We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Another road trip topic - North West Sicily in Sept 2013

London, United...
Level Contributor
4 posts
26 reviews
Save Topic
Another road trip topic - North West Sicily in Sept 2013

Hi all,

I read quite a few of the road trip topics on TripAdvisor but most look quite outdated and not exactly matching our situation.

My wife-to-be and will be in beautiful Sicily between Aug 31 and Sept 8, 2013.We are flying to Palermo, where we have a rental waiting for us and we're staying in Castellammare del Golfo. We would like to make the most of our stay but also split it between relaxing at the beach and doing some trips in North-West of Sicily. So, basically, we'd like to dedicate maybe 3 days for just traveling and seeing stuff.

What would you recommend seeing (wine tasting/coffee/authentic food/historical places)?

How do tolls work on your highways? Is is the usual drill where you pay at the toll or have the little zapper on you windshield?

Lights on at all time, fluorescent jacket, aggressive drivers - is there anything else we should keep in mind?

I can't wait to go - I bet it's going to be awesome! In March we visited Rome and that was, by far,one of the best trips of my life. Amazing people, great food, incredibly rich culture and heritage.

Thanks in advance, folks!

Phil

palermo
Destination Expert
for Palermo
Level Contributor
2,593 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Another road trip topic - North West Sicily in Sept 2013

Hi. All the motorways west of Palermo are free, the only toll roads in Sicily are Palermo-Messina and Messina-Catania. You can pay with cash at toll booths, avoid the lanes marked with "telepass".

On italian autostrade, lights should be on even at daytime. The jacket should be present in any rental car.

Use the left lane only for passing, and you'll be fine.

St Paul, MN
Level Contributor
20,387 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Another road trip topic - North West Sicily in Sept 2013

The beach in Castellammare is dirty. YOu are better off driving to Zingaro or San Vito lo Capo. We visited in Feb so the beachwas not why we styed there.

Driving on the Autostrada was not too bad actually evne if we were the slowest car on the Autostrada and we were goign over the speed limit.

I would suggest Castellammare del Golfo as a base for western Sicily if you rent a car. It is only 15 min west from the Palermo airport. We stayed there for 14 days in Feb. 2010 for touring western Sicily. It cost $750 fron AutoEurope UK for an automatic. Castellammare has great access to A29 Autostrada. Our Hotel Al Madrig had free parking. I have read that Hotel Cala Marina in the Harbor also has free parking.

maps.google.com/maps/ms…

Zoom in or out to see better. We visited Segesta, Erice, Trapani, Selinunte, Agrigento, and Mozia from there using A29. Castellammare is close to the Zingaro Preserve and you can easily visit it from there.

Castellammare doesn't have a lot of sights of its own, but the scenery is lovely and there are hotels, apartments (in-season), restaurants, cafes there. The people were friendly and helpful.

Map of Castella

maps.google.com/maps/ms…

View out to sea

www.slowphotos.com/photo/showphoto.php…

Harbor

www.slowphotos.com/photo/showphoto.php…

Local Street

www.slowphotos.com/photo/showphoto.php…

Our hotel Al Madarig

www.slowphotos.com/photo/showphoto.php…

There are buses from Castellammare to Palermo; they parked at night at the Piazza in front of our hotel. You could also drive your car 15 min to the Palermo airport from Castella and take a bus to Palermo from there so that you wouldn't have to hassle with driving your car to Palermo and trying to park it there.

Park City, Utah
Level Contributor
725 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Another road trip topic - North West Sicily in Sept 2013

Hi Phil,

I just visited Sicily from mid-April to mid-May. I arrived at Palermo in the evening after a flight from Utah, so I had a driver take me to my first stop - Erice. I loved Erice and stayed there 3 nights. While there I went down to Trapani to pick up my rental car.

I found driving in Sicily very, very easy. I was surprised because I had expected it to be more chaotic than the rest of Italy, but it wasn't. I drove perhaps a little slower than most, but I did my share of passing too.

I also spend a night in Scopello and enjoyed a rain shortened hike in Lo Zingaro very much. It's just gorgeous and I would recommend it as a highlight. I also visited Segesta which is just such a beautiful setting for the temple and theater. Some of my best pics are from there.

I didn't make it to Mozia or Marsala, as those were lower priority for me on this trip.

I would definitely recommend staying somewhere else than Castellammare for your honeymoon. There are options that are just so much better and more romantic.

Check out Erice Pietre Antiche Apartamenti. It's where I stayed and I just loved it. Or look at Hotel San Domenico if you prefer hotel services.

Congrats and buon viaggio!

London, United...
Level Contributor
4 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Another road trip topic - North West Sicily in Sept 2013

Thank you all. I will read through your details a little more carefully later tonight.

Seems like we will do a few of the things you guys suggested.

Many thanks for your help.

Phil

Edited: 21 June 2013, 10:38
Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
Level Contributor
98,075 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Another road trip topic - North West Sicily in Sept 2013

Welcome to Sicily Phil T!

The A29 leads directly from Palermo’s airport to Western Sicily – There are no tolls!

Driving is not at all challenging in Western Sicily - From the ACI (Automobile Club Italia):

Driving in Italy: information for visiting motorists

aci.it/il-club/…

Western Sicily is genuine and authentic – Erice, Segesta, and Selinunte are top attractions, but also the Egadi Islands, Lo Zingaro....

Although Castellammare del Golfo is well positioned at the crossroads of the A29 for touring and exploring, it’s not the best base for a beach.

Where to stay in Western Sicily?:

tripadvisor.com/…46528988

Wine Tours:

tripadvisor.com/…47948058

Enjoy!

Vagabonda

London, United...
Level Contributor
4 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Another road trip topic - North West Sicily in Sept 2013

Hello guys! Thanks for being so helpful.

What is the average cost of a meal in Sicily? I appreciate that Palermo may be a lot more expensive than a small town, but, on average, what is a good estimate of a two-course meal, per person?

Is this website accurate: www.budgetyourtrip.com/budgetreportadv.php…

Many thanks again!

Phil

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
Level Contributor
98,075 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Another road trip topic - North West Sicily in Sept 2013

Prego Phil T,

The cost varies by location - a tourist destination like Taormina is more expensive, what you eat, and also if it's a restaurant, trattorie, or osterie.

Prices:

http://www.bestofsicily.com/faqs.htm#prices

There have been many earlier threads discussing prices.

Cost of eating out in Taormina:

tripadvisor.com/…39813580

Restaurants with good (local wine menu house under €20 ):

tripadvisor.com/…40613667

Vagabonda

London, United...
Level Contributor
4 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Another road trip topic - North West Sicily in Sept 2013

Thanks for your quick reply, Vagabonda.

From what I can see, meals will hardly cost more than around €20 per person, even though we're staying in Castellammare del Golfo and not Taormina.

Thanks!

Phil

Amelia Island...
Level Contributor
891 posts
66 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Another road trip topic - North West Sicily in Sept 2013

We recently spent 5 days in Castellemmare Del Golfo. We flew into Palermo, rented a car and stayed at Hotel Cala Marina on the water (great breakfast and it has two rooms that offer little balconies that overlook the boats). There isn’t much to do up in the town itself. This is a working port town so the water is not fit for swimming as there are many small fishing vessels working the area. Nonetheless, we enjoyed waking early, getting coffee and walking down to the end of the marina to watch the locals negotiate for the overnight catches. We ate at La Cambusa four of the five nights and found the seafood super fresh, affordable and quite interesting (try the monkfish or lobster with pasta sauce!). Saturday and Sunday evenings see a lot of activity in the port area’s restaurants – people watching was fun. Our day trips were to Sciacca, Erice (we took the “back road” that twists its way above the clouds), Marsala (Florio wine tour was very nice), Mozia salt flats, Segesta and Scopello (very small but picturesque with a nice beach and good places for lunch). Driving was easy and free – a good map or GPS really helps.

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
Level Contributor
98,075 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Another road trip topic - North West Sicily in Sept 2013

Prego Phil T,

It would still depend on the restaurant and what you ordered.

Perhaps check some menus from restaurants in Castellammare del Golfo to determine what you would order and the cost. You can sort the restaurants by price.

tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurants-g608929-Castel…

Vagabonda