From Palermo, the whole of the rugged Tyrrhenian coast is hugged by rail, road and motorway, and for the most part, pretty built up. The first attraction is Cefalù, a beach resort and cathedral town. Beyond Cefalù, there are several resorts tucked along the narrow strip of land between the Nebrodi mountains and the sea, most of them not worth going out of your way for. Most people tend to head straight for the port of Milazzo – Sicily’s second-largest port – the main departure point for ferries and hydrofoils to the seven fascinating islands of the Aeolian archipelago.
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Despite being one of Sicily’s busiest international beach resorts, CEFALÙ has a parallel life as a small-scale fishing port, tucked onto every available inch of a shelf of land beneath a fearsome crag, La Rocca. Roger II founded a mighty cathedral here in 1131 and his church dominates the skyline, the great twin towers of the facade rearing up above the flat roofs of the medieval quarter. Naturally, the fine curving sands are the major attraction but Cefalù is a pleasant town, and nothing like as developed as Sicily’s other package resort, Taormina.
- The Aeolian Islands