As you arrive into Sicily from the port, the skyline of Messina will be the first sight of the island you get, and you will not be disappointed to see it! Although the town has been the victim of a disproportionate number of disasters, from large earthquakes to Allied bombing raids during WWII, there is still much to interest visitors.
Messina is now made up of wide streets and low rise buildings to try to guard the town from future disasters, but wandering around the town from your accommodation in Messina is a great way to get your bearings and discover a little about the town upon your arrival. The marina is most interesting part of town, although the paved Piazza del Duomo and the associated restored medieval cathedral are well worth a visit. To investigate the long history of the town, and see some of the artefacts removed from various wreckages, the Museo Regionale holds an extensive array of artefacts.
If you are lucky enough to be able to find holiday accommodation in Messina during the second week of August, you will be able to revel in the Feast of Assumption or Ferragosto, when a towering carriage is led through the streets, and completed with a huge fireworks display in the evening.
It is often suggested that the best way to explore from a holiday rental in Messina is by hiring a car rental and taking independent day trips to some of the more famous locations on the island like the active Mount Etna or the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. There are also a huge number of quite, secluded beaches all around the island where you can have a swim and soak up the sun in peace.
One of the best things about visiting Messina accommodation is the combination of modern facilities and traditional food. There are many great restaurants that serve authentic local dishes, which are absolutely delicious, especially when accompanied by a glass of wine from the vineyards surrounding the town.
Palermo is among the best beach resorts in Sicily. It is a lively resort town, offering all the facilities you could wish for on a beach holiday, without the extensive throngs of holiday makers to contend with.
Surrounding Sicily are the Aeolian Islands, a string of 7 volcanic mountains that have broken the surface of the Mediterranean. The islands are natural wildernesses, surrounded by warm waters and littered with some staggering natural sights.
Although climatic conditions can be fairly unpredictable, summer temperatures average around 30°C, perfect for relaxing on the beach or taking a slow stroll around the town. Winter temperatures very rarely dip below 10°C, although sea breezes, whilst perfect for sailing and windsurfing, can make it feel colder.
There is an extensive bus and train network on the island, so getting to any of the self catering accommodation in Messina from either Catania (CTA) or Palermo (PMO) should not cause any problems. Alternatively, you can get a ferry from the tip of mainland Italy, Calabria (use the ports of Villa San Giovanni and Reggio di Calabria), direct to Messina.