Welcome to Palermo, in Sicily, a welcoming land with its priceless historical and cultural heritage.. You have come here attracted by all these things, and by the hospitality, and the food, of course. Palermo was also the Italian Capital of Culture in 2018, and that is not just by chance! It is a land of harmonies and contradictions, of peace and continuous searching, of beauty and truth.
Although we can see the same of a large part of Italy, Palermo expresses the history of its land in an even more exciting fashion. Here, a multitude of cultures and dominations has left a mark on the buildings, gardens, works of art in the museums and in the local cuisine. Its strategic and military position in the Mediterranean meant that invaders aimed at the city of Palermo more than any other, and Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Normans, French, Bourbons of Spain and many others have walked its streets. Although it is much less known than Rome or Venice, Palermo has just as much cultural and historical heritage. And not just that.
Go and visit the beautiful churches, many of which have become UNESCO world heritage sites over the years. Some of the most beautiful places in Palermo are the Cappella Palatina and the church of Santa Maria dello Spasimo. And when you are tired, you can always take refuge in a traditional corner of Italy, the market. Lively, colourful and intense - go to Ballarò to buy cheap delicacies and feel the colourful atmosphere of a crossroads of culture and sensations that you can only find here.
If you have reached Palermo with one of our ships, you probably know that this wonderful city is also home to some of the best beaches in Italy. The hot weather and breath-taking coastline are the main reason why most tourists come this far. Strips of golden sand that fall into the calm waters, in a simply irresistible historical context.
We have drawn up a list of best and most important beaches in Palermo for you, so that you don’t have to do anything else except get off the ship and choose the right itinerary for your needs, and those of your travel companions.
Welcome to Cefalù, one of the most magical destinations in Sicily and in the Palermo area, to fully enjoy the coastline of this amazing island. Not just the favourite location for hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers each year, but Cefalu is also one of the small historical towns that you should see at least once in your life. Easy to reach from Palermo, Cefalù is a famous town with its priceless old town centre that is surrounded by crystal-clear waters and wonderful sandy beaches. If we still haven’t managed to convince you, you should know that Cefalù is a part of the Parco delle Madonie, a nature reserve that covers a part of its territory and also includes other small towns such as Petralia, Polizzi Generosa, Soprana, Sottana and Gangi.
Come and immerse yourself in Sicilian history and enjoy Cefalù for what it has become in recent years: an excellent seaside holiday destination. Its golden sands are the perfect place for anyone who wants to lay down their towel and switch off for a few hours, cradled by the warm Sicilian sun. And while you are swimming, the view is unique, looking onto the Mediterranean on one side and onto the beautiful historical villages so unique to this place on the other.
The beaches at Cefalù are not just beautiful, but also varied, ideal for satisfying the tastes of all tourists. For example, Castel di Tusa Beach, also known as Fiumara d’Arte, offers a spectacular open-air sculpture park, pebbles and cliffs and a wonderful, clear, sea.
Sant’Ambrogio Beach is worth a mention too. Just a few kilometres from Cefalù, this is a wild, unspoilt paradise where VIPs and international celebrities are often found trying to hide from the paparazzi. The area does not have any bathing establishments and the beach is free. The mixture of sand and pebbles is perfect for your towel while you go for a swim in the transparent waters.
Caldura Beach is famous for its rugged beauty, amidst wild nature. It has a cycling path for anyone wanting to go there while looking at all the landscape's nooks and crannies. Come and see Mazzaforno Beach, that is sandy and well-equipped for children. Hire a parasol and sunbed and enjoy the sunshine and warm water. When you are tired, you can go to one of the restaurants or coffee shops that offer fresh fish and local cuisine just a few metres from the beach.
Most beaches in Cefalù have bathing establishments where you can hire beach equipment and enjoy a relaxing day by the sea. Many stretches of coast also have large facility areas for children, so they can enjoy themselves in complete safety.
It would a real shame to come to Palermo and not take a trip to the famous Mondello Beach. Although this is a separate town, Mondello is a paradise just a short distance from Palermo, and deserves a quick trip to see its unrivalled beach. This stretch of coastline with white sand and crystal-clear waters offers one of the best sea access points that Sicily has to offer. Immerse yourself in the water, enjoying the distant spectacle of the rocky headlands filled with vegetation, or sit on a rock and take some unforgettable photographs of your holiday in this place.
Although busy, especially in the high season, Mondello Beach is an experience to live to the full. Even if you have the impression of being surrounded by half of Palermo, it doesn’t matter: you are in one of the nerve centres of the island’s beach life, and while immersed in the local culture, you will realise that here in Sicily, time passes at a pace all of its own.
The coast has a number paid-for beaches where it is possible to hire a parasol and sunbeds. While being hired, this system makes it feasible to have a stretch of beach all to yourself. Anyone who prefers a healthy adventure can always use the public beaches.
Mondello is perfect for your children as the place has clean water and they can have fun without being in danger of the currents. If you are tired of sunbathing, allow yourself a break in one of the many restaurants or coffee shops along the coast, or find a bar for yourself in one of the parallel roads that lead to the centre of the town.
Balestrate is a beautiful town near Palermo that stands on the Castellammare Gulf. It is not just a priceless historical jewel, it is also the home par excellence of two wonderful beaches that attract hundreds and hundreds of tourists each year. These coastlines, that go as far as the Castellammare Gulf, provide luxurious bathing establishments and a small port. Although a large part of the Balestrate beaches are arranged into lidos in the summer, where you can hire parasols and sunbeds, a good part of the coast is free, and anyone can leave their towel on the sand dunes and leap into the inviting, blue sea.
If you get thirsty between one dip and another, you can go to one of the many bars on the Corso, or one of the restaurants where you can taste the best Italian breakfast with a cannolo and a cappuccino. Ice cream and the iconic granita should also be tried.
Balestrate stands between Palermo and Trapani and is perfect for spending a few hours of total relaxation before the cruise ship sets sail again in search of great adventures. This happy location comes to life mainly in the high season, in summer, when the restaurants open up their verandas and offer fantastic Sicilian food just a few metres from the sea.
If you prefer a bit of time to yourself after your swim, there are two amazing woods around the town where walking is a real pleasure and you can switch off from the crowds of tourists along the coast. If you come here at weekend, you may meet happy families preparing barbecues in a perfect natural context.
Capaci is a spectacular town less than 20 kilometres from Palermo. In addition to being the notorious location of the tragedy of Giovanni Falcone’s murder, the area has also become famous over the years for its breath-taking beauty, crystal-clear waters and of course, its beaches. The water here includes all the various hues of blue depending on the depth of the sea bed, and offers tourists the possibility of taking unforgettable photographs. Here, the golden sand is perfect for relaxing in a natural environment, ratified as the Isola delle Femmine and Capo Gallo marine reserve.
Come here with your children: the sea is calm and shallow, and they will have fun in a safe environment. Watch out for the crowds, though: Capaci is a beach much loved by tourists and locals alike!
Capaci Beach is perfect for all types of visitors, but we recommend a quick trip here, especially for the younger ones. They are the undisputed protagonists of the beach, and the surrounding beach establishments do their utmost to organise activities that can involve them day and night. As well as the classic organised lidos where you can hire a parasol and sunbed, you can also lay down your towel on one of the nearby free beaches. If you stay here in the evening, you will sea the coast light up with lights from the discotheques and bars for aperitifs just a few yards from the water. An unforgettable experience!
Welcome to Altavilla Milicia Beach, a spectacular strip of coastline that is behind the town of the same name. The soft, golden sand is warmed by the sun and hosts a number of beach facilities that make your stay irresistible. The coastal area is surrounded by headlands that are covered in lush vegetation, making the experience a magical moment.
Altavilla was the favourite destination of aristocrats in the past, and some testimonies of this era can still be admired around the town. Let’s think, for example of the Norman tower that looks towards Cefalù and Capo Zafferano. Like many towns on the coast, Altavilla tends to get crowded during the summer season too: come here to hire a parasol and spend an unforgettable day, with your children too.
The water is clean and blue, and the sea bed falls gently away as you move offshore. South of the beach, a couple of rocky coves offer shelter and silence for those who prefer to stay away from the large crowds of tourists.
A few kilometres south of Palermo, there is one of the most beautiful and unspoilt beaches in Sicily. We are talking about Ficarazzi, a paradise of golden sand and unspoilt sea that gets lost on the horizon. It is here that the young tourist comes to sunbathe, dive into the water and enjoy the night life. With its soft, sandy bed, this is the perfect location for those looking for peace and quiet and a nature area free of the restrictions of the more organised bathing establishments. Basically, come here if you are looking for a paradise nearby where you can relax without worrying too much about crowds. And when sunset comes, Ficarazzi changes completely:the lights along the coast light up and a thousand bars open up to host an exciting night life. Famous artists who have livened up nights in Ibiza and Mykonos come here to perform, and the festive atmosphere will infect you immediately.
Lascari is a small village in the province of Palermo. Founded in the seventeenth century by a group of farmers from Gratteri, it was then bought by the Ventimiglia family and renamed as we know it today. In addition to being the home of the beautiful Church of San Michele Arcangelo, Lascari is surrounded by beaches that will take your breath away.
These are areas of uncontaminated, wild coastline that boast a calm, beautiful sea, and surprisingly little crowding in the summer season. The lack of popularity is not justified by the quality of the place, however, as it is so beautiful that it takes your breath away. Come here if you are looking for a quiet place for your parasol and towel. Bring a packed lunch and enjoy the noise of the waves that break on the sand and pebbles.
One of the best beaches in Lascari is Salinelle, that is probably the most famous one in the area. Come here if you like surfing or kite surfing: the sea is full of foamy waves that will make your experience magical. The area also offers establishments for the hire of sea equipment and for a drink right on the beach.
Alternatively, you can go to Gorgolungo: this beautiful pebble beach dives into a wonderful, warm sea, where children can swim safely too. Here the bathing establishment offer parasol hire and organise recreational activities both day and night. The night life will surprise you, in fact.
Piletto Beach also offers great satisfactions. Located in the western part of the Lascari coast, it can be reached on foot and offers a sand and pebble beach where you can lay down your towel. As it is not too busy in the summer, it is perfect if you are looking for a quiet beach where you can switch off and distance yourself from the mass tourism areas.
11 kilometres from Cefalù, and following dusty roads, you can come to the spectacular Pollina Beach, a magical place to spend your seaside holiday in Sicily. Imagine: on one side you will admire the endless expanse of crystal-clear waters, while on the other you will be enchanted by hill and mountain landscapes, covered in woodland and green fields. Come to explore Torre Conca, just below Capo Rais. You can come here on foot and it is characterised by a beautiful dark sand that drops into the sea. The water is warm and crystal-clear, and many tourists come here every year for diving, snorkelling and other sports too. Torre Conca is considered to be the most beautiful beach in Pollina, and therefore tends to be busy, especially at weekends. All you need to do is come early, however, to grab a place and enjoy the day amidst this wonderful landscape. If you can’t find a place at Torre Conca, try Santa Maria beach as an alternative. You will have to descend some steps but they will lead you to a magical beach.
Another location worth your attention is Costa Turchina Beach, with its sand and pebble sea bed and breath-taking surrounding landscape. Come here to avoid the crowds and enjoy the beauty of Finale di Pollina, in the direction of Messina. The area is protected by an artificial wave breaker that guarantees calm, clean water, even when the sea is rough.
Not many know that the mouth of the River Pollina hosts a wonderful bay with a beach. The area is not equipped, therefore if you are thinking of coming here, you must bring a packed lunch. What counts is that the water is spectacular and you will find all you need for a relaxing, fun day. Become enchanted by the beauty of the local flora and fauna.
As you will see, in Pollina there is so much to choose from. Come here with your children or with your partner to enjoy an unforgettable experience in Sicily.
Santa Flavia Beach
Santa Flavia offers an amazing rocky beach that plunges into a crystal-clear sea of incomparable beauty. Santa Flavia beach is considered to be one of the treasures of Sicily, and it is no coincidence that many ships drop anchor here to allow tourists to fully enjoy a small paradise on earth. In addition to the transparent waters where swimming is a pleasure, you can come to spend a relaxing day under the parasol. And when you are hungry, all you need to do is go to one of the several restaurants in the area, where you can eat real Sicilian food in all its splendour.
From Santa Flavia, you can go on several trips, like the one to the Secca delle Formiche. The area is a pilgrimage destination for diving lovers who want to see the wonders of the Mediterranean sea bed.
Santa Flavia is also just a small distance from the archaeological site of Solunto, and is perfect for relaxing after a day of historical and cultural exploration in the area. Once upon a time, Santa Flavia was a reference point for local fishing. Now the area mostly lives on tourism, but the fresh catch that arrives every day in the port supplies the restaurants of the entire area with top quality products.
The area of Sferracavallo is known mostly for two things: its wonderful beaches and the restaurants with set menus where you can eat as much fish as you like. It is no coincidence that this seaside area has become a reference point for the local community and for all those wanting to relax in a simple, friendly natural context. As well as the wonderful fish dishes that can be tried here, Sferracavallo has become a tourist destination thanks to its rocky beaches, that are much less busy than the ones in Mondello.
Come here for a visit to Baia del Corallo, where posidonia grows undisturbed in the water and colours it with its incredible colours. Nearby there is a gorgeous beach frequented by young people: it is the perfect place for sunbathing and listening to music in a relaxed context, and with a bit of enterprise, you will soon find yourself having a drink with the other beach dwellers, who can’t wait to meet new friends. It is not a place particularly recommended for families and children, but you should go there if you are with friends.
The small beach in Barcarello is not the cleanest in Sicily, but offers a relaxed, quiet environment where you can enjoy the sea from a distance. The beach known as Spiaggia delle Vergini is also worth a visit, but as it is rather a remote place, it is easy to come across groups of nudists sunbathing. Families be warned!
Welcome to Terrasini, a few kilometres from Cinisi. This stretch of coastline offers crystal-clear waters and rocky landscapes that are just irresistible. You will be amazed by the beauty of the red rocks that dominate the area in their silent, imposing manner. Bring your camera, it will be worth it.
Come and visit Cala Rossa, that can only be reached after a short climb that is not suitable for children. When you come here, remember to bring a packed lunch and plenty of water with you. Diving here is amazing, but recommended only for real experts. The sea bed is treacherous, and requires a lot of attention. Don’t dive in.
Welcome to Trappeto, in the Castellamare Gulf. The town is amazing and is worth a visit due to its historical and cultural beauty, but also provides from beautiful beaches. Let’s take Ciammarita, Castello and San Cataldo, for example. Calm waters, perfect for children and the less expert swimmer, comfortable sands and everything you have always dreamt of about Sicilian beaches. Hire your parasol and enjoy a worthy break!
Trappeto’s economy is based on tourism, agriculture and fishing. Many films have chosen it as a top film set: “La moglie più bella” by Damiano Damiani, “Per quel viaggio in Sicilia” by Egidio Termine and “I cento passi” by Marco Tullio Giordana. Trappeto is also the home of limoncello.
Set sail for Palermo with Costa Cruises
Set sail for Palermo with Costa Cruises Whether you wish to admire the white-sand beaches of Mondello or dip into the welcoming seas of Cefalu, Sicily awaits you with its breath-taking beaches and its priceless historical and cultural heritage. What are you waiting for? Come on board and have the experience of your life along the Palermo coasts, where life and relaxation will welcome you with that classic Italian hospitality that has made us famous worldwide.