The 13 Best Sicily Beaches

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Otherwise known as the football at the end of Italy's boot, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and benefits from all-year round sunshine, making it an increasingly popular holiday destination. The island has an illustrious history spanning from the Ancient Greeks through to mafia rule and into modern times where tourism and delicious seafood are reigning supreme.

With around 1,000 km of sparkling coastline and such great weather, it's no wonder that Sicily is becoming a go-to destination for beach lovers the world over. From enchanting grottos to the jaw-droppingly beautiful Isola Bella, to more popular spots like Calamosche, there are plenty of secret coves in between.

When you're done chilling on the beach or snorkeling your days away in the crystal clear Mediterranean waters, come back to shore and indulge in the freshest and most delicious seafood to be found. As you relax on the glistening sands you can see the crowds of little fishing boats working away to bring home catch of the day. Add in some gorgeous pasta, some criminally underrated Sicilian wine grown on the banks of the imposing Mount Etna, and you've pretty much got yourself the perfect day.

So, which are the best beaches in Sicily for you? Let's take a look.

  • 1. Rabbit Beach (Lampedusa)

    Rabbit Beach (Lampedusa)
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    Located on the little island of Lampedusa, 176 km (109 miles) south west of Sicily, Rabbit beach is named after its original inhabitants. Lampedusa is actually closer to the coast of North Africa than it is any other part of Italy and the weather certainly reflects this; rain is rare and summer temperatures can reach 40°C, that's well over 100°F. Of course with its remoteness, getting to the island is… read more »

  • 2. Isola Bella

    Isola Bella
    © Gnuckx / CC BY

    Also known as the "Pearl of the Ionian Sea", Isola Bella is a tiny island in a protected bay on Sicily's west coast. With crystal clear azul waters and a backdrop of mountains and pine forests this is a truly beautiful spot.

    The beach here is a pair of coarse, stony sand crescents either side of the island which meet to form a narrow spit of beach connecting Isola Bella… read more »

  • 3. Tonnara di Scopello

    Tonnara di Scopello
    © Gandolfo Cannatella
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling

    This little cove is hidden away near the village of Scopello in the Zingaro nature reserve. It is the prefect meeting of a beautiful natural location with some fine old crumbling buildings.

    Just off the coast, rising dramatically out of the crystal clear waters are the faraglioni, a series of natural rock towers. These are echoed by the ruins of two old watch-towers which cling to the cliff side above… read more »

  • 4. Spiaggia di Marianelli

    Spiaggia di Marianelli
    © izanbar
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    The Spiaggia di Marianelli Riserva Naturale di Vendicari sits near the southeastern tip of Sicily looking out over the Ionian Sea. It is one of a string of lovely beaches set within the protected coastline of the Riserva Naturale di Vendicari.

    Nestled in a small, shallow bay backed by sand dunes dotted with almond and lemon trees, Marianelli is widely viewed as the most beautiful beach within the reserve.The sweep of golden… read more »

  • 5. Cefalu Beach

    Cefalu Beach

    Cefalù beach is a long golden stretch of sand which follows the gentle curve of the bay and culminates in the medieval old town with its towering 12th-century cathedral. Whilst the beach here is no secret and it does get busy in the summer months, compared to resort towns such as Taormina it has not been over-developed and retains plenty of charm. Backed by a tree lined promenade with plenty… read more »

  • 6. San Vito lo Capo

    San Vito lo Capo
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling
    • Swimming

    San Vito Lo Capo is one of the most famous and beautiful beaches in Sicily. Located on the far northwestern peninsula, the white sandy bay lies at the foot of the iconic Monte Monaco and stretches for about 3 kilometres. The Blue Flag bathing waters are generally clear, calm and alluring but occasionally there is some seaweed.

    It's a popular beach for sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling, so bring your snorkel and… read more »

  • 7. Turkish Steps

    Turkish Steps
    © DonnaSenzaFiato
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    Scala dei Turchi, better known as Turkish Steps, is a stunningly beautiful area on the south coast of Sicily, near the town of Agrigento. Carved by salt-laden wind and rain, the dazzling white rocks provide natural steps down into the clear blue Mediterranean Sea.

    The rock is soft limestone and white marl which creates a blinding white colour. From a distance, the rocks look like a white marble staircase rising up… read more »

  • 8. Torre Salsa Nature Reserve

    Torre Salsa Nature Reserve
    Tiberio Frascari
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling

    Torre Salsa Beach and Nature Reserve are in an unspoilt area of southwest Sicily, midway between Sciacca and Agrigento. The nature reserve covers 760 hectares and is bordered by a stunning white sandy beach which curves for 6 kilometres around the coast. The gentle waves and blue-hued waters are rich in marine life so it's a good beach for snorkelling and scuba diving.

    There are four main entrances to the reserve… read more »

  • 9. Lo Zingaro

    Lo Zingaro
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling
    • Swimming

    Located due west of Palermo on a rugged peninsula is Lo Zingaro, Sicily's first ever Nature Reserve. It stretches 7 kilometres northwest along the coast from Scopello to San Vito Lo Capo, at the tip of the headland. The area is said to be one of the most dramatic and beautiful in Sicily.

    The Lo Zingaro coastline is pitted by several bays and coves most notable of which areCala… read more »

  • 10. Spiaggia di Sampieri

    Spiaggia di Sampieri
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling
    • Swimming

    Spiaggia de Sampieri is a long shallow beach with local fishing boats hauled up on the sandy shoreline. Frequently listed as one of Sicily's most beautiful beaches, it has fine golden sand and a few rocks.

    Located on the southeast coast of Sicily, this busy beach extends for about 2 kilometres. It has a small pine forest area providing shady areas for picnics and parking (fee).

    Facing south, it is ideal for… read more »

  • 11. Mondello

    Radek Kucharski
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    With its crystal clear waters, Mondello Beach is 12 kilometres north of Palermo, northwest Sicily and is easy to reach by bus from the city. It has direct access from the roadside parking (there's a fee).

    Nestled against the cliffs, the crescent-shaped bay has clear blue water which is dazzlingly beautiful. It sets the scene for the luxury villas that were built overlooking the bay in the 19th century.

    Mondello is… read more »

  • 12. Calamosche

    Enzo Rippa
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling
    • Swimming

    Calamosche is close to the southernmost tip of Italy and is the best known beach within Sicilly's marine reserve of Vendicari. In fact in 2005, it was awarded the title "Most beautiful beach in Italy" by the Blue Guide of Legambiente, which makes it pretty special.

    Known locally as "Funni Musca", this pretty sandy cove extends for 200m between two headlands that are responsible for the calm sheltered bay waters. It… read more »

  • 13. Spiaggia Ficogrande

    Spiaggia Ficogrande
    Marcus Andersson
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    Rising out of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Aeolian island of Stromboli looks every bit the archetypal volcano it is. The towering, and often smouldering cone, is one of three active volcanoes in Italy. It is therefore perhaps no surprise the little island is home to a number of volcanic black sand beaches.

    Best of the bunch, or at least the easiest to access, is Spiaggia Ficogrande. This 600 metre long stretch… read more »