Sparking seas, silky smooth sand and the most spectacular backdrops … with more sandy beaches and dramatic coastline than almost any other region of Italy, Sicily is a great option for a sun and sand holiday particularly in May, June and September.
San Vito lo Capo beach is a glorious stretch of white sand with crystal clear water, set against the backdrop of Mount Cofano.
Jutting out at the northwest tip of Sicily, the rugged coastline gives way to a pretty, unspoilt resort with a bustling harbour filled with fashionable yachts and local seafood restaurants and, set further back, a predominantly pedestrianised small town, lined with cafés, bars and shops.
Visit during the spring Kite Festival or the bigger international CousCous Fest in September but by and large, life here is about chilled days on the beach and relaxed evening ‘passeggiate’.
Just a short ride from Palermo city centre, Mondello beach is the perfect antidote to busy city life and a firm favourite with Palermitans, thanks to its long curving sandy beaches and turquoise sea.
Long stretches of the beach are fringed by pastel coloured changing cabins and in the middle of the bay, the striking Art Nouveau Charleston, with a restaurant, bar and paying beach, sits at the end of a pier.
Popular events include The World Festival on the Beach in mid-May which includes top-level displays by windsurf and sailing world champions, beach volleyball, sky diving, paragliding, kitesurfing and jazz concerts.
Stay at the newly-refurbished Palazzo Brunaccini.
Heading south, Porto Palo beach, near Menfi, is one of only four beaches in Sicily to have Blue Flag status, judged according to its water quality, general cleanliness, safety and other services.
The beach is wide and sandy with a very gently shelving shoreline.
A little further along the coast is the lively seaside resort of Sciacca or travel slightly inland and you will find yourself amongst Sicily’s most productive wine-growing area.
Find out about our wine breaks at the Planeta Foresteria.
Further east, a stay at Ispica in the heart of baroque Sicily will bring you close to some of the other Sicilian recipients of the prestigious Blue Flag award.
Nearest of all is Pozzallo, where the water is crystal clear and the wide golden sandy beaches seem to stretch on for ever.
General facilities, including showers and kiosks, are good and the beaches are accessible to all.
A little further afield from Ispica are the beaches of Portopalo di Capo Passero, a popular beach with kite surfers at the very southern tip of the island, Marzamemi, and Vendicari, a mixture of sand dunes, sandy beaches and rocky coastlines and a haven for birdlife.
A 5-night stay on a B&B basis starts at £ 530 per person including 2 x dinners and fully comprehensive car hire arranged at the airport
Keen to get even further off the beaten track?
Lying to the north of Canneto, with white sand and sparkling turquoise sea, Spiaggia Bianca on the Aeolian island of Lipari is also widely recognised as one of Sicily’s top beaches.
Some of the beaches on the island are pebbly, but the beaches of Canneto, Papesca and Acquacalda are all very beautiful.