The Sicily East Coast is a beautiful, Italian prime location to be visiting. From stunning picturesque beaches, fun water parks and the possibility to even climbing a volcano, there is something for everyone. Sicily is a popular summer destination, but worth visiting all year round. Whether you are looking for things to do in Sicily with your partner, friends or kids, this post will help inspire you!
Sicily East Coast
So where is Sicily to start with? Italy is a gorgeous summer destination with Sicily being the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Famously known as the “boot” from the mainland Italy, you can easily get there by boat or plane. The capital city is Palermo, where many cruise ships also dock in at during their Mediterranean cruise routes. Sicily is well known for the volcano of Mount Etna, which is still active and is one of the highest active volcanos within Europe.
The island is larger than you may think, taking up to 4 hours straight to drive from one side to the other horizontally, such as from Marsala to Catania. Getting around the island is definitely best by car too, with lots of car rentals available from the airports or bigger cities.
Facts About Sicily
First let me share some nice facts about Sicily;
- The tallest active volcano Mount Edna is based in Sicily
- Delicious cannoli is originally Sicilian!
- Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean sea
- But it is actually surrounded by three seas; Tyrrhenian, Mediterranean Sea and Ionian.
- The local Sicilian language is still spoken here widely among the population.
Things To Explore and See In Sicily
Have Fun At Etnaland
Written by Chontelle from Mums Little Explorers
Etnaland is the largest theme park in southern Italy. It is an amusement park and water park all in one and is such a fun day out. If you are looking for things to do on the East coast of Sicily with kids, it is definitely worth a visit. And even if you don’t have kids, Etnaland is a fun place to cool off for the day in the warmer months.
There are plenty of rides and attractions for all ages. Merry go rounds, roller coasters, boat rides, and of course a range of different water slides. There is also a hydra pool, a wave pool, and of course the lazy river to relax and float around. There are plenty of shaded areas, and various places to eat. There is a restaurant for a sit-down meal, various cafes with paninos, snacks, and of course gelato. There is also a kiosk for something quick.
Etnaland is a 25 minute drive from Catania, Sicily’s capital and about a 40 minute drive from Mount Etna, Sicily’s active volcano. Tickets can be bought online or at the door.
Hiking Mount Etna
Written by Diana from The Globetrotting Detective
Mount Etna, is one of the most active volcanoes on the planet and the highest active volcano in Europe outside the Caucasus. Its highest point is situated at an altitude of 3,326 m (10,912 ft). The most awesome thing is that you can actually climb Mount Etna.
You can start your hike from 1,923 m (6,310 ft) from the foothills of Mount Etna, Sapienza Refuge. The entire hike from here to the highest accessible crater takes about 6 hours.
The landscape on the way up is absolutely mind-blowing and extremely diverse. The start is very steep and rocky. After 2,500 m (8,202 ft), you can witness with your own eyes how the black lava has changed the landscape. Everything is black and sandy.
As you climb higher, you will feel like you landed on the moon. It’s still sandy but there are also big rocks scattered all over this moonlike terrain. You will see several volcanic cones and sometimes you will see nothing because the steam clouds being released from the fumarole cover everything around you.
Today, the highest crater you can climb to is as high as 2,900 m (9,515 ft). This colourful and spectacular crater is the highlight of the hike. You can walk around the entire crater. It literally feels like you are in a fantasy movie.
Explore Catania City
Writen by Dymphe from Dymabroad
One of the best places to visit on the east coast of Sicily is Catania. This is the second largest city of Sicily and one of the largest cities in Italy. You’ll find here a lot of things to do and see. One of the best things to do in Catania is visiting one of the historic churches of the city. There are a lot of churches that are worth visiting and one of the most interesting churches is the Cattedrale di Sant’Agata, which is the main church of the city.
Another great thing to see in the city of Catania is Giardino Bellini. This is a garden that is great for a relaxing stroll or for hanging out. You find here wonderful nature, a fountain, and many comfortable benches. Also, Catania is close to Mount Etna, which is an active volcano that is amazing. You can see the volcano during a tour during every day of the year.
Besides that, you can also go to the beach when you are in Catania. You find here a wide public beach with amazing golden sand. This beach is great for hanging out, listening to some beach songs and a relaxing walk!
The Hidden Gem Of Alcantara Gorge
Written by Samantha from The Wandering Wanderluster
The East Coast of Sicily is home to some of the island’s most well known tourist sites. But nestled amongst the rolling hills sculpted out by Mount Etna are a number of hidden gems, one of them being the lush Alcantara Gorge.
Officially known as the Gole Alcantara Botanical and Geological Park, this hidden gorge is a natural marvel and a must visit for adventure goers and those looking for a cooler, more refreshing alternative to the beach during the scorching hot Sicilian summers. Situated close to Taormina and an easy day trip from Catania, this spectacular natural wonder is the result of several volcanic eruptions over a thousand years ago. The ice cold Alcantara river eroded a channel through the rock, carving out a mystical landscape of crystallised lava columns which left behind fantastic ravines to explore.
While you can visit and simply enjoy the cold pools and rushing cascades by yourself, you can also join a thrilling guided tour and body raft through the gushing canyons or trek through the river before being whisked off for a local lunch and wine tasting nearby.
Written by Kate at Our Escape Clause
Featuring sweeping views of both Mount Etna and the stunningly beautiful Ionian Sea, the small city of Taormina is absolutely one of the best places to visit in Eastern Sicily!
Some of the best things to do in Taormina include visiting the remains of its Greek Theater (on a clear day, you’ll have a great view of Mount Etna!), checking out the gardens at the Villa Communale, paying a visit to the small but idyllic Isola Bella, and admiring the view from Piazzle IX Aprile.
Though it’s not technically in town, taking a day trip to Mount Etna is also one of the most incredible things to do in the area!
Taormina is a popular cruise stop, so peak season often means battling crowds during the day, but stick around for the evening, and you’ll experience a much quieter version of the city.
Written by Greta from Greta Travels
If you’re looking for the best places to visit on the Eastern coast of Sicily, then Ragusa has to feature on your Sicily itinerary. With its baroque buildings, old town centre and hilltop position, it’s one of the most scenic places you will visit.
Ragusa Ibla, the heart of Ragusa and the old town centre, is a beautifully quaint town that you can wander around and explore on foot. Getting lost in the cobbled side streets, exploring the baroque architecture, beautiful fountains and imposing churches will leave you speechless.
Since Ragusa Ibla is positioned on top of a hill you will also find many stunning viewpoints, from where you can catch glimpses of the surrounding wild landscape. My favourite viewpoint however is from the nearby hill over Ragusa Ibla. The houses perched on top of a hill are very scenic, and completely different from anything else I’d seen.
Make sure you don’t miss out, and add this gorgeous city to your Eastern Sicily bucket list!
Drink Local Sicilian Wine (And Visit A Winery!)
Written by Ania from The Travelling Twins
Sicily is a rich land of history and culture. One can find many excellent wines, beautiful beaches, delicious pasta dishes, and more during their travels to this amazing place. Visiting Sicily should be on the bucket list for any traveler out there!
If you want to know some interesting facts about Sicily, Mount Etna is the highest active volcano in Europe and the tallest peak in Italy.
When I visited Sicily for the first time, I went to Etna on a bus tour and felt that it didn’t do justice to this amazing mountain. The second time around, I wanted to do it differently, so I founded an e-bike tour to Mt Etna. And it was the best idea ever.
The trip was a perfect combination of effort (you still need to pedal on an e-bike), which gives you a sense of achievement and easiness – suddenly climbing up rough hills was easy.
The ride and the whole experience were just amazing. The tour took us through forests, across fields with olive trees, and across ancient lava flows. As we were climbing up, we noticed how the vegetation changes and how dangerous Etna was in the past.
Part of the tour is delicious lunch with traditional Sicilian food and yummy cannoli.
And at the end, when you reach Mt Etna, you will be rewarded with amazing views and a sense of accomplishment. You just conquered the tallest European volcano.
We loved this trip so much that we decided on another e-bike trip around Sicily. Etna Bike Tour provides bikes, helmets, and everything that needed but just a word of advice get yourself padded shorts.
Interested with more of Italy? Check out our other locations and posts!
Summary Of These Sicily East Coast Travels
We hope this list inspired you to visit this gorgeous Italian island. There are a lot more that you can see and do during your visit, so dont stop here when it comes to getting inspired.
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Thank you for reading our Sicily East Coast things to explore and see post!