Sicily has an incredible history, culture and beauty coupled with delicious food and wine. The largest island in the Mediterranean, each region has a distinct feel and unique highlights to experience.
Palermo, Sicily’s colourful capital, offers a taste of city buzz. There is a wealth of things to see and do. Stroll or cycle around the pedestrianised centre, visit its remarkable cathedral, Palazzo dei Normanni and Teatro Massimo or head to the famous Ballarò market for Palermo’s tasty street food.
The towering active volcano of Mount Etna and chic Taormina are the big attractions in the east while the impressive baroque towns of the Val di Noto allure many to the south.
Explore ancient Roman and Greek temples in Selinunte and Agrigento or enjoy the natural beauty of Sicily’s national parklands. From the Aeolian Islands in the north to the Zingaro or Vendicari nature reserves, there is plenty to discover.
Much of what you eat and drink in Sicily is produced on the island so every meal is full of flavour. Vineyards, olive and citrus groves line country roads. Food shops and markets supply delicious seasonal fruit, vegetables, cheeses, meats, seafood and pastries. Pizza and pasta are very much part of Sicily’s cuisine, but traditional dishes also combine delicious flavours such as saffron, pistachio, chili and rice, a reflection of influences from Sicily’s past. It really is a paradise for foodies.
A convenient location for international and national arrivals, Giardini Torre Conca is just an hour by car from Palermo airport and two hours from Catania and Trapani airports. Hire a car at the airport and drive there or a taxi transfer can be arranged. Alternatively take the train to Cefalú from Palermo, Messina or Catania. Once in Cefalú, it is a 20-minute taxi ride along the coast to Giardini di Torre Conca.
Train information: https://www.trenitalia.com/en/purchase.html
The setting of Giardini Torre Conca is both picturesque and convenient.
From its elevated position on the slopes of the Madonie Mountains national park, the estate has a wonderful backdrop of panoramic sea views. Extending along the coast and out to the Aeolian islands on the horizon, it is a truly magnificent setting.
Discover authentic mountain top villages such as Castelbuono, home of Fiasconaro’s delicious panettone, just 20 minutes away by car. There is wine tasting in the nearby Abbey of Santa Anastasia where you can also visit the winery and enjoy a delicious long lunch. Follow trails into the mountains for invigorating walks or make your way to the coast for the beach, sea swimming and a great choice of seafood restaurants. This is the place to unwind and experience the best of Sicily.
Giardini Torre Conca is situated between the beach of Torre Conca and the quaint mountain village of Pollina. One of many villages in the vast Madonie National Park, Pollina sits in an elevated position 700 metres above sea level. With its attractive terracotta tiled houses, narrow medieval streets and open-air amphitheatre, Pollina is worth a visit. You won’t see many tourists or residents but you will find incredible views of the sea which sweep across the Madonie mountains to Cefalú and the villages of Finale, Gerci, San Mauro.
Although some of Pollina’s residents live in the mountain village, most live on the coast in Finale di Pollina. Here you will find local shops, pizzerias, cafes and bars. For a memorable experience, join the locals for an evening drink on the piazza of La Torre just as the sun sets. Share a traditional pizza then stroll to the sixteenth century Spanish watchtower for a magical vista across the sea to the twinkling lights of boats and villages beyond.
Torre Conca is the nearest beach to the estate and can be reached on foot. Relatively hidden from the coastal road, it makes a fantastic spot for swimming, snorkeling or snoozing in the sun. It tends to be popular with locals escaping more crowded beaches further along the coast. In summer there is a small snack bar and pedal boats for hire too.
Just 20 minutes drive west of the Giardini Torre Conca estate is the picturesque coastal town of Cefalú with its long sandy beach, historic centre and an array of bars, restaurants and boutiques.
Since Cefalú was featured in the film Cinema Paradiso, it has become better known on the international stage. Despite its fame, it happily retains an irresistible, authentic charm.
Active visitors will love climbing Cefalú’s towering mountain of La Rocca. Set behind the historic centre, it is a steep, invigorating walk up to the temple of Diana at the top, but you will be rewarded with stupendous views along the coast.
Join the locals for an early evening stroll by the sea and through the winding medieval streets to the impressive Arab-Norman cathedral at its heart. Browse in boutiques, enjoy a tasty gelato or cocktail on the piazza or by the beach. For a more special occasion, try one of the excellent overlooking the sea for a classic seafood platter.
The area surrounding Cefalú offers lots of opportunity for exercise in the open. Sailing to the islands or spending an enjoyable afternoon on a boat along the coast is a must. Make a day of it and swim, snorkle or scuba-dive in the many coves.
Go trekking on foot or by horse in the surrounding mountains for breath taking countryside and sea views or go rafting through the hidden gorge of Gole di Tiberio.
The pretty village of Sant´Ambrogio is set on a hillside overlooking the sea, just 10 minutes drive from Torre Conca and 15 minutes from Cefalú. Dating back to the end of the 16th century, this little village has everything you need, including a couple of restaurants serving authentic Sicilian cuisine, a pizzeria, wine shop and well stocked supermarket. The residents are friendly and will welcome you with open arms. It’s a great place to enjoy a glass of local wine coupled with fresh pasta or pizza while taking in the sea views. Sant Ambrogio has its own beach too. It is relatively unknown so an excellent spot for those who prefer to avoid the crowds.