Sicily is the perfect off-the-beaten path destination for a family vacation. It is ideal for adults and kids alike as there are many places to visit in Sicily, each with its own personality. Whether you enjoy exploring ancient ruins, wandering through artisanal seaside villages and the lush countryside, or simply sampling world-famous cuisine made fresh right in front of your eyes, this island has it all.
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Planning a trip to Sicily can be a bit difficult if you don’t know the area though, and it’s not always easy to navigate once you’re on the island because public transportation is pretty limited.
So to help you make the most of your family vacation in Sicily, let us show you the top 9 family-friendly destinations you can’t afford to miss.
Taormina Old Town
Taormina is a popular tourist town located in Eastern Sicily. Like a lot of other towns in Sicily, Taormina’s streets are lined with picturesque shops and restaurants that create a true Sicilian atmosphere.
The town stands out for having two specific sites that are particularly unforgettable: the ancient theater, which is one of the top archaeological sites in all of Italy, and the stunning viewing terraces looking out over Mount Etna and the Mediterranean.
Taormina is a must-see stop if you’re traveling with older kids because of its history and local culture. There’s a cable car that connects the town to the beach below if you’re looking for a memorable experience. You can also find many excursions that take you to Mount Etna, which is still an active volcano!
It may be a little challenging getting around if your kids are young though. There are a lot of steps in Taormina, and they’re enough to make anyone tired after a full day of exploring. So be sure to plan your accommodation accordingly.
Food-wise, the rice balls from Da Cristina are usually a huge hit with kids, as are the filled-to-order cannoli from Laboratorio Pasticceria Roberto.
Siracusa’s Archaeological Park
The ancient city of Siracusa, with its breathtaking cathedral and ancient city center, is another popular destination for families visiting Sicily. It offers quite a few different activities no matter what your interests are, and it’s the best spot to get a taste of everything Sicily has to offer.
The town itself has a historic city center that gives a glimpse into Siracusa’s ancient past, and it also offers uninhibited views of the sea. There are restaurants and cafes that will please any palate too (even picky eaters), so feeding the kids will never be a problem here.
Almonds are a specialty in the area, so you definitely need to try the almond biscuits while you’re here.
Just outside of Siracusa is the famous archaeological park. You can take a shuttle there straight from the city center, and it drops you off directly at the entrance to the park. You can purchase your tickets at the entrance, and there are family and child discounts. Make sure to visit the Greek Theater and the Latomie while you’re here.
Siracusa is a magical place inspired by ancient civilizations and mythology. It’s a walkable city (even for kids) and will give your whole family a peek into Sicily’s colorful past. It’s also a generally safe place to visit and children are welcomed in the restaurants and shops since most of them are family-owned.
Quattro Canti in Palermo
The Quattro Canti is a typical town square in Palermo, not unlike the other town squares scattered throughout Sicily. It’s the perfect spot to wind down and relax after a long day of exploring Sicily’s capital.
In the Quattro Canti you’ll find traditional Sicilian carts, or Carretto Siciliano, which are pulled by horses or donkeys. They are sure to catch the eyes of your entire family.
You can also indulge in one of the many pizzerias located in the area. Frida Pizzeria is one of the best because they stuff their crusts with gooey mozzarella cheese. Your kids will love it. If there’s any room left in your stomach afterward, you can grab some traditional gelato for dessert.
At the end of your day, you can head from the square to the waterfront and let your kids play in one of the parks overlooking the Bay of Palermo. Your kids can play with the local children and help them track down the lizards scurrying across the grounds.
Catania and the Villa Bellini
One of Sicily’s biggest airports is located in Catania, so there’s a good chance you may end up in the city should you arrive or leave from the east coast of Sicily. It’s definitely worth a brief stay though because there are some fun activities the whole family can enjoy.
The tourist train that takes you through the old city center is definitely worth checking out. You’ll be able to see the main sites of Catania, and it’s an especially good choice if you have young kids since there is no walking necessary to enjoy this fun activity.
You can also spend a day at Lungomare Di Ognina, known for its beautiful beach with black sand. And the beach has all the amenities you’ll need for kids – restaurants, bathrooms, and souvenir shops.
Another family-friendly spot is Villa Bellini, the oldest urban park in Catania. Kids love exploring the different landscapes and areas of the park. If you time it right, you can also see one of the many local celebrations and festivals that take place here throughout the year, like the Pistachio Festival in September or the Festa di San’Agata and its spectacular fireworks display in February.
Mount Etna’s Caves and Craters
Just outside of Catania lies Mount Etna, an active volcano known around the world for its high level of volcanic activity. Don’t worry though – it’s completely safe to visit.
In fact, there are tours of Mount Etna specifically designed to be kid-friendly. These half-day tours come complete with a guide and a comfortable van. You’ll see the craters and caves of Mount Etna up close, and you can even get out and explore a cave with your whole family.
You can also choose to go to Mount Etna’s summit, which is almost 10,000 feet above sea level.
The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento
The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Italy’s most prized treasures. This site has some amazing ruins to explore, and it’s also one of the best places for families to visit in all of Sicily.
With its rich history and stunning views, the Valley of the Temples will show your whole family what life was like in ancient times. It’s famous for its well-preserved Doric temples that are dedicated to a variety of Greek divinities and it has been the inspiration of many poets, painters, and philosophers throughout the centuries.
If you want the full experience at the Valley of the Temples, you can book a guided tour. The guides will tell you everything you need to know about the ruins’ history and tell you about the excavation efforts that are still going on.
You can choose to take a walking tour or weave your way through the ruins on an electric scooter. You can also choose a morning tour or night tour to see the sunrise or set over the ruins.
With a tour, you can get special access to the Gods and Heroes show with a private tour, which will be a huge hit with the kids.
Sicilian Chocolate in Modica
For chocolate lovers, a trip to Modica is definitely worth it. In addition to being a UNESCO World Heritage site, Modica is famous around the world for its chocolate.
Its history of making chocolate dates back to when the Spanish Kingdom conquered Sicily and brought its cocoa from Latin America to the island.
If you come to Modica, don’t expect the typical milk chocolate you’re probably used to. In Modica, the chocolate is made with flavors like vanilla, cinnamon, and even chili.
If you have hardcore chocolate lovers in your family, you can also visit Modica’s chocolate museum, Museo del Cioccolato di Modica. Kids get in free to the museum, which is always a plus.
Modica also hosts a chocolate festival every year that will entertain your whole family and satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.
Cefalù and Sicilian Beaches
Cefalù is a coastal town that brings together some of the best parts of any trip to Sicily – art, history, culture, and beautiful beaches.
You can stroll with the entire family along Lungomare, the promenade that goes along the town’s sandy beach, or make your way up La Rocca, which overlooks Cefalù and is home to native wildlife like lizards, owls, and snakes.
The town also has a traditional square and narrow streets filled with shops and restaurants you can pop into whenever the kids (or you) need a break.
The fact that Cefalú offers a little bit of everything makes it worthy of a stop on any family vacation to Sicily. With everything at your fingertips, you’re sure to find something to keep the kids entertained.
The Egadi Islands
The Egadi Islands may not be as famous as the Aeolian Islands or the islands near the Amalfi Coast, but their accessibility and low-key vibe make them a great place to enjoy a getaway with kids. Tourism isn’t too invasive here either, so you can enjoy some stress-free time with your family away from the hustle and bustle of the more popular destinations.
The whole family can experience the islands’ history by seeing ancient cave paintings up close or exploring the shipwrecks dotted around the islands’ coasts.
The islands also offer a lot of fun activities in the sea, from swimming and diving in the crystal clear water to boat trips that show you the marine life in its natural habitat.
You can also rent bikes and explore the islands’ interiors or mosey through the fish markets to see the daily catch.
Getting to and from the islands is easy due to their close proximity to Trapani, which has its own airport. These islands also offer all the amenities you’ll need for a safe and fun trip with kids of all ages.
Carnival in Acireale
Acireale is a baroque town on Sicily’s west coast. It overlooks the Ionian sea and offers some traditional sites to check out, like the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul and the Cathedral of Acireale, constructed in the 5th century.
Although Acireale may seem like a typical Sicilian town (and it really is in most cases), there’s one exceptional reason you should add it to your itinerary: Carnival.
Carnival, or Carnevale in Italian, is a celebration that takes place in the weeks leading up to Lent. People usually give up something they enjoy for Lent, like meat, candy, or alcohol, and Carnival is the last chance they have to indulge themselves.
It’s an important festival throughout all of Italy, and Acireale is said to host the most beautiful Carnival celebration in all of Sicily.
The festival usually starts near the end of February and ends in the beginning of March, and it’s definitely worth the trip if you can come during this time.
The streets are filled with elaborate paper-mache floats that portray religious stories and local legends, the people parade around in ornamental masks while chanting and singing songs, and the whole celebration ends with a huge fireworks display.
Carnival is a magical festival that can be enjoyed by your whole family, and if you want to experience one of Italy’s biggest celebrations, Acireale is the place to do it.
A Farm Holiday in Enna
If you’re looking for more of a laid-back holiday, there’s nothing more relaxing than an escape to the Sicilian countryside where agritourism, or an immersion into country life, has gained popularity over the years. Accommodations vary from farmhouses to villas, to a stay with a family where you will enjoy the local produce, organic jams, olive oil, and wine, to name a few. The countryside of Enna, located in the center of Sicily, is the perfect getaway.
You can rent a room in a fortified farmhouse with amenities like a private saltwater pool, enjoy local produce prepared by a professional chef, and take in the natural beauty of the untouched forests and wildlife.
Even if it’s just for a couple of days, taking your family away from the usual hustle and bustle of Sicily’s more popular sites can give you the opportunity to enjoy quality time together.
Agritourism also lets you immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the real Sicilian way of life.
Sicily is one of the most beautiful islands in all of Italy, if not Europe. With its rich history and incredible and diverse food culture, it’s no wonder that this island attracts travelers from around the world.
The best part about visiting Sicily with your family is that there is no shortage of diverse activities and experiences to be had, whether you want to explore ancient ruins or artisanal villages, enjoy the local cuisine or go on an excursion to one of the most famous active volcanoes in the world. Sicily offers it all.
This list of the best family-friendly destinations in Sicily will give you a good starting point for planning your next trip. Now, you just need to book it.