Sicily, Corsica or both!

Jul 4th, 2019, 02:49 AM
  #1  
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Sicily, Corsica or both!

We are planning our 2nd Europe trip (first one 2013) now we are retired. Our entire trip will be about 8 weeks from September & am trying to decide which places to exclude from a long list of fabulous destinations. Our 1st 6 week trip was brilliant - it was basically 2 weeks in each of England, France, Italy with 1 week city, 1 week country each place using a hire car. We love off the beaten track, architecture, landscape, history, good food, culture, rural villages, markets & interesting cities. I really want to include Sicily and husband likes the idea of Corsica - are they terribly similar or so different both warrant the time? I imagine no less than 9 days in Sicily which will barely cover it I know! It's a long way from rural Australia and it may be our only trip.
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Jul 4th, 2019, 05:21 AM
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Jul 4th, 2019, 07:26 AM
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kja
 
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Visiting just the highlights of Sicily -- which is magnificent! -- takes at least 2 weeks, with 3 weeks being a more comfortable amount of time. With 9 days, you would be wise to choose either the west or the east.

Hope that helps!
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Jul 4th, 2019, 07:57 AM
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I was in Corsica in June, it's a very beautiful, mountainous island for which you do need a good amount of time to explore. Although distances are not great, there are many mountainous roads so it takes time to get from A to B. Some places are only accessible by boat. Plenty of beautiful villages, markets, great food (the Holy Trinity of Corsica is meat, cheese and chestnuts), wine, beaches, interesting towns, the Scandola Nature reserve which is pristine, Genoese towers dotted along the coast, towns with marinas and citadels, people were friendly. We stayed in the north of the island but next time would visit the south. There won't be the antiquities that Sicily has, nonetheless we really loved what we saw of the island. If you want off the beaten track, you can't go wrong with Corsica. A week would just cover part of the north of the island, you'll need much more time to cover the whole island. I have not been to Sicily but do not expect the islands to be similar as Corsica is all mountains and sea.
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Jul 4th, 2019, 09:06 AM
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Have you thought how you would get between Corsica and Sicily? In 8 weeks you would certainly have enough time to see a lot of both of them but what else do you have in mind?
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Jul 4th, 2019, 09:54 AM
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Do not limit your time in Sicily.kja is correct, two weeks is a minimum for Sicily. We even spent a wonderful week in one place there, Ortigia Island.
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Jul 6th, 2019, 01:25 AM
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Thank you - 2 weeks does sound like the minimum - appreciate your reply.

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Jul 6th, 2019, 01:43 AM
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Thanks to all for the replies! With 8 weeks or a tad more, we will most likely visit 4 places and aim for 2 weeks in each location. Odin Corsica sounds lovely and we may do both as some time in France as well as Italy is on the agenda. annhig we are considering Switzerland, Ireland, Scotland or Austria - can't do it all of course and will fly, Drive or train depending on travel time.
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Jul 7th, 2019, 01:57 AM
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Margie - I would definitely consider 3 weeks or so to do justice to Sicily. One of the problems is that it doesn't adapt well to the spoke and wheel type travel so you tend to have to move around quite a lot. However a place we found that we thought would be good for a few days was Marina di Ragusa, on the south east coast of Sicily - as you might imagine it's close to Ragusa but also to Modica and Scicli, Another good base is Ortigya - the island attached to Syracuse by a causeway. I'm sure others here will have more ideas.
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Jul 7th, 2019, 03:41 AM
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Great thanks for those suggestions. I feel less destinations and more slow travel is more our style annhig. Will check those out now.
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Jul 7th, 2019, 06:04 AM
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Margie,

my trip to Sicily was in 2013 and was a bit more than 3 weeks. I still wished I had another week or two! So much to see and do. You might want to read my detailed TR here just to get some ideas. I did several one nighters, which a lot of people dont like. One nighters are not my preference either, but it allowed me to see my priorities and not leave luggage in the car, except for a couple places!

it was my one and only trip to Sicily so I had to choose carefully how to spend my time. One one poor hotel choice and one destination I would have skipped, Taormina. Im just not a resorty type of person.

happy planning!
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Jul 7th, 2019, 07:36 AM
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annhig we are considering Switzerland, Ireland, Scotland or Austria - can't do it all of course and will fly, Drive or train depending on travel time.>>

<<Great thanks for those suggestions. I feel less destinations and more slow travel is more our style annhig. Will check those out now. >>

One thing you might like to look at is the ease of getting from one place to another, and the times of flights etc. I don't know about you but I am getting too old to want to bother with getting up really early or landing at midnight. And whether you want contrasts or an in-depth look at one culture. If you wanted contrasts, Scotland [or Ireland] Switzerland/Austria and Sicily would be hard to beat.

<<One one poor hotel choice and one destination I would have skipped, Taormina. Im just not a resorty type of person.>>

Second that save that the view of Etna from our hotel room was very special.
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Jul 7th, 2019, 04:03 PM
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Thank you annhig and Dayle! Good info - Sicily is quite large and am getting the picture that there is a lot to see and spread out. Did you organise your hire cars before you left home or when you got there? We side eoropcar last visit. Do you need to take care with luggage in car when travelling?

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Jul 7th, 2019, 06:25 PM
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kja
 
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I always arrange my car rentals before traveling, and I do so through gemut.com, who work with autoeurope. and one of the companies with which autoeurope works is europcar.

I left luggage in my car a few times in Sicily, but it is a place where many people choose not to do so. At least one Fodorite had luggage stollen from a car while in Sicily sometime in the last 10 years; sorry, but I don't remember who.
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Jul 8th, 2019, 02:43 AM
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We do a lot of roadtrips in Europe, also in Sicily, and when you want to visit a place when driving from one destination to the next one there is no other possibility than leaving luggage in the car. So, yes, we do that a lot. Just make sure your luggage is safely stored in the trunk (or small items under the seat) and if you need something that's in the trunk, take it before you park so you don't need to open the trunk on the parking lot.
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Jul 12th, 2019, 08:57 AM
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<<Did you organise your hire cars before you left home or when you got there? We side eoropcar last visit. Do you need to take care with luggage in car when travelling? >>

Margie, we organised it from home using what seemed to be the best deal and easiest pick up. We also took out top up insurance so that we didn't need the "collision waiver" insurance they try to sell you to cover the excess on any damage to the car, though your credit card may already cover this.

we flew into and out of Catania and for us the best deal was Firefly which gave us a free second driver. We were a bit dubious about it as it is quite a way from the airport which we thought would be disadvantage but it turned out well as all we needed to do was to phone the office when we got through immigration and customs at the airport and they sent a minibus for us. This meant that when we were ready to drive off we didn't need to negotiate the parking or the streets around the airport, we could just drive out onto the autostrada and the same when we came back. Obviously if you wanted to do a one way hire from Catania to Palermo or vice versa you will need to check how to return the car.

As for luggage we did leave it in the car sometimes but only during the day in very public places. i think that the people whose car was ransacked had left it in a car park where there weren't that many people around whereas we left ours on a busy street and in the car park of the Villa Casale which was very busy. I'm in no way blaming them but I would avoid putting it in a large car park in a city or town with luggage in it and definitely not at night. if possible try to reverse it up against a wall or a tree so that the rear door can't be opened, though my recollection is that the thieves got in through the side doors and took stuff out that way. That's something that people are going to notice if you park in the street!!
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Jul 13th, 2019, 03:11 AM
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Thanks annhig! Good to know. We've had that experience with the insurance before!
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Jul 14th, 2019, 06:01 PM
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Margie,

I always use Autoeurope for my trips. My choices in Sicily for pick up and drop were Trapani and Siracusa, not locations where Autoeurope's usual supplier in Sicily has rental offices. They arranged for my car through Hertz. I was traveling solo and reserved a tiny economy car, knowing I would probably get "upgraded" to a larger car. Exactly what happened. I got a brand new car from a car dealership, just the right size and power. Dropped it right on Ortigia at what seemed to be a temporary office. As usual, no problems at all and nice personnel at both places.

I did take the risk of luggage in the car at two places. Once in Catalgione and at Vendicari Nature Preserve. Both times, I had packed my cross body bag with my valuables in advance, took them with me and all that was left in the car were clothes. I was a bit concerned because I don't wear tiny Sicilian shoes. If I had lost my bag, it would have been a disaster for me. Other than that, I always left my bag at my arriving lodging or departing lodging while I did my sightseeing. A short backtrack to pick it up and all owners were happy to keep it for me if my room was not ready.

Acceptable risk level is up to you, but it is always advised NOT to leave anything in an unattended car, anywhere.
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Jul 15th, 2019, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Dayle View Post
Acceptable risk level is up to you, but it is always advised NOT to leave anything in an unattended car, anywhere.
Anything VISIBLE ...

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