Now that the wedding is over, the in-laws have left and you’ve unwrapped all the gifts, it’s time to start getting excited about the honeymoon. Sicily is an incredible place for a post-wedding adventure and is bound to seduce you with its rugged beauty and rich cultural heritage. Plus, the weather is pleasant all year round, making planning your getaway easier. We’re guessing that you’ve probably had enough planning already, so our travel experts at Plum Guide have done all the hard work for you. Read our guide to the best places to stay on your honeymoon in Sicily.
The Monreale Cathedral in the Metropolitan City of Palermo
Sicily’s vibrant capital city is a delightful place to spend your honeymoon. Palermo is a great choice for couples who like to be at the centre of the action, and you’ll find tons of attractions to keep you busy throughout the day. Check out the Norman Palace and the 12th-century cathedral, or wander towards the city’s markets – Capo, Ballarò and Borgo Vecchio – and soak up the buzzing atmosphere. While you’re here, test out Palermo’s claim to fame as home to Italy’s best street food. Pick up treats like panelle, arancini and crocche. Despite being a busy city, there are still plenty of opportunities to sneak a romantic moment away from the chaos. Wander down quaint side streets lined with ornate buildings, or steal a kiss in one of the shaded squares.
The port city of Messina isn’t just a transport hub for people arriving on the island – it’s actually a thriving place packed with things to see and do. This fascinating city has been inhabited since at least the ancient Greeks, and there is a wealth of history to delve into. Couples who like to sightsee will find their itineraries packed with museums, galleries and churches, as well as beautiful architectural features such as the Bell Tower and the Astronomical Clock. If you fancy venturing a little further afield, you’re in luck, as Messina is well-positioned for day trips. Some of the best days out include the coastal village of Torre Faro with its sandy beach and the town of Milazzo with its wonderful ninth-century castle.
Greek amphitheater ruins in Taormina with a view towards Mount Etna
When honeymooning in Sicily, it’s impossible to ignore the legendary Mount Etna – and why would you want to? It’s one of the most active volcanoes in the world, its often-smoking cone rising above the land. The surrounding area is a great place to stay for active couples looking to add a little adventure to their honeymoon. Take one of the various hiking trails that take you past sleeping craters, lava flows, and hot springs. At over 3,000 metres (its height is never certain as it changes with each eruption), you can imagine just how incredible the views from the top are. Even if you’re more of a ‘take the cable car instead’ type of person, you can stay here simply for the epic views. What could be better than waking up to the dramatic scenery of this mountain?
The Fountain of Arethusa in Syracuse
Step back in time to Syracuse, a city dating back thousands of years. Once the largest city in the ancient Western world, where the Greeks founded the historic Parco Archeologico della Neapolis, Syracuse is a fascinating place to stay. Everything’s within walking distance, so you and your partner can take it slow exploring the city’s best sights. Cross over the bridge to the city’s ancient island and historical centre of Ortygia. Get lost amongst the labyrinth of medieval alleyways and cobbled streets, many of which lead out onto piazzas filled with boutiques and restaurants housed in stunning classical buildings. For a unique date night, be sure to catch a show at the fifth-century Greek theatre, where ancient Greek tragedies are brought to life on stage.
The main city square Piazza del Duomo in Catania
Catania is just a quick drive from the airport, so you can be off the plane and into your pool in no time. Located along the island’s east coast, Sicily’s second-largest city boasts spectacular views of the Ionian sea and Mount Etna, which watches over the urban sprawl. It’s a great base for couples, with plenty to keep you busy, like the 16th-century Monastero dei Benedettini and the famously rowdy fish market. In between all that sightseeing, slow things down a little with a romantic stroll through the Giardini Bellini gardens and the Parco Maestranze, or enjoy a glass of wine at one of the romantic cafes along the Piazza del Duomo, the city’s main square. In Catania, the fun doesn’t stop, and with its lively nightlife scene, you and your other half can boogie into the wee hours of the night.
If you’re looking to escape the busy city, slow it down in the charming seaside town of Trapani. Days here are best spent wandering hand in hand around its Old Town, taking in the spectacular Palazzo Senatorio and the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. Head down the pedestrianised Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the main place for eating, drinking and people-watching. Speaking of food, Trapani happens to be a great place for foodie couples to stay. Being a port town, seafood is plentiful and fish couscous is one of the highlights, stemming from the island’s historic ties with Tunisia. Pasta with pesto alla trapanese is another must-try, best enjoyed in candlelight with a glass of wine. You’ll find that life happens at a slower pace in Trapani, perfect for spending one-on-one time together. Make your way to the harbour for a post-dinner stroll, watching the fishing boats bobbing in the water under the moonlight.
The coastal city of Cefalù
What would a honeymoon in Sicily be without enjoying its many wonderful beaches? Cefalu is a little town on the island’s north coast that has everything you need for the perfect honeymoon – a laid-back vibe, beautiful beaches, and plenty of bars and restaurants. When you’re not lounging on the pristine beaches and splashing about in the crystal-clear waters, be sure to hang out in Cefalu’s historic centre. The town’s magnificent cathedral keeps a watchful eye over the central square, where you’ll find numerous family-run eateries, seafood restaurants and coffee shops to while away the hours. Burn off all that pasta with a hike up to Cefalu Castle, perched 270 metres high above the town. Yes, it’s hard work but the panoramas are incredible, making you want to propose all over again.
What’s not to love about an island escape? Just a half-hour boat trip from Trapani is the enchanting Aegadian Islands, surrounded by the bluest waters you’ve ever laid eyes on. Whether you’re after an activity-packed honeymoon or one where you simply do nothing at all, you can find it here. Cycle around Favignana, the largest and busiest island, and visit beach after beach. On picture Levanzo, stretch your legs in nature and discover prehistoric cave paintings. If romance for you involves lounging on golden sands and exploring underwater caves, shipwrecks and rich marine life, then the secluded Marettimo is the perfect destination.
Ancient Greek theatre in Taormina, Sicily
Those looking to honeymoon in style shouldn’t miss the hilltop town of Taormina. Overlooking Sicily’s sparkling coastline, this town boasts postcard-perfect views wherever you look. It’s best known for its ancient Greek theatre, originally built in the third century and rebuilt a century later by the Romans. Amazingly, the theatre still plays host to dramas, concerts, symphonies, operas and ballet performances, and we highly recommend catching a show if you can. When you’re not wandering Taormina’s pretty streets lined with boutiques, open-air cafes and romantic buildings, take a cable car down the rocky cliffs to the beaches below, or hike into the surrounding hills for splendid photo opportunities.
Val di Noto
Located in southeastern Sicily, the area of Val di Noto is one of our favourite locations for an unforgettable honeymoon. The whole area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is made up of a series of eight towns—Caltagirone, Catania, Militello, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli. Destroyed by a major earthquake in 1693, the towns were rebuilt in the late baroque style that prevailed at the time. Each of these towns offers endless architectural gems to discover, from Noto’s Cathedral of San Nicolò to Caltagirone’s delightful enamelled ceramics. The towns also have an ancient history, many of which are home to ancient Greek theatres and temples, as well as prehistoric settlements. Whichever town you choose to stay in, you’ll no doubt find it hard to put down your camera.