Sicily & The Italian Islands
Sicily it is the largest Italian island and one of the pearls of the Mediterranean, with its crystal clear waters and archaeological ruins, full of cultural treasures, folklore and traditions, breathtaking scenery and age-old heritage. And of course, great food and wine. The writer Goethe once said, “To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything.” The warm Mediterranean climate of Sicily makes it an ideal, year round, holiday destination and perfect for walking, outdoor living and eating your way across this gastronomic hot spot.
The archipelago of the Aeolian Islands is UNESCO Heritage listed and consists of seven magnificent (still active) volcanic islands off the north east coast of Sicily. The islands of Lipari, Panarea, Vulcano, Stromboli, Salina, Alicudi and Filicudi rise from the sea and are blessed with rugged natural beauty and crystalline waters. Lipari is the largest Aeolian island and perhaps the best place to stay. Visit Lipari Castle on the island’s eastern bay, a Greek acropolis and a Norman cathedral and take a boat ride to the island’s coasts, admiring its splendid inlets and amazing beaches.
The second largest island in the Mediterranean, Sardinia has incredibly rugged highlands and kilometres of beautiful unspoilt coastline with stunning crystal clear water. The beautiful Costa Smeralda, and Porto Cervo in particular, is a hot spot for the rich and famous and favourite holiday spot for Italians. Sardinia or Sardegna is known for its sandy beaches, charming sea towns and archaeological ruins.
When to visit
High Season (Jul–Aug)
- Higher prices, especially surrounding Ferragosto (15 August), and roads and beaches are packed.
- Festival season in Taormina, Palermo, Piazza Armerina and elsewhere.
- Hot days good for the beach.
Shoulder (Apr–Jun & Sep–Oct)
- Best period for good weather coupled with chepaer prices.
- Spring is ideal for coastal hiking, wildflowers and local produce.
- Colourful religious festivities during Easter
Low Season (Nov–Mar)
- Accommodation prices drop.
- Days are shorter, weather is colder and offshore islands and coastal resorts largely shut down.
- Experience local culture without the crowds.
Some popular Sicily & The Italian Islands Packages
Indulge in the wonderful flavours of Italian cuisine during this 4-day packaged tour in Sorrento. Learn how to create regional dishes with a hands-on cooking class and visit a charming lemon garden and discover the famous Sorrento lemon.
Explore the real Sicily through its ancient Greek and Roman ruins, magnificent architecture, medieval villages and sumptuous cuisine during this exciting, 8-day escorted tour.
This small-group tour is a real feast for the senses. Soak in the magnificent scenery of Amalfi Coast and learn how to cook authentic Italian dishes during this enthralling, 8-day cooking holiday.
Say boungiorno and learn the beautiful Italian language during this insightful, 8-day language holiday in Tuscany. Stay in a beautiful villa in the Tuscan countryside, receive daily Italian language lessons from a native speaker and explore the lush region or enjoy shopping at leisure.
Savour the best of Piedmont, from the capital city brimming with elegant palaces and square to the lush sloping hills where world-class wines are produced.
Revel in the unparalleled beauty of Italy’s most beautiful coastline through this self-guided walking tour of the Cinque Terre.
Discover the rich cuisine and beautiful landscape of Puglia, the heel of Italy’s “boot” on this week-long cooking class. Learn how to cook local specialities such as orecchiete pasta and explore the coastal towns of Santa Maria di Leuca, Otranto and Gallipoli.