Traveling outside the season is becoming more and more popular, especially in times of inflation. Then it is not only cheaper, but above all less crowded. Autumn and winter are the perfect time to visit Sicily. It is the largest Italian island in the Mediterranean and also the sunniest. It is a real paradise for tourists who love sightseeing, but also a perfect destination for beachgoers, and not only in summer. The weather here is favorable for tourists all year round.
Sicily is distinguished by its stunning mountainous landscape, rich history and unique cuisine. The island located on the south-eastern edge of Italy is a dream travel destination for many Poles who want to experience Sicilian culture, drink good wine or go on a trip in the footsteps of characters from “The Godfather”.
After summer, lower prices and less crowds
Almost all airlines fly to Sicily in the off-season, and ticket prices start from PLN 350. For a long weekend, you can find flight and accommodation package offers on booking platforms for up to PLN 600. Then prices in car rental companies also drop. Hotel prices are also much lower outside the season. Instead of a 3-star hotel, you can afford a higher standard at a similar price. You can also get a room with a sea view for no extra charge. In restaurants and trattorias there will always be a free place, a table with a nice view, and the service will be quick.
Moreover, the temperature, although still warm, is conducive to active sightseeing of the island – in summer, even with heat of 40 degrees, it is not very pleasant. Moreover, after the summer season, warm rains also appear, thanks to which the sun-burned island begins to speak again and becomes green.
Moreover, visiting Sicily out of season also has a historical background. The island was once only visited in winter. When Taormina was the mecca of the world’s high society in the 19th century, the season lasted from October to May, and most hotels were closed in the summer. Tsar Nicholas, King Edward VII, Kaiser Wilhelm II, the billionaires Vanderbilt, Morgan, Rothschild, Campbell, all the families of Sicilian princes such as Alliata, Biscari, Moncada, Scammacca and many other famous people, including Oscar Wilde and Gustav Klimt, spent their holidays in Taormina in winter. It was only in the 20th century that Sicily began to be appreciated in the summer.
What to see after the season
The main point of many trips is the majestic Etna. It is the only active volcano in Europe that offers a wide range of entertainment. You can choose trekking on the black volcanic rock, driving in 4×4 cars to an altitude of nearly 3,000 m above sea level, or even… skiing on a snow-covered volcanic peak!
A trip to Sicily, regardless of the season, cannot be complete without seeing Palermo, with its wonderful monuments of Arab-Norman art included on the UNESCO list, the best street food in Sicily and a tangle of narrow streets that can hide real gems.
Taormina is also worth visiting. It is a famous resort full of narrow, flowery streets, nooks full of art, atmospheric cafes, with a wonderful view of the blue sea and the snow-capped peak of Etna. Nearby there is also the Alcantara gorge, which delights with its amazing rock shapes and diversity of nature. A walk along the river’s current between the basalt walls is a guarantee of wonderful views and unforgettable experiences. During the season, such trekking can be strenuous, but outside summer there are ideal temperatures for this type of challenge.
If we have the opportunity, we should also visit Cefalú, a charming, small town with old fishing buildings on the waterfront, behind which colorful boats lazily bob on the water. There is also an atmospheric old town and a beautiful Norman cathedral. The city is dominated by a rock – La Rocca, resembling a hat, with the ruins of the ancient temple of Diana on it. Cefalù is a truly magical place!
Off-season, Sicilian beaches are also captivating – with fine yellow sand, but also black volcanic, gravel and rocky ones, long or wide. The most beautiful ones are located in San Vito lo Capo and Calamosche, and during the summer they are crowded with tourists. You have to squeeze between tightly spaced deckchairs. In autumn and winter there is blissful peace here. The sun shines in Sicily 300 days a year, so during your off-season trip there will definitely be at least one beach-friendly day.
Hospitality and excellent cuisine
The charming and hospitable Sicilians are the best showcase of this island. The people living on the island are extremely friendly and proud of their origins. The locals care for tourists as their best friends. Additionally, Sicilians, like few others, know how to celebrate every moment of their lives. Christian and local holidays, as well as cultural festivals, have a colorful and extremely joyful setting. Many of them take place outside the season and are not aimed at tourists, so you can feel their real atmosphere.
If we add excellent cuisine that reflects the history of the island, we have a successful recipe for a holiday. The local cuisine is a mixture of Arab, Norman, Spanish, Greek and typically Italian influences. You must try the wonderful caponata – an eggplant stew served as a cold appetizer, as well as cannoli, i.e. Sicilian tubes with cream.
But before you eat your fill, it’s worth visiting a local market. Here you can buy beautiful ceramics, lava products, fresh and dried fruits and vegetables, fish, seafood, spices, Italian cheeses and wonderful local pastries. The most famous fairs are Vucciria, Capo and Ballaro in Palermo.