I’ve been to Italy twice and both times I found myself most enchanted by Sicily. There’s just something about all of its natural splendor that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. While there are endless architectural and historical sites to see (and you must!!), make sure you plan some time to get out and enjoy some of the natural and wilderness sights that Sicily offers.
The Mediterranean Sea
Because it’s an island, Sicily is surrounded by the sparkling, warm, Mediterranean Sea. If you’re going to be staying there for a night or more, make sure that you book a hotel that has a balcony or patio with ocean views. Nothing beats sitting outside in the warm evenings with a glass of local wine and the soft sea breezes washing over you. Because of all of the shoreline available, sunsets and sunrises are a popular event for spectators from their balconies, café patios, and beaches.
There are a number of great spots you can check out if you want to get your toes wet. San Vito lo Capo offers a small beach with soft sand. The bay is quite deep and the water temperatures are very swimmable. Or just lie back on your beach towel and take in the beautiful mountains and sparkling waters.
Mount Etna is Europe’s tallest active volcano! And as Sicily’s tallest peak, you can be sure that you’ll experience breathtaking views both from the bottom and the top. The mountain is a destination for outdoorsy visitors and locals alike because of the skiing, horseback riding and mountain biking available there. If you’re less inclined to adventure, take the Funicular Ride up the mountain – and enjoy the scenery from your rail car. Make sure to stop and visit some of the vineyards along the way, and pick up a bottle of wine to enjoy before you head out for dinner.
If you’re going to go to Mt. Etna, pack some warm clothes. Because of the altitude, it isn’t uncommon to play in the snow on the mountain and then warm up at the beach later in the afternoon.
If getting out into nature is your thing, take a hike in one of Sicily’s several national parks. In the warmer months, these parks are popular for their bird watching, and hiking. Be on the lookout for wildlife and take in the array of flowers and native plants. In the winter, these parks are popular for skiers and snowboarders! I haven’t been to any of the parks, but from some of the pictures I’ve seen, they’re absolutely stunning.
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