Mini guide to Sicily's beaches
The Sayonara is an unpretentious alternative to the more expensive Taormina resort, nearby. A parade of hotels, bars, pizzerias and shops is strung along the seafront, overlooking a sand and pebble beach which curves around a crescent-shaped bay. There’s a small public beach but much is given over to lidos – where you pay around £2 for entry and extra for umbrellas and loungers.
Sicily’s two main airports serve the biggest cities: Palermo and Catania. Ryanair flies from London Stansted to Palermo, while EasyJet flies from London Gatwick (from £120). British Airways, Thomson Flights (May through November) and EasyJet fly from Gatwick to Catania, while Thomson Flights also departs from Manchester (May through November). It’s preferable to hire a car or motorbike in Sicily as getting around the island on public transport is difficult and time-consuming. To get to the islands there’s an extensive system of hydrofoils and ferries – see Navigazione Generale Italiana Spa, Siremar and Ustica Lines.
Where to stay
In a narrow alleyway just off Lipari’s main strip, Diana Brown has delightful rooms with tiled floors and bright colours. Some rooms have kitchenettes, plus there’s a rooftop terrace and solarium (Vico Himera 3, Lipari; from £40).
Hotel La Corte del Sole is a typical Sicilian farmstead of sandstone buildings set around a courtyard. It has 34 rooms, a restaurant, bike hire, cookery courses and a shuttle bus to the sea (Contrada Bucachemi, Lido di Noto; £80).
With the Temple of Concordia lit up in the distance, the views from the 18th-century, five-star Hotel Villa Athena are stunning. Rooms are elegant and the hotel has a large pool (Via Passeggiata Archeologica 33, Agrigento; from £160).