What to Expect from the Weather in Sicily

What to Expect from the Weather in Sicily

What to Expect from the Weather in Sicily is a tough question. Whenever one inquires about the weather it's loaded with negativity BUT come rain or shine; there is something beautiful to do to experience a new side of Sicily.

Where to stay in Sicily

Introduction to Sicilian Climate:

Sicily is the largest Island in Italy with a Mediterranean climate along the coasts (mild winters & hot sunny summers) and a slightly cooler and more continental climate towards Inland areas.  With its long, hot summers, Sicily has many months of truly fabulous weather each year and the best time of year to go depends very much on the traveller and on what people intend to do during their holiday, but it's important to know what to expect from the weather in Sicily. From May to October, the weather in Sicily is warm enough to sunbathe & swim from the many beautiful beaches around Sicily’s stunning coastline and seaside resorts.

The highest mountain in Sicily is Etna volcano, 3,329 meters high and is located in the eastern part of the island. In winter, the top of the volcano is covered in snow, often in Spring and Autumn too.

Sicily is subject to the sirocco, a hot wind from Africa, which can bring humidity & raise the temperature to around or above 20 °C in winter and 40 °C in summer.

Here is a monthly breakdown of what to expect from the weather in Sicily and what you can do in each month, in order to fully be able to make the most of each season!

Introduction to Sicilian Climate:


January- Mount Etna

This is deep mid-winter and it’s generally the coldest month of the year, where wet & short days are to be expected, however, if the sun is out, during the day it can be warm enough to walk around without a jacket.

Average daytime temperature: 11°c on the coast

Approximate sea temperature: 14°c

Suggested activities: Skiing on the slopes of Mount Etna because when the mercury drops, the majestic mountains are given a dusting of snow, allowing visitors to hit the slopes and indulge in their favourite winter sports


February: Sicily

February reflects similar weather conditions as January, although the end of the month will begin to welcome better conditions. The days start to get warmer, however, the conditions in the mountains are still very wintery.

Average daytime temperature: 12°c on the coast

Approximate sea temperature: 14°c

Suggested activities: Mountain Walking, skiing, Sicilian Carnival

The Carnival of Acireale (Catania) is one of the most ancient of Sicily. The first Grotesque floats were built in 1880, and this old tradition has been kept alive, thanks to the expert and willing local artisans that convey all of their imagination and know-how in the creation of their artistic floats.


MARCH: Sicily

March indicates the end of winter, especially by the coast, as wild flowers start to bloom in abundance and the temperatures begin to rise. Lovely sunny days alternate with windy, rainy days and the highest peaks of Etna, Nebrodi and Madonie are still covered in snow.

Average daytime temperature: 15°c on the coast

Approximate sea temperature: 14°c

Suggested activities: Although the temperatures aren't beach-worthy, March is a great time to explore the island without experiencing uncomfortable weather conditions. It’s the ideal time of year for hiking in woodland areas, cycling and visiting cities like Palermo, Catania, etc. which can get very hot in the summer months.



The days grow longer, they get warmer and dryer as the month goes on. The wild flowers begin to explode all over Sicily as spring is in the air, the bravest might even take their first dip in the sea, although the waters are still pretty cold!

Average daytime temperature: 18°c on the coast

Approximate sea temperature: 15°c

Suggested activities: Easter celebrations are in full swing across the island and the typical processions are well worth experiencing, as they bring together folklore and tradition in an incredibly characteristic way. While you’re in the Easter mood, and if you’re a true chocolate lover, why not take a trip to Modica, as it’s the capital of Sicilian chocolate.  This Aztec-inspired chocolate is one of the world’s best-kept secrets.

Modica is an attractive historic town in south-eastern Sicily, one of the area's UNESCO-listed Baroque towns. Modica is particularly famous for its chocolate, and it is an appealing destination because of the fine late-Baroque architecture, the medieval old town, the dramatic surrounding landscape and last but not least the scent of cocoa & the taste of delicious chocolate.



The temperatures on the coast and in the islands will now be extremely comfortable as they significantly start to rise. May is generally a very dry month and the mountain slopes are exploding in colour.  

Average daytime temperature: 22°c on the coast

Approximate sea temperature: 18°c

Suggested activities: The temperatures are ideal for walking or for enjoying the beach before it gets too hot. Flowers are in full bloom so it’s definitely worth paying a visit to the Infiorata di Noto, Italy's well known flower festival along the Baroque streets of beautiful Noto.

This is one of the most colourful festivals in the world and it takes place every year around the third weekend of May. For a couple of days, Via Nicolaci, one of Noto's many delightful streets, is taken over by local and foreign artists who work together on a set theme to create a carpet of petal mosaics using flowers grown especially for this event. 


June: Sicily

The first smells and vibes of summer are wafting in the air and through the island as things really begin to heat up in Sicily in June, with the summer season getting ever closer. Clear blue skies and lots of sunshine are expected throughout the month. The sea is warmer but the beaches are still fairly quiet, except at weekends when the first Sicilians start to brave the waters. The fruit trees are packed with cherries, nespole, plums, gelsi and much more..

Average daytime temperature: 26°c on the coast

Approximate sea temperature: 21°c

Suggested activities: If you love to hike, then this is probably the perfect time for walking in the higher Madonie and Nebrodi mountains, if you like adventure, then an ideal activity at this time of year would be scuba diving because you can get away with wearing a wetsuit if you feel like the water has not quite reached that “easy to get in” stage. The visibility in the water is good and the sea is not yet packet with boats, as high season is still yet to come


What To Do In Taormina- The Top 20 Things To Do- Scuba Diving

July generally experiences Sicily's hottest annual temperatures, therefore the sea becomes the focus for most Sicilians and tourists. This month is considered to be the perfect Mediterranean climate. There is virtually no rain on the island, the cities tend to get very hot and humid, hence why most people move towards the coast. Peaches and watermelon are in season and the juicy fresh cold taste is very much appreciated on hot days like these.

Average daytime temperature: 33+°c on the coast

Approximate sea temperature: 25°c

Suggested activities: Anything that involves the water and keeping cool. Boat tours, snorkelling and water sports. A nice way to escape the heat is a sunset trip to Mount Etna, where you can feel cooler air and admire spectacular views. In July the Taormina Festival is in full swing, hosting many concerts. There’s opera, classical, rock, jazz and so much more. July is also a time to enjoy the sagra del pesce spade in Acitrezza. Swordfish has been for many years, one of Sicily's gastronomic highlights and can be found on pretty much every menu across the island. The fish that feeds the Island is celebrated with a huge barbecue at the small, yet cosy fishing port of Aci Trezza, coinciding with celebrations of the village's patron saint, San Giovanni. 


August: Sicily

The oppressive heat of the cities and the general holiday feel pushes almost everyone to the coast, which of course become very crowded. The cities like Palermo, Catania, Caltanissetta etc. can be almost unbearably hot, (that’s why it’s best to save these for spring & autumn months) however, the higher, cooler inland parts of the Island, still remain a pleasant escape route.

Thunderstorms are to be expected throughout August, especially towards the end of the month.

Average daytime temperature: 32°c on the coast

Approximate sea temperature: 27°c

Suggested activities: A trip to the Eolian Islands is a good way of getting some fresh air during the navigation across to the Islands. There’s not a huge amount of sightseeing to do in the Islands, so it’s more about enjoying the volcanic beaches and mud baths. There are lots of events and activities going on all over the Sicily in August such as San Lorenzo; the night of shooting stars, the infinite beach parties of Ferragosto, the Azzurro Street food festival in Sciacca, the Mazara food festival in Mazzara del Vallo, a celebration of Sicilian sausage in Santa Ninfa, the Divino Festival in Castelbuono; a celebrating Sicilian wine & music, the Festival of San Salvatore in Cefalu’, the festival of Pachino cherry tomatoes in Pachino, the Arancino festival near Noto and much much more…


September: Sicily

Temperatures remain very comfortable and the Island retains that summer feeling, although the crowds begin to disperse. September is by far the best time to visit Sicily as the weather is lovely, the sea is still warm and the water becomes crystal clear. The temperature is perfect for getting out and about. Towards mid-month, the climate sees a small drop in temperatures and the occasional storm.

The delicious sweet figs are now in season as the watermelons are no longer in sight.

Average daytime temperature: 26°c on the coast

Approximate sea temperature: 26°c

Suggested activities: The temperatures ensure that it’s still time for soaking up the sun and cooling off in the sea, in fact, in September it’s probably more enjoyable than the previous hot busy months.

September is a great time for tasting a feast of flavours at the very popular cous cous festival in San Vito Lo Capo. San Vito is also well known for its paradisiacal beach and turquoise water.

There are also grape harvests and festivals that take place around Sicily throughout this month.


Sicily October

The weather in October is still pleasant, despite a drop in the temperature. On good days, it’s still possible to enjoy the beach and the sea, especially in the first half of the month.  Wine is being made throughout the month, the vineyards turn to reds and oranges giving a spectacular range of colours in the countryside, making this one of the most beautiful periods for country walking. Seasonal rainfalls develop a multiple variety of mushrooms. The prickly pears are at their best.

Average daytime temperature: 22°c on the coast

Approximate sea temperature: 22°c

Suggested activities: Walking in the countryside and in woodland areas. Autumn in the mountains means it’s time for mushrooms, so it’s the perfect time to do some mushroom picking, the Ottobrata in Zafferana Etnea is also a very popular “must” for October, this takes place at the weekend, five Sundays, five sagre, each one dedicated to a classic autumnal speciality produced on Mount Etna. In October there’s also the Pistachio festival in Bronte.  This town is known for its Castello di Nelson but rather more for its pistachio nuts, which are considered to be amongst the best in the whole world and protected by a DOP label. This is why Bronte is considered to be the capital of pistachio, as it is home to Italy’s “green gold”.


November: Sicily

Autumn is well and truly here, the days shorten, the temperature drops and the rain becomes a bit more frequent. Days are still comfortably warm but the nights do get chilly.

This is generally the month with the highest rainfall. The orange and mandarin season is now starting.

Average daytime temperature: 18°c on the coast

Approximate sea temperature: 19°c

Suggested activities: With the crowds long gone it’s a fabulous time to visit the island’s famous sites such as the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento or the Archeologic park in Siracusa.

November is the month for Olive picking and harvesting. Most important producers harvest the olives by hand and there is a growing number of organic oils being produced on the island. If in Sicily at this time, a sample of some freshly pressed, deliciously fruity and aromatic olive oil is a must!



December: Sicily

December welcomes the winter months to Sicily, and while some days are still pleasantly warm with extremely agreeable temperatures during the day, the general theme of the weather in this period is cold, wet and short as the sunlight hours are at their lowest of the year.

it is considerably colder at higher altitudes, as well as at night, with some snow falling on the mountain peaks, meaning that outdoor exploration is perhaps out of the question.

Christmas is an important festival here and many small towns light up the night with their traditional processions.

Average daytime temperature: 14°c on the coast

Approximate sea temperature: 16°c

Suggested activities: Christmas shopping within the many shopping centres “centri commerciali” and outlets around the Island, visit the Christmas Markets, as the island is rich in beautiful Christmas markets where you’ll find pretty decorations and handicraft products, as well as perfectly-carved nativity scenes and traditional winter food and wine. Some of the most famous Christmas markets in Sicily can be found in Caltagirone, the city of ceramics, as well as in Erice, the medieval little hamlet set on top of Mount Erice.  Visit local exhibits of traditional handcrafted nativity scenes, plenty of villages in the countryside have a centuries-old tradition of nativity scenes production. 



That’s it for the moment, adventurers, we hope you find this article useful.

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