Boat Rental Sicily – The guide to renting a boat in Sicily

View of the sea at Sicily

Discover the wonders of Sicily

Between ancient stones, clear waters and volcanoes, Sicily promises a dizzying plunge into a landscape that seems so far away, yet lies at the heart of the Mediterranean. On this large Italian island, basking in the sunshine off the coast of Italy, everything lends itself to discovery. The towns and cities of character are must-sees, and mythical in more ways than one: Palermo, Syracuse, Agrigento, Catania and the Aeolian Islands are all within easy reach. An inexpensive, yet complete trip combining culture, history and nature also stops off at the fiery volcanoes, including Etna, Europe’s highest and most active volcano. Fertile valleys, parks and nature reserves alternate with heavenly beaches that are not to be missed. Archaeological sites are also essential stops on the Sicilian itinerary.

Travel diary in Sicily: what should you see?

Palermo, the capital of Sicily, is the pillar of the island’s art of living, with its marvellous heritage and its markets full of colours and scents. This city of character boasts Sicilian architectural treasures such as the Palazzo dei Normanni, which contains a real gem: the Palatine Chapel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2015. Palermo Cathedral, a 12th-century medieval monument, is also well worth a visit. Home to some of the most beautiful squares in Sicily, and indeed in Italy, Palermo invites you to contemplate the Quattro Canti, the historic centre dotted with four Baroque monuments housing the statues of Palermo’s four Spanish governors.

Visiting Palermo also means immersing yourself in Sicilian flavours, of course, by browsing the markets with their mosaics of local produce. The Ballaro market is a must for sampling typical Palermo street food. The Capo and Vucciria markets are also great places to take the pulse of the city, but also to sample some of Sicily’s culinary specialities and traditional cuisine.

Town in Sicily

In south-east Sicily, the spotlight is on Syracuse, capital of the Italian province of the same name and a veritable open-air archaeological museum, with its fascinating Roman ruins. With its hotels and villas built on the seafront or its improbable 18th-century mansions, the city welcomes history buffs as well as lovers of relaxation in a heavenly landscape. A trip to Sicily also includes a visit to the Ortygia peninsula, the historic centre of Syracuse, which contains the remains of the Temple of Apollo. There are many other sites to discover on a walking tour, including the Aretusa fountain, the Piazza del Duomo and the Chiesa di San Martino church.

The tour of the Neapolis archaeological park in Sicily lets you relive Gallo-Roman antiquity as you walk through the Roman amphitheatre where gladiatorial fights were held. The south of Syracuse offers some very beautiful beaches: Ognina, Fontane Bianche, Avola, Vendicari and Calamosche. Take a boat trip from Syracuse to discover the beauty of the coastline, with its crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches.

On Sicily’s south-western coast, Agrigento is visited for its unflappable nature. Perched high on a hill, this town is well placed for taking in some of the island’s most beautiful scenery and for photographing the sea views. After a visit to the town, walkers who like to get deep into nature will never want to miss a guided excursion to the Valley of the Temples, where they will come across such wonders as the Temples of Concord and Hera. The nearby regional archaeological museum collects artefacts found on the site of Agrigento, the most famous of which are the Telamon and the Ephebe. Visit the old town of Agrigento, whose centre is criss-crossed by the Via Atenea, reminiscent of some of the great labyrinthine cities of North Africa. It’s astonishing! Here, many ancient buildings stand in streets that have been “modernised” by street art.

The Scala dei Turchi, or Staircase of the Turks, to the west of Agrigento, is one of Sicily’s most visited sites. It is a cliff rising like an immense natural limestone staircase. Nearby, you’ll find the superb fine-sand beach of Capo Rosso, the perfect place to relax and swim. The Torre Salsa nature reserve is around 15 minutes away by car.

Old place in Sicily

With their fill of scenery, climbing enthusiasts set off to discover the treasures of Catania, Sicily’s second city. Adventure is at the heart of these excursions. You’re sure to enjoy the exhilarating experience of climbing the volcanic mountain of Etna, near the town of Taormina. This Sicily holiday activity takes you to the summit of one of Europe’s most majestic volcanoes, rising to an altitude of 3,343 metres. From Catania, head for Nicolosi, the last village before reaching Etna Park. Then head for the Sapienza refuge. From here, you have two options for reaching the Torre del Filosofo observation point at an altitude of 2,920 metres. You can make the ascent on foot or by funicular. If you want to go all the way to the summit, you will need the services of a guide. You can also enjoy an extraordinary experience by flying over Mount Etna in a helicopter.

Between high-flying visits, don’t miss the streets of Catania, where the Cattedrale di Sant’Agata retains its haughty bearing. Take time to stroll through the Piazza del Duomo. Admire the impressive buildings that surround it and the Fontana dell’Elefante, Catania’s most famous monument. Further afield, the Teatro Romano and the Odeon are other sights worth seeing to complete a Sicilian escapade.

When is the best time to visit Sicily?

The weather is pleasant all year round, but the best times to discover Sicily are between April and June and between September and October. Temperatures average 25°C, making it easy to plan outdoor activities such as visits to archaeological remains and strolls along the beaches. In summer, temperatures can rise to 30°C and crowds are at their peak. This is THE season for exceptional holidays, so book your stay as early as possible. Last-minute purchases also have their advantages. Some offers include airport-hotel transfers and car hire.

View of the sea at Sicily

Holidays in Sicily: how do I get there?

Several airlines fly between France and Sicily. The flight from Paris to Palermo or Paris to Catania takes 2 hours 45 minutes. You can also travel by ferry from Toulon or Nice, for a journey time of less than 20 hours, but you’ll enjoy a superb view. If you take the ferry from Nice, you’ll disembark in Trapani, a small town in the west of Sicily. The scenery here is magnificent, with a crescent-moon coastline guarded by a 17th-century watchtower, marking your arrival in an extraordinary place. Make the most of your free time to visit the Museo di Preistoria e del Mare in the tower.