Home to Mount Etna – the highest active volcano in Europe – Sicily is a blend of rich history and diverse topography. From the ruinous city of Syracuse to the baroque architecture of Ragusa Ibla, hotels in Sicily provide a world-class blend of beach lounging and culture seeking. Sicily is an island of never-ending wonders, all of which can be found on your doorstep when you book a hotel anywhere on the island. Sun worshippers, sport lovers and nature fans alike will love Sicily for the diverse Mediterranean sun island it loves to be.
The Best Sicily Hotels © The Ashbee Hotel
Palermo sits on the edge of Europe, at the heart of the ancient world. A city that blooms with medieval culture, Palermo is where you can find covered souks and Moorish palaces side-by-side with baroque churches and sun-kissed beaches. While away an afternoon exploring the 9th century Palazzo dei Normanni, the beautiful stained glass windows and gilded mosaics of La Martorana, and the imposing façade of Palermo Cathedral. For a dark and unique attraction, take a trip down into the Capuchin Catacombs – a tangle of underground passageways which are home to around 8,000 mummified corpses, all neatly arranged by status and sex. Hotels on Palermo’s coast also offer access to idyllic beaches on Sicily’s glittering Tyrrhenian Coast. After a morning of browsing the colorful produce stalls at the ancient La Vucciria market, head north for an afternoon spent on the crescent-shaped Mondello Beach. Peppered with 5 star hotels, stylish villas, and luxury yachts which bob lazily in the bay, Mondello is the spot wealthy locals call home. You can also enjoy some of the region’s best seafood here, and catch the glorious sunset from the beach itself.
If you’re seeking a destination further inland, hotels in the Hyblaean Mountains offer vacationers an elegant mix of ancient history and modern conveniences. Many towns in the region were extensively rebuilt in the 17th century after an earthquake in 1693 devastated the area. Two of these towns are Ragusa and Modica; two UNESCO World Heritage towns located in the mountainous Monti Iblei. Hotels in Sicily’s Ragusa are charming, and come with hotel balconies and swimming pools to cool off in. Positioned atop a hill, travelers can step out of their hotel into the tangle of streets which make up the attractive Ragusa Ibla (old town), littered with terracotta baroque buildings and charming squares. The most eye-catching site is the blue dome of the Santa Maria dell’Itria church, which can be found in the town’s old Jewish quarter. Nearby Modica offers a similar atmosphere with its medieval town center and baroque churches. Also like Ragusa, the town has been split in two, and hotels in the ‘Upper’ half offer sweeping views overlooking the slopes and valleys of ‘Lower Modica’ below. Hotels in Modica also provide access to the Irminio River, where those keen to get out of town can discover Sicily’s rural and rugged natural landscapes.
Overlooking the glittering Mediterranean, Syracuse is a city known for its extensive ruins and timeless atmosphere. A former Ancient Greek settlement, Syracuse thrived thanks to its position across the Ionian Sea from Greece. Over time, the city accumulated hundreds of stunning ancient wonders, many of which can be found within the UNESCO designated Archaeological Park Neapolis. Hotels near this Sicilian gem mean you can see the ancient world while enjoying all the comforts and amenities of a gorgeous hotel room in the heart of town, a stone’s throw from the Syracuse Roman Amphitheater and 2,600-year-old Temple of Apollo. Furthermore, Syracuse offers plenty more to vacationers than just a peek into the ancient world. Sun-soaked, deserted beaches such as Arenella can be found near the picturesque streets on the Island of Ortygia, perfect for nightlife and alfresco dining.
Among the most popular hotels in Sicily are the Ramo d'Aria Boutique Hotel in a lovingly restored winery in Giarre, the newly opened Ortea Palace Luxury Hotel in an Art Nouveau palace at the port of Syracuse, the wonderfully quietly situated Relais Parco Cavalonga in Ragusa as well as the historic farmhouse Masseria Susafa in Polizzi Generosa.
Particularly extraordinary is the award-winning Asmundo di Gisira in Catania, the romantic Villa Neri Resort & Spa in Linguaglossa has an impressive view of Mount Etna, the Zash Boutique Hotel in Giarre is surrounded by fragrant lemon trees & is a real eye catcher. The bathrooms at the Boutique Resort Donna Carmela in Carruba Di Riposto are a design oasis.
Sicily's largest airport is the Airport Catania (CTA) on the east coast of the island. Various airlines offer direct flights, which enable holidaymakers from Germany to reach Sicily in the shortest possible time. A direct flight from Berlin-Schönefeld Airport lands on the holiday island after two hours and 40 minutes, while a flight from Munich takes just under two hours. Having arrived in Catania, travellers have a wide range of car rental stations at their disposal to discover the Mediterranean island on their own.
Sicily is a year-round holiday destination: The island has a typical Mediterranean climate: the summers are hot and dry, the winters rainy but mild. The best months for travelling are April to June, when everything on the island is green and blooming. In the midsummer the temperatures are often 40 degrees at sea. Ideal for hiking are September and October. The sea is still warm, and the rush of the high season is over. In the winter there is snow on the mountains and Etna turns into a skiing destination.