Are you a first time traveller to Sicily? Here are my suggestions for you!
Sicily, known as “Sicilia” in Italian, is an island which has recently begun to seduce travellers with its diversity of landscapes and culture. It is separated from the Italian mainland region of Calabria by the 5 km Straits of Messina. The distance between Marsala in Sicily and Hammam El Ghezaz in Tunisia is approximately 200 km. Meanwhile, Pantelleria, a minor island of Sicily, is only 60 km away from the African coast. Because of its geographical position, it has amazing sunny days throughout the year, however, June and July remain the best time to visit the Island since the weather is still enough cool.
I created this post called “Suggested itinerary for the first time traveller to Sicily” thanks to some ideas I got from the Voyage Privé website. I feel in retrospect that I picked the right stages for our journey. Especially if you are a first-time Sicilian traveller, these are certainly the cities to start with since they are in the most organized areas of the region therefore without doubt with some of the best areas to stay in Sicily. Voyage Privè had more than enough suggestions for Sicily for us to choose from to fill our available days.
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My travel itinerary starts here ⬇️
We landed in Catania, which is the best airport if you are going to visit the places I recommend. We rented a car with Sicily Rent Car. I highly recommend this company; we had some issues with our credit cards but the guys helped us in every possible way.
Landing into Catania is perfect if you want to try the Mount Etna Hike. Moreover, Catania is a dream destination for street food and fast food lovers.
Well, Alessandro and I are not personally junk food people but I don’t want to hide that we didn’t miss trying the arancini or raw horse meat panini at some lost corner of the city. (yeah I know, this sounds crazy to many because horse meat is illegal in many countries but in Italy, it is not).
From Catania we went straight to Agrigento without missing the stopover in Piazza Armerina. We stayed two nights there and we did plenty of things: Valley of the Temples, a stroll around the town and the Archaeological Museum. Actually, due to the bad weather conditions, the day after we didn’t get to go to the Scala dei Turchi. It bothered me a lot.
On our way to ragusa Ibla, we stopped in Punta Secca. This town has become famous as a film set for the popular Inspector Montalbano series. But besides that, the city has a relaxing beach life. Furthermore, Punta Secca, with its white lighthouse, is really very picturesque.
From the crystalline waters of Punta Secca we moved to the hill town Ragusa Ibla. It is a kingdom of the Baroque period in Sicily. It is a wonder and here I want to add nothing more. Stay at least two nights here. There is a small Sicilian cart shop in Ragusa Ibla which is also very interesting.
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Our next stop was Modica. Actually, compared to the beautiful Ragusa Ibla, Modica might seem optional. But this Baroque town in the valley holds a secret: The Modican Chocolate. Yes, Modica still preserves an ancient technique to process the cocoa bean powder which gives a particular taste to the chocolate bars. This is why most of the food tours to Sicily include Modica. “The Dolceria Bonajuto” chocolate shop is the oldest one in the city.
From Modica, we moved to Portopalo di Capo Passero. It is said that this town is the meeting point of the Ionian and the Mediterranean Seas. This creates a current of air that creates waves that instead of reaching the seashore, move ahead in a zigzag course without ever arriving at their destination. This is a small natural wonder that will leave you speechless. This pleasant old fishing village should not be underestimated. Portopalo di Capo Passero has a high chance of becoming the place of my retirement. Take your time to visit the “Spiaggio di San Lorenzo” and “Isola delle Correnti”.
Marzamemi was our next stop! That small hamlet is beating. It is adorable and super romantic. It was an old fishing village which has been now converted into a tourist destination. A single day is quite enough for Marzamemi but that single day is a great memory to take back home.
From Marzamemi we moved to Noto. It is a place of many religious monuments and it is famous for its fine buildings of the early 18th century. Most of them are considered to be among the finest example of the Sicilian Baroque. We didn’t sleep in Noto, we just strolled around, had our lunch and moved to our final destination.
Our last stop was the Island Of Ortigia in Syracuse. Yes, this is the right place for the last days of your holiday in Sicily and yes every first time traveller to Sicily must consider this option because it offers not only a ton of places to visit but also relaxation and fun for you to choose from.
This means it is perfectly suited for all kind of travellers. As for us, we decided to visit a few things (Hypogeum, Cathedral and boat trip) without skipping the entertainment and relaxation. We even dared to reserve in Ortigia a super luxury beach front apartment that was spectacular. All in all, those were the last three days of our vacation.
We left the Island of Ortigia and headed back to Catania from where we flew back home. All these cities were just amazing and I wish we could have had more days to spend in Sicily.
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Even though it is small, as I said first due to its important history and the interesting geography, one single trip won’t be enough to see what it has to offer. So, once back from your first trip to Sicily, you will feel like wanting to return soon. And you will do it!
If you can, try to add to this itinerary also Ispica and Scicli. And if you are in Sicily during the Easter period, then you should consider visiting Enna for Good Friday.
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