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Maggie68 Mar 18th, 2015 06:00 PM

Sicily vacation rental advice
We are a group of friends considering a week in Sicily. East side? West side? Do we want to rent a villa near Palermo? Taormina? We love the beach, but also want to take side trips to see the history, small towns, archaeology. Would love to hear from the experts!

kja Mar 18th, 2015 08:09 PM

A week is not much at all for Sicily. You will need to be very selective, so you might want to start with some good guidebooks so you can decide what you want to see before figuring out where to stay. And FWIW, Sicily is not a particularly good place for week-long bases, as distances to the major sites are great. JMO.

sandralist Mar 19th, 2015 01:47 AM


I think it really will depend on the tastes of your group of friends. Both sides of the island have a lot to offer -- I doubt you would be disappointed in whichever you choose. If someone in your group would really be disappointed not to see Palermo, or not to see Taormina, then you can find the rest nearby both.

How many are you, and how are you planning to take your day trips? In addition to considering a villa, consider an agriturismo where you can rent apartments


There is nothing wrong with spending a week or less in Sicily. It is just like any other region of Italy. Nobody ever questions someone asking questions about spending a week in Tuscany, and people don't warn be to be very selective. It is obvious people are going to be making choices about what to see.

Is it that some people went to Sicily the first time with a complete misimpression that it was a small place with a just a few things to see, and then exhausted themselves trying to see it all? Apart from the usual advice about Italy and travel anywhere that it's best not to get too ambitious, there is really nothing about Sicily that warrants this constant disapproval or worry about spending a week there. I have traveled to Sicily for one week on two separate occasions, and both times were very rewarding. I wasn't any more or less "selective" than when I spent a week in the val d'Aosta, or the week I spent in the Scottish Highlands. It wasn't a big anxiety.

kja Mar 19th, 2015 07:50 AM

@ sandralist. I didn't say there was anything wrong with spending a week or less in Sicily, nor did I express disapproval or worry. I simply provided my advice to be selective and consult a guidebook.

Dayle Mar 19th, 2015 08:54 AM

Hi Maggie,

I agree with kja. We can't tell you where to go. Only you and your friends can decide what you want out of your week.

Start with a guidebook and see what appeals to your group. Most likely, there will be a variety of opinions! Consult the map and see where these places are located to determine what area will be best to focus on.

No matter what you decide, you won't be able to do everything, so your group is going to need to be flexible - and know that you will probably return in the future. If you are going for just a week, I might assume you will not be traveling too far to visit Sicily so it should be easy to plan another trip in the future to see other sights of interest.

I really enjoyed my trip in 2013 and kja and others here inspired and help me plan. Read some trip reports on Sicily. If not familiar, use the Search box at the top of the page. They should be very helpful to you in getting an idea of what you all might like/dislike.

Come back for some more detailed help once you have formed your trip a bit more.

Happy planning!

sandralist Mar 19th, 2015 01:23 PM


Not to be too argumentative, but I don't see any basis for your warning that "Sicily is not a particularly good place for week-long bases, as distances to the major sites are great."

I don't know what you deem "the major sights", but there is plenty when it comes to extraordinary sights of interest in the vicinity of Palermo and the vicinity of Taormina.

Loads and loads of people go to Sicily for a week and rent a villa or stay on a farm as a "base" and have a wonderful variety of exactly what this group is looking for, and they are not driving far each day to get that.

This group describes itself thusly: " We love the beach, but also want to take side trips to see the history, small towns, archaeology." You really think there aren't lots of villas and places to stay in Sicily for a week where people can't comfotably enjoy that?

I don't think these people are going to Sicily to write a term paper about it. The overall tone of your post is that one week in Sicily is some kind of unusual big travel problem. It's not in the slightest.


It occurs to me to add that you also might want to consdier a "base" near Trapani/Erice. (And in case it wasn't clear from my first post, I am also in now way trying to tell you where to go, or discouraging you from reading guidebooks, so I guess Dayle agrees with me as well as kja.)

kja Mar 19th, 2015 04:46 PM

@ Maggie68 &
@ sandralist

Just to be clear, "JMO" -- which I included in my original post -- means "just my opinion." If my advice does not seem helpful, PLEASE, feel free to ignore it.

@ Dayle -- once again, my thanks for your kind words! :-)

Dayle Mar 19th, 2015 05:58 PM


kybourbon Mar 19th, 2015 07:54 PM

>>>Just to be clear, "JMO" -- which I included in my original post -- means "just my opinion<<<

Exactly. The OP asked for opinions, not one person's opinion.

>>>We are a group of friends considering a week in Sicily.<<<

How many in your group? Will you rent multiple cars? Is a week 7 full days or does that include travel days? Do they want one base or are they willing to split your time?

Here's Dayle's trip report.

kja Mar 20th, 2015 02:47 AM

kybourbon wrote: "The OP asked for opinions, not one person's opinion."

Well, as one person, I can only offer ONE person's opinion! ;-) But I do try to avoid belaboring what I have to say. (Which FWIW, is JMO.) :-)

kybourbon Mar 21st, 2015 03:04 PM

kja - Did you write a trip report? I didn't see it.

kja Mar 21st, 2015 03:36 PM

@ kybourbon - sorry, I did not. But I'm happy to provide whatever information I can that might help others plan their time in stunning Sicily!

Maggie68 Mar 22nd, 2015 04:24 PM

Whoa. I appreciate all these thoughts. I'm sure we'll be happy wherever we stay. We love having a home base and taking day trips. This will give us a chance to get to know at least one part of Sicily. And we'll have to plan to return again!

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