The Sicilian way of life is fascinating. Being the biggest island in the Mediterranean, with close connections to Italy, Sicily has acted as a gateway to travellers for many centuries. This mix of cultures has left behind a medley of architectural styles, a colourful variety of cuisine and an array of unique traditions.

Wanting travellers to experience Sicily in its true glory, Omio teamed up with travel bloggers from across the globe to share their insider tips on the island. Read on for their exclusively shared recommendations on tasty cuisine and activities that can’t be missed when visiting the island of Sicily.

Plan your trip to Sicily here.

Must see places:

1. The Greek Temples

Inisder tip Sicily, Marcello

Image credit: Marcello, The Wandering Trader

“One of the most unique things about Sicily is the Greek history that was left on the island. Sicily has the best Greek temples in the world; some must sees are Agrigento, Selinunte, and Segesta. Also, make sure to visit places like Monreale to get a taste of the Arab infusion of culture and art on the island as well. Noto and Siracusa have excellent architecture as well.” – Marcello, The Wandering Trader

“Sicily is full of a whole host of magnificent monument left by the many conquers from the Greeks to the Romans, Arabs and Normans. The “Valle Dei Templi” is one of the islands UNESCO world heritage sites. With a name meaning Valley of the Temples this area has become one of the national monuments of Italy.”- Nic and Paul, The Roaming Renegades

“Stroll through museums and spectacular archaeological sites: Greek temples, Roman theaters and the Villa Romana del Casale. In summer enjoy varied cultural performances in these sites.”Marisa, All Things Sicilian and More

“With its huge cultural heritage, Sicily is a never-ending source of historical sites and artwork. Among the places I would recommend to see to any first-timer there is UNESCO-listed Valle dei Templi (Valley of Temples) near Agrigento, an archaeological park of ancient temples near the Greek colony of Akragas, today’s Agrigento.”  Angela, Chasing the Unexpected

2. Towns to visit

Insider tips Sicily, Maria

From Maria, Travellingbuzz

“Sicily is the wild and adventurous part of Italy. Of course, your first stop should be the vibrant city of Palermo. Besides the must-see sights in the regional capital, Mount Pellegrino offers a stunning view of the city. Cefalu is another interesting place to discover, with a great beach to visit and lovely paved streets.” – Maria, Travellingbuzz

Ragusa Ibla; Panoramic views and a maze of alleyways steeped in history and culture. Near Modica and Noto, other towns with exuberant examples of Baroque architecture. Cefalù; Picturesque, a seaside town on a rocky headland with mementos of Sicily’s varied settlers including an outstanding Norman Cathedral. Palermo; a city of contrasts – crumbling glamour beside splendid examples from Arabic and Norman settlement to fine Baroque and Art Nouveau.” – Marisa, All Things Sicilian and More

insider tips on Sicily, Nic & Paul

Image credit: Nic and Paul, The Roaming Renegades

“The standouts of our visit to Sicily surprisingly came at the beginning and the end. Our first stop was Taormina, a charming village built high on the side of a hill overlooking the Ionian Sea and the mainland “toe” of Italy’s boot. The town is small enough to walk the enchanting cobblestone streets and alleys from one end to the other, but filled with history and incredible views of Mount Etna.” – David and Veronica, Gypsy Nester

CataniaOne more city I suggest to visit, alongside the charming capital Palermo known with the moniker of “Italy’s most Arab city”, is Catania, located on Sicily’s eastern coast, a seductive cluster of majestic historical palaces and finely decorated churches, on the foot of famous Mt. Etna volcano that often pleases locals and tourists with some natural fireworks.” Angela, Chasing the Unexpected

3. Island hopping

Insider tips on Sicily

“Even though Sicily is an island,  you can never have enough islands, that’s why we’d recommend heading over to the Aeolian Islands. Only an hour and a half from the main island, we visited Lipari and Salina, and both places are like mini-Sicily’s within Sicily. The pace of life is certainly a lot slower, and the views are simply astounding.” –Macca, An Adventurous World

4. The South East

Insider tips on Sicily

“The South East corner of Sicily is an area I would not miss especially Siracusa’s old town Ortygia, the wonderful old fishing village of Marzamemi and the baroque towns of Modica, Ragusa and Noto I also wouldn’t miss the stunning golden mosaics of the Monreale Cathedral just outside Palermo.” – Jenny, A Taste of Travel

Culinary Tips:

5. Gas station cuisine

Insider tips on Sicily

“Sicily is more diverse than the rest of Italy. Would recommend finding the off the track locations while you travel the island. Ironically, the gas stations have excellent little snacks believe it or not. Stick to the small local places and you will be delighted.” – Marcello, The Wandering Trader

6. Sicilian dessert

Insider tips on Sicily

“Italy is world renowned for its amazing food and Sicily is no exception. But here on this stunning island you will find some unique cuisine such as “Cannoli” and “Cassata Siciliana”, two traditional Sicilian desserts you just have to try!” – Nic and Paul, The Roaming Renegades

“In a country that’s famous for food, Sicily really does stand out. You can’t leave the island without trying cannoli, the sweet pasty filled with cream cheese, and if you’re looking for a little refresher then go for a granita, the flavoured shaved ice that’s the perfect dessert. However, the major attraction to Sicilian cuisine is the seafood. No matter where you are on the island, you’re never far from the coast, and the seafood is to die for.” – Macca and Brianna, A Brit and a Broad

7. A traditional Sicilian plate

Insider tips on Sicily, David & Veronica

Image credit: David & Veronica, Gypsy Nester

“When it comes to food, Sicily has traditionally looked to the sea, but agriculture also plays an enormous role in Sicilian life.  Olives, artichokes, nuts, citrus, and many other fruits and vegetables are abundant. Our favorite way to sample them was to order a Sicilian Plate. The ingredients varied from place to place, but they were always fresh and delicious.” – David and Veronica, Gypsy Nester

8. Taste the heavenly gelato

Insider tips on Sicily, Jenny

Image credit: Jenny, A Taste of Travel

“Palermo has wonderful food. The seafood restaurants serve fish caught that morning along the southern coast, the street food is wonderful, the gelato served in a brioche is a taste sensation waiting for you and of course, the city is famous for its cannoli. The little cafe, Zia Pina offers food like mama makes!”Jenny, A Taste of Travel

“I’ve never been to other parts of Italy but I’ve heard from many people that the gelato in Sicily is the best one in Italy, and even in the world. You should definitely go to the first Gelateria you see and order this Italian treasure. Other than that, the Sicilian attitude towards food is so genuine that whatever you choose to eat, you won’t be disappointed.” – Maria, Travellingbuzz

9. Sicily’s contemporary cuisine

Insider tips on Sicily, Angela

Image credit: Angela, Chasing the Unexpected

An island of bountiful, regional produce from earth and sea and amazing wines. Enjoy the diversity of local variations in Sicily’s complex gastronomic culture that reflects the layering of civilizations. Eat traditional, regional specialties and but also appreciate contemporary, innovative cuisine using local ingredients that respect history and tradition.”Marisa, All Things Sicilian and More

10. ‘Sarde a beccafico’

Insider tips on Sicily

Sicily is a foodie’s heaven. From savory to sweet, with the influence of past civilizations from the Greeks to the Arabs, Sicilian traditional cuisine never fails to delight the most demanding taste buds. Being an island, you can’t leave without trying some typical fish-based dish such as the “Sarde a beccafico“, sardines matched with pine nuts, onions, parsley, anchovies and raisins, or a delicious pasta with sea urchins. If you have a sweet tooth, you must try the famous Cannoli, traditional pastries made of a crunchy dough filled with fresh ricotta cheese and pistachio crumbs.” – Angela, Chasing the Unexpected


11. Coastline drive

Insider tips on Sicily, Nic & Paul

Image credit: Nic and Paul, The Roaming Renegades

“In Sicily, there is an endless amount of things to do, endless beaches, hikes in places like Mt. Etna and Cefalu, and also an exploration of off the beaten path locations. When I was in Italy we would drive around and witness newly discovered remains. Drive along the coastline and you may be surprised at what you will find. – Marcello, The Wandering Trader

12. For the sport fanatics 

Insider tips on Sicily

“When you have had enough of wandering around the ancient sites of the island Sicily still has plenty more to offer. Water sports are popular with a variety to choose from. You can surf, canoe and even go rafting in the rivers. There is, of course, the famous Mt. Etna to climb and even ski down in winter!” – Nic and Paul, The Roaming Renegades

13. Go cycling

Insider tips on Sicily

“We were on a bike tour with VBT, cycling was our main activity, and we encountered dozens of fellow riders along the roads and paths. It is very popular, and a fantastic way to see the island. Enjoying the beautiful blue water is another fantastic pastime. Basking on the beach, swimming, sailing, diving, and fishing can all be done nearly year-round in the sunny climate.” – David and Veronica, Gypsy Nester

14. Wine tasting tour 

Insider tips on Sicily

“Without a doubt Mount Etna attracts most of the people travelling to Sicily. And rightly so. But my advice is to explore local activities when you arrive and do not book mass tourist packages in advance. That way you will support the local businesses and will get more authentic experiences. A wine tour or tasting in a local winery is a great start.” Maria, Travellingbuzz

15. For the Easter break visitors

Insider tips on Sicily

“Witness the religious Easter celebrations and Enna’s ‘Albis’ Sunday for the all-male, confraternity procession and the ancient ritual of the Blessing of the Fields and walk in the wilderness of regional parks and protected natural areas.”  Marisa, All Things Sicilian and More

16. Climb Mount Etna

Insider tips on Sicily, David & Veronica

Image credit: David & Veronica, Gypsy Nester

“If you’re into adventure, you’ve got to climb Mount Etna. We did a 4am sunrise hike through the national park and then took the cable car near to the summit, and it was without a doubt one of our best days in Sicily. Oh, and if you can play bocce with some locals then give that a go, but we have to say you’re going to lose!” Macca and Brianna, A Brit and A Broad

17. Road Tripping

Insider tips on Sicily

A road trip around Sicily is the best way to see the island. Planning your travels to coincide with a festival in one of the small towns will be a great introduction to local life. Don’t forget to visit the Aeolian Islands as well.” Jenny, A Taste of Travel

18. Sightseeing

Insider tips on Sicily

“Given its huge cultural heritage, one of the first things to do in Sicily certainly is sightseeing, with every city and small town having their own history, architecture, handicraft and traditions. If you go to Catania, you can organize a day trip along the slopes of the Etna volcano, while if you go in summer you should head to the beach, and here you will be definitely spoiled for choice as all the coastline is stunning, from Marina di Ragusa to Taormina to Capo d’Orlando in Messina province.” – Angela, Chasing the Unexpected

Catriona Megahey

Catriona (known correctly as Ka-tri-na or mistakenly as Ka-tre-o-na, but has given up trying and adheres to both) grew up in Hannover, Germany to Northern Irish parents. Spends her time trying to be active either cycling, playing football, GAA or drums.
Catriona Megahey