Sicily guide for families: how to arrange a trip with kids

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One island, a thousand flavors, infinite emotions. This is Sicily, the biggest island of Italy and one of the most precious pearls that we have in the country. This Sicily guide for families aims to help tourists arrange a holiday in this beautiful region and provides the attractions we love the most.

Sicily has plenty of things to do with kids that you probably need a month to discover all of them, but at least at fortnight itinerary can be a great deal!

Sicily guide for families: how to arrange a trip with children

Practical information to visit Sicily with kids

The wild nature of Riserva dello Zingaro close to San Vito lo Capo – Photo Credits by Francesco Cirigliano on Flickr in CC

Best accommodation in Sicily

Sicily offers a variety of superb, traditional or more classic accommodations for all kind of budget and since the South of Italy is quite a cheap destination – in comparison to other Mediterranean spots –  Sicily vacation rentals can be a great choice. Wherever you choose to sleep at, you can find typical villas, nestled in the countryside and surrounded by Mediterranean greenery that are a dream coming true. You will find a genuine smile from the landlord and the authenticity of this destination.

How to get to Sicily

The easiest way to get to Sicily is definitely by plane. Palermo and Catania are the major airports, but if you wish to visit the Southern part of the island do not forget the small Comiso airport which is close to the city of Ragusa and has connections with Milan (both Malpensa and Linate), Rome Fiumicino, Brussels, London, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt.

If you are on a road trip to Italy, you should get a ferry from Calabria region, from the city of Villa San Giovanni or from the city of Reggio Calabria to Messina. The crossing should take from 20 to 40 minutes – depending on the fast ferry you get onboard – and it costs 10€ per person on average. Prices for car transfer are subjected to vehicle dimensions.

Train addicted can even enjoy a journey from Rome or Naples to Messina, but it is definitely a long trip as it takes nearly nine hours to get to Sicily. As soon as the train (an intercity generally speaking) arrives at Villa San Giovanni or at Reggio Calabria, it will be carried on the ferry to reach the Sicilian coast and the city of Messina. A funny tales for your friends but not worth the effort, especially if you travel with babies.

What to eat in Sicily

Sicily is famous for its fantastic, yummy and incredible food. No matter what you love the most, Sicilian cuisine will charm tourists of all ages. From breakfast to dinner you won’t get bored of tasting delicacies. Cannoli, arancini, gelato, pasta, fresh fish, sweets of marzipan, oranges and the best citrus fruits ever tasted… well these dishes are simply to die for! No matter where you stop. You will never be disappointed.. neither about the bill!

arancini

These are naked rice arancini – Photo credits by Ben Sutherland on Flickr in CC

 

When to go in Sicily with kids

The best times to go to Sicily with kids are from April to June and from mid September to end of October, as the temperatures are not as hottest as they are in July and August. In fact these last two months are the most crowded (because of the Italian summer holidays), prices are extremely high in comparison to spring and beaches are crammed. So definitely avoid August.
Easter is a good time to visit Sicily, but it is considered as high season too.
Autumn (end September, October and early November) is the best period if you would like to have fun at the beach. Things are quieter, no more tourists on the island and water is still very warm so families with kids can sunbathe.
During winter months (excluding Christmas holidays) many shops, hotels and attractions can be closed or have reduced opening hours. In the mountain areas the temperatures falls dramatically and it is not so unusual to see snow on Mount Etna.

Sicily guide for families: the coolest places to visit with kids

The best cities to visit during a trip in Sicily with kids

Palermo with Kids

The link between Europe and the Southern of Italy lies here in the city of Palermo, where Arabian, Norman and Bourbon influences can be discovered in a sightseeing tour. Palermo has its roots in antiquity.
Do not miss the breath-taking Gothic cathedral of the Assunta, the Norman palace built by the Arabs in the 9th century and the baroque heart of the city. Kids will love the botanical garden and Chiaramonte medieval palace.

For a daily trip from Palermo pencil the Zingaro Reserve, which is 80km far (nearly 1hour and a half drive) and the city of San Vito lo Capo.

Do not miss the visit at Palermo Cathedral – Photo Credits by Antonio Cinotti on Flickr in CC

 

Siracusa with kids

Siracusa is one of the best Sicilian cities for kids as its origin dates back in legends and ancient tales. From Greek to Roman emperor till Baroque influences. The first “playground” for your children is the Greek Theater, a masterpiece of acoustics, completely excavated in the rock and among the largest theatre in the Greek world. Even today it hosts theater performances that consolidate the strong link between Sicily and the Greek tradition.

For a daily trip from Siracusa do not miss Vendicari reserve a natural paradise for birdwatching addicted, that stands 40 minutes drive from Siracusa.

The magnificent Duomo of Siracusa – Photo Credits by Sicily 4 on Flickr in CC

 

Go sailing: explore the best islands close to Sicily

Sicily is one of the best places in Italy for summer holidays where families can find wild nature, amazing caves and pure crystalline water. Organize a daily trip to the closest islands of Sicily is a great tips for families traveling to Italy.

Aeolian Islands

Lipari, Vulcano, Stromboli, Panarea and Salina are the most famous of the Aeolian archipelago, whereas the little Filicudi and Alicudi are lesser visited. This is a volcanic area in the Tyrrhenian Sea in the North of Sicily and this archipelago was named after the demigod of the winds Aeolus. The Aeolian Islands were even listed by UNESCO in 2000 as a World Heritage Site for its great volcanic activity. Do not miss to visit Stromboli at night during its activity, it’s simply unforgettable!! I went there when i was 12 with my parents and can even remember how i was incredibly surprised by seeing a real volcano!!

The beautiful and stunning Stromboli – Photo Credits by Mario Scalet on Flickr in CC

 

Aegadian Islands

Favignana and Marettimo are the best known and the biggest islands of the Aegadian archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea off the Northwest coast of Sicily, Italy, near the cities of Trapani and Marsala. Visiting these Islands means taking advantages of the largest protected marine zone of Europe, a fabulous microcosm of landscapes and seabeds, natural marvels, myths and maritime traditions. From Ulysses to Arabs, all cultural ebbs and flows have left their historic mark on the rocks of this archipelago.

The enchanted Favignana – PhotoCredits by Martin Lissmyr on Flickr in CC

 

The best park kids will adore

Twenty minutes drive from the city of Catania children of all ages will dramatically fall in love with Etnaland, the biggest fun park in the South of Italy. This park is composed by three different and huge areas: the Prehistoric and Botanical Garden, the Theme Park (opened from mid April to end of September) and the Acqua Park (opened from July to September).

etnaland

Photo Credits by Etnaland

Whoever comes to visit Sicily simply falls in love with the place and almost everyone would love to come back again. Sicily has a mysteriuos charm that attracts families with kids back every year and if your special places has not been added in our Sicily guide for families, let us know in the comments.

We will be glad to hear your tales!

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Sicily for Kids

Caricamento delle mappe in corso - restare in attesa...

Etnaland: 37.591900, 14.979900
Zingaro Reserve: 38.098902, 12.786026
Aeolian Archipelago: 38.543700, 14.958000
Aegadian Archipelago: 37.929500, 12.328400
Siracusa: 37.057200, 15.287600
Comiso: 36.993900, 14.607400
Palermo: 38.111300, 13.353400
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Etnaland
Contrada Agnelleria, 95032 Belpasso CT, Italia
Belpasso Italia
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Zingaro Reserve
San Vito Lo Capo Italia
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Aeolian Archipelago
Lipari Sicilia, Italia
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Aegadian Archipelago
Favignana Sicilia, Italia
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Siracusa
Siracusa Sicilia, Italia
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Comiso
Aeroporto di Comiso Sicilia, Italia
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Palermo
Palermo Sicilia, Italia
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About Author

I was a convinced single & traveller, then I met a Toad and we packed together...now we travel in 4, as a toddler & a pet joined the team!