Itinerary: 2, 3, 4 or 5 days in Sicily – What to do and see?

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How to Visit Sicily in 2, 3, 4 or 5 Days?

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!

  1. You select the itinerary of your choice depending on the duration of your holidays
  2. 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!
  3. 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.

Voyage Tips Advice
if you have planned to visit Sicily in 2 days and you are hesitating between the 2 cities, I recommend you to go to Palermo. In my opinion, the monuments are more interesting there. You can of course visit Catania for your 2nd trip to Sicily, maybe the next weekend! 🙂
visit Palermo Cathedral
Palermo Cathedral

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 Palermoyou will go back home feeling like you have really made the most out of your stay.

Etna Sicily
Etna eruption – Sicily

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!

valley of the Temples Agrigento
The best conserved temple in the valley of the Temples

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.

Favignana
Favignana, the biggest island of the Egadi archipelago

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.

Sicily travel Guides

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.

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Itinerary in Sicily for 2, 3, 4, or 5 days – Things to do and see
Itinerary: 2, 3, 4 or 5 days in Sicily – What to do and see?
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Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

Discussion20 Comments

  1. 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.

    Many thanks,

    Sandra

    • Vincent

      Hello Sandra,

      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!

  2. 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.

    Any suggestions?

    • Vincent

      Hello Guilia,

      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!

  3. 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?

    • Vincent

      Hi Cindy,

      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!

  4. 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!!!

    • Vincent

      Hi Jackie,

      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!

  5. Hi Vincent,

    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!

    Best,
    Susu

    • Vincent

      Hi Susu,

      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,

      Vincent

    • Vincent

      Hi Nadine,

      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 🙂

  6. Nadine Abdilla Valentine

    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?

    • Vincent

      Hello Nadine,

      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!

  7. Hi there,

    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?

    • Vincent

      Hi Sharon,

      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!

  8. Hi Vincent
    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?
    Thanks.

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