Ancient culture and Mediterranean warmth on the Italian islands
Like many others, Italy’s islands offer azure seas, craggy coastline and scenic views. But they also have a degree of sophistication and style you don’t find anywhere else. This makes Italian island holidays particularly special; no more so than on Sicily and Sardinia. Both are steeped in history, with monasteries and castles transcending the ages, but there are modern spas, chic shopping and plentiful water sports too. Sicily sits right off the bottom of the Italian mainland. The island has beckoned seafaring wanderers since the trials of Odysseus were first sung in Homer's Odyssey. All manner of great Mediterranean cultures have left their mark here. First Greek and Roman, then Arab and Norman, and finally French, Spanish and Italian. The evidence lies in the temples of Agrigento and Syracuse, the Monreale Cathedral near Palermo and the theatre at Taormina. There are natural wonders too; mighty Mount Etna rises imperiously above everything sending out wisps of scalding steam from its peak.
Sardinia sits right in the heart of the Mediterranean sea and is blessed with vast amounts of sunshine. It’s home to some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean. The bays of Costa Smeralda with their shimmering waters and fine sand feel genuinely tropical. There are other islands to explore nearby. A spot of island hopping in the La Maddalena Archipelago is a real highlight. And there’s wine here too. The local Vermentino wines are some of our favourites.