.
 
WINGED BOOTS WISDOM
 
If you plan on driving during your stay, there are some unique rules and regulations you should be aware of when travelling in Italy. Firstly, drivers are required to keep a high-vis jacket inside the car (usually on display over your seat) to be worn if they break down. Secondly, when driving in more rural areas, you are legally required to have your headlights on, even during the day.
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Good to know

  • Currency: EUR
  • Flying time to destination:
    3-hours from London
  • Best Foodie Hangout: Palermo
  • Instagram Opportunity: Mount Etna

Best Time To Travel

Average Temperatures
Jan: 9°c   Feb: 9°c   Mar: 10°c  
Apr: 12°c   May: 15°c   Jun: 19°c  
Jul: 22°c   Aug: 22°c   Sep: 21°c  
Oct: 17°c   Nov: 13°c   Dec: 10°c  

Location

Sicily in a nutshell

  • The modern-day cuisine of Sicily has had over two millennia of traceable cultures influencing its techniques, presentation and ingredients, making it one of the most diverse in the world. Although many assume that it’s simply Italian food, it could equally be described as having elements of Greek, Spanish, French and Arab culinary styles. As such, some of the most popular inclusions in the island’s dishes are fresh vegetables such as eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes, and fish such as tuna, sea bream, sea bass, cuttlefish, and swordfish.
     
  • Speaking of swordfish, a traditional dish you have to try while you’re visiting is pesce spada. Mouth-wateringly good, this firm local favourite is comprised of swordfish rolls stuffed with pine nuts and raisins which balance the flavour of fish perfectly.
     
  •  Can’t wait to try a slice of Sicily but don’t know where to go first? Ristorante Hotel Signum is the perfect stop. A fine dining eatery with a Michelin-starred chef at the helm, the restaurant offers tasting menus paired with local wines ranging from four to seven courses. The dishes feature local ingredients like capers, homemade pasta and freshly caught fish.
     
  • Mount Etna is definitely the location for all your adventure based activities as it offers impressive heights to climb and trek, scenic vistas to admire by air and rough terrains to make off-roading activities a blast!
     
  • One such off-road activity is quad biking across the peak or in the Alcantara Valley. With the option to ride as a passenger or take the control of the vehicle into your own hands, this bumpy ride is bound to thrill you to the core.
     
  • For a slightly smoother 4X4 experience, why not take advantage of the Jeep tours on offer? With many operators offering full-day excursions with meals included, you’ll be travelling instyle and comfort on an exhilarating drive up and down the slopes of Sicily’s intimidating mountain range.
     
  • Want something that allows you a little more personal contact with the great outdoors? Why not book yourself in for some fun-filled canyoning? Catering to a range of fitness levels and abilities you’ll be able to dive into stunning gorges and explore hidden valleys with a skilful guide who’ll provide assistance and knowledge throughout the journey.
     
  •  Ever wondered what Sicilian Go-Ape would look like? Well, we’ve found it at Park of Madonie in Petralia Sottana and we know you and the kids are going to love it. An adventure park in the trees, you’ll be able to try and witness canopy acrobatics and fabulous vistas or, for those less keen on heights, mountain biking and orienteering trials.
     
  • Making education entertaining, ‘Eureka! Discovering Archimedes' Syracuse’ is a fun-filled workshop for children and parents. Comprising an interactive archaeological museum and park with models of a Greek theatre, Roman amphitheatre and stone quarry, visitors can participate in a plethora of exciting activities including discovery games.
     
  • For a more traditional family experience, why not visit Sicily’s premier amusement centre, Etnaland? Comprising a theme park, water park and dinosaur world, this one-stop shop for child-friendly fun is sure to put big smiles on little faces.


     
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