Villa Babej is moments away from the ideally warm & clear turquoise sea and many beaches of southeast Sicily. The villa property is surrounded by beautiful Mediterranean landscaping of palm trees, bougainvillea, and an impressively-tall cactus tree. The villa feels spacious with tall ceilings and white, airy surroundings. A generous patio frames the main villa, which you enter through a fully-outfitted eat-in kitchen. The hosts stock it with a generous array of dishes/utensils and basics for multi-day stays. Sabrina and Tobias were very attentive remote hosts, helping us navigate through initial arrival disorientation--eg. how to find the villa (GPS is frustratingly spotty in Sicily, so be prepared for plenty of re-routing and robo-voiced butchering of street names), operate the gate to the property (see note below), unlock windows and doors for great natural light.
The living room is straight out of a magazine photo shoot, anchored by a big sectional sofa with pretty throw pillows and entertainment center. Upstairs in the loft bedroom, the bed is very comfortable (duck for the sloped ceiling if you sleep on the right side) and our party of two found plenty of space to store our clothes for our 5-night stay. Upstairs from that bedroom is a small bi-level rooftop deck from which you can see the sea from the top-most level. Be sure to get up early to see the sunrise and bring your binoculars to check out the local birds surrounding the property. It’s also a great perch to watch the moon shine on the soothing waters.
Once you are oriented, an expertly curated guide left by the hosts and past guests will help you find local bars, fruit markets and beachfront sunbathing and the very nearby Fontane Bianche beach club. The 15 EURO per person fee is worth a lounge chair and beach umbrella with bar/snack bar, outdoor shower, bathroom access. There are many other free beaches nearby enough, though more rustic so bring the beach blankets from Villa Babej and your own umbrella, snacks, etc. (A word of caution: Spiaggia Calamosche is visually stunning, but despite the almost half-hour walk from parking spot to beach, it can be a very populated location. When we got there, the beach was umbrella-to-umbrella with sunbathers enjoying its shallow, glass-like waters). The villa is also only a maximum 30-minute drive to charming historic villages like Noto —highly recommended --and the commercial-historic Modica.
We enjoyed our stay thoroughly at Villa Babej and look forward to returning to the idyllic beaches of eastern Sicily!
A final note about renting a car in Sicily, particularly if you are staying at Villa Babej. Rental agencies at Catania airport will be eager to “upgrade” you to an “SUV,” but if you can, opt for a smaller car. Parking spaces are notoriously tight in Sicily, and roads can be ridiculously narrow, and you will save yourself a lot of frustration, effort and time if you have a smaller car.