267km (166 miles) SE of Palermo, 138km (86 miles) E of Agrigento, 104km (65 miles) SW of Catania, 79km (49 miles) SW of Syracuse.

Ragusa Ibla seems like a town from a fairytale, as its church domes and towers peek out among the cascade of terra-cotta roofs that spill down a hillside. One of the best-preserved old towns in Sicily, and a Unesco World Heritage Site, Ibla forms one part of the provincial capital Ragusa; the modern part, Ragusa Superiore, forms the other. The two are separated by a deep ravine, the Valle dei Ponti. The walk from Ragusa Superiore to Ibla via the Santa Maria delle Scale steps is a must for its vista of winding pathways and plant-filled cliffs.

Ibla is well worth a day of your valuable time because of its 18 UNESCO-listed monuments, including the glorious baroque church, the Duomo di San Giorgio. After wandering through the town's steep alleys, pause at the pretty Giardino Ibleo, a small botanical garden with splendid views across the ravine, and home to three small churches.

From the twin towns, panoramas of the countryside unfold. The landscape around Ragusa is among the most memorable in Sicily, and is crisscrossed with low-lying, white, dry-stone walls, laboriously pieced together without mortar. If all this weren't enough, you can take a 25km (16-mile) drive to Marina di Ragusa, with its long, sandy beach. Many travelers prefer to anchor here, visiting Ragusa Ibla for the day. Marina di Ragusa is relatively modern, and its boardwalk is lined with shops, bars, and restaurants. In the summer, there's a party atmosphere when, at 10pm, the action is just getting started.