Cefalú: the perfect beach holiday. The Sicilian fishing town of Cefalú is just the right size – it’s small enough that you escape the noise and chaos of a city but just large enough that there is a large selection of restaurants. You won’t be tripping over the same places day after day. It is best known for its crescent shaped sand beach that is major tourist destination during the summer. The crystal clear water with gentle waves rolling in on the sand beaches make it the ideal spot for a relaxing beach stay.
The ancient city is in the province of Palermo, located on the northern coast of Sicily on the Tyrrhenian Sea. High above the town is the cliff La Rocca where Arabs built their citadel. They lived there until 1061 when they were forced down the mountain by the Normans. A hiking path leads to the top of the crag but this climb is not for the weary. It’s a steep trail with lots of steps so proper footwear is a must. Those willing to make the ascent are rewarded with stunning view of Cefalú and of the sea, plus the 4th-century ruins of the Tempio di Diana. Like every other Italian town, Cefalú’s duomo is worthy of a visit. The 12-century building features stunning mosaics and because it was established as a Norman church Jesus is shown with blonde hair.
Where to eat:
Ristorante Kentia al Trappitu
Eating dinner on the terrace of this elegant restaurant while the sun sets over the sea was one of the highlights of our trip. There is wide selection of the fresh, local seafood as well as a vegetarian menu and pizza. Via Carlo Ortolani di Bordonaro, 96.
This was our go to lunch spot, although it is also open at night. Located on the beach promenade their wide selection of salads hit the spot on hot summer days. The menu features a variety of items including fantastic Casarecce swordfish. Lungomare Giardina, 10/11.
Il Carretto Trattoria con Pizzeria
We asked several locals for their recommendation for the best pizza in Cefalú and every one responded with “Il Carretto.” Fantastic pizza! Via Mandralisca, 66.
Tucked in one of streets in the center of Cefalú is the intimate Il Normanno. The staff is very accommodating and takes a vested interest in making sure each meal is flawless. Dishes include risotto with citrus, almond and grouper and a pork fillet crusted with pistachio and a chocolate sauce. Via Vanni, 9.
Where to stay:
This small hotel has large rooms and perhaps the biggest bathroom I have ever seen in Italy. There was more wardrobe and storage space than we could fill. It is located off the beach promenade, outside of the center of town. That equates to wonderful sea views and a very quiet sleep. No worries about being too far away, the action is only a 5-minute walk from the hotel. Breakfast on the terrace with sea breezes is a great way to start the day. Guests can enjoy the benefits of an agreement the hotel has a couple nearby beach clubs. Via Maestro V. Pintorno, 101.