Noto and surroundings: a seaside holiday in Sicily

Fancy a holiday in Sicily? Noto could be your ideal destination. Immersed in one of the most beautiful valleys in Italy, the Val di Noto, Noto is renowned for the Baroque beauty of its historic center.

Bell tower of the 18th century Noto Cathedral in Noto, Sicily, Italy

Bell tower of the 18th century Noto Cathedral in Noto, Sicily, Italy
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It is located halfway between two fascinating Sicilian cities, Syracuse and Ragusa, and offers you the chance to visit some beautiful beaches overlooking the Ionian Sea. Read on to discover Noto and the beaches in its surroundings.

Noto and the Baroque of Sicily

The Val di Noto is undoubtedly one of Sicily’s most attractive areas. It extends from the province of Catania to Ragusa and includes the ancient city of Syracuse, as well as charming smaller towns such as
, Scicli, Caltagirone, and Noto itself.

Panoramic view in Noto, with the Cathedral and the Palazzo Ducezio. Province of Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

Panoramic view in Noto, with the Cathedral and the Palazzo Ducezio. Province of Siracusa, Sicily, Italy
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Together, they have become part of UNESCO’s World Heritage site thanks to the presence of archaeological areas and their majestic Baroque architecture, which saw them reborn after the devastating earthquake of the 17th century.

Noto fully represents the beauty of Sicily, and your holidays here will undoubtedly be full of pleasant surprises. We recommend you sleep in a Noto villa. This way, you will have every comfort and choose daily what experience to have in the exquisite Sicilian style.

We warn you: you will have much to explore and taste! Here, you will find every delicacy of Sicilian cuisine, especially pastry. And if you are a wine lover, here, too, you are spoiled for choice.

Basilica and cathedral of St. Nicholas of Myra (San Nicolo) in Sicilian baroque style. In the small town of Noto, Syracuse, Sicily, Italy

Basilica and cathedral of St. Nicholas of Myra (San Nicolo) in Sicilian baroque style. In the small town of Noto, Syracuse, Sicily, Italy
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In the heart of the historic centre, there is so much to see, but here are some sites not to be missed:

  • Cathedral of San Nicolò —It is the city’s symbol and recognizable for its grandeur. It is at the top of a long staircase that attracts all visitors. It is open every day until 8 p.m., so you can’t miss it!
  • Palazzo Ducezio—This palace perfectly exemplifies the Sicilian Baroque opposite the cathedral. It is worth visiting, especially to enter the Hall of Mirrors. You can find more information on the official website.
  • Bell Tower of San Carlo al Corso – This little 18th-century gem is also worth your attention, especially if you like to see cities from above. From the church’s bell tower, you can admire Noto from another perspective.
  • Scalinata Mariannina Coffa—The staircase is a fine example of contemporary art. Every year, the Infiorata decorations are reproduced in a digital version. This event has made Noto famous worldwide. It takes place in spring each year, with a different theme.

But as we mentioned earlier, the sea is not far from Noto. If you are here, you can choose whether to go to a beach further north, towards Syracuse or to explore the southernmost tip of Sicily. We offer you a selection of beaches for all tastes.

Beaches around Noto

To make things easier, we’d tell you about some of the most famous beaches around Noto, from north to south along the Ionian coast.

Fontane Bianche

Fontane Bianche is a hamlet of Syracuse, about 10 kilometres from the provincial capital. Over a kilometre long, you can distinguish it by its fine white sand. It bears this name because numerous freshwater springs flow here.

You will find free and equipped beach sections and a transparent sea suitable for everyone because the seabed is shallow. Another peculiarity? In general, the water is very pleasant, never too cold.

Pine forest of Jasmine Grove in Avola

Avola is a seaside resort very close to Noto. In addition to being known for historical facts, it is famous for the ancient Tonnara of the Loreto family, dating back to the 17th century, for the variety of almond called Pizzuta d’Avola, and for Nero d’Avola, a fine Sicilian red wine made with the homonymous vine.

The most popular beaches are undoubtedly the Tremoli’s Seafront and the Marina. Still, we recommend the pine forest of Jasmine Grove because it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches in Sicily. It is where the Cassibile River flows into the Ionian Sea and includes a coastline that is both sandy and suitable for even the most minor children. There are also cliffs with caves and small inlets, preferred by diving enthusiasts. The pine forest makes this place even more appreciated, guaranteeing freshness and tranquillity.

Calabernardo, Malacala, and Lido di Noto

Three beaches fall within the territory of Noto: Calabernardo, Malacala, and Lido di Noto. They are beaches where you can find both free stretches and equipped areas. In the first two, the cliff prevails, while at Lido di Noto, you will find golden sand, clean sea and easily accessible.

In addition, Calabernardo is a small fishing village, which is suggestive of its small pier. The inhabitants of Noto prefer this beach. Malacala is perfect for exploring with a mask and snorkel because the area is rich in marine life.

Vendicari Oasis

The Vendicari Oasis is one of the most beautiful nature reserves in Italy. In addition to being a paradise for those who love to walk nature trails and do birdwatching, it also offers the opportunity to spend a few hours on beaches with a wild charm: the pristine Calamosche and Marianelli.

If you prefer more comfortable accommodations, the beautiful beach of Eloro in the reserve, located on the remains of the Greek city of the same name, is always available.

For more information on the reserve, visit the official website.

Spinazza Beach in Marzamemi


Marzamemi, Sicily
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Another beach to visit is the Spinazza of Fondo Morte, a hamlet of the charming Marzamemi. You can also reach it by walking along a lighted path for about 2 kilometres. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by an equipped promenade and a long sandy beach with a clear, clean sea. The area is mainly residential, so it is very relaxing.

Two Seas Beach in Portopalo

Portopalo di Capo Passero is a place worth seeing, given that you are in this fantastic area of Sicily. You can see two seas “kissing” and meeting in a truly poetic place.

Island of Capo Passero, Val di Noto

Island of Capo Passero, Val di Noto
Photo by Flickr

It is the Two Seas Beach, near the Capo Passero Island and the Isola delle Correnti. The second has become a nature reserve and is the most curious site: the currents are generated by the meeting between the Ionian Sea and the open Mediterranean.

The sea is lovely near the shore: it seems like you are in the Caribbean. Near the island, it becomes furious! In the immediate vicinity, it is possible to go snorkelling, an experience we recommend.

Now that you know that you can have a holiday of both relaxation and discovery in Noto and its surroundings, which beach would you like to visit?

Don’t waste any more time! Book your holiday in Sicily.

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