About Time: Where to Stay on Italy’s IslandsBy Alicia Grimshaw
With its diverse geography, stunning landscapes, rich history, and incomparable charm, the Italian islands offer a gorgeous escape. From the towering cliffs of Capri to the sun-drenched shores of Sicily, each island boasts a unique allure.
The largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily’s strategic location off the southern coast of Italy has made it a crossroads between Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Multiple civilisations have each contributed to the island’s unique cultural tapestry. Sicily is home to impressive archaeological sites and vibrant cities, with the majestic Mount Etna dominating the eastern part of the island. In culinary terms the Sicilians are famous for their caponata (aubergine stew), arancini and pasta alla Norma.
The Lowdown: Palermo is the ancient capital of Sicily, a real jewel of the Mediterranean. Nestled in the picturesque Gulf of Palermo and originally built as a private villa in 1900 for the Florio Family, Villa Igiea overlooks stunning azure waters and is just steps away from Baroque piazzas and fascinating ancient sites. This private residence was turned in 1907 and has since been a favourite destination for royalty, celebrities, and discerning travellers seeking an elegant and opulent retreat. Hotel guests can indulge in a range of amenities, including a stunning outdoor swimming pool, a fully equipped fitness centre, and an Irene Forte Spa offering a selection of signature treatments.
Book: Villa Igiea offers rooms starting from €620 per night in a Deluxe Room on a B&B basis. More information here.
The Lowdown: The five-star Atlantis Bay is the only hotel located in Mermaids Bay in Taormina, Sicily. The property is characterised by a distinctive architectural style that is reminiscent of an ancient fishing village. All 76 rooms and suites have large terraces and spectacular sea views. At the hotel’s waterfront platform, where the swimming pool, Kori Bar, Beach Bar and Nui Restaurant can be found, also overlooks the majestic cliff of Mermaids Bay and the Mediterranean Sea. Guests can trek with alpacas up Mount Etna, enjoy body rafting, discover the Alcantara Gorges or hop in an antique Fiat 500 to explore infamous places featured in ‘The Godfather’. The unique location and magical silence ensure an intimate and relaxing stay.
Book: Atlantis Bay, Taormina, Sicily, offers double rooms starting from €450 per night, based on two adults sharing on a B&B basis. More information here.
Italy’s second largest island, Sardinia is home to nearly 2,000km of coastline. The island is famous for its beautiful beaches, such as Costa Smeralda, which attract sunseekers from around the world. Sardinia’s landscape is marked by picturesque villages, ancient ruins, and nuraghe, mysterious Bronze Age stone structures unique to the island and its cuisine is diverse and flavourful, with specialities like pane carasau (crispy flatbread) and culurgiones (stuffed pasta).
The Lowdown: Cala Cuncheddi is a gem set in the Capo Ceraso promontory in Sardinia, with panoramic views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Situated in a magnificent private park with century-old olive trees, it is just a few steps from its own enchanting infinity pool and private beach. The beautiful Li Cuncheddi beach resort with gold sand, crystal clear shallow waters, and dramatic cliffs is a short stroll away. The hotel has 85 rooms and suites overlooking the Sardinian Sea and is home to three restaurants, Asumari, Asarena and Zinnibiri, all inspired by Sardinian culinary culture which combines a passion for traditional recipes and local produce. The two bars, extensive wellness area, Sa Cantina wine bar and very own 16m Papik Yacht make Cala Cuncheddi an unforgettable Sardinian stay.
Book it: Cala Cuncheddi, Sardinia, offers double rooms from €250 per night, based on two adults sharing on a B&B basis. More information here.
The Lowdown: Located on the famous Costa Smeralda, Abi d’Oru boasts stunning views of the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the beautiful golden sandy beaches of Marinella. The hotel offers five-star hospitality, fine dining, and wellness from Sardinia’s northern coastline. With its unique blend of traditional Sardinian architecture and modern amenities, Abi d’Oru is the ideal retreat for both families and couples seeking relaxation and adventure.
Surrounded by lush greenery and palm trees, the property is uniquely located on the beach of Marinella – the only hotel in the area with direct access to the beach and its own private beach club featuring loungers, umbrellas, and gazebos. Here, white sand meets turquoise sea. The newly renovated outdoor pool offers guests the perfect spot to relax and soak up the sun. Guests can indulge in a range of dining options at the hotel’s three restaurants, serving authentic Italian cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients. For those seeking adventure, Abi d’Oru offers a range of activities, including water sports and tennis.
Book: Abi D’Oru offers rooms starting from €300 per night on B&B basis, based on two people sharing a room. Information here.
A world-famous destination known for its natural beauty, glamorous atmosphere, and stunning vistas; Capri is a small Italian island located in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Situated off the Sorrento Peninsula in southern Italy, Capri has long been a favourite retreat for artists, celebrities, and travellers seeking an idyllic escape.
The Lowdown: Punta Tragara has a heavenly location overlooking the iconic Faraglioni rocks of Capri and the azure Tyrrhenian Sea. The boutique hotel was designed by legendary architect Le Courbusier and captures the timeless glamour of the island. The 38 rooms and 6 suites are distributed on three levels across a labyrinth of stairs and corridors. Watch the sun set over Capri’s iconic cliffs and sink into the sea from Punta Tragara’s infinity pool before heading to one of the hotel’s two restaurants offering mouth-watering Mediterranean delicacies. It is hard to find a more romantic suite in the whole of Capri than the Pegaso ETRO Suite, the white and blue hues, in which Capri is immersed, seem to merge seamlessly with the room thanks to the sweeping terrace and large windows, filling the suite with an intimate, warm and relaxed atmosphere.
Book: Punta Tragara, Capri offers rooms from €382 per night on a B&B basis, based on two adults sharing. Information here.