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Where best to base ourselves in Sicily

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Where best to base ourselves in Sicily

We are going to Sicily end August (26), only for 1 week, we are family of 4, children 16 and 13. We would like to stay reasonably near coastal area but not somewhere too crowded, we want to do some sight seeing (obviously we will not be able to see even half in only 1 week). The thing is we want to actually stay in one place and then visit different sights/towns etc., we do not mind travelling hour or so to different places so could anyone recommend a good area to base ourselves.


Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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1. Re: Where best to base ourselves in Sicily

Taormina, Cefalu or San Vito would be very crowded in August.

Sciacca, Castellammare, Siracusa or Ragusa would be good choices.

Sciacca would be a very good choice! It would offer the opportunity to explore southern and western Sicily - Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples (1 hour), Scala dei Turchi, Eraclea Minoa, Selinunte, Marsala, Erice, Segesta…

Sciacca is an authentic local town and a great place to base and experience "real" Sicily. Sciacca is a picturesque seaside town in the Province of Agrigento between Agrigento and Marsala in Sicily's southwestern corner. It's one of the best areas in Sicily for beaches and ceramics, and it is also known as a spa town.

Castellammare del Golfo (on the Golf of Castellammare) is a town in northwestern Sicily with a selection of hotels and restaurants. It would be a good base for the Zingaro Reserve, Segesta, Erice, Trapani and San Vito.

Siracusa is a very historical town with Greek and Roman ruins. A stay on the ancient island of Ortygia is always pleasant. Siracusa’s beaches are south of the town along Sicily’s southeastern coast – Arenella, Fontaine Bianche, Lido di Noto and the Vendicari Reserve. Siracusa would be a good base for exploring Catania, the Baroque towns (Noto, Modica and Ragusa), Pantalica, and Sicily’s southeastern coast all the way to Capo Passero.

The province of Ragusa is dotted with lovely villages along the coast with nice beaches, and the countryside is pristine. The beaches on Sicily’s southern shores are frequented mostly by Italians. The beaches at Marina di Ragusa also include Modica, Pozzallo, and Sampieri. Donnalucata and Sampieri are cute villages - small and very local.

You would be able to explore the Baroque UNESCO towns – Ragusa, Modica, and Noto, the Castle of Donnafugata, Siracusa, Pantalica, Piazza Armerina, Morgantina, and Caltigirone.

Best Wishes!


London, United...
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2. Re: Where best to base ourselves in Sicily

Sciacca looks very nice from what I see on the web. I think I may give it a shot myself. Why would I be right in saying that you could prob get a bus from Palermo? Am I right in saying that there is some nice beaches to the left and right of the town?

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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3. Re: Where best to base ourselves in Sicily

Sciacca is a peaceful corner of Sicily (very local) - it’s a nice town and it’s near some outstanding attractions like Selinunte, and not far from either Agrigento or Marsala.






There have been a few recent photo postings on TA!

Traveler Photos:


Sciacca Photos:


Two of Sciacca's best beaches are the San Marco and the Contrada Sobareto. All along the coast, there are nice beaches. Between Sciacca and Agrigento, Eraclea Minoa has a beautiful sweeping, long sandy beach backed by pine trees and white chalky cliffs. Scala dei Turchi is also worth a visit.

Scala dei Turchi:


Sciacca has no train station, but it is served by buses.

Gallo services Sciacca from Palermo’s airport – 01h35.


Should the schedule not be convenient, Sal services Agrigento from Palermo’s airport, and then you could bus from Agriegnto to Sciacca on Lumia.

Autolinee Sal:


Lumina buses run between Sciacca and Agrigento.



3* Locanda del Castello is an 11 room B&B located in old olive oil mill located in the San Michele area of Sciacca.

Locanda del Castello:





Al Moro is a small (8 rooms) locanda and B&B in the historical centre of Sciacca.

Al Moro:





B&B Sotto la Palma:





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4. Re: Where best to base ourselves in Sicily

Thanks for your info Vagabonda, now we just have to decide whether to stay over on the west side or East side, they both sound wonderful. Whichever side we end up staying on, could you tell me whether it is better to hire a car rather than getting buses (considering we will be based in one place). Also, as we are flying into Palermo, could you tell me what would be the best way to get from the airport whether we go east or west.

Thanks very much.

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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5. Re: Where best to base ourselves in Sicily

Prego Banjo96!

You will have to decide east or west, and northwest or southwest as well.

Eastern and western Sicily is certainly very different. Western Sicily has a greater Arab influence and is less developed than the east.

If you were to base in eastern Sicily, you would be able to tour Taormina, Mount Etna, Giardini-Naxos, Alcantara Gorges, Savoca, Siracusa, Catania, Acireale, the Baroque Towns (Ragusa, Noto, Modica), Donnafugata, Pantalica, Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina, Morgantina, Caltigirone, and possibly take an excursion to the Aeolian Islands, or Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples.

If you were to base in western Sicily, you could explore Palermo, Mondello, Ustica, Monreale, Segesta, Erice, the Golfo del Castellammare (Castellammare del Golfo, Scopello, San Vito Lo Capo, the Zingaro Reserve), the Alcamo wine region, Marsala, Mozia and the salt pans, Trapani, the Egadi islands (Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo), Sciacca, Selinunte, and Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples.

Whether you hire a car would depend on your destination, and also how much touring you would want to do. Generally a car would offer flexibility for exploring the off the beaten path areas, so consider a rental for at least part of your holiday. Many of these destinations are not typical tourist destinations.

Siracusa has a train station, as well as bus service, so Catania and Noto are easily reached. It would be best however to have a car to visit the beaches south of town because the bus schedules just aren’t always very convenient.

There is a bus from Palermo directly to Siracusa, very convenient - 03h15. Train would take much longer.





Castellammare also has a train station, but it is outside town towards Alcamo Marina, so you would need to bus from the station to town.

Take the Prestia e Comandè bus from Palermo’s airport to Palermo for the train or bus to Castellammare del Golfo. Autoservizi Russo also provides local bus service in this area.

Autoservizi Russo:




Sciacca is only served by buses, but there are buses to Agrigento and Marsala and trains there. A car would be useful here.

Transport from the airport to Sciacca is discussed above.

Ragusa, Modica, Pozzallo, Scicli, and Vittoria all have train stations in the province of Ragusa, but to explore the countryside and the coastal villages, a car would be best.

The Ragusa area from the Palermo airport would be the least convenient. Take the Prestia e Comandè bus from Palermo’s airport to Palermo and catch the AST - Azienda Siciliana Trasporti bus for Ragusa. Bus and train from Palermo to Ragusa both take a long time.



Hope to hear what you decide!


6. Re: Where best to base ourselves in Sicily

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