In April, the mercury continues to rise and the days progressively get longer. Average daily temperatures in Sicily range between 46-60°F (8-16°C) across the island, though evenings will require you to have warmer layers on hand. If you plan on visiting Palermo, the capital of Sicily, you can expect slightly warmer averages (52-66°F/11-19°C), and around Syracuse and Catania, warmer still with even less rain.
Dress in layers to counter all kinds of weather and have your sunglasses and umbrella on hand. If you plan on getting in some skiing/snowboarding, it’s best to plan your holiday for the north side of Mount Etna and bring the appropriate warm clothing (you may only need a short-sleeved shirt to go with your waterproof pants). And while sea temperatures are still a little chilly (61°F/15°C), pack your swimsuit as the days could be sunny and warm enough for a lie out on the beach.
Crowds & Costs
April transitions from the low season to Sicily’s shoulder season as businesses and attractions begin to re-open for tourism. Now is also the time when school buses packed with children visit the most important sites and while the number of foreign tourists increases as the weather continues to improve, there are still bargains to be had on airfare and hotels.
The exception is Holy Week and Easter when Italians from the mainland will be traveling to the island during this time for religious celebration. If it happens to fall during April, you can expect prices to spike during this period. So be sure to book all reservations far in advance as well as plan for business closures and public transportation running on a holiday schedule.
Where to Go
Most travelers visiting Sicily will start or end their holiday with a few days in Palermo, the regional capital, or Catania, the next largest city, for a little cultural exploration: great restaurants, historic neighborhoods chock-full of architectural treats, and plenty of venues offering artistic performances. And if you’re traveling during Easter, you’ll find services and celebrations in villages, towns, and cities throughout the island, like the Dance of the Devils in the mountain town of Prizzi, south of Palermo, or the famous procession in Enna that features 2,000 friars parading through the streets.
Meanwhile, if it’s a beach holiday you’re after, you’ll enjoy lying out or at the least, walking along quiet beaches. Some examples include the golden-sand beach of Lungomare in Cefalù, Lido Mazzarò in Taormina (an island favorite you have to ride a cable car to reach), or Porto Palo beach in Sicily’s southwest. And though the sea temperatures are less than ideal, there’s always the option to enjoy a therapeutic mud bath and hot spring, like on the Aeolian Vulcano Island. And if you find yourself on Vulcano, you don’t want to miss the black-sand beach of Spiaggia Sabbie Nere.
What to Do
Ski season is coming to a close (if it hasn’t already ended), though you may be able to get in a few short-sleeved runs on Mount Etna’s northern slopes (Linguaglossa). And if winter sports in April aren’t appealing, the island beckons hikers, cyclists, and beachgoers to take advantage of the sunny weather, few crowds, and blooming wildflowers. Book a guided hike to the Mount Etna summit, or if you’re short on time, consider a trek up to Torre del Filosofo. At 9,500 feet (2,900 m) you’ll still be able to enjoy panoramic vistas of the island and get a sense of Europe’s largest volcano.
Of course, there are plenty of alternate hiking options to consider, like the popular coastal trail in the Zingaro Natural Reserve or the more difficult hike and scramble routes on Monte Cofano. Hiring a car or renting a bike is another smart way to capture the diverse Sicilian landscapes, such as the challenging 33-mile Sicilia Dag 7 which begins and ends in charming Cefalù and takes you up into mountain towns that overlook the Tyrrhenian Sea.
During the Festival del Vento (Wind Festival), active travelers will want to venture to the shores of Trapani for water sports like sailing, kayaking, and wind and kite surfing. Landlubbers will have plenty to enjoy as well as live performances, including dance, theater, and street artists, cooking competitions and tastings take place throughout the city. And foodies will have their fair share of sagre to choose between, like Vizzini’s Ricotta Festival—its ricotta cheese famous throughout Sicily, or Sampieri’s Sagra della Ricotta e dei Formaggio, one of Sicily’s oldest food festivals, celebrating Sicilian cheeses, or there's Cerda’s Artichoke Festival.
And if you’re in the southeast of the island, dine on Easter lamb in Syracuse followed by a visit to wander the labyrinth of streets and steep staircases in Modica, a UNESCO-listed baroque jewel of a town where you’ll want to sample traditional mpanatigghi cakes sold during Easter. For more on what to eat and where check out this article.
Easter and Holy Week. Because Easter follows the liturgical calendar, it doesn't fall on the same day each year. Sometimes it doesn't even occur in April. That said, it typically does fall in this month, and celebrations and processions occur throughout the island.
Liberation Day. This national holiday falls on April 25 and signifies the end of the occupation of Italy during WWII. Celebrations occur throughout the country, with the most elaborate held in Rome.
The Dance of the Devils. Taking place on Easter Sunday, Prizzi puts on a good-versus-evil festival with participants dressed as masked red devils succumbing to the angel-clad figures later on in the day.
Traveling to Sicily in April? Check out these great itineraries.
Sicilian Bike Tour - 7 Days. Sicily is a captivating destination, with scenic beauty, historic sites, and culinary delights. This 7-day itinerary is for the active traveler looking to experience the best of the island while cycling and walking—a perfect itinerary for April's pleasant spring weather and green hills.
Volcanoes of Sicily: Aeolian Islands & Mt. Etna - 9 Days. Dominated by volcanic peaks, some of them still active, Sicily and the Aeolian islands offer dramatic coasts and fertile interiors. Explore the beautiful Aeolian Archipelago—7 diverse islands including Lipari, Vulcano, and Stromboli—whose active volcanic cone dominates the horizon. End your trip with a climb to the top of Mt Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano.