Sicily’s mild Mediterranean climate means visitors are never short on outdoor activities and adventures no matter when they visit. Hikers can venture outside the cities and ancient archaeological sites for the more challenging terrain of the massive Madonie Regional Park, the Nebrodi mountains, or the Zingaro nature reserve.
Madonie Regional Park visitors can trek through some of Sicily’s most relaxing forests, explore the Tyrrhenian Coast’s rugged seashore paths, or scale the summit of its highest peak, the Pizzo Carbonara. Some of the most isolated villages also lie within Madonie Regional Park’s boundaries.
Lesser known, but no less stunning, is Nebrodi Regional Park, which boasts Europe’s biggest beech forests and a breathtaking lakeside trail in addition to the park’s namesake mountains. Autumn and spring are the best hiking seasons because trekkers can avoid the hot summer heat as they enjoy autumn’s bright colors or spring’s blossoming mountain wildflowers.
For the most adventurous and experienced mountain climbers, no visit to Sicily would be complete without scaling the Stromboli and Etna volcanoes, both of which remain active and both of which have carefully marked safety zones from which climbers must not stray. Visitors who prefer to remain on the ground may still admire the Stromboli’s nightly fireworks or meander along lava trails.
Cycling is another challenging activity in Sicily, but those wishing to brave the island’s steep mountains, narrow roads, and reckless drivers will be rewarded by beautiful views. Adaptable all terrain bicycles with helmets, maps, and repair kits are recommended for cycling expeditions.
Some of Sicily’s ancient archaeological sites are buried beneath the surface of its waters alongside colourful fish and elaborate underwater landscapes. Ustica, one of the most popular scuba diving sites, even has well placed signage beneath its surface. Some Sicilian archaeological diving expeditions take place at night. The Ionian Coast’s Blue Grotto is another popular Sicilian diving destination.
Skiing is Sicily’s most popular outdoor winter activity, especially at Mount Etna and the lesser known Piano Battaglia in Madonie Regional Park. Piano Battaglia offers both downhill and cross country skiing.