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Tour Sicily in 11 days by public transport

Tour Sicily in 11 days by public transport

Jul 28th, 2015, 10:12 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 92
Tour Sicily in 11 days by public transport


I am hoping someone could help me with an itinerary around Sicily using public transport.

So far I have the following route in my head, but I don't know if this would link up.....

Arrive in Palermo
Palmero to Agrigento
Agrigento to Noto
Noto to Syracuse
Syracuse to Taormina
Taormina to Cefalu
Cefalu to Palermo
Depart Palermo

I have worked out the destinations using a map, but I don't know if I would stay over in them all or visit on route/from main towns?

tinks2111 is offline  
Jul 28th, 2015, 11:30 AM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
You can get all your questions answered in precise detail and up-to-date info on the Tripadvisor message forum for Sicily.
sandralist is offline  
Jul 28th, 2015, 12:19 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 6,353
Palermo - Agrigento and Taormina - Cefalu is more pleasant by train.
Noto - Siracusa: there are buses and trains
Siracusa - Taormina: tons of buses, change at Catania
Agrigento - Noto: you may have to change buses at Licata or Gela; there are also trains between Licata and Noto
neckervd is offline  
Jul 28th, 2015, 06:33 PM
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Posts: 21,578
I think you might be overly optimistic about what you can accomplish in just 11 days on this magnificent island, but you can certainly see some wonderful things in that time by public transportation!

You might start with some old Fodor's threads (and keep in mind that you will need to check any of the transportation options, and times, against current info). Here's a classic, but I think there might be others


You might want to consult the Rough Guide, which IME generally gives excellent info about public transportation options, and FWIW, it was the most useful of the half-dozen guidebooks I used when planning my time in Sicily back in 2007. The Lonely Planet also includes very good transportation info as a rule, so keep that on your radar.

Two immediate observations on your itinerary:

- Much as I enjoyed staying overnight in Noto, and seeing its extraordinary buildings lit in the evening, Noto is only about 1/2 hour by public transportation from Siracusa, so you might consider pushing on.

"Arrive in Palermo ... Depart Palermo"

If you can identify an open jaw option, e.g. into Palermo and out of Catania (or vice versa) you might be able to save a bit of time.

One other thing: IMO, one of the highlights of Sicily is the Villa Romana del Casale, just outside of Piazza Armerina. You might consider trying to work it into your plan.

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Jul 28th, 2015, 06:52 PM
Join Date: May 2010
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Ooh, Noto at night sounds great. Only day tripped there.

If you're toting around any amount of luggage, it could be tough to go from place to place on buses and trains.

You might need left luggage facilities or else have to track back after checking into a hotel. Like say you're going from Agrigento to Siracusa. It would be difficult to stop over in Noto or Ragusa with luggage in tow. So you go all the way to Siracusa to check into the hotel and have to track back?

Of course it's not advisable to leave luggage in a car but it can be done. And if you have to track back, easier to do it in a car than on bus or train.

Of course parking is a hassle but then again, going from bus or train stations to your hotel could be tough too.

For some, being limited to bus and train schedules is hard to work around. For others, dealing with parking and ZTLs is a bigger issue.
scrb11 is offline  
Jul 28th, 2015, 07:07 PM
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@ scrb11 -- Noto at night was at least as magical as Noto during the day, and OMG, I'm glad I saw both!

I used public transportation for my time in Noto, and I did so with my suitcase in tow. I didn't find that a problem -- but then, I travel only with what I can carry.

But I'm confused by scrb11's concern about luggage: The OP seems to have proposed a plan that would allow managing it -- with the possible exception of the Villa Romana del Casale. What do you (scrb11) see as the problem(s)?
kja is offline  
Jul 28th, 2015, 11:01 PM
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Well I pack badly so I have a big checked suitcase, a carryon roller and a day pack.

Especially for trips taking over a week, unless you want to look for and spend time in a laundromat during the vacation.

Seems it would be difficult to get on a bus or train every day or every other day with any significant amount of luggage.

The OP listed 7 locations in 11 days so that is moving around more than once every two days.

Will the buses have dedicated space for luggage or will the OP have to try to hang onto the luggage in the aisles of packed buses?
scrb11 is offline  
Jul 28th, 2015, 11:19 PM
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@ scrb11 -- that helps me understand your comments - thanks so much for elaborating!

I think we all need to figure out what balance of luggage / convenience works for us. I have managed to keep my luggage to one checked bag and one under-the-seat carry-on, but I continue to seek ways to cut back. I do hand wash routinely while traveling, and so haven't found the need for a laundromat. I'm sure we all have different stories about those choices and how we came to them! ;-)

FWIW, my recollection is that the intercity buses I used while in Sicily had under-carriage luggage compartments, but I can't swear to that.
kja is offline  
Jul 29th, 2015, 01:22 AM
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Thanks for all your replies!!

In terms of driving vs public transport - what are the roads like? We did some driving in the Italian Lakes and I really didn't enjoy it. Are the roads similar (eg narrow and sharp bends)
tinks2111 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2015, 03:57 AM
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>>>Will the buses have dedicated space for luggage<<<

Buses that travel between towns have luggage storage under the bus like any tour bus. Drivers often expect you to open it and place your luggage though. You need to remind them when getting off that you are retrieving luggage so they don't pull off with it.
kybourbon is offline  
Jul 29th, 2015, 04:57 AM
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There are long stretches of straight roads, especially east-west.

But there are also stretches of two lane country roads where you have to pass slow cars sometimes in difficult passing conditions, like the lack of long straight stretches.

No autostrada or toll roads that I recall.
scrb11 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2015, 04:28 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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I don't remember any toll roads, but that doesn't mean there weren't any -- you should be able to find out if you would need to pay any tolls, or how to avoid them, if you use viamichelin.com to plan a route.

But there are superhighways -- autostrade -- that are wide, well banked, and well maintained.

But as scrb11 notes, there are also lots of smaller, twisting roads.

And I agree that other drivers can prove a challenge. Driving defensively seemed to me to be critical!
kja is offline  
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