Exploring the Natural Landscapes and Man-made Wonders of Sicily

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Beaches, Mountains, and Historical Beauty

Weather, wind, and water have shaped the island of Sicily into one of the most varied landscapes on the planet. As a result, the island is home to many beautiful beaches, national reserves, and mountains. Furthermore, Sicily’s terrain has been transformed by earthquakes and eruptions by Mt Etna– Europe’s most active volcano. Because of this, exploring Sicily’s natural wonders produces delicious food, wine, and opportunities for unique and romantic experiences.

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Exploring the Natural Wonders in Sicily

Exploring the natural wonders in Sicily– transformed into one of the most varied island landscapes and top tourist destination by weather, wind, and water. Much of Sicily is still unspoiled, especially in the southern part of the island.

Volcanic Eruptions

Mt. Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe. However, Etna’s most destructive eruption took place in 1669, destroyed at least 10 villages. It even approached the walls of Catania. However, the eruptions haven’t stopped. The most recent eruption occurred on March 16, 2017, when ten people were injured. A small eruption this past August, when I visited last, resulted in no injuries.

 

Earthquakes and Tsunamis

However, it was the 1693 earthquake that re-landscaped the island. It’s also why the city had to be rebuilt in the Baroque style. And more than 70 towns and cities were affected, causing the death of 60,000 people. As a result, two-thirds of the population of Catania was killed. The earthquake was followed by tsunamis, devastating the coastal villages on the Ionian Sea and Straits of Messina. All these natural disasters make the cities natural wonders too. Because they perch precariously off a cliff or on top of a previous civilization.

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Beaches

Surprise, there are some beautiful beaches on the island of Sicily. I could do an entire post on them. We discovered the beautiful beach below the Scala dei Turchi (see above) on our way back from the ruins in Agrigento. The golden sand was beautiful; the water was clear blue. Time, wind, and water have carved out the white limestone cliffs to form broad steps

Another beautiful beach is located in the Torre Salsa Nature Reserve. Situated below pink and purple orchids and home to falcons and sea turtles, this beautiful beach has something for everyone.

Aolian & Aegadian Islands

Many people are attracted to the dramatic scenery, hot mud baths, and the opportunity to hike up to the craters of Vulcano and Stromboli. The Aeolian Islands are a group of seven small inhabited Italian islands off the northern coast. Volcanic sand beaches, hiking trails.

Mount Etna Tours

Please take a tour and 90-minute hike around the perimeters of some of its extinct craters. Walk through ancient woods and along paths covered with lava about 2,000 meters above sea level. Get a better appreciation of this natural wonder and its surrounding landscape up close and personal. Learn about the fascinating volcanic phenomenon before exploring one of the lava caves underground.

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Salt Pans

Visit the salt pans for the dramatic landscape. If you’ve ever been to where salt is minded, you’re in for a treat. The air is heavy with the scent of salt. Stagnone is also punctuated by windmills with views across to the Egadi Islands. In addition, there is a salt museum between Trapani and Marsala that I hear is pretty interesting. Afterward, you can take the ferry over to Mothya, a Phoenician archaeological site, on the Isola San Pantaleo.

The salt pans are the oldest on the island of Sicily. They date back to the Phoenicians more than 2,700 years ago when salt was fundamental in preserving food. You will notice the difference in taste from table salt. For instance, the flavor tastes more natural and unrefined.

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Thermal Baths

The baths of Sciacca have been appreciated since the ancient Greeks. And the Romans were renowned for structures they built to take advantage of their healing and wellness properties. The mud baths are near the harbor, just follow the aroma of sulfur. You can’t miss it because sulfur smells like rotten eggs. The baths themselves are surrounded by a volcanic sand beach. And although entry is cheap and only costs a few Euros. Furthermore, don’t wear your Sunday best. And bring a bathing suit as well as a towel before you go in.

If you intend to hike around the crater, do that first. Soaking in the thermal baths afterward will soothe your aching muscles.

Agriturismos

An agriturismo is a combination of agriculture and tourism. It’s a working farm, bed and breakfast, and restaurant. Farms like Sostia A. Levante grow their vegetables, herbs, olives, and grapes for olive oil and wine. They also raise their livestock. They make their cheese and offer homestyle Sicilian cooking that hasn’t changed in generations.

Small-scale farming in Italy is not as profitable as it once was. And some farms have been converted into agriturismo accommodations, similar to English or American bed and breakfasts. In addition, most farms provide rural accommodations that give travelers an opportunity to experience farm life. But don’t be fooled, they agriturismos range in the budget, scope, and amenities.

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Wineries 

The fertile soil around the volcano allows for extensive agriculture. And vineyards and orchards thrive across its lower slopes of Mount Etna. But don’t call it Sicilian wine. The winegrowers on Etna are very proud of the distinction between their wine and wine that is grown elsewhere. For such an old wine region, Italy’s Mount Etna is young by modern standards. Bottled wines have only been produced here for a few short decades. Yet the growing interest in native varieties is taking the wine world by yet another kind of storm.

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Comments

  1. gerald

    Sicily looks very beautiful. It looks like a wonderful place to vacation and have a lot of fun. Thanks for your sharing.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Thank you. It is a beautiful island. And there is something to explore for everybody no matter what you’re interested in.

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