IG Holidays

Family & Kids

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Are you looking for experiences that allow you to spend a carefree and fun holiday with your family? Then Sicily is the right place for you.

Here you can travel and go for walks with children in total safety and serenity, to discover beautiful and unexpected natural realities. On foot, by bicycle or on the back of friendly donkeys, you will discover a land full of unexpected treasures.

The little ones can become archaeologists, equipped with the right equipment and under the guidance of experts, or scientists ready to learn which laws govern the Universe!

Together you will be able to discover which rare botanical wonders are hidden around the island, visit corners of paradise such as the Bioparco di Sicilia, or test your courage in the Aventura Parks, suspended in mid-air surrounded by greenery.

Drive along the writers’ road retracing the footsteps of Charles V, flying colorful kites in the air, enjoying Aztec chocolate. Let yourself be inspired and choose the most suitable experience for you and your family.

Blue Flag beaches

The number of “Blue Flags” awarded to Sicily in 2022 rises to 11.
The ranking is drawn up every year by the Foundation for Environmental Education, the Danish NGO that assigns the prize based on quality parameters such as the healthiness of the water but also the quality of the services offered.
There are six Messina beaches that have obtained recognition. Confirmed the beaches of Roccalumera, Alì Terme, Lungomare Santa Teresa di Riva, Lampare beach in Tusa and Acquacalda in Lipari. The new entry is that of Furci Siculo.
It then continues in the province of Ragusa with the beaches of Marina di Modica, Raganzino in Pozzallo, the first stretch of Ciriga in Ispica and Marina di Ragusa.
Finally, the Lido Fiori Bertolino of Menfi, in the province of Agrigento, was awarded.

Le gole di Tiberio

The Gorges of Tiberius, more than 250 meters long, are located on the Pollina river in the Madonie Park, a Geopark site recognized by UNESCO. After a long descent of steps, you reach the gorges. It is said that they owe their name to the emperor Tiberius, to whom they would have been dedicated.
It is a very relaxing place, where accompanied we can visit the gorges gliding on the water with small rafts to reach two small beaches. Do not miss the charming Madonie villages of Pollina and San Mauro Castelverde.
We admire the gastropod fossils in the rock walls, the numerous bird nests even a few centimeters from the water, the bandits’ caves that feed legends related to them and to the place (among all, the famous Miricu and Monster). The atmosphere is dreamlike: surrounded by plays of light created between the water and the walls, with the contrast between warm external winds and internal coolness, if we are lucky, we could even witness the flight of the golden eagle. To get there, just follow the signs that start from the state road in the direction of San Mauro. After about ten kilometers you leave the provincial road and take a small road which after a while becomes a dirt road. We can park before the stairway of 400 steps.

Le gole dell’Alcantara

The Gole dell’Alcantara also known as Gole di Larderia fall within the territory of the municipality of Motta Camastra and are under the protection of the Alcantara River Park. The formation of this basaltic canyon can be traced back to three distinct volcanic eruptions dated between 25,000 and 9,000 years ago. The walls up to twenty-five meters high with prism, woodpile and organ pipe rocks, contrary to what many sites claim, were not formed by the erosive action of the water but by a sudden external cooling of the lava in contact with water and slow internal cooling of the hot core. The Alcantara gorge is 400 meters long and is undoubtedly an all-Italian geological marvel. Let’s find out how to visit this fantastic canyon.

Cavagrande del Cassibile Nature Reserve

The extensive karst plateaus of the Iblei Mountains characterize the landscape of the south-eastern tip of Sicily, straddling the provinces of Ragusa and Syracuse. It is above all in the latter that the plateau takes on spectacular aspects due to the presence of deep fractures, called “cave”, which furrow its edges. These are canyons produced by the erosion of the water courses that still flow on their bottom, sometimes with a superb appearance as happens in the case of the Cavagrande del Cassibile nature reserve, one of the most majestic and evocative, today protected as a nature reserve, it was the seat of inhabited settlements in the Paleolithic era.
Eight thousand cave-type rock tombs dating back to the 10th and 9th centuries BC have been excavated in the walls.
Established in 1990 in order to preserve the natural vegetation, and restore the Mediterranean forest vegetation as well as to defend and increase the Mediterranean fauna, the Cavagrande del Cassibile Nature Reserve covers a vast area of approximately 2,760 hectares, falling within the municipalities of Avola, Noto and Syracuse .
The protected area includes a stretch, about 10 km long, of the fluvial branch of the cassibile, one of the most important rivers of south-eastern Sicily, which, strongly encasing itself between the rocks of the Hyblean plateau, generates a canyon, deep in some stretches over 250 meters, with steep walls thickly vegetated.

The Nature Reserve of the Vendicari Faunistic Oasis

The Oasi Faunistica di Vendicari oriented nature reserve extended for 1,500 hectares is a oriented nature reserve located in the province of Syracuse, precisely between Noto and Marzamemi, particularly important due to the presence of marshes that serve as a resting place in the migration of birds. Inside the Reserve there are several archaeological and architectural settlements. In fact, it is possible to find traces of storage tanks of an ancient fish processing plant, next to which a small necropolis was also discovered. The reserve is a coastal wetland of high biological value due to the presence of different biotopes: rocky coast, sandy coast, Mediterranean maquis, marshes (brackish and freshwater), salt marshes, garrigue and cultivated areas. The salt pans, in particular, had economic importance for a long time, certainly in support of an important tuna fishery whose first installations date back to the 15th century and whose remains can be admired today. There are four accesses to the reserve, one in the Eloro area, one in the Cava delle Mosche area, where there is the famous Cala Mosche beach, the main entrance at the height of the Swabian Tower, where there is the main beach of the reserve and that of Cittadella dei Maccari (seat of the Byzantine settlement of which a small temple and necropolis remain). There are numerous species of birds that stop in Vendicari: wading birds, gray herons, storks, flamingos and, moreover, mallards, seagulls, cormorants and the black-winged stilt who stops here on his journey from the desert of the Sahara.

The Pantalica Oriented Nature Reserve

The reserve includes multiple systems; the Anapo River Valley, which originates on Monte Lauro, in the Iblei Mountains, and flows into the port of Syracuse, the Pantalica Valley and the Cava Grande torrent. Inside the reserve there are also two karst caves, the bat cave and the Trovato cave. Near Ferla there is the Bosco di Giarranauti.
The name Pantalica derives from the Arab buntarigah which means caves, due to the presence of countless natural and artificial caves. In 2005 the site was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Even before the Greek colonization, south-eastern Sicily was inhabited, now on the coastal plains now on the impervious mountains, by various populations, as evidenced by the impressive archaeological remains and the vast necropolis of artificial caves of Pantalica, but the first human traces could date back several thousand years earlier with some settlements of Homo Sapiens..
The Pantalica reserve offers diversified ecological environments that allow the expression of a significant biodiversity. In addition to the aquatic biotope, we can distinguish the riparian environment, that of the walls, the valley, the plains and the caves.
In the crystal clear waters of the river, thanks to the torrential nature, the Sicilian trout and the brown trout find an ideal home. The tench roams the seabed. It is also possible to find eels and river crabs. Among the amphibians, in addition to the common green frog, we also find the painted Discoglossus, with its characteristic tongue in the shape of an adhesive disc. Above all, the presence of trout indicates the high quality of the waters. Along its course, the river sees the development of magnificent oriental plane tree vegetation which, in these Sicilian districts, marks the western border of its distribution area which extends over the eastern Mediterranean and western Asia.
Linked to the river, it is possible to see the kingfisher with its lively livery and the dipper, the elusive moorhen or, in areas where the river slows down, forms muddy bends, the common sandpiper, a small size wading bird.
On the rocks, close to the river, the lively blooms of the oleander stand out perfectly established in this ideal environment. The riparian forest is made up of many plant species: willows (white and pedicellate), black poplar, manna ash, hornbeam and downy oak dominate the trees, while the undergrowth becomes intricate due to brambles and liana plants such as the honeysuckle. Shrubs of the undergrowth are also the hawthorn, the mastic tree, the bushy euphorbia and the butcher’s broom. In the herbaceous cover, the horsetail, the field daisy, the cyclamen (with ivy and spring leaves), the buttercup with its yellow enameled corolla, the white and delicate wild garlic flowers stand out.

The Oriented Nature Reserve of the Zingaro

Admiring the Zingaro Nature Reserve from the sea is an exciting experience because it allows you to grasp the majesty of the place with a single glance. The high peaks of the Zingaro slope down to the sea, the green of the Mediterranean maquis mixes with the red of the rocks and plunges into the blue of its splendid waters. The Zingaro Nature Reserve, the first in Sicily, was established in 1981 by the Sicilian Region. We do not know why this area is called “gypsy”, in fact there is no news in the historical sources of nomads who lived in these places, while the presence of a colony of Lombards is indicated in the XIII century. Even if Lo Zingaro is particularly famous for its beaches, clear waters rich in fish and underwater caves, it is good to know that the reserve offers much more.
The Zingaro reserve is perfectly usable by everyone, there are three classic routes: the first runs along the coast from one limit of the reserve to the other, it is the most popular and also the least demanding, the second, a little more tiring , proceeds zigzagging across the territory, crossing the coast and the peaks, while the third is reserved for the more sporty, and practically crosses the whole Zingaro from top to bottom.

The Opera dei Pupi

The Opera dei pupi is a particular puppet theater established in southern Italy and in particular in Sicily in the early 1800s, today declared a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO.
It is the theatrical representation of the poems of medieval French literature of the Chanson de Roland or Orlando Furioso, of the clashes between the knights and the Moors, in which the puppets are the expression and symbol of the desire for redemption and justice of a social class .
The Opera dei Pupi is closely linked to other forms of expression such as those of the Storytellers and Cantàri who disseminated the chivalric events with the cuntu (the story). The adventures of these chivalrous heroes are narrated in episodes. While the storyteller addresses themes of an epic nature through acting, the storyteller tells the same story through song.
The Opera dei Pupi is characterized by the transmission of a series of rather ancient codes of conduct which include a sense of honour, chivalry, the defense of justice and faith and the need to excel.

Fundamental to staging the work is the Puparo, who, using a particular timbre of voice, creates suggestive atmospheres full of tension, which are typical of epic scenes. The Puparo recites a canovaccio, that is, he performs a recitation based on improvisation, following a trace of the plot. In the past the representation ended with a farce: a puppet show in which the tones used by the characters were licentious and cheerful, as in the Sicilian fairy-tale tradition. Sometimes the puppeteers communicated content not appreciated by the authorities, using the baccagghiu (baccaglio), a jargon known to the criminals.
The Sicilian puppet originates from the classic European marionette but differs from the latter: the classic European puppet is moved by long strings of rope, while the Sicilian puppet is maneuvered using two iron rods, one of which is connected to the hand and the ‘other passes inside the head. There are also four strands of rope to allow the puppet to draw his sword, move his left hand and raise the visor of his helmet.

The puppets have finely chiseled wooden structures and are equipped with real metal armor whose plates are individually created and worked, then welded and finally decorated. The final processing phase involves the assembly of the puppet which is made up of nine parts, including hands, fists, legs, torso, etc.
The puppets of the Palermo school are light and articulated, measuring about eighty centimeters in height and have an iron rod inside which passes through the torso and head to support them.
Then there is another iron rod placed in the right arm which allows movement and a thread which runs through the closed hand which allows the puppet to draw and replace the sword.
A string connected to the left knee allows the pup to genuflect, articulate steps and so on.
The puppets of the Catania school have fixed limbs, are characterized by a height of around one meter and twenty / thirty centimeters and can weigh up to 16 kg. A main and a secondary iron shaft allow you to move the right arm with the sword.
The puppeteers of Catania maneuver the scenes on the axes called “ponte di manoeuvre”, which is placed behind the backdrop.

Adventure parks

For those who want to have fun in the open air, experiencing the thrill of climbing and defying the force of gravity, adventure parks are a young reality in Sicilian greenery. Paths suspended between tall trees or rocks, with levels suitable for children and adults. Itineraries in which you can move freely under the careful supervision and assistance of qualified personnel. At the park we can find everything you need, harnesses, carabiners, pulleys and more to reduce the risk of getting hurt to zero. In many parks you can also go on mountain bike excursions and practice other sports.

Here are the Adventure Parks in Sicily:

Bosco D’Alcamo – Alcamo (Trapani)
The Bosco D’Alcamo Adventure Park is the adventure park for children and adults, designed and built for those who want to experience the adventure of nature without being afraid of getting bored. Possibility of excursions on Monte Bonifato.

Casaboli eco-campus – Pioppo (Palermo)
Paths accessible to all with graduated difficulties, ensure that everyone finds their own fun in the Casaboli pine forest. Environmental education courses, orienteering internships, nature educational workshops, adventure park trails at night, pasta parties and fun summer camps for kids and families. Possibility of lunch and barbecues in the pine forest.

Etna Adventure Serra La Nave – Etna Nicolosi (Catania)
It has a series of acrobatic courses in the trees, placed at different heights from the ground and differentiated by increasing difficulty and physical effort. The routes consist of a series of platforms interspersed with Tibetan bridges, Chinese bridges, lianas, various types of walkways and Tyrolean bridges; this allows everyone, young and old, to test their courage and skills in maximum safety. Before getting on the routes, the specialized staff delivers and puts on the individual safety devices: harness, helmet, longes, carabiners and pulley.

Monti Rossi Adventure Park – Etna Nicolosi (Catania)
The Nicolosi Monti Rossi Adventure Park awaits you with many activities, adventure trails for all ages, educational workshops, balancing games, nature walks, guided tours to discover the peculiarities of the extinct volcanic cone that hosts us: the Monti Rossi ! Twirling among the treetops has never been so much fun, balancing on a trunk, sliding silently hanging from a pulley or facing the thrill of an upside-down journey in complete safety and with respect for nature.

Nebrodi Adventure Park – Longi (Messina)
It is the first Adventure Park in the province of Messina and represents a pleasant, fun and exciting way to discover the beauty of nature and the wonderful landscapes typical of the nebroide area. It was designed for enthusiasts of all ages who have the opportunity to enjoy direct contact with a healthy environment and breathe clean air.

Parcallario-Buccheri (Syracuse)

Parcallario is the first Adventure Park in the heart of south-eastern Sicily. It is located within a large green area, the Bosco di Santa Maria, full of pines, oaks and chestnuts. Here a breathtaking adventure awaits you in the splendid setting of the Iblei Mountains, fun, nature and good food for a day in the trees and on the trees.

Ancient Solfare Adventure Park – San Cataldo (Caltanissetta)

In addition to the acrobatic routes, the Adventure Park gives us the opportunity to practice orienteering and archery. Educational paths for schools.

Etna Adventure Park – Etna Milo (Catania)
The Etna Adventure Park is located in the Scarbaglio di Milo park. In addition to the acrobatic routes for children and adults, it has a bar, a refreshment point and a picnic area. It also organizes excursions and canyoning.

Madonie Adventure Park – Petralia Sottana (Palermo)
Adventure park in the Madonie Park between Petralia Sottana and Piano Battaglia, equipped with a large picnic area.

Natural Adventure Park Finestrelle – Santa Ninfa (Trapani)
This latest generation Adventure Park, located in the Bosco di Finestrelle, gives the opportunity to practice archery, go on excursions also by mountain bike and practice orienteering. It also organizes environmental education courses.

Pozzillo Adventure – Regalbuto (Enna)
Pozzillo Avventura organizes activities for Scouts, Grest and summer camps. Acrobatic courses in height, hiking, sport climbing, experiential and creative workshops, socialization games. Cableway route with section on Lake Pozzillo of 350 m.