Which is the best month for a villa holiday in Sicily?
It’s that time of year when thoughts automatically turn to holiday planning, whether for a main summer holiday or possibly just squeezing in a tempting spring mini break to look forward to during what’s left of winter.
Of course, planning a holiday isn’t just about working out where to go, but also when to go. Visit when a destination is overrun with tourists, or too hot or too cold to do what you want to do, and it can shape your entire holiday experience. So if you’re thinking of a holiday in Sicily, think carefully about your holiday priorities, how much exploring you want to do and also, of course, your budget.
Sicily in spring
Mild temperatures, plenty of sunshine and crowd free tourist sights make Sicily a wonderful destination in the spring months of March, April and May. With significantly lower prices for accommodation and flights available, suddenly Sicily in springtime seems irresistible!
By early April, temperatures in Sicily begin to climb into the high teens and you can look forward to days filled with 6 to 7 hours of sunshine, which makes it perfect for sightseeing and even the odd hour or two by the pool or on the beach. Sea water temperatures are still pretty cool though, not picking up until mid to late June.
Spring in Sicily is all about flowers, food and festivals! Head to the mountains and nature reserves for wonderful walks amidst landscapes sprinkled with wildflowers. Delicious dishes made with freshly harvested peas, artichokes and asparagus appear in restaurants, and market stalls are piled high with springtime fruit and vegetables. During the Easter period, towns and cities light up with spectacular processions and celebrations, followed by the Infiorata flower festival in Noto in May.
Top villa tip: Casa del Carrubo (sleeps 5) is a 2-bedroom villa with private pool, close to the beach and the town of Noto.
Sicily in summer
While June is possibly the best month to visit Sicily, unsurprisingly, the summer months of July and August are peak time in Sicily. Popular with holidaymakers from the US and all over Europe, this is also when Sicilians and Italians flock to the coast. As a result, demand pushes up the cost of both flights and accommodation and Sicily is at its busiest.
There are plenty of reasons for holidaying in Sicily in the summer, not least the glorious weather! With an average of up to 10 sunshine hours daily, sun worshippers will love the long, sunny days and warm balmy evenings. Exploring local towns should probably be left for early evening, but if you’re planning on a classic beach holiday, you’ll find sea temperatures at their warmest.
Most people would agree that June offers the perfect combination of warm, sunny days and crowd-free towns and tourist locations. You’ll also be able to take advantage of some excellent bargains on flights and accommodation in June compared to July and August. However, if July and August are the only months available and you’re desperate for relaxed holiday vibes, lazy days on the beach and long, leisurely dinners under a starry night sky, then Sicily ticks every box.
Top villa tip: Buddy up with a group of friends and stay just 200m from the beach at Oasivera, a 5-bedroom villa with a private pool.
Sicily in autumn
You’ll get a very different experience during the months of September, October and November when the sun dips, the crowds lessen and the interior of the island is awash with magnificent autumn colours. In September, there’s still a good chance of catching the last of the summer rays, while an October half-term break offers the perfect boost before winter sets in.
In September, you can still expect temperatures in the mid 20°C’s, with the thermometer not really starting to dip to the teens until the end of October. For swimmers, another bonus is the temperature of the sea, still warmed by the months of summer sun. But for everyone, this is the perfect weather to pack days with sightseeing, topping and tailing them with a dip in the sea and punctuating them with al fresco lunches. By November, air temperatures dip to the mid-teens and average rainfall increases.
Head inland for a feast of warm autumnal colours, on the slopes of Mount Etna, in the Madonie Park and in the Nebrodi Park where forested slopes are lit up with vibrant reds and burnished oranges from beech, chestnut and oak trees. Local dishes feature chestnuts, mushrooms and squash, and prickly pears appear in kiosks on street corners. This is also, of course, grape and olive harvest time and the period in which many villages celebrate produce at local sagre (festivals).
Top villa tip: Stay at Casa Sant’Anna, a 3-bedroom villa perched on the hillside close to the Nebrodi mountains.
Sicily in winter
Attracting few tourists, this is when you’ll see Sicily at its most authentic. While diehard ski fanatics may head up on to the slopes of Mount Etna, life carries on as normal in the towns and cities. However, plan your trip around Christmas time or Mardi Gras and you’ll see those same towns and cities come alive with dazzling celebrations.
Between December and February, average temperatures dip down to around 12 to 14°C, with around 17 days of rainfall each month. You can still be lucky and enjoy a couple of hours sunshine each day but the focus will be on sightseeing rather than sunbathing.
The weeks leading up to Christmas and New Year can be magical in Sicilian towns and cities which are lit up with a twinkling array of lights, Christmas trees and nativity scenes. Visit any town or village and the chances are you’ll find street corners embellished with a nativity scene (presepe) and market stalls piled high with gift ideas and delicious traditional food. Once past Epiphany and the traditional visit from La Befana, January is quiet but the island springs back to life in February with Mardi Gras carnivals, with the most notable being in the towns of Sciacca and Acireale.
Top villa tip: Enjoy contemporary comfort at Casa dei Sogni, a 5-bedroom luxury villa close to Acireale and Catania.