Help for 2 weeks in Sicily

Feb 20th, 2015, 05:46 AM
  #1  
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Help for 2 weeks in Sicily

My grown daughters (28,31) and I will be in Sicily for two weeks starting the end of May. Part of the trip is to visit ancestral home of my grandparents in Caltanisetta and Enna as well as some hiking, scuba diving, and sightseeing. My beginning itinerary is as follows
Day 1-3 Palermo with 1/2 day in Ustica for scuba diving
Day 4 -5 Monreal, Erice, Tapani, Selinunte
Day 6-7 Selinunte, Sciacci, Agrigento
Day 7-8 Caltanisetta, Enna to Catania
Day 9 Catania to Mt. Etna & back
Day 10 Taormina, Giardini-Naxos and drive to Cefalu
Day 11 Cefalu and Parco Regionale Delle Madonie
Day 12 Parco Regionale Delle Madonie
and 2 days somewhere? Is this too ambitious? Should I stay longer at certain places or shorter? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
dchal09 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2015, 06:17 AM
  #2  
 
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It's not clear to me where you're staying those nights. For example where are you planning to be sleeping Days 4-5? Monreale is only 12 km from Palermo? Are you renting a car?

One thing we found in Sicily (particularly the western side) is the roads are great and you can base yourself in one place and cover a lot of ground as day trips (we like driving though).
Elizabeth_S is online now  
Feb 20th, 2015, 06:58 AM
  #3  
 
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dchal--I don't think it's too ambitious.

If you have more time, stay in Siracusa--on Ortygia. And even if you don't try to find a couple of nites to stay there. One of the highlights of Sicily.

I'd also spend another nite in Palermo and visit Monreale from there.

As Elizabeth says, the roads are excellent. We easily drove from Erice to Agrigento in one day, spending an afternoon at Selinunte. And later from Agrigento to Siracusa in one day, stopping at the Roman Villa and Morgantina.

I would also follow Elizabeth's advice and make a per nite plan for where you will be staying.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Feb 20th, 2015, 11:37 AM
  #4  
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That was a very general plan. I'm thinking of staying 3 days in Palermo or near there, Day 4-drive along the coast to Scopella, Zingaro Nature Preserve, Erice, Trapani and stay near the salt plains near Marsala. Day 5- Drive to Selinunte, Sciacca, and Agrigento with evening in Agrigento
Day 6- Drive to Caltanisetta and Enna and Catania. Should I take a side trip to Piazza Armerina? Should we stay in Catania as a base for Mt. Etna? Day 7 Mt. Etna Is it best to drive and take the cable car or is a tour the way to go. Day 8- Taormina,Castelemola, Cefalu with evening in Parco Regionalle Delle Madonie Day 9 Day in Parco Regionalle Delle Madonie
dchal09 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2015, 11:48 AM
  #5  
 
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Do you have enough time in Agrigento? I'd allow at least half a day.

Piazza Armerini only if you get there very early or very late to avoid the tour buses. Morgantina is an interesting Greek archaeological site near there. The afternoon I went I was the only one there beside the ticket-taker and his dog.

We stayed in Catania and drove to Mt. Etna. If I were going to see the volcano, I'd probably take a tour.
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Feb 20th, 2015, 05:39 PM
  #6  
kja
 
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I must admit that this plan would be too ambitious for MY tastes, but then, my tastes are different than yours!

That said, it isn't entirely clear to me that you will actually have time to visit / do the things you aim to do with this plan. If you haven't already done so, 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 drive time (check viamichelin.com), add some time on either side (for checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting oriented, etc.). Then see how things fit together.

Enjoy!
kja is offline  
Mar 9th, 2015, 06:38 AM
  #7  
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On Day 9, we were planning to go to Mt. Etna from Catania. Is it better to drive to Nicolosi and see Mt. Etna from there or is it better to just do a day trip from Catania? Does Mt. Etna merit more than 1 day? We're going to stay one day and night in Agigrento.

We're going end of May to early June. Is it necessary to start booking hotels and B&Bs or can we wing it? I would prefer to wing it so if one area suited us better we could stay there.
dchal09 is offline  
Mar 9th, 2015, 06:45 AM
  #8  
kja
 
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Re: Mt. Etna -- You might want to join an organized tour because (a) you can't drive the upper part and (b) the tour will give you easier access to the various forms of transportation that you will have to reach if you go to the top. If possible, take a tour that includes the Gole Alcantara. The tour I took left from Taormina, but I'm sure there are tours from Catania, too. Be sure to take clothing appropriate to very cold winds, and consider taking protective eye glasses.

At that time of year, I personally would not try to wing it unless you are willing to (a) not find a place, (b) spend a LOT of time finding a place, and © spend more than you might otherwise spend.
kja is offline  
Mar 14th, 2015, 04:46 PM
  #9  
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New plan: day 1-3 Palermo
day4-5 Marsala
day 6-7 Agrigento
day 7-8 enna
day 9 Noto
day 10-11 Catania
day 12-13 petralia sottana

day 14 palermo
Should i spend another day in Noto. I'm planning to use Catania as a base to see Mt. Etna, maybe I should spend one night in
dchal09 is offline  
Mar 14th, 2015, 04:48 PM
  #10  
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I'm planning to spend 2 days in most places so that it's not so rushed. Im finding most of my places to stay on airbnb. Anyone have experience with them?
dchal09 is offline  
Mar 14th, 2015, 05:02 PM
  #11  
kja
 
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Do you already have your flights? If not, try to fly into Palermo and out of Catania or vice versa. If you do already have your flights, then you might want to put all of your time in Palermo at the end of your trip to eliminate one hotel stay.

2 days in Enna is a LOT -- there isn't that much to do there, IMHO. But I think you said you have family there?

1 day is plenty for Noto.

No time in Siracusa? I loved Ortygia.

No time for the Villa Romana del Casale? One of Sicily's absolute highlights, IMO.

If you search the forums (use the box at the upper right of your screen that is marked, "Search the Forums") you will find LOTS of info on airbnb.
kja is offline  
Mar 14th, 2015, 05:36 PM
  #12  
 
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You may enjoy these images in May in Sicily. We loved Selinunte---allow 3 hours if you can.

http://www.slowphotos.com/photo/show...y.php?cat=3828
bobthenavigator is offline  
Mar 14th, 2015, 06:13 PM
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We will be in Sicily at the end of April and fist 2 weeks May. As I was booking our stays, several places were already booked esp on weekends.
yestravel is offline  
Mar 15th, 2015, 05:34 AM
  #14  
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Would it be better to stay 2 nights in agrigento, 1 night in enna, 2 nights in Syracuse ans just visit Noto on the way to syracuse
dchal09 is offline  
Mar 15th, 2015, 05:53 AM
  #15  
 
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air bnb is great but i have had better success using trip advisor's vacation rentals for europe
toledodd is offline  
Mar 15th, 2015, 06:33 AM
  #16  
 
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<< Would it be better to stay 2 nights in agrigento, 1 night in enna, 2 nights in Syracuse ans just visit Noto on the way to syracuse >>

Yes, and stay on Ortigia in Syracuse. Noto is 20 or 30 minutes past Syracuse.

Too bad you're missing the Villa Romana at Casale. And Taormina has magnificent views of the coast. Touristy as it is, I'd rather stay there than Catania.
Mimar is online now  
Mar 15th, 2015, 06:40 AM
  #17  
 
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Yes, agree with Mimar, have to stay in Taormina. You only need one night in Agrigento. One night in Syracuse.
huddoshols is offline  
Mar 15th, 2015, 03:33 PM
  #18  
kja
 
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"Would it be better to stay 2 nights in agrigento, 1 night in enna, 2 nights in Syracuse ans just visit Noto on the way to syracuse"

IMO, yes! YMMV.

You don't necessarily need 2 nights in Agrigento. For example, you could get there before sunset one evening, have dinner, see the sights the next day, and then leave in the late afternoon. With SO much to see in Sicily, you might want to consider that option.

The idea of staying in Taormina rather than Catania is also worth considering.
kja is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2015, 05:38 AM
  #19  
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Is it possible to buy a prepaid local cell phone when we're in Italy as I have to contact my airbnb hosts when I'm there.

Also, I decided one night in Agrigento, 2 in Enna, 2 in Syracuse, 2 in Taormina and either Cefalu and/or Parco Regionale delle Madonie with last night near the airport in Palermo. Any recommendations for either Cefalu, Parco Regionalle or Palermo?
dchal09 is offline  

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