EUROPE, ITALY
The Enchanting
Island of Sicily

Sicily has a little piece of magic for each member of the family: beautiful beaches, breath-taking landscapes, charming villages, cities rich in art and history, exquisite cuisine and the very best gelato. As one of Italy’s most historically cosmopolitan regions, there are endless opportunities to explore the island or simply go barefoot in the sand.

One of the many hidden lagoons in Sicily
 
The beauty of Siciliy is its variety. If it’s stunning coastline you seek, there are many undeveloped areas such as Vendicari and Lo Zingaro which are protected natural reserves. Vendicari feels off the beaten track, with its many lagoons and white sandy beaches offering an abundance of flora and fauna such as flamingos, lizards and a great variety of birdlife. A paradise for young naturists! Lo Zingaro Nature Reserve was the first established and is on the north-western side of the island, offering seven kilometres of pristine beach with mountain trails overhead with panoramic coastal views. There are many beautiful beaches and a great selection of luxurious child-friendly places to stay in Sicily. Rural tourism is a wonderful alternative for spring and autumn visits and there are many top quality Agriturismi stays that offer a more personal touch, meeting the owner and eating what is grown on site while sampling the vintage local Sicilian wines. Those seeking escapism and a little soft adventure can sail to the smaller islands of charming Salina, volcanic Stromboli and glamorous Panarea.
 
Vineyard in Sicily
Sightseeing in Sicily is fun. Greek, Carthaginian, Roman, Byzantine, Norman and Spanish influences all feature in the fascinating historic sites around the island. In the main city of Palermo, even the children will enjoy exploring its baroque winding streets, bustling markets and collection of sea-front restaurants with all their favourite recipes on the menu. They will be amazed by the golden mosaics of the nearby Monreale Cathedral, a fine example of Norman architecture.
 
Monreale Cathedral
In the picturesque east coast city of Catania which has UNESCO World Heritage status protecting its old town and well worth a day of exploration, children are in awe of the landscape dominated by the volcanic giant of Mount Etna and it’s even possible to take a jeep tour to the lunar landscape cap. A short drive to the hill-top whitewashed town of Taormina offers stunning cliff-edge views and the opportunity to visit the Teatro Antico di Taormina, an ancient Greco-Roman theatre. The Valley of Temples in Agrigento is another highlight and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site worth visiting. As an island, Sicily offers so many contrasts extending to golf, tennis, vineyard and olive farm experiences, cookery courses and time-out at the beach.
 
Mount Etna, Sicily
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