Top Tips for a Splendid Sicilian Holiday with Children
Of all the wonderful family vacation destinations, the exotic Italian island of Sicily is a real adventure (and amusement) park in itself. In this lush Mediterranean paradise you will find a million things to do to satisfy both adults and kids of all ages: spectacular uncontaminated nature reserves and pristine beaches with crystal clear waters and sun-bleached sands (such as the beaches of Giardini Naxos, will lull you to sleep as you sunbathe in the healthy Mediterranean air, or relax by the pool of the many Sicilian villas for rent—while your kids play surrounded by orchard gardens and lemon trees; the wonders of ancient architecture drawing from a rich cross-cultural heritage derived by Roman, Greek, Arabic and Northern European influences provide an authentic bridge-way into the past and across centuries of artistic and cultural evolution; and the numerous festivals, cultural events and folkloristic spectacles proper to each town individually offer plenty of entertainment. Renting a car is always the best way to get around Sicily because transportation sometimes lacks in isolated places and town (such as in the hillside or the cliff-towns for example), and also recent trends indicate that aside from motels and resorts the lodging preference for tourists is renting a villa from local owners. For the occasion there are excellent resources like Wishsicily which have amazing family friendly villas in Sicily with pool appropriate for couples, families with children or large groups of friends.
If you are in the need for some real outdoor excitement there are several amazing adventure parks like Etna Park, Parco Avventura Madonie, Eco Campus Casaboli, which provide adventure courses designed for different age groups (including young children) and fun activities like tree and rope climbing, ladder-walking, cable slides or obstacle running, thereby teaching you to train your physical skills and reflexes under the supervision of professional instructors. The Etnaland theme and water park, with its life-size dinosaur statues and aqua-rides will also undoubtedly entertain the whole family, while the traditional puppet theatres of Syracuse and Palermo will be a great diversion from the sightseeing. A visit to Etna will be an unforgettable experience for your kids as you trek around the top of fuming craters and learn about the volcanic geology—and mythology— of Sicily.
If you like water sports like kayaking, surfing, jet-scooting, sailing or just boating around the coastline, beaches like Cefalù, Ustica, Mazzaro, Giardini-Naxos and those along the Trapani coast or by Castellammare dal Golfo are the perfect spots. Here you can also delight in kite-flying with the locals and attend the many festivals that take place yearly like the one held in Favignana and many other places
For total quiet and peace of mind, step into isolated and mostly tourist-free protected natural habitats like the Zingaro Reserve to experience a real vacation with Mother Nature and away from the noise of civilisation; here you can spot hundreds of exotic and rare species of flora and fauna and your children will not only have a real blast swimming in the cleanest waters around, but also have a priceless educational experience— spotting rare plants or birds and guessing their names is always a fun game to play no matter the age, and a local guidebook comes in handy!
Post written by Mary J