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Help - 2 Week Sicily Itinerary (First Draft)

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Aug 26th, 2015, 04:38 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Aug 2015
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Help - 2 Week Sicily Itinerary (First Draft)

Hi All,


My wife and I will be flying into Palermo, Sicily on Saturday, May 7th and departing out of Palermo on Saturday, May 21st.

We will also be traveling with our 1.5 year old daughter (Stella).

We are looking for a relaxing vacation, that involves beaches, old scenic villages, and moderate sightseeing given our daughters age.


Because we are flying into Palermo, I thought it may be best to rent a car from the airport and begin our trip in Cefalu.


I was thinking of doing 2 nights in Cefalu (is this too much or too little time spent in Cefalu?) ---- would Palermo be a better beginning base?


and then taking a trip to the Aeolian Islands (will it be too cold for the Aeolians??)


We were thinking of doing 2 nights in Salina and 2 nights on Panerea or Stromboli (or would three nights in each place be better? or should we be choosing one island for 3 nights ).


After that, we would then plan on going to Taormina for 3 nights (as base camp to vist Etna etc.)


From there we would then move on to Ortygia, Siracusa for 3 nights.


Then we could either finish our trip in Erice for 2 nights, or depending on whether we started in Palermo (instead of Cefalu), we could end in Palermo for the two nights?


I am just beginning the planning phase of the trip. Only the plane tickets have been purchased....the rest is a clean slate.


Again, we are looking for a relaxing vacation, with moderate sightseeing!


Thanks in advance for your help.
dcarollolaw is offline  
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Aug 26th, 2015, 05:15 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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I know you are looking for only moderate sightseeing but I would not miss Agrigento. Also, plan at least two full days in Palermo and be certain to visit Monreale from there. Otherwise your trip looks good.
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Aug 26th, 2015, 06:14 AM
  #3
kja
 
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"Because we are flying into Palermo, I thought it may be best to rent a car from the airport and begin our trip in Cefalu."

If there is ANY chance that you will experience jet lag, then please note that one consequence of jet lag is a substantial increase in microsleep episodes, which are so short that you aren't even aware of them, but that are strongly associated with car accidents. Please consider your options for using public transportation for at least a day or two! It is easy to get from Palermo to Cefalu by public transportation.

"we would then plan on going to Taormina for 3 nights (as base camp to vist Etna etc.)"

The views from Taormina are stunning, but Taormina itself can be so overrun by day-trippers as to make it unpleasantly crowded IME. If you MUST base in the area, consider Castlemola (above Taormina) or Giardini Naxos (below) or stay in Taormina with your eyes wide open and with plans to avoid the worst of the tourists onslaughts.

"we could end in Palermo for the two night"

depending on your interests, 2 nights might not be enough for fascinating Palermo. I recommend that you get some good guidebooks (or spend some time with a few in your local library), identify the things you most want to see in each location, note their opening/closing times, and mark them on a calendar. Then pencil in your transportation, add some time on either side (for getting to/from your lodging, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting oriented, etc.). Then see how things fit together.

FWIW, I thought the two most unskippable places in Sicily were (1) the cathedral and cloisters of Monreale, just outside Palermo and (s) the mosaics and villa of the Villa Romana del Casale. My 3rd "best" of Siciliy would be the Valle dei Templi in Agrigento, with the ruins or Selinunte and Segesta as runners-up -- but it all depends on YOUR interests. Your current plan might give you time for Monreale (but certainly not enough for the highlights of Palermo, IMO), and you don't seem to have carved out any time for the Villa Romana del Casale or the magnificent Greek ruins is Agrigento, Selinunte, OR Sagesta. If these sites are of interest to you, I think you might want to adjust your plans.

Hope that helps!
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Aug 26th, 2015, 06:49 AM
  #4
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If instead we chose to forego staying at the second Aeolian island for two nights (which one should we choose ? Salina/Panerea or Stromboli??), then we could add in a 2 night stay in Agrigento; would this allow us enough time to visit the ruins there?

Also, would I be better of with an initial base in Palermo vs. Cefalu so that we could visit Monreale? Or given that we will be with small child would Cefalu be a better hub in the beginning stage of our trip?
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Aug 26th, 2015, 07:04 AM
  #5
kja
 
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IME, as a solo traveler, visiting the ruins at Agrigento took the better part of a day -- maybe 5 or 6 hours on site plus another 2 hours for the museum, IIRC. So yes, I think switching some time from an island to Agrigento would let you see the ruins there. You might even be able to manage with just one night.

I, personally, prefer to be in the city from which my departure flight is scheduled in advance of my flight, so if you are flying out of Palermo, I would put all my time there at the end of your trip if you can.

Must you fly into and out of the same city? You might want to look at open jaw flights -- into one city (Catania?) and out of another (Palermo?) -- doing so might avoid some backtracking

I can't speak to what would be best for you or your family....
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Aug 26th, 2015, 07:21 AM
  #6
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So maybe something like this:

Fly into Palermo on Saturday, May 7th; rent a car and drive to Cefalu (stay 2 nights) - - could vist Palermo and Monreale while in Cefalu

Move onto Aeolian Island for 3 nights (What would be the best island to base at? Salina/Panerea?

Move onto Taormina (3 nights)

Move onto Ortygia Siracusa (3 Nights)

Move onto Agrigento (1 nights)

Move onto Erice or Palermo(2 nights) (seems that Erice to Palermo airport would only be a little over an hour of travel time so departing from Erice would not be terrible??)
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Aug 26th, 2015, 07:30 AM
  #7
kja
 
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"Fly into Palermo on Saturday, May 7th; rent a car"

As already noted, if there is ANY chance that you will experience jet lag, please consider your options for using public transportation for at least a day or two! You should be able to get to Cefalu easily without a rental car, and pick up a rental car when you leave Cefalu.


I still don't see where you would visit the Villa Romana del Casale, but maybe that's not a priority for you.

I would cut a night from Taormina to add more time for Palermo or Cefalu (if that's where you plan to base for Palermo) -- JMO. IME, there really isn't that much to do in Taormina....
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Aug 26th, 2015, 02:25 PM
  #8
 
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If you are flying into Palermo, why not go down the other side of the coast? It would be much easier. Go to the Egadi islands instead of the Aeolian islands.

http://www.italyheaven.co.uk/sicily/...favignana.html

You don't need to go far or drive a lot to see beautiful highlights of Sicily -- Greek temples, beautiful islands, visits to animal farms and markets, makers of ceramics. You can stay on this corner of the island.

I suggest you use a website like Best of Sicily + plus a guidebook and take a look at all there is to see and do between Palermo airport and Agrigento (and you don't need go as far south as Agrigento).

May should be beautiful weather with lost of beautiful flowers. If you are arriving jet lagged, consider spending your first night in San Vito Lo Capo. It's very close to the airport.

http://www.sanvitoweb.com

In fact, you can stay there your last night too.

But you'll be exhausted doing all that driving and you won't get anything of what you say you want in your first post -- beaches, old scenic villages, and moderate sightseeing given your daughters age. Instead, you'll just be racing around going to mega-tourist sights, trying to jam a lot in, and doing tiring drives between them. If I were your 1.5 year old kid, I'd leave you behind and head for the beach!
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Aug 26th, 2015, 02:41 PM
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This is a fun intereactive map of Sicily from Best of Sicily. I am suggesting you just lop off the "upper left" of Sicily, between Palermo airport and Agrigento, and spend your 2 weeks there, including a couple of days stay on Favignana Island

http://www.bestofsicily.com/localities.htm

In that area there are also smaller towns and agriturismi not shown on the map, but you can find information about them on the same website.

This blog has some good pictures of Favignana and you can see why it would be nice with a small child. You need to scroll down to see the pictures of Favignana

http://mondomulia.com/2015/08/10/dis...sicily-part-1/
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