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Planning a week in Sicily

Rhode Island
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Planning a week in Sicily

Definitely last minute, my husband and I are planning on spending a week in Sicily leaving from Boston next Fri. 9/5, our first trip there. I am trying to put this together quickly but am having problems with public transportation questions and actually where to go, how long to stay and good location hotels in the cities. We are flying into Palermo on Sat. 9/6 at 2:30pm and flying home from there the following Sat. at 7:30am. My initial idea was to spend the first 3 nights in Palermo 9/6,7&8, Sat,Sun,Mon . Then Tues. morning I was thinking of going to Siracusa by bus maybe for 2 nights, Tues & Wed., and then to Taormina for one night, Thurs, and then heading back to Palermo for our last night since we must be close to the airport for our very early flight Sat morning. I checked bus/trains and couldn't get the info I needed - going from Taormina to Palermo on Fri. or from Siracusa to Taormina. It also seems like a long way from Siracusa to Taormina. Should I just stay in Siracusa 3 nights longer and then go back to Palermo? Are there beaches in Siracusa? I haven't booked hotels in any place yet. Thanks in advance for any information you can give me

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Manchester, UK
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1. Re: Planning a week in Sicily

Hi,

you could base your self in Cefalu' for the first 2-3 nights (nice charming town, on the north coast, on the railway-line, with a great town centre, beach and restaurants). From there you have easy acces to Palermo and you will be closer to Taormina.

Palermo airport to Palermo station:

www.gesap.it/index2.php3?op=211&lang=en

Train Palermo to Cefalu':

http://www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html

...

To get to Taormina from Cefalu take the train to Messina:

http://www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html

and then the bus Messina to Taormina:

www.interbus.it/interbushtm/homepage.asp

...

From Taormina to Siracusa you could either take the train (just over 2hours) or the bus (change at Catania airport).

...

From Siracusa to Palermo there is a direct bus that takes 3 hours 15mins:

www.interbus.it/interbushtm/homepage.asp

...

Day 1 - Arrive and transfer to/and visit Cefalu'.

Day 2 - train to Palermo and explore the city and Monreale.

Day 3 - travel to Taormina and visit Greek-Roman Theatre.

Day 4 - trip on Mount Etna??

Day 5 - travel to Siracusa, Greek theatre and Ortigia.

Day 6 - explore the Baroque towns??

Day 7 - Back to Palermo for your last night.

Day 8 - Fly back.

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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2. Re: Planning a week in Sicily

Certainly last minute – spontaneous can be fun, but nerve-racking!

So 7 nights!

With an early departure, it would be best to end your holiday in Palermo – there is excellent public transportation (bus or train) from the city to the airport. It’s also not very efficient splitting your time in Palermo, and you will be arriving early enough to travel further from the airport.

Palermo Airport:

www.gesap.it/index2.php3?op=212&lang=en

Though there is a direct bus (Interbus) from Palermo to Siracusa (3 hours), you will be arriving too late for the last bus on a Saturday.

Interbus:

http://interbus.it/

So your choices would be to begin with 3 nights in Palermo and end with 1 night in Palermo; only spend your first night in Palermo and end with 3 nights in Palermo – less stress than arriving in Palermo the day prior to your flight; or even spend your first night in Cefalu. You could then re-route your itinerary, Cefalu-Taormina-Siracusa-Palermo.

You could take the 45 minute train from Palermo to Cefalu – nice beach, good restaurants and a good relaxing first night in Sicily after a flight. Palermo is baptism by fire as an introduction to Sicily!! You could also hire a private transfer from the airport to Cefalu.

Cefalu Transfer:

http://www.cefalu.it/transfer.php?lingua=en

It’s not difficult to travel between Taormina and Siracusa and diversity of destinations is good – they are quite different. Taormina is a (beach) resort – Sicily’s chicest. Siracusa is an historical town – not a beach destination. There are beaches south of Siracusa, but best reached by car.

Vagabonda

Here & There
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3. Re: Planning a week in Sicily

Perfect Salvo - same thoughts!!! :-)

Vagabonda

Manchester, UK
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4. Re: Planning a week in Sicily

Yes Vagabonda, exactly the same thoughts! :-)

Rhode Island
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5. Re: Planning a week in Sicily

Grazie mille. I have rethought my week and based on your suggestions I am thinking of arriving at Palermo airport on Sat. and going right to Cefalu for Sat & Sun nights, then Taormina for Mon night, Siracusa for Tues night and to Palermo for my last 3 nights giving me time to go to Monreale, Mondello beach and maybe even Agrigento. My husband really wanted 2 bases but it looks like we will be moving a little more this way. It seems like all these trips from town to town are about 3-3 1/2 hours. Now I must ask if you could possible recommend places to stay in the above mentioned towns, around 100-125 euro (or less if possible). My guidebooks have no places to stay for Cefalu and every place I had emailed previously in Taormina was not available. This is the down side of being spontaneous and having a bad case of wanderlust! Thanks again

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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6. Re: Planning a week in Sicily

Siracusa, or even Taormina would be more deserving of a second night than Cefalu.

Take the morning after arrival to continue exploring Cefalu, and leave for Taormina in the afternoon.

If you’d like to visit Etna, give the extra night to Taormina. If you’d like more time to explore the historical ruins in Siracusa and Ortgia, give the extra night to Siracusa.

Cefalu lacks good accommodation – go over budget here and save in other destinations.

Cefalu:

Villa Gaia:

www.villagaiahotel.it/villagaia/default.asp

www.siciliano.it/_pagina-hotels.cfm…

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g194726-d496560…

Villa Cefala was featured in Frommer’s Budget Travel – located in Santa Flavia between Palermo and Cefalu.

Secret Hotels of Sicily:

budgettravel.com/bt-dyn/…AR2007052901264.html

Villa Cefala:

http://www.tenutacefala.it/

karenbrown.com/Accommodations/…00003879.php

www.farm-holidays-sicily.com/pagina.cfm…

http://www.bed-and-breakfast

sicily.it/pagina.cfm?ID=699&p=Palermo

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g680046-d281889…

Taormina:

Hotel Condor, Villa Favorita, Pensione Svizzera, Albergo Victoria or Villa Nettuno are all good choices in Taormina.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187892-i344-k1658…

Albergo Victoria:

http://www.albergovictoria.it/uk/

Siracusa offers many outstanding B&B accommodations in budget!

L’Approdo delle Sirene:

http://www.apprododellesirene.com

karenbrown.com/Accommodations/…00002211.php

www.bed-and-breakfast-sicily.it/pagina.cfm…

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g187891-d569…

Artusa Vacanze B&B:

http://www.aretusavacanze.com/

www.bed-and-breakfast-sicily.it/pagina.cfm…

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187891-d483423…

Palazzo del Sale B&B:

http://www.palazzodelsale.com/

www.opensicily.com/en/rental_review.php…

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187891-d629015…

Hotel Gutkowski:

http://www.guthotel.it/

frommers.com/destinations/…H42833.html

budgettravel.com/bt-dyn/…AR2007052901264.html

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187891-d256925…

Hotel Posta:

www.hotelpostasiracusa.it/home_hotelposta.jsp

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187891-d275823…

Vagabonda

Rhode Island
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7. Re: Planning a week in Sicily

Vagabonda, Thank you so very much. You are fantastc and an incredible wealth of information. I am a little less stressed about planning this trip after your latest posting and I will take your advice about 1 night in Cefalu. I just emailed some of your suggestions in the 3 towns and hope they respond with availability. I had previously emailed Gran Bretagna in Siracusa and they have a room so I can book that I guess. But since I have now changed Palermo to the end of the trip, Hotel Joli, where I was thinking of staying does not have a room. I tried 2 other places suggested by my guidebook in Palermo and they had no rooms either. Hotel Moderno is the only one that responded yes but I just checked the reviews on this website and decided it's not for me. I hate to ask . . . but would you have a suggestion for Palermo too???? I really appreciate the time you are taking - it's very very kind of you. Grazie! Grazie!

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
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106,280 posts
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8. Re: Planning a week in Sicily

Prego - Planning a trip is part of the fun – it’s what makes the trip “yours,” and these forums offer lots of support.

You could spend more nights in Cefalu if you didn’t intend to spend so many nights in Palermo. Cefalu would be a good base for Palermo, but since you also want to spend time in Palermo, that would cut down on your number of nights in Cefalu.

There are many wonderful accommodations that never the see the pages of guide books.

Taormina Accommodations:

www.gate2taormina.com/accommodation_en.htm

Palermo Accommodations:

aapit.pa.it/datad/…

First decide if you want the historic centre (Old Town) or the New City in Palermo.

Palermo Neighborhoods:

frommers.com/destinations/…0135024195.html

frommers.com/destinations/…0135025074.html

Old Town:

Allakala B&B:

www.allakala.it

www.bed-and-breakfast-sicily.it/pagina.cfm…

www.siciliano.it/_pagina_beb.cfm…

travelsicilia.com/structures/allakala-palerm…

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g187890-d968…

Kalsuite:

http://www.kalsuite.com/

bed-and-breakfast-in-italy.com/pagina.cfm…

italianday.com/english/hotel/80/kalsuite.html

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187890-d622069…

BB22:

http://www.bb22.it/

www.bed-and-breakfast-sicily.it/pagina.cfm…

www.siciliano.it/_pagina_beb.cfm…

www.i-escape.com/minihotel.php…

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187890-d631600…

New City:

Mercure Hotel:

http://www.mercure.com/gb/home/index.shtml

www.riminiturismo.com/metha/scheda.asp…

http://www.riminiturismo.com/metha/index.asp

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g187890-d506…

Vagabonda

Rhode Island
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17 posts
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9. Re: Planning a week in Sicily

Thank you again, Vagabonda. You have been most helpful and even so last minute, our trip is finally coming together. I believe you should write and publish a guidebook. My husband and I will certainly toast you on our trip. Salute! Ciao, Susan

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
Level Contributor
106,280 posts
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10. Re: Planning a week in Sicily

Just lovely travelerRI57 - hope to hear all about your last minute adventure!! :-)

Buon Viaggio!

Vagabonda

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