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Unspoilt places to visit in Sicily for travel snobs

In spite of its dubious mafia connections Sicily is becoming an increasingly popular travel destination with more and more visitors discovering the alluring Italian island each year. It’s a traditional and rustic place with a rich culture and a heady mix of architecture, arts, cuisine, literature, music and history. Sicily is where you can spend your time sitting on beaches, visiting archaeological sites or just kicking back and sampling some of the locally produced wine. To help you escape the crowds and find your own slice of unspoilt Sicilian heaven, here are the best places to visit in Sicily for travel snobs…

Sciacca

Sciacca Sicily on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Known for its eclectic mix of carnivals, thermal spas and fishing, you’ll find this beautiful commune nestled on the southwestern coast. The town climbs up the surrounding cliff affording beautiful views of the glistening Mediterranean Sea below. Still not yet discovered by the tourist masses, it’s a relatively untouched place with gorgeous beaches and picturesque traditional houses. If you visit at the beginning of Lent (February) you’ll get to experience carnival tine where the locals gather together, make floats and have a whole lot of fun.

Cala Dogana, Levanzo, Sicily

best places to visit in Sicily on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Levanzo is the smallest of the three main Aegadian Islands which are located just west of the island of Sicily. They’re worth the extra effort to get to as just at the entrance to the valley (which runs south-north through the island) you’ll find this beautiful harbour village that seems to be trapped in time. Here crisp white houses are surrounded by clear glistening waters and gently bobbing boats – a place where the traditional way of life is still very much preserved.

Foce del Belice

Foce del Belice

Located on the south-west coast of Sicily, this is one of the quietest and most unspoilt stretches of coastline on the island. Meaning ‘mouth of the river’ its tranquility is probably to to its protected nature reserve status. Visit for complete isolation away from the summer crowds and to spot the wildlife which lives in the surrounding dunes and pinewoods.

Marsala

Marsala

Famous for its sweet dessert wines, Marsala is an attractive coastal town in western Sicily. It has ancient origins and is blessed with beautifully preserved baroque architecture, elegant piazzas, marbled streets, some fine restaurants and shops and an excellent archaeological museum. Make sure you include a visit to their famous wineries and if you have time, take a food tour as it’s an excellent way to sample the local cuisine.

Capo Passero

Capo Passero

This is a picturesque ancient fishing village located on the southern tip of Sicily. Its gorgeous sun-drenched sandy beaches are worth the visit alone but it’s also a timeless place where they still continue in their tradition of preparing seafood delicacies (such as dried tuna roe salamis). It’s also a largely unspoiled place with lush green surroundings and a pleasant fresh breeze.

Syracuse

Syracuse

This was once a powerful metropolis and although its heyday is long gone it has retained its ability to awe. History oozes from every pore of this UNESCO listed city and the area is strewn with impressive examples of its Greek cultural past including ruins of amphitheaters and architecture. Also visit for its beautiful piazzas, cathedral and long wide streets which are perfect for romantic evening strolls.

Marzamemi

Marzamemi

Arguably the prettiest seaside village in Sicily, this harbour-side commune is nestled in the south-east of Sicily and is a beautiful place to visit. Fishing is still its main industry and the locals continue to process seafood delicacies such as dried tuna roe, tuna salamis and marinated anchovies. There’s a picturesque old centre which dates back to the mid-18th century and a very attractive Piazza. On the south side is where you’ll find working harbour with its fleet of colourful bobbing wooden boats.

Where to Stay

Badia Tower

For the ultimate romantic Sicilian escape try what the Guardian called the ‘tower of love’ – a fairytale-esque tower for two complete with arched windows and a crenelated tower. Badia Tower It’s located 2km away from Marsala town in the privately-owned Badia Estate surrounded by towering palms, brightly-colored oleanders and scented Mediterranean gardens. Inside expect terracotta tiling, white-washed walls and attractive blue furnishings.

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Scott started his travelling life back in 1999, when he headed off on a solo jaunt to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia with just a backpack, a camera and a spirit for adventure. After that, the travel bug bit hard and now he is always seeking to head off somewhere new. Over the years he has lived in Italy, Qatar, Ireland and the UK but his spiritual home will always be Rome as this is the city which most satisfies his unrelenting craving for culture, good food and football. Scott loves nothing better than to be behind the camera and has also just started his own blog called Bars and Spas. As well as Rome he also counts Melbourne and Tel Aviv among his favourite places and now permanently resides in Dublin. Follow Scott on Google+ and Twitter

24 Comments

  • Avatar

    Alex S

    28 June, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Every time I see images from Sicily it goes straight to the Godfather flicks. A place that is enchanting, beautiful, and steeped in history. Cala Dogana, Levanzo is the town that is now on my bucket list to visit.

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    Michelle

    13 May, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    My Dad’s family is from Sciacca! We spent a day there a few years ago on a tour of the island — such a cool little town and zero tourists. We never made it to Marzamemi (I’ve actually never heard of this place until just now) but this picture makes me want to go asap!!

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    Vasilis

    26 April, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    We fell in love in love with Sicily last summer. Can’t wait to go back and see more of the island. Stayed in Modica and drove around a little bit. Went to Syracuse too. Beautiful! Posted a couple of things about our “love story” to my blog. Enjoyed so much reading yours! Got some excellent ideas for our next visit, thanks to you. 🙂 Ciao!

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    TravelDoIt

    23 April, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Being off the beaten path always leads to the best adventures and the most accurate example of how the local people live – the only way to travel for us!

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    [email protected]

    20 April, 2014 at 9:56 am

    We spent 6 weeks in Sicily a couple of years ago and would love to return. Syracuse was one of our favourite places as was Sciacca and the Aeolian island of Salina. Marzamemi is as cute as it looks…it would be great to spend some more time there!

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    Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans

    18 April, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    I’ve been hearing lots of great things about Sicily, and I’m glad that travelers are overcoming their hesitation to visit because of its mob ties. Syracuse and Cala Dogana look especially appealing.

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