Nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean, Sicily offers travelers an enchanting combination of natural wonders, a storied past, and spectacular food. From Mount Etna’s towering heights to the charming cobbled streets of Ortigia and the crystal-clear blue waters of Isola Bella, there’s no shortage of things to do in Sicily. To truly immerse yourself in this island’s magic, guided tours are the way to go. Learn more about the best options, along with the top things to do in Sicily overall, in this guide.
Take A Trip Up Mount Etna
One of the “top” things to do in Sicily is visit Mount Etna, among Europe’s tallest and most active volcanoes. To truly appreciate its grandeur, you have to see it in person. On the private Flavors Around Mount Etna tour, you’ll have the opportunity to marvel at the Silvestri Craters, perched 1,900 meters above sea level, and explore the mysterious Cyclops Cave. Also, sample wine, olives, honey, and jam sourced from the fertile volcanic soil. If you enjoy group tours, book the Etna Food and Wine Tour, which highlights quaint country villages and includes five wine tasters and a farmhouse lunch.
Roam the Cobbled Streets of Ortigia
Ortigia is a time capsule of Sicily‘s past. Narrow, cobbled streets wind through historic, stunning Baroque buildings and lively piazzas, and world-renowned artisans tirelessly work in tiny shops. A local expert-led guided walking tour like the Artisans of Ortigia Tour is one of the best things to do in Sicily, inviting you to connect with this island’s history and unique beauty. And if you want to dive deeper into the local culture, the Insider Syracuse Ortigia Private Tour is ideal. Explore hidden gems such as fish markets, alongside popular landmarks including Palazzo Beneventano and the Arethusa Fountain.
Snorkel at Isola Bella Beaches
A true jewel of the Ionian Sea, the tiny island of Isola Bella has crystal-clear waters, lush greenery, and incredible marine life. Take it all in on a cruise around the island on our Isola Bella & Blue Cave Boat Tour. Check out the best Sicily beaches, including popular Mazzarò, and take a dip in the refreshing sea. Finish the afternoon with a visit to one of the top things to do in Sicily Italy, the stunning La Grotta Azzura — Blue Cave.
Soak in the Evening Atmosphere in Taormina
There’s nothing quite like Taormina’s charm as the sun goes down, and experiencing it is one of the best things to do in Sicily at night. Gentle live music on the streets perfectly complements the golden hour glow on Mount Etna and Duomo Square. To enjoy the vibe like a local, book the Taormina Sunset Walking Tour. Learn the Italian art of a passeggiata, a leisurely sunset stroll, as you wander the narrow streets and alleys. Finally, take in the sunset from a rooftop terrace with an Aperol Spritz in hand.
Learn About the Anti-Mafia Movement
Palermo, Sicily’s capital, has a complex history that includes a still-ongoing fight against the mafia. Did you know that as recently as 2004, nearly 100% of Sicilian businesses paid pizzo, or “protection” money? By far one of the best things to do in Sicily Italy, and certainly one of the most informative, is take a guided tour that delves into the anti-mafia movement. On the Insider Palermo Bike Tour, you’ll visit significant sites and learn about the individuals who stood up against organized crime, plus sample tasty gelato. If you prefer walking, book the All About Palermo History Tour. On both, you’ll have the opportunity to shop at local businesses that have taken a stand and do not pay the mafia.
Explore The Valley of Temples
A visit to the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento is like stepping back in time to ancient Greece. The massive UNESCO World Heritage Site covers 1,300 hectares. It’s a complex of temples, each in various states of ruin, with some almost wholly intact. Both the historical significance and sheer scale of the architecture are truly incredible. You can buy tickets directly and embark on a self-guided tour on foot, or book a guided tour through several websites.
Sample Mouthwatering Sicilian Street Food
Sicily is famous for its heavenly food, and its street food especially is second to none. One of the most fun things to do in Sicily is join a guided food tour, led by local guides who know where to find the best bites on the island. Our Palermo Street Food Evening Tour starts with bruschetta and a welcome toast, then takes you on a 3-hour journey through the heart of the city’s food culture. You can also book the Palermo Street Food Bike Tour, ideal for those who enjoy active exploring. Try panelle, arancini, potato croquettes, and much more, paired with cocktails and gelato along the way.
Take A Sicilian Cooking Class
Did you fall in love with Sicilian cuisine during your food tour? Take it a step further with one of the top things to do in Sicily: learn how to recreate some of your favorites at home! Join a Sicilian Cooking Class, where you’ll get to hand-pick ingredients from the bustling Taormina Food Market, then learn to cook a variety of dishes. Alternatively, you can book a 3-hour Private Cooking Class With a Local, where an experienced chef teaches you in his or her own home. At the end of both, enjoy the dishes you cooked alongside a glass of wine.
Savor the Best Things to do in Sicily With a Guided Tour
However you prefer to explore, Sicily offers a wealth of experiences that combine natural beauty, history, culture, and, of course, incredible food. To make the most of your time here, book one (or two or three!) of our Sicily tours. For a convenient way to combine all of the best Sicily tours into one unforgettable trip, consider booking one of our Sicily Package Tours. With many of the options, logistics like hotels and transportation are included, so you can simply sit back and enjoy the best things to do in Sicily! To help inspire you further, be sure to check out our informative map of Sicily as well as some of our other Sicily articles like how to spend one week in Sicily and where to stay.