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Critique Sicily Itinerary - April 2013

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Park City, Utah
posts: 161
reviews: 19
Critique Sicily Itinerary - April 2013

I've been planning this trip for months and would appreciate the input of the wonderful Sicily experts here. Female traveling solo, combo of public trans and rental car. In and out of Palermo from the western US.

4/20 Arrive Palermo 6:30 pm, private driver to Scopello, 60E.

4/20, 4/21 - Hotel Torre Bennistra, Scopello. Hike a bit in Zingaro. Swim if warm enough, I know it's early season.

4/22, 23, 24 - Erice - Pietre Antiche. Erice, Segesta, perhaps Moize/Marsala. Pick up rental car in Trapani, last day.

4/25 Agrigento - Camera con Vista B&B. Visit Selinute and Eraclea Minoa enroute to Agrigento.

4/26 - Valli dei Templi and museum. Drive on to Piazza Amerina area agritourismo -TBD.

4/27 - Early visit to Villa Casale, retrieve luggage, on to Caltagirone for lunch and ceramics. Scicli - Hotel Novecento, 4/27, 28, 29. Visit Scicli, Modica

.

4/30, 5/1 - Ortygia - Sea View B&B. Visit Vendicari preserve and perhaps Noto enroute. Return car in Siracusa. Train to...

5/2 Taormina - Hotel Taodomus. Theater, stroll, Giardino Naxos. No interest in Etna. View is enough.

5/3 Lipari, apt. rental 5 nts. Train/bus/ferry. Relax, visit Salina, Lipari, night boat tour Stomboli.

5/8, 9, 10, 11 Palermo - Hotel Ambasciatori. City sites, Monreale.

5/12 fly home

Debating whether to spend 3 nights in Scicli or Ortygia. Ortygia sounds much more appealing to me for an extra night. Opinions?

Will Scopello be very quiet this early? Any good restaurant recommendations here? No response from Pensione Tranchina so assuming they are booked and no dinner for me here.

Presently booked at a B&B in Caltagirone for 1 nt. Deciding whether to stay in town or in countryside. Leaning toward a nt in the countryside at this point in the trip. Agritourismo recommendations?

Best way to get from Taormina to Lipari? All bus, or combo train/bus to Milazzo?

Have not been able to find bus schedules for Lipari local trans. Does anyone know the website?Vacation apt is at the Quattroocchi stop.

Palermo, considering a bus tour to Monreale and Segesta if I don't get to Segesta during Erice stay. Has anyone done one of these? Might be easier than public bus?

Thanks in advance for recommendations and input!

I know I am moving around a lot, much more than I would like. However, traveling light and solo so it's not a big deal for me. I would rather move than backtrack daily.

los angeles
posts: 383
reviews: 5
1. Re: Critique Sicily Itinerary - April 2013

Pensione Tranchina didn't return my emails so i finally called and booked to stay there in May. I don't think they provide dinner to people staying elsewhere, but i could be wrong about that.

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
posts: 75,300
2. Re: Critique Sicily Itinerary - April 2013

Welcome to Sicily Spello2005!

April is very early for swimming in Sicily – Sicily’s formal beach season begins in June, but you wouldn’t be the first to brace the chilly seas at Lo Zingaro for a quick swim in April!

You could easily enjoy Western Sicily from only one base in Scopello or Erice – Time is lost changing hotels, and these two locations are only 45 minutes apart, so it’s hardly worth the effort to change accommodations.

You would appreciate hiring the car on arrival at Palermo’s airport.

Segesta is more easily visited by car and you would appreciate the car for visiting Mozia. The only public transport to Mozia is via Marsala, so you would require a bus from Erice to Trapani, then the AST bus or train from Trapani to Marsala, and then the local bus from Marsala to Mozia.

You might consider seeing Lo Zingaro from Erice, and then spending a few nights in the Selinunte area – There is no left luggage storage at Selinunte or Eraclea Minoa and it’s always a risk leaving luggage unattended in the car.

You might take a day trip to Piazza Armerina from Agrigento, or if you plan to overnight in Piazza Armerina, take a day trip to Caltagirone from Piazza Armerina, or even from Modica - Again there is no left luggage storage in Caltagirone. You can easily visit Caltagirone from Piazza Armerina or Modica and avoid changing hotels so frequently.

Drive directly to Siracusa, check-into your hotel, and visit Noto at sunset from Siracusa.

Taormina to Milazzo:

tripadvisor.com/…44029353

Return to Milazzo, take the AST bus from Milazzo’s port to Milazzo’s train station, and then take the train onward to Palermo.

Allocate the extra night to Siracusa – There’s much to see and do in Siracusa.

Scopello will be awakening for the new season and if the weather’s lovely, you’ll find "some" activity, but your time might be better spent with all your nights in Erice, or a few nights in Southern Trapani province.

Tranchina provides dinner for guests....

Urso runs the Lipari’s local bus service.

http://www.ursobus.it/

Segesta is best visited from Trapani and Monreale is easily visited from Palermo.

Vagabonda

Park City, Utah
posts: 161
reviews: 19
3. Re: Critique Sicily Itinerary - April 2013

Alison & Vagabonda,

Thank you for your comments. I have had endless trouble accessing TripAdvisor, hence the late reponse on my part.

I have changed my itinerary a bit due to the early season visit to Lo Zingaro and lack of bus service.

I will be arriving at Palermo airport in the evening after 25+ hours of travel from the US in an area completely new to me and most likely after dark!

I will have a driver take me to Erice and pick up a rental car in Trapani a day or so later.

My plan is now:

Day 1: arrive Palermo 18:30 and driver to Erice

Day 2: Erice, perhaps pick up car on day 2 and visit Moize & salt pans

Day 3: Erice and Segesta

Day 4: Scopello, hike in Lo Zingaro, stay Scopello

Day 5: Selinute, stay Selinute

Day 6: Agrigento, possibly visit Eraclea Minoa enroute to Temples and museum, stay Agrigento

Day 7: Villa del Casale, Catalgirone, stay B&B Giliotto

Day 8: Scicli

Day 9: Modica, stay Scicli

Day 10: Ortigia, visit Vendicardi, maybe Noto enroute,return car

Day 11: Ortigia

Day 12: Ortigia

Day 13:Taormina

Day 14 - 18 Lipari

Day 19 - 22 Palermo

I realize many of these sites could be seen as day trips from a "base", but traveling solo and very light, it doesn't take me long to check out and be on my way. I would rather have a few 1 nt stays rather than spend a lot of time backtracking. Plus, I have a place to leave my bag, even if I can't check in to my room until later.

I have not had any major concerns about traveling solo, but in reading about Palermo, I wonder if it might be a good idea to take a couple of half-day tours with one of the guides I have seen recommended here. It might be more fun to have a knowledgeable guide to walk around the city with for at least part of the time there. A tour of the markets sounds very fun!

Has anyone taken one of these tours?

Thanks in advance for your comments!

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
posts: 75,300
4. Re: Critique Sicily Itinerary - April 2013

Prego Spello2005,

Check ahead prior to arriving at Lo Zingaro – You may not find the reserve open with the recent fires. With Scopello so near Erice, there's no need to waste time changing accommodations here.

Erice is compact, so you wouldn’t require all the time you’ve allocated for Erice, but you could certainly base in Erice and explore Western Sicily.

There is no left luggage storage at Eraclea Minoa.

Drop off your luggage prior to seeing the Villa Romana del Casale and Caltagirone.

Agriturismo Giliotto has had mixed reviews over the years!

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g580232-d281882…

Scicli is a local town, compact, and wouldn’t require a day to explore, but Scicli would serve as a base for exploring other towns like Ragusa Ibla and Modica.

For sure visit Noto!

You could certainly walk Palermo’s markets on your own, but you might appreciate a licenced guide at the historical sites.

Vagabonda

The Villages...
posts: 170
reviews: 373
5. Re: Critique Sicily Itinerary - April 2013

Spello - I am presently planning a trip to Sicily for the fall. Your proposed trip overlaps a number of my cities and towns. Your trip sounds very exciting and challenging. I hope when you return, you will write a trip review as I am sure it will help us all. Have fun!!

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
posts: 75,300
6. Re: Critique Sicily Itinerary - April 2013

If on course, Spello2005 is currently enjoying Agrigento!

Vagabonda

7. Re: Critique Sicily Itinerary - April 2013

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