Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, has a lot of beautiful coastal towns and Cefalù is one of them. Cefalù is located on the north coast of Sicily and is one of the popular tourist destinations on the island. There are many things to do in Cefalù and you might want to spend at least two days to discover the beauty of this coastal town.
However, if you don’t have enough time, you can definitely do a day trip to Cefalù from Palermo. Cefalù is just an hour away from the island’s capital city and you can do a lot of things even if you only have one day in Cefalu. You can hike La Rocca, go people-watching at the Piazza del Duomo, visit historical sites, and even spend time at the beach!
In this article, we will be talking about some of the best things you can do in Cefalù in one day. If you planning on visiting Sicily and plan to visit Cefalu, read on!
Things To Do In Cefalù
Cefalù is an ancient fishing port located on the northern coast of the island of Sicily and is a popular tourist destination. It is about an hour away from Palermo and is known for its historic city center and wonderful beaches. You can spend a couple of days exploring the beauty of this charming town. But, you can also squeeze in day trips from Palermo to Cefalù if you do not have enough time.
From the town’s golden beaches to trying delectable Sicilian cuisine, you won’t run out of things to do in this picturesque town. Whether you are a foodie, a history lover, or just want to immerse yourself in the town’s culture, you will definitely have a lovely time in Cefalù.
Here are some of the things you can do if you only have one day in Cefalu.
Hiking La Rocca di Cefalù is the best way to get a birds-eye view of the beautiful city and the Tyrrhenian Sea. La Rocca is a limestone cliff in Cefalù that is about 268 meters high. The hike all the way to the top can take about 2 to 3 hours, depending on your pace but some hikers do it in less time. If you don’t want to hike all the way to the top, there is a panoramic viewing point halfway where you can still see beautiful views of the city.
La Rocca has different opening hours depending on the month of your visit. From April to October, La Rocca is open from 8 AM to 5 PM while it is open from 9 AM to 4 PM from November to March. If you want to hike without the full force of the sun, go to La Rocca early in the morning.
Make sure to wear appropriate footwear and bring lots of water and snacks to munch on once you get to the top. Do note that there is an entrance fee of 5 EUR per person.
Castello di Cefalù
Climbing the top of La Rocca is not the only thing to do on the limestone cliff. On your way up, you will pass by several sites that were once remnants of ancient Sicily.
You can stop by the Temple of Diana and the Church of Saint Anne which are both historical sites along the hiking trails of La Rocca. After that, you can hike all the way to Castello di Cefalù which is a 12th-century Norman castle. Hiking all the way to the ancient ruins will give you panoramic views of the city and Cefalù’s coastline.
The hiking trails going to Castello di Cefalù can be difficult and there are no very limited shades to hide you from the sun. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks and also wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun. The hike may be difficult but the stunning views are worth it.
Piazza del Duomo
Once you finish your hike in La Rocca or Castello di Cefalù, you can head down to the Piazza del Duomo in the historic center to rest your feet. The town square has several cafés, bars, and restaurants where you can eat and drink to your heart’s content. You can eat local food, buy a gelato, or just sit and relax while enjoying the scenery and taking in the view.
After you have rested, you can head to the Cefalù Cathedral (Duomo di Cefalù) in Cefalù’s old town. The Piazza del Duomo is just at the base of the cathedral so you don’t have to walk very far to get there. Opposite the cathedral is where you will find the city’s town hall.
Cefalù Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world. You can find preserved works like the sculpture of Madonna, stained glass windows, and the sarcophagus of the bishop of Cefalù.
The cathedral is open to the public daily from 8:30 AM to 1 PM and 3 PM to 6:30 PM during the summer months. The cathedral is only open until 1:30 PM during other seasons. The entrance is free but the cathedral can be closed if there are any special religious services happening.
If you want to enter the cathedral, make sure to wear appropriate clothing. Wear clothes that cover your shoulders and avoid wearing skirts or shorts that are too short.
Medieval Laundry “Fiume Cafelino”
For historical site lovers, you may want to add the medieval wash house of Cefalù to your itinerary. There isn’t really much to see on this site but going to Lavatoio Medievale Fiume Cefalino will give you a glimpse of what laundry services in ancient times were like.
It really is interesting to see, especially if you like knowing the history of the places you like to visit. The ancient washhouse can be easy to miss as it is tucked in between buildings in Cefalù. It is also located underground so make sure to look out for a sign that says “Lavatoio Medievale”. But, it was said that the ancient laundry house was closer to the sea and the city walls. The medieval wash house is open daily from 9:00 AM to 1 PM and 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
Just across the medieval laundry house is one of the most popular beaches in Cefalù. Cefalù Beach (Spiaggia di Cefalù) is a crescent-shaped beach that has white sands and crystal clear waters. There are private and private areas (lidos) on Cefalù Beach. If you go to a free beach, you can typically rent beach equipment such as lounge chairs and umbrellas in the public areas while lidos require an entrance fee and typically have equipment and other facilities included.
There are other beaches in Cefalù and they are all worth the visit. But, if you have a tight schedule, this sandy beach is a great introduction to the wonderful beaches of the town.
How To Get To Cefalù
If you are coming from outside of Sicily, the nearest airport you can fly into is Palermo Airport (PMO). The city of Palermo is only about an hour away from Cefalù and there are two options on how to get to the coastal town.
You can get to Cefalù by car if you want a more convenient way of traveling. There are several car rental companies in Palermo if you want to rent a car.
Another way to get to Cefalù is by train. Go to Palermo Centrale to catch a train going to Cefalù. The average travel time from Palermo to Cefalù by train is about 50 minutes.
If you are planning to have a day trip to Cefalù, make sure to know the train’s schedule so you don’t miss the last trip back to Palermo.
Do you prefer hiking the top of La Rocca, spending a relaxing time at the beach, or visiting historical sites? These are just some of the things you can do if you plan to visit Cefalù on a day trip. If you have enough time, you can spend at least two days in town but, one day is definitely fine! If you have any other questions, let us know!