Sicily is perfect for travelling with your little ones. Why? First, if you (like us) live in Europe, the flights are not going to be too long and you can get them for a good price. And even if you come from far away you should definitely consider visiting Sicily if you are doing an Europe trip or just visiting Italy. Second, THE CLIMATE is mild in the winter months, making it a great place to visit all year around. There are BEACHES, mountains, historical places and lots of GOOD FOOD, so there is something for everybody. Third, The locals are extremely CHILDREN FRIENDLY and there is just so much to see and explore that nobody will feel bored.
We started the trip in TRAPANI and visit ERICE and the beautiful beaches in SAN VITO LO CAPO. After that we stopped by at the historical archaeological sights in SEGESTA and explored MONREALE before spending 2 days in PALERMO. We moved on to AGRIGENTO and the beaches of SAN LEONE, climbed the amazing white rocks in SCALA DEI TURCHI, had the last dose of history in ERACLEA MINOA and finished the trip in the wine region of MARSALA, enjoying the sunsets between the salt pans. LU WAS 1 YEAR OLD at the time (well, almost 2 to be exact) and we felt completely SAFE travelling around.
WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH KIDS
In one week we tried to combine A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING so that everyone was happy. We did visit some historical places, but by far not all the museums and tourists sights – instead of those we concentrated on the BEACHES. We were there in the middle of October and we could still swim in the sea! The most beautiful beach we´ve been to was in San Vito Lo Capo, but also the ones around Marsala, San Leone and between are great for kids.
And in the evenings when it was already too cold for swimming we were exploring the beach, collecting shells & sea grass and throwing stones in the water.
We also found NICE PARKS in bigger towns and visiting the BOTANICAL GARDENS in Palermo was a great idea to escape the strong sun in the day. On every historical sight there were tons of STONES TO PLAY WITH, STAIRS TO CLIMB and HERBS TO SMELL. All in all we did NOT SEE MANY CHILDREN PLAYGROUNDS, but with all these walls to climb on, Lu actually did not need one.
You could also go SHOPPING with or for your kids. I can imagine this might sound strange – but, don´t forget, you are in Italy and Italians do have a sense for fashion so if you are one of those parents who like to dress your kids in known labels, this is the place to be! I have never seen so many clothes shops for kids as on Sicily. Probably I wasn´t paying attention to this on my pre-child trips to other parts of Italy.
Another thing not to miss is – eat as much ICE CREAM as you can! I´m not really a fan, but Lu is. So, when on holidays… 😉 Kids might get fascinated in ports, watching all the FISHING BOATS – Lu was still in his “i-love-trash-bins” faze. And his “i-don´t-want-to-wear-shoes” faze also. Surprisingly, he liked going into churches and was silent as a mouse in there. In any case, I´m sure your kids will find something to like and have fun at.
INTERACTING WITH THE LOCALS
Very important – the LOCALS SIMPLY LOVE CHILDREN. We got free bread at the bakeries, lollipops and extra ice cream scoops, just because there was a child on board. Other than that everybody will want to talk to you and help you as much as they can. As the Italians are quite outgoing (and loud) themselves, they will not be bothered and will see it normal if you go for a late night dinner with the kids. This kind of behaviour one rarely sees in Europe anymore!
WHERE TO SLEEP
Have in mind that AUGUST IS THE BUSIEST MONTH, since all the Italians are also on holidays. Book in advance in the peak season and search for smaller private apartments – usually they come with small kitchens and balconies, which is very practical if you are travelling with babies or smaller kids. Lu was standing on the balcony “for hours”, observing the cars, bikes, people, animals moving on the narrow streets. Usually the rooms are in the old centres of the towns so you will most probably need to park somewhere else and carry all the stuff to the room, so pack wisely.
STROLLERS & CARSEATS
We booked the car in advance and also a CHILD SEAT (Lu was almost 2 years old). At first there seemed to be a problem with the seat again and we had to wait a while for them to bring it over to the airport from a different office, but okay. It worked at the end. I already mentioned driving is not the safest, so take care there. We had our UMBRELLA STROLLER with and it turned out good, we could use it in the cities (in Palermo we really walked a lot), but not on the beaches. It was practical because Lu still needed his AFTERNOON SLEEP at the time, so without the stroller we would have had to go back to the room during the day.
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR
You need to be careful at DRIVING if you are renting a car. Also at walking and crossing the street, always double check for motorbikes – hold hands with your little ones at all times, especially if they are one of those kids who love to randomly run to the street. Take some MOSQUITO REPELLENT just in case and have in mind that the RESTAURANTS CLOSE DURING THE DAY and you might not be able to get a warm meal in the early afternoon.
Sicily is huge, even though it does not seem so at first sight. It took us a week and we have by far not seen it all, so we must return to explore the east side. You can read more about our Sicilian trip (where we went, what we did and general information and advice on travelling) by clicking the button below.