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Visit North Sicily

This region runs along the Sicilian coast from Palermo in the west to Tindari in the east, inland through the scenic mountains as far as the central town of Enna, and stretching out to sea where the volcanic Aeolian Islands are situated.

The combination of historic monuments, fine beaches and lovel scenery make this one of the most popular regions of Sicily.

Coastal north Sicily

The northern region of Sicily includes several important highlights that will feature on your itinerary. Near the coast these include:

The capital of Sicily at Palermo, which is a beautiful city and some truly amazing churches. Nearby is the impressive cathedral at Monreale. A few kilometers south-east of Palermo is the town of Bagheria with its Baroque villas.

East of here the ancient ruins and town at Termini-Imerese will interest history lovers. Our favourite coastal town of  Cefalu, which sits at the base of a huge rock and is home to the beatiful UNESCO listed Cefalu Cathedral, is on the north coast of Sicily.

Also on the north coast is the Sanctuary and Greek and Roman ruins at Tindari which are well worth a visit. 

Cefala-Diana, near to Bagheria has a castle and arab baths to explore.

One of the listed 'most beautiful villages in Italy' - Geraci Siculo - is south of Cefalu, while two more listed villages can be seen to the north-east at Montalbano Elicona and Novara di Sicilia.

Aeolian Islands

Off the coast of northern Sicily, be sure to visit the volcanic Aeolian Islands (Lipari is the main island and has the most important town (also called Lipari), others are Alicudi, Basiluzzo, Filicudi, Salina, the active volcanic island of Stromboli, Panarea and Vulcano, and Ustica some way to the west).

The Aeolian islands are also known as the Lipari Islands, and are reached by ferry from Milazzo. Ferries also operate between the islands, each of which has its own particular charms to discover. The small islands of Alicudi and Panarea, although slightly more remote than the others, are also highly recommended.

Coastal resorts

There are various popular coastal resorts in northern Sicily - among the most popular are Capo Zafferano (near Bagheria in the west) and Capo d'Orlando and Sant'Agata di Militello (both between Cefalu and Tindari).

An autoroute follows along the northern coast of Sicily so access to these resorts is straightforward.

Heading inland - the mountains of northern Sicily

Head a little inland and the landscape changes rapidly as you traverse the mountain regions of Monts Madonie (south of Cefalu, and reasonably easy to access from that town) and Monts Nebrodi (further east). Quiet villages and attractive scenery are the highlights in this region, where access is slower - as is the pace of life - but well worth the effort.

Within Monts Madonie the highlights among the towns and villages include Castelbuono, Geraci Siculo, Gangi, Petralia Soprana, Petralia Sottana, cascading down the hill in a dramatic location to the south of the Madonie Mountains, and Polizzi Generosa.

The Monts Nebrodie are slightly harder to access but equally rewarding, and also offer stunning scenery and a sprinkling of ancient villages.

The town of Enna stands in the heart of Sicily beyond these mountain ranges, in an enviable hilltop location as is San Cataldo.

See also:

Map of North Sicily and places to visit

North Sicily places to visit

Aeolian Islands

Aeolian Islands

The Aeolian Islands are a pretty group of volcanic islands.

>> Aeolian Islands guide
Bagheria

Bagheria

Bagheria is a coastal town with some beautiful 18th century villas.

>> Bagheria guide
Castroreale

Castroreale

Castroreale is one of the most beautiful villages of Sicily.

>> Castroreale guide
Cefala Diana

Cefala Diana

Cefala Diana has a castle and Arab baths to visit.

>> Cefala Diana guide
Cefalu

Cefalu

Cefalu is a beautiful seaside town with a magnificent cathedral.

>> Cefalu guide
Cefalu Cathedral

Cefalu Cathedral

Cefalu cathedral is a UNESCO listed Norman cathedral with fabulous Byzantine mosaics.

>> Cefalu Cathedral guide
Enna

Enna

Enna is an attractive hilltown in a fabulous setting.

>> Enna guide
Filicudi

Filicudi

Filicuda is one of the Aeolian islands known for its diving.

>> Filicudi guide
Geraci-Siculo

Geraci-Siculo

Geraci-Siculo is one of the most beautiful villages of Sicily.

>> Geraci-Siculo guide
Lipari

Lipari

Lipari is the largest and most populated of the Aeolian Islands.

>> Lipari guide
Milazzo

Milazzo

Milazzo has an impressive fortified citadel.

>> Milazzo guide
Monreale

Monreale

Monreale is a small town which sits above Palermo and has a splendid Byzantine cathedral.

>> Monreale guide
Montalbano-Elicona

Montalbano-Elicona

Montalbano-Elicona is one of the most beautiful villages of Sicily.

>> Montalbano-Elicona guide
Novara di Sicilia

Novara di Sicilia

Novara di Sicilia is a beautiful hill village.

>> Novara di Sicilia guide
Palermo

Palermo

Palermo is a fabulous city with the Cappella Palatina, La Martorana and its Arab-Norman cathedral amongst the highlights.

>> Palermo guide
Panarea

Panarea

Panarea is the most chic of the Aeolian Islands.

>> Panarea guide
Patti

Patti

Patti is not a tourist town but has a cathedral and Roman Villa to visit.

>> Patti guide
Polizzi Generosa

Polizzi Generosa

Polizzi is a hill town in a beautiful setting in the Natural Park of Madonie.

>> Polizzi Generosa guide
San Cataldo

San Cataldo

San Cataldo is an interesting town with a number of monuments.

>> San Cataldo guide
Scopello

Scopello

Scopello has a beautiful small beach with large rock stacks in the sea. It was a film location for Ocean's Twelve.

>> Scopello guide
Sperlinga

Sperlinga

Sperlinga is one of the 'most beautiful villages of Italy' and is home to a castle and troglodyte caves.

>> Sperlinga guide
Stromboli

Stromboli

Stromboli is an active volcanic island.

>> Stromboli guide
Termini-Imerese

Termini-Imerese

Termini-Imerse has both Greek and Roman ruins to visit.

>> Termini-Imerese guide
Tindari

Tindari

Tindari is home to the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna and a beautiful ancient site with a Roman Theatre.

>> Tindari guide
Ustica

Ustica

Ustica is the smallest of the Aeolian Islands

>> Ustica guide
Vulcano

Vulcano

Vulcano is a volcanic island in the Aeolian islands. Its volcano is dormant but the craters and fumeroles emit steam and sulphur-smelling gases.

>> Vulcano guide
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