What Is the Best Month to Visit Sicily? A Year-Round Destination
Sicily is a wonderful destination that’s just as popular among families as it is with solo travellers. In fact there are many guides for Sicily on this site that also include 4 day and 10 day itineraries. There are countless opportunities for cultural experiences, relaxing on the beach, and much more. But what is the best month to visit Sicily?
September is the best month to visit Sicily. This shoulder season month boasts fabulous warm weather, plenty of outdoor activities including festivals to enjoy, and fewer crowds than other months. Along with the other shoulder season months (May, June, and October), it offers the best all-around experience.
Spring Shoulder Season (May & June)
Best for hiking, exploring cultural gems, and other outdoor activities
Traveling in the shoulder seasons is always a joy. You’ll face fewer crowds, typically enjoy lower costs in terms of accommodation and travel, and still find plenty to see and do. May and June are both great months to see Sicily, and it doesn’t get as swelteringly hot as the high season does.
Temperatures in May max out at around 23°C (73°F), and in at about 27°C (80°F), making this a prime time for outdoor adventures in Sicily. The sea temperature may be a little too cold for swimming without a wetsuit, but you can enjoy a host of other water activities and beach days regardless.
One of the most jaw dropping tours is this Panarea and Stromboli boat excursion which departs from Lipari to explore one of the most active volcanos in the world.
During May, the days are getting longer and there’s plenty of sunshine for enjoying walks, donkey rides, and amusements. Plus, the rainy days are few, with just an inch (25mm) of rain in May on average and 0.4” (10mm) in June.
High Season (July & August)
Best for sunbathing, swimming, and nightlife
Highlights: Stragusto (Sicilian Street food Festival); Ferragosto (Assumption Day festivities); Ortygia Sound System Festival
You will be able to enjoy all sorts of activities and places of interest in summer regardless of where you go. Everything is open, as opposed to the winter time when some places are closed for winter months, reducing the number of activities.
However summer in Sicily is mostly about hitting the beach and enjoying swimming, sunbathing, and other water activities. The high season sees almost no rain at all, while temperatures soar to around 30°C (high 80s in Fahrenheit). August tends to be the hottest month, and with Sirocco winds from the Sahara Desert, temperatures can rise even higher, making the air feel very dry.
Summer is when people flock to Sicily, so you can expect the most crowds and higher prices for accommodation and travel. The sea is nice and warm for swimming in without a wetsuit and you can stay out until the early hours, enjoying the vibrant nightlife and cafe culture.
The high season is a great time to check out some of Sicily’s best water parks, which are the ideal place to cool off from the hot sun. During the afternoon, you might find several places closed for siesta, as even the locals struggle in the midday sun. During the summer season in Sicily, you’ll want to rise with the sun, sleep in the afternoon, and enjoy the cooler evenings.
Autumn Shoulder Season (September & October)
Best for foodies, harvest festivals, and road trips
Highlights: Ottobrata Zafferanese; Sherbeth Icecream Festival; Chocomodica (Chocolate Festival)
The Autumn months of September and October are among the best to visit Sicily, especially, if like me, you don’t do well in the sun! It’s still plenty warm enough to take a dip in the sea without a wetsuit, even in October. September is still rather busy, but the huge summer crowds will have thinned a bit. In October, things become much quieter, yet the weather remains pleasant, with few rainy days and mean temperatures of around 21°C (70°F).
Like the Spring shoulder season, now is a good time for hiking and other energetic outdoor activities that you might have struggled with under the summer sun. Amusement and adventure parks are great for the kids and you’ll find them dotted across the island.
For us though, it’s the numerous harvest festivals across the island that make September and October our favourite times to visit. From pistachio capital of Bronte to the Castelbuono’s Fungi Fest. While you are In Castelbuono you may want to consider wine tasting with this tour to Castelbuono from beautiful Cefalù which takes you to an area close to the UNESCO Madonie Range. However you’ll find countless opportunities to taste the wonderful local produce on offer across the island.
Low Season (November – April)
Best for Skiing, museums, and other indoor attractions
Highlights: Agrigento (Almond Blossom Festival); Carnevale; Holy Week
The low season in Sicily is yet another fabulous time to visit and boasts the lowest prices for accommodation and travel. If you come from a cold part of the world, winter in Sicily might still feel fairly warm, with temperatures in coastal areas seldom dropping below freezing. You’ll often still enjoy temperatures around 20°C (high 60s) as late as November and as early as April, ideal for enjoying the cafe culture and strolling around the historic towns.
Sicily doesn’t technically have a rainy season, but the amount of rain does increase from November through April. However, with an average of just 80 rainy days a year and total precipitation of about 24” (615mm), you don’t need to worry about monsoons! If you do have a grey day, it’s an ideal opportunity to check out one of the many museums or art galleries.
January is the best time to go skiing in Sicily. Typically, the ski slopes remain open until around April, but it varies from year to year. You’ll find more than 21 km of slopes to enjoy, including two resorts on the slopes of Mount Etna.
As you can see, the best month to visit Sicily really depends on what you want to do while you’re there. For us, we love the shoulder seasons, particularly September and October, for their idyllic weather, great options for activities, and thinning crowds.
The best time to visit Sicily for you might well differ—so let’s go over some highlights:
- May, June, September, and October: Ideal for outdoor activities, adventure parks, festivals, and hiking.
- July and August: Ideal for beach days, water parks, and enjoying gelato!
- November, December, March, and April: Ideal for visiting museums, galleries, and other indoor activities
- January, February: Ideal for skiing.
Now you know when the best time to visit Sicily is for you. So why not start organising your trip and check out some of the best activities for kids Sicily has to offer?
You can also check out the article on how to get to Sicily with all the options you have to get there. You can either fly there or perhaps you might want to get a more scenic route and catch a train or ferry. All modes of transports are covered in the article, including the novelty way of getting there – by train on a ferry!