Sicily soars above the Mediterranean with the smoking craters of mighty Mount Etna. For millennia, the isle's fertile lands and stunning seascapes have drawn travellers and settlers. It's no different today, with millions flocking to gasp at the ancient structures of the Valle dei Templi or plunge into the azure waters around Syracuse. For a holiday rental here that you're bound to remember, read on for tips and booking hints about villas in Sicily.

The luxuries of villas in Sicily

There's certainly no shortage of luxury villas in Sicily. These are the upscale stays that offer somewhere riddled with frills and extra features. Just a few of their enticing aspects are listed below.

Sicily villas to rent with a view

Between serrated mountain peaks and chalk-white bays of bobbing fishing boats and rolling salt flats, Sicily certainly isn't at a loss for eye-watering vistas. You're likely to find that the most upscale home rentals make the most of the island’s handsome backcountry, by sitting perched on high ridges overlooking Mount Etna or spilling down to private pebble coves, for example.

Holiday homes in Sicily with a pool

One of the great joys of booking a luxury villa in Sicily is the presence of a private pool. With the mercury showing 30 degrees and up for much of the summer in this southern extremity of Italy, it's often essential to have somewhere to splash around and cool off, particularly if you're not close to the sea.

Luxury villas in Sicily with lots of space

Don't be surprised to find the most opulent of homes in the Sicilian countryside surrounded by sprawling gardens, private olive groves or orange orchards. Many were once rustic farmhouses tilled by local Italians. After being converted into luxury stays, they’ve retained that earthy connection to the land by keeping their grounds and fields.

Where to seek out villas in Sicily near the beach

You might not need to fork out extra for a luxury villa in Sicily with its own private pool if the glimmering, sky-blue sea waters of the Mediterranean are just a couple of steps from your door. Here are a few towns on the island that can offer just that.

Urban swims in Syracuse

The ancient city of Syracuse is imbued with enthralling ruins, Greek amphitheatres and grand rows of marble-clad Baroque churches. Once you're done touring them, a swim off the side of the Old Town, which covers the whole island of Ortigia, jutting out of the eastern side of Sicily, is a great way to end the day.

Enchanting Cefalu

Choosing a holiday rental in Cefalu or the surrounding bays of the north coast promises a glimpse at one of the most striking fishing harbours on the whole island. That's in Cefalu town itself, which spills with its honey-hued medieval buildings into a boat-bobbing Med. Along the side of the town is the stretched Lungomare Lido, where villas pepper the pine groves, just metres from the sea.

The Island of Favignana beckons

The pinprick of little Favignana can be seen just off the coast of western Sicily. It's so small that you can be guaranteed walking access to the beaches wherever you stay. And what beaches they are – think pink-tinted sands and waters as clear as crystal.

Find your villas in Sicily inland

If you prefer eucalyptus-shrouded pools and views of mighty Etna from your luxury villa in Sicily, then look no further than the 3 inland hotspots listed below.

The panoramas around Nicolosi

If you're brave enough to venture close to the smoke-spluttering cone of Mount Etna, there are no villas in Sicily with a better view than the ones around Nicolosi. It's one of the closest towns to the snow-tipped volcano, which means that intrepid types can launch their expeditions to the summit and crater with ease.

Agrigento for holiday rentals in Sicily

A little inland from the southern shore, the piazzas of Agrigento herald the start of the Valle dei Templi – arguably the most fascinating historical region going. Villas in the area could be rustic farm conversions with pools overlooking the dusty plains, though all will be near the majestic Temple of Concordia and the other Greek masterworks of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Architectural treats in Noto

The grand palazzos and soaring cathedral dome that crown the town of Noto are a fine introduction to the sheer majesty of Sicily's towns and cities. You can find plenty of villas in the countryside nearby, all just a stone's throw from the Corso Vittorio Emanuele III – the main thoroughfare, with its eye-watering buildings.