Cefalu Boutique Villas

near Cefalu, Sicily, Italy
Book from GBP Book from £373 per night

Cefalu Boutique Villas

near Cefalu, Sicily, Italy

A pair of stylish self-catering villas for 4-10 near historic Cefalù; beautiful interiors, vast terraces and only a short walk to a sandy beach

A pair of stylish self-catering villas for 4-10 near historic Cefalù; beautiful interiors, vast terraces and only a short walk to a sandy beach

Architects Marco and Viviana know a thing or two about restoring old buildings. After transforming a cluster of crumbling stone cottages into Casa Talia, one of southern Sicily’s best small hotels, they turned their skills to a duo of faded houses just outside Cefalù on the island’s north coast. The results of their efforts are stunning. Seaview Villa is a sleek 4-bedroom abode perched right on the shore, gazing across the bay to the twinkling lights of town; while 2-bedroom Olive House is a more modest affair, hidden among trees 200m inland, but with the huge bonus of its own pool. Both have airy living areas, oodles of outdoor space, and kitchens kitted out with everything you could need. We loved their beautifully upcycled antique furniture, their arty decor and soothing shades of white, grey and aquamarine.

Huddled on a headland around an imposing Arab-Norman cathedral, Cefalù itself is 5 minutes away by car, with a pretty little fishing harbour and plenty of restaurants. There's a beach within walking distance of the villas, and others just a short drive away. You’re also within easy reach of the beautifully rugged Madione Regional Park - but only if you can pull yourself away from your stylish home-from-home, of course.

Highs

  • Stunning conversions with a wonderful mix of old and new
  • A fantastic location, just a 5-minute stroll from a sandy beach and a short drive from medieval Cefalù
  • Large terraces with alfresco sofas and tables – plus, in the case of Seaview Villa, direct access to the turquoise water below
  • Flexible accommodation that works for groups of friends, families large and small, and couples wanting space to spread out
  • Full kitchens for easy self-catering, grocery shops nearby and the option to book a visiting chef

Lows

  • Weekly stays only, with Saturday changeovers preferred
  • No swimming pool at the Seaview Villa
  • No restaurants within walking distance in low season
  • Sharp angles and open-sided stairs mean Seaview Villa isn’t suited to roving toddlers – we’d say it’s best for children aged 6+
  • No twin bedrooms

Best time to go

Cefalù is one of Sicily’s most popular resort towns and is packed with visitors in high summer, so if you can, visit in the quieter shoulder seasons (April-June and September-October). The weather will be balmy, and in autumn the sea is still warm enough for swimming. The villas are open all year, so don’t rule out winter stays, either - you’ll get a true taste of local life, and both houses have fireplaces for cosy evenings in.

If you're here in summer, look out for Cefalù’s speciality, pasta a taianu - a tasty pan-cooked pasta dish which is traditionally prepared to celebrate the Most Holy Saviour of the Transfiguration in early August.

Our top tips

If you want to eat out, there's a summer restaurant on the beach, a few minutes' walk from the villas, run by the nearby resort. Otherwise we recommend Baglio del Falco on the way into Cefalù - great pizzas, plus fish and pasta of course. In Cefalù itself, you're spoiled for choice. We’ve heard great things about family-run Le Chat Noir near the cathedral (don’t be fooled by the French name - the menu is traditional Sicilian). For romantic views and just-caught seafood (sea-urchin soup, grilled tuna with a pistachio crust), head to Il Saraceno, whose decked dining area snakes out over the rocks.

Great for...

Beach
Family
  • Boutique Villas
  • 1 villa for 4-6, 1 villa for 8-10
  • Self-catering
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car recommended
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Housekeeping every 3 days (daily on request)
Room: Seaview Villa

Seaview Villa (slps 8-10)

This is the headliner of the 2 houses, a two-storey 200m2 villa perched on a sea-facing bluff, with a huge terrace (furnished with outdoor sofas, dining table and loungers looking across the bay), a wraparound veranda, an open-air jacuzzi tub and steps down to the rocky shore.

Inside there's oodles of clean-lined space, with smart mid-century modernist furniture and swathes of polished concrete. Downstairs is an open-plan living area with a fireplace and low-slung sofas, as well as a bathroom. Its big kitchen-diner has everything you need for rustling up holiday feasts: fridge, oven, hob, microwave, dishwasher, toaster, coffee maker, crockery and cutlery, pots and pans, and a few basic ingredients (oil, salt etc).

Open-sided metal stairs lead up to 4 double bedrooms, all with ensuite shower rooms (and one with a tub) and doors opening onto that wraparound balcony. We loved the reclaimed floor tiles, the beautiful Art Deco chairs and light fittings, the polygonal mirrors and the teal and mustard accents on brilliant white walls - a true feast for the eyes.

Olive House (slps 4-6)

This house is smaller and sits a little way inland, but what it lacks in views and grandeur, it more than makes up for in charm. It feels like a traditional cottage rather than a villa, with whitewashed beams, salvaged wooden furniture and wall-fuls of ornate Sicilian tiles. We loved staying here.

It works well for a family of 4, with a master double bedroom upstairs, which boasts an ensuite shower room and a small dressing area (which can be made up as an additional single bedroom if required); plus a second double bedroom (and a second bathroom) downstairs.

There's a living room with seating for 4+, and a kitchen-diner - compact but well thought out - with all you need for simple meals. Chance are you'll eat these outside, on the lawn in the shade of the olive trees. Best of all, this cottage comes with a private 8x3m swimming pool in the garden.

Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Head to the lovely beach of Baia dei 7 Frati, just a 5-minute stroll from the villas. You’ll find other beaches at Capo Playa and Costa Calura, both a short drive away, and in town
  • Meander around honey-stoned Cefalù, admiring its Arab-Norman architecture, bobbing fishing boats and striking twin-towered cathedral
  • If you can muster the energy, tackle the steep steps (Salita Saraceni) which wind up to the top of La Rocca, the imposing crag that towers above Cefalù. You’ll pass through 3 banks of city walls before emerging to stunning views
  • For beautiful vistas without the exertion, head to Bastione Capo Marchiafava, a 17th-century fortification off Via Bordonaro
  • Drive up into the rugged green hills of the Madione Regional Park, home to time-forgotten villages (Castelbuono, Geraci and Petralia Soprana are particularly pretty), signed hiking trails, and farms selling homemade cheese
  • Further afield, Palermo, Mount Etna and elegant Taormina are all within day-tripping distance

Kids

Both villas work well for families, with plenty of space inside and out, a sandy beach nearby, and no charge for extra beds and baby cots. They also have washing machines, plus microwaves for heating up baby food. Olive House has a small swimming pool, which is sure to be a hit with children.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Seaview Villa can sleep up to 10 people in 4 bedrooms (though note all are doubles), with 2 rollaway beds set up in the living room. Olive House can accommodate 4-6 people, with 2 double bedrooms, a dressing room which can be made up as an additional single room on request, and a rollaway bed in the living room. Baby cots are available, too.

Families Should Know:

Seaview Villa has open-sided staircases and sharp corners, so it’s not ideal for toddlers

Distances:

  • Shop: 5 minutes’ drive (Cefalù)
  • Doctor: 5 minutes’ drive (Cefalù)
  • Airport: 1.5 hours’ drive (Palermo)
Kid Friendly:

Location

The villas are located on the northern Sicilian coast, 5km from the town of Cefalù and just over an hour from the island’s capital, Palermo.

By Air:
The closest airport is Palermo Falcone-Borsellino (107km away), which is served by flights from all over Europe – click on the links below for a list. Alternatively, you can fly into Catania Fontanarossa (185km away) on the east coast, or Trapani-Birgi (188km away) in the west.

From the Airport
Transfers can be arranged, but most guests hire a car to make the most of the area – see our car-rental recommendations. Both villas have private off-street parking.

By Train:
There are regular trains from Palermo and other coastal towns to Cefalù station. From there, you can take a taxi to the villas.

Detailed directions will be provided when you confirm a booking through i-escape.com.

More on getting to Sicily and getting around

Airports:

  • Palermo Falcone-Borsellino 107.0 km PMO
  • Palermo Falcone-Borsellino 185.0 km CTA

Other:

  • Beach 0.5 km
  • Shops 5.0 km
  • Restaurant 0.2 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

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Rates for Cefalu Boutique Villas

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