Visit Sicily: Top 20 Things to Do and Must See Attractions

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The 20 Best Things to Do in Sicily (Bucket List)

You’re planning to visit Sicily for you next trip or holidays and you are looking for the best places to visit?

Great choice, there are many things to see on this beautiful Italian island!

With important historical sites such as Agrigento Valley of the Temples, the Roman theatre of Taormina or the Baroque cities of Noto, Ragusa and Modica.

Natural richness, with its volcanoes (Etna, Stromboli and Vulcano), its islands, its beaches and its magnificent nature reserves like the one in Zingaro.

And of course, the fabulous Italian Cuisine! (I am a big fan!), you will for sure enjoy your stay. Now the question is: Where to go in Sicily?

To help you plan your trip, here is the list of the best things to do in Sicily, as always accompanied by my best tips for a memorable stay!

So, what are the best points of interest in Sicily?

Visit Sicily: The 20 Best Places to Visit and Must-See Attractions

Voyage Tips - Advice

You’re planning to visit Sicily?

Great!

In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared detailed itineraries depending on your trip duration. You should read them after reading this article.

You can find them here, simply click on the orange links to read the articles:

They will allow you to plan your trip very easily!

And if you have any question, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section, at the end of the article. I would be glad to help you plan your stay.

1. Palermo

I can only start this list of the top things to do in Sicily  with the capital, Palermo. It is a very rich city in terms of historical buildings and monuments and the ideal place to visit if you like churches and palaces.

In Palermo, you shouldn’t miss:

  • The Norman Palace
  • Palermo Cathedral
  • The Massimo Theatre
  • The Ballaro Market

Not far from Palermo, there is one of the most visited places in Sicily: Monreale Cathedral and its thousands of square meters of golden mosaics. To give you an idea, 2200 kg of pure gold was used to make them!

For more details about Palermo and the best accommodations in town, you should read my article: The 15 best things to do in Palermo

Palermo Cathedral
Palermo Cathedral

2. Cefalù

This is a very picturesque place and probably the first Sicily picture you saw!

This small fishing town with its colorful boats moored at the pier seems calm and peaceful.

Ok, I will tell you something, so you will not be disappointed when you will visit Sicily: the reality is nowadays a bit different because Cefalù has become a popular seaside resort. With its sandy beach and medieval alleys, the place is certainly pretty, but quite crowded, especially in high season. I don’t advise you to go there if you only want to enjoy the beach, you will find much better and quieter elsewhere!

However, Cefalù is worth a stop to admire the panorama from the old port and pier and stroll through its narrow streets full of shops and restaurants. If you have time, you should also visit the Cefalù Norman cathedral, the most important building of the city.

Finally, you should climb to the top of La rocca di Cefalù, the cliff that overlooks the town and offers spectacular views.

Cefalu Sicily
The picturesque Cefalu

3. Taormina

Let’s continue this bucket list of things to do in Sicily with Taormina, nicknamed “the Pearl of Sicily”. This town is world-famous for the magnificent view it offers on the plain of Catania, Etna and Isola Bella. It’s one of the most touristic cities in Sicily, so it’s best to go off-season to make the most out of your stay.

If you’ve decided to visit the east coas of Sicily, it’s a must-see destination. Here are the things you shouldn’t miss in Taormina:

  • Go down to Isola Bella, the small island and its beach that contribute greatly to the fame of the city.
  • Visit Taormina Greek Theatre
  • The beautiful view on the Etna and the sea from Piazza IX Aprile
  • Climb the 300 steps leading to the Madonna della Rocca Church to enjoy a Bird’s-eye view of the surroundings.

I give you all the best tips to visit Taormina during your trip to Sicily in my article: Visit Taormina: The 10 things to do and see.

Visit Taormina
View on Isola Bella from Taormina

4. Etna

The Etna volcano is impossible to miss if you are in Sicily. It is one of the island’s main attractions, and it should definitely be included in your tour in Sicily.

From Taormina and Catania, many viewpoints allow you to admire it from a distance. But as it’s so close, it would be sad to miss the opportunity to climb up and see its crater, right?

The best things to do is to choose a day or half-day excursion. From Catania or Taormina, many tour operators offer full package around 55€ with transport, equipment, guide and 4 Wheel drive vehicle to go up to the crater.

Of course you can also drive there, but you will not be supervised, so be careful to have the right shoes and equipment. Check the weather conditions beforehand as well, access is not always allowed. Please note that if you are not accompanied by a guide, you will have to stop at the first level, (after the cable car). To reach the crater, the climb to the second level must be done in a guided minibus.

Going on the volcano is an unforgettable experience!

To make the most out of your day trip to Etna, I highly suggest you to book your tour with Getyourguide. It’s simple, they have the best English speaking guides!

Click on the following button for more info about the trip to Etna volcano:

Etna Sicily
Etna eruption – Sicily

5. Catania

Catania, the 2nd largest city in Sicily after Palermo, is located at the foot of the Etna. As I told you before, this is the ideal starting point to get to the volcano.

Nicknamed the black city because of its buildings built in lava stone, Catania has many things to offer.

During your trip to Sicily, I advise to spend between half a day and a full day visiting the city.

Here are some of the things to do in and around Catania, in addition to the Etna excursion:

  • Take a walk around the Piazza del Duomo to see the emblem of Catania: The Fontana dell’ Elefante.
  • Visit Duomo Di Catania, the Cathedral dedicated to the patron saint of the city, Saint Agatha.
  • Visit the “Cyclops rocks” (Faraglioni in Italian) in the seaside resort of Aci Trezza, only 35 minutes from Catania.

Find all the best activities to do in Catania in my article: The 12 best things to do in Catania

acitrezza-faraglioni

6. Syracuse and Ortigia Island

On the east coast of Sicily lies the town of Syracuse and the charming Ortigia Island, its historical center. It’s simple: everything in Ortigia is pretty! Monuments, squares, fountains, palaces and churches. There’s also some really good ice cream. You will have guessed it, at Voyage Tips, we loved our stay on this island!

Ortigia Island must-sees attractions:

  • The beautiful Piazza del Duomo
  • The port
  • The Castello Maniace
  • Arethusa fountain at sunset

In the modern city of Syracuse, there is only one must-see attraction: Neapolis archaeological park with its Roman amphitheater, Greek theatre and the Ear of Dionysius.

Find everything you need to plan your stay in Syracuse in my article: Syracuse: the 15 best things to do

Another great place to visit in Sicily!

Syracuse fisherman
A fisherman in Syracuse

7. Visit Noto, Modica and Ragusa

If you are looking for the best place to visit in Sicily to discover the amazing baroque architecture, then look no further!

The Baroque towns of Noto, Modica and Ragusa are all listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There are no specific monuments to visit here. All you have to do is stroll through the historic centers and enjoy it! (Tip: With an ice cream, it’s even better).

Palaces, churches and Baroque cathedrals, architecture lovers will really be happy!

Noto Sicily
Noto, a beautiful baroque town in Sicily

8. The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento

The Valley of the Temples, next to the city of Agrigento, is Sicily best-known archaeological site. It’s the number 1 in terms of visit, before Selinunte Temples and Segesta (I will tell you more about them below).

8 temples are visible in the valley but the 2 best preserved are undoubtedly the temple of Concorde and the temple of Hera. The walk between the temples is very pleasant and easy to do on foot.

If you choose to go by yourself, you can find detailed information to plan your visit in my article: How to visit the Valley of the Temples?

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

9. Scala dei Turchi

About 20 minutes’ drive from the valley of the temples, the Scala dei Turchi is another must-see if your trip to Sicily takes you in this region!

This white limestone cliff is famous for its particular shape: it looks like erosion has carved steps! And if you add the turquoise color of the sea and the fine sand beaches that border it, you will understand why Scala dei Turchi is a very popular place.

Several dozen people gather here at the end of the day to watch the sunset, probably hundreds in high season. A show you shouldn’t miss!

Adresse de la Scala dei Turchi: Strada Provinciale 68

Scala dei turchi
The Scala dei turchi

10. Selinunte Temples 

I will not hide it: Selinunte is my favorite archaeological site in Sicily! The temples with the sea view is simply a must-see during your trip to Sicily.

The archaeological park is split in 2 different sites, so I recommend you take your car to go from one to another. There are several temples to see. Some are very well preserved, others in less good condition.

Since the experts were not sure to which divinity the temples were dedicated, they preferred to name them according to the alphabetical letters. So don’t be surprised to visit temple A, B or C.

The site is really beautiful and will keep you busy for half a day. If you can, I really recommend you to stay there for the sunset.

Details for visiting Selinunte temples can be found in our article : How to Spend 10 Days in Sicily? The Best Itinerary!

Selinunte-Temple
A temple in Selinunte

11. The temple of Segesta

Last temple and archaeological site of my Sicily bucket list, the temple of Segesta.

Perched in the middle of the green hills, Segesta Temple dominates the surrounding countryside. Extremely well preserved, it’s definitely worth a look if you are in the area.

Fun fact: if the temple doesn’t have a roof, it’s simply because it was never finished!

Another vestige you can see on the site is the theatre, which is perched at 400 meters above the temple. It’s still used in summer to host concerts and theatrical performances.

All the info to know how to visit the Temple of Segesta is in my article: The 10 things to see in and around Trapani

Segesta temple
Segesta temple

12. Torre Salsa Nature Reserve

Torre Salsa nature reserve is located between Agrigento and Selinunte, which makes it a very nice stop during your road trip in Sicily.

Another good reason to go there: the sandy beach is huge and there are really not many people. This not very well-known point of interest is a real paradise for swimming or picnic!

To get there, you will have to go down a dirt road for about 20 minutes, then park your car in the parking lot.

Be careful though:

  • It’s not well indicated, so you may be struggling a little to find the right entry (there are several)
  • The path to go there is very rocky, so watch out for your rental car!
  • Avoid leaving your car on the parking lot with your belongings inside. Don’t leave anything in the car.
Torre Salsa nature reserve
Torre Salsa nature reserve

13. Marsala salt pans

When you get out of Marsala town, take the salt road that will take you directly to the salt pans. The road then continues to Trapani.

The salt pans and their mills are on many postcards, and you will quickly understand why when you will see them! Try to go there at sunset if you can, they are even more photogenic!

You can easily stop on the roadside, take a few pictures and maybe buy some of this renowned salt, used by the best Sicilian chefs.

Trapani salt pans
Trapani salt pans

14. Trapani and Erice medieval village

Trapani city itself isn’t a major point of interest of Sicilian tourism, but it is an ideal starting point for at least 3 major attractions:

  • The temple of Segesta I mentioned earlier
  • Visit Erice medieval village
  • Take a trip to the Aegadian Islands. I will tell you more about them in a minute!

Let’s talk a bit about Erice, this small medieval town built at an altitude of 750m, on top of the rocky cliff overlooking Trapani.

You can of course get there by road (good luck finding a parking space in summer!) or go for for something more original: the cable car!

From Trapani, a return trip by cable car costs 9 euros and the view is breathtaking.

Once at the top, here are some of the must-see places in Erice:

  • Erice castle, from where you will have a beautiful view on Trapani
  • The opposite view, on Monte Cofano reserve and San Vito Lo Capo
  • The 14th century medieval church
  • Discover the charm of small medieval lanes and shops (Even though touristic!)
  • The Maria Grammatico pastry shop, an Erice institution!

For more information on Trapani region, I recommend that you read our article: Visit Trapani: The Ultimate guide.

Erice castle, overlooking Trapani
Erice castle, overlooking Trapani

15. Aegadian Islands

From Trapani, you can leave for a day trip (or several days!) to one of the Aegadian Islands.

Boats connect Trapani to the islands several times a day.

The 3 Aegadian Islands are Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo. They are all ideal for long walks, bycicle riding and swimming breaks in beautiful coves. And in addition the use of cars is very regulated, so there are almost none!

However, if you only have one day to devote to Aegadian Islands, I recommend you choose Favignana. Most people then opts for bicycles rental, to be able to see as much as possible in a day. Impossible to get lost, everything is well indicated. The paths have no particular difficulty, except for a few potholes.

Things to see in Favignana :

  • Cala Rossa
  • Cala Azzura
  • Cala Rotonda
  • Lido Burrone

Everything you need to know about the Aegadian Islands is in our article: Visit Trapani: The Ultimate guide.

Favignana
Favignana, the biggest island of the Egadi archipelago

16. Enna, the Heart of Sicily

Located in the heart of Sicily, Enna is nicknamed “the navel of Sicily“.

The region of Enna is the only one without access to the sea. However, it has the most lakes, including Lake Pergusa, the only natural lake of the island.

Perched on a promontory over 900 meters above sea level, Enna has retained its typical charm and offers several points of interest:

  • Lombardy castle, which offers an unobstructed view of Etna from the top of its main tower.
  • Enna’s Duomo
  • Via Roma, the city’s historic center
  • Archaeological Museum
  • Lake Pergusa, with a racing circuit on its shore

17. Zingaro Nature Reserve

It is undoubtedly the most famous nature reserve in Sicily. The Zingaro Nature Reserve is easily accessible from Scopello or Trapani.

During the easy 3h trail (back and forth), you will be delighted by the beautiful panoramas, with the path overlooking the sea.

And if you still need a reason to go there, this nature reserve offers access to several super beautiful coves. You can go for a swim before, during and after your hike! Isn’t life beautiful?

If you plan to visit the Zingaro during your trip to Sicily, you should read my detailed article: How to visit the Zingaro nature reserve?

Zingaro nature reserve
The Zingaro nature reserve

 18. Monte Cofano Nature Reserve

Just as beautiful as the Zingaro Nature Reserve, the Monte Cofano Nature Reserve is not as famous.

Other travel blogs may not tell you about it when you’re looking for points of interest in Sicily, and that’s a good thing! Like the Zingaro, it’s a path that runs along the seaside, however the vegetation and landscape is very different. personally, I loved it!

It’s also a lot quieter, very pleasant to walk around alone or almost.

For more experienced hikers, the reserve also offers another trail that allows you to climb to the top of Mount Cofano. But beware, with very steep passages where it’s necessary to use ropes and chains attached in the rocks, this trail requires good equipment and a good physical condition.

If you want to know more about Monte Cofano Nature reserve, you can read our article : Top 10 Things to see in Tripani.

Réserve Monte Cofano
Monte Cofano Reserve

19. Aeolian Islands

The Aeolian Islands are located in Northern Sicily. This volcanic archipelago is made of 7 islands + a few islets and rocks. The best known and therefore the most visited are Lipari, Salina, Vulcano and Stromboli.

Each islands has its own charm and atmosphere:

  • Lipari is the largest, best served by boats, and therefore it’s more animated than its sisters. It also has beautiful beaches.
  • Vulcano is also easily accessible. It is famous for its beautiful volcanic landscapes and mud baths.
  • Stromboli, well-known thanks to its continuously active volcano. An impressive night show you shouldn’t miss!
  • Salina, has some beautiful hiking trails and good restaurants to eat after activities. It’s less touristy than the previous ones.

To get to Aeolian Islands, you will have to take a hydrofoil or a boat from Milazzo, Palermo or Messina. For example, the boat from Milazzo to Vulcano takes about 1h30. Once on the islands, cars are forbidden and reserved for residents exclusively.

If you only have a day to devote to the Aeolian Islands, I advise to choose only one, but if you want to see them all, you can choose a multi-day cruise.

Aeolian Islands
Aeolian Islands

 

20. Sicily most beautiful beaches

My Sicily bucket list wouldn’t be complete without a list of the most beautiful beaches. Yep, if you’re going on a tour to Sicily, you will for sure want to enjoy the beach and crystal clear water! It’s one of the best things to do in Sicily after all.

Here are some of my favorite beaches and coves:

  • San Vito Lo Capo Beach: Perfect for families with children, this large sandy beach is great for swimming or sunbathing! Public beach + private beach.
  • Isola Bella: Small pebble beach with crystal clear water, at the foot of Taormina. Ideal for snorkeling with lots of small fish to observe. Public beach + private beach.
  • Scala dei Turchi: This is the most romantic beach to enjoy the sunset in Sicily. Turquoise water + limestone cliffs getting orange and pink tone = the perfect combination! Public beach + private beach.
  • Cala Rossa in Favignana: Surrounded by huge rocks, this cove offers crystal clear turquoise water. The view from above is breathtaking.
  • Torre Salsa Nature Reserve Beach, a large, fine sandy beach, with very shallow water. Great place to spend a day with family, far from everything. Be careful for 2 things: the road to go there isn’t very good and it’s extremely important not to leave anything in your car.
  • Parco Marino del Plemmirio: Close to Syracuse, you can find numerous beautiful small coves there.
  • Calamosche Beach: One of the busiest beaches around Syracuse, well known for the beauty of its shallow and translucent water.
Isola Bella Taormina
Isola Bella beach, in Taormina

Now, I would love to know what you have planned to do during your trip to Sicily!

Sicily Tours

On Voyagetips.com, I give you all my best tips and itineraries to plan your trip to Sicily by yourself. (All Sicily articles are here)

However, if you prefer to book a Sicily tour with a travel agency, I recommend you to check the 10 best Sicily tours by clicking the button below:

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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Visit Sicily
Visit Sicily: The best things to do and best places to visit
Visit Sicily: Top 20 Things to Do and Must See Attractions
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Vincent

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

Discussion32 Comments

  1. Vincent

    Hi Vincent!

    I’ve really been enjoying reading your information on Sicily. You have offered some great ideas and advice!

    I do have a quick question for you. Next April my husband and I are going to Sicily for about 10 days. We’d like to settle in 2-3 areas for that time, as we all really like to linger in a place for a while.

    Since this is our plan, I was curious what 2-3 towns would you might suggest for this kind of trip. I have a feeling we’ll be settling on only 2 locations, but we’re just in the beginning stages of our planning, so we may change it to 3 different spots.

    Thanks so much!

    • Vincent
      Vincent

      Hi Allyson!

      I am glad my articles are helping you to plan your trip!

      If I had to choose 3 cities, I would go for Taormina, Syracuse and Palermo, these are the 3 most interesting cities to visit. But it really depends on what you want to see, if you like more cities, historical sites or nature for example. Tell me what you prefer.

      If you are interested in visiting the temples (Agrigento, Selinunte) + Marsala Salt pans + Aegadian Island + Erice village (all 3 next to Trapani city), staying in Selinunte or Sciacca town can be a good idea.

      It also depends if you plan to rent a car there? Let me know! Then you can pickup a few places you would like to see from this article: The 20 best things to do in Sicily. I will then tell you where to stay to optimize your trip in Sicily.

      • Vincent

        Hey Vincent!

        Thanks for your response! My husband, David, and I will be traveling with another couple that has been to Italy many, many times. They are pros at traveling around the country! 🙂 We will definitely have a car, and will do a little bit of everything. I’m a big nerd, so I love the history. LOL We will also plan on some active type activities, as well as travel to big cities.

        There has been a development in our planning, though. We had decided on Sicily, but in a conversation late last week, Greece was mentioned. Now we are trying to decide if we want to go to Sicily or Greece! It’s a rather difficult one to make, because we would all love to go to both places! The pros to going to Sicily are that my friend Lisa speaks the language, has driven there many times, and the FOOD!! Oh the food!! Pros for Greece include the history and architectural ruins, the many islands, and again, the FOOD!

        I checked your website, and I noticed that you haven’t been to Greece. I’ll have to do some searching around on other sites to find information that will help our decision-making. We want to have it decided upon within the next two weeks, so we can book our flights.

        Anyway, any advice, tips, or whatever you’d like to share will be most appreciated.
        Thanks so much!

        Allyson

        • Vincent
          Vincent

          Hey Allyson,

          If you love history, you should really go to at least one of the temples archeological sites, it’s amazing!

          I haven’t been to Greece, I am planning to go relatively soon (This year or next year, not sure if I will do Portugal first, or Greece, no idea for now!), but the country is big and attractions aren’t close to each others, so traveling 10 days in Greece seems a bit short in my opinion (15 should be a minimum I think, 20-25 would be best).

          So my personnal advice for a relatively short trip would be Sicily, as traveling from place to place with a car is super easy there, you will lose a lot less time in transportation.

          After, you decide!

          Just one important thing: If you go to Sicily, you need to be very careful with the car rental scams, it’s unfortunatly very common there. I have written an article about it and how to avoid them, but it’s just in french for now. (if needed I can sum it up for you)

          The article is here, just in case: Rent a car in Sicily – How to avoid scam (in French)

          If you need anything else, don’t hesitate to let me know.

  2. Vincent

    We will be on the Amalfi coast for three days and i plan to go to Sicily for a couple of days by car…the 7 hour drive is bad enough so i dont plan to go all the way to Palermo…for time sake. However I would appreciate you advice on things to do in eastern sicily… i have only two days to allow and then back to Rome for our flight back home…thanks

    • Vincent
      Vincent

      Hello Johnny,

      If you don’t want to drive too much, the best is to spend your 2 days in Taormina, it’s a very beautiful town, and the closest to Messina (where the ferry boat to Sicily arrives).
      You can spend your 2 days like this:
      Day 1: Visit Taormina and go to Isola Bella beach
      Day 2: Go to Castelmola village (less than 10 minutes drive, very beautiful!) + enjoy the beach again, or go to Alcantara Gorges.

      Another option for Day 2 is to go to Mount Etna.

      You can read my article about Taormina: The 10 best things to do in Towwn

      Enjoy your trip to Sicily!

  3. Vincent

    Hello Vincent,
    I really enjoyed reading all the information in Sicily, my boyfriend & I we are (48 & 64 years old)are wanting to go in November, we enjoy
    history, beaches, and are big “Foodies” and love to explore new places, I have some Sicilian history (Great Grandfather from a small town that was destroyed by an earthquake in the 1970’s and most of the family moved to Polamero at that point. Anyways… We are thinking 8-10 days maybe ? in Sicily and then pop over to Barcelona for a week or so ?, I could really use some help planning some of the details can you recommend someone? We live in USA and also do not speak any Italian so I want to make sure we don’t get scammed.

    I also read that Greece is on your list and I do have a great person for planning that, check out Fantasy Travel, they only plan Greece and Egypt however.

    • Vincent

      Hello Nicole,

      For Sicily, i will be glad to answer your questions and help you plan your trip (for free of course) if you want to organise it yourself.

      No need to worry, if you book everything in advance, you can’t really get scammed. The only scams that are problematic in Sicily are the car rental scams, but you can avoid them easily by taking an insurance, as i explain in my itineraries articles.

      Unfortunately I don’t know anyone who can organise your trip for you, but, if you want, you can tell me what you would like to visit, and I can tell you how many days you will need.

      By the way, have you read my 10 days and 2 weeks itineraries articles? They can give you a good idea about how long it takes to visit the various places!

      I am currently in Greece, I have visited most of the country during the past month, so I will prepare some travel guides when i will be back.

      I am sure you will love your trip to Sicily, Barcelona and Europe!

  4. Vincent

    Good afternoon Vincent,

    Thanks for your great tips for visitors to Sicily. My husband and I are planning a holiday for a month in Italy in May/June 2019 and have decided to include Sicily in our itinerary.

    We will certainly be taking your advice and visiting many of the places you have mentioned but are a little undecided what to do about booking accommodation. Would you suggest pre booking from Australia or perhaps just ‘winging’ it when we arrive. We really are at a bit of a loss on this one so hope you may be able to help us out a little with you great knowledge of the country.

    Many thanks, Kristine

    • Vincent
      Vincent

      Hello Kristine,

      I would really suggest you to book your accommodations in advance, Sicily is quite touristic and the hotels offering the best value for money are full quite fast.

      This is especially true in Taormina, Ortigia (Syracuse) and next to the Valley of the Temples for example.

      If you haven’t already, I recommend you to have a look at the itineraries I have written: they give you a better idea of what you can visit in how much time. I also suggest the best hotels for every budget in each cities.
      Click here for the list of the best Itineraries in Sicily

      And if you need help to plan your trip, don’t hesitate!

  5. Vincent

    Thanks Vincent, will take your advice and book prior to going. Will also look at your recommended areas to visit. Nothing like having some local knowledge so will probably be back in touch.

    Cheers Kristine😊

      • Vincent

        Hi again Vincent,

        Quick question. If we decided to base ourselves in one hotel and then travel to different towns/cities in Sicily, where would you suggest we do that. We will have transport and as we live in Australia we are used to driving distances so that wouldn’t be an issue but just wonder if this idea is feasible.

        Thanks again,

        Kristine

        • Vincent
          Vincent

          Hi Kristine,

          I wouldn’t suggest to do this at all, as it is really a waste of time 😊

          Even by staying in the most central location (in the middle of Sicily, where there is nothing very interesting to do), you will have around 4 or 5 hours of driving each day to reach the main attractions and come back.

          Not to mention a few places deserves at least 2 days to visit, like Syracuse or Trapani if you also want to go to Aegadian islands.

          In Sicily, doing an itinerary is really the only viable solution.

  6. Vincent

    Hi Vincent!

    My family booked a house for a week in Trappeto. We are already planning to spend a couple days going to Palermo. On top of that what would you recommend? Should we stay on the west side of the island (Castellammare del Golfo/ Trapani)? Or does maybe an overnight, two-day trip to Mt. Etna and Taormina make sense during that week? Thank you so much and I have really enjoyed reading all of your articles!

    • Vincent
      Vincent

      Hi!

      If you are in Trappeto, it’s really better to stay on the west side of Sicily. There is enough to keep you busy, with attractions such as:

      – Palermo of course and Monreale Cathedral
      – The Zingaro nature reserve
      – Erice village, near Trapani
      – or even Selinunte temples, as they are only 1 hour drive from Trappeto
      – Marsala Salt Pans
      – The Aegali islands (Favignana or Levanzo)
      – Cefalu is at around 1h30 if you want to go there too.

      You can group some of them. For example, you can do, in 1 day:

      Selinunte temples in the morning, then do a loop: Marsala Salt Pans and Erice village at the end of the day. That would be a pretty awesome day of visits!

      To go to the east side (Catania), it’s a 3 hours drive. A bit far in my opinion for just a week. Going back and forth, you would be losing half a day in the car.

      It’s really better to plan to come back to Sicily another time, and enjoy the east side, as there is enough places to visit to spend another great week there 😃

      Have a nice trip, and if you have other questions, don’t hesitate!

  7. Vincent

    I love your blog and will use your advice for our 2 weeks in Sicily and for a few days in Rome, thanks so much for your insights.

    We are seniors and the idea of navigating ourselves is a bit intimidating, I was wondering if you could recommend a driver who could take us around on our 2 week sojourn in Sicily.

    I suppose we can do it but it would be a real luxury to be able to look out the window and have someone else ( who knows the terrain) get us around.

    Thank you in advance for any help and information, we loved your blog!

    P.S. we will be traveling in February 😊

    • Vincent
      Vincent

      Hello Liz,

      I am glad my articles about Sicily are helping you to plan your trip!
      Unfortunately, I don’t know any driver in Sicily. I think your best bet would be to contact one of your hotels in Sicily and ask them. They generally know a few local taxi drivers.

      Have a great day and enjoy your trip to Sicily! And if you have any other question, don’t hesitate.

  8. Vincent

    Hi,
    My husband and I are going to have just 3 days in Sicily but have yet to decide where to stay. He wants to rent a car but I would rather hire a guide to lead us around. Which would you suggest? Also, we speak no Italian and I am really concerned about the language barrier. Which area of Sicily would be best for English speaking Americans?

    • Vincent
      Vincent

      Hi Shelly,

      It really depends on what you want to visit. If you don’t mind driving a bit, the best place to visit in 3 days would be Catania/Taormina/the etna Volcano and castelmola village. If you do not have the time, you can do just half a day in catania, it is enough to visit the best attractions of the city.

      You can read my 3 days in Sicily itineraries article here: the best things do to in 3 days in Sicily.

      There are links to my city guides in the article too.

      For the car rental/guide question, it depends: the guide would be useful if you want to have detailed historical information about the places you will visit and if you don’t mind being with someone else all day.

      Else, it is pretty straightforward, you just have to drive from A to B with the car. The city historical centers are very small, so you cannot get lost.

      And don’t worry about the language barrier, Sicily is a very touristic place and everyone speaks a bit of English there.

      Have a nice trip, and if you have other questions, don’t hesitate!

  9. Vincent

    Great article. My daughter and I will be in Sicily for one week. She would like to do wine tasting. Can you recommend a specific region that would allow for both wine tasting and hitting the sites/cities you recommend.?
    Thank you!

    • Vincent
      Vincent

      Hello Elizabeth,

      I’m glad my article is helping you to plan your trip to Sicily.

      The 2 best regions for wine tasting in Sicily are around Marsala and Trapani on the west coast and around the Etna volcano on the east coast.

      I have written 2 detailed itineraries that will help you to plan your stay.

      You can read the one about the east coast of Sicily by clicking here
      And the one about the west coast there.

      The west coast itinerary is for a 10 days trip, but it can be slightly modified to fit a 7 days holidays in Sicily. If you need any help for this, don’t hesitate to ask me.

      If you choose to visit the east coast, I highly recommend you the following tour:

      Mount Etna 5 hours wine tasting tour

      Enjoy your trip to Sicily!

  10. Vincent

    Hello Vincent,

    Love your website. Thank you so much. Problem is I want to see it ALL and I know that will never be possible. So I’m hoping you might have some ideas for us.

    My husband and I will be going to a family wedding in Trapani. The wedding is on Aug. 4. I know, groan, August is not the best time to travel in Italy and especially not Sicily. We will be flying from NY.
    We were thinking of spending maybe 3 days in Rome and then flying to Sicily.

    We would like to spend 2- 3 days in Trapani, perhaps Aug. 3, 4 & 5? And then tour a bit more of the island.
    We would want to spend no more than 14 days total (including the days devoted to transatlantic flights). If we take a 14 day total trip, subtract 2 days for transatlantic travel, 3 days for Rome, 3 days in Trapani, that would leave us 6 days to tour Sicily.
    Can you suggest an itinerary?

    Would flying home to NY directly from Palermo be possible? Are there flights every day? Would it add a lot to the air fare to book flights NY → Rome, then Rome → Catania, (rental car from Catania ), then Palermo → NY? I am assuming the total trip time will be shorter if we fly directly home to NY from Palermo, but that it will be more expensive .

    Thank you so very much for any ideas you have.

    • Vincent
      Vincent

      Hello Kisa,

      Thanks a lot, I am glad my website is useful for you to plan your trip to Sicily.

      For the 3 days you will spend in Trapani, you should have a look to my detailed article about the things to do in and around the city, if you haven’t cheked it yet. It also includes itineraries to visit the city in 1, 2 or 3 days. You can read it here: The 10 best things to do in Trapani

      For the 6 other days in Sicily, the best would be to land in Catania and do the following itinerary:

      – 1 day in Catania
      – 1 day in Syracuse and Ortigia Island
      – 1 days in Noto, Modica and Ragusa
      – 1 day in Agrigento and Scala dei Turchi
      – 1 day in Selinunte
      – 3 days in Trapani for the wedding
      – 1 day in Palermo and take your flight back

      It’s a tight schedule, and you will have to change hotel each night, but that’s the best way to see many places in such a short amount of time.

      You can read all my articles about Sicily by clicking here, you will find a list of the best things to do for each place + itineraries ideas to plan the visits.

      For Palermo to New York flights, you should have a look on a flight comparator such as Skyscanner. I have checked, and it seems there are flights everyday (with 1 stop) for around 400€.

      By the way, I have also written a detailed travel guide about Rome, with all the best things to do and itineraries to visit the city in 3 days, you can read it here: The 25 best things to do in Rome.

      Don’t hesitate if you have any other questions.

  11. Vincent

    Hi,

    I am planning for a three week trip to Sicily in Mid August. I plan to rent a car.

    I am researching places now but was wondering what places you recommended. I am interested in nature, culture and history.

    I know that it will require driving but is it possible to base myself in certain places (of an area) for a couple of days and then do day trips to surrounding areas?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Vincent
      Vincent

      Hi Vicky,

      The thing is, in Sicily, all the 99% of the must-see attractions are located along the coast. So to visit, you really need to drive around the island.

      It’s not really possible to do it with only 3-4 stops for example, you would end up driving 5 or 6 hours per day!

      For a first long stay in Sicily, I recommend doing the itinerary I talk about in my “How to spend 2 weeks in Sicily” article. You can read it here: 2 weeks Itinerary in Sicily.

      It’s a 9 stops itinerary, and the only ones you can group together are “2) Syracuse / Ortigia Island (2 days)” with “3) Noto / Ragusa / Modica (1 day)”. You can spend one more night in Syrcause and visit Noto/Ragusa and Modica as a day trip. You will waste a bit of time, but as you have 3 weeks, that’s alright in your case!

      As you have 3 weeks in Sicily, in addition to the itinerary I linked above, you definitely should add a few days on the Aeolian Islands. 4 days would be a good start to explore them.

      If you have any questions to plan your trip to Sicily (advices for your itinerary draft, best places to stay in a city or anything else), don’t hesitate to ask me 🙂

  12. Vincent

    Hi,
    Thanks for this very informative site; it’s really helped me plan our trip to Sicily. Thought I’d leave you my itinerary to get your opinion on if we will manage with what we doing:

    – Day 1: Arrive in Palermo pm
    – Day 2: Palermo
    – Day 3: (road trip begins) am Cefalù/ pm Taormina (sleep in T)
    – Day 4: Taormina/ Castelmola- drive to Syracuse (sleep in S)
    – Day 5: Syracuse
    – Day 6: Syracuse + Ortigia (drive to Catania/ sleep in C)
    – Day 7: Catania
    – Day 8: Catania…pm ferry to Amalfi

    U think it’s all good ? Can you recommend any accommodation ?

    Thanks,
    Dan

  13. Vincent

    Hi Vincent
    There is so much to see and do I think I need a month!
    However, we are flying into Palermo late evening and have then 5 nights for a road trip. We want to see Palermo, Agrigento and Syracuse and whatever you suggest along the way. We are then heading for Taormina where we have a hotel booked for a week. We went there last year and loved it so decided to see a little more of the Island first.
    Would really appreciate your help.

    Thank you

    Agnes

    • Vincent
      Vincent

      Hi Agnes,

      If you want to visit Palermo, Agrigento and Syracuse during your road trip before going to Taormina, I suggest you the following itinerary:

      – Day 1: arrive in Palermo – Night in Palermo

      – Day 2: Visit Palermo. If you have time, you can also go to Monreale town to see the cathedral. Night in Palermo

      – Day 3: Go to Agrigento (2 hours by car) and visit the Valley of Temples. At the end of the afternoon, you can head to the Scala dei Turchi beach to watch the sunset. Night in Agrigento.

      – Day 4: Discover the 3 baroque cities: Ragusa, Modica, Noto and then head to Syracuse. Night in Syracuse.

      – Day 5: Visit Syracuse and Ortigia. Night in Syracuse.

      – Day 6: Visit Catania and night in Catania or Taormina (depends if you count the first night in Palermo in the 5 nights total or not).

      If you have other questions to plan your trip to Sicily, don’t hesitate!

      • Vincent

        Thank you Vincent. The 5 nights includes the first night in Palermo but we can drive to Catania from Taormina for a day trip.
        Do you think we would have time to visit Trapani/Erice on our full day in Palermo?

        • Vincent
          Vincent

          From Palermo to Erice, it’s 2 hours by car, so it’s too short to do Palermo + Erice on the same day.

          If you prefer, you can skip Palermo and do a day trip to Erice.

          From Palermo, you can take the coastal road, go to the Zingaro Nature Reserve or see some nice beaches around San Vito Lo Capo and Monte Cofano (Bue Marino beach for example) for the first part of the day.

          Then head to Erice, try to be there around 4-5pm.

          Erice is very small, so 1h30-2 hours is really enough and Trapani city iself isn’t very interesting (not worth going).

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