My boyfriend and I flew into Sicily a couple weeks ago, rented an Audi convertible and cruised the small island off Italy which turned out to be a whole lot bigger than I thought! Below are a couple tips on what to do and how to get around the island:
Places to visit:
1. Aegadian Islands, these are actually three little islands off the west coast of Sicily. I wanted to visit all of them but only got a chance to do a day trip to the main one, Favignana. We rented bikes for 5 euros (they’ll try rip you off so say you’ll only do 5) and cruised the island all day. Warning: it was HOT and it can be hard in the middle of the day at 30 degrees, if you ride a scooter I recommend you do that instead as the island is quite big and you’ll see more quicker and sweat less – unless you want to sweat! Personally my favourite beach was Cala Azzurra. My boyfriend’s was Blue Marino.
How to get there: catch a ferry from Trapani (where we stayed) this is a port city with great restaurants in the town. Book your ferry beforehand as they get full if you just rock up in the morning.
2. Isola Bella (Taormina), A gorgeous little island you can walk to from the main island. Isola Bella actually has a little museum on it you can check out for 4 euros or so, from far away you can’t tell there’s anything on it! The museum (was a house) is built into the rock!
We did an excurisone and snorkelled a few spots around the island from Giardini Naxos. The best way to see it!
Taormina the town itself wasn’t as magical as everyone hyped it up to be. It was crazy full of tourists and super windy. If you go on the first Sunday of the month it’s free entry to the ancient theatre which is awesome, but I don’t think I would have wanted to pay 20 euro for entry so we got lucky.
3. Scala Dei Turchi, You only really need a half or one day at this amazing spot – either early in the morning or late in the arvo, or both which is what we did. Middle of the day to sunset the tourists are out hard and heavy. Try stay one night in the Scala Dei Turchi resort which is literally opposite the entry and walk to the amazing natural white rock ‘stairs’. I loved this spot of Sicily because the rocks were so nice compared to the usual spikey, painful rocks it usually has on it’s coastline.
You’ll have to drive up the mountain if you want any food though as there’s not much else around.
4. Ortigia, This is gorgeous little town with a rich heritage and possibly the best food I had while in Sicily. Just a stone throw away was Syracusa I liked this place for the cats and how instagrammable it all was. The beaches in the actual town weren’t amazing as it’s all on rocks (very, very aggressive rocks) so we strolled into Syracusa and rented day beds on the beach.
5. Laghetti Di Marinello, we only passed through this place but the beach should be considered as one of the natural wonders of the world… it’s a large sandy finger out of the island which looks small but is HUGE. I felt like we walked over a kilometre to get to the beach itself but it was worth it! If we had more time and energy I would have loved to try trek to the very tip, maybe catch a boat as it was massive and the water was so perfect.
1. Hire a car, it’s really the only way to get around but Sicily in summer is too hot to drive with the top down in a convertible, and in our case more often than not we had luggage in the boot (trunk) so we couldn’t even put the top down if we wanted to. So don’t waste your money on an a3!
2. Avoid staying right in the main cities as they’re often very crowded, the accomodation is unnecessarily expensive, it’s hard to park in and full of tourists.
3. The autostrata is crazy, the limit is 130kph and Sicilian drivers are ruthless. They’ll drive on the incoming traffic lane to overtake you and this is normal so don’t be alarmed. Just stick to the right side of the road and you’ll get used to it in a couple days.