Sicily is a tourist island that can be enjoyed all year round. Many choose it in the winter months to escape the rigours of the northern winter and immerse themselves in the local culture. Those who love the sea can experience it to the full from mid-May to mid-October. In spring and autumn, the numerous ethnic and religious festivals held in various towns in Sicily are an excuse to explore the most fascinating villages. The climate here is decidedly Mediterranean, with hot summers, short, mild winters, 2,500 hours of sunshine and little rainfall concentrated in the winter months. The average maximum temperature is 26 °C (July and August) – the average minimum is 10 °C to 14 °C (December to February). The water temperature ranges from about 16 °C in winter to 27 °C in summer.