Certainly, you would need more time to visit it thoroughly, but if you’re spending only a few days in Sicily, you can’t miss spending a weekend in wonderful Cefalù.
Apart from being known for its white beach and its summer night life, Cefalù is a city full of art and monuments worth seeing, making it an ideal destination for a holiday in winter.
We suggest you spend at least two days visiting Cefalù, between art and town history.
Here is our 5 top places to visit in Cefalù:
It is the throbbing heart of the city’s art, as well as the symbol of the historic evolution Cefalù has undergone during the years.
The origins of the Cathedral are not quite clear: it is said it was erected by king Roger II to affirm his supremacy towards the Pope; nevertheless, more “romantic” voices say it was built to thank God after a terrible storm.
The Cathedral is a strong example of how the Arab-Norman style is deeply rooted in Sicily, particularly in the province of Palermo.
You will be enchanted by the majesty of its exterior, and you’ll remain speechless in front of the beauty of its interior and its masterpieces: from marble statues to its world-famous mosaics standing out from their golden background, the artworks in the Cathedral are able to attract and enchant the viewer.
It is the only museum in the town of Cefalù and it houses paintings, furniture, zoological and archaeological finds, a rich collection of coins and a library containing documents which represent an important source of knowledge of 19th-century Sicily.
Among the most important artworks you can find here, we can mention the Portrait of an unknown sailor by Antonello da Messina, Saints Helen and Constantine by Giovanni Mosco as well as other paintings of the Flemish, Spanish and Dutch traditions and of the Caravaggio legacy.
Situated on the north-western corner of the Rock, the Temple of Diana is a megalithic monument dating back to the 4th century B.C. and its sacred function was linked to the worship of water. Later, the church of Saint Venera was built on the temple remains.
Cefalù’s long coastline is divided into adjacent mixed beaches, with both sand and pebbles. Among the most important beaches, we must mention the Lido di Cefalù, Salinelle Beach, Caldura Beach and Pollina Beach, the latter being quite popular during the summer, particularly for its nightlife.
Surf and sailing enthusiasts will love Capo Playa Beach, with wind constantly blowing on the coast.
Cefalù’s surrounding walls are megalithic walls built on the cliff to protect the town from any attack which may arrive from the sea.
Benefiting from the height of the Rock, a perfect strategic point from which to spot the approaching enemies, the wall had only four points of access, called “porte” (gates): Porta Terra and Porta d’Ossuna facing South, Porta Marina facing West and Porta Giudecca facing East.