About Sicily

The relatively small island of Sicily has a big diversity of different landscapes, climate, history and culture.
Pompe, the Traveller Dog's. view of the Sicilian Sea and Architecture.
Inside of cathedral in Sicily

On this Mediterranean island you will find big cities like Palermo with almost 700 000 people, beaches, vast farm-land, volcanos and snowy mountain-tops. Also, the island’s history is more diverse than many other places as the island has been under Greece, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Normans, Spain, Islamic rulers and other groups.

It only takes 4.5 hours to cross the entire Sicilian island by car. Still, if you want to experience all that Sicily has to offer, you need several weeks! Some of the main attractions on the island include the many sandy beaches, the volcano Mt. Etna, the bustling city of Palermo and several stunning cathedrals and Greek-style temples.

The food is also a big tourist attraction in Sicily. The climate is great for growing tomatoes, grapes, oranges, olives and other amazing foods.

Two people walking on Sicilian street. Yellow houses and flowers on the balchonies.

Dog-Attitude and Regulation in Sicily

Sicily is very pet-friendly! This great Italian island wins our dog-friendly award for the Mediterranean region, without a doubt.

Sicily is very pet-friendly! This great Italian island wins our dog-friendly award for the Mediterranean region, without a doubt. But let’s be clear, we haven’t been to every single corner of the Mediterranean region. However, compared to the ones we have been to (Cyprus, Malta, French Riviera, Spain), Sicily is a very dog-friendly place.

The Sicilians love dogs and are relaxed people. So, dogs are welcome in almost half of the islands accommodation and you can bring your dog to most places, including several beaches.

Smiling Sicilian bar-tender in quaint reststaurant
Sunset over harbor in Sicily. A cat looking up behind a little wall

Dog-Friendly Accommodation in Sicily

When in Sicily, you will have no problem finding accommodation that accepts dogs. In fact, out of the places we have been to, Sicliy has the highest percentage of accommodation that accepts dogs. Way to go Sicly!

The warm and compassionate people of Sicily understand that dogs are part of the family. Of the accommodation listed on Booking.com, 47% of all accommodation in Sicily allows dogs. Compare that to only 15% of Booking.com’s accommodation on nearby Cyprus and 13% in Malta!

Interestingly, the percentage of Sicilian accommodation providers that accept dogs goes up with the number of stars the facility has. A whopping 71% of all Sicilian 5-star hotels listed on Booking.com accept dogs. Go Sicily, we love you!

Pie-chart of dog-friendly hotels in Sicily
Chart of dog-friendly hotels in Sicily, by star rating

Sicily – Where Dogs are Welcome

Sicily is very dog-friendly, very! It’s our favorite dog-travel destination in the Mediterranean region. The Sicilians love dogs; they are a part of the Sicilian life.
Set table in quaint restaurant in Sicily

Dogs and Restaurants in Sicily

Dogs are welcome in many restaurants in Sicily, in contrast to in Sweden. The only places where your dog may not be allowed to enter are some bakeries and small bars.

Many of the Sicilian restaurants also have outdoor seating where dogs are almost always allowed.

Green olives in Sicily

Dogs and Public Transport in Sicily

You can bring your dog on some buses, but not all. Bus travel regulations vary by region and by the bus company. Some companies permit dogs to travel but charge a full fare for then.

This said, our experience was that dogs were welcome on most public transport in Sicily. One bus driver told us that dogs need to wear muzzles if they are to travel on public transport in Italy, but he didn’t enforce that rule. We have also read that it’s sometimes required to have your dog’s paperwork with you when you travel on a bus (i.e. the pet-passport). However, we were never asked to show that either.

Sicily is probably like Malta in that rules are not always followed. One difference that we experienced was that most bus drivers in Sicily liked dogs and cheerfully allowed them onboard. In Malta however, many bus-drivers were grumpy about allowing dogs onto ‘their’ buses.

Cobble stone street in Sicily lined with old historic buildings

We rented a car for a few days in Sicily. When renting it, we told the representative at the car-rental company that we had a dog. The woman told us that was no problem at all.

Dog-Friendly Activities in Sicily

Sicily is a traveller-dog’s paradise! Dogs are welcome to come along for many of the fun activities you can do together with your 4-legged friend in Sicily. Our favorite was going wine tasting with our dog.

 

Sight-Seeing in Sicily

We didn’t do much sightseeing while in Sicily, except for walking around the beautiful streets of Syracuse in the southeast of the island. The streets in this old town are narrow and windy. Pompe loved to discover all the smells of the alleyways.

Cute dog standing on back-leggs sniffing gate in Sicily

We visited the cathedral of Syracuse, a beautiful old catholic dome that is on the UNESCO world heritage list. The structure dates back to the 5th century B.C. and was at first a Greek temple, dedicated to the Greek war- and handicraft (?) goddess Athena.

Unfortunately, Pompe was not allowed inside the cathedral, so we took turns going inside. That worked out well as you don’t need many hours to see the inside of the cathedral. While waiting outside, Pompe was happy to sniff the beautiful cathedral gate.

Although we didn’t visit it, we hear that the old Greek temple of Agrigento on the south coast of Sicily is dog-friendly.

Temple in Sicily, beautiful columns

Wine Tasting (with your Dog) in Sicily

The soil and climate in Sicily is perfect for wine production, or so a Sicilian winery owner told us. Therefore, it is no coincidence that some of the worlds best wines come from this island. We can warmly recommend taking a wine tasting tour in Sicily and learn more about the art of producing wine. Also, premium wine with memories to go with them make great souvenirs, no?

There are several companies that offer wine tasting tours in Sicily. Cantine Barbera loves dogs and welcomes dogs on their tours.

 

Beach-Fun with your Dog in Sicily

Dogs are welcome on the following Sicilian beaches:

  • Bau Beach – Castellammare del Golfo (Trapani)
  • Dog Beach Lido Azzurro – (Catania)
  • Bau Bau Beach – Marina di Priolo (Siracusa)
  • Bau Bau Beach – Brolo (Messina)
  • Lido Vengo anch’io – (Messina)
  • Lido Sabbie nere e acque calde di Vulcano (Aeolian islands – Messina)

Like always, you need to pick up after your dog and act responsibly.

Grape vines in Sicily
Dog Sleeping On The Beach when traveling in Sicily.

Dog-Amenities in Sicily

Group Of Dogs With Owners At Obedience Class in Sicily
Swimming labador dog seen from underneath the water
There is one truly amazing place for dogs in Sicily, Dog Paradise, in Palermo. This place really lives up to its name! Here your dog can meet dog-friends, go for a swim, have a dog ice-cream and/or take a course. It’s a really nice place, and your dog will most certainly enjoy his/her self here.

Dog Paradise in Palermo also offers dog-parking. You can leave your beloved 4-legger in Paradise for a few hours or a day while you do non dog-friendly activities. How about that?

Although they have dog parks in Sicily, they are pretty basic compared to dog parks in other countries such as Finland. Unfortunately, the ones we saw in Sicily were not worth going out of your way to visit.

Narrow alley-way in Sicilian village