The coast

Sicily has the most diverse coastline you can possily imagine

Sicily offers more than a dozen offshore islands, in 3 different archipelagos, and nearly 1500km of coastline on the Ionian, Tyrrhenian and Mediterranean seas with more than 100 beaches. Sicily has beaches, snorkelling and dive sites for every taste. From white cliffs to black beaches, golden sand dunes to caves, round pebble beaches to majestic mountains that drop straight into the sea. From fine powdery white sand beaches and smooth marble slate-like “beaches” to dramatic black lava formations. From packed party beaches to the completely deserted ones….Sicily has it all. With it’s 3 different seas, variating depths and currents, you will get quite a difference in water temperature, but generally, Sicily’s waters remain clean and warm throughout the summer and autumn months. While you see keen swimmers from early April to December, you will find the best swimming conditions from June to early October.

Sicily’s best beaches

Tusa Lampare Blue Flag Legambiente mixed beach of sand and pebbles, grey
Pollina Torre Conca (Valtur) beautiful beach, partly free and partly lido, sand and pebbles, grey-golden
Pollina Baia Turchina free mixed beach, sand and pebbles, grey-white
Sant’ambrogio free beach with sand and pebbles, golden
Cefalù lido di Cefalù lido with golden sand, along the village promenade
Cefalù Kaldura small free beach of sand and pebbles, golden, accessible only from the sea
Cefalù Mazzaforno partly free beach and partly lido, golden sand mixed with sand and pebbles
Cefalù Baia 7 Emiri can only be reached on foot, not very crowded, free beach, golden sand
Palermo Mondello lido and changing rooms, fine sand, white-grey
Palermo Vergine Maria free beach, mixed sand, white-golden
Balestrate Copacabana partly free beach and partly lido, fine golden sand
Castellamare del golfo lido, fine golden sand
Scopello Guidaloca partly free beach and partly lido, sand mixed with pebbles, grey-white
Scopello zone Zingaro Reserve different wild beaches of sand and mixed, can only be reached on foot (see dedicated section)
San Vito lo Capo partly free beach and partly lido, fine white sand, very beautiful but also very crowded in summer
San Vito lo Capo Macari mixed beach of sand and pebbles, small and charming
San Vito lo Capo Riserve of Monte Cofano charming place with several stretches of the coast with very small mixed beaches
Trapani Rio Forgia beach of fine golden sand with stretches mixed with shingle, not well known, little visited
Marsala Scibiliana beach of fine white-golden sand with different lidos (marakaibbo, Signorino, Torrazza, playa Blanca)
Mazara del Vallo Tonnarella lido, grey-white sand
Mazara del Vallo Reserve of Capo Feto wild beach, fine grey-white sand
Mazara del vallo Torretta Granitola free beach, fine golden sand
Castelvetrano Triscina several lidos, fine golden sand
Selinunte lido Zabbara (under the acropolis) lido, fine golden sand, crystal clear sea
Selinunte La pineta – Natural Reserve of the mouth of the River Belice beautiful and wild, fine golden sand, crystal clear sea
Menfi Casello – Reserve of the mouth of the River Belice very beautiful and wild beach, fine golden sand, crystal clear water
Menfi Le Solette small, isolated and quiet beach for connoisseurs, crystal clear water
Menfi Lido dei Fiori long free beach, fine golden sand, crystal clear water
Sciacca Natural Reserve of Capo San Marco wild beach of fine golden sand, difficult to reach, very isolated and quiet
Sciacca Sovareto beautiful beach, partly free and partly lido, fine grey-golden beach, crystal clear sea
Sciacca San Giorgio lidos, fine golden sand
Ribera Spiaggia di Piana Grande beautiful and wild, sand mixed with shingle
Ribera Secca Grande mixed beach, golden sand and shingle
Ribera Borgo Bonsignore mixed beach, golden sand and shingle
Ribera Beach Nature Reserve River Platani fine golden sand, crystal clear water, beautiful and wild, reachable on foot in 20 minutes (from Reserve car park)
Eraclea Minoa beach of fine golden sand with a pine forest, crystal clear sea, crowded in summer
Punta Bianca beach of fine golden sand with a pine forest, crystal clear sea,
Montallegro Bovo Marina in part wild beach and in part lido, grey-golden sand, crystal clear sea
Montallegro Torre Salsa beach in the natural WWF Reserve, one of the most beautiful of Sicily, fine golden sand, crystal clear sea
Siculiana Marina partly free beach and partly lido, fine golden sand, crystal clear sea
Siculiana Giallonardo formed by two beaches (Baia delle Sirene and La Spiagetta) fine golden sand, crystal clear sea
Realmonte Baia di Capo Rossello formed by two beaches of fine golden sand, the more crowded city beach and the other quieter beach
Realmonte Scala dei Turchi a famous promontory formed by a white cliff and fine golden sand
Porto Empedocle Lido Azzurro, Marinella, San Leone and Caos large lidos, very popular, fine golden sand
Capo D’Orlando city coastline free beach of sand, shingle and grey pebbles, crystal clear water
Capo D’Orlando San Gregorio various sections of free beach of mixed sand characterised by many incisions and bays
Capo D’Orlando Testa di Monaco free beach of grey golden sand, crystal clear sea
Capo D’Orlando Ponte Naso free beach of sand and shingle, long and open, crystal clear sea
Gioiosa Marea free beach of sand mixed with shingle, crystal clear sea
San Giorgio two free beaches of sand and fine grey shingle, crystal clear clean sea
Mongiove Grotte Beach free beach with small bar, long strip of sand and fine grey shingle with large stones that act as breakwaters, crystal clear and clean sea
Reserve of Marinello Lakes – Oliveri vast beach, mixed grey golden sand with different lidos, crystal clear sea
Milazzo Lido di Ponente vast and beautiful beach of sand and grey shingle, crystal clear turquoise sea, partly free and partly lido
Alì Terme Capo Alì isolated and quiet beach, grey sand mixed with fine shingle, crystal clear and clean sea
Taormina Mazzarò beautiful beach of mixed sand, lido
Taormina Giardini Naxos (Recanati, San Giovanni, Schisò, Saja) long beach, in the central section golden sand (Schisò), at the ends sand mixed with shingle and stones, partly free and partly lido
Taormina Spisone beach of shingle and stones, partly free and partly lido
Taormina Isola Bella Nature Reserve beach of sand and shingle, free on one side, lido and umbrellas on the other
Taormina Villagonia free beach of pebbles and grey stones, crystal clear sea
Taormina Mazzeo beach of shingle, partly free and partly lido
San Marco di Calatabiano beach of pebbles, beautiful and quiet, crystal clear sea
Fiumefreddo Marina di Cottone beautiful beach of sand and shingle, Blue Flag of Legambiente, crystal clear sea
Acireale Torre Pozzillo small golden sandy beach
Mascali Fondachello long free beach of pebbles of various dimensions, crystal clear sea
Catania Playa 3 kilometres of sandy city beach with different bathing establishments
Agnone Bagni long sandy beach, partly free and partly lido
Terrauzza small beach of sand and shingle
Arenella golden sandy beach, very popular in summer, partly free and partly with equipped lidos
Fontane Bianche white -golden sandy beach, very popular in summer, partly free and partly with equipped lidos
Gallina (Eloro District) fully equipped beach, partly pebbles and partly fine golden sand, emerald sea, in front of a beautiful pine wood, the road is a little narrow to arrive
Marchesa e Gelsomineto (Eloro District) beautiful beach of fine golden sand, in front of a beautiful pine wood
Lido di Avola golden sandy beach in the town of Avola
Pantanello (Eloro District) free golden sandy beach bordered by agavi
Cicirata long beach of fine golden sand
Calabernardo
Lido di Noto
Spiaggia della Pizzuta beach of fine golden sand equipped with lidos
Eloro beautiful approx. 300 m on foot from the car park, beautiful beach of fine golden sand, equipped with a bar and showers
Marianelli shallow waters, fine sandy beach, quiet and secluded, a little difficult to reach
Calamosche a natural paradise, a small isolated quiet beach, can be reached on foot in 20 minutes (1 km.)
Vendicari long stretch of sand with shallow waters, bordered on the north by the remains of the ancient Tuna Fishery
San Lorenzo located in the southern part, easy to reach, ideal for kids, just outside the Reserve
Marzamemi wide beach of fine golden sand equipped with numerous lidos and bars
Punta Rio e Punta delle Formiche extreme southern tip of Sicily wild beach of fine golden sand with dunes, lapped by two seas (Ionian and Mediterranean) partly equipped with deck chairs and umbrellas upon payment
Carratois free wild beach of fine golden sand
Granelli long half-moon shaped beach fine golden sand open and clean sea
Santa Maria del Focallo 6 km of fine golden sandy beach

 

Islands belonging to Sicily

Sicily comprises a number of stunning satellite islands and 3 absolutely magic archipelagoes, each with their own individual charm and appearance.
The below info has been borrowed directly from the site isole-sicilia which also has an in-depth information about each island.

The Stagnone Lagoon

The Stagnone Lagoon covers an area of 2,000 hectars between Punta San Teodoro and Capo Lilibeo. It consists of a small archipelago composed of four islands, namely Longa, Scuola, Mozia (or San Pantaleo) and Santa Maria. In 1984, in order to preserve its precious ecosystem, the lagoon was designated as a Natural Reserve.

Mozia

Mozia, set off Marsala’ s Stagnone Bay, was inhabited by the ancient Phoenicians. With its characteristic salt-pans and wind mills, the island is a major goal of tourists. Besides its naturalistic riches, the island is an equally renowned archaeological site, with the Tofet, a place where Phoenicians buried children, and the archaeological museum.

Pantelleria

Pantelleria, in the Trapani district, is among Sicilian major tourist destinations. It is well-famous for its dammusi, naturalistic riches and sites, like the Montagna Grande (Grand Mountain), pine woods, the Gibele volcano, the favare and several archaeologic sites, like the Monastero catacombs and the abandoned village of Mueggen.
It is a volcanic island rather closer to the African coast (37 km from Tunis) than Sicily’s (47km). The last eruption dates as far back as 9,000 years while sysmic’s dates back to the late-1800s. The sole active volcanic activity is due to the so-called Stufe or Bagni Asciutti hot springs and the favare, mini-geysers that puff boiling hot steams. The main one, known as the Favara Grande, stands down the slopes of the Grand Mountain.
The dammuso, from Arabic for ‘vaulted structure’, is a typical 10th century building with arch openings, stone walls and a dome-shaped roof serving to collect rain. The walls’ considerable thickness insulates the rooms, keeping them cool in the hot summer.
Pantelleria boasts remotest origins: relics of lava stone artefacts from the Phoenecian Age are scattered across the Island; among these are the noted Sesi – tombs where the important members of the community were buried, made from lava stone blocks – and the ruins of a pre-historic village.
Visitors may take splendid excursions on horseback along the island naturalistic spots and boating tours of the many bays and bathing spots. The Ballata dei Turchi, the Tracino, the Formaggio are just a few names.
The island is especially beautiful in the spring and autumn when the climate and a slower flow of tourists afford a more relaxing vacation, away from mass tourism.

Ustica

Ustica, belonging to the Palermo province, has such attractive and renowned natural bays as the Cala Santa Maria, the Bastione Monte Guardia dei Turchi, the Cala del Camposanto, the Punta dell’Omo morto. As much impressive spots are provided by the natural caves of the Grotta Azzurra and the Pastizza. The only village on the island, mainly living on fishing and tourism, and the fine Bourbon tower are other major features of this enchanting place.
Ustica is an oasis of peace and tranquillity, unspoilt by mass tourism, hence affording an extremely relaxing holiday amidst historical and naturalistic attractions. Diving is most recommended.
The island boasts an important history; it was inhabited by the Phoenicians and the Romans, the latter calling it Ustum, meaning “burnt”. Since 1986, it has been a marine protected reserve.

 

Aeolian Islands

The Aeolian Islands, within the Messina province, are situated off Milazzo coast. These seven volcanic islands are a favorite destination for tourists from across the world. Their uncontaminated landscape marked by striking colour contrasts is host to a wide range of wildlife including several kinds of migratory birds and rare sea-gulls.
As other Sicilian archipelagoes, the Aeolian is one of remotest roots, the earliest settlements here going as back away as 4,000 years. It seems that the main Lipari has accommodated some Greek colonies. There is a fine and well-known museum tracing, through a rich display of artefacts, the islands’ history starting from the very Paleolithic age when the islands are reckoned to have emerged from the sea. Today, tourism constitutes the islands’ main income.
The cone-shaped Alicudi, the farthest island – along with Filicudi – from Milazzo coast, has characteristic lava stone houses and a richest flora mostly composed of prickly pear, caper and broom. It is endowed with some beautiful beaches, crystal-like waters and very interesting architectural sites, such as the churches of the Carmine and St. Bartholomew, the Montagna, being a settlement dating back to the 18th century, and the village of Castello, set on a hill sloping down to the sea.
The neighboring Filicudi is also very attractive. Remnants on the island provide evidence for human presence there since Antiquity: the ruins of a pre-historic village dating back to the Bronze Age and the sites of Rocca Ciauli, the Montagnola, Capo Graziano, Monte Guardia.
Two villages have grown on the island, namely Valdichiesa and Zucco Grande. The wild nature, along with the sea and the beautiful shore, have made the island a favorite destination of summer tourists. Not to miss is the boating tour of the island, enabling visitors to enjoy every natural side of this magic place.
Stromboli, especially renowned for its active volcano, is a popular tourism destination. It is particularly impressive at sunset when its landscape puts on incredibly beautiful colours.
Salina, with its richest flora and its distinctive two-humped profile – consisting of its two peaks Monte dei Porri and Fossa delle Felci, is the second largest of the Aeolian Islands. It derives its name from an old salt mine there located. Today, Salina is a well-famous tourism – notably summer – resort combining historical – the Santuario della Madonna del Terzito and the Santa Marina district with several caves of Saracen origin – naturalistic – the Pollara Bay, the Lupo Valley – and bathing spots.
Vulcano is the southernmost of the Aeolian islands and the closest to the Sicilian mainland.
It results from the fusion of four volcanoes. The main crater, the Cavallo and the Gelso caves, being nicest bathing spots are most attractive.
Lipari is the largest and by far the most popular of the Aeolian islands; the visitors can enjoy numerous attractions, finest sand beaches and the charming town’s old centre. The Castle overlooking the sea and housing the Archaeological Museum, the Norman Cathedral, the Greek amphitheatre and a number of villages, such as Canneto, with its nice sand beach, and Acquacalda are worth a visit.
Like other islands in the archipelago, Lipari is one of archaeological interest, with relics ranging in date from the 17th to the 2nd century BC. Outstanding are the most ancient San Calogero Thermes – going as back away as the 17th century BC –, a necropolis with tombs dating from the 5th century BC and the ruins of two sanctuaries dedicated to Demetra and Kore, dating back to around 470 BC. Also worth-seeing are the Monastero di San Bartolomeo restored at the behest of Norman Count Roger, the Rocche Rosse crater, the pumice quarry and the old kaolin mines.
The island of Panarea is especially appreciated by Italian and International VIPs. Outstanding are the Cala Junco green bay and the ruins of a prehistoric village dating back to the Bronze Age.

 

The Pelagian Islands

This beautiful archipelago is made up of the renowned Lampedusa, Lampione and Linosa islands; and belongs to the Agrigento province.
The Islands are at a considerable distance from the mainland, what has helped preserving their primeval environment.
Lampedusa, by far the most famous island in the Archipelago, is home to archaeologic remnants from Phoenician, Greek, Roman and Arab ages. It is endowed with beautiful naturalistic sites; worth-mentioning are the Cala Spugne, the Cala Maluk and the Rabbit island. The island has a richest vegetation and wildlife and unique landscapes. Its geological features are very much alike the Northern coast of Africa. Boating tours of the coast and its finest sand beaches are highly recommended. The Santuario della Madonna di Lampedusa or Porto Salvo, a church whose origin goes back to the Age of the Crusades, is worth-seeing.

Linosa, known as the “black pearl of Sicily” due to its volcanic origin, has uncontaminated environments and sea-beds with plenty of grottoes, caves and wildlife. The island is a paradise for snokelers and divers. Its vegetation is magnificent. The island origins go back to the Roman and Arabian dominations.
Lampione, also known as Scola dei Portolani, is a smallest desert island closest to Lampedusa.

 

The Egadi Islands

The Egadi Archipelago lies a few miles off Trapani shore and comprises the three main islands of Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo, plus a a number of tiny islands among which stand Asinelli and Formica, home to remains of a tuna-fishery and a lighthouse.
On Marettimo, there are remains of ancient Roman settlements, namely the grand Grotta del Cammello (Camel Grotto) and the rocky peak of Punta Troia, where lie the ruins of an ancient Aragonese castle. The island is endowed with splendid naturalistic riches, uncontaminated sea-beds, like that by the Cala Bianca, the Bombarda grottoes and several interesting hilly areas like Pizzo Falcone and Pizzo Capraro.

Favignana is the major and the most frequented island of the Archipelago. It has a hilly profile, a rich vegetation, mainly Mediterranean, amazing coastal strips like Cala Rossa, and spots as the Bue Marino grotto, Punta Fanfalo, Cala Grande and others.

Levanzo, with its characteristic small bays, grottoes and prehistoric remnants, is a beautiful island in the Egadi archipelago. Its former names Phorbantia and the Arabic Al Yabisah (meaning “dry”, due to lack of fresh water springs on the island) provide evidence for its remote roots

 

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