2023 is almost here, and there’s no better time than now to start planning your holiday. And luckily, you don’t have to rack your brain looking for a place to visit. The world’s best tour providers can help you turn your Sicily vacation package into an unforgettable experience, welcoming the new year with a bang!
The complete guide to planning a memorable Sicily vacation package
Best time to visit Sicily
Sicily is a very special place. Unlike most tourist destinations, which have clear peak seasons for visitors, this Mediterranean island is a year-round spot.
If you want to avoid big crowds and explore historical sites, for instance, the low season during November to April is your best option. You can spend New Year’s Eve appreciating the snowy view of Mount Etna in the distance or enjoy a leisurely walk through the city of Palermo.
May to June and September to October are also great for first-time visitors. The weather during these times is very mild, ideal for exploring the island. And if you want a taste of the beach, July to August will give you all the sunshine you need.
Must-visit destinations in Sicily
There’s only so much you can do in a week or two, so don’t hesitate to make the most of your stay in Sicily. If this is your first time visiting the island, you shouldn’t miss out on exploring its most popular tourist destinations.
Here are some must-visit spots during your Sicily tour:
No vacation to Sicily would be complete without visiting its capital. Palermo is a city that is so magical you’ll end up getting lost in the best way possible. The entire town is walkable, so you don’t have to worry about hailing a cab to the nearest restaurant.
Like many Italian cities, Palermo has a rich and majestic history. Here, you’ll find the Palazzo dei Normanni, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was once home to the Kings of Sicily.
Don’t forget to take a stroll around The Ballarò, a local street food market filled with colorful tents and a vast selection of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Sicily was once a Greek settlement, and you can still see its Ancient Greek roots today. Syracuse is an excellent example, once known as the largest city in the ancient world—bigger than Athens and Corinth.
In Syracuse, you’ll find the Parco Archeologico della Neapolis, a 5th-century amphitheater that hosted the famous tragedies of Aeschylus, including The Persians.
Moreover, you should explore Ortygia, the city’s historical center. Known as the birthplace of Artemis—the goddess of the hunt, this island is the star of many Greek myths.
Sicily offers tourists an adventure like no other. For instance, hikers can enjoy Erice, a town that lies almost 3000 feet above sea level. You can spend a day climbing up the village, ending the trek with scenic views of the Egadi Islands, Saline di Trapani, and Castello di Venere.
- The Aeolian Islands
Do you notice plumes of smoke coming from the sea? Look hard enough, and you’ll soon realize that they’re coming from one place: the Aeolian Islands. This group of islands off the Sicilian coast is home to two active volcanoes: Stromboli and Vulcano.
But that’s not all. This volcanic archipelago is composed of seven islands, Lipari, Vulcano, Salina, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi, and Panarea. Each island has its own set of marvels to discover, from Lipari’s winding streets to Panarea’s gorgeous beach resorts.
- The Valley of Temples
Would you rather stay on the main island? Don’t worry—you have much left to explore. One of these places is the Valley of Temples, an ancient city in southern Sicily filled with Ancient Greek ruins and wonderfully preserved Doric buildings. Particularly, this area has several temples dedicated to the Greek gods, including Demeter, Zeus, and Hephaestus or Vulcan.
Next to the Valley of Temples is Agrigento, a medieval city with charming trattorias and narrow alleys.
Delicious food to try in Sicily
It would be impossible to explore the entirety of Sicily when you’re out of energy. And the good news is that you don’t have to spend a single minute with an empty stomach.
One thing you should know about Sicilian food is that it’s not just a branch of Italian cuisine. Rather, it is influenced by a variety of cultures, including Greek, Roman, French, Arab, and Spanish.
If that seems too overwhelming for you, use this list as a guide for the dishes you must try while you’re on the Mediterranean island:
Getting ready for a long day of exploring the island? You can keep your stomach happy with a tasty yet filling snack: the arancini. Known as “little oranges” in English, this Sicilian street food is small fried balls of risotto stuffed with ham and cheese, peas, or ragu.
The Ballarò street market has almost every type of street food you can imagine, which can be overwhelming for some tourists. So, here’s a tip: make sure you try the frittola. This simple street snack is made of boiled and fried offal, topped with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice.
- Pasta con le sarde
You can’t visit Italy without trying the local pasta. But don’t expect something like the eggplant parmigiana from Olive Garden. Each Italian region has a specialty pasta dish; in Sicily, it’s the pasta con le sarde.
Pasta con le sarde is essentially spaghetti with sardines, fennel, pine nuts, and sultanas. It serves as a reminder of Sicily’s multicultural history and heavily marine economy, influenced by the Spanish, Romans, and Moors.
Finally, it’s time for the meal everyone has been waiting for: dessert. And even if you’re already familiar with the cannoli back home, you shouldn’t miss out on trying the original.
Cannoli hails from the towns of Palermo and Messina. What makes the authentic version special is that it’s made with fresh sheep’s milk ricotta, resulting in a tangy and slightly sweet taste.
Do you want to know what it’s like to live on one of the world’s most historic islands? Book a Sicily vacation package with a reputable tour provider and treat yourself to an unforgettable New Year’s celebration!