Review: L’Approdo delle Sirene in Syracuse, Sicily

Breakfast at L'Approdo delle Sirene Syracuse

The first stop on our spring 2017 trip through eastern Sicily was Syracuse (Siracusa in Italian), in the south east of the island. I wanted to give my boys a perfect introduction to Sicily and my favourite Sicilian city so I booked us into L’Approdo delle Sirene, a delightful bed and breakfast occupying two floors of a waterfront palazzo on the edge of Syracuse’s old town, Ortigia.

Approdo delle Sirene Ortigia waterfront

Approdo delle Sirene has a waterfront position.

Although a bed and breakfast, Approdo delle Sirene feels more like a hotel. The eight rooms are stylish with modern bathrooms and a contemporary feel. Some of the rooms overlook the harbour while others have a skylight window, all are light-filled and spotlessly clean. The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful and the owner, Fiora, runs cookery classes on request and cooks the delicious cakes served up at breakfast.

Double room at L'Approdo delle Sirene Syracuse

Double room at L’Approdo delle Sirene, Syracuse

L’Approdo delle Sirene is excellent value, currently double/twin rooms cost from €85.50 per night with breakfast, based on two adults sharing. If you’re travelling with one child, some of the rooms can fit an extra bed or cot. If you’re travelling with two children as we were, you can book the set of interconnecting rooms. This does make for a more expensive stay but as I’d found some cheaper options for other parts of our trip I decided this would be a treat for our first two nights. It meant we had plenty of space and when our boys (five and three at the time) were tucked up in bed, we could close their door and retreat to our own room.

Breakfast with a view at L'Approdo delle Sirene

Breakfast with a view at L’Approdo delle Sirene

The breakfast room at L’Approdo delle Sirene has big windows overlooking the harbour. There are steps from there onto a terrace where we took breakfast on our first morning, the kids loved looking at the boats while they munched on homemade cakes, pastries and fresh fruit. Us adults could have happily spent several hours on the terrace sipping delicious coffee and feasting on second and third helpings of pastries but as the children were a bit noisy we decided we’d better head out and explore Syracuse.

Ortigia is separated from the rest of Syracuse by two bridges. Many of the narrow streets and piazzas are car-free so tourists tend to leave their vehicles at a car park on the edge of the island. We found it pretty straight forward (by Sicilian driving standards) to drop off our luggage at L’Approdo delle Sirene and then park our car and walk back.

Piazza Duomo in Syracuse L'Approdo delle Sirene

Piazza Duomo in Syracuse

As Ortigia is pretty small (not much more than a square kilometre), everything is within easy walking distance from L’Apporodo delle Sirene. And with few vehicles it’s an enjoyable city to explore with young children. If you’re visiting Sicily with kids, ensure you add Syracuse to your Sicily itinerary. Highlights for my boys included Castello Maniace, a 13th century castle lapped by the waves, a visit to a traditional puppet show and of course endless ice creams and pizzas. If you’re after a fun and relaxing break with children, staying at L’Approdo delle Sirene in Syracuse, Sicily takes some beating. I really hope we’ll return in the future.

Travel information:
Approdo delle Sirene is 60km from Catania airport. We hired a car and drove as we were exploring other parts of the island. If you’re just visiting Syracuse you’re best off hopping in a taxi from the airport, this should cost around €65 if arranged in advance. Syracuse also works well as a twin centre with Taormina, another car-averse city. There is a direct rail link between the two cities, the journey time is approximately two hours.

Planning a trip to Italy with kids? Read my complete guide to Italy for families here.

More on Sicily:

Where to stay in Sicily for families

The best things to do in Sicily with kids

Our spring road trip around eastern Sicily

My guide to beaches in Sicily

Top 10 things to do with kids in Syracuse, Sicily

Wild Flowers of Sicily

Our guided tour of Mt Etna

7 reasons to stay in an agriturismo in Italy with kids

This post is linking up with Family Friendly Stays, a monthly blog link up where bloggers can link their reviews of family-friendly holiday accommodation. If you’re not a blogger, do take a look, you might find inspiration for your next trip.

Review L'Aprodo delle Sirene Syracuse Sicily

Smudged Postcard Family Travel Adventures


  1. 26th September 2018 / 1:45 pm

    I love Ortigia. This looks like a cosy place to stay. Thanks for sharing it. 🙂

  2. 4th October 2018 / 9:06 am

    Oh it looks fab. I would love to travel more as a family. We just haven’t had the funds recently. Sicily looks beautiful. #FamilyFriendlyStays

    • smudgedpostcard
      4th October 2018 / 9:31 am

      It’s a great destination for families and much more affordable than mainland Italy.

  3. katerinaemalina
    7th October 2018 / 12:18 pm

    I love that view – my boys would be in heaven. Thanks so much for this linky too – it’s really useful when trying to find recommendation for accommodation that isn’t the usual suspects. #familyfriendlystays

    • smudgedpostcard
      7th October 2018 / 4:26 pm

      Thanks for your comment, glad to hear the link up is useful!

  4. 8th October 2018 / 5:31 pm

    Interconnecting rooms are such a treat when traelling as a family! This place looks fabulous.Sicily has long been on my travel bucket list, and your post just reminded me of that!

    • smudgedpostcard
      8th October 2018 / 7:23 pm

      Yes, interconnecting rooms are so important, it’s a shame more hotels don’t do them.

  5. Angharad Paull
    8th October 2018 / 7:50 pm

    That view from the breakfast room looks wonderful! And the little piazza has such stunning architecture. This really makes me want to discover some more Italian towns! #familyfriendlystays

    • smudgedpostcard
      10th October 2018 / 10:18 am

      Syracuse is amazing!

  6. 9th October 2018 / 10:42 pm

    This looks like such a lovely place. Interconnecting rooms are fab when you have a young family, and I love breakfast with a view!! #familyfriendlystays

    • smudgedpostcard
      10th October 2018 / 10:17 am

      Yes, the view was a good way to keep the boys occupied while we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast!

  7. 13th October 2018 / 10:09 pm

    Sicily is on my bucketlist. I was thinking Palermo but I’m going to add Syracuse now as this looked lovely.

    • smudgedpostcard
      14th October 2018 / 2:01 pm

      They’re very different cities. Syracuse is very peaceful and relaxing and pretty while Palermo is a typical port city, rather rough but with great character. I like them both!

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