When is the best time to visit Italy’s largest island and should you really plan a trip to see Sicily in winter? After having visited the island both during winter and summer, I’ve put together this comprehensive answer.
What’s my favorite season for traveling to Italy, and especially Southern Italy, and the why behind it. In the past 10 years, I’ve lived, studied, worked, and traveled to Italy extensively. I can easily say I know Italians that haven’t been to all the places I’ve been to in their country.
And because I’ve been there during all seasons, I can help you decide when would be the best time to see Italy (and if winter is that time for you).
I’ll try to answer all the questions you might have, but if I miss something, please go ahead and leave me a comment. I will be more than happy to answer!
This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Read more about it on our disclosure page here.
Sicily in winter – is that a good idea?
Should I Visit Sicily in Winter?
The short answer to that question is: absolutely!
I have been to Sicily in February and the weather was lovely, we only got a few hours of rain, and we could even stay on the beach and enjoy the sun.
Of course, you won’t be able to bathe in the sea, but if you want to go sightseeing, Sicilian can be a perfect vacation.
Just so you can make an impression, here are the average temperatures in Sicily throughout the year:
Please keep in mind that these are not the average high or low temperatures, you can get between 14 – 16 degrees C during winter (48 – 62 degrees F). Also, during summer, temperatures tend to get pretty high.
How cold does Sicily get in winter?
As you can notice from the above table, Sicily doesn’t get extremely cold during winter.
The lowest temperatures are felt between December and February and go between 9 (48) and 11 (53) degrees minimum during the night, with warmer days.
In my opinion, that’s not too low, and if you know what to pack for winter in Sicily, you will be just fine. Temperatures during the day, are perfect for exploring and sightseeing.
How long does winter last in Sicily?
Just like the rest of Italy and most parts of Europe, winter in Sicily lasts for 3 months: from December to February.
How to Get Around Sicily
Getting around Sicily is not difficult and can be easily done no matter how you choose to travel.
Of course, public transportation is not as well connected and frequent as in Northern Italy for example, and it will take more time to get from one place to the other, but it is not impossible.
Major towns are linked by trains or buses, but if you want to explore at your own pace, I strongly recommend renting a car and driving around Sicily.
Getting around Sicily by car
That’s how we chose to travel around Sicily and it was for the best. People might think it is dangerous to drive around the island, and Sicilians can be a bit crazy in traffic, parking can prove to be challenging, but it is not impossible. And if I can do it, so can you!
If you have decided that renting a car is the way forward at least for a part of your itinerary, my go-to destination for the best prices is DiscoverCars.
It is a great aggregator that will help you find and book the best option for renting a car during your trip, helping you save up to 70% on your car rental. They have a pretty good cancellation policy that would give you options in case your flight or travel plans change.
Getting around Sicily by train and/or bus
Make your life easier and check the timetables and prices of trains and buses online at Omio.com
You can easily book your tickets online, create your itinerary beforehand, and forget about having to search for the best options – you have it all there: public and private trains, buses, and every other means of transportation.
What is the best month to visit Sicily?
I have visited during February and judging by the average temperatures, I don’t think there is much of a difference no matter what month of winter you choose for your trip.
If you want to visit Sicily during winter, go there in December for the Christmas vibes and festivities, or head over in February to participate in the Carnival in Taormina.
When you are looking to spend some time at the beach as well, maybe it would be better to plan your vacation for April, May, October, or November. I am a big fan of the shoulder season.
Why visit Sicily in winter?
The same as visiting any other part of Italy during winter, here are a few of the reasons why you should consider planning a Sicily holiday for the colder months:
- You can see Sicily without the crowds – unlike the summer months, the colder season is not as popular for many.
- Take advantage of the low season prices – both for hotels, and tourist activities.
- Get the true Italy vibe – see towns without the hoards of tourists, and experience them with the locals.
- Exploring and sightseeing become much easier and bearable at normal temperatures.
- You can take advantage of the winter sales and do some shopping.
- Explore the local markets, take part in the winter festivities such as the Christmas Markets or Carnivals.
Which is the warmest place in Sicily in winter?
While Sicily is not such a big island so that you can expect extreme temperature differences from one part to the island, here are a few of the places you will want to check out during your winter trip:
Palermo is set in the Northern part of Sicily, also the island’s capital, packed with things to do and places to see. Not far from it, I recommend not missing the stunning small town of Cefalu’.
Catania is set on the Eastern part of the island and is the place I have visited during my trip to Sicily during winter. Temperatures were ok, and besides a few showers and some wind, we could easily explore the city and the region.
Agrigento, the Valley of the Temples, and the Stairs of the Turks.
What to do and see in Sicily during winter?
As I’ve previously said, there are no limits to the things you can see and do in Sicily during winter.
Follow my comprehensive one week in Sicily guide and you will find it easy to plan your unforgettable vacation. No matter if you have one week or less, the guide includes a map and highlights all the most important tourist attractions on the whole island.
Beautiful cities, Mount Etna, archaeological sites, magnificent ruins, Isola Bella, Taormina, and much more – you will find it all there!
What to pack for a vacation during winter in Sicily?
As mentioned previously, when you know what to pack and how to dress, your winter holiday will be just perfect.
I always like to pack light, and especially when traveling during the colder months, I always like to wear layers. Temperature differences can be pretty high between night and day, and when you want to see it all, you will spend lots of time outside and want to be prepared.
Here are a few essential tips you must have in mind:
Bring some comfortable shoes you can walk in but that can also protect you from the rain. I like my leather Converse shoes and I think they are perfect for that.
Have a cashmere scarf with you that can easily wrap around your neck, or wear it on top of your jacket.
During the evening, temperatures will drop, so you must have a leather or suede jacket.
Bring clothes that can be easily worn in layers.
Have a small colorful umbrella that doesn’t take up much of your luggage space, and that can also be used as a prop for your pictures.
Make sure your shoes don’t have a smooth sole, otherwise, you will risk slipping on the stone pavements.
Other useful travel resources for when you go to Italy
Choose the best subscription boxes for Italy lovers and get Italian flavor delivered to your doorstep
PIN FOR LATER!