Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 04:45 PM
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Plannig a trip to Sicily in Feb. Has anyone used a tour group to Sicily or a local guide? The sights of major interest seem so far apart that a tour makes sense. We are planning approx 1 week-trip for mother and 14 yr old daughter who loves history/ruins.
Thanks for any suggestions
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 05:33 PM
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The sights are not far apart on this fairly small island. Rent a car and get a guidebook and you'll be able to see everything you want at a fraction of the cost. highlights to me: Segesta Temple, Palermo (esp the church with all the skulls and bones stacked up), Montreale, in suburban Palermo, Cefalu - nice port town, Mt Etna from afar, Taormina - tourist trap but great setting, Syracuse and Agrigento - especially Agrigento and its fabulous Greek temples overlooking the deep azure sea.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 07:12 PM
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I have to disagree with the previous poster. Although Sicily is an island, things are separated by travel time. I think that if you only have a week, you should pick one side of the island or the other. Most first-time visitors opt for the east coast (Taormina, Siracusa, Mt. Etna)because it's more upscale and tourist-friendly. I prefer the west side (Selinunte, Segesta, Palermo)because it's less crowded, and to my mind, more Sicilian. If your daughter loves ancient ruins, then Segesta, Selinunte and Agrigento are places you'll want to visit. Agrigento is reachable from either side (although easier to reach from Palermo.)
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 07:25 PM
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WE spent one week in Sicily, September 2004.
We flew into Palermo, from London. We had a pre-arranged english-speaking guide, with a van, pick us up (there were 4 of us), and take us to a central town, that my grandparents came from. then, the guide took us to Valley of the Temples. (awesome).
we returned to our palermo hotel. the next day we took the train west, to messina, and then, south to Syracusa. we thought it was a fabulous place to go. we stayed in the isola Ortiga. it is a walled city-1700yrs old. great place to visit--and look around at the temple of Athena, and church of st. Paul (he landed/visited this island).
the return to palermo, was the kicker, though. we took the train, through central sicily, from Syracusa, back to palermo. we thought it would be a nice way to see the scenery, and towns, and agriculture, etc.

whoaaaaaaaaaaaa--allow plenty of time. the train broke down--yup--in the middle offfffffff??????? who knows---and we had to wait for a couple of hours, for another engine to be sent, to pick us up. We had allowed plenty of time, we just missed some time in Palermo--
it was quite an adventure--the people were absolutely lovely. WE saw lots of things on sicily, in one week. i am sure you could spent a lot of time there. there is so much history and art to see.
when we arrived at palermo, we spent another day and night there, then caught a night ferry, to naples. that was a great ride, too.
happy travels-
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 07:48 PM
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PalQ: You consider Sicily a SMALL island?!

Justjean: One week is not much time for Sicily. If you wanted to see some of the majhor sights in the north, south, east and west of Sicily, just superficially, three weeks might be just about right. With just one week, you can enjoy one smaller section of the island, and you can plan additional visits in the future to see the rest. I agree with you that many of the major sites are not close together at all. A good tour company that has tours in Sicily is Italian Connection, co-owened by an American and an Sicilian who live near Siena, with main office in Canada.
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