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southeast sicily vs. northwest sicily?

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southeast sicily vs. northwest sicily?

I would appreciate any insights into the countryside and beaches in the southeast of Sicily (Ragusa, Noto, Syracuse) versus the northwest of Sicily (Trapani, Zingaro preserve, Scopello, Segesta).

We will spend 10 days in Sicily, and prefer the undiscovered areas of a country (have traveled in Crete, Sardinia and Apulia with great success, avoiding industrial blight and large amounts of tourists). We like wine and good food, and travel with two children. We prefer to stay in farm-houses with pools and travel to various areas by car. Good beaches are important to us; we do not like large commercialized beaches, and have high standards for cleanliness and beauty, having swum at so many truly beautiful beaches.

We plan to visit Mt. Etna, Taormina, and Monreale of course, but I can't quite decide which of those two areas (NW vs. SE) are more suited to our likes. I'm thinking that we probably don't have time to do it all. I know the Baroque towns in the SE are beautiful; is the countryside pretty as well?

Thanks so much for any advice that you might have.

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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1. Re: southeast sicily vs. northwest sicily?

Both the northwest and the southeast would be good destinations for you – though very different.

The Ragusan countryside is pristine – the area between Ragusa and Siracusa provinces is especially pretty, and the coast is dotted with small villages. It’s a local area, not very commercial and there are very typical towns, delicious local cuisine and the very beautiful Baroque towns – a favourite area of Sicily.

That said, the beaches are better in the northwest. Few towns in Sicily have the beautiful headland, sand beach and cerulean seas of San Vito Lo Capo.

You might find this earlier thread on beaches useful.

Best beaches in Sicily?:


Western Sicily is less developed, more rugged and has a greater Arab influence. Western Sicily is also less touristy – it does feel more like Puglia than eastern Sicily.

Food and wine is excellent throughout Sicily – Od course regional cuisine, but all Sicilians take food and wine very seriously, a top priority!


Western Sicily has open gently rolling hills covered in vineyards; the salt-pans are unique; the Zingaro was the first reserve in Sicily.

And if you visit the northwest, also visit the southwest – Castellamarre to Selinunte is only an hour’s drive.

There are agriturismos in both areas – the east has some truly lovely accommodations, possibly fewer and more rugged in the west.

Best Wishes!


2. Re: southeast sicily vs. northwest sicily?

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