Travel Buddy Sicily, Italy

Located right in the heart of the Mediterranean is the island of Sicily. You will see on your visit here why it is labelled by many as the Italian Capital of culture. If you love Italian cuisine and culture then consider Sicily as your next travel destination. Use JoinMyTrip to find TripMates and explore the best that this Italian island has to offer.

Plan Your Next Trip to Sicily

This will be your ultimate guide for your trip to Sicily. Have a look at our top things to do, where to find hidden gems, the best Instagram spots, how to stay safe, how to get around, and how to travel on a budget!

Top Things to do in Sicily

Take a look at the list below to determine how to best navigate your trip to Sicily.

Swim In the Sea

Sicily is in the heart of the Mediterranean and has unbelievably crystal clear, blue waters. The island can be explored in many ways, but why not relax on a nearby beach and spend your day swimming in the sea?

Quattro Canti

Quattro Canti, or the Four Corners, is a square found in Palermo. Head there to see the four Spanish kings on the four corners, a reminder of Sicily's extensive history. 

Drink Aperol Spritz on a Rooftop Bar

If you find yourself looking for a refreshing drink with a view, then head to a nice rooftop bar in the capital Palermo and order yourself an Aperol Spritz... or two.

Doric Temple of Segesta

If you're traveling to Sicily, you will find yourself constantly in awe of the many Greek temples. The Temple of Segesta is well maintained and has a nice hike leading up to it.

Try Sicilian Street Food

You will never go hungry or struggle to find something delicious to eat while in Sicily. Street food vendors will keep you satisfied with tasty treats such as Arancini or Cannoli.

Climb Mount Etna

Mount Etna: Europe's biggest active volcano. Gondolas can take you to the top so you can experience the dramatic views, but why not take the challenge of hiking to its summit?

Visit a Winery

Sicily's soil is particularly fertile as it is volcanic, which allows wine grapes to grow here very well. Spend a day wine tasting by visiting some of the many wineries that Sicily has to offer. Check out Gambino Vini in particular and taste some of the local wine yourself.

Go On a Boat Excursion

To really see the islands and the surrounding coastline of Sicily, going on a boat ride is a must. Some of the places you can travel to by boat are Lipari, Favignana, or Ortigia. 

The 5 best Instagram Spots in Sicily 

1. Valley of the Temples

Make your history-crazy followers jealous as you snap some epic shots through the Valley of the Temples.

2. Taormina

If you choose to stay in Taormina, your camera roll will be filled with photos of beautiful streets and beaches, with Mount Etna standing tall in the background. If you are lucky, Mount Etna might even have a sprinkle of snow on top. 

3. Palermo Cathedral

The exterior of this magnificent Cathedral is a very Insta-worthy location, but why not take your pictures to the next level? Head to the roof and get a 360 degree view of Palermo city. 

4. Isola Bella

It's no wonder the name for this small island translates to "beautiful island", because that's what it really is. Snap a photo from the Taormina streets above to capture the colors and the insane clarity of the water.

5. Ancient Theatre of Taormina

Change your camera to its wide setting to capture this mouth-watering view. This theatre sits high up in the hills, which means that your photos will include the coastline, villages, lots of greenery, and the volcano. 

The Best Sicily Travel Itinerary

If you are looking to take a nice vacation in Sicily, we recommend spending a week or longer. If you don’t have a week to spare, three or five days would also be enough. If this is the case, you would be best to focus on one side of the island instead. 

If you do have the time to stay for a week or longer, you should consider finding a great place to base yourself to save moving around too much. Alternatively, choose two different places during your stay to explore both sides of the island. Booking your accommodation for your trip this way will allow you to see both East and North Sicily. 

You will likely fly into either Palermo or Cantania, so plan your trip accordingly as there is plenty to see around both areas. Keep in mind that it takes approximately three hours to drive between Palermo and Cantania.

Day 1: Arrive in Palermo

Palermo has vibrant, busy streets filled with the aromas of local Italian bakeries and street food vendors. Find cool cafes and cosy bars to eat and drink your way through this authentic Sicilian city. Visit the fresh food market of Ballarò to hear the shouting salesmen selling fruits and vegetables for a good price.

Day 2: San Vito Lo Capo

From Palermo, you can take a day trip to relax on the beach of San Vito Lo Capo or strap on your hiking boots and climb to the summit of Mount Monaco. Turquoise water and stunning mountainous backdrops are the key features of this northwestern town, but why not explore more with a boat ride along the coast?

Day 3: Cefalu

Have an early start to maximize your day trip to Cefalu. Hike to the Castello di Cefalu and spend the afternoon cooling off with a swim at the picturesque beaches. 

Day 4: Cantania

Base yourself on the eastern side of the island by staying in Cantania. You will find the best street food, the Piazza del Duomo, and great beaches. 

Day 5: Taormina and Mount Etna

Marvel at the stunning ancient theatre of Taormina and take great photos across the bay. Explore the town of Taormina and enjoy the local eateries. Take a gondola to the top of Mount Etna to see the amazing views, but keep in mind this volcano is active. Don’t forget to visit Isola Bella. 

Day 6: Valley of the Temples

You will be amazed at how well preserved and grand these temples are as you wander around the Valley of the Temples. The structures will have you feeling small as you stand beneath them. 

Day 7: Siracusa

Finish your Sicilian vacation with a visit to Siracusa to see the ruins on Island Ortigia. Here you will find the Ear of Dionysius, a limestone cave that is known for its impressive acoustics. If you need a few final hours on the beach, check out Cala Rossa Beach.

Best Time to Visit Sicily

If you want to avoid the crowds and the scorching sun, then aim to visit Sicily during September or October. The average temperature during these months range from 20-24 degrees celsius. You can expect to have many days of sunshine to allow for the many hours you will spend at the beach working on your tan. 

Hidden Gems in Sicily

If you prefer to seek out the less touristy spots on your vacation, then this list will help you hunt down the best hidden gems of Sicily. Prepare to discover secluded islands, beaches, and small, charming Italian villages.

Here are the Top 6 hidden gems in Sicily to inspire you for your trip.

1. Noto

In the southeast part of Sicily, you will find Noto. This architecture-rich city should be added to your must-visit list for a number of reasons. The best features of Noto are the Cathedral, Palazzo Castelluccio, and the Palazzo Nicolaci. If you have time you can visit some of Noto's beautiful churches, museums, or more of its palazzos. 

2. Ragusa

Ragusa is a region in the southeast of Sicily near the city Noto. Sitting on top of a hill is an old town that hosts a number of historic buildings. Duomo di San Giorgio, Giardino Ibleo, and the stunning Cathedral di San Giovanni Battista will exude ample charm.

3. Cefalu

In just a one-hour train journey from Palermo in the north you will encounter the town of Cefalu. Cool off from the strong Sicilian sun with a swim at Cefalu beach or on the iconic Porta Pescara Marina beach. Hike to the Castello di Cefalu for a breathtaking view across the blue waters and orange tiled roofs below (entry fee is five euros).

4. Island Ortigia

A major perk of having Island Ortigia on your must-visit list is that it can be reached without a boat. Connected by a bridge to the town of Syracuse, this island is surrounded by the iconic blue Sicilian waters that are certainly going to impress even the most experienced traveler. You can visit the Temple of Apollo to see the ruins of this Greek temple and visit the outdoor market. 

5. Villa Romana del Casale

Granted the title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this large Roman villa is filled with incredible mosaics that will have you in awe as you explore this ancient estate. This villa is located nearest to the town of Piazza Armerina. 

6. Relax on the beaches of San Vito Lo Capo
On the most northwestern point of Sicily, you will find a long, white sand beach called San Vito Lo Capo. The best part about visiting this beach is that at the far end of this beach towers Mount Monaco, which shelters the bay and offers stunning views if you climb to the top.

Getting Around Sicily

This island offers its travellers many different options when it comes to getting around. Choose which mode of transport works best for you as you discover all the must-visit places and hidden gems of Sicily.

Bus

One of the cheapest and fastest ways to get from one side of the island to the other is by bus. It costs 14.90 Euro to get from Palermo Centrale to Cantania Centrale Station and takes two hours and 25 minutes. These buses leave every hour. 

Train 

Sicily has a good railway system connecting the major cities and almost every other town on the island. Both travellers and locals rely on trains to get to where they need to go. Download the Trenitalia app to check the schedule and book your trains in advance. 

It costs 14.90 Euro to get from Palermo Centrale to Cantania Centrale Station and takes three hours and 25 minutes. These trains leave every two hours. 

Car rental

Renting a car is a smart option if you are looking to reach secluded beaches and remote villages. Having your own car will give you the advantage of traveling on your own schedule and not rely on the trains or buses to get you where you want. You can easily book a car online and choose to pick it up from the airport when you arrive. 

What does it cost to travel to Sicily? 

Take into consideration how you will spend your money while on your vacation to Sicily with the help of the estimated budgets provided below. There are different price brackets to suit everyone's needs, so even if you are travelling to Sicily on a budget-friendly trip, you will still find it is more than possible .

Average daily costs (excluding accommodation) to consider when traveling in Sicily:

a) Budget-friendly: 35€

b) Mid-range budget: 80€

c) High budget: 190€

Accommodation:

a) Budget-friendly:

·  Hostel: approximately 13€ per night for a single bed in a shared dorm

·  A small, basic hotel room: approximately 28€

 

b) Mid-range budget:

·  Hotel room with private bathroom can be anywhere around 40-45€

·  A simple one-bedroom apartment: 40€

 

c) High budget:

·  A private hotel room: 130-170€

 Food:

a) Budget-friendly:

·  Street food starts at 2-3€

·  You can find a pizza for around 8€ or pasta for 5€

b) Mid-range budget:

·  A meal in a simple restaurant will cost around 11€

 

c) High budget:

·  Upper restaurants: about 26€ and upwards

 

Transportation:

a) Budget-friendly:

·  Train or bus: 14€

 

b) Mid-range:

·  Taxi: depends on the distance and your negotiation skills

 

c) High budget:

·  Hiring a car is the preferred mode of transport as it allows you to see more. It could cost approximately 200€ for one week. 

Must-Try Foods in Sicily

Take a look at what we think are the top, must-try Sicilian foods. Challenge what you think you know about traditional Italian cuisine with the local street food and other dishes on offer throughout Sicily. 

Arancini

These fried rice balls filled with cheese or meat are a must-try street food and can be found in Catania.

Pasta alla Norma

This signature pasta dish contains tomato, eggplant, and ricotta. It will become a staple in your diet while you are in Sicily. 

Gelato

The perfect indulgent treat on a hot day under the Sicilian sun. Try gelato in brioche for a tasty twist or simply in a cone.

Cannoli

A pastry rolled and filled with ricotta cheese is the perfect combination, however these can be altered to be more sweet if that is your preference.

Travel Tips for Sicily 

Here are some important things to note before visiting Sicily. Knowing this information will help you have a safe and fun time!

Entry requirements

Italy is part of Schengen, meaning most nationalities are granted free entry on arrival. Keep in mind to check the most up to date requirements for COVID, as these are subject to change at any time. If it is required, make sure you have the correct face mask as some are not accepted to enter Italy.

Currency

The currency used here is Euro. You can find ATMs easily on the streets to withdraw cash. Card is widely accepted at most businesses across Italy. If you need to, you can exchange money at the airport.

1 Euro = approximately 1.08 USD

The Euro and US dollar are very close, meaning you're not likely to struggle with the conversation rate when making purchases throughout your holiday. 

Language

Sicily has its own language, a dialect of Italian, called Sicilian. To the untrained ear this may not sound any different to Italian. You will also hear Italian spoken all over Sicily and in most businesses, restaurant servers and store owners will be able to speak some English with you.

Tap water

Sicily has safe drinking water. You will also encounter natural springs outside of the city with a sign indicating that you can fill up your water bottle. This will read "acqua potabile" and if you cannot drink the water there will be a sign reading "acqua non potabile".

Public toilets

There are not many public toilets in Sicily, but if you do find one you will most likely have to pay. Malls and train stations are an easy way to guarantee a bathroom, however they may not be very clean. If you're searching for a toilet, look for a restaurant or café where you can use their bathroom after buying something.

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