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Sicily – the island of the Sun – has beautiful landscapes to offer. The view of the island is determined by wonderful baroque towns, fantastic beaches with cliffs and pebbles and the enormous Etna volcano. The mountains and valleys of natural beauty, almost hidden towns, the rich historical past and the pleasant sea air are all very attractive. You make a good choice, if you spend your holidays here. Everyone will be charmed by Mediterranean life style, old palaces, original houses on narrow and crooked streets and the hospitality of locals.
Location of Sicily
Sicily is the largest island of the Mediterranean Sea and the seventh largest island of Europe. It lies at the bottom of the boot of Italy. Its territory is 25, 700 km2 and the island has about 5 million inhabitants. Europe’s largest volcano Etna (3370 m) can be found here not far from the city of Catania. The following islands also belong to Sicily: Lipari-islands (north), Ustica (northwest), Egadi island group (at the western coast), Pantelleria and Pelagie islands (southwest).
History of Sicily
Sicily was inhabited by many peoples over the centuries. Many invaders stayed there, then left the island and each of them made a specific impact on Sicily’s culture. It was first Greek colonisers who arrived on the island, they established the first cities there: Siracusa, Messina, Catania. It took three great wars for the Romans to invade Sicily, those were the Pun wars. In the next centuries the island’s rulers changed many times, e.g. Spain, Poland, Holy Roman Empire, France, etc. Following many wars the County of Sicily was established on May 15, 1946.
Main sights of Sicily
It is very difficult to highlight some sights of Sicily, as there are so many wonderful ones. However, you shouldn’t miss these places by any chance, if you happen to be on the island.
This place’s special location has attracted tourists for thousands of years. It is high above the Mediterranean Sea and just opposite the volcano Etna. Masses of tourists visit it each year, especially from May to September. The calmer period of the year lasts from October to March. This place has inspired many international writers and artists, mainly the Greek theatre dating from the 3rd century b. C., the Isola Bella nature protection area, the ruins of Naxos and San Nicolo basilica.
Palermo is Sicily’s capital. It is an exotic city with some African atmosphere, but mostly a chaotic city with a thousand faces and many sights. Walking in the streets you can be amazed by the beauty of cupolas and churches, but in some districted you are astonished by the sight of ghettos. Each place of the city talks about something that you should experience yourself. Palermo has many architectural sights, especially Norman buildings are worth noting. The variety of street food and markets is also typical for Palermo.
Cicero has already said that „it is the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of all”. Perhaps this saying has also contributed to making Siracusa join the UNESCO’s World Heritage list. The city is connected to the mainland by bridges. The cultures and peoples that had got settled here all marked their heritage in the city leaving various churches and buildings behind. The city’s architecture is characterised by Sicilian baroque style. Besides the baroque palaces and crooked tiny streets the most pleasant part of Siracusa is the coastal promenade. Here you should drink a glass of excellent wine watching the sunset and admire the breath taking view.
Cefalu is only an hour away from Palermo, therefore you should make a trip here by all means. The town is small enough to be discovered by walk. Fishermen’s boats will frequently follow each other in the small port. The coastal promenade called „lungomare” was created for evening walks. This is when streets and houses are illuminated and lights also shine on the mountain above the houses. One of the greatest sights of Sicily is the Arabic-Norman cathedral, in which you can see ancient Byzantine mosaics.
Turkish stairs – Scala dei Turchi:
It is one of the most special natural sights of Sicily, a building white cliff with stairs that is hundreds of meters long. The mildly steep cliff is easy to walk and the neighbourhood is suitable for swimming. It is an excellent spot to watch a fantastic sunset.
Beaches in Sicily
You can find beaches of different colours (sand, pebbles, golden, mustard, lava black) on the island. The great advantage is that it has many well-equipped beaches near the cities. It is worth visiting the beaches of neighbouring smaller islands too in the main season.
Isola Bella, Taormina:
Taormina’s most beautiful beach was named after the tiny island in front of it, which is covered by an ancient dense forest. It has an extremely clean sea and a well-equipped beach, where you can also rent parasols and sunbeds, . The dream-like beach is in a wonderful bay that you can visit by chairlift from Taormina. The water is getting deep fast, which makes is very suitable to try water sports too.
This beach offering sports facilities is just a few kilometres from Palermo. It attracts tourists by a wonderful white sand and palm trees. The beach is located between the picturesque Gallo and Pellegrino mountains. Mondello’s symbol is the wonderful Art Nouveau building, the Charleston.
Lungomare di Cefalu, Cefalu:
The golden-coloured Lungomare, which is the most beautiful beach of Cefalu, is only a few steps from the historical town centre. As a picturesque background of the coast section you can see the colourful buildings of the one-time fishermen’s village and this image makes the coast the favourite of artists and locals. It is perfect for silent relaxation and sunbathing.
Weather in Sicily
Sicily’s weather is classically Mediterranean with a hot summer and a mild winter. You should visit it from May to October, when you have real summer weather. If you plan a more active holiday, you’d better choose May, June, September or October, because during this period the daytime temperature usually reaches 24-26 degrees, which makes sightseeing a lot more pleasant than doing the same in the heat of July of August.
Sailboat charter in Sicily
The sailing season may be as long as March to November in Sicily. During the main season, the sea wind arrives from the northwest, will blow from the morning with medium power and will stop by the night. The open water surface around it is so huge that there is great water move even in a light breeze. The sea surface is more influenced by the presence and strength of winds that actual high or low tides, which make a difference of max. half a meter everywhere. Almost every town has a port, so you can stop to relax almost everywhere.
Some of the island’s major ports are:
Capo d’Orlando Marina
The port total extension is about 183, 000 square metres including quays and indoor places. There are 553 berths for yachts with a length of 7, 50 – 40 meters. Moreover, this modern and multifunctional complex provides full service. After arrival, the purpose is to create a friendly atmosphere for the members of the crew by different services in the local Wi-Fi bar, restaurants or boutiques. Read about charter in Capo d Orlando
Port of Marsala
Marsala is an Italian town located in the province of Trapani in the westernmost part of Sicily. It is a popular stopping-off point for yachts heading to Tunisia. The depth range of the port is 3-3, 5 meters. There are water and electricity supply. The port is occasionally subject to the phenomenon of the marrobio. Basically, it is a tidal wave that can raise and lower the water level by as much as a metre in the space of 10-15 minutes. Read about yacht charter in Marsala. Find sailing routes in Sicily or choose another sailboat charter in Italy
The climate diagrams are based on 30 years of hourly weather model simulations. They give good indications of typical climate patterns and expected conditions (temperature, precipitation, sunshine, and wind). The “mean daily maximum” (solid red line) shows the maximum temperature of an average day for every month for Sicily. Likewise, the “mean daily minimum” (solid blue line) shows the average minimum temperature.
The wind rose for Sicily shows how many hours per year the wind blows from the indicated direction. The diagram for Sicily shows the days per month, during which the wind reaches a certain speed.
Rent a boat in Sicily, and cruise around Sicily
Day 1. Milazzo – Vulcano Porto 35, 21 km (21, 88 mi), Day 2. Vulcano Porto – Filicudi Porto 39, 19 km (24, 35 mi), Day 3. Filicudi Porto – Santa Marina Sailina 28, 71 km (17, 84 mi), Day 4. Santa Marina Sailina – Stromboli 41, 63 km (25, 87 mi), Day 5. Stromboli – Panarea 22, 72 km (14, 12 mi), Day 6. Panarea – Lipari 21, 85 km (13, 58 mi), Day 7. Lipari – Tono – Milazzo 40, 64 km (25, 25 mi)
Day 1. Marsala – Isola Grande 11.47 km (7.12 mi), Day 2. Isola Grande – Favignana 16.33 km (10.15 mi), Day 3. Favignana –Marettimo 23.49 km (14.59 mi) , Day 4. Marettimo – Isola Levanzo 23.38 km (14.53 mi), Day 5. Isola Levanzo – Trapani 14.87 km (9.24 mi), Day 6. Trapani – Mozia 17.54 km (10.90 mi), Day 7. Mozia – Parco – Salinella 14.10 km (8.76 mi)
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