With five million inhabitants and over nine-hundred miles of stunning coastline, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. One of twenty regions in Italy, it is one of the most dazzling cultural and scenic experiences the country has to offer. Sicily has a phenomenal reputation for its arts, music, literature, cuisine and architecture, as well as being home to Europe’s largest active volcano.
Sicily is a small island with a huge amount to offer, found at the ‘toe’ of Italy’s boot and home to the largest active volcano in Europe. The largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily has a wide range of cities, towns and villages as well as miles of beautiful coastline and plenty of hiking opportunities across its hills and mountains. It’s easy to see why this part of Italy has captivated travellers for thousands of years, and April is one of the best times of the year to plan a visit.
Wherever your interests lie, Sicily is an island that truly has something for everyone. With a cultural heritage that includes many famous writers, artists, musicians and architects, there’s plenty to discover if you have an interest in the arts. The island is also home to numerous UNESCO World Heritage locations and archaeological sites that make it a haven for history lovers, so there’s plenty to see and do during your stay.
Over the summer months, Sicily becomes crammed with tourists coming to enjoy the region’s beaches, towns and sightseeing spots, but visiting in the spring will mean that you get to enjoy very good weather without having to share the island with too many other tourists.
Spring has well and truly arrived in Sicily by the time that April rolls around, and temperatures start to rise as the weather grows warmer and sunnier. The average high during the month is 15°C, with temperatures usually falling to 11°C or a little lower in the evenings. It will be very pleasant if you’re out and about during the day, but be sure to bring another layer to cover up with once it gets dark.
On average, there are around 18 days of rain across Sicily in April. The amount of rain that actually falls during this time is very small however, so any showers that do occur tend to be very short-lived and often replaced with sunshine again within a couple of hours. You should be prepared for a bit of rain during your trip, but it is unlikely to interfere with any of your plans.
There are around 12 hours of daylight in Sicily in April, with 8 hours of sunshine each day within this. If you’re looking to escape somewhere warm and sunny in the Spring, it’s the perfect location!
How to Get There
Despite being a small island, Sicily is very easy to get to through a couple of different transport options.
The easiest way to reach Sicily is by plane, as there are four different airports on the islands that have international flights all year round. There are also small airports on the nearby islands of Lampedusa and Pantelleria.
The next best option for travelling to Sicily is by boat. Numerous ferry services come from various other parts of Italy, and the island is also a popular destination for cruise ship tours as well.
You may be surprised to hear it, but it is also possible to reach Sicily by train. There are direct services from both Rome and Naples, and the train is transported to the island by a ferry and then split into two parts to continue its journey to various destinations on the island. Internal rail links across the island are also fairly good if you want to continue your holiday by train.
Once you have arrived in Sicily, it is possible to get around by car and bus. Hiring a car is a good idea if you’re going to be staying on the island for a long time and want to be able to get around easily, although it may take a few days to get used to driving in another country!
Festivals and Events
Whilst Easter does not always fall in April, the religious festival tends to have at least one of its significant dates happening during the month. Italy is a country with quite a large Catholic population, and so Easter is celebrated across the island with parades, services and local events and gatherings.
Holy Week traditions in Scilly actually have a lot of their roots in Spanish celebrations, and therefore can be very colourful and musical events that include parades and large parties. Famous events across the island include the ‘I Misteri’ procession of carvings in Trapani, the silent march of friars through the hilltop town of Enna, and the Madonna Vasa Vasa procession in Modica. On Easter Sunday, the town of Prizzi hosts ‘The Dance of the Devils’; a festival where participants dress as devils and angels and enact evil succumbing to the forces of good as the day progresses.
Sicily’s Ricotta Festival is dedicated entirely to this specific kind of cheese, and is held in the town of Vizzini. As well as savoury dishes containing ricotta and plenty of different varieties of the cheese itself, you can also expect to sample two traditional sweet Sicilian dishes; the cream-filled dough dessert known as cannoli and the ricotta-topped sponge cake called cassata. Sicily is known for its wonderful food and drink that blends classic Italian flavours with a Mediterranean approach to eating, and you shouldn’t miss out on this opportunity to try one of the island’s signature ingredients.
St George’s Day
Saint George is the patron saint of many Sicilian towns, and the whole island celebrates the Festa di San Giorgio in his honour on the 23rd of April every year. The most impressive celebrations happen in the town of Modica where a statue of Saint George is carried through the streets in a long procession, often at a fast pace to represent the speed of a galloping horse. A church service is held at the end of the procession where the congregation is blessed, and there are often parties or other celebratory events afterwards.
Things to See and Do
As the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily is absolutely packed with different things to see and do. Here are our top picks if you’re visiting in April.
Hike the Aeolian Islands
The Aeolian Islands are a seven-island archipelago off the northeast coast of Sicily, home to incredible scenery and plenty of brilliant hiking opportunities. Whilst the islands tend to get incredibly busy in the summer, April is the perfect time to visit places like Lipari and Salina and walk the different trails that lead across the island and around their coastlines. The island of Stromboli and its mountain of the same name are a particular highlight, where you can climb to the summit and watch small volcanic explosions occur.
Visit the Valley of the Temples
The UNESCO World Heritage site The Valley of the Temples is a must-see if you’re interested in ancient history, and is one of Sicily’s most popular tourist attractions. In April the site isn’t likely to be too busy, which means you can enjoy exploring the archaeological park and its collection of ancient Greek temples at your own pace.
The weather in Sicily in the springtime is perfect for days spent sightseeing, and you’ll be able to take your time in The Valley of the Temples without having to worry about the relentless heat that dominates the summer months on the island. You’ll also get to enjoy the scent of wildflowers and fresh grass as you walk, making the whole experience even more enjoyable.
See Maletto’s Springtime Streams
Maletto is a commune on the west side of Mount Etna, and nearby to this small town you will find a series of streams, waterfalls and pools that only appear in the springtime. They are formed by the snow melting off the top of the mountain as temperatures start to rise, and by the summer have completely dried up without a trace. For a totally unique experience of the island, enjoy a walk in the sunshine and see how many of the streams you can spot.
Marvel at The Scala dei Turchi
The Scala dei Turchior, or Turkish Stairway, is a huge white cliff that is found on the coast between Realmonte and Porto Empedocle. The name comes from the natural, descending staircase shape that the cliff has taken after many years of natural erosion, and is one of the top geographical marvels of the whole island of Sicily.
The Scala dei Turchior is a very popular spot for visitors year-round, but in April it is unlikely to be too crowded which means you’ll be able to take uninterrupted photos of the brilliantly white cliff contrasting with the bright blue of the sea. Bear in mind that this is a protected area and anyone who is found trying to remove some of the rock from the cliff will be fined.
Stroll Along the Beach
Whilst it is unlikely to get warm enough to chuck on a swimsuit and take a dip in the Mediterranean Sea, the weather in Sicily in April offers the perfect conditions to take a trip to the coast and walk alongside the beach or even on the sand with your feet in the water. Sicily is home to hundreds of beautiful beaches, from the golden Lungomare in Cefalù to the black-sand beach of Spiaggia Sabbie Nere, so wherever on the island you end up, you’ll never be far from a beach opportunity on days when the sky is clear and the sunshine is bright.
Explore the Zingaro Nature Reserve
You can’t escape the beauty of Sicily’s natural scenery when you visit in the spring, and one of the best places to truly appreciate the variety of flora and fauna on offer is the Zingaro Nature Reserve, found on the coast of San Vito Lo Capo. There are hardly any man-made additions to the landscape across the whole reserve, creating an absolutely stunning part of the island that has remained unchanged for hundreds of years.
The Zingaro Nature Reserve is a brilliant part of the island for hiking, with trails suitable for all abilities leading through fields, up hills and down to beautiful, secluded beaches. On clear and sunny days, there’s no better place on the island to be.
In order to get the most out of your trip to Sicily in April, here are some of our top tips for your holiday…
Whilst April is the shoulder season for tourism in April, if the Holy Week of Easter falls within the month then you can expect the island to be relatively busy. Accommodation gets booked up quickly, so be sure to plan ahead if you want to get involved in the celebrations or just want to time your trip at the same time as the religious festival.
You should also bear in mind that a lot of Italian schools bring their students on trips to the religious sites around Sicily during the month that Easter happens, so be prepared for crowds if you’re visiting churches or pilgrimage locations.
Whilst the sea probably won’t be warm enough to swim in throughout April, there may still be some days when the weather is hot enough to enjoy spending time at the beach. As well as packing warm layers for the evening and a waterproof jacket, you might want to consider bringing your sunglasses or even a pair of shorts!
Finally, be aware of Sicilian road users whether you are in a car or a pedestrian on the island. Local drivers have a reputation of being relatively dangerous road users, so you’ll need to be extra cautious if you’re hiring a car to get around, and maybe plan to avoid driving through any busy cities.
When To Visit Sicily By Month
If you want to discover more about Sicily and what else you can enjoy on an Italian holiday, explore more of the Italian Breaks websites for advice on where to go, places to stay and things to do.