Cefalu' - An Underestimated Holiday Destination for Your Family | Guest Post


Everyone knows about the allure of Sicily. Its ancient treasures, which are the envy of archaeologists and nature-lovers worldwide. And its rich historical heritage, resulting from over three millennia of cross-cultural interaction with the Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Northern Europeans.

But aside from the beautiful and perfectly restored temples, it's cathedrals and beaches and it's lovely nature settings, the magic of Sicily is clear in its simplicity and also the rustic character of the various villages that dot the island. With their unique folklore and traditions that bring to life the multi-faceted character of the jewel of the Mediterranean.

In this melting-pot of cultural and cosmopolitan diversity lies the splendid town of Cefalù, which represents a true gem in the history of Sicily. This ancient fishing village, conquered by the Normans in 1064, is not only one of the best beach resort towns in the island, but comprises some of the best artistic and architectural wonders of the Renaissance and pre-Renaissance era.

It is perfect for a family holiday because it represents everything that is typical of Sicily and, as such, satisfies every taste for visitors.

The best way to reach Cefalù is from the main airport of Palermo (Falcone-Borsellino International airport). Transport is available from Palermo via bus or train (which run on an hourly basis) and within Cefalù there are bus lines which connect to the surrounding villages and towns.

Don't forget to book early for accommodation though; Sicily is one of the preferred destinations for tourists and it is busy all year round - thanks to the favourable climate which allows you to visit even in the months of October and November.

While visiting Cefalu’, many travellers prefer to rent a villa so that they can experience Sicilian life and culture in all its aspects. There are many villas in Cefalù, located in the northern part of Sicily, which come at great budget prices for groups and so you can definitely bring your friends (and your dog!) along.

You can find a villa with direct access to the beach, with a private pool and/or with a glorious Mediterranean garden. Meaning you can experience your holiday in luxury and completely relax with all the comforts of home at your finger-tips.

More importantly, this type of accommodation affords the opportunity to live like the locals. It provides a base from which to explore the surroundings (and the many secluded spots that are hidden from the majority of conventional tourists), away from the hustle and bustle of tourist hotels. You can also walk to the local market and buy food to cook at home so you can save on expensive restaurants and get the chance to create your own traditional Sicilian home-cooked meal!

Once you have settled in, it is time to visit the spectacular places that Cefalù is renowned for. Starting with the Centro Storico, a visit to the main Duomo and its Norman Cathedral (built in 1131) and its collection of 12th Century Byzantine Mosaics (with pictures of Christ, the Madonna, Angels and Apostles) is a must for any art historian or art appreciator.

Venture up to the Rocca for a lovely hike that affords a majestic view of the town and the coastal areas, and visit the ruins of the 5th Century B.C. Greek Temple of Diana. Step into the town’s museum, the Museo Mandralisca, for an exquisite trip into the ancient past, and check out the ancient Saracen wash-house (Lavatoio) to learn about the customs of the many civilizations that peopled the area.

Enjoy the sun-filled beach that lines the coast of Cefalù, then head over for a trip to the Madonie Mountains inland and admire the Mediterranean flora and fauna while enjoying a picnic, or participate in the activities of the adventure parks in the area (something which every child and adult will no doubt enjoy).

Cefalu' is where the main regional specialties can be found, including game and freshly grown vegetables. You can also learn about traditional Sicilian cooking methods and recipes, so you will be able to take back home with you a piece of Sicily that will remain forever in your heart and memory.

In collaboration with Mary J

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