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One week tour of Sicily - help needed

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One week tour of Sicily - help needed

We are arriving in Catania from Naples after a 4 week tour of Italy on March 5. We would like to visit East Coast as well as Aggrigento and Palermo. We thought that we would either 1. Stay in Catania 2 nights with a day trip to etna and Taormina, then bus to Siracuse for 2 nights (Siracuse already booked 2 nights but flexible) or bus straight from airport to Taomina stay 2 nights then bus to Siracuse. The next bit gets tricky as we would then like to go to Agrigento via Piazza Amerina stay in Agrigento then on to Palermo, flying out on the 13th March. We thought to save time we would bus from Siracuse back to Catania airport and pick up a hire car, returning it to Palermo (Avis at airport only - maybe dropping luggage off at a hotel near bus or train for easy departure?) then 2 days in Palermo. Any other thoughts or suggestions?

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1. Re: One week tour of Sicily - help needed

As you are wanting to do quite a lot in a week it might be better to hire a car for the whole time except the last two days in Palermo and to stay in Taormina or nearby rather than Catania. Car hire rates should be low in early March.

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2. Re: One week tour of Sicily - help needed

Welcome to Sicily bts50!

March is early in the season and a transitional weather month in Sicily.

So March isn't the optimal month to base in Taormina, although the town is reawakening in March after closing for winter. Easter typically ushers the start of Taormina's tourist season.

Your itinerary can be accomplished without hiring a car, but you would find a car more convenient, especially with relatively limited time, and you might find the car helpful earlier on in your itinerary than you were planning.

Why would you bus from Siracusa to the airport to hire the car and not simply hire the car in Siracusa?

If you were to hire the car on arrival at Catania's airport, then base in Taormina and Siracusa.

Avoid driving in Catania.

There's no right or wrong way of doing this, but consider that Catania is a large city, and not for everyone, and also consider that Palermo would be another large city experience, so for diversity of experience, you might prefer different settings for your other bases.

If you don't hire the car on arrival, then Catania would offer the most convenient base for public transport.

Keep in mind that the only public transport to Etna is the AST bus from Catania, so unless you plan to hire the car earlier, or you plan to take an excursion to Etna, or you plan very early public transport from Taormina to Catania to catch the AST bus from Catania to Etna, you won't find Taormina as convenient a base as Catania.

taormina vs. catania:

tripadvisor.com/…40109097

Etna would be cold in March, and also expect some snow.

You might also begin in Siracusa.

Wherever you hire the car, return the car in Agrigento, and then take the Cuffaro bus from Agrigento to Palermo, 2 hours.

There is no luggage storage anywhere in Piazza Armerina, and it's always a risk to leave luggage unattended in a car, so seeing Piazza Armerina on your way to Agrigento isn't ideal. It's a calculated risk only you can decide.

Best wishes!

Vagabonda

Edited: 12 November 2013, 10:27
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3. Re: One week tour of Sicily - help needed

Thanks for your prompt reply. We thought we would do an organised day tour from Catania to see Etna and Taomina. My husband wants to hire car through Avis and he could not find them in Siracuse hence the need to go back to Catania - seems a waste I know but any suggestions to other hire places to get us from Siracuse to Agrigento. Could we drive to agrigento book into hotel and drop off bags then go back to Pizza Armerina to avoid risk? We only based at the cities particularly Palermo to be close to departure point. Any suggestions for somewhere else to stay with easy access to palermo airport for departure. We have had our brains in a tangle after already going through this process for the previous month in Italy!

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4. Re: One week tour of Sicily - help needed

If you plan an organised day tour from Catania, then consider beginning in Siracusa, and then spending time in Catania. It's much more convenient to travel onward to Piazza Armerina and Agrigento from Catania than from Siracusa.

Avis is located at 9 Via Dei Mille on Ortigia (Siracusa) near the bridge to the island.

https://www.avis.com/car-rental/location/EUR/IT/Siracusa,+Sicily

You would waste time doubling back from Agrigento back to Piazza Armerina, but you might spend the night in Piazza Armerina.

You could check into your hotel in Piazza Armerina, drop off your luggage, and then continue onward to Agrigento returning to Piazza Armerina for the night.

Then see Piazza Armerina's Villa Romana del Casale the following morning.

You could then return the car the following day after the Villa Romana del Casale in Caltanissetta, and take the direct and frequent SAIS Trasporti bus from Caltanissetta to Palermo.

http://www.giamporcaro.it/

If you didn't stay in Palermo, you could drive onward from Agrigento to a base in Western Sicily, since Palermo's airport is located west of the city.

Where to stay in Western Sicily?:

tripadvisor.com/…46528988

Vagabonda

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5. Re: One week tour of Sicily - help needed

Thank you we have thought of that and were a bit worried as we thought the car would be redundant in Siracusa - maybe hire from there for the rest of the trip?

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6. Re: One week tour of Sicily - help needed

OK that sounds great a plan is starting to materialise! we actually can afford two nights in the agrigrento so we could go to Piazza Amerina then move on to Agrigento and bus onwards from there. The main reason we were going to base in catania is our flight gets in around 4. Is there an Avis in Agrigento to drop off the car?

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7. Re: One week tour of Sicily - help needed

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