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Difficulty with transport Malta - Sicily return

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Hi, hoping someone may have caught the ferry between Malta and Sicily as we are planning and can offer advice. We have 3 weeks in Sept/Oct and are going to Malta and hoped to have about 5 days in Sicily as part of the trip. It seems more difficult that it should be - the ferries go to Pozallo or Catania in Sicily. Catania would suit us better as public transport links seem better to get to Taormina and Siracusa for a few nights each, plus it's closer. But the ferry to Catania leaves Malta at 5.00am and they don't run every day. If we catch the ferry to Pozallo which arrives at 9.30am, it seems the next train to Siracusa or Catania is not until 2.45pm. I have also read to avoid travelling on a Sunday as public trpt is almost non existent. We are not keen on hiring a car having experienced mad Italian drivers before.

Any help gratefully received. We have considered the one day Sicily tours offered by Virtu Ferries but prefer to have more than a one day visit. Flying seems an expensive option.

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