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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Castelmola

Castelmola Holidays

The tiny hilltop town of Castelmola is steeped in charm and distinctly Mediterranean vibes. Its good looks are famous across the island and the area screams authentic Sicilian culture, with homegrown trattorias and a set of ancient structures. The view alone is enough to keep you occupied for days.

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The Sicilian hillside

Carved into the hillside and staring straight out to the Ionian Sea, Castelmola is a classic Italian town whose beauty is renowned amongst those who frequently enjoy Sicily holidays. It rests 550 metres above sea level and can be found just next to the welcoming town of Taormina.

Holidays in Castelmola are spent wandering along narrow cobbled streets, sipping coffee alfresco from the town's piazza or marvelling at Mount Etna's craggy peak in the distance. With vibrant, flower-lined walkways and traditional stone buildings, it's not hard to imagine Castelmola as a quiet little town whose only inhabitants are a handful of families. Even in peak holiday season, it still maintains its quiet vibes, laying the path for one seriously tranquil getaway.

Quick Tips

  • Roman Catholic
  • Euro
  • Italian and Sicilian
  • GMT +1

Lido Mazzaro

The best way to get in and out of Castelmola is to hire a car, as you'll want to spend ample time exploring this chunk of the Sicilian coast. There are a set of moss-covered stone steps that lead down to Taormina, making for a sightsee-worthy descent into the neighbouring town. The ascent back into Castelmola on the other hand isn't so easy, which is where a car hire comes in handy. The drive into Taormina is only five minutes.

The closest beach to Castelmola is the Lido Mazzaro, found just the other side of Taormina. The beach is a set of half moon-shaped shores that can be reached via cable car from Taormina, while the coastline is privy to a handful of restaurants and bars.

Here you'll also find sunbeds, umbrellas and boat cruises that dock and set off from the beach. Some of the shore is private and belongs to the beachfront hotels, making it the ideal destination from which to enjoy a package holiday to Sicily. If you do decide to go it alone however, rest assured you'll still find some space open to the public.

Ancient days

In Castelmola you're very much invited to live as the locals do, not least because the town is largely untouched by the tourism industry. On the whole days here are quiet, although there are a few activities to satisfy the unabashed holidaymaker in you.

Castelmola's streets are paved with stone buildings, many of which were established hundreds of years ago and are primed for exploring. The Castello is Castelmola's top attraction, as this Norman fort dates back to the 14th century and offers up incredible views of the bay. The Chiesa di San Giorgio is a little church built in 1450 and is also well worth a look. For some seriously ancient sites however, peek over the hill at Taormina, home to a Greek amphitheatre.

Flavours of Sicily

Much of the cuisine in Castelmola is traditional Sicilian fare, though we have a feeling you won't mind the lack of variety. The restaurants here take advantage of their gorgeous settings, dialling up the romance factor with patios overlooking the bay and quaint little tables and chairs placed along the piazza.

Castelmola's restaurants include a handful of pizzerias, family-run trattorias and little spots attached to local hotels. Served with Sicilian flare and subtle Mediterranean flavours, the fare typically revolves around seafood, freshly-made pasta and locally-sourced produce.

Vino alla Mandorla

No trip to Castelmola is complete without a sampling of the area's signature almond wine. Amber in colour, it's best served chilled and has a distinctly sweet taste that can be paired with a whole range of different meals. You won't have trouble finding the tipple at restaurants in Castelmola and will have the chance to purchase a bottle of your own for later.

Taormina nights

Nights in Castelmola typically keep in line with the town's laid-back vibes, offering glasses of wine on outdoor patios. There are a few bars in town, but even those maintain a chilled out atmosphere. Wilder nights are to be had down the hill in Taormina, where you'll find a collection of clubs and bars hidden away in historic buildings now outfitted as modern venues.