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Dive into Sicily: The insider’s guide to the best beaches

From fishing boat beaches and soft sands, to quiet rocky shores, Sicily has a variety of free and pay to enter beaches all leading to clear turquoise waters.

By Samantha Priestley

There is something postcard nostalgic about the Italian island of Sicily. It has an atmosphere of bygone times and an ‘other era’ kind of charm. It’s the largest of the Mediterranean islands, floating just off the ‘toe’ of Italy, and as such, it has a wide choice of beaches.

Sandy shores tempt families with azure waters and sunbeds to lounge on under the sun, while some beaches are rugged and offer solitude off-the-beaten-track. But all of Sicily’s coastline gazes out over the clearest of sea waters, waiting to be discovered.

Here’s our guide to the five best beaches:

There are many traditional elements to Sicily and at Mondello Beach you’ll find the full sunbeds as authentic as the old Italian architecture. Visitors book out the loungers days in advance here, so you might have to make do with a spot on the beach. The good news is the soft sand of Mondello makes this a joy, and this beach even has its own changing rooms. The fishing boats that snooze on the shore also give it a timeless charm.

If you’re looking for somewhere quieter, the shingle and stone beach at Caletta del Bue Marino attracts far fewer visitors, but it does still feature crystal clear water that is perfect for swimming or snorkelling. You’ll find the same at Tonnara di Scopello, but this one is a private beach that charges an entry fee. It means the beach is quieter and it’s worth the charge for a peaceful dip, but most of the sunbathers here are staying at the hotel behind the beach, which is strictly for guests only.

For a free beach with soft sand and gently shelving shoreline, head to Spiaggia San Vito lo Capo. What this beach has in plus points – you can walk out pretty far and the water only comes up to your middle – are the very things that make it so busy, sometimes crowded. So you might not find a quiet spot here, but it’s perfect for families and a traditional day at the beach. 

The same can be said for Spiaggia dei Conigli, consistently voted the best beach in Europe. But a beach this beautiful is going to attract people, so don’t expect it to be quiet. This beach also attracts jellyfish and though you can walk quite far out before the water reaches past your knees, look out for those critters!

For something really special, walk the causeway that connects Sicily with Isola Bella, translated as ‘beautiful island’ – with a 17th-century Baroque palace and luxuriant terraces of Italian-style garden this is a place that really does live up to its name.


Greek Isles Cruise with Royal Caribbean

Duration: 7 nights

Where: Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy | Amalfi Coast (Salerno), Italy | Sicily (Messina), Italy | Cruising | Santorini, Greece | Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey | Mykonos, Greece | Athens (Piraeus), Greece

Ship: Enchantment of the Seas

Price: From $906 pp

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Published 03.02.22