8 reasons to visit Cefalù in Sicily

Cefalú is one of our favorite cities in Sicily. In this post we give you all the reasons to visit Céfalu and all the info you need for your visit.

Cefalù is a charming town located on the northern coast of Sicily, an island that is part of Italy. With its narrow streets, beautiful beaches and historic landmarks, there’s plenty of things to see and do in Cefalù. There’s something to do for every type of traveler, whether you’re a history buff, a beach lover, a roadtrip enthousiast, enjoyer of local cuisine or simply looking to soak up the local culture. It’s the perfect spot to explore and to get lost. In this post, we’ll give you 8 reasons to visit Cefalù in Sicily.

Some of the links on this blog are affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and purchase, we receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. The affiliate links concern only products and services we appreciated highly and trust. This means the views and opinions expressed in this post are purely our own. For more information, check out our privacy and cookie policy.

Hiking La Rocca is one of the reasons to visit Cefalù

When arriving in Cefalù, the first thing you’ll notice is the rocky mountain that overlooks Cefalù, called La Rocca. This mountain offers some of the most stunning views of the town and its coastline. The hike to the top can be challenging, but the reward is definitely worth it. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water, especially during the summer months.

Did you know that the name “Cefalù” is believed to come from the ancient Greek word “kephaloidion,” which means “head,” or “promontory.” This name likely refers to the rocky headland that defines this city.

Visit the Cathedral of Cefalù

Next to La Rocca, the cathedral is another famous landmark in Cefalù, and for good reason. This building is over 800 years old and boasts stunning Norman architecture, intricate mosaics, and an impressive bell tower. Definitely a must-visit when you’re a history or architecture lover. And when you’re heading to the spectacular Duomo, make time to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the piazza duomo. This plaza is a popular spot amongst locals and tourist, to grap a coffee and breakfast or an Aperol spritz as a pre-dinner drink.

reasons to visit cefalú cathedral
The cathedral of Cefalu with in front Plaza Duomo.

Check-out the most beautiful viewpoints of Cefalù

In and around Cefalù are some extraordinary viewpoints that offer you the most stunning views of the city. For us, these viewpoints are one the main reasons to visit Cefalú. We already mentioned La Rocca as a stunning viewpoint. Another favorite viewpoint of ours is Molo di Cefalù. Molo di Cefalù is a picturesque pier and is a popular attraction for both locals as tourists, offering splendid views of the Mediterranean Sea and the town’s coastline.

reasons to visit cefalu viewpoints Molo di Cefalù
The view from the old pier in Cefalù

Another viewpoint that we loved is situated right outside Cefalù at lungomare di Cefalù. When you continue on the via della Calagrande, you’ll get a wonderful of Cefalù, especially during sunset.

reasons to visit cefalu viewpoints Lungomare
The view of Cefalù from Lungomare

Explore the Old Town

The charming old town of Cefalù is a joy to explore on foot. Stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets, admire the colorful buildings, and discover hidden corners that you wouldn’t otherwise see. The old town of Cefalù has many cafes and restaurants along the way to sample the local cuisine, enjoy a gelato or discover an excellent local wine.

reasons to visit cefalu bars
tasting a glass of local wine with a breathtaking view

Relax on the beach

Cefalù is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Sicily. The golden sand and crystal clear waters of Spiaggia del Porto Vecchio, for example, is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. And when you are at Spiaggia del Porto Vecchio, make sure to have a look at Porta Pescara!

reasons to visit cefalu beaches Spiaggia del Porto Vecchio Porta Pescara
The view over spiaggia del Porto Vecchio and the Porta Pescara

Visit the Lavatoio Medievale

The Lavatoio Medievale is a medieval public laundry located in the old town of Cefalù. Where it was once a gathering place for women to wash their clothes, it is now a unique cultural attraction that offers a glimpse into the town’s history. It’s a little tucked away in one of the main streets of the old town, but definitely worth a visit.

reasons to visit cefalu lavatoio medievale
Enjoying the shade at the lavatoio medievale

Visit the Mandralisca Museum

The Mandralisca Museum is home to an impressive collection of art, archaeology, and natural history exhibits. If you want to know more about the rich cultural history of Sicily, then look no further. With its stunning collection of art, archaeology, and natural history, this museum is definitely a must-visit in Cefalù.

Indulge in gelato and cannoli

Needless to say that Italy is famous for its gelato. The use of high-quality ingredients, a long tradition and the used method results in an exceptional taste and texture of the gelato. We could indulge ourselves with gelato the entire day! However, leave some room for cannoli as well. This traditional Sicilian pastry is made by deep-frying small tubes of pastry, which are then filled with a sweet, creamy filling made with ricotta cheese and sugar. The ends of the cannoli are then dipped in chopped pistachios, chocolate chips, or other delicious ingredients to add extra flavor and texture. So yummy!

reasons to visit cefalú gelato
How we look when eating gelato in Sicily

The above reasons are just one of the many reasons to visit Cefalù in Sicily. The main reason why you should visit Cefalù is because of its streets. When heading from one place to another, you’ll always discover something new about this city.

Where to stay in Cefalù

Cefalù can be an excellent base to explore the northern part of Sicily. It’s perfectly suited for some day-trips like visiting mount Etna or Palermo. Keep in mind that not all hotels you’ll find on hotel websites are located in the center of Cefalù, but some are like a twenty -minute walk away from the old town of Cefalù.

Hotel La Giara

This hotel is located in the historic center of Cefalù, just 5 minutes’ walk from the beach. All rooms are air-conditioned. There is also a terrace with splendid sea views.

For prices and availability: BOOKING.COM

la giara where to stay in cefalu sicily

Hotel Tourist

This hotel is located a short walk the old town and lies right at a (private) beach. There is an outdoor pool. The rooms are comfortable and all are air-conditioned. The rooms all have a terrace and some offer sea views.

For prices and availability: BOOKING.COM

hotel tourist where to stay in cefalu sicily


This bed and breakfast is situated right in the center of the old town. All rooms are air-conditioned and some have their own balcony.

For prices and availability: BOOKING.COM

agrodolce where to stay in cefalu sicily

How to get to Cefalù

Both Palermo and Catania have an international airport and it’s most likely you arrive in Sicily by plane. Both cities have many car rental companies. So one option to reach Cefalù is by car during a road trip (like we did). Keep in mind however that parking in Cefalù can be daunting and the best option is that you park your car outside the city center. We recommend to have a look at the app Park4Night to find a decent parking spot.

icon rental car Fancying a roadtrip through Sicily? Book your car here!

Another option is by public transport. Every hour, there is a train departing from Palermo central station to Cefalù. For 6-7 euro and in less than an hour, you arrive in Cefalù. From the train station it is a 10-minute walk to the old town of Cefalù.

icon book ticket Book a train ticket to Cefalù here

What to bring with you when visiting Cefalù

To make the most out of your visit to  Cefalù, here are some essentials you might want to consider bringing with you.

  • Sun protection – Sicily is known for its sunny and warm weather. So be sure to bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.
  • Comfortable and sturdy shoes – There are many cobbled streets in the old town of Cefalù, so it’s a good idea to bring comfortable and sturdy shoes for walking.
reasons to visit cefalu la rocca
  • Swimwear and beach gear – The beaches are one of the reasons to visit Cefalù. So be sure to pack your swimsuittowel, and any other beach gear you might need.
  • Lightweight clothing – Sicily can get hot in the summer months. It’s best to pack lightweight clothing made of breathable materials to keep you comfortable.
  • Insect repellent – Mosquitoes can be a nuisance, especially during the summer months. Insect repellent will prevent you from being eaten.
  • Camera or smartphone – The streets are so beautiful and photogenic, so it would be a shame not to bring a camera or smartphone to capture all the beauty.
  • Travel adapter – Italy uses the European two-pin plug, so if you’re coming from a country with a different plug type, be sure to bring a travel adapter.
  • Lonely planet of Sicily – If you want to discover great places to eat, hidden gems or the history of Cefalù, a travel guidebook like the Lonely Planet is a must-have.
  • A small backpack or tote bag – A small backpack or tote bag can be helpful for carrying your essentials around town, such as your camera, sunscreen, and water bottle.

We hope you enjoyed this post and you now have all the information you need for your visit to Cefalù. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below!

Matthias and Mieke

Quick start your holiday with the help of our trusted tools

These are the websites we highly recommend to plan your next trip. We use them all the time to save money and travel freely! Did you know that by purchasing through our links, you support us at no additional cost. Thank you for your support. ♥️

Find hotels: via booking.com
Find a rental car: via discovercars.com
Find cheap flights: via skyscanner.com
Book tours & attractions: via getyourguide.com
Book a bus / train / transfer: via omio.com