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I love discovering a new place completely by chance. I had done a lot of research on Sicily beforehand, but one of my favorite places turned out to be a little seaside town I hadn’t even heard of until the day my mom, my sister, and I visited.
It was our second morning in Sicily and we weren’t feeling too energetic, but we wanted to get out and see somewhere.
“Why don’t you go to Aci Trezza?” our agriturismo host Maria suggested.
Hmm. I hadn’t heard of that. My mom and Maria started discussing the town as I absentmindedly scrolled through Snapchat, overhearing snippets of their speech every now and again.
A small town on the sea? Sure.
“What’s that town, again?” I asked Maria’s husband, Franz.
“Aci Trezza. It’s close to Catania.”
“Aci Trezza,” I murmured as I pulled up driving directions on Google Maps. “Will it be tough to park?”
“Not during the day. More people come there at night to eat fish.”
Hmmm. Could be good.
Without knowing anything beyond Maria and Franz’s testimonial, we set off for that little seaside village — a village that I’d love to show you in photos.
Aci Trezza is home to the Isole Ciclopi, or Cyclops’ islands, rocks that rise out of the sea.
Like many islands in the Mediterranean, Sicily claims to be one of the destinations featured in The Odyssey. Namely, Cyclops is believed to have lived beneath Mount Etna and when he threw rocks at Odysseus, they landed in the sea here.
Aci Trezza isn’t home to sandy beaches — instead, you’ll find rocky areas for perching and sunbathing.
Better yet, go for a beach club built on a deck on stilts, where you can relax underneath an umbrella and walk down a staircase into the sea.
Of course, nothing beats this beach club, where you can feel like the king of the rocks!
You can rent a boat or stand-up paddleboard and explore the islands, including this one, the largest island of all.
The marina? Pretty busy for such a low-key town.
So did we do much in Aci Trezza? Nope! It was a glorious day of eating granita, crashing on chairs at the Ghenea Beach Club, and finishing the day with giant oysters and prosecco, the local 10 euro aperitivo.
As the sun slowly set, boats in the bay slowly turning gold, I knew we had found something special — a respite from the constant craziness of a wild and unpredictable island.
It was rather short-lived. We took what looked like an easier route home and ended up in a goat stampede. Because it was still Sicily, after all.
Planning a Trip to Italy:
- What NOT to Do in Italy
- Solo Female Travel in Italy: Is it Safe?
- Ultimate Guide to Driving in Italy
- How to Stay at an Agriturismo in Italy
- 40 Italy Landmarks to Experience Once In Your Lifetime
- 30 Stunning Mediterranean Islands To Visit In Your Lifetime
Cool Places in Southern Italy:
Cool Places in Sicily:
- The Joys and Challenges of Traveling in Sicily
- Where to Go in Eastern Sicily
- 23 Fun Things to Do in Palermo, Sicily
- Complete Guide to the Aeolian Islands, Sicily
- Visiting Sicily in the Winter: Worth it or not?
- 30 Iconic Dishes To Try In Sicily
Cool Places in Northern Italy:
- Three Weeks in Northern Italy: An Itinerary
- Parma, Italy: A Colorful, Artsy, Delicious Town
- Where to Stay in Rome: Best Neighborhoods and Accommodation
- Three Days in the Dolomites: A South Tyrol Getaway
- Best Day Trips from Florence, Italy
- The Immaculate, Bursting Mosaics of Ravenna, Italy
- 25 Best Food Experiences in Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Essential Info: Aci Trezza is a few towns north of Catania. There is a cheap parking garage (follow the signs for parcheggio) on the main street that runs through town.
We spent our day at the Ghenea Beach Club. It cost just 5 euros ($6) per person and you get a chair, umbrella, table, and access to bathrooms and changing facilities.
We stayed in a two-bedroom suite at Agriturismo La Rocca della Rosa in Zafferana Etnea, which can also be booked on Airbnb here, for $115 per night plus Airbnb fees. This is a wonderful agriturismo with a pool, great food, and the kindest owners, Maria and Franz. You’ll love it here. It’s in a perfect location for exploring Mount Etna and northeast Sicily; the town of Zafferana is lovely, too (don’t miss Blue Gel gelato!).
If hotels are more your thing, you can find the best prices on hotels in Zafferana Etnea here.
Make sure you purchase travel insurance before your trip. I use and recommend World Nomads.
30 thoughts on “Aci Trezza: A Laid-Back Seaside Town in Sicily”
Novy Svet in Crimea is a place where literally every single local asked me how I knew to come here. It’s a small village on the east side of the peninsula, far from the resort hot-spots of Alushta, Alupka and Yalta. I ended up there bc some accidental locals recommended it to my mom nearly 2 decades ago. It is very closed off and lovely. Pebble beaches though, which are uncomfortable enough – so looking at these rocks brings back the less than pleasant memories. The one thing I learned from my Crimean vacation: BRING SWIMMING SHOES. I feel like this would apply to Aci Trezza too.
I wonder if/when tourists are going to be returning to Crimea. We haven’t heard much in the news lately.
Ukrainian – probably not for a while. Russians still flock there, as they always had, if not more (especially as the ruble has crashed and burned against the euro and the dollar, and popular European destinations (Spain, Greece) became prohibitively expensive). But the logistics of getting to Sochi from the rest of Russia now that you cant go through mainland Ukraine, still leave a lot to be desired. As for foreign tourists, as much as I think Crimea is a must-see place for everyone, the infrastructure isnt really there to welcome casual travelers from abroad, unless you stick to Yalta and nearby. I am actually curious to see what the Russian government has in mind for it in terms of development – my guess is they’d want to fancy it up like they did with Sochi, but with target audience still being Russians/near abroad. You should come though 🙂
Beautiful! Never been but would love to 🙂
Gorgeous scenery! Recommendations from locals are always the best. I honestly think that’s the key to finding those off-the-beaten-path experiences that we’re all in search of.
Beautiful photos, Kate! Seems like my kind of place.
Zygi in Cyprus is a good hidden gem – well, not to the locals! It’s where everyone goes to eat fish meze. Not a tourist in sight, usually!
That sounds great! Will have to look it up!
Beautiful photos Kate, reminds me of places I visited in Sicily as a twenty-something hitchhiker (what was I thinking?) three decades ago. My favourite Italian beach-side town nobody seems to know about is La Maddalena – it’s also a protected archipelago of small islands just north of Sardegna – away from the bling of the Costa Smeralda and Porto Cervo (though the millionaires yachts will make appearances in those stunning waters). It’s were families from Torino and Milano have their holiday homes. If you haven’t been, you should try to visit on your next trip to Italy, everybody falls in love with it.
That sounds absolutely lovely!
Gorgeous photos! My favourite beach side town in Europe is strangely enough in Scotland. It’s called North Berwick. It’s home to Bass Rock which is where you’ll find hundreds of gannets and more importantly puffins!
Scotland has such beautiful beaches! They really are special.
Lovely would like to add to the bucket list!
It looks really beautiful. I haven’t been to Sicily yet, but I’m heading to this place when I do 🙂
Sounds like a great day except for the goats, lol. I looked up the city and it does look amazing. Our next trip to Italy will probably be in Northern Italy but will have to remember this when we do make it to Sicily. Thanks for sharing your enjoyable day.
Looks nice. My favorite seaside place is ‘Loutro” a small village in South Crete.
The Isole Ciclopi looks really nice and the rocks remind me of British beaches so I’m going to say that one of my favourite beaches that nobody knows about is on the Isle of Wight. It’s a little island off the coast in the United Kingdom of which we have many LOL!
The best way to get there is either to travel to Portsmouth or Southhampton and take the ferry across to the little island. It’s a great place for sailing and in the first week of August there is a sailing “festival” called Cowes Week which is an 8 day sailing regatta hailing right from 1826. It’s not Thailand but I’ll take it!
Ever so often you need a travel day like this.
A day just to set back and enjoy a surprising new destination by just eating, drinking and lounging out.
lovely looking place Kate – thanks for sharing!
Hahahahaha a goat stampede. Only you!
I know travelling has ups and downs but it’s aways tough to hear when people have difficulties.
Glad that you persevered and managed to find a place that gave you some of your sanity back though! xo
At least none of the goats stampeded onto the car itself!
I have only been to Rome but, would love to do more of Italy. Especially coastal regions with sunshine! 🙂
how did you get to the beach club? is is part of a hotel?
It’s not part of a hotel — you just walk in and pay for a chair.
I lived there for a few years while stationed at the Naval air station just west of Catania (Sigonella). I would go down there in the early morning as the small fleet of fisherman came in and bought some fresh fish. Did you get out to the rocks? There is a beautiful natural grotto type area around the back.. ahhh, the memories…
If you looked up the hill facing the beach I lived in one of the apartments up that way.
I lived in Aci Trezza also, on the Lungomare, great place to live, i am from the UK but oddly my neighbour there was from the USA.. we had the two apartments overlooking the sea just as you arrive turn left onto the sea front.
Such a relaxing place to be, i remember the old guy with the beard would fish all the time with a net of 4 feet by 3 feet and often catch a lot and sunset or sunrise.
In the Summer it was like a fashion show, women and cars, in the winter it was the most tranquil place you could ever hope to be in
Wonderful pictures! Italy is great! Me favourite destination is Tuscany. I’ve been there many times. This year I did glamping in Italy 🙂
Stunning photos! Wauw!
Lived there for a year, still live in Sicily, but always on the lookout for a seafront rental in Aci Trezza
The terrace over looking the water is so relaxing with a dondolo (Couch on a swing)
Aci Castello is 1km away too, a castle from Norman times, also worth a visit.
Lived here so long I am like tourist information
Aci Trezza and Aci Castello was my last day trip while in Sicily.
So small, so relaxing, peaceful, it was the perfect end for my week in Sicily.
Aci Trezza looks wonderful, especially the trip out to the little islands and the ‘rockin’ beach club. Pozzallo in South East Sicily is also a beautiful little local beach town worth visiting, with a very laid back feel.