Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, may be just a short hop from the Italian mainland, across the narrow strait of Messina, but it is a world apart in atmosphere and attitude. Everything Italian seems a little more appetizing here, not only the food but the history and culture as well.
For a long time Sicily was ignored as a holiday destination, largely because of the Mafia stranglehold and because of the poverty of the people. Today, however, the island is experiencing a tourism boom and a surge in development as the destructive influences of the Mafia wane. Visitors discover that the Sicilian people are gracious, noble and welcoming and that the island itself offers natural and historic attractions of great beauty and enormous interest.
The main cities of Palermo and Catania feature some of the most exquisite architecture in the world, a legacy of the many great civilizations that have vied for control of this strategically situated island over the centuries, from the Greeks and Romans, Arabs and Normans to more recently the French, Spanish and Italians. There are massive Romanesque cathedrals, the best-preserved Greek temples in the world, Roman amphitheaters and magnificent Baroque palaces. The continuous blue skies and temperate climate, lush vegetation and rich marine life all add to the island’s appeal. Nature has given Sicily Mount Etna, Europe’s tallest active volcano, a dramatic coastline and a fertile soil that gives forth much of the bounty on which the island’s unique and delicious cuisine is based.
With mild winter temperatures that fall no lower than 50 degrees F, Sicily experiences a typical Mediterranean climate that makes it a desirable destination year-round. Flights to Sicily tend to be fuller in the warmer months, when the sandy stretches of Sicily’s beaches are covered in sunbathers and the lush mountainous terrain of the island’s interior attract outdoor enthusiasts to bask in the 80 degree F heat.
Best Time to Fly to Sicily
Whether you’re looking for fun in the sun or snowy escapades on Mount Etna, Sicily is a hotspot for travelers from around the world year-round.
With its cloudless skies and Mediterranean beaches, Sicily makes for an ideal summer vacation destination from May through September. It’s not easy to find cheap flights to Sicily throughout this time, and the rates at resorts tend to spike to accommodate the incoming flood of tourists.
Sicily cheap flights are easy to come by before and after the summer boom, so try scheduling your trip for spring or fall in order to take advantage of seasonal savings.
Getting around Sicily
After your cheap flight to Sicily lands, it’s easy to reach your final destination from the arrivals gate via bus to the cities of Palermo, Catania and Taormina. In Palermo, there’s also a train line that reaches the airport from the city center. Avoid taking taxis from the airport: Bus tickets will run you less than 10 Euros each, and taxis tend to be a rip-off, especially for out-of-towners.
Sicily Travel Information
- Sicily is home to Mount Etna, the largest and most active volcano in Europe. The slopes of Etna are perfect for skiing in the snow and sprawling hikes in the summer months, and the volcano is reachable by train or bus from Catania.
- Did the served meal on your flight to Sicilyfail to whet your appetite? Fear not, for Sicilian cuisine keeps visitors coming back for second and third helpings each and every meal. What sets Sicilian cuisine apart from other Italian culinary faire are the Greek and Arab influences on the development of Sicilian gastronomy. Before you head home, be sure to try arancini, a kind of deep-fried croquette, and pasta alla norma, a dish that makes Catania’s cooking famous. For dessert, sample the frutta martorana, a marzipan specialty hailing from the monasteries of Palermo.
- Palermo has been settled by several civilizations, first by the Phoenicians and consequently under Byzantine, Arab and Spanish reign. Today, the capital of the region is an essential stop on any Sicilian itinerary and the best time to see it would for the Feast of Saint Rosalia. Though it may prove impossible to find a Sicily cheap flight in time for the festival on July 15, it’s well worth the trip and the extra cash to check out the biggest party of the year complete with processions, street fairs and live entertainment.
- Looking to catch some rays before your return Sicily flight? Head to Taormina, Sicily’s most popular resort town, and soak in the sun on the pristine stretch of sand along the Mediterranean. The accommodations in Taormina may be packed as the temperature rises towards the end of May, so consider staying in neighboring villages like Giardini-Nexos to save on lodging.