Adventure Cruises in Sicily
Adventure Cruises Along Sicily’s Coast
Set off for a cruise around the expansive island of Sicily! The island of Sicily, situated centrally in the Mediterranean Sea, it is a paradise of sun, breeze, and warmth year round. With nearly 5 million people residing, the island incorporates 8.3% of Italy’s total population and has multiple outlying archipelagos to discover. Sicily is a bustling center filled with a long and rich heritage. Home to seven of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, the history you will find dates back over 12,000 years! Taking you even further into the past are the three active volcanoes. As you are cruising around the island of Sicily, you will not be able to take your eyes off of these stunning gargantuans, Etna, Stromboli, and Volcano. There are 218 watchtowers speckling the coast amidst castles and citrus orchards alike, giving endless scenery on your journey. With a rich blend of history, Sicily is considered an autonomous region, allowing it to act in the preservation of its heritage.
Top Things to Do In Sicily
Mount Etna, is an active volcano and Sicily’s most prolific tourist attraction with over a million tourists visiting annually. Mt. Etna is located near the city of Catania and has had a long history of eruptions that continues to this day. Explore Mt. Etna on a day hike and ride the cable cars for a spectacular view or choose a ride on the Ferrovia Circumetnea. This round railway is a 110 km track circling Mount Etna. Relax and enjoy the spectacular views of the volcano without the proximity of active lava flows.
Visit the archipelagos! The outlying islands of Sicily have a fantastically diverse landscape. Found in the Aeolian region, there are islands that have been former private residences for the wealthy, like Isola Bella, and are now protected nature reserves for the public to enjoy. Jagged rock formations permeate the surface of the ocean as massive volcanic islands tower above.
Teatro Antico Taormina is a Greco-Roman theatre found in the west coast city of Messina. As it stood, it held 10,000 spectators! A beautiful piece of history, this relic is still in use today as a venue for the annual Taormina Arte festival.
Visit the Palazzo Conte Federico in Palermo, Sicily’s capital city. With its history dating back to the 12th century, this stunning palace has beautifully diverse architecture and hand-painted ceilings to keep you in awe. The Norman Tower is the oldest part of the palace with a deep cultural heritage for Arabs and Italians alike. Eat and drink, of course! Sicily, as you may have guessed, is famous for its cuisines and wines. You will find olives and pasta a plenty, however it is known best for its plentiful fish such as tuna, sea bass, and sardines. Indulge with Sicilian pizza topped with the native Pecorino cheese or an Arancini rice ball filled with ragú but make sure you leave room for the world-famous CANNOLI! This delicious treat originated here and has spread worldwide as one of the most recognized Italian desserts. We can’t talk about Sicily without discussing the most famous grapes, Nero’d Avola or Catarratto. With 450 wineries to choose from, an afternoon wine tasting should definitely make your to-do list.
Whale and dolphin watching excursions are generally a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many. The Sicilian coastline between areas such as Capo Mulani and Taormina, are perfect grounds to watch summer seasonal migrations for the Fin, Sperm, and Pilot whales. Four dolphin species, like the Striped and Bottlenose, will inevitably join your day, commonly playing in boat wake and curiously swimming with snorkelers. Often, other animals like sea turtles will even make an appearance.
Adventure cruises to Sicily depart at ports such as Naples, Genoa, Salerno, and Villa San Giovanni. If you are catching a flight to the island and then departing locally, the two largest airports in Sicily are the Catania-Fontanarossa Airport (CTA) and the Palermo Airport (PMO).
The many marinas and coves surrounding Sicily and outlying islands will provide access to land and sea excursions with ease.
Best Time to Cruise to Sicily
Though located in the Mediterranean, it can get cold in the winter months with temperatures averaging around 10°C or 50°F and rougher sea conditions. Therefore, it is recommended to cruise Sicily in spring through fall to enjoy the warmer temperatures, peaking in summer at around 30°C/86°F and the waters calm and soothing. The clear blue Tyrrhenian and Ionian seas will have an average temperature of 26°C/78°F in summer, making a snorkel or swim possible all day long.
Top Tips While Cruising Sicily As there is beautiful sunshine and warmer temperatures, it is strongly suggested to bring sunshades such as a hat and sunglasses with you on your journey. A reef-safe sunscreen and towel are also recommended for the many beaches and day trips you will surely encounter. Bring layers that can easily be added or removed as you cruise around the ocean. The breeze may feel chilly after a day of sun exposure. Though many businesses are now using contactless payment, it is wise to bring cash for smaller businesses that do not accept card payment in remote outlying areas or for adding a gratuity to your excursions and services. With so many options to choose from and a rich, long heritage and history, Sicily will surely check everything off your Italian bucket list!