Sicily inside out: Part 2: Enjoy the beach in Cefalu

Cefalu (the name derives from the ancient greek word for ‘cape’) is a small and very beautiful city on the North coast of Sicily, just an hour drive east of Palermo. It was the first stop from a 5-day Sicilian vacation in November.

They say Cefalu is a very touristic place in the summer, the most touristic Sicilian town after Taormina actually. And I believe it, judging by the fairly large number of tourists in November (the tourist season in Sicily is between May and September, with these two months claimed to be the best for visiting this piece of paradise).

For a small town, Cefalu offers a lot – lovely old town with cozy small streets, trattorias, and amazing little shops for souvenirs and traditional Sicily sweets (canoli and some fruit-like calorie bombs :)).

Traditional Sicilian fruit-like sweets

Traditional Sicilian fruit-like sweets

Cefalu old town: small streets you’d love to get lost in

The old town is just by the sea, so we couldn’t miss a dip in the warm, sandy-bottom and crystal-clear sea. Rarely have I seen such fine sand, and shallow waters spanning so deep inside (must be great for kids in the summer!)

Cefalu Beach

..and sandy castles

Most houses (and hotels) in old town Cefalu have their terraces facing the sea..the early morning breakfast we had, facing the sea, hearing the waves crash the rocks below our terrace, and smelling the fresh sea air were something I would never forget.

Breakfast around .. 6 am :) The town is still sleeping, the view is amazing

Breakfast around .. 6 am 🙂 The town is still sleeping, the view is amazing!

Cefalu does not offer that much of sightseeing. The centrally-located Duomo, the construction of which began in 1131 is perhaps the main place of interest here. It’s mostly famous for its 12-century mosaics above the altar, created by Byzantine artists, but I was mostly impressed with the atmosphere around the Duomo, i.e the main square. Palms, exotic trees (more typical of Arabic countries), typical italian cafes, and soaring rocks all around. Impressive.

Duomo di Cefalu and the square in front

Duomo di Cefalu and the square in front..of course, we didn’t miss having italian espresso here!

At the top, overlooking the whole city and the surroundings is La Rocca – a hill with ruins from different castles, fortresses, the temple of Diana (dating back to Greek times) and others. Really lots to see if you are interested in historical remnants, we seemed to enjoy more the refreshing 2-hour walk, and the spectacular island panorama from the top, including almost the whole North Sicily coast, lovely bays and a well-protected port.

Spectacular views from La Rocca

Spectacular views from La Rocca

Cefalu is not a busy town, and that’s why I’d say it’s perfect for a peaceful family vacation at the sea. It combines the comfort and conveniences you may need in a sea resort with the option for trekking and picnic in the green and cool Rocca. 1 day in it was enough for our restless adventure spirit though 🙂

7 am on day 2, and we were back on the road – to Taormina and Catania. The beauty of those will be uncovered in my next post!

 

2 Responses to Sicily inside out: Part 2: Enjoy the beach in Cefalu

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  2. wonderful post, thank you.

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