Help with Itinerary Sicily and Malta

Old Apr 5th, 2014, 12:23 AM
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Help with Itinerary Sicily and Malta

I've read many posts from others who have traveled to Sicily and Malta and I thank you for all the great info. We have a chance to go, which came up quite suddenly, in May, next month!
Also, this is kind of an exploratory trip as my brother and his wife want to go with us maybe next year. and my grandfather's family immigrated from Cefalu, so that is a must. I don't think the itinerary I've come up with is doable---we don't really like to move around this much--so would appreciate what others would leave off.

Cefalu (2 days)
Siracusa (3 days)
Pozzallo -1 night to catch ferry
Malta (3 days()
1 day to get from Malta to Palermo
Palermo (3 days)

The way the ferry runs to Malta, we will have to stay in Malta longer, but I don't want to cut a day from Palermo or Siracusa. Any ideas?
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 01:20 AM
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We had a wonderful trip to Malta and Sicily about 10 years ago. We particularly liked Malta and stayed in Valletta at a small self contained studio that was an easy walk to anywhere within Valletta and only a few mins walk to the bus station. We used public transport on Malta and rented a jeep on Gozo.

Have you thought about flying from Malta to Sicily? We originally thought of the ferry trip but flew instead to Catania and were glad we did - though the airline lost our luggage which was a real pain though it did turn up after 3 days of stinky clothes Our bags had gone on to London. We went with Air Malta and the flight was about 25 mins. This might give you the extra time you want.

I noticed your trip idea is to arrive Sicily, go to Malta, then back to Sicily. Can you do Malta first then Sicily and fly home direct? Or Sicily then Malta and fly home from there? It would save a bit of backtracking.

Kay
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 01:41 AM
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May is a lovely time to visit Sicily!

I'm sure Malta is worthy, but are you committed to including it on this trip? There is SO much to see and experience in Sicily that you might want to consider staying there. If anything, IMO 2 weeks is not sufficient for Sicily! For example, your current plan doesn't seem to include Sicily's most magnificent ruins (e.g., Agrigento, Selinunte, Segeste, Taormina, or the Villa Romana del Casale).

And I agree - don't cut time from either Siracusa or Palermo.
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 04:28 AM
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Cefalu is an hour from Palermo and a very small town so I would not allocate 2 separate days there but include it as a day trip from Palermo.

I agree that Malta is a separate trip. If you still want to go there with this short schedule then put it at the beginning or the end of your trip. And fly between Sicily and Malta (from Catania). You're devoting too much time to getting to Malta and returning to Sicily.

Arrive Catania
Siracusa/Ortigya - 2 days
Rent a car and visit Taormina, the Baroque towns and Agrigento - 3 days
Erice/Tripani - 2 days
Palermo with a day trip to Cefalu - 5 days

You could go to Cefalu for a day before Palermo but drop off the car and then stay in Palermo for 4 days.

I spent 12 days on Sicily and it was not enough.
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 04:31 AM
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I also wonder if visiting Malta will be as rewarding for you as spending all the time in Sicily would be. And since you say you really don't like to move around all that much, you are spending an awful lot of time in transit, hopping from one place to another.

I would especially recommend that you give more time to Cefalu. Are you sure your ancestors emigrated from the town of Cefalu itself or was it a smaller town near Cefalu? It was very, very common for immigrants, when asked where they were from, to name the largest town nearby when actually they came from a village.

One way or the other most people usually find it very interesting to return to where their Italian family came from, and especially eat a couple of meals there.

Are you flying into Sicily transatlantic?
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 04:42 AM
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PS: I agree with Kay that if you really really want to see Malta then you should go there first.

But like I said, I would skip Malta. Personally, I can't stand day trips by train or bus, so I would road trip through Sicily. In May, it can already be hot, so I would prefer to be in an air conditioned car than waiting at bus stops or on train platforms.
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 09:39 AM
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Thank you so much for all your replies! They confirm what I suspected---that we are trying to do too much. It's really my idea to go to Sicily because my family is from there, so I'm trying to fit in something my DH wants which is Malta. After 31 yrs, I think we'll figure it out! And yes- I'm fairly certain about the Cefalu connection because there were other families that came from there and settled in the same small town in the US. There is a new book out about the Italians of the Mississippi Delta, written by a local who's parents immigrated from eastern Italy, I think. To reply to someone's other questions, we are coming into Europe through Frankfurt and that is carved in stone just because of where we live, cost of flights, etc.
I love reading these forums and have planned several trips around the advice given here. So, thanks again for taking the time to respond. It's a lifelong dream to go to Sicily. I hope there will be more than one trip!
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 10:11 AM
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Maybe the thing to do is split the time between Palermo and Malta, but don't skimp on Cefalu. I still recommend sleeping and eating there rather than just coming for the middle of the day, when the town will be asleep. Save seeing more of Sicily for your next trip.

Any chance you can fly from Frankfurt or some other convenient German airport to Malta?
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 10:32 PM
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I;ve been looking at flights to Malta and that seems more practical and will save time and money, actually. so thanks for that suggestion. and I'll look into flying from Frankfurt, too. good idea. Thanks !
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 11:06 PM
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If you end up just going to Malta, try and have a few days on Gozo, it's really lovely.

Kay
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Old Apr 6th, 2014, 06:40 PM
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We decided not to go to Malta this trip, which I think is the smart thing. so, we are going to fly in and out of Palermo. Flight times are good and we can end our trip in Palermo. Looking forward to seeing all the sights you all recommended! Thanks again.
Christy
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Old Apr 6th, 2014, 07:15 PM
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I think you'll be glad for the extra time in Sicily!

Don't miss the Monreale Cathedral.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2020, 07:49 PM
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Final Itinerary.

I was looking through posts and thought I'd try sharing our final trip plans, even though it was 5 yrs ago! In fact, we are planning another trip to Sicily in 2021 because it's such a fascinating place and we didn't get to the whole western part of Sicily. This is what we finally settled on:
Flew into Palermo: spent one night and left the next day for Cefalu
Cefalu: 2 nights. Hung out in Cefalu one day. It was so amazing because all the family names I grew up with in Mississippi were everywhere in Cefalu. Even the people there had the same demeanor as I remember my grandfather. So special. Went on a day trip to Santo Stefano di Camastra next day. Beautiful ceramics there.
Naxos: Drove through Castelbuono and through the mountains to make a straight shot from Cefalu to Naxos. 2 nights in Naxos I think. Took a day trip to Taormina. I wouldn't stay in Naxos again. but it worked out. Cheaper to stay there and go for the day to Taormina than to stay there.
Catania: Stopped in Catania just to look around and have lunch with the grandson of one of my mother's friends from Mississippi. they happened to be living there.
Ortigia: So glad we stayed on Ortigia as someone suggested. I could definitely live there! Spent 5 nights there and took day trips to Caltigirone and some other towns I can't remember. So many towns that have interesting sights. You choose! We walked all over the island and of course Siracusa.
Agrigento: Valley of the Temples. Stayed there two nights. I would find a more interesting town to stay in and go for the day to the Temples. The Temples were,of course, amazing. We went to some other little towns nearby as well.
Palermo: drove from Agrigento to Palermo with a stop in Monreale, which is not to be missed. Stayed in Palermo for 4 days which I highly recommend. What an interesting, cosmopolitan city with history oozing from every stone! The mosaics in Palermo rival that of Cefalu and Monreale.

Food was great, as was the wine. Not many people speak English, but we made do and the people are helpful and friendly. I'm glad we had a car although it's tough to park, especially in Ortigia. We would go back in a heartbeat! I'm looking forward to going back to Palermo and Cefalu and then on to the west coast and some islands if we can fit it in. Maybe this time we'll make it to Malta.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2020, 07:58 PM
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Thanks for the update! Sicily is wonderful, isn't it.
I think you mean Giardini Naxos, the town below Taormina?
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Old Jan 3rd, 2020, 10:18 AM
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yes- that's it. I was looking at a map to remind myself where we went and it just said Naxos for some reason! Sicily is awesome. I had two pictures from that trip as my screensaver for 5 years!
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