Welcome to Cefalù!

It is no big surprise that Cefalu is extremely popular as a highly-rated destination in Sicily. It provides everything you could want by way of attractions, charm and beaches. Some will arrive here with the intention of doing nothing more than relaxing on the beach – and there are few beaches better than the ones you will find here. However there are opportunities to do much more than this, as you can see from this article.

Make no mistake: a break in Cefalu provides the chance to explore beyond this historic city. However if all you wish to do is stay local you won’t be disappointed or bored by doing so. It is up to you how you approach your stay in Cefalu, but whatever you do you can be assured of the best service and best selection of villas to book direct with Massimo Villas today!

Day Trips and Tours from Cefalù

If you wish to explore beyond Cefalu you can head directly south to reach Madonie Regional Natural Park. Another option is to catch a train that takes you to Palermo, the capital of Sicily.

There is also the possibility of booking a few day trips out on organised tours. Ideas for this would include options to visit Mount Etna and Agrigento. If you wish to visit the Aeolian Islands you can do this quite easily from Cefalu as well. The sailings are not provided all year round so do check availability prior to booking your holiday if you wish to make sure you can do this for the day.

The Top Beaches in Cefalù

One of the main attractions in Cefalu for many people is the beach. There is a string of beaches along the coastline here all in the one area, but when you see them you will no doubt agree there is little need for any others elsewhere. Indeed, a little research on peoples’ opinions online reveals that of 492 reviews of the Cefalu beaches on one site alone, 459 of those ranked it as either very good or excellent. Personally I would not argue with that! Cefalu really does know how to cater for those who love nothing better than a charming beach and there are many reasons why this is the case.

Firstly there is the presence of some delightful sandy stretches of beach here. Not only is it a very clean beach but it only very gradually slopes into the water. That’s another good point to note about Cefalu beaches – the waters here tend to be quite calm and good for paddling, although it does of course depend on the weather conditions.

If you go during the height of the season you can expect it to get busy. However although Cefalu does receive many visitors during the peak season it is far from reaching the heights that other more crowded places reach. The beaches are also well-organised for the most part, with opportunities to use the public showers in one case and also the chance to rent umbrellas and sun loungers. As far as families are concerned there is a lot to suggest that Cefalu could provide you with the perfect destination during summer.

The Top Attractions in Cefalù

Cefalu dates back to Greek times, although it had a somewhat rocky history to begin with. Evidence of it appears and disappears throughout history but it has all led to the beautiful city that exists today.

One of the finest sights you can look forward to is undoubtedly the cathedral. Its official name is the Cathedral-Basilica of Cefalu, and it holds a dominant position within the city itself. It is almost a thousand years old and has no doubt seen many changes and plenty of drama during that time. Both the interior and exterior of the cathedral are quite impressive, and it is worth visiting at dusk to see the cathedral lit in all its glory, with the sky reducing to a deepening blue behind it.

While you are visiting the cathedral do find the time to appreciate Piazza Duomo as well. This is a delightful corner of Cefalu, attractively finished with flourishing palm trees and offering several places where you can order a drink or snack and enjoy a good view of the cathedral itself.

If you are partial to visiting the occasional museum on holiday, you will find just the one in Cefalu. This is the Mandralisca Museum, named after the Baron of the same name who was quite the art collector. It appears small to begin with but each room gives way to another series of rooms boasting yet more artefacts. Perhaps the finest and most famous item here is the portrait of an unknown man, which has been likened by many to the Mona Lisa, even though it is far less famous.

Another of the main attractions here is Cefalu itself. The city has largely developed around its historical roots. These remain today as the classic historic centre, while the more modern elements of it have developed and spread out over the years. Do make sure you pay particular attention to the old town, since it is made up of some character-filled streets that wind their way around the area. Some are quite narrow with buildings rising up above you on either side, while others lend their way to the discovery of a charming café with outdoor tables, or perhaps a small row of shops.

From the beach you will no doubt look up to the rocky crag that dominates the skyline over Cefalu itself. For an altogether different view of the city you can head to the top of the crag (known as La Rocca) when the weather is reasonable. Doing it on a very hot day is inadvisable, and whenever you do it you should take ample supplies of water and the odd snack too. It isn’t a long journey to reach the top but it is a steep climb.

Where is Cefalù Situated?

Cefalu has made its home on a rocky headland overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. There are rocky areas rising up behind the city and the beaches, so the whole area looks as though it is perched on every available inch of space between those rocky outcrops and the sea. As such it has a rather determined and defiant feel about it. It is as if the people who first started building these charming and impressive structures decided they would make the most of the sensational views and dramatic scenery – and they certainly did.

When Should You Visit?

cThe high season in Cefalu runs from around May right through until September, taking in the warmest summer months and the school holidays in the process. The quietest time of year runs from October through to February, although many people quite like this time of year. You can still virtually guarantee reasonably good weather and the population drops right back to the locals and few others, so it is an opportune time to enjoy the scenery. You can also explore the attractions with far fewer people around you than would be the case in the height of the summer.

A City Millions of Tourists Flock to Every Year

Its position on the coast facing the Tyrrhenian Sea is no doubt just one of the reasons why tourists choose Cefalu as their holiday destination each year. When you first see Cefalu – even if you only do so initially in pictures online – you will realise why it is a popular holiday spot. It offers that heady mix of history and modern Sicilian charm, which makes for the ideal combination for holidaymakers looking to find lots of things to see and do during their time in Sicily.

Where is Cefalù Located in Sicily?

Cefalu is far from being the biggest city in Sicily. Yet it is a veritable hotspot as far as the tourism industry is concerned. You’ll find it in a coastal position (part of its charm no doubt) around halfway along the northern coastline of Sicily. It is a short distance to the north of the SS113, the main road that runs along the northern stretch of coast. Look to the west on a map and you’ll see Palermo, the capital of the island as a whole. Head along the coast to the east meanwhile and you will come across such destinations as Cap D’orlando, Milazzo and eventually Messina. While the latter would be a little too far to go on a day trip out of Cefalu, it does give you an idea of where Cefalu itself is located.

Money Matter

Italy is a member of the European Union, and the currency is the Euro. The south of Italy is supposed to be less expensive than the north, but it depends on where you go in Sicily. To exchange money use an exchange office where you see the sign cambio, as their service is far simpler than that of a bank. They are quicker although they do take a substantial percentage. An ATM, called Bancomat is the easiest way to obtain currency with your credit card. Make sure that you always have enough cash. Sometimes the ATMs in Cefalu get empty, for example on Saturdays, and new money is not provided before Monday. In most restaurants and shops credit cards are accepted, but this can vary and we recommend you to always check first if you wish to pay with a credit card.

Aleister Crowley – Thelema Abbey in Cefalu

Aleister Crowley was an eclectic and controversial character: artist, poet, Mystic, occultist and British thinker who can be considered one of the key figures in the history of esotericism and founder of modern occultism.

Crowley lived for about three years in Cefalù with his followers and was subsequently expelled from it for a fascist Ministerial Ordinance, for rites based on obscene behavior.

He dedicated his 72 years of life into sexual and magical rituals involving men, women and animals. He joined the Freemasonry and embraced various religions, and then break away from each of them, in favor of the cult of Thelema in which he saw  himself the new Messiah.

Historical, cultural and artistic heritage linked to Aleister Crowley in Cefalù, the Thelema abbey, is one of the most demolished places in Italy and perhaps in the world. Today it appears as an abandoned building and in disrepair, but has known days of lust and sin.

Thelema Abbey Cefalù” has organized for 2015 an interesting free meeting with the purpose of clarification, denials and unpublished information on Crowley and Thelema Abbey and to finance the project of the first museum of Crowley in Cefalù!.

info: thelema@autoproduzioni.net