Sicily begins to heat up in June; the weather is beach-perfect drawing holidaymakers to the coastline and popular cultural attractions. And though you'll have to contend with the crowds, there are plenty of destinations to choose from in which to craft your perfect island holiday. Read this monthly guide to learn more.

Weather

The weather and sea in Sicily are consistently warm enough in June to entice visitors to the beach along the coast, with an average daily high of 74˚F (23˚C) and low of 60˚F (15˚C). You’ll want to pack your beach gear alongside a light sweater for the slightly cooler evenings, and if you have plans to head inland, know without the mild effect of the sea, temperatures can be hotter within the first 1,000 to 1,500 feet. Ragusa, for example, has temperatures ranging from 61-84˚F (16-29˚C).

The sea is an inviting 72˚F (22˚C) and on those scorching days when the sirocco (hot wind from Africa) is blowing, even more so. The hottest days can see the mercury spike to a blistering 109˚F (43˚C) in Messina and 111˚F (44˚C) in Trapani, Palermo, and Catania.

Crowds & Costs

June is one of the most popular times to visit Sicily as the weather is beach-perfect, the party scene is underway, and ferries to the islands are at their most frequent (shutting down routes when the winds pick up though). Expect an increase in prices as all hotels and restaurants are open for business, particularly along the coast where the more popular venues feel crowded, and most airlines, hotels, and car rental companies no longer offer bargain prices.

You’ll want to take into your plans that school buses packed with children frequent important sites and Sicilians take a siesta in the afternoon. That means businesses, churches, and attractions typically close between 1:30 and 4:30 pm.

Where to Go

Taormina is the place to be in June and kicks off several cultural events to welcome in the summer season, like the Taormina Film Fest and Taormina Arte. Both events take place in the ancient Greco-Roman amphitheater where you can take in a movie or a daily performance (rock and classical concerts, opera, dance, and theatre) in the historical setting with a view of the Mediterranean Sea and Mount Etna.

A classic next stop would be to explore Sicily’s southeastern coast, and a great place to start is in Syracuse’s historical core, Ortygia. Enjoy an evening passegiato along Passeggio Aretusa to the shrouded-in-Greek-myth Fonte Aretusa (Fountain of Arethusa), uncover the layers of history, from ancient Greek and Roman times to the present day at the 13th-century Castello Maniace, or if it’s the beach you’re after, find your way to the turquoise waters of Arenella Beach.

As Syracuse makes for a great jumping-off point to popular attractions and sights, venture to the Neapolis Archaeological Park to stroll amid ruins and ancient Greek and Roman relics. From there, continue to the nature reserve of Cavagrande del Cassibile and climb into one of the many laghetti (little pools) for a refreshing swim.

Other noteworthy sights to consider are the Sicilian Baroque towns of Noto, Ragusa Ibla, Modica, and Scicli, all within a short distance of one another. While on the south coast, drive west to Agrigento, the gateway to the Valley of the Temples, another standout archaeological site and then be sure to explore the coastline with a visit to the limestone cliffs that line the coast, known as the Scala dei Turchi. Enjoy the view and sandy beach below and Selinunte further west along the coast. 

What to Do

June is still a good month for cultural sightseeing, although the key sites will begin to feel crowded by the end of the month. The weather is now perfect for sunbathing, and the sea is finally warm enough for swimming and all other water-related activities (kayaking, kite/wind-surfing, sailing, snorkeling/scuba diving) making the coast and the islands a perfect holiday destination. Some less busy beach options are Porto Palo, just south of Menfi, Sampieri near Scicli in the southeast, and Letojanni just north of Taormina.

The Madonie and Nebrodie mountains, too, are another great option to explore, where you can choose from a number of hiking and walking paths. There are mountain biking options as well to consider, like the 44-mile (70 km) trail that goes through mountain passes and valleys, by lakes, and the Etna wine region. And while in this part of the island, for a fun and cooling excursion, there’s the option to body raft and river hike through the Alcantara River and Gorge.

Events

Republic Day. This national holiday falls on June 2 and celebrates the day in 1946 when the nation voted to switch from a monarchy to a republic. Many businesses are closed, and there are celebrations, parades, and fireworks throughout Sicily.

Taormina Film Fest. Set in the historic Greco-Roman amphitheater, Taormina kicks off the summer film season the second week of June with a world premiere followed by a week of some of the latest releases.

Taormina Arte (International Festival of the Arts). Taormina’s ancient theater hosts daily performances of music (rock, pop, and classical), opera, dance, and theater, beginning in June and ending in September.

Traveling to Sicily in June? Check out these great itineraries.

Southeast Sicily - 7 Days. This 7-day tour along the southeastern coast of Sicily features impressive archaeological sites, including the Neapolis Archaeological Park in Syracuse and the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. It's an incredibly scenic drive, with golden beaches and vineyards, plus overnight stays in ancient, seaside towns.

Best of Sicily - 13 Days. Sicily has long been a favorite with maritime travelers, and you'll fall in love as well on this incredible 13-day trip. Tour churches and busy street markets in Palermo, then head to Syracuse. Haggle for your lunch at the Ortygia Street Market and visit the 13th-century Castello Maniace before making your way up the coast to Taormino and Catania, where theater, street food, and seafront promenades are a trip highlight.

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