View of Palermo Beach Mondello

Palermo Beach: A day by the sea in the picturesque bay of Mondello

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After a sightseeing tour of the Sicilian capital, it's time for a break. How about a trip to the Palermo beach? The suburb of Mondello is only a few kilometres from Palermo and offers the finest sandy beach, crystal-clear water and an idyllic view of the surrounding natural landscape on the bay between Monte Pellegrino and Monte Gallo.  

This is what you can expect in this article:

  1. The House Beach of Palermo

  2. From fishing village to sophisticated seaside resort

  3. Unmistakable art nouveau silhouette

  4. Bathing pleasure on the "most beautiful promontory in the world

  5. A day at the seaside: always something going on at the Lido of Mondello

  6. Surrounded by nature

Ciao, I am Adriana.

I'm a host at BnB Dolcevita. I hope you like my article about the beach. It is part of our Palermo travel guide.  More about us!

Host Adriana

The House Beach of Palermo

The beach stretches for about 1.5 kilometres - ideal for long walks, far from the hustle and bustle of the city. Especially in the low season, Mondello is a relaxing refuge, when fewer visitors stroll along the Lido and the gaze can freely wander across the turquoise, crystal-clear sea into the distance.

The intense colour spectrum of the water is reminiscent of the Caribbean and enchants tourists and city dwellers alike. Palermitans love their "home beach", which is a lively cultural meeting place for young and old and can also be easily reached by bus from Palermo City.

It is particularly worth mentioning that the beach is very clean, well-maintained and it is also very suitable for families with children because the water is shallow for a long time. You can walk towards the open sea for a long time without going under. At the same time, this gives you the opportunity to take great photos in the shallow water.  

The bay of Mondello from Monte Pellegrino 

The bay of Mondello from Monte Pellegrino 

Photo: Pietro Columba from Italia, Mondello- Mare e cieloCC BY 2.0

Connection from Palermo to Lido di Mondello

The best and cheapest way to get from Palermo to Mondello without a car is to take bus line 544 or 806, which costs 2€ and takes approximately 35 min, depending on where you get on. The more central line is line 806, which departs from Via Roma, for example. There is usually a bus leaving and returning every 30 minutes. Here you can find the stops of line Line 806 and Line 544

From fishing village to sophisticated seaside resort

Mondello - an attractive seaside resort with a stylish promenade. This was not always the case. Until the end of the 19th century, the area was still far from being a popular tourist destination with exclusive eateries and a magnificent beach promenade. Mondello was a small fishing village that lived from tuna fishing. 

 

It was Prince Francesco Lanza di Scalea who commissioned an Italian-Belgian company to build a lido, a hotel and around 300 villas by concession. The villas of the Belle Epoque were mainly inhabited by wealthy Palermo citizens and still exude the flair of another era. 

Fishermen at Palermo Beach Mondello

On the beach of Mondello, numerous fishermen still process their catch today

Photo: © Demande Philippe – stock.adobe.com

Our Tip:

Countless good fish restaurants in Mondello offer you the opportunity to have a fresh Mediterranean lunch with a view of the sea.

If you prefer a snack between meals, you will find the classic Rosticceria Palermitana (street food) on every corner. A special place is the bar Pasticceria Alba, which has been serving Sicilian cuisine for 50 years. Here you can eat very well, whether a sweet between meals or a delicious lunch. The quality is excellent.

Sicilian desserts at Bar Pasticceria Alba

Sicilian desserts at Bar Pasticceria Alb

Photo: © Robin Marx – BnB Dolcevita

Distinctive art nouveau silhouette 

Take the time for a walk, stroll past the impressive art nouveau buildings and treat yourself to a snack or a refreshing aperitif in one of the many bars in the area.

Some of the Liberty-style buildings are still well preserved, such as Villa Dagnino from 1914, Villa Pojero from 1915, and the worthwhile Kurhaus, which was built on stilts over the sea in 1912.

 

The "stabilimento balneare", as "spa house" is called in the local language, houses the luxury restaurant "Charleston" with upscale Mediterranean cuisine and a sports club with a sports centre.

 

Since the bathhouse, built by the Belgian architect Rudolph Stualket, is decorated with numerous mythological creatures and sea monsters, it ranks high among the most popular photo motifs.

The Liberty-style Mondello Spa House

The Liberty-style spa house on Mondello beach. 

Photo: © EleSi – stock.adobe.com 

Bathing pleasure at the "most beautiful promontory in the world

For a long time, wooden cabins were set up along the beach, which were rented out during the summer and in which beachgoers could store their personal belongings. Since 2008, these have been gradually removed and in their place, limited zones with deckchairs and umbrellas are erected for rent.

 

A welcome development, because it makes the view of the sea and the landscape that much more beautiful. Speaking of beautiful. On his trip to Italy, Goethe did not miss the opportunity to visit Sicily in April 1787. Enthused by his impressions, he described Monte Pellegrino as "the most beautiful promontory in the world". Who would want to contradict the great Goethe?

Bathers enjoy the good weather at Palermo's Mondello beach

Bathers enjoy the good weather at Palermo's Mondello beach

Photo: Dedda71Mondello palermo2CC BY 3.0

A day at the seaside: always something going on at the Lido of Mondello

What is the perfect day at the beach for you? Enjoying a good read with a chilled drink? Or would you rather get to know the maritime surroundings on a boat trip?

 

A varied activity programme is offered at the Lido of Mondello: You can go pedal boating or rent an inflatable boat, boat or surfboard to explore the picturesque bay. Participation in diving and kitesurfing courses is also possible.

 

In addition, the local sports clubs "Circolo della Vela" and "Circolo Canottieri Ruggero di Lauria" regularly organise sailing regattas. Even more water sports fun is provided by the Windsurfer World Festival, which takes place once a year and attracts the best surfers in the world.

Pedal boats in the bay of Mondello

Pedal boats in the bay of Mondello. 

Photo: © Aleksandar Todorovic – stock.adobe.com 

Our Tip:

Sicily is close to Africa and one of the ways you notice this is that the sun is strong here on the island's beaches - especially in the months of high summer. Therefore, always make sure you wear suitable sun protection.

We ourselves also like to avoid the midday sun, then go to the beach early in the morning and interrupt the beach day around 12 o'clock for our lunch, a walk or a little siesta. 

Panorama video of Mondello on a very early beach visit

Video: © Robin Marx - BnB Dolcevita

Embedded in a lot of nature

The finest sandy beach with a shallow slope and turquoise blue water are the best prerequisites for a refreshing swim in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The fact that the enchanting bay of Mondello is embedded in two nature reserves makes a visit to the beach particularly appealing. Learn more about the landscape around Mondello, one of the most beautiful beaches in Sicily, in the following sections.

Monte Pellegrino: The Pilgrim Mountain

The area around Monte Pellegrino was declared a nature reserve "Riserva Naturale Monte Pellegrino" in 1996 to preserve the caves with stone-age rock images.

In addition, the Monte has been an important place of pilgrimage since the 17th century. According to tradition, the unburied body of Saint Rosalia was found in a 25-metre-deep cave in 1625. After her relics were brought to Palermo, the plague epidemic ended and she was declared patron saint.  

You can find out more about the mountain that makes up the panorama of Mondello in our article  Monte Pellegrino - landmark and pilgrimage mountain of Palermo..

From the sandy beach of Mondello you can look at Monte Pellegrino.  

From the sandy beach of Mondello you can look at Monte Pellegrino.  

Photo: © Daniele / stock.adobe.com

Capo Gallo: The Cape with impressive flora and fauna

Between Palermo's districts of Sferracavallo and Mondello lies Capo Gallo, where the "Riserva naturale orientata Capo Gallo" nature reserve of the same name is located. Declared a reserve in 2001, it is home to a diverse, partly rare flora and fauna.

Among the rare botanical and animal representatives that feel at home here are the Palermo beach lilac, the Branchoforte orchid, the emerald lizard and the Sicilian sparrow hawk. 

View of Capo Gallo from Palermo Beach Mondello

View of Capo Gallo from Palermo Beach Mondello

Photo: Dedda71Mondello palermoCC BY 3.0

 

Our tip:

If you leave Piazza Mondello behind you and go around Cqpo Gallo on the right, you will find the entrance to the nature reserve after just a few metres. The entrance fee is only one euro. In return, you can walk in the wild nature and observe the Mediterranean flora and fauna. Don't forget to take fresh water, sturdy shoes and sun protection. 

It is especially rewarding to go snorkelling on the rocky coast. In contrast to the Caribbean-like waters of Mondello beach, here, just a few metres away, you will find a reef-like underwater world rich in marine life such as octopuses, octopuses or hedgehogs

Ci vediamo?

If you are on holiday in Palermo, a trip to Mondello, one of the most beautiful beaches in Sicily, is not to be missed. Experience this charming seaside resort, let your gaze wander over the sea and enjoy the view of nature and the unique atmosphere.

A visit to Mondello completes your stay in Palermo. Or to use Goethe's words: "Italy without Sicily makes no picture in the soul: here is the key to everything".

View of Palermo from the roof of the cathedral

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