Savour the Sicilian sun on a budget
Sicily adds rustic family values to Italy’s mix of culture, good food, fine wine and warm weather, and at just shy of three hours’ direct from UK airports, it’s close enough to make a cheap getaway happen.
Head to the northern town of Cefalu for a great mix of old world history surviving in the architecture, then to its nearby Lungomare Beach to while away your time in the sun. Romance fills a stay in Castelmola, whose colourful buildings trickle down the hillside. Nibble a cone of gelato in the piazza as you take in Mount Etna’s majestic shape on the horizon with sea breezes at your back.
Cheap days out in Sicily
Although it’s still got that classic Italian style, Sicily isn’t like Monaco or Naples, so you’re not expected to rock up splashing the cash, which makes everything super affordable. The beaches are free of course, including popular Lungomare Beach and pebble-flecked, sandy Lido Mazzaro, cupped by the ancient walls of Taormina. Many of Sicily’s beaches are right beside nature reserves, so don’t be shy in packing a picnic for a cheap, relaxing day out in the sunshine.
Then, take a bicycle out into the heartlands of Sicily to view woodlands and hills that hide ancient Roman and Greek ruins. The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento is home to many of these gorgeous monuments.
Other popular holidays in Italy
Sicily is just one chapter in Italy’s story. The country’s style makes it an affordably luxurious destination, with the emphasis on the affordable side. Your cash goes further than you realise in timeless Tuscany, home of Florence, Pisa and the Reinaissance. The Italian Lakes let you get away from it all by some of Europe’s most beautiful waters, or you could take in the folklore of Sardinia, Italy’s other island retreat. Sicily is still a grand budget break though, and if your heart’s set, pick up some pointers from our Sicily travel guide as we show you the top budget hotels on the island.
Tucked in the hinterlands of Lascari, this is a retreat in every sense of the word. Old cart roads conceal this converted farmhouse treasure from the rest of the world, letting you relax in the sun free from fuss. The beach is a 20-minute drive away, while the friendly owners of Poggio Pozzetti Villa are always happy to introduce you to local farmers and cooks. Authentic Italy doesn't get much better, or cheaper, than here.
With its prime location in Taormina, this hotel gives you a pool, Sicilian folklore and music by night, and a cable car link direct to the beach. It's a pretty different proposition to your usual holiday hotel, but still comes with all the trimmings, including breakfast buffets, poolside sunbeds and a downtempo lounge bar.
If there's one thing this Cefalu hotel option offers, it's fantastic value. As well as its great location, you get access to one of the biggest pools in Italy, together with a free shuttle bus to a private beach. If that's not enough high profile, low budget goodness, your stay also grants you free access to the Acqua Verde Waterpark. Outside dining keeps you full, though you also have the option to instead dine via beach barbecue with a sizzling sunset.
Although it has an almost Caribbean flair, this hilltop hotel in Giardini Naxos is Sicilian through and through. The authentic flavours in the restaurant seal the deal, while the beach – just a five-minute walkaway – has a separate space that only hotel guests can enjoy. Add the pool and the hilltop views to the equation, and you're getting tons more fun for much less expense.