Help with 14 night Sicily Trip

Jun 3rd, 2006, 11:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 318
Thanks to all of your helpful advice. I have been all over the board’s trip reports going back to 2002. I have come up with a new itinerary.

Here is the new question, we have one extra night. I'm not sure where to put it. Originally, we thought of Castellamare del Golfo for one night before Palermo.

Also, a question for Gail. As you can see we are pretty much copying your itinerary, except backwards. I like the idea of Resort Baglio Oneto. Are there local restaurants in the area, or is it remote. We are looking for an alternative to Selinute – Hotel Alceste, which may not appeal to us. Again, budget is 150 - 275 euros.

3 nights Taomina – Hotel Schuler
Tour Taomina/Castelmola/GeoExplorer Tour of Etna

Pick up Car

3 nights Siracusa – Grand Hotel or Domus Mariae
Tour Siracusa/Baroque Towns Noto, Ragusa etc.

1 night Agrigento – Hotel Villa Athena or Camere con Vista
Via Piazza Amerina (IS THIS TOO LONG OF A DAY??)
Tour Valla de Templi the next morning

3 nights Marsala – Resort Baglio Oneto
Tour Selinute & Segesta/Tour West Coast

3 nights Palermo – Central Palace Hotel
Via Monreale Cathedral
Drop off car
Tour Palermo

All suggestions are appreciated.
easygoer is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2006, 12:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 330
I like your new itinerary. My only suggestion is to consider getting an early start from Taormina and going to Etna on route to to Siracusa. This way you enter one way and exit another seeing both sides, plus save some time by not backtracking. Driving in and out of Taormina is a challenge and takes more time than just what the mileage indicates. Maybe someone knows how long it does take as I don't recall.

As an aside, when we were there, the mountain was clouded over by 11:00 AM everyday.

The only reason to stay at Castellamare del Golfo is to avoid getting to Palermo after a full day of activity. While I enjoyed walking around the port, you will have seen a lot of ports by this time. The Al Madarig has free street parking right in front of the hotel so it is very convenient, plus easy to find. It would be a relatively easy drive to Monreale the next morning. Actually, I would head for Palermo and go to Monreale by bus rather than drive as you will probably have had enough of driving and getting lost by then.

Where are you returning the car in Palermo? We had difficulty finding the place within the city as there are no signs (not unusual). Perhaps this will help. From the center of the city, go past Central Station and make the very first right. Then I think it is the next right into an un-named and un-manned lot for all rental cars (no sign). Just find your rental company name on a space, park and lock, and go inside the terminal building to return the keys.

About that extra night. I think I would stay in Palermo as there is lots to see and you could do it at a leisurely pace. I really did like walking around the city. Also, if you are there on a Sunday, just about everything is closed before 1:00.
evelyntrav is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2006, 02:17 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 318
Thanks Evelyn, I was wondering about where to drop off the car in Palermo. I also like your idea about the bus to Monreale. That would make sense if we added an extra night to Palermo. Where did you stay in Palermo?

I also found out that we will be on the west coast for the Cous Cous Festival in San Vito lo Capo. How cool with that be!

easygoer is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2006, 02:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 330
I had mentioned our B&B earlier and told a little about it:

The website has photos. It is really unique and it is an "only in Sicily" type of place. It was recommended on this site so do a search on "ai acartari" both here and on trip advisor.

Nice idea about going to the CousCous festival. Have fun.
evelyntrav is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2006, 07:32 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 318
Ok, I am interested in Aicartari instead of Centrale Palace; my hubby is not a B & B kind of guy. Actually, we have never stayed in one. The photos are intriguing. We/he loves the comforts of a hotel. How do I convince my guy to try a B&B?
easygoer is offline  
Jun 4th, 2006, 06:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 330
It is true that a Centrale Palace would be more comfortable than Ai Cartari, also more predictable. Ai Cartari is not a typical B&B. There are only two units and both have private entrances from a courtyard used as a carpark. It is not in a pretty neighborhood, but an historical one. When we opened the door, we said "WOW, this is incredible." The bed is not the most comfortable and there is no 24-hour service. For breakfast, we were given a voucher to go around the corner to a noted restaurant. We went there for the experience and it was a fun place to stay. We knew we "weren't in Kansas" anymore.

Along with hotels, we have stayed at many B&B's in our travels and found that there are huge variations among them. We also prefer small, boutique hotels to large ones. It is all a matter of preference.
evelyntrav is offline  
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