There are a huge amount of beautiful beaches in Sicily and even when there is no beach, a lido is built over the rocks or you find people basking like seals on the hot rocks, dipping in and out of the sea periodically to cool off. I have deliberately left off the islands here as I will cover them separately but these are my top 5 beaches in Sicily:
Go just outside the high season of Mid-July & August and this beach is a dream. The sand is golden and vast and the sea clear and shallow for a good distance. Located to the west of Palermo the closest significant town is Trapani but San Vito Lo Capo has enough shops and restaurants to cater for your needs. Go in late September when they hold their annual Cous-Cous Fest.
Airports: Nearest airports are Palermo or Birgi.
Where to stay: Plently of B&Bs, self-catering apartments in San Vito Lo Capo. Campsite near to beach for the cost conscious.
Attractions/POIs nearby: Erice (atmospheric medieval hilltop town), Segesta (Greek temple and amphitheatre)
As Calamosche is located within Vendicari Natural Reserve it is clean and incredibly serene. It gets really hot here so take something to give you shade as you won’t find any on the beach. Calamosche is a small cove and therefore quite sheltered from the wind. The sea is so clear that you don’t need a snorkel to see the different types of fish swimming around your feet. You have to walk some way to get to this beach due to it being in a natural reserve. The walk is relatively easy but when the temperatures get above 30 degrees you will feel it so take lots of water and wear a hat.
Airports: Nearest airports are Catania and Comiso.
Where to stay: Stay in an agriturismo in the reserve or in accommodation in nearby Noto.
Attractions/POIs nearby: Obviously Vendicari Natural Reserve is worth exploring, Noto and Marzamemi
Below Taormina you will find a small, mostly pebbled beach. Isola Bella itself can be visited and there are good snorkelling opportunities. A couple of lidos offer sunbeds, parasols and refreshments.
Where to stay: Taormina has plenty of accommodation
Attractions/POIs nearby: Taormina and its Greek theatre, Castelmola
A spit that varies in size depending on the tide, the beach at Marinello sits below the greek and roman ruins of Tindari. The beach here is vast, clean and as it is largely in a nature reserve protected from large lidos taking over.
Airports: Catania or Palermo
Where to stay: Campsite next to the reserve, accommodation in Messina
Attractions/POIs nearby: Tindari’s Archaeological site, the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna.
The perfect beach for those who want restaurants, bars and some shops nearby. A nice sandy beach perfect for families. Beach sellers can be a problem but I find them rather entertaining to watch. Plenty of lidos renting out chairs and umbrellas but you will need too get there early to get the front row enabling you to have a clear view of the sea.
Airports: Catania or Comiso
Where to stay: Plenty to choose from in Fontane Bianche or Siracusa.
Attractions/POIs nearby: Cavagrande, Siracusa