Things to Do in Cefalu with Kids
After a hyperactive week in Palermo, we arrived in Cefalu with an idea of doing nothing but just having some lazy time with kids on the sandy beach. However, Cefalu is like a little kid; it is a town that doesn’t let you sit down. The city beach is just a few minutes walk from the vibrant historical center, so Cefalu is an excellent family destination. It has swimming, history, art, and culture all in one package.
Lungomare is the promenade along the city beach, perfect for endless long walks and sunset views. It’s an ideal beach for families because the water is shallow and the children can eat mineralized sand and splatter safely. Almost the entire beach is sandy except for some rocky parts towards the old town. We have heard that women in ancient times washed laundry at this rocks. I guess that my husband took me there not only for a romantic reason but also to help me realize how happy I am to have a washing machine at home.
Historical washing laundry place with beautiful view
Climbing La Rocca
La Rocca is stunning mountain towering over Cefalu. How do you get there? From the town’s main street, we followed signs to Tempio di Diana. Following the children’s speed, it took us 45 minutes to reach the top of La Rocca. How did we make the climbing fun for the kids? We told them that there were a lot of animals on the mountain so maybe we could see some. They started looking around with curiosity. Indeed, La Rocca is home to various animals such as wild rabbits, snakes, vipers, lizards, and owls. The children noticed this hardly visible creature which was united entirely with its surrounding environment: a western lizard sunbathing.
Can you notice lizard?
Looking for treasure
Following the children’s rhythm means you sit down many times, take a deep breath and motivate them to keep on going. How? We made up a story about a king who had hidden his treasure under some stones on the top of the mountain. We needed to get there before a dragon finds it first and takes the treasure away! We arrived slowly, but we were faster than the dragon. My husband put a few coins under some stones and marked them with flowers. At first, the children started to lift up every stone, but we gave them instructions that treasure is usually under rocks with flowers on them. They were very excited to find the coins under those stones. When we got down to the town, they spent their treasure on some small pleasures.
We found treasure
Along the way, we noticed archeological sites and various ruins surrounded by abundant flora. There are more than 280 plant species, some of which are endemic. I always try to remind children not to pick plants and flowers; just to smell, gently touch and observe only because they belong to nature, not to the vase at home.
On the top of La Rocca is a fortress with a fascinating view of the entire red-roofed town, blue bay, and marina.
View worth of climbing
Cathedral in Cefalu
Under La Rocca sits the Norman Cathedral. After visiting so many cathedrals in Italy, it was hard to be impressed by another one. However, the cathedral in Cefalu is unique because of its peaceful and mystical ambiance. It was built in the 12th century and has stood the great test of time. The mosaic in the altar is impressive, depicting Christ holding the gospel.
The main square in Cefalu
A beautiful square (Piazza) surrounds the cathedral with palm trees and a grandiose mountain scenery. I know a person who sends postcards to herself, which was a bit odd to me, but Cefalu was a place where I wanted to send a postcard to myself. The streets and picturesque squares of this medieval town were the scenes for filming the cult movie ‘Cinema Paradiso’ in 1988. A lot has changed here since that movie. Cefalu became one of the most popular seaside resorts in Sicily in summer, so spring or early autumn is the perfect time to visit for families and all those who like to avoid anthills.
The central square in Cefalu
Some experiences in Cefalu are difficult to describe with words because they are somewhat supernatural, such as meeting your doll-twin in some showroom 🙂
If you travel to Sicily, you might find some inspiration in our travel stories, because we try to look at things from the new point of view.