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In pictures: Catania’s volcanic coast

Aci Castello on the Catania coastline, Sicily

For a coastal city, it’s strangely easy to spend time in Catania and forget the sea is even there. Most of the city’s seafront is filled with its busy harbour, but you don’t need to go far to get a taste of sea air. Just north of the city are a string of former fishing villages, where dark volcanic rocks formed by Mount Etna’s eruptions meet the clear turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea. Off the coast at Aci Trezza you can see three tall, rocky outcrops known as the Cyclops Islands. The legend goes that they were formed when the king of the Cyclops threw giant rocks at Odysseus. Another relic of battle – this one maybe a bit more historically accurate – lies at Aci Castello, where a towering rocky cliff is topped by Norman castle carved out of the same lava rock. It dates back to 1076, with a strategic position guarding the Messina Straits. This part of Sicily’s coast might not have the classic golden, sandy beaches, but it has more than its share of drama, history and legends.

Catania's volcanic coastline, Sicily
Catania's volcanic coastline, Sicily
Aci Castello on the Catania coastline, Sicily
Aci Castello on the Catania coastline, Sicily
Aci Castello on the Catania coastline, Sicily

Many thanks to Celebrity Cruises for hosting me in Sicily. All views and opinions are, as always, my own.

20 Comments Post a comment
  1. Beautiful!

    June 2, 2014
  2. I’ve really enjoyed your posts on Sicily! Another place in want to visit.

    June 2, 2014
    • Thanks Alison, I really fell in love with it, must get back out there soon and see more of the island.

      June 3, 2014
  3. Lovely waters! I can see why Odysseus and the Cyclops fought over it…

    June 3, 2014
    • Gorgeous colour aren’t they, it was a beautiful day so would’ve been great for a dip!

      June 3, 2014
  4. It so picturesque there. I thought the volcano was still acting up.
    Leslie

    June 3, 2014
    • It is – apparently Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. I have to say I’d be nervous living so close!

      June 3, 2014
    • Me too. The price you pay for all that beauty.
      Leslie

      June 3, 2014
  5. So many beautiful pictures – thank you for sharing! :-)

    June 3, 2014
    • Thanks so much, the landscape out there was so beautiful – and such a variety too!

      June 3, 2014
  6. Your pictures are beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

    June 3, 2014
    • Thanks Gerard, it was lovely to get just a taste of the beauty of Sicily!

      June 3, 2014
  7. Packing my Suitcase #

    What an amazing place!!! I love places like these, I hope to go sometime!!! :)

    June 8, 2014
    • Thanks, I’d never seen anything like it before, really liked the contrast between the black cliffs and the blue of the water.

      June 11, 2014
    • Packing my Suitcase #

      Definitely!! 😃

      June 12, 2014
  8. Sicily looks wonderful. Look at those cliffs. Lovely!

    June 11, 2014
    • It was fantastic, I really want to get back and see more of it soon!

      June 11, 2014
  9. Sicily looks so beautiful! It’s definitely on my [huge] list of places to visit. Great photos!

    July 4, 2014
  10. Catania has never been on my radar, but wow, your stunning photos have definitely made me want to pay a visit.

    August 4, 2014

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