Roadtrip in Sicily!
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Sep 7, 2012 9:32 AM Last Post By: Lula58
Sep 4, 2012 11:41 PM
Roadtrip in Sicily!Hello everyone! My best friend and I are about to embark on a 10 day roadtrip through Sicily in late September/early October. We would love some advice from our fellow travelers. We love good food, wine, nightlife, beaches, and are huge nerds when it comes to ancient history (seriously, nerds!) Anyone have good suggestions for restaurants, bars, scenic drives, and must see sights? Also, does anyone know when the grape harvest occurs this year? Here is our itinerary:
Fly into Catania, pick up rental car, drive to Taormina (should be interesting after 15 hours on the plane!)
Stay in Taormina 2 nights
Drive to Cefalu Stay 1 night (we're thinking of seeing Roman Villa Casale on our way to Cefalu, is that doable? Should we get a guide for the tour of the villa?)
Drive to Palermo (possible lunch at Corleone) stay Palermo 2 nights (We are terrified of driving in Palermo! Any suggestions?)
Drive to La Foresteria in Menfi, see Seguesta on the way then take a tour of the winery (I really want to stop by Erice but we have to be at the winery at 2 so I'm not sure that works.)
Drive to Modica 2 nights Here is a big question: can we see Seliunte and the Valley of the Temples both in 1 day? If not, which one does everyone recommend? I'm leaning toward Seliunte for the scenery but wonder if I'll regret missing the Valley of the Temples.
Drive to Sryacuse 2 nights
Fly to Rome for 6 nights (this will be our second trip to Rome, we've done the big stuff: Forum, Vaticant etc. Going back to hit Ostia Antica and Hadrian's Villa. WOuld love suggestions on cool neighborhood walks or great restaurants)
Edited by: Lula58
Sep 5, 2012 4:17 AM
1Parking in Palermo is even worse than driving, we left our car at the hotel and took busses in Palermo, don't miss the catacombs there, a little hard to find but the busstopp is just around the corner.
Seliunte and Valley of the temples are both pretty big, trying to do them in a day will be very rushed and you have to be good walkers, I liked both of them so hard to recommend one or the other, since we didn't have a GPS we lost quite some time finding them the road signs are not very clear.
If you stay on the freeway it might be possible to visit the Villa Casale, but that means going back from Taormina to Catania, we took the back roads from S. Stefano di Camastra towards Agrigento
and thought that we could visit V.C. on the way, by the time we were in Enna it was so late that we had to skip it.
Sep 5, 2012 11:10 AM
Would you say it's worth the extra money for a GPS in the rental car?
Our hotel in Palermo does have a parking lot so we definitely plan to use the bus once we're there. It's getting in and out of Palermo that has me a bit nervous! Did you by chance visit Monreale or Cappella Palatina? I'm wondering if it's worth a trip to Monreale if we see Cappella while in Palermo. I've heard the mosaics at Cappella are better.
I figured we probably couldn't fit both Seliunte and the Valley of the Temples in one day. Ugh! I don't know how to decide! I heard Seliunte is more scenic but the Valley is better preserved. I'm leaning toward scenic. It's a hard choice.
I know we're back tracking a bit trying fit Villa Casale in between Taormina and Cefalu. I don't know where else to put it though! It's the #1 sight I want to see in Sicily! I'm a nut for Ancient Rome! I thought about doing Seliunte or the Valley of the Temples and Villa Casale in the same day but everything I've read says we won't have time. I also really want to find time to see the stair in Caltagirone but I'm not sure that will happen. I wish I had months there! I want to see everything!
Sep 6, 2012 2:15 AM
3I think you are trying to cover far too much.
With 10 days you can try to see some of half of the island, not the whole.
To give you an idea we had 12 days and a rental car. We've spent 2 days in Palermo and picked up the rental car when exiting, 2 nights in Scopello, then 6 nights in various locations in the west and the south, and finally 2 nights in Noto after which we had an outgoing flight from Catania. We couldn't cover more and found it a rather rushed and intensive trip to our standards.
Sep 6, 2012 9:53 AM
4We always drive by maps, but in Sicily I really wished we had a GPS, we had a hotel adress in Agrigento so we drove into town, after going around in circles we finally found it 10 km away from Agrigento and not speaking italian didn't help.
In Palermo we only used the freeway to get through our hotel was at the edge of town so rather easy to drive to, we came from Trapani, leaving the hotel the freeway was very close to it so no problem.
No we didn't make it to Monreal we had even less time than you do, also we never made it to the east side of Sicily.
If you really want to see VC, Valley of Temples and Selinute, you could drive from Catania to VC,
Valley of Temples, Selinute and over to Palermo, but then you have an itinerary and you picked places you want to see for a reason, I agree with #3 that you try to fit to much into the 10 days, you
just can't see it all, I always try to too, but it doesn't work since a day has only 24 hours ; )).
Sep 7, 2012 9:32 AM
5Thanks for all your help! Does anyone know a good walking tour guide in Palermo?
(3 star Hotel)
From US$86.35 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$694.75 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$251.39 per night