Make magical memories in sunny Sicily
Just three hours’ direct flight from UK airports, Sicily is close enough that you can find things for the kids to do for the duration of the flight. And when you arrive, there are plenty of ways to burn off some energy.
A popular place for a family break, Cefalu‘s history goes back a good millennium or two, and the ruins of La Rocca are a fantastic example of the ancient mysteries of Sicily. You can snorkel by the shore here or take dolphin and whale watching trips.
Old school Mediterranean style is all around, especially in Castelmona. It’s here that some of the finest flavours around come to life, and the kids definitely won’t object to a cold gelato on a sunny day.
Best family friendly beaches
The eight kilometres of smooth beach at Lungomare di Cefalu has loungers and parasols you can rent, although families also flock here for the shallow water. Youngsters just finding their feet can paddle and play here without any worries in the world.
That said, you can’t go wrong wherever in Sicily you lay down your towel. Isola Bella Beach has its own little outcrop of shore to call its own, reached by cable car rides the kids will love. Meanwhile, Scala dei Turchi is a fantastically unusual beach backed by white cliffsides with a natural staircase etched into them, definitely worth seeing for yourself.
Best family activities in Sicily
After some beach days, consider heading inland to the famous Mount Etna, which also happens to be surrounded by superb days out. Animal lovers and little adventurers can take a donkey ride along the nature trails surrounding Mount Etna, or instead get wet and wacky at Etnaland, a waterpark with plenty of theme park rides to enjoy too.
For a more traditional taste of Sicily that’ll still have the youngsters giggling, head to Syracuse to see a puppet show, performed with the same colourful little handpainted characters as centuries past.
Other popular holidays in Italy
No other country in the world can match Italy for style, culture and cuisine, but the family values etched into the country’s past and present also make it a top getaway for you and your loved ones. The Italian Lakes promise serenity and sunshine in abundance, while Tuscany offers both a glimpse into the Renaissance era as well as days on beaches forgotten by mainstream tourism. Consider Sardinia too, whose people have a culture a little more distinctive than their mainland compatriots, felt in their food and language. Of course, we still also have plenty to recommend for a Sicilian family holiday, as you’ll see in our travel guide. For further inspiration, check out our top family-friendly Sicily hotels, listed below.
Top views are par for the course at this hilltop hotel, which is just five minutes' walk from the shops of Letojanni. You can see the beach from your balcony and trot down to it in under 10 minutes, but the family activities here also make staying within the resort a real treat. Daytime and evening activities, from live shows to local walks, are laid on between May and October, while kids get their own pool and a kids' club to let loose in.
If your kids are more on the shy side, this activity-full hotel is sure to bring them out of their shells. For one thing, there's a complimentary shuttle bus connecting you to a private beach, although if you're feeling adventurous, you've also got free access to the neighbouring waterpark. The hotel itself is no slouch when it comes to fun days either, with an open air disco and a TV room, together with table tennis and beach volleyball.
Tucked in sunny Giardini Naxos, the views of Mount Etna from your hotel window are so sublime that you won't need a filter for your snaps with the kids. Spend afternoons relaxing on the cute pebbly beach just under a 10-minute walk away, or if the kids prefer to stay in the resort, they'll have an immense pool to enjoy. Perhaps think it over in the gym, or instead bundle the family together for a fun day out on the sea, sailing, windsurfing and paddling your canoe.