Situated on the coast and brimming with history, what could be better than a holiday at the beautiful city of Acireale in Sicily. This spa town sits on the North East coast within the province of Catania and is a great attraction for holidaymakers looking for more than just a beach vacation. Here visitors will find numerous different places to stay including self catering accommodation, villas, apartments and camp sites.
The coastline in Acireale is mainly rocky but holidaymakers can enjoy a spot of fishing with squid and occasionally sea bass caught here. It is possible sunbathe but visitors may prefer to take a relatively easy car journey to the nearby resorts of Taormina and Giardini Naxos, where there are nice beaches to sunbathe on and take a dip in the sea.
There is plenty on offer here for sports enthusiasts including tennis, golf, swimming, snorkelling and cycling. With some wonderful coastal views and Mount Etna not far away, this is also a popular place for hiking and horse riding. A great time to visit Acireale is early February during the season of carnival, which is famous throughout Sicily for its spectacular floats, costumes, and parades.
Being an Italian island on the coast there is naturally plenty of inns and restaurants serving pasta and seafood dishes. The town has many elegant shops and boutiques as well as ice cream parlours.
There are some magnificent old buildings here steeped in history such as the Roman-Gothic Duomo, the Basilica dei SS. Pietro e Paolo and Chiesa di S. Sebastiano. The small city of Aci Catenahas a nice centre with a number of 1800’s and 1900’s attractive palazzo.
Another enjoyable trip can be made to Teatro dei Pupi (the Puppet Theatre), which puts on animated shows at the Museo dei Pupi dell’Opra, just off Acireale. The gardens at Villa Belvedere have a panoramic terrace offering wonderful views of Mount Etna and the sea.
A trip to Mount Etna is highly recommended with numerous coach tours operating here and jeeps taking visitors to the sulphuric peak. Alcantara gorge was formed as a result of an Etna eruption and visitors will see the impressive layers of basalt rock by climbing down the gorge.
The warmest and driest time of the year to visit Acireale is generally July and August when the average high temperature is approximately 26 to 27 degrees centigrade. June and September are also warm months but September is much more susceptible to wet weather. October and November are the wettest months with an average of 95 to 98mm of rain per month.
The main airport of the region is Filippo Eredia in Catania, which is approximately 20 kilometres from Acireale and has flights to and from the main Italian cities as well as European destinations. Airlines flying here are Air Berlin, Air France, Air Malta, Air One, Air Panarea Helicopters, Alitalia, Alpieagles, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Delta, Eurofly, TUIfly.com, Helvetic.com, Jetairfly.com, KLM/NWA, LTU, Lufthansa, Meridiana, Myair.com, Virgin Express, Volareweb.com and Wind Jet.
The railway in Acireale runs services to and from various destinations on the island including Messina and Catania. The town is also close to highway 114 connecting Siracusa to Messina as well as motorway A18 connecting Messina to Catania.