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18 days in Sicily - Itinerary recommendations

18 days in Sicily - Itinerary recommendations

Old Jan 7th, 2018, 12:48 PM
  #1  
Nai
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Join Date: Jan 2018
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18 days in Sicily - Itinerary recommendations

Hello!

My partner and I will be spending 18 days in Sicily on our honeymoon. We have a rough itinerary (below) with a few things we do not want to miss. I am looking for advice in terms of time frame and highlights from your experience. We will be in Sicily in June. I know this is a busy very touristy time, so if anyone has recommendations of place to visit that are beautiful but less touristy around the island please let me know! Also we will likely rent a car in Sicily.

-Land in Catania from Rome and move directly to Syracuse for a day or so
- Coem back up to hike Mount Etna (I have found mixed reviews with some saying it is now polluted and very touristy - thoughts?)
-Taormina (a couple of days)
-Stop in Milazzo to go to the Aeolian islands (if anyone has recommendations as to which island to use as a base and why, and how much time they recommend spending on the islands, please share!)
-Cefalu with a stop at the Fiumara d'Arte close by (A couple of days?)
-Palermo as a base from which to explore: -Mondello beach, Riserva dello Zingaro and Isola delle femine. I'd also really like to see Scalla dei Turchi but it seems kind of out of the way.
-Leave from Palermo

Grazie in anticipo!
Nai is offline  
Old Jan 7th, 2018, 01:50 PM
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-Land in Catania from Rome and move directly to Syracuse for a day or so<

Agriento and its marvelous Greek temples was about the most awesome place I went on Sicily and not far from Syracuse.

Don't miss Montreale in Palermo. And Segusta temples not far west of Palermo are cool.

Nothing much in Taormina - though nice base.

anyways looks like a great trip and well-paced.
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Old Jan 7th, 2018, 03:30 PM
  #3  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Sicily is delightful!

For your time in Siracusa, consider staying on Ortygia.

What, exactly, do you mean by hiking Mt. Etna? The lower reaches only? Hiking around the area with vineyards? Trying to go near the top?

The views from Taormina are stunning and the town has some charm, but it is so overrun by day-trippers during the day that it can be quite unpleasant.

For your time in the Aeolians, search Fodor’s for a wonderful trip report by Dayle.

I think you are right that the Scalla dei Turchi are too far to fit with your current plan, although if you were to include a night or two in Agrigento, for the Valley of the Temples, you could work it in rather easily.

While in Palermo, consider making time for the cathedral in Monreale. It is, IMO, among the world’s most beautiful man-made spaces.

Just to be clear: You are not interested in the Greek ruins of Sicily? Or its Baroque Towns? Or the stunning Roman mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale? I’m only asking because many people visit Sicily specifically for these treasures.
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Old Jan 7th, 2018, 05:18 PM
  #4  
Nai
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Thank you PalenQ and kja for your feedback. I think we will skip Taormina. I really do want to avoid the crowds.

I also think we will add Agrigento and skip Siracusa. I don't know if Scalla dei Turchi is very crowded? I'm not sure if it is a popular destination.

kja, I would love to try and go near the top. I have not looked into Mt. Etna that closely yet. I was not aware that there were vineyards but now that I know I would love to visit this part as well. Any recommendations would be more than welcomed.

To clarify: yes, we are interested in Greek ruins. I cannot say I am that interested in Sicilian Baroque architecture.

We are very interested in Sicilian cuisine and wine and current visual arts practices. I am very excited to see the Fiumara d'Arte.

I think what we would mostly like is to experience a less touristic side of Sicily (if that is even possible in June). So again, recommendations welcomed.

Thanks again for your previous feedback and recommendations!
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Old Jan 7th, 2018, 05:33 PM
  #5  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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I think you would do well to do a lot more research before finalizing your itinerary.

If you are interested in the Greek ruins, you need to make time for them. The main ones are in Agrigento, Selinunte, Segeste, and Siracusa, and then there’s the Roman-modified Greek temple in Taormina.

I could be wrong, but I would doubt if the Scalla dei Turchi would be overly crowded.

The only way I know to reach the top of Mt. Etna is to join a group tour that takes the better part of a day; there could easily be other options. When going by tour, one reaches the main part of the summit by a combination of bus, train, bus again, cable car, strange heavy vehicle suited to the terrain, and maybe a funicular in there, too? Once on the main summit, one can hike to the actual summit, conditions permitting. I’m sure you can get of at various points to do some hiking; I have no idea exactly where one would do that or how you would get back. You would definitely need to do some research if that’s your goal. The Rough Guide and Lonely Planet would probably be your best bets for guidebooks, but you’ll need to do research beyond them, too.

You should have no problem eating and drinking well in Sicily.
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Old Jan 7th, 2018, 05:47 PM
  #6  
Nai
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Thank you kja! Yes, I definitely have more research to do! An yes, I very much look forward to the eating and drinking!
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Old Jan 7th, 2018, 06:32 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Hello Nai,

I did love the Aeolian Islands and spent 5 days there. I would have loved a couple more! If you read some of the Sicily TRs here, it might give you some ideas of places to visit and what is possible in various lengths of time. Personally, I love reading detailed TRs that give Fodorites impressions because those help me get an understanding of what I might like or not like.

Really do some research. I know my own trip started with the desire to visit the islands, but as I read more about Sicily the trip became 3 1/2 weeks!

Thanks for the compliment kja!
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Old Jan 8th, 2018, 06:05 AM
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Greek cities:
Siracusa, Taormina, Agrigento, Segesta, Selinunte.
The first 2 are easy to reach by bus from Catania airport, the latter 3 in day trips from Palermo.
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