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Cefalu is a small fishing town on the island of sicily, with a glorious sandy beach, bustling market and vibrant nightlife.
Must-see sights on this island jewel include the beaches, which are good for relaxing, and swimming. Also of interest is the small Museo Mandralisca, which houses portraits by medieval masters, thousands of shells and ancient Greek art. The mountain above the town, La Rocca, has many of Cefalu’s sights, including the impressive 12th century cathedral at its base.
If you are feeling energetic, a great walk takes you to the top of La Rocca, where the views are breathtaking. The footpath to the summit begins in Piazza Garibaldi and passes the cathedral before reaching the temple of Diana. The path then continues beyond the temples and city walls until it reaches the mountaintop. The walk takes about 90 minutes.
To sample some food and to enjoy a spot of shopping visit the waterfront market and treat yourself to some fresh seafood, bright green olives, sun dried tomatoes and inexpensive clothing and trinkets. Or you can relax in the many restaurants with good pizza, pasta, shellfish and Sicilian wines. The Vecchia Marina in particular specialises in seafood.
On the outskirts of Cefalu is the magnificent shrine 'Santuario di Gibilmanna'. Inside the ancient building is a famous 11th century Byzantine fresco, depicting the Virgin Mary and child.
The best way to reach Cefalu from Messina is to take a ferry and enjoy the coastal views from the sea, or if you dislike water then the road also offers fantastic views. To get to Messina from main land Italy you need to take a ferry service from Reggio Calabria. There are ferries for only passengers and ferries which you can take your vehicle onboard.
Sicily’s capital, Palermo, is home to the island’s airport and also operates a ferry service from Naples (journey time 11 hours). From Palermo you can take Highway A20 and drive to Cefalu.