Dear traveller friends,
Today I want to talk about one of the most renowned regions in Italy—Sicily.
Sicily is an Italian region quite extended and windy. As you know, it’s one of Italy’s main islands, and it’s full of beauties and treasures, but not all of them are easy to reach. If you want to make the most of your journey and visit all of it, you’re going to need two weeks. However, if you are short of time or you are willing to leave something out, ten days can be enough.
Italy has so much to offer that the idea of spending an entire vacation in a single region might sound excessive. However, Sicily is worth it. As an alternative, you can split your visit into two separate journeys. With a trip of five to seven days, you can visit the east coast, with Catania, Acireale, Siracusa and Taormina. With the second trip of about five days, you can visit the west coast and the backcountry, with Palermo, Cefalù and Agrigento.
How to get there
Sicily can be reached with two different means of transportation:
By ship. The main harbour is in Palermo. There dock ships from Civitavecchia and Naples. You could probably reach Sicily from other Italian ports too, but the trip is quite long. The best option is to reach Civitavecchia or Naples by train, bus or car, and board a ship from there. If possible, try to travel at night. This way you’ll reach Palermo in the morning, and you’ll be able to take advantage of a full day. As an alternative, you can reach Villa San Giovanni by car. It’s just north of Reggio Calabria, and it’s the harbour where you can board the ferry to Messina.
By plane. The main airports in Sicily are in Catania and Palermo. Depending on which part of the island you want to visit, you can choose among these two destinations.
Since public transportation isn’t very efficient in Sicily, you need to have a car. You can travel by ship boarding your own car, or rent one once you get to the island.
Where to sleep
Depending on the kind of journey you have in mind, you have two options. You can change hotel every night, following your itinerary. Or you can book a single facility, which is going to be your base. The first option allows you to save some time because you won’t have to travel back and forth from the hotel every day. With the second option though, you’ll be able to unpack just once, and your schedule will be more flexible. You’ll be able to change your daily destination depending on the weather or your preferences.
If you want to make a complete tour of the island, my suggestion is to change the hotel, following your itinerary.
Instead, if you only want to tour the eastern part, you should find a facility near Catania. Since Catania will be at the centre of your itinerary, you’ll be able to reach every other point of interest without much effort.
If you plan to visit the western part and the backcountry, the best solution is to choose two hotels, one in Palermo and another in Agrigento.
Why should you go?
Sicily is well known around the world, especially for its beaches and for Agrigento. However, this is an oversimplification. Sicily, in fact, can boast seven UNESCO World Heritage, for a total of twenty-five points of interests. But that’s not all. Here you can find culinary specialities, ancient hamlets, beautiful islands, and unique landscapes.
When to go?
Sicily has one of the mildest climates in Italy. It’s temperate in winter and really hot in summer. If you want to visit the shores, the best months are from June to September. If you’re going to tour the island, you should probably avoid July and August. At that time, the heat can be overwhelming. Not the ideal weather for excursions.
I hope I managed to raise your interest in this wonderful Italian region.
In my next post, I’m going to bring you to Catania and its surroundings.