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Sicily & the Aeolian Islands

Italy's Mediterranean jewels

Italy tailor-made holidays


Whether it’s Roman or Greek; Byzantine or Baroque; soothingly Mediterranean or powerfully volcanic, Italy’s southern islands bear a true myriad of influences. Mt. Etna also grabs the headlines while golden sands, coastal walks and flower-filled mountain meadows showcase the island’s more relaxed side. Meanwhile, to the north, the Aeolian Islands offer plenty of off-the-beaten-track experiences, with everything from volcano hikes and coastal kayaking to lazy days spent unwinding on secluded black-sand beaches.

Sicily’s ancient wonders

Shrugging off centuries of successive occupation, Sicily’s people are fiercely proud of their heritage with the island’s historic towns, archaeological sites and regional cuisine all carefully preserved.

To trace the island’s rich and varied past, perhaps start with the remnants of Sicily’s ancient Greek civilisation, best exemplified by Agrigento’s acropolis city and Taormina’s famed mountaintop auditorium. Then, after marvelling at the castles both imposingly Norman and delicately Arabian, end with the giant fresco paintings and extravagant ornamental flourishes that characterise the region’s impressive Baroque piazzas, cathedrals and palaces.

View of Agrigento, Italy
Agrigento, Sicily

Sicilian food & wine

It’s all washed down, of course, with a glass of the local red, enjoyed with the island’s rich cuisine. A fitting metaphor for the Sicilian outlook, ingredients such as the famous ricotta and the just-caught seafood are invariably sourced locally yet the dishes exhibit a full range of international influences – the couscous originates from Arabia and the citrus flavours from Greece. In all, Sicily is more than just a step out of Italy; it’s a step away from Europe.

Food stalls in Taormina, Sicily
Food stalls in Taormina, Sicily

Aeolian Islands

Given the explosive volcanicity of the Aeolians, the region’s natural world demands attention too. This septuplet of UNESCO-listed islands entertain with crater rim hikes and dives to underwater fumaroles while relaxation comes in the form of black sand beaches, a foil to the honey-coloured malvasia wines.

The most iconic of the seven is Stromboli, whose perfectly conical silhouette rises, still smouldering, from the Tyrrhenian Sea. It’s the true Platonic archetype of volcanoes and the influence of its fireworks is best seen on ranging hikes, black sand beaches and in the remains of prehistoric lava stone settlements.

View of Stromboli in Italy's Aeolian Islands
Stromboli, Aeolian Islands

And, the geological drama continues on the nearby and aptly named Vulcano, where the power of nature is harnessed in the form of therapeutic hot springs and bubbling mud baths. And, there’s more relaxation to be found on the coast, where gorgeous black-sand bays pave the way for gentle coastal cruises and kayak trips. 


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Top itineraries in Sicily & the Aeolian Islands

Ragusa, Sicily

Best of Sicily self-drive

8-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,460 pp incl. flights

With the flexibility to explore at your own pace, link Sicily’s highlights with spectacularly rural drives and stays in some of the island’s premier hotels. You’ll take in everything from Cefalù’s sandy beaches to Agrigento’s temple wonders and Taormina's ancient grandeur.

Backstreet restaurant, Taormina

Gastronomy of Sicily

10-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,970 pp incl. flights

Sicily's rich past has given rise to a uniquely contrasting history and it's a similar story when it comes to its food and wine. You’ll take it all in with stays in boutique properties and pretty country drives, with the island’s famous gastronomy showcased in wine tastings and open-kitchen dining.

Lipari, Aeolian Islands, Italy

Aeolian Island Hopping

8-day tailor-made self-guided tour from £1,925 pp incl. flights

Bursting with cobalt-blue sea vistas, film-worthy landscapes and exceptional dining, this itinerary offers a chance to witness the UNESCO-protected Aeolian Islands of Lipari, Salina and Stromboli.

Valley of Temples, Agrigento, Sicily

The Sicilian Baroque & Inspector Montalbano Tour

8-day tailor-made holiday from £3,195 pp incl. flights

Experience the highlights of the Sicilian Baroque on this scintillating tour, including Syracuse and Ragusa. Relish the beautiful architecture, exquisite artworks, and fascinating history that you will discover on this tour.

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Top places to stay in Sicily & the Aeolian Islands

Strombolisuite (7) Therasia Resort

Therasia Resort & Spa, Vulcano

7-night luxury holiday from £1,630 pp incl. flights & transfers

Contrast the rugged volcanic beauty of the island of Vulcano with a sophisticated Italian style of a spa resort.

La Sirenetta Park Hotel

La Sirenetta Park Hotel, Stromboli, Aeolian Islands

Guide price from £1,170 pp

Looking out over a unique black sand beach, this whitewashed property has a long history, having hosted the people behind Ingrid Bergman’s 1950s classic, Stromboli, Land of God.

Capofaro Malvasia & Resort

Capofaro Resort, Salina, Aeolian Islands

Guide price from £1,480 pp

Get away to the island of Salina for a resort with a winery twist. Here, poolside dining and oenological tours alike whisk you away to the rural ideal.

Villa Athena, Sicily

Hotel Villa Athena, Agrigento

Small & intimate hotel

Elegant and homely rooms and suites in an 18th-century villa situated in fabulous gardens in the heart of the Valley of the Temples, in full view of the Temple of Concordia.

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Sicily & the Aeolian Islands articles

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    Wine is big business. We take a look at how the wines of Australia, Canada, Slovenia, New Zealand and more fare against Old World wine.

  • A cultural guide to Italy

    The art, music, food and festivals that have helped make Italy one of the world's most enduring holiday destinations. Read our guide to living the sweet life, and how to make the most of this beautiful country.

  • Tuscan countryside

    Italy’s best self-drive holidays

    Italy specialist Charlie Pritchard has collated this list of Italy’s ultimate driving holidays. And, along with the highlights of Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast, there are plenty of secrets to discover, too.

  • Therasia Resort and Spa

    Review: Therasia Resort and Spa

    Ronan Gay visits Therasia Resort and Spa based on Vulcano in Sicily, and provides a first-hand account of his experience.

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Meet our Sicily & the Aeolian Islands experts

Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0796

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Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0796 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

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