Attractions Nearby Palermo, Day Trips and Excursions
(Palermo, Sicily, Italy)
Whilst it's perfectly possible to spend days exploring Palermo, visitors will also appreciate escaping the hustle and bustle of the city to enjoy the surrounding Sicilian countryside and its endless scenic attractions. A number of day trips can be easily organized and there is more than enough variety to keep everyone interested, all within easy reach of Palermo.
Attractions nearby Palermo include a medieval hilltop town, Roman ruins and a popular beach resort. Those who prefer to don walking boats will not want to miss out on the curiosities of that major Sicilian attraction, Mount Etna. Visitors planning to walk one of the many trails in the area should bear in mind that Etna can feel cooler than elsewhere on Sicily.
Some 75 km / 47 miles east of Palermo, the enchanting seaside town of Cefalù nestles at the foot of a steep mountain. Visitors can enjoy wandering through this medieval town's many winding narrow streets, stopping occasionally to enjoy refreshments in one of the many cafes and restaurants. Above the town are a large fortress and the ancient Temple of Diana, which is said to contain the oldest building in the whole of Sicily.
The hilltop town of Erice is located on the northern coast of western Sicily and, despite development elsewhere, has managed to retain its medieval character. As well as its ancient walls, it boasts Pepoli Castle and Venus Castle, two historic monuments, which are always popular with visitors. Best of all, though, are the views that be enjoyed from the castles' towers.
A visit to Palermo wouldn't be complete without a trip to nearby Mount Etna, Sicily's tallest mountain and Europe's highest active volcano. Each eruption changes the mountain's landscape and today, some 1,200 square metres / 13,000 square feet of its surface is covered in lava. As well as being an awe-inspiring sight and major attraction in its own right, Mount Etna is popular with skiers during the winter months and with hikers during the summer.
Situated just a short distance from Palermo, Mondello has long been a popular Riviera-style resort for the city's rich and famous.
As well as grand 19th-century mansions and beautiful boulevards, Mondello boasts a sandy beach, plenty of good seafood restaurants and lively evening entertainment.
Just 17 km / 11 miles east of Palermo is the nearby town of Solunto, built on the slopes of Mount Catalfamo. Little evidence remains of the town's Greek origins. On the other hand, its Roman ruins are particularly notable attractions. Whilst no whole structures are left, it's still possible to get a good picture of Roman life in Solunto thanks to its many archaeological remains. These include houses, public buildings, a theatre, mosaics and paintings.
About 8 km / 5 miles south of Palermo is the small town of Monreale and a popular destination for many visitors to Sicily. Monreale's cathedral is famous the world over, in particular because of its splendid interior, including some beautiful mosaics. Also worth a visit is Monreale's Belvedere, which gives splendid views over nearby Palermo. Monreale's close proximity to the city centre makes its many attractions easily accessible by public transport.