My top 10 places in Sicily
As I’ve lived for about 1,5 years in Sicily and it’s for sure one of the best places in the world to live (and to travel to!), I am really excited to tell you all about it! It’s such a beautiful island to do a roadtrip for about two weeks and drive all around the island!
Sicily is an island with wonderful nature, amazing food, rich of culture and the most friendly and welcoming people! Below you find an example route from Palermo and from Catania. It will bring you to most of the highlights. I will only describe the places I have actually been to myself, but in the itinerary you find more places (that are still on my own bucketlist as well!)
Trip from Palermo
Palermo – Monreale – San Vito lo Capo -Segesta – Erice – Trapani – Isole Egadi – Saline of Marsala – Agrigento – Ragusa – Siracusa – Catania – Etna – Taormina – Isole Eolie – Cefalu – Palermo
Trip from Catania
Catania – Etna – Taormina – Isole Eolie – Cefalu – Palermo – Monreale – San Vito lo Capo -Segesta – Erice – Trapani – Isole Egadi – Saline of Marsala – Agrigento – Ragusa – Siracusa – Catania
A town in southeast Sicily where the city centre Ortigia is on an island connected by bridges. Great for a daytrip and see all the old buildings, fountains and cute streets!
If you go to the Etna, you may want to do a guided tour to the top. It will take you the whole day, so bring enough water, food, good hiking shoes and warm clothes (also in summer). If you do not want to do a guided tour and you have a car to your availability, drive to the Rifugio Giovanni Sapienza and park your car. From there, you can walk (for free) to three different craters. Walk through the dried lava and see the craters. On your way you find multiple boards with information about said craters. Much fun if you travel on a budget! Also, the road towards the Rifugio is already very beautiful and requires multiple stops for pictures! If you have the intention to go skiing on the Etna, drive to the north Rifugio instead (Piano Provenzana Etna Nord) where you will find a ski-lift and equipment rental! Do check online beforehand if there is enough snow on the day you want to go, so that you are sure that the ski-pistes are open!
A beautiful town on the mountain that is very touristic but worth to visit. There is an Ancient Greek theatre and the whole town is super picturesque. If you have time, go down to Isola Bella and enjoy a swim!
A very beautiful city with a lot of culture and many diversity. You can find yourself walking in a beautiful rich street and when turning one corner, you can feel like you’re in a complete different city, country or even a different continent! I will do a separate blogpost about Palermo, but for now I’ll just write down the names of places you should visit! Politeama Garibaldi, Teatro Massimo, Quattro Canti, Pretoria fountains, Ballaro market, Catedrale di Palermo. If you have time, go up on the mountain Monte Pellegrino to watch the city from above and visit the Santa Rosalia Sanctuary – a little church caved into a rock!
Monreale is located near Palermo up in the mountains and has the most amazing Cathedral. Beautiful mosaics with gold and you can’t stop looking around to see all the bible stories that are drawn on the columns and ceiling!
In Segesta you find an archaeologic park with a complete Ancient Greek temple and theatre. These are on walkable distance from eachother, but going to the theatre is quite a hike uphill. There is however a little bus taking people uphill if they don’t want to walk all the way up – however if you’re able to climb, I would totally recommend you to do so! Entrance costs about 5 Euros, and if you’re younger than 25 years, you pay a reduced rate of (I believe) 3 Euros.
But don’t leave Segesta before visiting the natural hot springs! It’s a bit difficult to get there and you won’t find much information on the internet about it – but that’s what makes it more awesome! On Google Maps you should search for ‘terme naturale segesta’. Take the small road to the left which goes down and park your car there. From there, cross the little river (it’s not deep at all, only your feet will get wet) and follow the path to the first hot spring. You can sit in there and relax. Especially in autumn and winter it’s really great to enjoy the warm water. If you’re ready to go to the second hot spring, leave the first one to your left and you find a path through beautiful nature (cross the little waterfall) and walk with the river on your right. Soon enough you will find on the opposite side of the river the second hot spring.
For the most adventurous readers I have a bonus: There is a little warm cave as well, which is difficult to find, but you just have to continue the path you were already walking on and then go through the water. Pass underneath the big waterfall and get into the little cave! There is mud that’s good for your skin and enjoy the wellness!
The best thing of all of this is that it’s all for free and you will find mostly local people that enjoy their bath. Please note that because it’s not touristic, it’s appreciated to not be rude and loud whilst you are enjoying! And, as always, leave the place how you left it and bring your trash with you to throw it away in a bin.
In Agrigento there are two must-visits! The Valle dei Templi is an archaeologic park that you enter for about 5 Euros and there are many different ancient Greek temples. Some of them are still complete, others only have some columns left. But all of them are very special and worth visiting!
Also, a bit more to the west of Agrigento there is the Scala dei Turchi ‘The Turkish steps‘. The story goes that the name comes from the fact that the Turkish pirates used this bay to rest and repair their boats as its location was favourable with regard to the wind. The Scala dei Turchi is a gigantic white cliff made of Marl stone. It’s a great place to relax (even though it’s usually croweded) but you can sit there and enjoy the beautiful views!
San Vito lo Capo and Riserva dello Zingaro
A cute fishermen town with a beach that has the most amazing clear water! If you’re there, you may want to visit the Riserva dello Zingaro. Either access this nature reserve from San Vito lo Capo (North entry) or from Scopello (South entry). No cars allowed, so you hike through beautiful nature, finding little beaches every 20-30 minutes. Walking from North to South will take about 2,5 hours.
Have you ever seen these pictures of boats that seem to float? Big chance they were taken in the Egadi islands! Marettimo, Levanzo and Favignana are three wonderful islands. I have visited Favignana only, the closest island. Take the boat from Trapani, it takes only half an hour to Favignana. Rent a scooter or a bike and pass by the most beautiful places as Bue Marino, Cala Azzurra, Cala Rossa, Lido Burrone and Cala Rotonda. Perfect for a daytrip!
Saline di Marsala
The saline are salt flats where they still harvest salt. It’s a beautiful location with the cutest windmills and when the sun sets, it reflects beautifully into the still water of the salt flats. It’s great to do an aperitivo there whilst watching the sunset!
I have many videos on Youtube about my life in Sicily, but below I’ve linked the ones that are giving you the best idea of what Sicily is all about!