Stellar beaches, rustic Sicilian trattorias, and sophisticated nightlife are all for the taking with holidays to Cefalu. No wonder it’s one of Sicily’s favourite holiday destinations.
Sicily’s top dog
For most of the year, this town on Sicily’s north coast is a sleepy fishing port. But come summer, its population is swelled by a cosmopolitan mix of holidaymakers from Italy and further afield. Cefalu’s giant sandy beach is the obvious draw, but its rustic fishermen’s quarter and Medieval old town, backdropped by La Rocca, add to its rock solid pedigree.
Lungomare, Cefalu’s 8-kilometre beach, skirts the coastline, from the old town in the east towards the more developed section in the west. It’s backed by higgledy-piggledy fishermen’s houses and dotted with lidos where you can hire sunloungers and buy ice-cold drinks. And thanks to its calm, shallow Mediterranean Sea it’s got rubber-stamped family appeal. For a quieter, pebbly stretch, Caldura Beach is a 20-minute walk from the old town.
The old town is a warren of narrow streets fanning out from Piazza del Duomo, a pretty square with footsteps at one end leading up to the Norman cathedral. It’s dotted with restaurant terraces where you can eat pizza or sip an espresso in the shade of palm trees. To one side of the square is Porto di Presidiana, the modern harbour, with row upon row of sleek yachts. To the other is the main thoroughfare, Corso Ruggero.
La Rocca is the town’s most famous natural landmark. It’s a cake-shaped promontory that rises sharply behind Piazza del Duomo. On its rocky slopes are the ruins of the Temple of Diana, a sacred site devoted to the goddess of water, and at the summit you can see Palermo in the distance.