Looking for a great beach in Sicily is a little like looking for the best ski slope in France. With over 1000km of coastline, what is on offer is a completely mixed bag, veering from traditional lidos where sun beds and umbrellas are organised with military precision to wild windswept stretches of sand that fringe gloriously deserted nature reserves. In between, there are hidden bays and coves, beachfront restaurants and mile upon mile of translucent turquoise water to throw into the mix.
If feeling the sand between your toes is your top priority, this quick sweep around some of Sicily’s best beaches may help you with your holiday villa decision.
The long white sandy beach at San Vito lo Capo, and its neighbouring slightly wilder and stony Macari Beach, are both spectacular. Villa guests in Scopello are spoilt for choice with the beaches of the Zingaro Nature Reserve, Guidaloca and Castellammare del Golfo all close by.
Close to Menfi in the south west, the Foce del Belice is a delightful stretch of untouched Sicilian coastline with tracks through the pinewoods. The beaches around Menfi and in particular the Blue Flag Porto Palo beach which is overlooked by the fabulous Ristorante Vittorio are highly recommended. Heading away from Sciacca to Agrigento, the six kilometres of unspoilt wild coast and sandy beaches that skirt the edge of the Torre Salsa Nature Reserve are home to some amazing plant and animal life.
South east corner
The Aeolian Islands volcanic origins have left a legacy of black sand and rocky beaches and the main attraction is the aquamarine coloured sea, particularly at Spiaggia Bianca on Lipari where you could be forgiven for believing you were in theBahamas. On Salina, beaches are generally pebbly, dotted with colourful fishing boats and overlooked in some instances by waterfront cafés.
Beaches on the Aegadian Islands are a different story and the butterfly-shaped is land of Favignana is fringed by sandy coves and extraordinarily blue sea. Top beaches include Cala Rossa and Cala Azzurra with Punta Faraglione and Cala Del Pozzo rating amongst the top swimming spots.
Pantelleria’s reputation as the ‘black pearl’ speaks for itself. Volcanic activity continues in the form of fumaroles and thermal baths and the coastline is rocky rather than sandy.