The Sicilian climate – Weather and Temperatures in Sicily

Sicily has a Mediterranean climate, characterized by long hot summers, dry in the interior area, more ventilated near the sea. Spring and autumn are the best seasons for tourism. Catania holds the European record for sunshine. There’s snow and rigorous temperature on the Mount Etna as usual in winter, as well as on the top of the Nebrodi and Madonie. Spring can be rainy or sunny with mild temperatures depending on the year. It’s advisable wearing very light and comfortable clothes (shorts, sandals, t-shirts) in summer; but it’s fine to wear jackets, wool pullovers and shoes suitable for cold temperatures if you visit the mountain areas in winter. Trousers and pullovers are sufficient to face the pleasant evenings in the open air in autumn and spring.

January: in the deep midwinter the average temperatures on the coast should still be hovering around the 10°C (50°F) mark, though on sunny days it can be warm enough in the sun to walk around in a tee-shirt. It is cooler at night and much cooler in the higher mountains. Skiers will be hoping for some serious snowfalls on the slopes at Piano Battaglia and on Mount Etna. The citrus harvests are continuing apace.

Average temperature min./max 2C°/16C° 35°F/61°F

February: the days are starting to get warmer, although conditions in the mountains are still very wintery. Skiing, snowshoeing and horse trekking on the snow are unforgettable experiences. The almond trees are in blossom and are at their finest in Agrigento at the Valley of the Temples.

Average temperature min./max 2C°/16C° 35°F/61°F

March: on the coast the winter is truly over, with wild flowers starting in abundance, the days lengthening and the average temperatures making warm clothes decidedly uncomfortable. Inland the farmers start preparing the land, tending the vines and planting the grain.

Average temperature min./max 3C°/18C° 37°F/64°F

April: the wild flowers begin to truly explode all over Sicily and on the coast the first bathers start taking to the beaches (though the water is still bracing). The interior is now warming up fast and the array of colours is spectacular. It’s well worth making a trip just to experience the Easter processions, bringing together folklore and tradition in an incredibly mystic way.

Average temperature min./max 6C°/20C° 43°F/68°F

May: the interior is spectacular, with the mountain slopes exploding in colour and the temperatures ideal for walking. The temperatures on the coast and in the islands will now be extremely comfortable. If you’re lucky, you might get to witness the “mattanza” or tuna harvest in the fishing towns all over the western part Sicily.

Average temperature min./max 11C°/24C° 52°F/75°F

June: the first smells of summer waft through the island as the strong colours on the coast and the lower plains succumb to the bleaching rays of the sun. This is probably the perfect time for walking in the higher Madonie and Nebrodi mountains. The temperatures everywhere are generally agreeable, though the Scirocco wind can send them soaring for a few days. The sea is warm but the beaches are still deserted, except at weekends when the first Sicilians start to brave the waters. The fruit trees are laden with cherries, plums and the local speciality “gelsi”.

Average temperature min./max 14C°/28C° 57°F/82°F

July: the sea becomes the focus for most Sicilians (and visitors) and the major resorts testify to the glorious temperatures and sea conditions. Do not shy from the interior though, where the walking is wonderful and the upper slopes cool and still luxuriantly green. Peaches and water melon are in season.

Average temperature min./max 17C°/30C° 36°F/86°F

August: the sometimes stifling heat of the cities and the general holiday feel pushes almost everyone to the coast, which are almost invariably crowded. The beautiful areas of the interior (and a few “undiscovered” parts of the coast) are however relatively unfrequented. Towards the end of the month begins the spectacle of the salt harvest in the salt pans around Trapani and the grape harvest or “vendemmia” all over the islands. The fig trees are laden with their welcoming fruit.

Average temperature min./max 17C°/32C° 63°F/90°F

September: the vendemmia continues in earnest and all hands move to the fields. The summer is often interrupted by coastal storms, which can be accompanied by high winds. Temperatures remain very comfortable everywhere, and the coast and islands retain that summer feeling, but without the crowds. The olive harvest is also well under way. Hazelnuts are plentiful and many small villages celebrate their arrival with traditional “feste”.

Average temperature min./max 14C°/29C° 57°F/84°F

October: whiles the wine is being made, the abandoned vines turn to reds and oranges giving the vast areas of vineyards a spectacular range of hues and making this one of the most beautiful periods for country walking. Seasonal rainfalls help develop an astonishing variety of mushrooms. The prickly pears are at their best.

Average temperature min./max 10C°/25C° 50°F/77°F

November: autumn is well and truly here, though the temperatures can stay in the high twenties during the day to produce a surprisingly balmy Sicilian “Indian summer”. This is generally the month with the highest rainfall, though the big storms that often sweep the Italian peninsula generally pass safely to the north of Sicily. The orange and mandarin season is starting.

Average temperature min./max 6C°/20C° 43°F/68°F

December: one can still have extremely agreeable temperatures during the days, though the sunlight hours are clearly at their lowest of the year. Still, Christmas is an important festival here and many small towns light up the night with their traditional processions. Average temperature min./max 3C°/17C° 17°F/63°F