Most Beautiful Villages in Sicily

Most Beautiful Villages in Sicily

Pristine architecture, dramatic surrounding scenery and deeply entrenched traditions are just a few of the things that the most beautiful villages in Sicily have in common. That said, the island’s troublesome history (under a revolving set of rulers) and geography (at the behest of ancient earthquakes) has led each corner of the island to have its own particular character. The east coast showcases the exquisite – and quite niche – Sicilian Baroque architecture, while the west coast is an open-air museum of ancient Arab and Norman rule. And while they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we’re quite sure we’d have a hard time tracking down someone who didn’t agree that just about wherever you travel in Sicily, beauty is all around you.


  1. Taormina
  2. Noto
  3. Savoca
  4. Cefalù
  5. Ortygia



Live a Life of Luxury on the Ionian 

Made famous by its recent starring roll as the exclusive summertime haunt of the rich and famous of The White Lotus, Taormina is a village that breathes luxury into every aspect of its being. It’s a place where Michelin-starred restaurants serving high-end gastronomy are housed in grand old mansions; boutique Sicilian stores line the cobbled streets of the old town; and plush cabanas of exclusive lidos fringe the turquoise ocean. The village is also a beautiful enclave of ancient cultural treasures – think narrow streets, small squares, floral courtyards and manicured gardens, all of which can be explored in the company of one of our knowledgeable local guides. For an extra dose of culture, we can arrange for you to see a traditional performance at the nearby Greek amphitheatre and head to even smaller nearby villages nestled in the foothills of the ever-looming Mount Etna.



Admire Sicily’s Finest Baroque Architecture

Another proud character in The White Lotus (yes, it’s a must-watch if you’re heading to Sicily) and certainly a strong contender in the running for the most beautiful village in Sicily is Noto, a town which showcases the island’s finest Baroque architecture. After crumbling into complete ruin after an earthquake in the late 1600s, the entire town was rebuilt in the most prestigious style of the time: Baroque. Everything from the churches and palaces to the convents and theatres display the painstakingly intricate craftsmanship put into each and every architectural detail. Explore the charmingly compact village at a leisurely pace in the company of one of our local guides, who can sprinkle your sightseeing visits with stops at the finest gelaterias (ice cream shops) and cafes in town. Top tip: make sure to stick around for sunset to see the sand-coloured buildings lit up in the yolky-golden glow of the setting sun.



Follow in the Footsteps of Al Pacino

Cinephiles visiting Sicily are in for a real treat. Why? Because this is where none other than the greatest movie of all time was filmed: The Godfather. The medieval hilltop village of Savoca is the star of the show, housing iconic spots like the beautiful Bar Vitelli (where Michael Corleone meets the father of his future bride) and the crumbling Church of San Nicolò (where he later gets married). The village has, to some disbelief, retained all of the picturesque charm that the big screen showcases – think tiny winding streets, viewpoints across the emerald valley and long-standing bars with tranquil terraces. We can arrange for you to visit Savoca with one of our know-how local guides who can explain everything from the ancient history of medieval architectural treasures to the origins of the Sicilian Mafia and its legendary clan wars.



Snap Shots of Old Fishing Houses

When it comes to the most beautiful villages in Sicily, there are a few things that just come with the territory: grand architecture bestowed by ancient rulers, opulent palaces galore and a general feel of luxury. But this is where our next pick strays from the flock. Tucked away on Sicily’s northern coast, Cefalú is a village frozen in its ancient history as a strategic Norman settlement and, later, a simple Greek fishing village. The resulting architectural atmosphere is seriously enchanting – one moment you can feel as though you’re on a tiny Greek island, the next you could be in a medieval settlement. And then there’s the framing of the Tyrrhenian Sea: deep azure waves lapping gently against the white-washed fishing houses in the harbour. It all makes for a wildly beautiful seaside setting, so arriving with an empty camera roll is essential.



Experience Island Life 

The grand finale of our picks of the most beautiful villages in Sicily is a little bit of a cheat, as Ortygia isn’t technically a village, but boy does it feel like it is. This tiny island – which sits just off the coast of bustling Syracuse – has retained a charmingly small-town feel. Fishmongers and butchers flog their finest produce at the market on a daily basis, locals stretch to impossible angles to hang out their washing between the balconies of narrow streets and musicians busk enchanting songs in Piazza del Duomo. And then there’s the architecture. The island’s tumultuous history under a number of different rulers has left everything from medieval Norman buildings and Greek and Roman ruins to Sicilian Baroque masterpieces. For a different view of the island, embark on a cruise at dusk to admire the picturesque seafront houses and rich azure waters while tucking into a traditional Sicilian meal.