Choosing the right spot around the Mediterranean Sea for your holidays is not an easy task – you’ve got all these pocket paradises and you have to ditch all but one. We’ll try to help you with at least one ditch today, that being Cyprus or Sicily. Which one should you choose? Which one has better beaches, parties, tourist attractions and views?
Cyprus or Sicily?
First, let’s compare the basics. Cyprus has 9251 km² and a population of 1,244,188 (2021 estimate), while Sicily has 25 710 km² and more than 4,833,329 citizens (also 2021 estimates). The capital of Cyprus is Nicosia, while Sicily’s capital is Palermo.
Where is Cyprus located? You will find it under Turkey, close to Israel. Sicily, on the other hand, is next to the end of the Italian ‘boot’. You should reach both destinations in about 4 hours to Cyprus and 3 hours to Sicily. With the basics covered, let’s get to the juxtaposition.
Which one has better beaches?
Sicily has many beautiful beaches, including Mondello near Palermo, San Vito Lo Capo, Cefalù or the famous Scala dei Turchi stairs. It is Cyprus, however, that we personally think has better beaches of the two. The most beautiful beaches of Cyprus are of course Nissi Beach, Lara Beach and Coral Bay. Of course, you’ll find great beach spots on both islands, though beaches in Cyprus are also all relatively close to each other due to the island being smaller. You can pretty much check all of them out in one trip. If you are looking for sandy beaches then San Vito Lo Capo in Sicily or Lara beach in Cyprus would be good choices.
Which one has better tourist attractions?
If you’re more into exploring a place full of rich history and remains of it, Sicily will fit like a glove. Sites such as temples of Agrigento, Segesta, the centre of Palermo and Catania are places that you simply have to see. Places for history lovers are also Taormina, Ragusa, Erice, and Syracuse. You will find plenty of such spots all around Sicily. What about Cyprus? There are must-see places here too – our favourite city was Famagusta and its attractions in northern Cyprus. There are fewer attractions in Paphos and Larnaca, but they are equally interesting. Still, we can’t kid around and pretend that Sicily isn’t the winner here.
Which one is better for clubbing?
Here, we’d certainly say Cyprus. You’ll find plenty of party hubs on the southern coast. Clubs are mainly centred around Ayia Napa and Limassol. You won’t find too many of these in northern Cyprus, Turkey and all, so choose Ayia Napa if you want to party until dawn. There are quite a few clubs in Sicily too, though they’re not as concentrated as in Cyprus at all and there’s no such perfect hub for it all as Ayia Napa.
Which one has more beautiful views?
It’s hard to judge which of these places has nicer hiking spots. The National Parks in Cyprus and Sicily don’t require much prep apart from good shoes, water, a hat and sunscreen. You’ll find many stunning views on both islands. For Cyprus, we’d say the best places are: the Akamas Peninsula, Karpas, Cape Greco and the Troodos Mountains. As for Sicily, you have the Zingaro reserve, the slopes of Mount Etna and the Parco Madonna. If beautiful sights to hike along is your focus, we wouldn’t ask which one, but rather which one first. In that case, we’d say the order is Sicily, then Cyprus.
Cuisine in Sicily and Cyprus
Frankly, we can’t possibly ‘compare’ these two cuisines, as they’re so insanely different that it would be entirely pointless. We can, instead, list their characteristics, so you can decide for yourself which one is more of your vibe.
Cypriot cuisine takes a lot from Greek cuisine. There is a lot of grilled meat and fresh vegetables, lots of good olive oil. Interestingly, seafood and fish are a little less popular than just red meat.
Sicilian cuisine, on the other hand, has a lot in common with Italy, but has a lot of distinctive elements and modifications in typical recipes. An example of this would be pouring pistachios over pasta or pizza. Sicilian cuisine draws much of its inspiration from Arabian cuisine and, through its history, is a chaotic mix of different cuisines. We recommend trying Arancini or Cannoli in Sicily. You will find something for yourself in both, but you will find more vegan options in Sicilian cuisine.
Which one should you choose for a family holiday?
Got a juvenile (or a bunch) with you? 🙂 Well, we have to take them into consideration too, then. If we had to recommend something to look at, it would be hotel infrastructure. And for this, we would choose Cyprus. Plus, with the focus on monuments and history, Sicily may be a little bit boring for a small kid. Take them there when they’re older.
Bottom line – when to choose Cyprus or Sicily?
- Beaches? Cyprus
- Monuments, sites and tourist attractions? Sicily
- Clubs? Cyprus
- Beautiful sights and national parks? Both are great
- Cuisine? Both are great, Sicily is a bit more varied
- Kids? Cyprus