We discover all the ski resorts where to ski in Sicily. Have you ever done it admiring the smoking volcano with one eye and the sea with the other?
Let's go together to find out where to ski in Sicily. Yes, because by now it is time to pack your gloves and woolly hats in your suitcase and load your skis, snowboard and toboggan for the kids onto the car's luggage rack.
But here we are, on an island to the south of the Italian mainland, just a few 'sea strokes' from the African continent, we may have exaggerated, but we get the idea. Bear with us, can we tell you where to ski in Sicily?
Try to forget the beaches, the crystal-clear waters and the scorching summer sun, in these months the Sicilian mountains offer panoramas worthy of the highest latitudes of the northern hemisphere. On the largest island in the Mediterranean, considered by many to be 'the California of Italy', it is the mildness of the climate that dominates. Instead, here, strange but true, the winter is more like that of northern European countries than that of the neighbouring Saharan locations. Snow-covered ridges, beech trees embellished with galaverna, frozen lakes, and enchanted atmospheres in which one can immerse oneself by practising a large number of winter sports, provide the prelude to the fateful question of where to ski in Sicily?
In this article, we, at Visit Italy, recommend the three best destinations where to ski in Sicily, not to be missed, to experience a truly unusual side of this land, skiing while gazing at the sea or snowshoeing with one eye on the Aeolian Islands and the other on the steaming mass of Mount Etna.
Where to ski in Sicily: ski lifts, ski resorts and slopes on the island
Let's try to shed some light on where to ski in Sicily. Needless to say, in all the rankings of Italian tourist destinations, thanks to its climate, sea and beaches it is always recommended for summer holidays. But 'ours' is a unique island capable of offering stages to be discovered even in the middle of winter for mountain and winter sports enthusiasts.
Fear not, here, it is not only the sea, in fact, there are several mountain ranges with some reaching peaks of a certain importance, one above all Etna, but it is not the only one where to ski in Sicily is possible.
In fact, some of the mountains present the answer to the question of where to ski in Sicily. In all, there are about 21 km of ski slopes with 11 ski lifts divided into 3 ski resorts from Western to Eastern Sicily, from Catania to Palermo.
All of this, however, with landscapes and details that are almost unique in Europe. In fact, on some of the slopes of where to ski in Sicily, it is possible to do so while gazing at the blue sea in the distance, providing a unique backdrop for the eyes, heart and mind.
Where to ski in Sicily: on Etna at Nicolosi and Linguaglossa, in the Madonie and Nebrodi
Among the curiosities in the area, let's discover the ski lifts, ski resorts and slopes where you can ski in Sicily, yes you read that right, because you can practice winter sports here too.
There are three ski resorts on the island, two of which you can find on Mount Etna and one in the Madonie: the Etna Sud ski area in Nicolosi, the Etna Nord - Piano Provenzano ski area in Linguaglossa, and the Madonie ski area in Piano Battaglia, a hamlet of the municipality of Petralia Sottana in the province of Palermo, where you can find other ski and snowboard slopes.
The Etna Sud area in Nicolosi is among the highest ski resorts, starting from 1,910 metres up to an altitude of 2,604 metres covered by five lifts that transport you to its 6.3 km of slopes.
The Etna Nord - Piano Provenzana resort in Linguaglossa is the one with the most kilometres of slopes, no less than 10.3 km, located at an altitude ranging from 1,810 to 2,336 metres with four lifts.
The ski resort of Piano Battaglia in the Madonie, on the other hand, is the smallest and lowest in altitude, with about 4.5 km of slopes for skiing and snowboarding and two ski lifts with an altitude ranging from 1,570 to 1,845 metres.
Lastly, although it does not have a ski resort, we would like to point out the Nebrodi cross-country skiing track, which is also excellent for sporty walks and snowshoeing. A ring-shaped track along a wonderful route that winds between Monte Soro, Portella Femmina Morta and Lake Maulazzo, and is located near Cesarò in the province of Messina.
Places to go skiing in Sicily
Sicily is not only a region for summer holidays, made up of beaches and culture, but it is also a mountainous territory, made up of mountain ranges, where snow-capped peaks can be found during the winter season. Certainly Mount Etna, the largest volcano in Europe, with an altitude of well over 3,000 metres, is a suitable place for skiing. Both its southern and northern slopes are equipped with skiing facilities. To the south are the slopes of Nicolosi, in a barren setting typical of a volcano, while the facilities of Etna Nord, at Piani di Provenzana, are surrounded by pine forests. Both ski areas enjoy magnificent panoramic views of the sea.
The other slopes are found on the Madonie chain, which runs parallel along the northern coast of the island. Here, you can go up to Piano Battaglia, in the Province of Palermo, where you will find eight downhill slopes and three ski lifts.
Where to go skiing in Sicily while looking at the sea: ski resorts on Mount Etna
Famous for its spectacular explosions and fascinating lava flows, the volcano Etna is also an extraordinary skiing destination. The two slopes, the northern and southern, offer a wide range of opportunities for both hardened and novice skiers.
Rich in forests and spectacular pine forests, the northern Etna area is a popular destination for most Sicilian skiers. Thanks to its exposure, the slope is characterised by excellent snow conditions, especially at altitude. There are four lifts serving some 8 km of slopes between an altitude of 1800 m and 2310 m.
To stay, you will find some refuges not far from the slopes, or you can base yourself in Linguaglossa, about 17 km away, or sleep in the small towns in the area, not far away and full of holiday homes and B&Bs.
To eat, you will find several restaurants and many small eateries not far from the lifts. Here you can also find equipment rental points and ski instructors for all levels.
The other side is home to the Etna Sud resort, the largest ski area in Sicily. The lifts that ascend the wide slope are a six-passenger gondola lift, a chair lift and three ski lifts, rising from an altitude of 1900 m to 2600 m.
The upper part of the slope has a spectacular view of the beautiful Gulf of Catania.
The ski resort has numerous bars, accommodation and restaurants, plus convenient parking facilities. Unfortunately, mainly due to the exposure, the snowpack conditions often leave something to be desired. However, if you are looking for one of the best places in the world to ski in Sicily while looking at the sea, you are in the right place.
Where you can ski in Sicily: the area in the Madonie
In the heart of the Madonie Mountains, 100 km from Palermo, Piano Battaglia at 1600 m above sea level is the only ski resort in western Sicily. A two-seater chairlift, a ski lift and a magic carpet lift climb the northern slope of Monte Mufara, at 1865 m above sea level, and serve about 4 km of slopes with difficulties ranging from black to blue.
The ski area is rather small, but it is a real gem, both in terms of landscape and facilities. Near the departure station, at four different points, it is possible to rent ski equipment, while the Italian Ski School is also active near the lifts. There are not many accommodation facilities present, but near the lifts you will find places to eat and sleep. Those who don't like skiing can have fun at the Fun Park, an area served by a treadmill where you can slide around safely on toboggans, thanks also to tracks created with the help of a snowcat. For those who prefer to walk, you will find points offering outdoor equipment such as snowshoes, crampons, gaiters and expert guides for excursions in snowy environments. You will thus reach some of the most beautiful corners of the Madonie Park, I recommend the popular night excursions. Seeing the sunrise on the highest peak in the area, Pizzo Carbonara, at an impressive 1979 metres above sea level, and visiting the extremely rare Madonie fir trees is not for everyone.
Places to ski in Sicily: snowshoe trails in the Nebrodi
Even in the Messina mountains, the only ones without ski resorts despite having excellent snow cover, there is a tourist destination of where to ski in Sicily. In fact, for some years now, with the aid of a snow groomer, the Park Authority has been creating a ring-shaped route suitable for cross-country skiing, near the highest peak, Monte Soro at 1847 m.
The route, of extraordinary beauty, winds through the thickest beech woods of the Nebrodi and the beautiful lakes of Maulazzo and the Biviere di Cesarò, which in this season, it is not rare to see completely frozen.
Near the entrance to the track, at Portella Femmina Morta, is the only accommodation in the area, which was once a mountain refuge but is now a comfortable boutique hotel. The circular route, which can also be done with snowshoes, taking care not to obliterate the track, is by far one of the most beautiful excursions to make on where to ski in Sicily.
Skiing in Sicily: the topics
- Where to Ski in Sicily: resorts and ski resorts for skiing while gazing at the sea or snowshoeing with one eye on the Aeolian Islands and another on the steaming mass of Mount Etna.
- Where to ski in Sicily: facilities, ski resorts and ski slopes on the island. Fear not, here, it is not only the sea, in fact, there are several mountain ranges with some reaching peaks of a certain importance.
- Where to ski in Sicily: on Mount Etna in Nicolosi and Linguaglossa, in the Madonie and on the Nebrodi. Discover all the curiosities pertaining to these places.
- Places where you can go skiing in Sicily, because this is not only a region for summer holidays, made up of beaches and culture, but also an area made up of mountain ranges where you can find snow in the winter season.
- Where to go skiing in Sicily while looking at the sea: the ski resorts on Mount Etna. Famous for its spectacular explosions and fascinating lava flows, the volcano is also an extraordinary skiing destination.
- Where you can ski in Sicily: the Madonie ski area. The ski area is rather small, but it is a real jewel, both in terms of landscape and facilities.
- Places where you can ski in Sicily: the snowshoeing slopes in the Nebrodi Mountains, here you can go snowshoeing on a circular route that passes through places that are, to say the least, marvellous.