BEST UNUSUAL AND UNIQUE PLACES TO VISIT IN SICILY: 10 Hidden Gems!
Here is a list of the most unusual and unique places to visit in Sicily: 10 hidden gems that you will want to discover.
Hidden in the heart of the mediterranean sea is the island of Sicily with idyllic landscapes and warm waters. Each year this island attracts many visitors eager to discover the rich culture, history, and outstanding traditional cuisine. Whatever you enjoy relaxing on the beach, adventuring inland, or simply scrolling through old villages, you will find plenty of activities and sights not to be missed.
Unusual and unique places to visit in Sicily
This Greek village has a beautiful and troubled history due to the constant power struggle of Sicily. It is possible to visit the charming castle on top of the rocky hill, one of the most interesting sights in town.
Today, like many other Sicilian towns, Sclafani is quickly depopulating as locals are searching for more modern and bigger cities. Nevertheless, a short visit is highly recommended.
Just outside the town, you will find a small but natural pool of warm water open for everyone to use. According to locals, the water has healing properties and it’s miraculous for the skin. Perfect for a quick stop after a long day exploring under the Sicilian sun.
Capuchin Monastery Catacombs
If you are looking for something a little bit different then a visit to the Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo is a must. 8 000 corpses have been dressed up, pinned to the wall, or lied across the catacombs, no wonder why this is one of the most unusual places to visit in Sicily.
Long ago the corpses were simply left to dry out, later rinsed with vinegar, dressed, and prepared to be displayed in their special room for eternity. It was believed that the natural dry atmosphere allowed for natural mummification. This is not one for the faint-hearted.
Poggiorale is one of Italy’s biggest ghost towns, making this location one of the best unique places to visit in Sicily.
This remains a frozen city, the earthquake in 1968 caused most citizens to leave despite the fact that many of the buildings are still standing. Therefore this is a perfect spot to re-live and explore the old and almost forgotten Sicilian traditions. Take advantage of the decorated streets, colorful tiled floors, and empty town to snap your perfect shoot.
Segesta hot springs
Everyone knows the official spa Terme Segestane but hidden a few meters away there are some free, warm (very warm) baths, known only to locals. These are surrounded by rocky walls and vegetation which can make it tricky to find at first. Luckily all you have to do is follow the small road to the end, park your car and walk 50 to 100 meters toward the pool. Don’t worry, there are usually few locals heading the same way, don’t be afraid to ask for directions.
The thermal pool can look small at first, but if you follow the little footpath and go up the river you will be amazed at a spectacular canyon, cave, and small waterfall, all with thermal waters. This is definitely a must-see while visiting Sicily.
Marsala salt mills
Marsala is a small town near Trapani. Here the sea salt is harvested using old traditions: A series of “saline” are lined up next to the waterfront creating an incredible view. The seawater slowly evaporates by the heat of the sun and leaves behind the famous Sicilian sea salt, available to buy in town.
Visiting Marsala’s salt mills is a unique experience, especially in the evening when the sunset colors are reflecting onto the water creating pink and orange shadows.
Scala dei Turchi
“Scala dei Turchi” or “Turkish Staircase” is a 50 m tall white rocky sea cliff near Agrigento. This is truly a mind-blowing sight that deserves a spot as one of the best places to visit in Sicily.
The limestone formation has a strong blinding white color and falls into the crystal clear Mediterranean sea. Of course, this means the area can be busy and, at times, even overcrowded. Nevertheless, this is a perfect spot for relaxing, sunbathing, and diving into beautiful calm waters. On top of that, the Turkish Staircase is surrounded by two sandy beaches on each side, giving everyone plenty of space to enjoy the area.
This cave is home to an ancient little-known village that has remained untouched for many years. iI’s named after the Mangiapane family, who had settled in the cave and lived there until the 1950s. Today a group of volunteers takes care of the abandoned village and preserves the site precisely as it was. A small open-air museum allows visitors to go back in time, you can wander around this beautiful frozen-in-time village and learn about local traditions.
The Alcantara River Park was established in 2001 and it’s one of the must-see attractions of Sicily. The river is characterized by crystal clear waters and unspoiled landscape, the reason why Gola Alcantara might not be one of the most off-the-beaten-track locations but still worth a visit.
The National Park is perfect for relaxing and enjoying nature but it also offers incredible activities if you are ready to push your limits. From river trekking, body rafting, and horse riding there is something for everyone and every level. For bookings visit here
Where: Milazzo – Aeolian Islands
Vulcano is in fact a very small island reachable from Milazzo by boat. The island is characterized by small natural thermal pools and sulfurous mud with health benefits.
Once upon a time, the access was completed free, nowadays a private company is in charge of keeping the area clean and organized, therefore is necessary to pay a very small and symbolic fee, sometimes is even recommended to book.
The island is surrounded by crystal clear seawater, perfect to wash off the mud and refresh after soaking in the hot springs.
Open air exhibition Fiumara d’Arte
The idea of an open-air museum of contemporary art started in 1982, it was built to bring more visitors to the forgotten area of Nebrodi in the north of Sicily. Modern giant sculptures are covering a large landscape along the Tusa Torre river, such as an 18-meter high blue frame called “Monumento ad un poeta morto”.
Perhaps the most popular sculpture remains the “Ariadne”s Labyrinth” made by Italo Lanfredini. This is both a physical path as well as a spiritual one that connects the past with the present.
Walking across the maze is a lifetime experience, something that must be included in your itinerary. A visit to “Fiumara d’arte” can be physically demanding and a perfect opportunity to discover one of the most unique things to do in Sicily.
These are some of the best unusual and unique places to visit in Sicily, despite being a small island hidden in the Mediterranean sea this land offers incredible activities and cultural experiences. If you found this article helpful please let me know in the comments below.