7 Reasons to Visit the Beautiful Italian Town of Cefalu, Sicily

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7 Reasons to Visit the Beautiful Italian Town of Cefalu, Sicily

This beautiful Italian town on the coast of Sicily is one of the most underrated in the country, featuring some of the most incredible coastal scenery in the country. A popular day trip from the capital of Sicily, Palermo, there's plenty of things to do and reasons to visit Cefalu.

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7 Reasons to Visit the Beautiful Italian Town of Cefalu, Sicily

The Unique Hillscape

Cefalu La Rocca

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This uniquely-shaped hill gives the town of Cefalu its striking appearance, rising up beside the picturesque colorful houses with its sheer cliff-face. Often referred to as La Rocca (the rock), this was the site of Cefalu's ancient fortifications, when it was built by the Greeks and known as Kephaloidion. There are still ruins and parts of the old town left intact to explore around the hill, perfect for those who want to get to know a little history from the area.

Exploring the Castle Ruins

Cefalu Castle and view of coast of Sicily

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One of the many remnants of the Norman rule of Sicily and southern Italy, Cefalu Castle was built in the 11th century. Sitting at the top of La Rocca, the views from the castle ruins are stunning, glimpsing out of the fortifications towards the gorgeous surrounding coastline.

The Beautiful Beachfront

Beautiful beachfront of Cefalu

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The coastline of Cefalu is lined with one of Sicily's most beautiful beaches and the turquoise waters around the town are even more beautiful. While the town and its unique appearance is stunning enough, the beach is the main reason most people travel to Cefalu. While it can get a little crowded in the summer months, luckily there's plenty of space here. However if you do need a little more peace and quiet, there are a number of equally beautiful beaches just a short way out of the town, such as the beaches of Castel di Tusa and Mazzaforno.

Cefalu Cathedral

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One of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the area around Palermo, Cefalu's cathedral is quite unlike any other cathedral in the country. Built in the 12th century in an impressive display of Arab-Norman architecture after Sicily and the south of Italy was conquered by Normans, it's a fascinating nod to the region's unique history.

Madonie Park

Madonie Park, Sicily

Photo by Emily Marie Wilson

For those staying a little longer around Cefalu, the area just south of the city called Madonie Park is full of picturesque mountain towns and incredible scenery and nature. A short 25 minute drive will take you the beautiful town of Gratteri, or travel further down for more beautiful landscapes and the imposing castle of Castelbuono.

Delicious Sicilian Cuisine

Sicilian Cuisine

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Sicily is known all over Italy for its delicious cuisine, and Cefalu is no exception. You'll find a range of mouthwatering restaurants and cafes in Cefalu, offering classics like arancini, caponata, Sicilian pizza and cannoli. During the summertime, sitting by the beach and enjoying a traditional gelato is a must.

Quaint Historic Streets

Quaint Historic Streets of Cefalu

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With much of the city having been built hundreds of years ago, just walking around the quaint narrow streets and admiring the architecture of this old rustic city is reason enough to visit. After checking out the cathedral, explore the old town that surrounds it by taking one of the streets off the Piazza del Duomo, the lively square in front.

How to Get to Cefalu from Palermo

There are trains regularly throughout the day from Palermo Centrale Station to the station in Cefalu, the journey usually takes from 45 minutes to an hour. By car it takes about an hour to drive along the coast from Sicily's capital to Cefalu.