Sicily Road Trip
Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily differs from the rest of Italy with its unique history, culture, and language. A Sicily road trip is the best way to see the island and immerse yourself in its culture, giving you the ultimate freedom to pick and choose what to see.
Tip: Everything moves at a slower pace, so be prepared for unusual opening times, with many shops and attractions closing between 1-4 PM so families can enjoy a long lunch. Embrace the relaxed way of life with our 14-day Sicily itinerary.
Day 1: Catania
It’s the first day of your Sicily road trip! With a beautiful backdrop of Mount Etna and a lively local atmosphere, the port city of Catania is a great place to kick off your Sicilian adventure. Half a day is enough to explore the center and see the city’s top sights, so don’t worry if you arrive after midday.
Explore the city streets, admire its stunning palazzos and piazzas, and dive into a wine bar or two! To see the city from a different perspective, head to the peaceful Villa Bellini Gardens or climb to the top of Chiesa della Badia di Sant’Agata church for an eagle-eye view of Catania and the volcano.
From the Airport
Catania is a great place to start your Sicily Itinerary (14 days), as you can take a short 10-minute train from the international airport to the center of town (1.90 EUR / 2.09 USD).
Alternatively, rent a car from here, although please note that finding parking in the city can be difficult.
Where to Stay in Catania
As you are only here for one night of your Siciliy road trip, it’s best to stay in the historic center. The best spot is close to the Cathedral or Via Etnea, where most of the main attractions are. Even though it’s very central, there are plenty of accommodation options for every budget.
Day 2-3: Taormina
Time to hit the road! An hour’s drive north from Catania is the stunningly picturesque clifftop town of Taormina – the next stop of your 14-day Sicily itinerary. Spend a few days exploring this idyllic town, home to atmospheric streets, gelaterias, ceramic shops, and island beaches with crystal clear water.
Tip: One of our favorite things to do in Taormina was to take in the panoramic views at sunset from Piazza IX Aprile. Make sure to have a cold aperitivo in hand (an integral part of Sicilian culture!).
Visiting Mount Etna on your Sicily Road Trip
Taormina is also very close to the majestic Mount Etna, and you can do a half-day tour of the volcano from here. Many tours also include local food and wine tastings, as the volcanic earth makes it the perfect place to grow grapes.
How to get from Catania to Taormina
It is an hour’s drive from Catania to Taormina. However, please note that parking in the town is almost impossible. The best option is to park in the Lumbi parking garage just outside. The price is 5 USD for two days, including a free shuttle bus to the center.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a car, you can travel by train on your Sicily itinerary (14 days). There are frequent trains from Catania along the coast, which cost less than 10 USD and take approximately two hours.
Where to Stay in Taormina
Taormina has two main areas: the historic center on the clifftop and the beach. Choose your accommodation depending on where you want to spend most of your time. However, both are good options as a cable car connects the two.
Day 4-5: Cefalù
Located on the island’s north coast is the beautiful old fishing town of Cefalù – one of the most picturesque destinations on your Sicily road trip! Summer is neverending in this ancient romantic town, home to sun-drenched squares, fantastic restaurants, and traditional ceramic shops. Cefalù is a place to relax and unwind, have late nights and lazy mornings, and enjoy the authentic ‘Dolce Vita’ lifestyle.
Make sure to visit the beautiful pier, Molo di Cefalù’, where you can admire a rustic view of the beach backed by typical Sicilian houses. In summer, this is also the best place for sunbathing and diving into the harbor to cool off!
How to get from Taormina to Cefalù
It is a 2.5-hour drive along the stunning coastline to reach Cefalù, which lies right in the middle of the north coast of Sicily. Parking can be an issue here, but you can park for free in Porto Presidiana. From here, a shuttle bus takes you into town for 5 EUR.
Where to Stay in Cefalù
If you don’t feel like walking far, choose accommodation in the old town. However, please note that the new town (although not as pretty) is cheaper.
Cefalu, in general, is a touristy location (especially in the summer), so there are plenty of B&Bs and hotels to choose from.
Day 6-7 of your Sicily Road Trip: Palermo
No Sicily road trip would be complete without a visit to Palermo, the island’s capital. The city is full of energy, character, and contrasts, with an eclectic mix of Greek, North African, and Middle Eastern influences that can be seen in its people, culture, and food. The Mafia has also left its mark, and although it is still a very real presence in the background of Sicilian life, there is now a strong anti-Mafia movement working hard to rebel against it.
Palermo is also famous for its incredible street food and fantastic open-air markets. You’ll find many of the stalls selling traditional Sicilian delicacies, like hot chickpea fritters, crispy cannoli, and spleen sandwiches! Make sure to factor in time on your 14-day Sicily itinerary to also explore the charismatic neighborhoods with their tiny winding alleyways and the incredible architecture of the Norman Palace (one of the oldest royal residences in Europe).
Tip: Don’t miss the spectacular view from the top of the Palermo Cathedral at sunset. From here, you can see the whole city with a backdrop of mountains behind it.
How to get from Cefalù to Palermo
It is a one-hour drive from Cefalù to Palermo. On the way, stop at Punta Sant’Elia, a stunningly scenic spot on the coast with a tiny cove great for swimming. This is a must-do on your Sicily road trip!
You can also take a direct train to Palermo, which takes around an hour.
Where to Stay in Palermo
The historic center is the best place to base yourself, as you are within walking distance of the main sights and attractions. La Kalsa neighborhood is a good option for those on a budget.
Day 8-10: Trapani
Next on your Sicily road trip is the beautiful port city of Trapani on the west coast. The town itself is home to charming streets, stunning stretches of golden sand, and tiny coves perfect for swimming. This is where your car comes in handy, as there are lots of beautiful places to discover in the surrounding area.
Once you’ve explored the old town, head out to the Scopello area for a walk in the Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro. This natural haven has an incredible view over the spectacular Tonnara di Scopello, which is one of the most beautiful coves on the island. Popular with locals, it’s an amazing place to spend a sunny afternoon swimming and sunbathing and a memorable destination on your 14-day Sicily itinerary.
Other nearby spots worth visiting are the medieval hilltop town of Erice or Favignana Island, which can be explored by bicycle. Alternatively, relax at the breathtaking beach at San Vito Lo Capo.
Tip: If you have enough time, make a quick trip to the fascinating ruins of the Temple of Segesta.
How to get from Palermo to Trapani
It is a 1.5-hour drive from Palermo to Trapani. On the way, stop at Baia di San Cataldo, an old bunker built on a clifftop with gorgeous coastal views.
Alternatively, there is a direct train from Palermo, which takes approximately 2 hours.
Where to Stay in Trapani
Stay in the historic center of Trapani, or go for more rural accommodation in the countryside or by the sea.
If you’re looking for something unique on your Sicily itinerary (14 days), this converted watchtower near Scopello is very special.
Day 11: Agrigento
Next on your Sicily road trip is the ancient town of Agrigento! This beautiful town is one of the oldest in Sicily, with stunning examples of Arabic architecture, beautiful churches, and palazzos.
We’ve added it as a stop on this 14-day Sicily itinerary because of its proximity to the extraordinary Valley of the Temples, an impressive collection of ancient Greek structures built on the hillside over 2000 years ago.
Spend the late afternoon exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site, with ancient ruins scattered among a grove of lemon and olive trees. If you can, stay to watch the sun go down over the valley, which illuminates the temples before they are lit up as night falls.
Afterward, return to town for a relaxed Sicilian dinner, finished with the locally renowned pecorino gelato at Le Cuspidi!
How to Visit Valley of the Temples
The Valley of the Temples is open 8:30 AM – 7 PM. During the high season (July-September), it stays open until 11 PM weekly and midnight at the weekend. It costs 10 EUR to enter.
If you don’t want to drive to the Valley of the Temples, you can take the bus from Agrigento for 1.50 EUR.
How to get from Trapani to Agrigento on your Sicily road trip
It is just over 2 hours to drive from Trapani to Agrigento. On the way, stop at the Turkish Steps (Scala dei Turchi), a set of white limestone cliffs formed into natural steps that lead down to the sea. This is the exact location.
Where to Stay in Agrigento
There are many hotels and B&Bs in town. Alternatively, spend the night in an agriturismo to wake up to lovely views of the Sicilian countryside.
Day 12: Ragusa
The hilltop town of Ragusa, located in the beautiful Val di Noto area, is known as the birthplace of Sicilian Baroque architecture. The town is split into two parts, separated by a deep ravine. Because of this, we recommend starting from the upper town, where you can see incredible views, before walking down the steep stone steps to the historic center.
You can spend hours wandering around the small streets of the old city, admiring incredible buildings like the stunning Baroque Cathedral. Take plenty of breaks for plates of stuffed flatbreads, Ragusano cheese, and fresh seafood throughout the day.
In the evening, walk it all off with a traditional passeggiata (evening stroll) through the town. This Italian custom is best at the weekend when couples, families, and friends come onto the streets to socialize and flirt; it’s the best time for people-watching!
How to get from Agrigento to Ragusa
This stretch of the Sicily road trip from Agrigento to Ragusa along the south coast takes just under two and a half hours. Unfortunately, the public transport options are more limited in this area. However, there are buses available.
Where to Stay in Ragusa
Stay in the Ragusa Superiore, the newer area with fantastic views over the old city. Alternatively, choose the Ragusa Ibla, where you are surrounded by stunning architecture and the charming atmosphere of the old town. There are plenty of boutique hotels and lovely guesthouses to choose from in both areas.
Day 13-14: Siracusa (Final Days of your Sicily Road Trip)
As the end of your Sicily road trip draws near, embrace the true Dolce Vita lifestyle in the picturesque town of Siracusa. The old town is located on Ortigia Island, connected to the rest of Siracusa by two small bridges. There aren’t many cars here, so the quiet streets and tiny alleyways are perfect to stroll through at your own pace.
Admire the ancient ruins of a Greek temple before browsing the Ortigia market for fresh fish, local wine, and heaped piles of herbs and spices.
Spend the rest of your 14-day Sicily itinerary in Siracusa swimming off the rocky beaches and relaxing before returning home. Alternatively, squeeze in one last activity by cycling along the Rossana Maiorca coast path, and treat yourself to your last few plates of Sicilian pasta, creamy gelatos, and ice-cold granitas.
Tip: Close by is the Neapolis Archaeological Park, a collection of impressive Ancient Greek ruins. It’s well worth a visit to discover the fascinating history of this area of Sicily.
How to get from Ragusa to Siracusa
It is a 1.5-hour drive from Ragusa to Siracusa. On the way, you’ll pass through the town of Modica, famous for Aztec chocolate!
From Siracusa to the Airport
From Siracusa, it is a 1-1.5 hour drive (or train journey) to the international airport in Catania – and the end point of your 2-week Sicily road trip!
Where to Stay in Siracusa
Base yourself on the island of Ortigia, which is the most picturesque part of the town. Ask your hotel about where it is best to park before arriving.
How to Visit Sicily in a 2-week road trip
This Sicily road trip starts and ends in Catania, which has the main international airport on the island. However, there are five other airports in various cities.
Alternatively, you can take a ferry from mainland Italy to any port city on the island. Best of all, most of these allow cars, making it the perfect option if you are planning an extended road trip around the whole country.
There is also a train from the mainland, which is transported over the Strait of Messina by ferry!
Getting Around Sicily
The best way to follow a 14-day Sicily itinerary is by car! Having your own wheels gives you the ultimate freedom to explore at your own pace. It can also save you time in the long run, allowing you to visit those out-of-the-way destinations.
In bigger cities like Catania and Palermo, it’s better to leave the car near your hotel while exploring, as busy roads make it difficult to navigate and park.
Note: The historic centers of small towns often have limited parking. Because of this, it’s best to check with your hotel where it is best to park before your arrival.
By Train and Bus
If you’re not able to do a Sicily road trip, you can also travel around Sicily by public transport. However, this generally takes longer, and timetables aren’t always reliable. Trains run between most big towns, but days 11-14 of the Sicily itinerary may be more difficult as you will need to take buses.
Our Favorite Accommodations
Sicily has a huge range of accommodation options depending on your budget. Although there are not many hostels in the smaller towns, there are plenty of affordable guesthouses and B&Bs, beautiful hotels, rustic agriturismos, and luxury private villas. Here are our favorites from each destination on the Sicily road trip:
- Catania: Dome, Bed, Book & Breakfast Landolina, The Yard Hostel
- Taormina: B & B Teatro Greco 39, Hotel Le Chevalier, Vilagos Apartments and Loft
- Cefalù: Al 33 Giri, Cortile Umberto I, Lirma B & B
- Palermo: Sui Tetti di Balarm Boutique Rooms, Family Affair, Canceddi B & B
- Trapani: Villa le Torri B & B, BADIA NUOVA Apart Hotel, Le Cupole Suites and Apartments
- Agrigento: Villa La Lumia Suites and Apartments, Casa Tita, B & B Triskéles
- Ragusa: Bed and Breakfast Terra del Sole Ibla, A.D. 1768 Boutique Hotel, Pura Vida Barocca
- Siracusa: Palazzo Alfeo Aparthotel, La Maison, La Residenza del Reginale
How Much Does a 2-week Sicily road trip Cost?
Sicily is a relatively affordable destination, with your most significant expenses being accommodation and car rental. It also depends on the time of year you visit. For example, the summer months are generally more expensive (with prices peaking in September).
Is Sicily Safe?
In general, Sicily is a very safe place to visit. Although the mafia is still active on the island, they have much less influence than before, and they don’t generally pose a threat to tourists. As in most places, keep an eye on personal belongings when out and about, and don’t leave anything in your car overnight.
Tip: Mount Etna is an active volcano, so always follow local advice and guidelines and check government websites before traveling.
Best Time to Visit Sicily for 2 Weeks
The best time for a Sicily road trip is during the shoulder seasons of Spring and Fall when the weather is warm and sunny, and there are fewer crowds. However, bear in mind that September is actually the busiest month and, therefore, the most expensive.
June-August is extremely hot. However, there is a lively atmosphere, and it is fantastic if you are looking to spend most of your 14-day Sicily itinerary at the beach.
Alternatively, you may want to base your trip around one of Sicily’s incredible festivals, like Carnival in February, lively Easter celebrations, or the many seasonal street food festivals known as ‘sagre.’