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7 nights in Sicily mid may - need help with itinerary

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San Francisco...
posts: 7
7 nights in Sicily mid may - need help with itinerary

Hi Vagabonda,

Having a difficult time deciding on where to stay in Sicily. My boyfriend and I are looking to have a relaxing stay in Sicily. His family is from Monreale, so that is definitely one of our destinations and I would love to check out Zingaro Nature Reserve and some of the ancient sites. I was hoping not to stay in the city center of Palermo because we will be coming from Rome and London - we'll probably be ready for some relaxation. Is having Cefalu as a home base for Sicily a good idea? Another place you may recommend? Should we rent a car? Also, since it is our first time would you recommend we look into going on any guided tours. Thank you, thank you for any thoughts you may have. I know you have many messages to respond to.

Meredith

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 363
reviews: 89
1. Re: 7 nights in Sicily mid may - need help with itinerary

Cefalu is easily accesable by train from palermo, which is easily accesable by bus from monreale. No need for a car if you go there.

What time of year are you going as Cefalu can be either very chilled out or very busy depending on the time of year.

The black sand beach at Cefalu is a great place to spend a week.

You can book tours from cefalu to the eolean islands depending on the time of year.

Close to cefalu and easily accessible by train is St Stefano de Camestra good for local sicilian food and ceramics.(good for a day trip as its less tourist based as Cefalu and has great views back to Cefala and along the coast.)

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
posts: 68,741
2. Re: 7 nights in Sicily mid may - need help with itinerary

Hi Merediths-sf,

Relaxed is not a word that comes to mind when thinking of Palermo, so if you’d like a relaxed holiday, don’t base in Palermo.

That said however, Monreale is best reached by bus from Palermo. It’s best to avoid driving in Monreale, or even Palermo’s ring road to Monreale. And although AMAT has discontinued Palermo’s urbano bus service from Palermo to Monreale, AST runs bus service, and City Sightseeing Palermo runs service from May to October.

…city-sightseeing.it/orari_monreale.pdf

You had mentioned that you were arriving in Palermo, not interested in touristy destinations, and that you wanted to enjoy some hiking, beach, local cuisine, and ruins.

Cefalù is a resort town with a nice beach and good restaurants, and also hiking possibilities up La Rocca or in the nearby Madonie.

You could visit Monreale via Palermo on public transport (train or bus) from Cefalù.

You could also hire a car and take day trips to Piazza Armerina’s Villa Romana del Casale and Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples from Cefalù, but overall Cefalù isn’t the most convenient base for exploring ruins, nor is it convenient for trekking Lo Zingaro, which you would like to do.

Palermo’s airport is located west of the city, and with an arrival at Palermo’s airport, you may find Western Sicily more convenient for ruins (Segesta, Selinunte, Cave di Cusa, Eraclea Minoa, the Valley of the Temples....), Lo Zingaro, beaches....

You could hire a car at the airport on arrival and explore on your own. You could also take a tour, or prearrange a licenced guide for visits to the historical sites.

If you were to visit Monreale from Western Sicily, you could drive an alternate route over the mountains that would avoid Palermo - Scopello to Monreale route question:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187886-i343-k3237…

Or you could park at Palermo's airport and take the bus to Palermo and then the bus to Monreale from Palermo.

Where to stay in Western Sicily?:

tripadvisor.com/…46528988

Vagabonda

San Francisco...
posts: 7
3. Re: 7 nights in Sicily mid may - need help with itinerary

Thank you both for responding and for your insights - much appreciated. We'll be visiting Sicily in Mid-May of this year. One more question, would you recommend our going with a local travel agency to help plan and book our stay there? Thanks again for your thoughts!

Meredith

Edited: 10:31 am, February 26, 2013
Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
posts: 68,741
4. Re: 7 nights in Sicily mid may - need help with itinerary

Prego Merediths-sf,

Mid-May is prior to the beach season and Cefalù is a beach resort, although also a "real" town with a compact historic centre.

But in May, beaches shouldn't be primary focus - Sicily's beach season begins in June.

No - You can easily book your own holiday! Most travel agents don't know Sicily, and they sell whichever hotels are on a consolidator's list, so there is commission paid to the consolidator and the travel agent.

Vagabonda

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 363
reviews: 89
5. Re: 7 nights in Sicily mid may - need help with itinerary

I've always preferred to book directly using trip advisor reviews as a base and have rarely been surprised.

Here & There
Destination Expert
for Sicily, Taormina
posts: 68,741
6. Re: 7 nights in Sicily mid may - need help with itinerary

if you were to book on your own, you would have greater ability to customise your holiday, and control your purse!

Vagabonda

7. Re: 7 nights in Sicily mid may - need help with itinerary

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