The largest of the 20 Italian regions, Sicily enjoys a Mediterranean climate characterised by hot, dry summers and warm although possibly rainy winters when thunderstorms can be fairly frequent. Enjoying plenty of sunshine all year round, and very little rain in the Spring and Summer months, the island can boast an average of 2448 hours of sunlight per year (out of a possible 4383). Subjected to the sirocco (Africa’s warm winds from the Sahara), temperatures can be as high as 20 degrees or even more in the Winter and as hot as 40 degrees centigrade in the Summer. These winds can also carry sands with them on occasion, covering the sky in a thin hazy veil.
However, the island’s differing terrain does mean that the climate can vary enormously dependent on where you are. In the Eastern part of the island, the towering bulk of Mount Etna, over 3300 metres high, can be covered in snow in the Winter months and sees more rainfall and much lower temperatures than the lower coastal plains. Similarly, the Western part of the island is affected less by the warm sirocco winds and more by the cooler, fresher mistral winds so, as a general rule, you’ll find the South East of the island to be warmer and dryer than the North West, protected as it is by the mountainous terrain that shelters it from the prevailing winds.
We think that Sicily is a particularly great holiday destination to visit in the Spring and Autumn. Visitors will find temperatures across April, May and June and in September through to October pleasantly in the 70s, still perfect for enjoying time on the beach but less stifling than in the peak Summer months if you’re looking for a more active hiking holiday.
Between March and May, temperatures begin to warm up nicely. You should be able to walk around in a T shirt and shorts in April and you can even be sunbathing on the beach come May. Rainfall is minimal and with 12 hours of sunshine to be enjoyed each day in May, it’s the perfect time to visit. That said, beach lovers will find the sea temperature is still a little on the cold side and not for the feint hearted!
In the Summer months, you’ll find day rainfall is extremely rare, tending to fall only briefly on the larger hills and mountains. June and July are the driest months with only 10 mm of rainfall each month. Across July and August, daytime temperatures can be high, peaking around 40 degrees centigrade but, with plenty of beaches close at hand, a quick dip in the sea will provide quick relief and instant refreshment! With sea temperatures a balmy 27 degrees in August, and 25 degrees in July and September, it’s more than comfortable for everyone to enjoy. Holidaymakers will find the beaches tend to be free of clouds and there will be up to 14 hours of wonderful sunshine to make the most of. Even night time temperatures remain high, which does mean holidaymakers can enjoy plenty of al fresco dining and a nightly passeggiata. With plenty of
However, there is plenty to see and do in the Winter months too. Average temperatures only drop below 20 degrees centigrade in mid November but ranges can vary tremendously dependent on whether you’re on in the mountains or down at the coast. Rainfall does start to increase but holidaymakers will still find Sicily to be much dryer than its Northern European neighbours and there is still plenty of sunshine to be enjoyed. Cold spells are rare and are usually short lived and there are still 7 or 8 hours of sunshine each day on average.
That said, probably the most unpredictable weather in Sicily comes between December and February. December is the wettest month of the year with frequent but light rain showers and 79 mm of rainfall overall. Snow tends to appear on Mount Etna from the end of November onwards when the ski season starts. Whilst temperatures are still mild around the coast, skiing can take place on the slopes of Etna between December and March.