What is the best time to visit Sicily


When you’re planning a trip to Sicily, you probably wonder what the best time to go is. In this article, I will help you with this information.

The best time to visit Sicily is between April and June or September – October. The temperatures are warm, between 60 – 75F. Rainfall is low, and tourist season is not at his peak. Sicily is an excellent place to visit year-round because the island has a Mediterranean Climate. The summers are warm and dry, and winters can be mild and wet but still has its charms.

Let’s find out more about when to visit Sicily. Which events are there year-round, and what is the best time to visit for specific activities like a beach holiday, hiking or skiing.

Best Time for Sightseeing

With many historical sites and Unesco World Heritage listings, Sicily is an excellent island for sightseeing and history lovers. Of course, you can visit these historical sites year-round, but the best time for sightseeing in Sicily is during the months May, June, and September, October.

These months are listed as the best time to visit the island, because of the weather conditions and tourist season. Both periods have great weather. Temperatures on average between 66 and 75F and there’s almost no rain.

With these temperatures, it is relaxing to walk around the historical sites and lovely traditional Sicilian villages. The weather is especially great to visit the historical sites because many places are located in open fields where there’s no shade. During the summer months July and August it can be boiling at these places. Sometimes temperatures reach over 104F at the open fields with the burning sun.

Tourist season is not at his peak season during these months so most of the time it is not as busy as during peak season. Hotels, apartments, and restaurants are often a bit cheaper as well, which is great when you’re traveling on a budget.

The months May, June, September, October are also excellent to relax on the beach. Sometimes it can feel a bit cold, especially during night times when temperatures can drop to 55F.

Best Places for Sightseeing in Sicily

  • The Valley of Temples
  • Mount Etna
  • Ancient amphitheaters

You can read more about the famous landmarks in Sicily in this article we wrote. 

Best Time to visit the Aegadian Islands

The best time for a day trip to the Aegadian Islands is from May until September.

The Aegadian Islands, located on the northwest coast of Sicily, are a group of 5 small mountainous islands. The islands are known for their rough landscapes and beautiful beaches. Some places are great for snorkeling and scuba diving. Only a few thousand people are living on the islands; their primary source of income is Tuna fishing.

The islands are only a few miles away from Sicily, so its straightforward to reach them with a local guide. The following islands belong to the Aegadian Islands;

  • Favignana (The biggest island).
  • Levanzo
  • Marettimo
  • Formica and 
  • Maraone.

These neighboring islands are also known for their somewhat tropical climate. Even during winter months, temperatures are not getting lower than 55 on average, and there’s hardly any rainfall.

Many people visit the Aegadian Islands as part of a day trip from Sicily, which is a great thing to do.

Best Time for a beach holiday in Sicily

Sicily is known for its beaches. Best time to visit Sicily for a beach holiday is during peak season in July and August. The temperatures are high, around 66F and there’s no rain.
During May, June, and September, it is also great to hang out on the beach, but it can be a bit more chilly during these months. 

The white sandy beaches are stunning! But it’s not only the beaches that make Sicily an excellent destination for a beach holiday. The crystal blue water, with warm temperatures and beautiful underwater life, are some of the best you’ll find in the Mediterranean Sea.

You’ll find many different beaches in Sicily. Some beaches can be bustling, and sometimes you’ll find a hidden gem with almost no one around.

The Best Beaches in Sicily:

  • Mondello Beach
    This beach is close to Palermo, the capital of Sicily. The beach is easy to reach with a local bus or in your car. You’ll find Mondello Beach in a bay on the edge of the city, and it has the form of a half-moon.

    With the soft white sand and crystal water, it is a treat to enjoy your time here. There are many facilities around the beach. You’ll find many beach bars, restaurants, and shops. It also easy to rent a stretcher at one of the beach bars for a few Euro’s so you can relax all day. 
  • Fontano Bianche
    Maybe the busiest beach on Sicily, but with a good reason. Fontano Bianche is even more crowded than Mondello Beach. It’s also a beach with all the facilities you’ll need to spend a whole day on the beach.

    Fontano beach is close to the town of Syracuse, which is on the east side of the island, 170 miles from Palermo.
    You can find many places to stay alongside the beach. Some hotels even have their part of the beach, exclusively for hotel guests.
  • San Vito Lo Capo (Must-Visit)
    A must-visit while you’re in Sicily. The views are amazing, overlooking the sea and the mountainous coastline. You’ll find stunning white beaches, and turquoise water like you’ve never seen before.
    You’ll find this beach on the northwest side of the island. The closest city is Trapani, which is around 18 miles away.
  • Calamosche (Hidden Gem)
    Ready to put in some effort to reach this hidden gem? Calamosche is not easily accessible, but once you’re there, it is marvelous. Calamosche is one of the beaches where you still can find peace and quietness in Sicily, and enjoy the wonders of nature.

    The beach is small but with lovely white sand and the water is as crystal clear as it can get. During peak season many tourists try to find the beach, so it can be a bit busier. But when you’re early in the morning, you’ll probably have this beach all for yourself.

    Calamosche, on the east coast of the island, is located in nature park Vendicari, a nature reserve for marine wildlife. You’ll spot lots of birds! It is the most practical to reach from the small village town Noto, and 26 miles away from Syracuse.

Best Time for Snorkeling in Sicily

The best time to go snorkeling in Sicily is during the summer months of July and August. May, June, and September are also good alternatives when you go snorkeling in Sicily.

Sea temperatures during these months are warm, and because of the great weather, the sea is very calm. Ideal for snorkeling and spotting beautiful sea life in the crystal blue waters.

The island has so many beautiful places where you can go snorkeling it is hard to pick a spot which is the best place. You can’t go wrong! However, there are a few places you don’t want to miss out on while snorkeling in Sicily.

Best Snorkeling Spots in Sicily

  • Ustica
    An island 40 miles north of Palermo. It is one of the most significant Marine protected areas of Italy. Beautiful place to spot coral and sea life.

    You need to book a guided tour to go snorkeling in this place, and there aren’t any sandy beaches on the islands. But with some little effort, you’ll be snorkeling on of the best spots in Italy!
  • Zingaro Nature Reserve
    One of the best beaches, San Vito Lo Capo, belongs to this nature reserve. The nature reserve stretches to over more than 7 kilometers of small beaches. Not all beaches are accessible. But where you can, it’s beautiful to go in the water alongside the white sandy beaches and enjoy a great snorkeling session.
  • The Aeolian Islands
    These five islands are a must-visit for any snorkeling enthusiast. You’ll find an even better experience on one of the islands, then on the main island Sicily. 

    During the summer months, it is excellent to take a day trip to the islands for snorkeling and exploring the islands. Make sure to visit Favignana, which ranks as one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe.

Best time for Scuba Diving in Sicily

Known for the best beaches in Europe and many marine protected areas, Sicily is also an excellent place for scuba diving. There’s so much to discover when you go a bit deeper underwater.

Best time for scuba diving is during July and August, because of the perfect sea conditions at that time.

Capo TaorminaBlue Grotto and the Marine Reserve of Isola Bella named as the best scuba-diving spots in Sicily.

Best Time for Hiking in Sicily

The best time to put on your hiking boots and explore Sicily on foot is between April – June, and September – October. These months are known for their perfect hiking temperatures (maximum of 73F). It is still not too hot, and there’s less rain.

July and August are not the most favorable months for hiking. During these months temperatures rise, and the most hiking trails don’t offer much shade. When you decide to go hiking in during July or August, make sure you’ll bring enough water, sunscreen and a hat. It’s not recommended to go hiking between 13:00 – 17:00 hours, because the sun is at its strongest this time of the day.

The most famous hiking trail in Sicily is Mount Etna. The active volcano. It offers more than 20 different hiking trails!

Another popular place with several hiking trails in Sicily is Vendicari Reserve, where you can find three different hiking routes alongside the coastline. Every trail has another perspective of this national park, and it is a beautiful place to enjoy the beautiful nature and marvelous coast of Sicily.

Best Time to Visit Mount Etna

Visiting Mount Etna is an activity that you can do year-round. But there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind while visiting Mount Etna.

Best time for visiting Mount Etna depends on the activities you’re planning to do.

  • Hiking on Mount Etna:
    Between April – June, September, and October. See the best time for hiking above).
  • Skiing on Mount Etna:
    Between November and January.
  • Reach the top and go back down as quickly as possible:
    Year-round, there’s a chairlift reaching almost to the top. So if you want, you can sit back and relax.

Mount Etna is Europe’s most active volcano, and it erupts once a year. The mountain reaches 11000 feet above sea-level. It can be very cold on top of the mountain, so make sure to bring some warm clothes. Keep in mind that it is not advised to reach the top by yourself. You always need to take a local guide with you.

Best Time to Visit Sicily – Month to Month Guide

January

One of the wettest and coldest months per year in Sicily. Temperatures in the mountain areas can drop below zero, and rainfall is at his peak. Around Mount Etna, there will be lots of snow falling as well, because it gets colder in the mountains.

Temperatures along the coast stay on an average of 54F. There’s not much going on in Sicily during January. The weather is not good enough to relax on the beach, and there’s too much rainfall to enjoy the lovely hikes on the island. Most hotels and restaurants will close during this month because of the low amount of tourists. January is like the holiday season for the Sicilians.

However, January is perfect for an unusual activity; Skiing on Mount Etna, the active volcano. The ski-slopes aren’t as spectacular as in Austria or Northern Italy, but skiing on a volcano is probably a once in a lifetime experience.

What to Pack for a visit in January:

When you are visiting Sicily in January, make sure to pack enough warm clothes.

I would recommend packing

  • A few sweaters,
  • Long trousers,
  • A jacket,
  • A raincoat,
  • Swimwear

You can also bring your swimming shorts or bikini’s, but I doubt that you’ll take a dip in the (cold) sea.

When you go skiing, bring your skiing gear. There aren’t many possibilities to rent your equipment.

February

When you want to experience Sicily in its purest form, with fewer tourists but like feel like a local, you want to in February. Temperatures are still a bit chilly during February, but rainfall is way less than in January. The local community is starting the first preparations for the upcoming tourist season in a few months. But there’s also time for some local events.

Best Sicilian Festival in February:

  • Festival Di Saint’Agata (3-5 February, Catania)
    The celebration of Saint Agata is a real, local celebration which you’ll only find in Catania. They celebrate for two days non stop with different parades and great local food. Feels a bit like a Carnival celebration!
  • Sagra del Mandorlo in Fiore (First two weeks of February – dates can vary each year!)
    The celebration of the blossom of the Almond Trees is a yearly folklore festival where you meet the different cultures that have influenced Sicily. The festival takes place over two weeks with various celebrations, dances, parades, and many more activities. It’s one of the biggest festivals you can visit in Sicily.
  • Carnival (dates vary every year)
    Carnival celebrations are everywhere in Sicily. The carnival celebrations in Sicily have an ancient history, and every town has its traditions. Often the celebrations are combined with the festivals mentioned above.

What to Pack for a visit in February:

  • A few sweaters,
  • Long trousers,
  • A jacket,
  • A raincoat,
  • Shoes (it’s not the weather for flipflops)
  • Swimwear, however, the sea is still cold; it can be fun to take a refreshing dip.

March

Temperatures are rising this month, with a maximum average of 55F, and there’s less rain. But it still can be chilly, especially in mornings and evenings. Sea temperatures are also a bit cold. March is not a good month for a beach holiday. But there are many other activities to do in Sicily!

March is great for hiking because it’s not to warm. You’ll probably be able to find some cheap deals for staying in March because it’s still pre-season.

What to Pack for a visit in March:

  • A few sweaters,
  • Long trousers,
  • Shorts
  • A jacket,
  • A raincoat,
  • Shoes and Flip Flops
  • Hiking shoes
  • Hiking clothes
  • Swimwear

April

Spring is here! The sun warms up the island. Sea temperatures are rising and nature blossoms. Temperatures are rising to 61F on average, which still is chilly, but with almost no rain, it feels warmer.

The biggest event you can visit this month is easter celebration. Easter is big in Sicily, and the festival feels a bit like the carnival celebrations a few months earlier.

April is also a perfect month to enjoy some great hikes on the island.

What to Pack for a visit in April:

  • A few sweaters (it can still be chilly at night)
  • Shorts
  • Shoes and Flip Flops (but definitely flip flops, spring is here!)
  • Hiking shoes
  • Hiking clothes
  • Swimwear

May

It’s one of the best months to visit the island. Weather-wise, you get almost the same weather as during the high season. A bit colder, though, but it’s great (on average 66F). Practically no rain. The sea is getting warmer, so it’s also relaxing to spend a few days on the beach and cool down in the sea.

When you’re into art and flowers, May is the month that you want to visit Sicily. During Infiorata Flower Festival, which takes place in the town of Noto, the islands celebrate spring and the start of a new season for Sicily.

The Infiorata Flower Festival takes place every year at the end of the third week of May. All the streets are covered in flowers. Artists are working a few days in a row to make the most beautiful sculptures and flower paintings you’ll ever see. The festival ends with a big parade in the old town center.

June

Finally! From now own the next few months it will be shorts, shirts, and flipflops! With an average temperature of 73F, it’s time to enjoy the best of Sicily.

June is not only perfect for enjoying the amazing historical sites and lovely beach in Sicily. Also, there are several fun festivals you can attend.

At the last week of June, the Taormina International Film Festival takes place, with International actors attending the festival and a chance to see some movies in the worlds biggest open-air cinema. 

Classical Greek Theatre events are taking place at the ancient amphitheaters on the island — a fantastic chance to learn about Greek history via classical drama.

What to Pack for a visit in May & June:

Finally, you can pack only your summer clothes!

  • Shorts
  • Shirts
  • Shoes and Flip Flops (but definitely flip flops, spring is here!)
  • Swimwear
  • Sweater (it also good to have a sweater with you)

July & August

The yearly peak-season months are here, but don’t let that scare you. It is still a great time to visit Sicily. There are a few things you need to keep in mind, though.

  • Temperatures are hot on average 79F (don’t forget the sunscreen!)
  • The island is getting busy with a lot of tourists.
  • It can be too hot during the day to visit the historical sites, so it’s advised to go early morning or late afternoon/ evening.

July & August are great to spend your time in Sicily. Beach lovers will love this period because almost every day you can relax on the beach and hop in the sea for a nice swim.

The peak season is not only perfect for beach lovers, culture enthusiasts getting an excellent opportunity to attend several cultural events on the island. Almost every day there’s a celebration or festival on a different part of the island.

Best Sicilian Festivals in July – August

  • International Festival of Arts
    Consists out several events taking place in different places on the island. Theatre, Ballet, Opera and Pop-Music festivals with world-famous artists. You can find tickets and program information on this website
  • Festa di St. Rosalia
    It’s one of the most important celebrations in Sicily, taking place every year in Palermo.

    This tradition that started around 1625, they honor Saint Rosalia. The story goes as followed; In 1625, people of Palermo honored the saint with a procession through the streets, Palermo was freed from the Plague. Since then, every a procession takes place, led by the mayor and archbishop while honoring Saint Rosalia. The parade ends with a big fireworks show.

    Festa di St. Rosalia is the biggest event in Sicily, where every Sicilian goes attend. Amazing to participate in one time and enjoy the celebrations and lovely local food.
  • Ferragosto – Mid Summer Holiday (15th of August)
    Originated in Greece, where the 15th of August is a National Holiday. They celebrate this event in Sicily as well. The whole island has a day off. There are celebrations in every village and on every corner of the streets. A must-visit while you’re in Sicily.

What to Pack for a visit in July & August:

Make sure to bring your finest summerwear:

  • Shorts & Shirts
  • Shoes and Flip Flops (but definitely flip flops, spring is here!)
  • Swimwear
  • Sweater (it also good to have a sweater with you)
  • Sunscreen (you’ll need it during these months!)

September

With temperatures around 75F on average and only a few drops of rain, September is also a great month to visit Sicily. When you have some days off in September, it is a better month to visit Sicily than during peak season. 

September is a bit quieter, but still, the weather is incredible, and sea temperatures are great, you’re in for a fantastic holiday!

September is a more quiet month regarding events. However, at the end of the month, there’s an International cooking contest, which is fantastic to attend. An International festival with cooking, street food, and live music. Great for cultural food-lovers!

CousCous Festival takes place every year at the end of September. This world-famous festival is the world championship on who can make the best CousCous. Chefs, hobby-cooks, and food-lovers from all over the world attend this championship to win the one prestigious price.

What to Pack for a visit in September:

It is still good to bring your summerwear, but also bring a few sweaters just in case

  • Shorts
  • Shirts
  • Shoes and Flip Flops (but definitely flip flops, spring is here!)
  • Swimwear
  • Sweaters
  • Hiking Gear (This month is great for hiking)

October

It’s still a great month to visit Sicily weather-wise. Average temperatures are in the low 70F, but there’s a bit more rainfall during October.

October is a lovely month to enjoy Sicily when it is not that busy. You’ll feel more like a local Sicilian than a tourist while visiting in October.

A festival that’s worth visiting in October is Sagra del Miele, the festival of Honey. The festival takes place next to Pantalica National Park, and its to celebrate the local made Honey, which is praised all over Europe.

What to pack for a visit in October:

  • A few sweaters,
  • Long trousers and shorts,
  • A jacket,
  • A raincoat (there’s not much rain, but you never know),
  • Shoes & flipflops
  • Swimwear

November – December

When November comes live gets quiet on Sicily. The weather is still mild, but November and December are one of the wettest months in Sicily. On average rainfall is between 2.5 and 3 inches. Temperatures are mild in November around 62F and December drops down to 55F.

These months are not recommended to visit Sicily for a great summer holiday. You’re not able to enjoy the beautiful beaches. And there’s not much going on in Sicily.

There are a few events you can attend during December, with the most important; 

Celebration of the Virgin Mary (8th of December)
Celebrations take place in every village on the island. When its dark a procession with the statue of the Virgin Mary starts, everyone is dressed in its best clothes to honor the Virgin Mary. The parade ends with a marvelous fireworks show. It’s a typical Sicilian event.

Christmas celebration is quiet and is family time for the local people. Not much is going on for travelers.

However, when you’re an adventure seeker, November and December are also great months to go skiing on Mount Etna.

What to pack for a visit in November & December

When you are visiting Sicily in November or December, make sure to pack enough warm clothes. It’s wintertime, so bring your winter clothes in your backpack.

I would recommend packing

  • A few sweaters,
  • Long trousers,
  • A jacket,
  • A raincoat.

These months are also great for skiing on Mount Etna. When you’re keen to do that, make sure to pack your skiing gear.

Best places to stay in Sicily

Sicily is the biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea. You’ll find many places to stay while spending your time on the island. It can be hard to pick the perfect place for your holiday.

We selected a few places on Booking.com that are positively reviewed by many travelers, so it is a bit easier for you to make a choice. We made a list of the biggest cities in Sicily and the best places to stay in each city.

These affiliate accommodation links send you directly to the Booking.com pages. You can read more about the way we use affiliate links on this page. When you want to search for another place to stay it is easier to start on our recommendations page.

Best Places to Stay in Palermo

Best Places to Stay in Catania

Best Places to Stay in Syracuse

You can choose to stay in one place during your trip to Sicily, but it is also easy to switch places and explore other cities. The island is big enough for a road trip of a few days.

I would recommend planning a road trip while visiting Sicily, in this way you can explore as much as you can of the island. You can easily drive around the island. It is safe, and the roads are in good condition. On our recommendations pages, you can quickly book a cheap and safe rental car.

When you don’t want to drive yourself, you’ll find enough public transport which can take you around the island.

Related Questions

What is the difference between Sicily and Italy? Sicily is influenced by many civilizations and belongs to Italy since 1860. Because of this history, Sicily feels different than Italy. The island has a lot of different traditions, culture, and even speaks another language. You’ll find more information in this article.

How many days do you need in Sicily? Spending two days is minimum to visit the best things on the island. But I would recommend spending between 7 – 10 days if you want to explore most of the island and relax in Sicily.

What is Sicily Famous For? It’s famous for its unique mixture of culture, traditions, landscapes, white sandy beaches and crystal clear water. You can read all about it in this article.

Léon Kopijn

Léon Kopijn works and lives as a Digital Nomad. He travels the world with the love of his life and writes about inspiring cultures and practical travel tips. Find out more about Léon on his about page!

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