Sicily’s Best Beaches
Sicily’s 1,000kms of coastline has something for everyone, from golden sandy beaches, pebble coves, unspoilt nature reserves and vibrant seaside resorts. From the Tyrrhenian coast in the north to the Mediterranean coast in the south and the Ionian coast in the east, Sicily has some excellent beaches to choose from. If it is long sandy beaches you’re after, head to the beaches in the north of the island, though these do tend to be the busier parts of the coast. If you prefer the quieter, untouched beaches, the southern part of the island could be more suitable. The beaches that lie in the east tend to be rockier but host some beautifully charming fishing villages.
Scala dei Turchi
Scala dei Turchi is located on the coast of southern Sicily in Realmonte, Agrigento. Its name comes from the many invasions of Turkish and Arab pirates who used the hide out from stormy weather here and the imposing, blindingly white rock face staircase is formed by eroded Marl, clay and silt, which are said to have incredible restorative properties for the skin. If you can hike down one of a few steep sandy trails you will find a beach full of locals and tourists alike covered in wet Marl!
It’s popular with local sun seekers who come to sunbathe on the milky smooth rock. If you prefer not to take advantage of the free natural mud bath, there are many beach-goers who can be seen enjoying the beautiful warmth of the Mediterranean and jumping from the cliffs into the deep blue, radiant water.
Climbing to the top of the white stairs at dusk, you should be lucky enough to see one of the most delightful sunsets on the Mediterranean Sea.
San Vito Lo Capo
San Vito Lo Capo is an enchanting Sicilian town with a touch of North Africa. It lies on a peninsula in North-West Sicily 100 km from Palermo and 30 km from Trapani and hosts a colourful array of houses with flat roofs and streets adorned with flowers. The beaches are simply stunning with crystal clear turquoise waters and crescent-shaped sandy coves which are very a well-kept secret, and set against the dramatic backdrop of Monte Monaco.
The beach at San Vito Lo Capo is often likened to those of the Caribbean; the clear warm waters and fine white sand make it a perfect place for families with children as the sea is so tranquil with gently lapping waves. Here is it also possible to take advantage of the beautiful world that lives under the sea, as nearby Parco dello Zingaro has a scuba diving centre on the quaint harbour front.
Taormina on Mount Taurus, sits in southern Italy and enjoys a unique and impressive view from Etna to Catania beach; because of its natural beauty, it attracts over a million tourists every year. Isola Bella is the most charming pebble beach of Taormina which is now a natural heritage site, separated from the mainland by only a narrow sand strip.
Isola Bella, also known as ‘The Pearl of the Ionian Sea’ is now a nature reserve, run by the World Wide Fund for Nature. Arrival to the beach of Isola Bella is easy, if a little unusual, by cable car, a short walk across the coastal road and down a stairway to the slim pathway that connects the island to the mainland beach. The bay itself is surrounded by mountains and the stunning scenery and dazzling blue waters make this one of the unrivalled Sicilian beaches. There is a mix of free beach areas as well as well-equipped lidos with parasols and deck chairs to hire for sunbathers to enjoy.
Calamosche is one of the quieter beaches and whilst it may not have any bars, sun loungers or ice-cream sellers, it is a little-known sandy beach well worth a visit for those seeking a peaceful location. Set within the Vendicari Nature Reserve on Sicily’s south east coast and next to the archaeological site of Eloro, sun worshippers will love the untarnished surroundings.
Few people other than the well informed will know how to get to Calamosche as access is limited to pedestrians, and requires a 15-minute walk through the Reserve. In the past, this stunning beach has been voted one of the most beautiful in Italy and also benefits from being set between two rocky ridges so even on the windiest days, the sea remains calm and inviting. Snorkelling is highly recommended here too.
Heralded as one of the most beautiful islands in the world, this truly magnificent place offers beach-goers an incredible choice of beaches and marine life in clear, waters whose shades of blue are simply breath taking. Lampedusa <link> lies 200km south of Italy near Tunisia and runs 11km along the south coast.
Surrounded by stunning aquamarine waters, it is a very popular summer destination and tends to get very busy and crowded during the main tourist season. There are still plenty more beaches on the island which are mainly known to the locals and still hidden from the main tourist trail, where sunbathers find a deserted beach to spend their time in solitude and privacy. Most of the beaches are good for swimming, as the waves are gentle and calm which make it a perfect place for families.
L’Isolotto dei Conigli is more popularly known as ‘Rabbit Beach’, on the island of Lampedusa off the south coast of Sicily and has previously been voted ‘best beach in the world’. Described as an unspoiled nature reserve that can only be accessed by boat, it is one of the few places in the Mediterranean where loggerhead sea turtles go to lay their eggs.
The island originally got its name as it was once filled with rabbits, however, now only a few rabbits remain and the Island is now home to its protected sea turtle population. This is a great place to come and relax with an afternoon picnic lunch and watch mother nature at work.