Things to do in Sicily: But what to do first?

Taormina (east coast) - Built by the Greeks

Beautiful views - situated at 240 m on a picturesque cliff; narrow streets and stairways; an ancient theater and "hanging gardens" with panoramic views including Etna. Of all the things to do in Sicily, visiting Taormina is among the most popular: the resort town is crowded in high season but has real flair.

Alcantara Gorge (east coast) - Spectacular basalt gorge

The wild, romantic gorge with its bizarre basalt walls can be waded through a good deal with the water delightfully clear and fresh in summer.

Mount Etna (east coast) - Europe's tallest volcano

The 3340 m high active volcano is surprisingly covered with areas of vegetation, giant chunks of volcanic rock, and ongoing eruptions.

Catania (east coast) - In the shadow of Etna

You will certainly fall in love with all the 'lesser' views in this second-largest Sicilian city. Among the things to do in Sicily, visiting this historic city with its lava-stone pavements, hectic streets, splendid baroque buildings, posh shops and colorful fish market - these are all at the top of the list.

Syracuse (southeast) - The New York of antiquity

In ancient times, Syracuse with its one million inhabitants was twice as strong as Athens. Worth seeing is the baroque old town on the island of Ortygia, the large archaeological site (with antique theater) and the famous "Ear of Dionysus".

Noto / Valle di Noto (southeast) - Baroque world heritage

Baroque architecture wherever you look - easy to be amazed! UNESCO in 1989 added the area to its list of world heritage sites. In this Valle di Noto are such baroque cities as Ragusa, Modica and Scicli.

Villa Romana del Casale (interior) - Roman mosaics.

This Roman hunting lodge has a 3500 m² mosaic - still preserved. The scenic location of the villa in a green river valley is also quite beautiful..

Agrigento (south coast) - Valley of the Temples

Fantastically preserved ancient temples made of bright yellow sandstone, picturesquely situated on a promising hill between olive groves, this beautiful site overlooks the sea and the modern city of Agrigento.

Seliunte (south coast) - Gigantic temple city

A very cosmopolitan city in ancient times and a significant cultural site. Two temples that were brought down were rebuilt, but the rest is testimony to its glory days. This sprawling archaeological site is picturesquely situated on a ridge and at its feet is a nice long sandy beach.

Salt flats of Trapani (west coast) - Salty landscapes and windmills

The coast between Marsala and Trapani is marked by glittering salt flats and a number of small islands. Windmills were once used to pump sea water into the flats, and today these windmills are widely photographed - hallmarks of Trapani province.

Erice (west coast) - Mystical mountain village

Romantic narrow alleys and stairs help create the image for this triangular medieval town perched like a fortress 700 m above Trapani. This mystical place was a spot for special pilgrimages in earlier times.

Parco dello Zingaro (west coast) - Magnificent nature reserve

High on the list of things to do in Sicily is visiting this fabulous nature reserve: wonderful cliffs with sandy bays await you, and in spring, a sea of flowers. All year round it is an excellent hiking area. The park's hallmark is the distinctive dwarf palm.

Palermo (north coast) - Lots of light, lots of shadow

Pompous Arab-Norman churches and palaces with unique mosaics together with the crumbling facades and ruins of World War II. Today the city is full of light and optimism as the dark times of the mafia have ended.

Monreale (north coast) - The famous Norman monastery

This quaint little town has a magnificent Norman cathedral that was considered the grandest building of it time. Gigantic mosaics as well as a famous Byzantine Arab cloister.

Cefalu (north coast) - Medieval alleyways

Besides Taormina, Cefalu is Sicily's main tourist destination. With its medieval streets and its striking castle high up on The Rock as backdrop to its famous Norman cathedral, the town has a lot of flair - not to mention the inviting sandy beach and the nearby Madonie mountains.

Tindari (north coast) - Catholic pilgrimage and cultural site

An ancient site with a more recent pilgrimage church, a miraculous Black Madonna, and its own dream beach. See the Oliveri lagoons - white sands and turquoise water.

Aeolian islands (north coast) - Little volcanoes and a lot of life

These seven small but very attractive volcanic islands have a special charm and are very popular. Among the things to do in Sicily, the Aeolians rank near the top. Visit the main island of Lipari to

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