How to Visit Sicily in 2, 3, 4 or 5 Days? – The Perfect Tour
You want to visit Sicily for your next holidays? Great choice!
For a weekend or more, the beautiful landscapes, beaches with crystal clear water, amazing ancient town and Greek temples will be yours!
If you have planned to do a 2 to 5 days trip (for the luckiest ones!), you will find here the best itineraries depending on the duration of your stay.
You will see, organizing your trip to Sicily will be as easy as 1, 2, 3!
- You select the itinerary of your choice depending on the duration of your holidays
- For each leg of your itinerary, you click on the links to read our detailed articles. The best things to do, where to stay etc.. I show you everything!
- Thanks to our selection of the best accommodations for each city, you book your hotels nights in 1 click.
So, what are the best things to do in Sicily in 2, 3, 4 or 5 days?
Weekend: 2 days in Sicily
If you have planned to spend a weekend in Sicily, the best is to focus on 1 city.
Flights to Sicily lands at Catania or Palermo airport. Thus, these 2 cities are an excellent choice for a 2 days stay in Sicily!
Best places to see in Catania:
- The piazza del Duomo
- The Duomo di Catania, the cathedral
- La pescheria, the fish market
- La via Etnea
To make the most out of your stay 2 days in Catania, you should read my article dedicated to the city: Visit Catania, the 12 best things to do
in Palermo, you shouldn’t miss :
- The Norman Palace
- Palermo Cathedral
- The historical center
- Monreale cathedral (at 40 mins from the city center)
If you are planning to go there, I suggest you to read my my article about the 15 best things to do in Palermo. There, in addition to the list of must-see attractions, you will find itineraries to visit Palermo in 2 days! And as always, I give you my best tips as well as my selection of the best hotels in town depending on your budget.
3 days in Sicily
To visit Sicily in 3 days, same advice as for 2 days: you should stay close to Palermo and Catania.
If you stay 3 days in Catania, you should spend 2 days (most likely 1 day and a half or a bit less, if you don’t arrive early in the morning) to visit the city. You can find all the best Things to do in Catania in my article.
For your 3rd day, the best is to do a day trip to the Etna Volcano! The easiest is to book a guided tour starting from Catania. They will come pick you up directly at your hotel! The equipment and guide are included.
If you don’t want to go to the Etna, another great option for a long weekend is to do a day-trip do Taormina. In, that case, you can find my detailed article about this charming Sicilian town here: Visit Taormina: All the must-see attractions + itineraries.
If you choose tu Visit palermo, 3 days is perfect to visit the best tourist attractions of the city. You will also have the time to visit the stunning Monreale Cathedral, one of the most beautiful in Sicily, as well as the charming Monreale town.
In 3 days, you can visit the 15 points of interest I talk about in my article and to enjoy an afternoon (or more!) at the beach. If you follow my suggested itinerary for 3 days in Palermo, you will go back home feeling like you have really made the most out of your stay.
4 days in Sicily
You are planning a 4 days trip to Sicily? Great! You will be able to do a nice round trip in Eastern or Western Sicily.
If you arrive in Catania, in addition to visiting the city, you can add 1 day in the small town of Taormina and another one in Syracuse, the 2 emblematic cities of the Sicilian Est coast.
I recommend you the following 4 days itinerary:
- 1 day in Catania: You will probably have around half a day in Catania: Start your visit in the historical center and discover the Piazza del Duomo, the Cathedral, the fish market or go to the via Etnea for a bit of shopping!
- 2 days in Siracusa and Ortigia island: take a stroll in Ortigia island, visit the Piazza del Duomo and the market (open only in the morning). In the afternoon, go around the island, to Castello Maniace and the Fountain of Arethusa. For the 2nd day, go to Néapolis archeological park, in Syracuse city.
- 1 day in Taormina to enjoy the Sicilian “Dolce Vita”: Enjoy the view and do a bit of shopping on the Corso Umberto in the morning, and go to the beautiful Isola Bella beach in the afternoon.
If archaeological sites aren’t your thing, another good option can be to spend only 1 day in Syracuse. I then recommend you to add 1 day in Catania and do a day trip to the Etna volcano.
For more details about the things to do during your 4 days tour in Sicily, click here to read our detailed guides about Catania, Syracuse and Taormina
If you decide to arrive in Palermo, you should dedicate 1 day to visit the city and the 3 others to discover the 2 best archaeological sites of Western Sicily.
Here is my recommended itinerary for 4 days in Sicily:
- 1 Day in Palermo, to visit the capital of Sicily. The best things to see: The Palace of the Normans, Palermo Cathedral, the Ballaro market.
- 1 Day in Agrigento, to visit the world famous Valley of the Temples, a major archaeological site in Sicily. End your day watching the sunset at the beautiful Scala dei Turchi.
- 1 Day in Selinunte, to discover the other major archaeological site of the island. It’s my favorite!
- 1 Day in Trapani and around: Make a stop at Marsala salt pans on the road from Selinunte to Trapani and visit Erice village, a superb perched village overlooking Trapani.
You can find everything you need to know to organise your trip in my detailed articles about Palermo, Agrigento, Selinunte and Trapani.
And of course if you need some help to prepare your 4 days stay in Sicily, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment at the bottom of the article!
5 days in Sicily
You want to visit Sicily in 5 days? I suggest you the following itineraries for the Eastern and Western Sicily:
If you arrive in Catania:
- 1 day in Catania: Take a stroll around the Piazza del Dumo, visit Catania Cathedral and the local market, go shopping on via Etnea. You should read my article about Catania must-see attractions to plan your day!
- 2 days in Syracuse and Ortigia Island: Visit Ortigia old town on foot, discover the Piazza del Dumo, fishermen harbor, local market, Castello Maniace and Néapolis archeological park. You can find a detailed itinerary to visit Syracuse in 2 days in my article: The ultimate guide to Syracuse
- 2 days in Taormina: Discover the old town, go to the Chiesa Madonna della Rocca for an amazing Bird’s-eye view of the city, go to Isola Bella beach, visit the Greek Theatre, discover the Alcantara Gorges and a lot more things to do! Have a look at my article: The 10 things to do in Taormina
If you arrive in Palermo
- 1 day in Palermo: Visit the Palace of the Normans, the Cathedral, the churches and palaces of the historical centre.
- 1 day in Agrigento: Visit the must-see tourist attraction of western Sicily: the Valley of the Temples. At the end of the day, go to the Scala dei Turchi, the other point of interest near Agrigento. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset!
- 1 day in Selinune: Visit Selinunte archaeological park and enjoy one of the beaches nearby.
- 2 days in Trapani: Don’t miss Marsala Salt Pans when going to Trapani from Selinunte. In the afternoon, go to Erice Perched village for a great view of the surroundings! For the 2nd day in Trapani, you can take the boat to Favignana, one of the Aegadian Islands.
Another option for your 2nd day around Trapani is to go to Scopello and visit the Zingaro Nature Reserve. As you prefer, both Favignana and the nature reserve are amazing places to visit!
The advantage of Scopello is that you will be a bit closer to Palermo for your return flight.
Click on the following links to get all the detailed information to plan your trip to Palermo, Agrigento, Selinunte, Trapani and the Zingaro Nature reserve.
Rent a car in Sicily
For your trip to Sicily, you will probably want to rent a car. It’s the best way to make the most out of your stay!
I recommend you to book it with Rentalcars.com for 2 main reasons:
- You can easily compare prices between the car rental agencies and get the best deal!
- You can get Rentalcars.com’s “full protection insurance”, that will allow you to get a complete refund if your rental car is damaged. It’s a lot cheaper than the insurances the rental agencies are selling, and a lot more effective.
If I am talking about this, it’s because in Sicily, there is a lot of “fake damage” scams as well as vandalism (key scratches are unfortunately quite common). And I know what I am talking about, I had to pay more than 1300 euros extra for the cars I rented there! Hopefully, every time, Rentalcar’s full protection insurance refunded me in less than 5 days.
To be honest, it’s the first time I find a insurance to be THAT effective! So I can only recommend it to you. If you know your travel dates, you should click on the button to book your car now to get the best price.
Renting a boat in Sicily
If you want to rent a boat for a nice day at sea during your itinerary in Sicily, you should book it with Samboat.
Motorboats, sailboats, yachts, small boats without a license, with or without a skipper: they simply have the most complete offer for boat rental.
So, what are you waiting for to book your boat trip in Sicily? 😊
🚗 Rent a car
🗽 Book entrance tickets and guided visits
🏄 Book your sports activities
🚤 Book your rental boat
🌍 Take a travel insurance
🙎 Book a tour
🚅 Book your train tickets
✈️ Book your flight
Sicily travel Guides
- Buy the Lonely Planet Sicily guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
- Buy the DK Eyewitness Sicily guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
You’re traveling in Sicily? These articles will help you!
Discover all my articles about Sicily: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Sicily are listed there.
- The 20 Best Things to Do in Sicily – The ultimate bucket list!
- Itinerary: 1 week in Sicily – with all my best tips + accommodation suggestions! (East coast)
- Itinerary: 10 days in Sicily – with all my best tips + accommodation suggestions! (West coast)
- Itinerary: 2 weeks in Sicily – with all my best tips + accommodation suggestions! (Full Sicily tour)
- Agrigento: The 10 best things to do in and around the city
- Catania: The 12 must-see attractions
- Palermo: The 15 things to do in the capital
- Syracuse: The 15 best things to discover
- Taormina: Top 10 things to do and must-see!
- Trapani: The 10 best things to do
- Agrigento Valley of the Temples: visit the archaeological site with my detailed guide!
- Zingaro nature Reserve: All my best tips to enjoy this wonderful hike
My husband and I are arriving on a Sunday evening early July, in Palermo (from Australia, so exhausted first day).
We depart following Monday morning from Catania. We thought 3 days in Palermo to start and perhaps 2 in Taormina and last night in Catania. Leaving us only 2 other nights in between.
We could hire a car, but would probably prefer bus travel or train if it was easier. Can I get a website for bus and train schedules?
I was hoping to see more but this visit is just a sample. Can we do day trip to Cefalu from Palermo?
Thank you for your helpful website and for any assistance you can give us.
We are keen to get onto this so we can book accommodation ASAP as we know it is peak season.
I am glad my website is helping you to plan your trip to Sicily!
Coming from Australia will be a long trip for sure, so yes, 3 days in Palermo can be a good idea to rest a bit at the beginning of your trip. However, spending only 2 days will allow you to do more things (I am giving you an itinerary just a bit below).
About Cefalu, it’s not a good idea to do it as a day trip, (in public transportation, that’s about 4 hours roundtrip), it’s better to spend a night there or nearby, especially if you’re going to Taormina after.
Unfortunately there are no website official for bus schedules in Sicily, because they are operated locally.
The trains can be checked on the official Treni Italia website
To be honest, I don’t recommend using the public transportations in Sicily, especially if you don’t have much time. The travel time is about 2x longer than with a car!
You would really waste a lot of time and miss many things by using the public transports.
So here is what I would consider the best itinerary for your trip, if you get a car:
Day 1: Palermo
Day 2: Palermo/Monreale
Day 3: Go to Cefalu, spend the day around – Night in Cefalu
Day 4: Go to Milazzo in the morning (need to leave the car there, there are special parkings), take the boat to Vulcano island and visit – Night in Vulcano
Day 5: Do a day trip mini cruise to other Aeolian islands – Night in Vulcano
Day 6: Take the boat back to Milazzo and go to Taormina (not too late, try to be there around noon ideally) – Night in Taormina
Day 7: Taormina and go to Catania for the Night
That’s the itinerary that would allow you to see the most of northern Sicily during your 7 days trip!
If you don’t hire a car, you can do just a day trip to Aeolian islands (many companies offer it, for example this one), so your schedule will be less tight.
Hope this helps!
We would like to spend Easter weekend in Sicily.
We would arrive the Thursday before Good Friday and leave on Easter Monday (in the evening would be fine or maybe we even stay until Tuesday).
Given the holiday, do you have a suggestion of where best to go.
I know there are some amazing processions in different parts, and would like to see some of the local celebrations. I also know some things may be closed. We have heard great things about Taormina but are looking for suggestions. We want to really enjoy the time we have there and see a lot, but also try to experience Pasqua in Sicilia.
The most famous eastern processions in Sicily takes place in Trapani and Erice Village (just nearby).
In addition to these events, if you want to know more about the things to do in and around Trapani, you should read my article: The 10 best things to do in Trapani. It will help you to plan your 4-5 days itinerary in Sicily.
There are also large processions in Palermo and Catania.
If you choose to go in Catania, you can also easily visit Taormina, a very beautiful town. Don’t hesitate to read my articles about the towns you are the most interested in, you can find all my articles about Sicily by clicking here.
Enjoy your stay in Sicily, and if you have any question, feel free to ask me!
Hi, we are a group of 6 arriving in Catania on a Friday morning and leaving on Monday night.
We are thinking of renting a car and a villa to Stay. Where would you recommend us to stay? And how should we plan our itinerary?
The nicest place around Catania to stay is probably in Taormina.
With a rental car, you can then easily visit a part of eastern Sicily, so you can do something like:
– Friday: visit Taormina and go to Isola Bella beach to end the day (depending on the season!)
– Saturday: Go to Syracuse and Ortigia island for the full day (1h30 away)
– Sunday: Etna volcano if you’re interested, then relax time in Taormina/Isola Bella
– Monday: in the morning, go to Castelmola, 5-10 minutes away from Taormina by car, then spend half a day in Catania to visit before going to the airport
It’s the itinerary in eastern Sicily I would do if I stay at the same place for 4 days and don’t want to change hotel.
Enjoy your trip!
Hi, thank you for posting your recommendations.
We are thinking to visit Sicily with a group of people (8 adults and 4 kids of around 4-5yo).
If we want to do a relatively in-depth visit but at the same time not too strenuous for the kids, is it possible? And how many days do you recommend? 10, 12, 14 days?
How would you plan it?
Another question is we would like to hire a driver/tour guide, do you have any good recommendations?
Thank you very much for you response!!!
If you want to do a tour around Sicily, 14-15 days is a minimum for an in depth visit, especially if you don’t want to go too fast and run everywhere!
I have written a detailed itinerary that goes around Sicily in 2 weeks, you can read it here: The recommended 2 weeks in Sicily itinerary.
In my article, you will find everything needed to easily organize your tour by yourself.
If you want to have a driver/tour guide, the best is to ask one of the hotels you will book. They often know someone to do this kind of job.
And if you have any question about your trip to Sicily (about things to do or recommended hotels for example), don’t hesitate to ask me.
Have a great day!
Thanks so much! I’ll take a look!
Thank you for your great recommendations.
I would like to ask for your recommendation on planning a full 4-day itinerary in Sicily (5 nights but actual vacation is limited to 4 days due to late night flight into and early flight out of Palermo).
The caveat is that although I fly in and out of Palermo, I would like to end my vacation in Palermo as I would be meeting up with my friends at the end of my trip. I will have a rental car. It would also be helpful if you can recommend neighborhoods/areas to stay in between cities.
I don’t know if possible but these are my wishlist of sites to visit:
Teatro Antico di Taormina, Mount Etna (don’t have to visit but see), Valley of the Temples, Massimo Theater, Quattro Canti, Cefalu Cathedral
Thank you in advance for your help!
Your itinerary would be doable, however you would have to drive quite much. If it doesn’t bother you, you can do the following:
– Day 0: when you arrive, spend the night in Palermo
– Day 1: Go to Agrigento (2h10 by car) and visit the Valley of the Temples. At the end of the day, head to Taormina (2h30 by car). – Spend the night in Taormina.
– Day 2: Visit Taormina and the Teatro Antico. You can see the Etna Volcano from Taormina and also you would have seen it from the road on Day 1, when going to Taomrina. If you don’t plan to hike the Etna, it should be enough! You should also go to Castelmola, a small town next to Taormina (only 5-10 minutes by car). It’s super beautiful! – Spend another night in Taormina.
– Days 3: Road to Cefalù (2h20 by car) – Visit, relax and head to Palermo (1h away by car from Cefalù) at the end of the day. – Spend the night in Palermo
– Day 4: Meet your friends and visit Palermo. 1 day is enough to see the best attractions of the city if you don’t want to go too much in depth. – Spend your last night in Palermo
That’s the best 4 days itinerary in Sicily to see everything you want 🙂
About the accommodations, you can find my list of the best hotels for each city, depending on your budget here:
– The best hotels in Taormina
– Where to stay in Palermo
And if you have any other question to plan your 4-5 days trip to Sicily (about things to do, hotels or anything), don’t hesitate to ask!
Enjoy your trip,
Thank you so much for your recommendations!
Hi Vincent I forget to say it’s 5 day holiday 😊
I think you first message hasn’t been sent, as I have just received this one! You can send it again if you want me to help you plan your 5 days trip to Sicily 🙂
Hello Vincent, could I please ask for help.
My husband and I will be having a trip to sicily with a 2 years old toddler in mid June, will be arriving with the ferry from malta to pozzallo.
Any ideas how to plan and where is best please?
For your 5 days trip to Sicily, if you arrive in Pozzallo, the best is to visit the east coast of Sicily. You can stay in Syracuse (Ortigia island) or Catania for example.
Here are the best places to visit:
– Syracuse and Ortigia island
– Taormina and Castelmola village
– Catania and the Etna volcano
– Noto, Ragusa and Modica, the baroque towns.
You can read my detailed travel guides for each place by clicking the links in the article. You can also have a look at my 1 week in Sicily itinerary, it will give you a good overview of what you can do, even if you have a bit less time.
Enjoy your 5 days itinerary in Sicily!
We are a family of 5 that are flying into Catania in mid April. We will fly into Catania in the evening and staying in Sicily for 7 nights and 7 full days including the day we fly out (we fly back out of Catania at night).
My kids are aged 12-17 but prefer to tour at an easy pace and not sleep in a new place every day or two. We originally thought of staying in Catania for the full 7 nights, We will have a car. I am torn between two options – staying in Catania the whole time as we originally thought to do (and touring the volcano, Catania town, Taormina, and other suggestions in the area)
OR staying in Catania for the first 3 or 4 days and then driving up to Palermo to see that city and maybe Cefalu.
I like the variety that would bring, however I am concerned it will make the trip rather tight and that too much time will be spent in the car.
What do you think, and can you suggest an optimal itinerary for us?
For your 7 days trip to Sicily, if you don’t want to change place to sleep, you can spend the 7 days in Catania.
From there, you will be able to visit Catania, the Etna, Taormina and Castelmola village as well as Syracuse and Ortigia island. If you have some time, you can also add a day trip to Noto, Modica and Ragusa, the baroque towns.
It’s really enough to keep you busy for 7 days! It’s better to keep Palermo and the west side of Sicily for another trip.
If you want to do 2 stops during your trip to spend less time in the car, you can stay a few nights in Catania or Taormina and 2-3 nights in Syracuse, to explore the city and Noto/Modica/Ragusa.
You can read my 7 days in Sicily itinerary, it will give you a good idea of the places you can visit in a week. It’s a 3 stops itinerary, but you can do the same with just 1 or 2 stops.
Enjoy your trip to Sicily!
I’m planning a 10 day road trip to Sicily in September. Can you recommend a masseria to stay in for a few nights, perhaps closer to Palermo?
If you want to stay in a masseria (agriturismo) close to Palermo, I recommend you:
– The Masseria Rossella
– Agriturismo Masseria La Chiusa
– Agriturismo Sant’Agata
– Masseria Susafa: this one isn’t very close to Palermo (around 90 km) but it’s one of the most famous in Sicily.
I don’t know your budget and the exact dates of your stay, that’s why I am sending you a few different choices.
To help you to organize your 10 days road trip to Sicily, you can also read my article here: How to spend 10 days in Sicily?
Enjoy your stay in Sicily, and if you have other questions, don’t hesitate!
I’m planning a trip to Sicily for the first week in April, flying in to Catania. My teenagers are interested in geology so we want to go to the top of Etna for a day and also go to Alcantara Gorge another day. My husband and I would like to see some history – Roman, Baroque etc.
I’ve looked at the suggested itineraries and it looks like a split between Taormina and Syracusa would be good.
The thing is that I’m a bit worried about car hire scams and no drive zones.
Would it be possible to get by without a car? If not, which car rental company would you recommend? Any suggestions very gratefully received!
Yes, exactly, spending a few days in Syracuse and a few other in Taormina would be the best in your case. If you have a full week, you can have a look at my one week in Sicily itinerary.
About the car hire scams, they are unfortunately very common. I have even written a full article about the issue, but it’s unfortunately only in french for now, so I will sum it up:
Basically, you really need to have an insurance when you rent a car in Sicily. If you have “premium” credit card such as a Gold Mastercard or Visa Premier, an insurance is included if you book your car with that card.
If you are not sure if you can benefit from this insurance, just call your credit card customer support, they will tell you everything you need to know about the insurances included with it.
If you don’t have a premium credit card, you should really buy an insurance when booking your car. Personally, I always use Rentalcars.com website, because I know their insurance is very good. They have refunded me more than 1300 euros in total as I said in this article! Everytime I had the money on my account in less than 5 days, after sending just 1 email to their insurance claim team.
In any case, once you’re sure you have an insurance (your credit card one or the Rentalcars one), you can book with any companies, you’re 100% sure to get a refund if you are scammed.
In order to avoid unnecessary troubles (and because I wouldn’t personally give 1 penny to these thieves), you should avoid the following companies, who are known to be the worst:
– Italy Car rent
– Sicily by car
About the no drive zones (called ZTL in italian), you just need to be careful when driving close the historical center of the cities. As long as you stay on the main streets, you won’t have problems. Just don’t follow your GPS blindly when it tell you to take small streets and everything will be alright!
If you choose not to rent a car, you can go everywhere by bus, it’s just slower/less convenient. It will be hard for example to visit Noto, Modica and Ragusa by bus in a day, while it’s totally doable if you have a car.
If you have other questions about your trip to Sicily, don’t hesitate!
Hi! This is such a great source of info so thanks for sharing.
I am curious as to your idea for the best way to spend 4 fulls days. Monday to Thursday in early October.
Flying into Catania on Monday afternoon spending two nights there, then two nights in Palermo and flying home early Friday morning.
Any thoughts on the best itinerary? We will have a rented car to get around.
Thanks! I’m glad my itineraries for a short stay in Sicily are useful for you to plan your trip.
If you have booked your plane to arrive in Catania and depart from Palermo, I will suggest you:
– Day 1: Visit Taormina – Night in Catania
– Day 2: Visit Syracuse and Origia Island – Night in Catania
Note: depending on your interests, you can replace one of these 2 days by a trip to the Etna Volcano
– Day 3: Road to Palermo (2h20). You can make a short detour to go visit Cefalu. Then, head to Palermo and visit the city for the rest of the day – Night in Palermo
– For the last day, you have the choice, depending on what you like to do: Mondello Beach, Zingaro Nature Reserve, Trapani + Erice + Segesta Temple, Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples.
You can find all the details about the best things to do in Palermo here: Visit Palermo.
I also have written an article for each city (Catania, Taormina, Syracusa), you can find them here: Destination Sicily.
Enjoy your trip to Sicily!
It’s incredibly kind of you to offer so much travel advice here! I am planning on a five night stay in Sicily in January. Although we won’t be able to access beaches, I’m counting on it still being nicer weather than home (Canada) and that there will still be a great deal to see/do/eat.
I’m wondering if for that amount of time, it would be best to designate a “home base” and make everything else a day trip? If I were to do that, would you suggest choosing Catania or somewhere less busy, such as Giardini Naxos? We will be renting a car (two adults), so parking is a worthwhile consideration. My partner is prioritizing seeing mount etna.
Thanks for your help, for my trip and others!
I am glad my articles about Sicily are helping you to plan your trip!
For your 5 days in eastern Sicily, I would recommend at least 2 bases: 1 in Giardini Naxos for example and another in Syracuse (Oritigia island) or somewhere around Syracuse. It will be a lot more convenient, especially if you also plan to visit the baroque towns of Noto, Ragusa and Modica.
With 1 base, you would really have too much driving. For example, Giardini Naxos to Syracuse is 1h30 driving, so that’s 3 hours wasted in a day! And Ragusa is even further, about 2 hours away. And it’s even more true in winter, as the days are quite short.
About parking, some hotels have private parkings, so no need to worry.
As I say in the article, just be careful with the car hire scams in Sicily, they are unfortunately very common. Make sure you have an insurance for the car, so you can travel with the peace of mind! Your credit card insurance will do the job if they offer one, else you should take the Rentalcars.com insurance when booking, it’s very effective.
Enjoy your trip to Sicily, and don’t hesitate to ask me if you have any question!
We are planning a trip to Italy in July next year and we are spending a week in Sicily (touring other parts of Italy first). Sicily would be our last part of the trip before heading home to Australia. We are wanting to see where my husband’s parents used to live in Tortorici and Sinagra. We were going to catch the ferry from Sorrento to Palermo and then get a hire car and stay in a few places and probably spend about 3-4 nights near Tortorici and do day trips out from there. Would love to spend a few nights in Taormina as this would be the last of our trip and may need to unwind a little.
Can you recommend places to visit/stay during this time please? I’ve planned a lot of the trip in the other part of Italy, but I’m a bit stuck in Sicily. Thanks.
Sorry for the late answer, I was travelling and I didn’t saw your comment.
For your week in Sicily:
I understand that you want to see where your husband’s parents used to live but unfortunately, there is not so much things to do around Tortorici, it’s really far from everything.
You can go to Milazzo and do a day trip at Lipari or Vulcano, but it’s 1h40 by car only to reach Milazzo, between the car trip, the wait and the boat, it’s probably more than 5 hours of transportation in 1 day!
If you arrive in Palermo, the best will be to stay around the city for 2 nights, then head to Tortorici (2 nights) and finish with Taormina.
You can find all the things to do in Palermo and Taormina here: Destination Sicily.
Enjoy your trip to Sicily!
We’re planning to stay in Sicily for 4 days and off to Valletta Malta and from there go back to Paris.
We’ll be arriving at Palermo airport, and looks like ferry would leave only from Pozzallo port to Malta.
What would you recommend us to see for 4 days?
Would we have time to see eastern coast?
Can we get by public transportations without renting a car?
P.S. it’ll be us 3 young people, we’re up for any adventure:)
Thanks for your time in advance!
This sounds like a great trip!
Renting a car in your case would be a bit complicated unfortunately, as I don’t think you can rent it in Palermo and drop it off in Pozzallo (or it would be extremely expensive). So you will have to deal with public transports, at least for the end of your trip.
So here are a few questions that will allow me to help you better:
– About the places to visit, it will depend on what you like to do: Do you prefer to visit archaeological sites? Hike in beautiful nature reserve next to the sea? Visit nice old towns?
– Would you mind renting a car for 1 or 2 days if necessary?
– Do you want to visit Palermo when you will arrive?
– Do you want to visit the Etna Volcano if you go on the east coast (knowing that it’s about 100 euros per person for the day)?
– Do you absolutely want to take the boat to Malta? There are flights from Palermo and Catania, and it’s sometimes even cheaper than the boat (and a lot more convenient).
Also, did you already book your plane ticket to Palermo? (It would be better to arrive in Catania if you prefer to visit the east coast only for example).
Let me know about these, so I can help you further!
Also, about Valletta and Malta, I know the country very well, so if you want you can read my guide of Valletta here: The best things to do in Valletta.
You can also see all my articles about Malta with itineraries and tips there: Malta tourist guide.
And of course, if you need some help to plan your trip to Malta, don’t hesitate to ask me in one of the Maltese articles!
Hi, your site is excellent!! We are planning a family reunion and I need many answers, I hope you don’t mind.
We are thinking about traveling to Sicily this December. We don’t mind the cold, which seems to be mild, but we are worried about the rain. Some sites mention 14 days of rain, and some 7! Which one is accurate?
We are mostly interested in history and nature, and as we are a large family with all ages, we thought it could be convenient to stay in Catania, so we can visit the east side of the island (Syracuse and Taormina and the natural parks).
We would stay there one week, and then a smaller group will stay a week in Palermo. Do you think it makes sense to travel there in December or we should leave it for another time?
And if you think it is ok to travel in December, where is the best place to try and find a 9 bedroom luxury villa? Is Catania a good spot for that? Thank you in advance for your help!
Thanks! I’m glad you enjoy my travel blog.
About the rain, yes, in Sicily, the average is between 10 and 14 days of rain in December
December isn’t the best period to visit Sicily but it remains the less rainy month in winter.
If you want to stay on the East side of the island, you can try to find a villa around Catania, that would be the most convenient if you have only one base. However, there are not many 9 bedrooms villas for rent, so you might have to rent 2 villas instead of one. You can have a look on this website for example.
To help you plan your trip on the east coast of Sicily, you can read my article: One week in Sicily detailed itinerary
It will give you ideas about how to plan your visits day by day in Catania, Syracuse and Taormina.
You can also have a look on my other articles about Sicily: Destination Sicily.
If you think Sicily will be to rainy in December, maybe you can consider going to Andalucia? It’s one of the warmest place in Europe during winter (along with Malta), and it also offers amazing places to visit.
It could be a great option for this month.
If you want, you can have a look at my articles about Andalucia here: Destination Andalucia
If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate!
Hi Vincent. Thanks for replying to my post. I have another question though. Is it advisable to just hire a car to get around Sicily or is it a good idea to hire a driver/car for the time we are there (July)?
You’re welcome, I am glad if I can help you plan your trip.
About car hire versus car + driver hire, it’s really a matter of taste and budget. It’s totally doable (and a lot cheaper) to rent a car and travel around Sicily by yourself with a GPS.
Hiring a driver + car would in my opinion be more interesting if you are looking to visit Sicily with a private guided tour. So more a driver/guide than just a driver.
Unless of course you really don’t like to drive and want someone to do it for you!
As I said, it’s really a matter of taste (and budget).
Enjoy your trip!
Greetings from Canada:
We will be arriving in Palermo on December 26 around 2pm and want to see as much of Sicily as possible until having to be back in Palermo on Dec 26 as one of our group has to depart around 6pm. Rest of group will be in Palermo until Jan 2nd. Would appreciate your suggestions. We want to see historical sites as well as Mt. Aetna. We will rent a car from Palermo which we have until our departure on Jan 2nd.
Thank you, Gillian
I think there is a small mistake with your arrival date, please let me know the correct one so I can help you to plan your trip to Sicily 🙂
I also have a few questions that will allow me to help you further:
– Would you like an Itinerary for the whole trip to Sicily? (start date to Palermo on december 26 + 2nd part for the group staying until the 2nd of January?)
– Will you have a rental car for the first part of your trip too?
– Do the whole group also wants to see Mount Etna (as it’s on the other side of Sicily, it’s not super convenient)? Or only people staying until the 2nd of January?
Let me know!
This travel blog is excellent.
We are planning to arrive to Pozzallo by ferry from Malta and would like to hire a car from Pozzallo but we are finding it difficult to find rental companies who offer car hire from Pozzallo. Do you know any recommendations?
Thank you in advance,
Thanks, I am glad my travel blog is helping you to plan your itinerary in Sicily!
There are only a few car rental companies in Pozzallo, most of them being small local ones.
I can’t recommend any in particular as I haven’t tried them, but here are a few links that might help you:
– Car Service Rosolini
– Golden car
– Hetz Pozzallo
Enjoy your trip to Sicily, and if you have other questions, don’t hesitate!
Thank you for your prompt response to my request.
Our arrival date in Palermo is Dec 26 around 2pm. Departure date for one of our group is Dec 31 around 4pm from Palermo. The remainder will stay in Palermo until the morning of Jan 2. Our group will be 4 adults and two teens.
The whole group would like to visit Mt. Etna.
Again thank you for your time and help.
Many thanks for your help.
Excuse me for the late reply, i am traveling at the moment so it’s a bit harder for me to answer quickly to all comments.
For your itinerary, here is what i would suggest:
– 26 dec: arrival in Palermo, visit a bit – night in Palermo
– 27 dec: Palermo + Monreale town and cathedral – night in Palermo
– 28 dec: Cefalu, visit around – night in Cefalu ( good place to split the journey in 2)
– 29 dec: Taormina – night in Taormina
– 30 dec: Etna – night in Taormina (so you don’t switch hotel everyday) or Catania (a bit less driving to get back to Palermo on the next day)
– 31 dec: back to Palermo – night in Palermo
– 1 jan: as it’s an holiday, some places will probably be closed.
You can maybe go to Castellammare del Golfo, or Zingaro nature reserve (you would need to call to see if open) or Erice village.
Segesta temple and the valley of the temples (amazing, but that’s 5 hours driving in 1 day) seems to also be open (you should call too to be sure!)
That’s probably the best itinerary you can do in terms of journey time/ number of visits if you all want to see the Etna.
I talk about all these places in my other articles, you can read them here: Destination Sicily.
Enjoy your trip to Sicily and if you have other questions, don’t hesitate!
Thank you Vincent for your reply. I will contact these car hire companies.
You’re welcome Sandra, if you have any other questions about Sicily, don’t hesitate!
Hi! This website is great. Do you know of any car hire + driver services for the day in Palermo? Or any tour companies that do a day trip around the island leaving from Palermo?
I am glad my travel blog is helping you to plan your trip to Sicily!
Unfortunately, i don’t know any car hire + driver in Sicily. You should ask your hotel about it, they will for sure be able to help you out.
Just one thing, Sicily is very big, you need about 2 weeks to go around the island. So for a day trip, you will need to choose 1 or a few places near Palermo depending on your interests.
In this article about Palermo, I also talk about the best things to do around the city. You can have a look and see the one you would enjoy the most!
And of course, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me
Enjoy your trip!
Thank you so very much for your amazing help. It is truly appreciated. Best regards, Gillian
Thanks for your well written site. We’re definitely taking some of your advice. One thing that was confusing… I was looking at RentalCars.com as you suggested but I can’t seem to get it to list any of the major locations in Sicily to book a car from.
I am glad my article is helping you to plan your stay in Sicily.
For your search problem, it’s because on Rentalcars (this page), you need to select “Italy – Sicily” as country (not just “Italy”). I know it can be a bit misleading!
Please let me know if it solved your issue 🙂
Have a great day!
Any tips for a 6 full days in Sicily? I want to see Palermo, Erice Village, Agricento National Park also Mount Etna.
Was planning to arrive in Palermo rent a car drive to Taormina stay for 3 nights and them back to Cefalu or Palermo for another 4 nights and do day trips to those places from there.
Is it a good idea?
Also do you recommend any nice beaches 🙂
For your 6 days trip to Sicily, you can do as you suggested: 3 night in Taormina and 4 nights in Palermo, however you should keep in mind that Sicily is a quite big island:
Palermo to Taormina: 3h30 by car
Palermo to Erice: 1h30
Palermo to Agrigento: 2h15
So that would be a lot of driving! A day trip to Agrigento from Palermo = almost 5 hours of driving during the day.
Personnaly, I would suggest the following itinerary:
– Arrive in Catania, spend 3 nights in Taormina to visit Taormina, the Etna and Castelmola village if you have the time
– Go to Agrigento, visit the valley of the temple and sleep there for 1 night
– Go to Trapani – on the way, you can stop at Torre Salsa nature reserve, best beach of Sicly in my opinion! It’s a very large sandy beach, and not many people go there. Visit Erice village, spend 1 to 3 nights in Trapani
– Palermo is honestly not the most interesting place to visit in Sicily, personnaly if I had only 6 days, I would just stay 1 day there and take my return flight from Palermo.
So that’s really depending on your preferences: you can spend more time around Trapani and visit Favignana island for example, or spend 1 night only in Trapani to visit Erice and then head to Palermo.
Enjoy your trip to Sicily!
Hi Vincent, great site! We are a couple and we’ll be travelling to Sicily from Malta in the second week of July, arriving in Pozzallo with our own car. We want to spend seven nights in Sicily, do an Eastern Sicily roundtrip but perhaps go as far as Cefalu (?) – ah and we definitely want to do a day trip to the Eolie islands. We like nature, mountains, countryside, beaches, kayaking, relaxing, theatre, arts and adventures (history less so). We like to sleep in a different place everyday and our itinerary is looking like this but I’d like some advice:
Day 1 – Arrive in Pozzallo and travel to Mount Etna for an excursion – then relax in a hotel and dinner and sleep near Giarre or Riposto – we want to experience the small picturesque villages, eat nice food and relax rather than rush to see the big cities (so not Catania). We were thinking that sleeping somewhere further North might be too much driving for a day after driving up to Etna.
Day 2 – Travel to Gole di Alcantara and do body rafting, then in the afternoon go to Taormina area and do some kayaking with our own inflatable kayak which we’ll bring along with us in the car (we’ve both already been to Taormina town centre so we’re not sure if we want to re-visit). Evening drive to Milazzo to sleep there as we need to wake up there in time for a 9:30am or 10am departure for the Active Volcanoes day trip with Tarnav (we haven’t booked this yet).
Day 3 – Day trip to active volcanoes and back at 11pm – sleep in same place in Milazzo.
Day 4 – See Capo Milazzo (maybe some kayaking there?) and drive west to see coastal towns (kayaking here perhaps?) Where should we stop? Which towns to see/swim in? Where to sleep? Do we keep going until Cefalu or it worth sleeping in smaller towns? We were thinking of seeing the Fiumara d’Arte in Castel di Tusa…
Day 5 – Either spend another day at the coast or see some mountains like Nebrodi or Madonie since we don’t have mountains in Malta 🙂 Would you prefer Nebrodi or Madonie? And is it worth to go to the mountains it in summer? Then we need to start heading south again for Pozzallo – which would be the best way?
Day 6 and Day 7 – are still open for suggestions…
Day 8 – see things around Pozzallo – maybe Noto, Vendicari, Calamosche beach and Marzamemi (is this doable in one day if our ferry leaves at 9.30pm?
Some other questions – Are there places you recommend for self-kayaking?
Should we do the opposite and go to Nebrodi/Madonie/Cefalu before the Eolie and do the opposite roundtrip?
Many thanks for any tips you might have about the whole trip!
About your 8-day itinerary in Sicily:
– Day 1 – Perfect
– Day 2 – Perefect – You should book the canyoning in the Alcantara Gorges a bit in advance because there is little availability per day (and this summer Sicily is gonna be the top destination for Italians).
You can book it here: Canyoning in Alcantara.
– Day 3 – Perfect
– Day 4 – Unfortunately, I don’t know much about this part of Sicily between Milazzo and Cefalu, so I can’t really tell you which places would be best for kayaking.
For the accommodation, I would say that it will depend on your budget because man accomodations are already full for the second week of July.
I just looked on Booking and 80% are already sold out around Cefalu.
– Day 5 – I think it’s worth planning a day trip to Nebrodi or Madonie.
I’ve been living in Malta too (Gozo) for a few years and it always feels good to go to the mountains, even in the summer! You will in any case see more trees and nature than here!
If you like hiking, there is enough to do there for 2 days.
You can also plan 1 day for Nebrodi and 1 day for Madonie since you don’t know what to do on day 6.
– Day 7 – You can go to Agrigento and its surroundings. There are beautiful places to kayak near the Scala dei Turchi and Capo Rossello.
– Day 8 – If the ferry leaves at 9:30 pm, yes, that gives you plenty of time to visit these places.
In my opinion, it doesn’t make much of a difference to do it one way or the other.
The only thing is that if you start by Cefalu, you will not have to rush to do Etna and you will have a full day (rather than having to drive off the boat and rush to the mountain).
Enjoy your stay in Sicily and don’t hesitate if you have any other questions!
Thank you Vincent! That’s very useful 🙂 Thanks for keeping up this site 🙂
My wife and I are visiting in July. We are chartering a sailboat in Capo D’Orlando to sail in the Aeolian Islands. We then will have 4 full days to travel on land. We fly out of Catania. It doesn’t look like its possible to rent a car in Capo D’Orlando and drop in Catania. We are interested in seeing/hiking on Mt Etna and seeing the ancient sites and towns like Noto, Ragusa etc.
What would you suggest as far as a car rental and itinerary?
I have also checked and indeed, from Capo d’Orlando, I haven’t found any company that accepts that you drop the car in Catania.
The easiest solution I found would be to take a train from Capo d’Orlando to Catania (about 2h50).
You can find prices and timetables here: Booking train tickets in Sicily
You can then rent a car at Catania airport for the rest of your stay.
There is a 2nd solution, but it will be more expensive:
– Go from Capo d’Orlando to Milazzo by train
– Rent a car in Milazzo.
However, in addition to the price of the rental, you will have to pay a drop-off fee (the extra cost for returning the car to a different location) of about 120€.
Whichever solution you choose, you should compare the rates on Rentalcars.com. You have the link in the article but I’ll put it here for your convenience:
Rent a car in sicily.
For your 4 days in Sicily, I would suggest the following itinerary:
– 1 day to visit Taormina (night in Taormina or Catania)
– 1 day to hike on the Etna (night in Siracusa)
– 1 day to visit Siracusa and Ortigia island (night in Siracusa)
– 1 day for Noto and Ragusa. (night in Siracusa)
You will find all the best things to do in these cities and my selection of hotels here: Destination Sicily.
Enjoy your stay, and don’t hesitate if you have any other questions to prepare your 4-day trip to Sicily!
We would like to visit Sicily for 5 days from Malta in the third week of January 2022 with our own car. We like nature and adventure, and we’d like to try skiing for the first time, or doing something easy for beginners in the snow for 1 day or max 2 days, maybe stay in a place like a chalet with a fireplace, etc.
Can you ski for one day only? Since we will be with our own car – how difficult is it to get to the ski resorts? How far away from the ski resort can we stay on the same night so that we can drive down?
Any other tips for a short ski or snow trip would be great 🙂 But also what other activities we could do since it’s so cold, like short hikes, renting a bicycle, visiting a lake, etc.
There are only 3 ski resorts in Sicily:
– Etna North – Piano Provenzana (Linguaglossa)
– Etna South – Nicolosi
– Piano Battaglia in the Madonie park.
You can of course spend just one day skiing in any of them.
However, I don’t know if it’s easy to go with your car if you don’t have snow tyres.
And as I’ve never been to Sicily’s mountains in winter, I can’t tell you too much about what to do during this period.
The best way to choose your accommodation is to look directly on Booking.com by clicking here and search around the ski resort you have chosen.
Enjoy your stay in Sicily!
I’m not sure if you are still providing recommendations via this website, but thought to give it a try!
We are planning our first trip to Sicily for 6 nights; arriving Palermo 19th April, and leaving from Catania airport 25th April.
We’re thinking Palermo for 2 nights, 1 night somewhere in between, 1-2 nights Taormina, and 1 night Catania to catch a flight to Rome the next morning. We will also get a Rental Car before leaving Palermo to have for the rest of the trip. We’re thinking to include a visit to Castellammare del Golfo, Cefalu (if time permits), definitely Agrigento, and Siracusa. If time permits, we would like to visit Noto/Ragusa.
20th April: Arrive Palermo, visit / site seeing per your recommendations – night in Palermo
21st April: Palermo + Monreale town and cathedral – night in Palermo
22nd April: Collect Rental Car in Palermo, drive to Cefalu, visit around (night in Cefalu or somewhere else)
23rd April: Spend morning travelling to and visiting Agrigento, Valley of Temples, Segesta Temple then 1-2 nights Taormina
24th April: Where would make sense to visit for 1 full day by car?
25th April: travel to Catania (to catch flight next morning)
Very keen to know your thoughts on how to make the most of our trip. We are most interested in history/architecture/traditional food/wine and will spend some time in Taormina relaxing by the beach.
Thank you so much.
Regarding your itinerary in Sicily:
20 and 21: ok
22: if you are more interested in history and architecture, you should rather go directly to Agrigento on that day. You can visit Segesta when leaving Palermo but it’s a diversion. In Cefalu, there is not much to see. Spend the night in Agrigento.
For the rest of your stay, you have 2 choices:
– 23 / 24: Taormina and surroundings
– 25: Catania
Feel free to look at Google maps to see the locations of the cities and the travel times. You may not realise it, but Sicily is a large island, so distances are important.
Enjoy your stay in Sicily!
I’m not sure if you are still providing recommendations via this website, but thought to give it a try!
I’m planning a trip to Sicily with my family and we will have only 5/6 days max. They are not really into the mood of changing places to stay, so ideally we would choose one place to stay and drive around to visit what is feasible.
We are more into beaches, towns and mountain/nature than geogoloy activities.
Which side of the island you would choose? And which itinerary you would recomend us?
Thanks a lot for such great website 🙂
If you just want one place to stay for the duration of your trip, I would recommend either Trapani (in the West) or Syracuse/Ortigia for the East.
Enjoy your trip to Sicily!
Thank you so much for an amazing article, its a life saver)
We are a couple and planning to visit Sicily end of May for 6 days, arriving to Palermo and later leaving also from Palermo. Could you please advise what would be the best itinerary so that we also get to Etna volcano? We will rent a car.
Thanks a lot in advance, Mary
Thank you for your kind words!
For your itinerary, it’s important to keep in mind that the Etna is more than 3 hours by car from Palermo, one way.
So normally I include a visit to Etna in my itineraries starting from Catania, which is much closer to the volcano.
For your itinerary, you have several possibilities:
– Palermo / Cefalu / Taormina / Etna / Catania / Palermo
– Palermo / Trapani / Agrigento / Catania (Etna) / Cefalu (if you have time) / Palermo
The best thing to do is to look at Google maps, to see the different travel times by car. But in any case, the fact that you want to do Etna makes you cross a good part of Sicily.
Enjoy your trip to Sicily!