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Doing it on our own or an escorted tour for a week?

North Port, Florida
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393 posts
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Doing it on our own or an escorted tour for a week?

We are planning a trip for about 7 days to Sicily. We want to get the best bang for our buck but are clueless as to what to do?

We both like fine dining and good wine. We love the beach ( realize that April is not beach weather) but we'd love to be by the sea. We'd like to be centrally located so we don't spend a lot of time traveling around. We love people and people watching. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Brussels, Belgium
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1. Re: Doing it on our own or an escorted tour for a week?

I have no idea how the costs compare wjth organised options (you can research it by looking at car-hire, gas etc. costs) but I ruled out driving myself for the simple reason that I don't like it. However, if you don't like spending a lot of time travelling around, you won't be happy with one of the organised tours that cover the entire island in a week or so, which can only be done by moving on every night.

That means you must be selective, as it isn't possible to visit the whole of the island from one base by means of day-trips. If by "centrally located" you meant somewhere in the centre of the island, because you thought this would allow you to fan out from there, I would forget it. Better to base yourselves in e.g. Taormina or Siracusa and visit the Eastern side of Sicily from either of those, whether self-driving or taking organised day trips, e.g. to Etna if this is on your list.

As to whether it would be cheaper to book your stay (and airfaire from wherever you would be setting off from) yourselves rather than doing it through a tour operator, I can't tell because it depends on what exactly you want to do and where you are. Why not look at a few (online) brochures from tour operators like Citalia (www.citalia.com) to help make up your mind?

Edited: 10:43 am, December 22, 2012
Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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2. Re: Doing it on our own or an escorted tour for a week?

Welcome to Sicily FloridaDonna!

Do you prefer tours or independent travel?

Eastern and Western Sicily is a 2-week itinerary, so with only a week, perhaps decide between Eastern or Western Sicily, or plan a combination of “highlight” destinations between Eastern Sicily and Western Sicily-Palermo.

Where will you arrive and depart Sicily?

Have you booked your flights?


Depending on your route, you might open jaws your itinerary arriving in Catania and departing from Palermo.

If you were to travel independently, would you consider hiring a car, or would you prefer taking public transport?

It's impossible to see Sicily from only one centrally located base. One base located in Sicily’s central interior wouldn’t serve you well – You’d be between places, but not where you’d really want to be and you’d be driving long distances on day trips every day.

Thinking of renting a villa in Sicilyfor a week next summer:


As previously addressed in this earlier thread (Not interested in keepchanging hotels: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1580720-i15109-k5956333-Not_interested_in_keepchanging_hotels-Islands_of_Sicily_Sicily.html#45750147), it’s not at all true that organised tours cover the entire island, or that organised tours move onward every night.

Tour of Sicily as well as Sicily TravelNet run tours based in two locations (east and west). These are two local, reputable and reliable companies based in Sicily.

Italian Tours:


If you were to design your own itinerary, you would enjoy many options from bases all around Sicily - Taormina, Siracusa, or Catania in Eastern Sicily; Trapani, Castellammare del Golfo, or Selinunte in Western Sicily; and also around Palermo, Cefalù, Agrigento, or Ragusa.

Best wishes!


3. Re: Doing it on our own or an escorted tour for a week?

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