Three reasons why Sicily is the must-visit Mediterranean destination for 2018 - January 2018
GoCruise – 08/01/18
Although temperatures may be cold at the moment, there is no better time to start dreaming of warmer climes on a Mediterranean cruise holiday. The Mediterranean season is due to start around April and one of the most beautiful destinations you can visit is the island of Sicily, which is situated just off the southern coast of Italy.
Palermo, the Sicilian capital, is one of the most popular hives of activity with regards to cruise port calls, but other popular ports in Sicily include Messina, Trapani and Catania. Furthermore, there are also many lines that can take you to Palermo or other Sicilian ports, with options including Holland America, MSC Cruises, Princess Cruises, Oceania Cruises and Silversea.
With a distinctive culture, excellent cuisine, an abundance of natural landmarks and an extensive history, this island offers plenty to experience. This week, GoCruise takes a look at three of the best reasons to ensure your next cruise incorporates this gorgeous Italian island.
An intriguing history
As are the Italians, Sicilians are exceptionally proud people and will strive to protect their unique culture and history. Sicily has been dominated by many rulers including the Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Normans – with evidence of each still being present on the island today.
Within the city of Palermo itself, be sure to take a moment to appreciate the magnificent Matorana Cathedral, which overlooks the Piazza Bellini. Filled within beautiful Noram-Byzantine mosaics, this prestigious landmark is over a thousand years old and is characterised by the various works of art on display.
There is, however, so much more to see outside of the Sicilian capital, with one of the most renowned landmarks being the 12th century Zisa Castle, which was designed in a unique Arabic style and was once used as a holiday home for Norman kings. Elsewhere, you can explore one of the most significant ancient Greek temples in the world at Segesta. It dates back to the 5th century BC and also offers mesmerising views over the surrounding scenery and countryside.
The food is even better than elsewhere in Italy
As is the case with many other areas of the Mediterranean, the flavours of olive oil, seafood tomatoes and citrus fruits are present. However, it is worth noting that Sicilian cuisine has also been influenced by Arab culture and you will also find an abundance of ingredients including almonds, jasmine, mint and other spices.
Some of the best dishes available include Couscous di pesce – which comprises of fish, onions, garlic, tomatoes and herbs – and Caponata – consisting simply of aubergines, tomatoes and vinegar. There is also a wide array of sweet foods including granita – crushed ice with fresh fruit and juices – and cannoli – deep fried pastry tubes filled with sweet ricotta cheese.
There are also plenty of vineyards, which means you can enjoy several types of wine during your visit. Sicily as a whole tends to produce lighter, fruitier wines and you will be find the best regions in the surrounding areas of Trapani and Etna.
There are plenty of golden beaches
Sicily’s beaches are widely regarded as being some of the best in the Mediterranean, with plenty of golden sands and crystal-clear waters. Each of these beautiful expanses offers a perfect place to relax and soak up the sun – away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. As an island, you can head out to almost any of the coastlines and enjoy uninterrupted sunshine in a peaceful environment.
Sicily is one of the many beautiful destinations you can visit on board a Mediterranean cruise and with so many promotions available at the moment, there really is no better time to book a spring or summer escape. For more information about the full range of Mediterranean sailings available, why not get in touch?
Call us on freephone 0800 121 8250 or complete the online enquiry form.