Sicily: See it in 10 days

How to spend the perfect 10 days in Sicily

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Tip 1: This is a counter-clockwise circuit of Sicily that takes in the island's greatest hits. (Why counter-clockwise? I honestly couldn't tell you. It just seems to work out best that way. On my last visit I tried, just for an experiment, to do it the other way around and my timing was off the entire trip.)

Schedule at a glance
Day 1 - Palermo
Day 2 - Palermo
Day 3 - Monreale, Segesta, Erice
Day 4- Marsala, Mozia, Selinute, Agrigento
Day 5 - Agrigento, [Piazza Armerina or Caltagirone or Ragusa], Siracusa
Day 6 - Siracusa
Day 7 - [Noto or Etna], Taormina
Day 8 - Taormina, Cefalù
Day 9 - Cefalù, Palermo
Day 10 - Home
Now that so many low-cost airlines can fly you direct from many Italian and European cities into Palermo (in the case of Eurofly, you can even fly direct from New York), this trip starts in Palermo.

However, if you're arriving the old-fashioned way—via train and the Straits of Messina—you could just as easily start this tour in Cefalù, proceed to Palermo from there, and just keep going around.

Or you could fly into Catania, grab a rental car there, and head up the coast to start in Taormina, continuing around and ending in Siracusa.

It really works any way you slice it. (Just don't try it clockwise.)

Tip 2: Sicily is best explored by cartrains are often slow and frequently require connections, and many towns are serviced only by infrequent buses. That said, Palermo is one of my least favorite Italian cities in which to drive.

Don't forget to pay attention to the "Before you Leave Home " box at the end of the itinerary covering all the details you need to take care of before leaving home—and be sure to read the "Foolish Assumptions" page about how these itineraries work along with more time-planning tips.Best advice: If you're arriving by air, head into Palermo using public transportation, see the city, and then pick up a rental car on your way out of town.

If you arrive by train from the Italian mainland, and starting in Cefalù, there is excellent train service from there on to Palermo, so I would do that and wait to pick up the car until you're ready to leave Palermo.

Trivia
This is the actual itinerary I drew up for Arthur Frommer when he took his first trip to Sicily. So, yeah: I put a lot of thought into this one!
Bonus: not only will this save you the aggravation of driving, it will also save you a lot of money (fewer rental days, no pricey gas to buy, no cost to garage it in Palermo, etc.).

DAY 1 - PALERMO

DAY 2 - PALERMO

DAY 3 - PALERMO TO ERICE

DAY 4 - ERICE TO AGRIGENTO

DAY 5 - AGRIGENTO TO SIRACUSA

DAY 6 - SIRACUSA

DAY 7 - SIRACUSA TO TAORMINA

DAY 8 - TAORMINA TO CEFALù

DAY 9 - CEFALù TO PALERMO

Before you leave home:
 Book plane tickets
 Book hotels
 Check train times
 Learn more about Italy
 Practice your Italian

Day 10: PALERMO TO HOME

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This article was written by Reid Bramblett and was last updated in September 2010. All information was accurate at the time.

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