Pristine beaches, yearlong sunshine, abundant romantic little hilltop towns with sweeping vistas combined with some of the very best food on offer in Italy, make Sicily a prime location to spend a honeymoon.
The island of Sicily is located at the southernmost tip of Italy. In the past, it suffered from a somewhat shady reputation but in recent years, through political reform and significant investment in tourist infrastructure, has become a wonderful romantic getaway.
In this article, we run through the various places to visit in Sicily on your honeymoon, where to stay, and practical information on the best time to travel and how to survive the hair-rising experience of driving on the tiny island.
Why honeymoon in Sicily?
Italy is always a good idea: Mouthwatering food, gregarious locals, glorious weather, and tons of history. The island of Sicily has all of this as well as plenty of untouched sandy beaches, a never-ending supply of sunshine – and limoncello – as well as handcrafted ceramics and the best gelato you will ever eat.
The most important decision will be where to stay in Sicily during your honeymoon. Lovebirds looking to hit up the most well-known sites will want to stay in the easternmost part of Sicily. This side of the island contains quintessential baroque villages like Ortigia and Note, the world-famous Taormina as well as the impressive Mount Etna.
Newlyweds who want to get away from the hustle and bustle might consider casting their net in the direction of western Sicily. Home to the island’s best beaches, salt flats, and the best place to base yourself if you are looking to visit the UNESCO classified valley of temples in Agrigento.
Best places to visit on your honeymoon through Sicily?
The best places to visit will depend on what you are looking to get out of your honeymoon. The island has something on offer for every type of traveler, from the adventurous to the more laid-back.
The capital of Sicily, Palermo
Couples looking for a cultural experience will want to base themselves in vibrant Palermo. There are tons of things to do in Palermo, the capital is positively brimming with great eateries, age-old markets, romantic rooftop bars, and plenty of UNESCO-classified monuments to stroll around.
Make sure to pop into the ornate Palatine Chapel, head up to the rooftop of the Palermo Cathedral and have lunch at the lively Vucciria market. Those looking for a nearby beach will want to head to the outskirts of Palermo to the district on Mondello.
The romantic village of Cefalu
Newlyweds looking for a quaint small town, located right at the beach with a picturesque UNESCO-cathedral, will want to make a beeline for Cefalu. This little village, one hour away from Palermo, is one of the most romantic places on the island.
Stroll around the cobblestoned alleys of the old town, lined with tiny little artisanal shops. Grab a drink in one of the many bars that have been here for decades or hike up to the Rocca Cefalu. The walkway connecting the historical center to the beach offers the perfect opportunity for a romantic stroll along the beach, past the old protective walls of the village.
Kitesurfers paradise in Marsala
For active couples, a visit to Marsala in Sicily is an absolute must. The Stagnone has some of the best kitesurfing in all of Europe and offers classes for all ranges of kitesurfers, from beginners to the very advanced.
Aside from Kitesurfing, Marsala is also home to some spectacular salt flats which happen to be the very best sunset spot in all of Sicily. The kaleidoscope of sunset colors reflects of the pools of salty water turning the watery landscape into a vibrant painting. Grab a beer at one of the many nearby beach bars and watch the magic unfold.
If you are visiting in summer, Taormina might not be the most romantic place to visit as it is the single most visited place in all of Sicily. However, if your trip coincides with shoulder season then consider staying in one of the many beautiful hotels around Taormina and slow travel around this tiny little village.
The absolute highlight of Taormina is without a doubt the beautifully preserved amphitheater, which offers majestic views over nearby Mount Etna. Time your visit with sunset to see the famous Vulcano bathed in a deep shade of orange.
Honeymooners looking for a more quiet and luxurious getaway can look into the beautiful Aegadian islands, off the coast of Sicily. A small boat ride leaving Marsala will get you to the islands. The island of Favignana is the largest, as it is the closest to Sicily this island tends to get busy in summer with locals flocking to enjoy the pristine waters.
Marettimo and Levanzo are smaller islands, filled with whitewashed fisherman houses and surrounded by toothpaste-blue waters. A honeymoon on these two islands will entail plenty of rest and relaxation, lounging on the deck of a boat while nipping at a cocktail and delicious homemade meals made out of the fresh catch of the day.
Tips for the perfect Sicilian Honeymoon?
All the above information has most likely swayed you into considering Sicily as a honeymoon destination. Below are a few more tips to keep in mind for a flawless trip.
When to travel to Sicily
Sicily tends to get very busy in the summer months. The peak tourism season starts in June and comes to an abrupt end middle of September. These busy months also tend to coincide with scorching temperatures upwards of 35°C/95°F, overflowing beaches, and high prices. Nothing like hordes of tourists, packed into a tiny space to kill a romance.
Beach season on the islands starts as early as April and ends in late October. The best months to visit the island are therefore May, June, September, and October if you want to hit the water.
If you are looking to stroll around little towns, do some window shopping, and enjoy and intimate meal then the months of November – March are perhaps even better. Average temperatures in winter hover around 20°C/68°F and tourists magically vanish, ensuring the many beautiful baroque churches, amphitheaters, and Greek temples are void of tourists and can be explored quietly with your beloved.
Safety in Sicily
Sicily is perfectly safe to visit. In the big cities, it is best to keep an eye out for your belongings, as you would do in any other large European city. As a rule of thumb, keep your valuables tucked safely inside your pockets or handbag, and never leave your cell phone on the table.
Driving in Sicily
If you are looking to explore Sicily during your honeymoon then the best way to get around is by renting a car. Although public transportation does exist on the island, the coverage is limited and the timetable is often more of a suggestion than a reality.
It is noteworthy to mention that driving inside cities is not for the faint-hearted. Much like the public transportation schedules, the rules of the road are seen as recommendations rather than directives. Should you want to park in the city, it is not uncommon to encounter unofficial “parking guards” who will usher you into a parking space. Fear not, the parking is legitimate and your car safe, provided you pay the “guard” a small stipend (usually €1 to €2 euro is enough).