Holidays to Cefalu pile beach fun and top Sicilian eats on top of centuries of history. Add a day trip to Palermo for a culture fix and some smart shopping.
Location, location, location
Cefalu gets an A star for geography. Set on Sicily’s northern coast, it fits in nicely between big-city Messina and the capital Palermo. The top location doesn’t stop there, either. The resort’s Medieval old town is backdropped by the Madonie Mountains and edged with a rocky coastline that hides a streak of golden sand.
Cefalu’s busy main beach, Lungomare, runs alongside the town. There are free public areas, and showers at the western end. And you’ll also find lidos – smart spots where you can hire sunloungers and umbrellas during the summer months. Pebbly Caldura Beach, near the harbour, is a quieter spot – it’s down a set of steps, a 20-minute walk from the centre.
A historic centre
The resort’s historic centre, or centro storico, is packed with Medieval alleyways and traditional piazzas. In one of these you’ll find Cefalu’s impressive cathedral. Head past it and you can hike to the top of La Rocca, the crag that looms over the town. It’s worth the 40-minute climb – up here, the Temple of Diana hangs out with a first-rate view.
Day trips to Palermo
Sicily’s capital, Palermo, is an hour away by car or train. Here, you can dip into churches, palaces and a modern art gallery. And if you’re not easily spooked, you might want to check out the Catacombe Dei Cappuccini, where centuries-old bodies are displayed. When it comes to food stops, you can dine in one of the smart squares or picnic at tropical Giardino Inglese.