Sicily has a fantastic mix of hiking trails. Whether it’s a volcano hike, a coastal walk or a nature trail, Sicily has a variety of hikes to choose from. In this hiking guide, we’re going to reveal the 13 best hikes in Sicily, Italy.
Before diving into this guide, feel free to watch our Sicily Hiking YouTube video below. You’ll find many of the Sicily hikes described in this guide in the production.
Table of Contents
Hiking in Sicily: Overview
When it comes to visiting Sicily, hiking may not be on your radar. But, there are plenty of awesome hikes to do in Sicily. Sure, we’re not talking about multi-day trekking or long-distance hiking in Sicily. We’re simply talking about day hikes, and, indeed, the most popular day hikes in Sicily. Personally, Beck and I had a great experience hiking in Sicily.
Of course, we’re not fools. We understand that hiking in Sicily is likely just part of your trip. We’re sure you’ll also want to cycle around Favignana, gawk at Scala dei Turchi and visit the impressive ancient tuna fishing village at Tonnara di Scopello. On top of that, we’re sure you’re keen to hang out at some epic beaches such as Mondello Beach and Cefalù Beach.
Anyway, this Sicily hiking guide is to simply help you fill in the gaps of your Sicily itinerary. Perhaps, you’re looking for a way to work off the bowls of pasta and litres of Aperol Spritz. Indeed, this guide will talk about the 13 best Sicily hikes worth considering during a trip to this breathtaking part of Italy.
FYI – Beck and I personally completed all of the Sicily hikes (except two) mentioned in this guide. If you’re particularly interested in one of the hikes below and want more details about trail navigation, trail specs and how to get there, just click on the link provided in that section. That way, you’ll be able to read the individual article we wrote about that hike and all the in-depth information to go with it.
To help with your trip planning, let’s have a look at a Sicily hiking map below.
Sicily Hiking Map
Before we tell you more about the 13 best hikes in Sicily, we recommend using the interactive map below. This map will show exactly where all the best Sicily hikes are located.
1. Mount Etna Hike
When it comes to hiking in Sicily, the obvious first choice for most tourists is the well-known Mount Etna Hike. And, for good reason. Mount Etna is Europe’s highest active volcano. So, in reality, hiking Mount Etna is non-negotiable.
Mount Etna Summit and Crater Tour
We highly recommend this Mount Etna Summit and Crater Guided Trek Tour that we did. Certainly, it’s one of the most popular Mount Etna hiking tours!
2. Stromboli Volcano Hike, Aeolian Islands
Whilst we’re on the topic of Sicily volcano hikes, the Stromboli Volcano is another popular volcano to explore. Located in the Aeolian Islands, Stromboli Volcano is a spectacular active volcano. Most people complete a guided night hike of Stromboli Volcano in order to see the volcanic activity in all its glory.
3. Zingaro Nature Reserve: Sentiero Costiero
The Zingaro Nature Reserve (Riserva Naturale Orientata dello Zingaro) is the best nature reserve in Sicily. Also known as the Zingaro Nature Reserve Hike, the Sentiero Costiero (Coastal Walk) is the best coastal walk in Sicily. During this breathtaking hike, you’ll explore extraordinary remote beaches. The best of these stunning beaches include Cala Capreria, Cala della Disa, Cala Marinella and Cala dell’Uzzo.
4. Capo Bianco Hike
When it comes to coastal walks in Sicily, the Capo Bianco Hike is another stellar option to choose from. Capo Bianco is a lesser-known white cliff, located near the famous Scala dei Turchi. Because Scala dei Turchi has been closed to the public and doesn’t seem to be re-opening any time soon, Capo Bianco is on the verge of becoming a tourist hotspot. Similar to Scala dei Turchi, Capo Bianco is a mesmerising white cliff, but without the crowds (for now). Other than the impressive white cliff, the coastal walk to reach the natural attraction is also superb.
5. Gole dell’Alcantara (Alcantara Gorges)
Found in the Gole Alcantara Botanical and Geological Park, you’ll find the mesmerising Gole dell’Alcantara (Alcantara Gorges). The immense gorge is found in the impressive Alcantara Valley in eastern Sicily. You can explore the gorge by doing the famous Sentiero della Spiaggetta (Beach Trail). Otherwise, you’ll find other hiking trails in the park, such as Sentiero delle Gole Alcantara (Alcantara Gorges Trail).
DJI Air 2S
6. Rocca di Cefalù Hike
Rocca di Cefalù (The Rock of Cefalu) is a magnificent natural and historical attraction in Sicily. By exploring paths on the rock, you’ll visit various archaeological sites (dating back to the 8th–9th century BC) and the ruins of Castello di Cefalù (Castle of Cefalu). But, you’ll also see the exceptional geological feature of the limestone outcrop as well as superb views of Cefalù Beach.
7. Cavagrande del Cassibile: Scala Cruci
Cavagrande del Cassible is a spectacular limestone canyon located in Avola in the municipality of Siracusa. Along the canyon floor, you’ll find Laghetti di Cavagrande, which is a mesmerising natural pool. Unfortunately, the trails accessing Laghetti di Cavagrande are prohibited and have remained closed since 2014. Of course, the majority of visitors will ignore the signs and walk down to Laghetti di Cavagrande, via the main path called Scala Cruci.
8. Monte Pellegrino
Monte Pellegrino is a small mountain located next to the capital city of Palermo. The mountain is most famous for Santuario di Santa Rosalia, which is a church located inside a cave, dedicated to the patron saint of Palermo – Santa Rosalia. But, nearby, there are some worthwhile Sicily hiking trails. These include two mountain bike trails (Costa Finocchiaro and Cozzo dello Mandra), which also serve as walking trails. By combing these two paths, you can do an excellent circular walk around the Monte Pellegrino Nature Reserve.
9. Monte Cofano
Monte Cofano is a well-known and recognisable mountain on the northwest coast of Sicily. Located in Riserva Naturale Orientata Monte Cofano (Monte Cofano Nature Reserve), this mountain effortlessly dominates the landscape. Unfortunately, many of the hiking trails in the nature reserve are closed due to the risk of rockfalls. Officially speaking, there’s only one open trail – the Scaletta Path.
10. Monte Monaco Hike
Similar to Monte Cofano, Monte Monaco is another easily recognisable and famous mountain in Sicily. From the summit of Monte Monaco, you’ll enjoy some of the best views of San Vito lo Capo and its magnificent beach – Spiaggia San Vito lo Capo. Indeed, the Monte Monaco Hike is perhaps one of the most underrated hikes in Sicily.
Read more: Monte Monaco – The Ultimate Hiking Guide
11. Capo Milazzo and the Pool of Venus
Milazzo is well-known as the place you go to catch ferries to the Aeolian Islands. But, Milazzo is worth a visit in its own right because of the sublime promontory called Capo Milazzo. To that end, we highly recommend doing the hike around the northern tip of Capo Milazzo to the breathtaking Pool of Venus (Piscina di Venere), which is a sublime ocean rock pool.
12. Vendicari Nature Reserve
At Vendicari Nature Reserve (Riserva Naturale Oasi Faunistica di Vendicari), you’ll find some of the island’s most pretty and remote beaches and bays. Certainly, Vendicari Nature Reserve is an underrated hiking destination in Sicily.
13. Monti Sartorius Loop Walk
Last but not least is Monti Sartorius (Sartorius Mountains), which are seven impressive craters found on the northeast side of Mount Etna. Sentiero Natura Monti Sartorius, AKA Sentiero Monti Sartorius, is the name of the main trail that explores these craters. Traditionally, a circular route, known as the Monti Sartorius Loop Walk, circles the seven craters without actually summiting any of the craters.
Read more: Monti Sartorius – The Ultimate Hiking Guide
How to Get Around Sicily
Now you know all about the best hiking in Sicily, it’s time to figure out how you’ll access these epic hikes.
The easiest and quickest way to get around Sicily for hiking is to drive yourself.
If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.
Hiking in Sicily without a car is also possible. Thankfully, there are decent bus and train services reaching most parts of Sicily. But, we recommend driving as that’s much more convenient and time efficient. Additionally, you’ll have more freedom and flexibility to explore Sicily at your pace, without restriction.
When Is the Best Time to Hike in Sicily?
Sicily has hot summers and mild winters. Most visitors will head to Sicily in summer (June to August) for the hottest weather (35–40°C). But, hiking in the extreme heat, during summer, will be unpleasant for most. On the flip side, you’re more likely to encounter rainfall in winter.
Perhaps, the best time to hike in Sicily is on either side of the peak season. During May as well as September, there’s milder weather as well as cheaper prices for accommodation and flights. Additionally, between May and September, the Mount Etna and Stromboli Volcano hiking tours will be running.
Of course, at the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference.
Guidebooks and Maps
Beck and I used both of the Sicily guidebooks listed below to help plan our hiking trip. In these books, you’ll find fantastic trail descriptions and maps.
Sicily Hiking Essentials
These are our gear essentials for hiking in Sicily.
Osprey Skarab 30
The Osprey Skarab 30 is our go-to hiking backpack for day hikes. This well-designed unisex backpack is comfortable and spacious, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack everything without feeling the strain on your upper back.
Osprey Ultralight Raincover
A waterproof backpack cover is an absolute must when you’re adventuring outdoors. The Osprey Ultralight Raincover Medium is a high-quality waterproof cover that’ll keep your backpack bone dry.
GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle
The GRAYL GeoPress is the best water filter bottle that allows you to purify 710mL (12 ounces) of water. This bottle will make water safe to drink wherever you’re hiking.
BUFF Original Ecostretch
The BUFF Original Ecostretch is a great option when it comes to multifunctional headwear. We use the Ecostretch as a neck gaiter to keep the sun off our necks and it helps us keep warm in cooler climates.
To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite hiking gear, travel gear and camera gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.
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- Other hikes in Sicily: of course, there are many other Sicily hiking trails not included in this guide. When it comes to the best of the rest, the Madonie Mountains (especially Pizzo Carbonara) come to mind.
- Sicily walking tours: personally, Beck and I mostly did self-guided hiking in Sicily. But, for some hikes in Sicily (well, the active volcano hikes), you’ll need a guide. This includes the Mount Etna Hike and the Stromboli Volcano Hike.
- Visit Sicily outside of peak season: for cooler weather, fewer crowds and cheaper accommodation and flights, visit outside of summer. Beck and I visited in the non-peak season in March and had a great time. Although, keep in mind, that the active volcano hiking tours (Mount Etna and Stromboli Volcano) often don’t run during winter.
This guide will help you hike across Sicily. Bookmark this guide as your ultimate online Sicily hiking resource.