5 In Europe/ Italy

Guide To Visiting Cefalu Sicily: A Romantic Italian Destination Worth Visiting

In need of some Italian summer sunshine, romance and fun in Cefalu Sicily? The pretty Sicilian location of Cefalu on the northern coast of Sicily is well worth visiting on this lovely Italian Island. Cefalu Sicily is a beautiful gem for all the Italian vibes you need. From local delicious restaurants, adventurous water activities, hiking above the clouds and a historical center – Cefalu has a bit of everything. Get inspired by reading on about what there is to do and things to see in the area!

For a bit of romance from our Sicily West Coast visit with friends, we decided to book 2 nights in a cute apartment in Cefalu as our Spring vacation.

Facts about Cefalu Sicily

Here are some facts about Cefalu to get us started:

  1. There are lots of local restaurants selling local Sicilian wine and food.
  2. Cefalu was named by the Greeks as Kephaloídion
  3. Millions of tourists visit each year, but there are just under 15,000 local residents living here
  4. You can get lost in the little cobblestoned streets between all the boutiques and cafes
  5. The Cathedral of Cefalu has Norman architecture style dating back to the construction start date of 1131

How To Get To Cefalu Sicily

The easiest way to get to Cefalu is to fly to the main airport in Palermo and to rent a car. Car rental is super easy from many companies from Palermo airport, with each one having cheap options for a week or less.

Driving from Palermo to Cefalu takes around 1 hour with the main highway. But its nice to enjoy the drive along the coastal road and take your time to arrive in Cefalu.

Else for those wanting to visit Cefalu as a day trip from Palermo, there is a train departing nearly every hour and it takes only an hour to get there.

Where To Stay In Cefalu

For our trip, we stayed at this apartment in Cefalu. This beautiful location is perfect with a car as it’s just a short 7-10min drive from the city center of Cefalu. The hosts were very welcoming and the apartment was super clean with everything you need for your stay.

There is a private beach area just around the corner (which was empty the whole time we visited) and the photo from above is the view from the apartment – gorgeous right!?

Things To See And Do In Cefalu Sicily

Here are some of the top things that you can see and do during your stay or visit to Cefalu:

Water Activities

There are many water activities advertised in Cefalu. These activities include boat trips, scuba diving and snorkeling in the local area. From June to late October is the best times to visit and enjoy one of the water activities, as the water is then the warmest. If interested, you can also enjoy kite surfing but this is more to the West of the island.

Old Town and Harbour

The beautiful old town and harbour area of Cefalu is the top romantic highlight of this Sicilian location. From little cafes, shops and restaurants – you could spend your whole day here exploring and relaxing. In the summer months it’s pretty touristic, but find a spot at a local bar and take it all in.

Cefalu Cathedral

The Cefalu Cathedral was completed in 1240 and has a fortress style with early Norman design. This Roman Catholic church is now part of the medieval town skyline and you can visit with a tour. The story behind it shares that the King of Sicily at that time, Roger II, wanted it built after he managed to escape a storm and ended up on the Cefalu’s beach nearby.

Cefalu Beach

The beach area of Cefalu is a lovely sandy beach, with shallow waters perfect for dipping your toes in to a full summer swim. There are some facilities along the promenade area, but best to bring your own towels, beach accessories and sunshade. The area is next to the old town and harbour, so you can buy a cold drink or a snack in a local cafe.

Cefalu Sicily Castle

In the same area of the Cathedral is the Cefalu Castle, beautiful castle ruins and archaeological city park at the very top of the mountain. Take a hike up the 270 meters trail and follow the twisty trail to the top. There is just a small fee to pay for the entrance but well worth it for gorgeous views along the coast of Cefalu. On a clear day you can see much further of course. 

Madonie Park and Grotta Grattara

There are many places to hike in the area of Cefalu, such as at the Madonie Park or at the Grotta Grattara. At these as well as other locations there are some great viewpoints over the area. It is easy to spend a day hiking at both places so it’s worth bringing your own drinks and snacks for the routes. There are also wild animals such as super speedy lizards that you will be able to spot too!

Day Trips From Cefalu Sicily

If you decide to stay in Cefalu and use this as your base for your stay in Sicily, you can also visit quite a lot of other Sicilian locations within a day trip from Cefalu. These places can include:

  • Cefalu to Palermo – 1 hour driving
  • Cefalu to Milazzo – 1 hour 35min driving
  • Cefalu to Castellammare del Golfo – 1 hour 45min driving
  • Cefalu to Mount Etna National Park – 2hours 35min driving
  • Cefalu to Catania – 2 hours 10min driving

Check out our other Sicily and Italy posts

Sicily West Coast

Sicily East Coast

Rome Exploration

Hiking In Pompeii & Mount Vesuvius

Romantic Weekend In Florence

Cefalu Sicily Summary

Cefalu is the perfect destination to spend a few days at with your loved ones. Whether you stay in the area or use Cefalu as a base for your day trips, it’s all possible. The city has everything you need and want for a romantic Italian getaway, such as the ideas mentioned above.

As an extra, there are also lots of delicious local Italian restaurants in the area but make it romantic by going on picnics, eating at home with some candle light or a late night glass of wine on the beach with the sunset.

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Thank you for reading our Cefalu Sicily post!

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  • Reply
    31st July 2021 at 1:36 pm

    Love all these pictures and suggestions! Will save them for a future visit to Sicily.

  • Reply
    31st July 2021 at 2:10 pm

    Oh wow this is a beautiful part of Sicily to visit! I hadn’t heard of Cefalu before, but it’s definitely going to go on my Italian bucket list now. Loving all of the historic sites!

  • Reply
    31st July 2021 at 3:42 pm

    A few of my friends have told me Sicily is one of the places in the world they’d love to return to again, even live there for a year. Thanks for a great guide and highlighting this special city.

  • Reply
    31st July 2021 at 4:05 pm

    I’ve always wanted to go! Any of your favorite restaurants you recommend to eat at in Sicily?

    • Reply
      4th August 2021 at 9:11 am

      A few local restaurants were lovely! I will make a new blogpost soon sharing these 🙂

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