Offering spectacular natural beauty and world-famous cuisine, Sicily is one of Italy’s best-loved treasures, where the iconic Mount Etna and splendid local restaurants battle it out for visitors’ attentions.
A rich history has seen Greeks and Romans, Arabs, Normans and Catalans come and go, and their mark has been left in Sicily’s wonderful cities, many of which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. The chic town of Taormina is a favourite spot, a maze of narrow streets with charming restaurants on every corner, serving Italian cuisine at its best. With fabulous beaches, blissful weather and charming Italian towns, a luxury holiday in Sicily never fails to enchant its guests.
Mythological and magical, Italy’s volcanic Aeolian Islands huddle together about 40km off the main coast of Sicily. With sapphire waters, secluded coves and sweeping mountains, you’ll find plenty of treasures hopping between the seven islands, from Stromboli’s smouldering volcano to the mud baths, hot springs and black beaches of Vulcano, and Salina’s famous vineyards to the geysers and upmarket nightlife of Panarea, a stylish island where super yachts sit peacefully in the harbour.
Vulcano is the first island you’ll reach from the port of Milazzo, and its constantly smouldering volcano and warm mud baths make it a dramatic introduction to the Aeolians. Stromboli, too, is home to a still-active volcano, at the foot of which sits a charming village, as well as black sand beaches. The glamorous island of Panarea, meanwhile, exudes blasé cool, with the ultra-chic Hotel Raya at its heart. The tiny islets of Basiluzzo and Lisca Bianca feature bubbling fumeroles and Roman ruins.
The island of Salina is colourful and unspoilt, its landscape awash with the vibrant yellows and lush greens of wildflowers and vineyards. The coastal cliffs plummet to picturesque beaches that are the perfect setting for indulging in the island’s stunning sunsets, when the sky above is painted pink. Malvasia vineyards gaze out across the Tyrrhenian Sea, and produce a wide variety of fresh, fruity wines that are the toast of the Aeolians - a cork or two should certainly be popped while staying here.