Last updated on March 3, 2024 by Stefano Ferro, founder of MEL365, following extensive travelling in Sicily

7 best places for a romantic honeymoon in Sicily – towns and boutique hotels

So, you are thinking of having a honeymoon in Sicily. What a great idea! There are so many beautiful destinations on the island. You may be already familiar with Taormina, but that’s just the icing on the cake.

In this guide, you will find the 7 most beautiful honeymoon destinations, from seaside towns to charming villages. For each place, I have also included the most romantic hotels in Sicily, with spas and swimming pools.

But without further ado let’s jump to the first selection.

Palermo: the starting point for the honeymoon in Sicily

Palermo Cathedral
Palermo Cathedral

Palermo, the Sicilian capital, is one of my favourite places to stay in Sicily because it has everything, a great mix of history, culture, and architecture, making it an ideal starting point for honeymooners.

The city is home to the magnificent Palatine Chapel, renowned for its breathtaking mosaics and Byzantine art, giving you a glimpse into Sicily’s rich religious heritage.

Nearby, the Palermo Cathedral is a great example of how the various Sicilian architectural styles, from Norman to Gothic, mix under one roof

Take a bus or a quick taxi to the Mondello district, where you can relax at one of the most picturesque beaches on the island, with crystal-clear waters and soft sands. The area is perfect for a romantic day out, sunbathing, swimming, or simply enjoying a scenic stroll along the waterfront.

No visit to Palermo is complete without exploring its vibrant markets. Capo, Ballarò, and Vucciria are surely 3 of the most beautiful and characteristic markets in Sicily. These are great spots for tasting and eating traditional Sicilian cuisine, sampling street food like arancini and cannoli, and experiencing the warm hospitality of the locals.

There are plenty of places to stay in Palermo with the Historical Centre being my favourite. In saying that 3 hotels stand out for a luxury honeymoon package: 

Cefalù: Quaint Charm by the Sea

The beautiful Cefalu
The beautiful Spiaggia del Porto Vecchio in Cefalu Old Town

Cefalù, on the northern coast and just 1 hour from Palermo, is one of the most romantic Mediterranean escapes on the island, a town full of charm with a idyllic beach right in the old town.

This picturesque town is famed for its Norman cathedral, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Sicily. You will be so impressed with its stunning mosaics and imposing architecture, not to talk about the lovely boutique square

The town’s charm extends to its cobblestoned alleys lined with traditional shops and cafes, great places to wander around and discover hidden gems. 

Cefalù offers the perfect blend of relaxation and exploration, in case you need some action. A hike up to Rocca Cefalù rewards with panoramic views of the town and the Tyrrhenian Sea. It’s one of the best viewpoints in Sicily in my opinion, well worth the short walk.

The trail passes through the ancient ruins of the old town, including megalithic walls and the Temple of Diana, adding a touch of mystery to the adventure.

There are two beaches in Cefalù. The one in the Historical Centre, the Spiaggia del Porto Vecchio, is one of the most stunning and picturesque that you will experience on your trip. It’s a tiny boutique sandy beach (try to be there in the early morning to avoid the crowd) with the old buildings literally dropping into the sea, so beautiful.

The second beach is in the New Centre, it’s a long one with a few beach clubs offering sunbeds, great spots to unwind and enjoy a drink at sunset.

This is certainly not a small town. There are at least 4 great areas to stay in Cefalu, of which the Old Town and Le Calette are my favourite spots. These are 3 lovely hotels for an unforgettable honeymoon.

Taormina and Mount Etna

Amazing view of Giardini Naxos coast from Taormina
Amazing sea views of Giardini Naxos coast from Taormina and on the right Mount Etna between the clouds

The town of Taormina, perched on the eastern coast of Sicily, is probably the most popular and famous town on the island where you will find a great mix of history, beauty, and luxury.

I loved visiting the ancient Greek amphitheatre not only for the site itself but also for the amazing views of the Ionian Sea, down to Naxos and Catania on a clear day, and Mount Etna, an easy day trip from Taormina  (my tip: buy the entrance tickets to the amphitheatre well in advance to avoid the usual long lines).

Exploring Taormina is like stepping back in time, with its well-preserved historical sites and charming medieval streets.

Looking for some beach time? Take the gondola down to the coast and in 10 minutes you will be in the crystal-clear seawater. Isola Bella Beach is my favourite spot but also very busy. Lido La Pigna is not cheap but much more relaxed and you can have a fantastic lunch by the water.

There are a few great accommodations in Taormina, with spectacular views, that are just perfect for the honeymoon. Here is a quick selection of luxury hotels with infinity pool:

Syracuse: A Walk Through the romantic Sicily

Syracuse Cathedral in Ortigia Island
Syracuse Cathedral on Ortigia Island

Syracuse, once the largest city of the ancient world, surpassing even Athens in size, is a treasure trove of history and culture.

A stroll through the island of Ortygia, the Historical Centre of Siracusa, is like walking through an open-air museum. The island, connected to the mainland by a bridge, is a dense maze of medieval lanes, ornate palaces, and ancient ruins.

The Piazza del Duomo, with its magnificent cathedral built upon the site of a Greek temple, is a highlight, offering a blend of architectural styles that tell the story of the city’s evolution over the centuries.

Ortigia is not just a place to visit and leave. The narrow streets are lined with cafes, shops, and restaurants where you can experience the best of Sicilian dishes. Traditional performances, whether in ancient theatres or modern venues, bring the city’s rich cultural heritage to life. 

A visit to Syracuse must also include a visit to the Parco Archeologico Neapolis, home to a remarkable array of Greek and Roman ancient ruins. Among its most notable features are the Greek theatre, one of the largest ever built, and the Roman amphitheatre.

On my last visit, I particularly enjoyed the visit to the San Giovanni Catacombs, very different from the Cappuccini Catacombs in Palermo which can be quite macabre.  In San Giovanni, you will find only the spacious tunnel infrastructure and no corpses.

My tip: if you visit San Giovanni, spare also a few minutes to check out the Basilica Santuario Madonna delle Lacrime, just around the corner, an impressive new church that stands out above the city.

I wrote extensively about where to stay in Syracuse. Here below my recommended hotels for a perfect honeymoon time.

Noto: Baroque Beauty and Historical Splendor

View of Noto from the Chiesa di Montevergine
View of Noto from the Chiesa di Montevergine

Noto is a baroque jewel nestled in the southeastern part of Sicily, renowned for its exquisite architecture and elegant streets.

The main street, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, is lined with architectural masterpieces, leading to the magnificent Cathedral, a symbol of the city’s splendour. 

The Historical Centre besides being so beautiful, it’s also a great place to explore the local art galleries and most of the historical landmarks of the city.

One thing I particularly love about this city is the restaurant scene. Dining is a real experience not only for the fresh local ingredients but also for the blend of traditional and innovative cuisine. A step in the modern era without forgetting the classic flavours.

I also adore the restaurants’ setup, with tables either in the backyard or in the street, with deemed lights and astonishing baroque architecture all around like at my favourite Trattoria Fontana d’Ercole.

Noto is a great place to spend the night relaxing at a wine bar, tasting some of the local vino and talking about the amazing time in Sicily.

Below is a short list of 3 amazing places to stay on a honeymoon

Aegadian Islands: Enjoy a romantic Island Getaway

Approaching the Egadi Islands
Approaching the Egadi Islands

The Egadi Islands, off the western coast of Sicily, are a haven of tranquillity and natural beauty. Favignana, Marettimo, and Levanzo each offer unique landscapes, from rugged coastlines to serene beaches with crystal-clear waters.

These islands are not as popular as other Sicilian destinations, so you will have a more intimate and exclusive experience. Keep however in mind that from mid-July to mid-August is very busy pretty much everywhere.

Favignana, the largest of the three, is known for its tuna fisheries and stunning coves, while Marettimo boasts a wild, mountainous terrain ideal for hiking. Levanzo, the smallest island, is more of a simple and secluded island.

The waters surrounding these islands are crystal clear, some of the best in Italy, and perfect for swimming, snorkelling, or simply relaxing on the beach. The pace of life here is leisurely, the best spot to disconnect and enjoy some time with your partner.

The Aegadian Islands are a great place for a peaceful stay, far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Below are two amazing hotels that I am sure you will love.

The Aeolian Islands and the volcano

Navigating to Stromboli Island in the Aeolian archipelago
Navigating to Stromboli Island in the Aeolian archipelago

Salina is a beautiful green island in the Aeolian archipelago, north of Milazzo and Messina. This is the place you want to be if looking for an enchanting tranquil escape amidst natural beauty.

Known for its lush landscapes and dramatic volcanic scenery, Salina is a haven for nature lovers. This island has an incredibly diverse array of flora, a really unique place in Italy and probably the world. 

It’s the perfect destination if you are planning to mix some laid-back time with a few activities like hiking and exploring the outdoors. You will find plenty of verdant hillsides and ancient volcanic craters, a stunning backdrop for adventurous walks or romantic strolls.

Another unique thing about Salina is its unique wines, including the famous Malvasia, a sweet wine that represents the essence of the island’s terroir. The fresh seafood, capers, and exquisite pastries make dining in Salina a truly delightful experience, especially when paired with the local vino.

Accommodations on Salina are characterized by their charm and intimacy, with boutique hotels providing cozy retreats that blend seamlessly with the island’s scenic beauty. Here are 3 great honeymoon stays

Trapani, Agrigento and Catania

I have omitted these three cities from my list not because they are not beautiful and characteristic, in fact, the contrary is true, but only because they are not as romantic as the other 7 destinations.

Catania is a great place to stay, with so much to visit and explore. I love Via Etna, the main street with its shops and restaurants. The Duomo is one of the most beautiful in Italy and the Fish Market is so unique but overall Catania has more of a city feeling.

Agrigento is so famous for its Valley of the Temples, and rightly so because you will hardly experience anything similar in your life. In saying that the Old City is not as clean and you can probably leave it behind for your next trip.

Trapani would be my 8th suggested destination on this list. It’s a great honeymoon destination, especially considering you have direct access to the Medieval town of Erice and the Aegadian Island.

Best Time of the Year for a Honeymoon

The ideal months for a honeymoon in Sicily are May, June, September, and October. These months offer the perfect balance between pleasant weather and thinner crowds, providing an intimate experience of the stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage of Sicily.

The weather during these months is warm enough for beach lovers to enjoy the island’s beautiful coastlines and clear waters, yet cool enough if you are interested in exploring the archaeological sites, historical centres, and vibrant markets without the discomfort of the high summer heat.

I travelled last year for a month in September and every day was sunny, warm (up to 25-30°C or 75-85°F) and never busy. We experienced only one night of rain right at the end of our stay.

How to Get Around in a Honeymoon

You have a few options to get around Sicily on a honeymoon.

I personally suggest renting a car if you want the freedom to explore the island’s diverse regions at your own pace. Sicily’s roads offer scenic drives with breathtaking views, making the journey as enjoyable as the destinations themselves. However, it’s important to be prepared for narrow, winding roads in rural areas.

My favourite website to book a vehicle is DiscoverCars, an AirBnb of cars that compares local and international providers giving the best deals around. Plus, I can add full insurance for just 8 Euros/day, a great bargain

Public transportation, including buses and trains, connects major towns and tourist sites, offering an alternative if you do not want to drive. While it’s also a budget-friendly option, consider that trains and buses may take longer than originally advertised and delays are not that uncommon.

For island hopping, like the Aeolian or Aegadian islands, ferry services are available. Do not rent a car if planning to stay on the islands, you don’t need it.

A 2-week Honeymoon Itinerary

This itinerary combines historical exploration, natural beauty, and romantic experiences, offering a comprehensive and memorable Sicilian honeymoon.

Week 1

  • Days 1-3: Palermo & Cefalù
    • Start in Palermo, exploring its historical markets and architectural wonders.
    • Spend a day in Cefalù, enjoying the beach and hiking up to Rocca Cefalù for stunning views.
    • Romantic Activity: Enjoy a sunset dinner overlooking the sea in Cefalù.
  • Days 4-5: Taormina
    • Visit the ancient Greek theatre and explore the charming streets of Taormina.
    • Take a day trip to Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe, with options for hiking or a cable car ride.
    • Romantic Activity: Wine tasting at a local vineyard with views of Mount Etna.
  • Days 6-7: Syracuse
    • Explore the ancient ruins in Parco Archeologico della Neapolis.
    • Wander through the island of Ortygia, enjoying its historic beauty and cozy eateries.
    • Romantic Activity: Attend a traditional performance at the Greek Theatre.

Week 2

  • Days 8-10: Noto & the Southeast
    • Discover the splendour of Noto and its elegant streets.
    • Visit nearby baroque towns like Ragusa and Modica
    • Romantic Activity: An intimate dinner sampling Sicilian delicacies.
  • Days 11-13: Salina Island (Aeolian Islands)
    • Enjoy the natural beauty and tranquil beaches of Salina Island.
    • Visit local wineries and taste the island’s unique culinary offerings.
    • Romantic Activity: A private boat tour around the Aeolian Islands, with stops for swimming and snorkelling.
  • Day 14: Departure
    • Spend your last day relaxing at your accommodation or exploring any nearby attractions you may have missed.
    • Romantic Activity: A leisurely breakfast with panoramic views before your departure.
Stefano Ferro - MEL365.com Founder and Editor

About the Author

Stefano is a seasoned travel expert and the visionary founder of MEL365.com, a leading travel website with traffic across 6 continents. With a rich background in the travel industry, Stefano spent four pivotal years at Amadeus Travel Distribution System, gaining invaluable insights into travel technologies and distribution.

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