When you think of active destinations, chances are, you probably don’t think about Sicily. You should. Did you know that it’s a popular destination point for mountain bikers, hikers, and skiers and snowboarders alike? From the beaches to the peak of Mount Etna, in winter or summer, there is always something to do outside in Sicily. And if you feel like taking a day off to unwind, you don’t have to go far to find a relaxing café or place to set your beach chair.
Mount Etna offers world-class skiing. It is Europe’s highest active volcano and the peaks are topped with snow year round. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for locals to visit the Mount Etna Nicolosi Ski Resort in the morning and warm up on the beach later in the day.
Etna’s lower slopes offer great hiking and mountain biking, for adventurers looking for slightly warmer sporting activities. The mountain is a popular place for horseback riders, too. Consider cycling around to the various vineyards to taste the wines and maybe even pick up a bottle for later. If you’d like a day off, ride the Funicular up to the top of the mountain (pack a coat!) and relax on your day off while you enjoy the views from your rail car.
Sicily has numerous nature reserves and regional parks that are open year-round. They are popular among hikers and birdwatchers, and in the winter are frequented by skiers. The native plants range from wildflowers to edible plants that include mushrooms, chestnuts and herbs. Each of the parks has different sights to see, both natural and historic. Visit on foot, take a 4X4 tour, or even take a helicopter tour!
If you’re in Sicily in the hottest months of the summer, then you’ll probably want to visit one of the many beaches. Since Sicily itself is an island, there are beautiful sandy beaches everywhere you go. The Mediterranean Sea is warm and perfect for swimming, sailing or any number of other watersports. And the beaches offer a perfect vista of the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.
You can enjoy the sea from wherever you are, even if you’re not right on the beach. When you book your hotel in Sicily, ask for a room that has a balcony or patio overlooking the sea. You’ll be happy you did after a long day of cycling or hiking, to sit on the patio and enjoy the view.