Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Cefalu: Should we rent a car? Where should we stay?

Cefalu: Should we rent a car? Where should we stay?

Old May 10th, 2009, 07:57 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3
Cefalu: Should we rent a car? Where should we stay?

My fiance and I going to be in Florence for a wedding in July, and thought we would spend a week in Sicily, because neither of us have ever been there. We are more interested in relaxing (hanging out at the beach, going for walks and dinners, cooking occasionally) than extensive site-seeing---as in we want a real vacation, not a vacation where when you get home you need a vacation from the vacation.

An Italian friend recommended that we base ourselves in Cefalu--we are planning to rent an apartment for the week and hang out at the beach and take a couple of day trips to other beaches and islands.

Do you think Cefalu is a good base for a relaxing beach vacation? can we rent a car from cefalu, and if so do we need to arrange it ahead of time? do we need to rent a car, or is it easier to get around sicily via train? we are flying in and out of palermo in mid-july.

i was also thinking of staying on the aeolian islands instead, but we thought we would have a few more options staying on the mainland.

any advice on cefalu, beaches, or sicily in general would be much appreciated.
dragonfly_tx is offline  
Old May 10th, 2009, 08:24 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 18,871
Hi dragonfly,

Cefalu is charming town, a fishing village that is dominated by the magnificent duomo and "la rocca", which you can climb. There's a sandy beach right in town, and a number of accommodations to choose from, both in town and just outside. I stayed at the Hotel Kalura, a full service resort just outside town, with its own beach and an easy walk to town. There was a low rise vacation apt. rental complex right nearby, but I don't recall the name.

I think Cefalu is an ideal spot for a relaxing vacation. I spent two weeks there about 10 years ago, taking an Italian class in the morning and just chilling the rest of the day, swimming, day trips, exploring, whatever.

I don't think you need a car, especially if you want to relax. You can take the train from there to most places of interest, e.g., Palermo, Agrigento, and there's hydrofoil service to the Aeolian Islands from Cefalu.
panecott is offline  
Old May 10th, 2009, 08:29 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 18,871
P.S. I only visited the Aeolian Islands on a day trip, but plan to go back for a longer stay. The Islands are definitely an option for a relaxing vacation, and there is boat service among them, so I'm sure you wouldn't be bored there for a week and would have plenty of options to explore.
I guess it depends on whether there are specific places you want to see, and whether they're more easily reached from the mainland or the islands.
panecott is offline  
Old May 10th, 2009, 06:45 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3
Thanks Panecott,

I'm going to push for not renting a car---I enjoy traveling by train anyways. I think we'll stay in Cefalu since it's our first time going to Sicily---maybe next time we can pick a place we really like and just stay there.

Thanks for your advice
dragonfly_tx is offline  
Old May 11th, 2009, 04:53 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 33,143
I started to attend a language school in Cefalu and their website has quite a bit of information about the area and a link to apartments. Pay attention to location as some apartments are for another school they have that is closer to Palermo. There is also a rental car link on their website although parking might be a problem if you stay in the city center. I would suggest training from Palermo to Cefalu as many people have said driving in Palermo was not fun.
kybourbon is offline  
Old May 11th, 2009, 05:52 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,298
Unless you are planning to visit out of the way towns and national parks in Sicily, there is no need for a car. Trains and buses are fine for most places. If you do rent a car in Sicily, be VERY careful and pay constant attention. The problem driving in the cities is obvious, but the problem with driving out in the country side can be much worse. Traffic and road conditions are very misleading. It appears there isn't much traffic at all, and you can get a false sense of security from this, but, !! ANYTHING can come out of ANYWHERE at ANY speed at ANY second.
Cefalu is a beautiful town, and a great base. It will be busy in July and August.
TravMimi is offline  
Old May 11th, 2009, 06:27 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
Cefalu is a most charming town.

Driving in Sicily is a contradiction. While on the highways the rules are followed, on the smaller roads and especially in the cities, it is a free-for-all. At first, I was intimidated but then I simply joined in. In fact, I took off someone's side view mirror at the airport in Palermo much to the horror and exilerhation of my niece. Her friend who accompanied us, proposed to every woman in the street under the age of 30 in Cefalu, he was so intoxicated with the town and the women.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Old May 11th, 2009, 06:51 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 18,871
Solemar is the language class I took in Cefalu 10 years ago. It was great. I was there in early September and there were only 3 other students, a German woman on my level, and her husband and a Swiss woman in the beginner class. It was like having private lessons.
We were at the Kalura, which I don't think is offered anymore, but the prices for the classes and accommodations still appear to be incredibly reasonable. There were many more students in the Mongerbino classes.

Your first sentence wasn't too clear. Have you taken the course, or are you planning to?
panecott is offline  
Old May 11th, 2009, 06:53 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 18,871
dragonfly, you're welcome. And you've received a few more votes for Cefalu. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
panecott is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Mar 29th, 2016 08:52 AM
Mar 1st, 2015 10:25 AM
Dec 15th, 2009 01:41 PM
Jun 4th, 2007 12:49 PM
Sep 5th, 2006 03:05 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information