Eastern Sicily is a must-visit destination for travellers of all ages and interests where you can explore ancient ruins, relax on beautiful beaches, and indulge in delicious local cuisine.

The region is home to several picturesque towns and cities, each with its unique charm and character. You simply cannot miss hiking on the iconic Mount Etna, exploring the rugged coastline, and experiencing traditional cultural events and festivals. Make time to explore the Aeolian Islands, a pretty string of islands off the east coast that are waiting to be discovered.

With its stunning landscapes, fascinating history, and warm hospitality, Eastern Sicily is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling in Italy. Stay in one of our gorgeous luxury villas in Eastern Sicily and jet off for a holiday of making memories.

Why visit?

  • This side of the island has a unique blend of cultures and civilizations that have left their mark over the centuries, making it a fascinating destination for history and culture lovers.
  • Enjoy everything from idyllic beaches and lush countryside to impressive mountain ranges and nature reserves.
  • Eastern Sicily is renowned for its delicious cuisine, which blends Arabic, Greek, and Italian influences - think fresh seafood and handmade pasta to traditional pastries, gelato and wonderful wine.

Read the Eastern Sicily Travel Guide

Why stay with us?

Style and character are everything at Oliver’s Travels, and our collection of handpicked villas in Eastern Sicily have this in spades.

We have destination experts who know the ins and outs of all our regions, picking villas that aren’t only unique, but also in the best locations. What's more, our villas are 100% family-friendly, and have the ‘wow’ factor.

Our helpful concierge team are on-hand to make your stay extra special. Whether you want a fully-stocked fridge, a local in-house chef to cook your meals, housekeeping or any other extra service – consider them your holiday genie, who will happily grant your wishes.

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Villas in Eastern Sicily: Our Top Picks

Why visit

Eastern Sicily is a treasure trove of things to do - there’s no wonder it is such a popular travel destination! The region's iconic active volcano, Mount Etna, offers excellent hiking opportunities and stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. It’s sure to feature in the backdrop of all your holiday snaps.

The Aeolian Islands are a mesmerizing archipelago off the northeast coast of Sicily that will transport you to a world of natural wonders and unique charm. Comprised of seven stunning islands, each with its own distinct character, the Aeolian Islands offer a diverse range of experiences for every traveller, from the fiery volcanic activity of Stromboli to the pristine beaches of Lipari and the stunning rock formations of Vulcano, there is something for everyone to marvel at.

Eastern Sicily hosts several cultural events throughout the year. Taormina Film Festival takes place annually in June and features international and Italian film screenings, red-carpet events, and celebrity appearances. The Feast of St. Agatha is a festival that celebrates the patron saint of Catania. Taking place in February, it includes processions, parades, and fireworks, and is one of the largest religious celebrations in Italy.

For showstopping colour and beauty, check out the Infiorata Flower Festival that takes place in Noto in May and sees the town's streets adorned with intricate flower carpets. Cameras at the ready!

Street art made with flowers at the Infiorata Flower Festival, Noto

Food and Drink

Eastern Sicily is renowned for its delicious and diverse cuisine, which is a fusion of Mediterranean, Arabic, and Italian influences. Here you can find the freshest seafood, delicious pasta dishes, and sweet desserts.

A Sicilian pasta alla Norma, which is made with eggplant, tomatoes, and ricotta cheese; arancini, fried rice balls filled with meat, cheese, and vegetables; and fresh seafood dishes like swordfish and tuna.

Eastern Sicily is also famous for its sweet treats, such as cannoli, which are crispy pastry shells filled with sweet ricotta cheese that are loved the world over, and granita, a refreshing dessert made with crushed ice and fruit syrups, perfect for some respite from the summer heat.

This side of the island also produces some of Italy's finest wines, such as Nero d'Avola, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, and Etna Rosso. Visitors can also sample local liqueurs such as limoncello, made from the island's famous lemons, and amaro, a bitter digestive made from herbs and spices.

What Oliver loves

Eastern Sicily has a beautiful blend of everything you could ever want from a holiday - stunning beaches, lush nature, incredible architecture, historic ruins and delectable food!

Why it’s perfect for families:

  • Great for babies: Eastern Sicily enjoys a mild climate all year round, making it a comfortable destination for families with babies who need to avoid extreme temperatures.

  • Great for kids: This side of the island offers plenty of fun activities for kids, such as visiting water parks, going on boat trips, and exploring nature reserves.
  • Great for teens: Teens can enjoy the many beaches in Eastern Sicily and try their hand at water sports like windsurfing and kitesurfing.

Best beaches in Eastern Sicily

Whether you're looking for a relaxing day by the sea or an adventure-packed day of water sports, there is a beach in Eastern Sicily that will suit your needs. Lido di Noto is a long stretch of sandy beach situated just south of the town of Noto and is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. It's surrounded by beautiful coastal landscapes and has many beachside bars and restaurants. Or, spend a day on Giardini Naxos - one of the most popular beaches on this side of the island that is a great spot for families and features soft sand, shallow waters, and a range of water sports activities.

Top Tips

  • The best way to explore Eastern Sicily is by renting a car. This will allow you to have the freedom to explore the region at your own pace and discover hidden gems that are not accessible by public transport.
  • Try local specialities such as pasta alla Norma, arancini, and cannoli, as well as the local wines and liqueurs.
  • Hiring a local guide to explore popular spots such as Mount Etna and the Roman ruins can provide you with a deeper understanding of the history and culture of the region.

Like something from a Disney fantasy, Isola Bella Beach is a small, pebble beach that is known for its clear turquoise waters and picturesque views of the paradisiacal island. It's the perfect spot for snorkelling, swimming, and soaking up the sun.

This small, secluded beach is located in the Vendicari Nature Reserve and is only accessible by foot or by boat. The beach is surrounded by unspoiled nature and has shallow turquoise waters, making it perfect for swimming and snorkelling.

This stunning beach is located just south of Syracuse and is named after its natural freshwater springs that flow into the sea. Fontane Bianche features fine, white sand and a wide range of water sports activities.

Towns and villages in Eastern Sicily

The towns and villages of eastern Sicily are a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty. Starting from Taormina, visitors can explore the charming hillside town of Castelmola, which offers panoramic views of Mount Etna and the sea. A short drive away is the picturesque village of Savoca, famous for its Bar Vitelli, which was featured in the iconic movie "The Godfather". The town of Ragusa is home to stunning churches, charming alleyways, and delicious local cuisine. With their unique character and rich history, the towns and villages of eastern Sicily offer visitors an unforgettable experience.

Oliver’s Hidden Gem

Modica is a picturesque town famous for its unique architecture and delicious chocolate. The town is built into the hills which gives it a distinctive character with steep streets and winding alleys that lead to hidden squares and unexpected vistas.

Known for its rich history and Baroque architecture, Catania offers plenty of opportunities to explore the vibrant Sicilian culture. Check out the stunning Cathedral of Saint Agatha, the Roman Amphitheater, and the lively Fish Market. You’ll love strolling through the charming streets of the city centre, sampling delicious Sicilian cuisine, and taking in the stunning views of Mount Etna looming high above, which is visible from all over the city.

Taormina is a popular tourist destination that offers a unique blend of history and natural beauty. Some of the must-see attractions include the ancient Greek theatre, which dates back to the third century BC, and the beautiful gardens of the Villa Comunale. Enjoy getting lost in the town's winding streets, lined with shops, cafés, and restaurants that serve delicious local cuisine. Whether you're interested in history, art, or just want to relax on the beach, Taormina is definitely worth a visit.

Syracuse is a historic settlement that was once one of the most powerful cities in the ancient world and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Make sure to visit the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, which features ancient Greek and Roman ruins, including an impressive amphitheatre. The beautiful baroque-style Cathedral of Syracuse and the charming island of Ortigia, which is home to stunning architecture and picturesque alleys, are also must-sees. Syracuse is famous for its beaches too - Fontane Bianche and Arenella offer crystal-clear waters and soft white sand.

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