Sicily in May

Old Nov 19th, 2011, 07:19 AM
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Sicily in May

I am thinking of breaking my trip into three home base sites. We will have nine nights in Sicily flying into and out of Palermo. Palermo makes sense for one but not sure what makes best sense for the other two. I was thinking Agrgento as a second site and Taomina as the third. WE will have three nights at each. I am also debating if we should have a car or use public transportation. All suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
HarryS is offline  
Old Nov 19th, 2011, 07:34 AM
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First things first: where in Sicily are your MUST SEE places? That will determine whether you even have a choice of public transportation. I would personally recommend a car once out of Palermo. We landed in Palermo but picked up the car and left immediately for Cefalu. While in Sicily we also visited Messina, Taormina, and Agrigento. I was left lukewarm with Taormina-- while impressive on a cliff with charming streets, it is a bit too touristy. I do recommend The Lemon Tree Apartments so long as you are a strong driver-- the road up to the aprtament si snot for the faint of heart and NOT for a large vehicle. Agrigento's Valley of the Temples is a DO NOT MISS-- we stayed at Villa Diana B&B. Lovely owner, totally charming B&B. SAVOCA was my absolute favorite place in Sicily. I am glad you are going in May-- I would never returned to Sicily in March-April and definitely would not go anywhere near Taormina if rainy/it floods quickly and the roads become downright scary. My experience.
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Old Nov 19th, 2011, 07:43 AM
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There's not much to do in Agrigento and Taormina for three days without a car. We spent one night in Agrigento and that was enough to see the Valley of the Temples. Taormina is beautiful but there's not much else there except for the incredible Greek theater. I'd cut time from Agrigento and Taormina and add Ortygia as a destination. Without a car Palermo to Agrigento to Ragusa to Ortygia to Taormina to Catania was easy to do. I think we had enough time at each of the destinations and didn't miss much by not having a car.
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Old Nov 19th, 2011, 08:48 AM
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Others will have seen more but DH and I in a 7-day trip, based in Palermo and Siracusa and only used busses. We missed Villa Romana del Casale because we couldn't work out the bus schedule with our time frame. I might suggest Palermo with sides to Monreale and Agrigento. We also enjoyed Mondello.

Then find a town near Villa Romana del Casale and base there. Siracusa worked for us but we had tried to find a place in Taormina first and couldn't in our price range.

Erice was another town of interest to us but we had to skip because of timing. We "trained" from Siracusa to Naples and passed Taormina along the way so you could make it a day trip.
Has anyone done that?

Just consider that every time you move from one hotel to another, you lose at least 1/2 day to travel and unpacking. Also, please go back to the top of this thread and type in 'Sicily trips' (or whatever) in the 'Search Forums" box.
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Old Nov 19th, 2011, 09:08 AM
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Just want to say that we had great weather in March/April this past year--just some light sprinkling once or twice, wore light coats in the evening occasionally. May should be even warmer/drier but you never know, so plan accordingly.

I drove, but our itinerary was:
Fly into Palermo, two nights Palermo. Loved it, could have stayed longer.
One night Agrigento. If you like ruins, do not miss. Unforgettable.
Two nights Modica. Loved it, could have stayed longer.
Two nights Ortigia. Loved it, could have stayed longer.
Flew out of Catania to Rome, six nights Rome.

Your plan for three nights in <i>most</i> of your stops makes sense to me, especially if you are driving. The distances seemed longer to me as a driver than they looked on the map. The driving itself was not stressful but getting repeatedly lost with a tightly packed itinerary was.

I don't know about three nights in Agrigento, however. Why not one night and then a couple nights in Ragusa or Modica or perhaps up somewhere else? It's not a long drive from Palermo to Agrigento. We stopped at Segesta on the way down--fantastic and not a stressful drive from the Palermo airport where we picked up our car.

The tripadvisor Sicily forum is another excellent resource for nitty-gritty planning, especially Vagabonda and Biondo.

Just my experience.
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Old Nov 19th, 2011, 12:57 PM
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You may want to read my trip report; click on my name to find it.
Our trip was scarcely longer than yours due to the Icelandic volcano eruption.
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Old Nov 19th, 2011, 12:59 PM
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Click on my name to find my trip report from May, 2005. I suggest at least 3 bases---Palermo, Siracusa area, and Taormina. You may enjoy these pics as well.
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Old Nov 19th, 2011, 01:52 PM
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I agree with the consensus above that neither Taormina or Agrigento is worthy of a long stay. 2 for Taormina max. If you time your trip well, you could possibly do Agrigento as a drive by - which is what we did.

But, but but . . . 9 days is not that long. And the island is slower than the maps let on to get around. Make sure that you book yourself some relax time along the way.

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Old Nov 20th, 2011, 03:21 PM
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Thanks to all, I spent some time reviewing trip reports and I will take Agrigento off my list as a base. Bob your trip report was very infomative and the pictures were great.
Leely your plans look to be very much like what I am looking for, thanks.
TDudette you make a good case for not renting a car.I think I will split time using a rental car and mass transit. Thanks.
Viajaro & Marija I think I will go with a rental car everywhere but Plaermo.
One more question, flying out of NYC or NJ what was the best airlines and how many stops did you have. Thanks.
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