If you want to visit numerous destinations and travel without the stress of getting from one spot to the next, a cruise is a wonderful way to travel. Some of the best cruise companies have itineraries that start and end in one of my favourite places, Sicily.
Before embarking on a cruise, it is so lovely to be able to relax in a beautiful spot (especially if you’ve never been there before), and when a destination is as gorgeous as Sicily is, it is a must! If you choose to do so, you’ll want to set up comfortable accommodation for yourself before being at sea. Luckily, there are many locally owned villas where you can stay on the island. Tools like WishSicily can help you find the perfect beach villa for your holiday. Then you can set off on your cruise relaxed and ready to go.
That being said.. there are many good reasons as to why one should go to Sicily a few days early and enjoy the island before embarking on a cruise. Here are 5 of them:
The island of Sicily has over 1,000 kilometers of coastline. So naturally, if you love to spend some time at the beach and relax with some sea views, you’ll be very happy in Sicily. You can find sandy beaches all the way up to those with dramatic rock formations.
2. Archaeological sites
If you spend some time on the island, visiting some of the archaeological sites is a must. There are 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites on the island, including an active volcano called Mount Etna and the Valley of the Temples, which will ignite your imagination as to what the site looked like in its prime.
3. Cuisine and wine
Italian food and wine is famous worldwide. Sicilian food, in particular, has something extra special to it with a mix of influences from different cultures. You can happily spend a significant amount of time eating and drinking your way through the island and tasting the true flavours of Sicilian cuisine. A couple Sicilian dishes to try are: caponata (eggplant stew), arancini (stuffed rice balls) and cannoli (ricotta-filled sweet).
4. Intricate culture
Sicily has a rich and intricate culture unlike anywhere else in the world, including the rest of Italy. Mediterranean culture historically met in Sicily, mostly due to its location, and the island has seen civilizations ranging from Roman, Greek, Byzantine, Norman, Arab, to Catalan. The civilizations that once inhabited the island have each left their mark on the Sicilian culture, creating this beautiful blend of something purely.. Sicilian.
5. Beautiful borghi
There are 19 borghi (very small towns) in Sicily that are quaint and sure sights to see. They were once designated among Italy’s most beautiful towns by I Borghi Piu Belli d’Italia. You’ll see a lot of port cities while on a cruise, so taking the time to visit the smaller villages adds something extra special to a trip.
Spending a few days on this wonderful island is a great way to set the mood for a great holiday. Regardless of how you choose to spend your time in Sicily, you’ll be in holiday mode before you board your cruise!
Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with Emily Jones.