Excellent choice! visiting sicily by car is ideal to see the best to make out of your stay and so many must-see attractions as possible on this beautiful island to see.
You will not lose time with the public transport and you will be able to free to decide where and when you want to stop. This is not to be underestimated!
To you organizing your car trip to help, I have 5 road trip routes prepared for you, depending on the duration of your stay in sicily (1 week, 10 days, 2 weeks, 3 weeks) and depending on the airport of arrival.
And at the end of this article I will also give you some advice: best season for your trip, budget that you should anticipate for your stay.
choosing the best arrival airport for your road trip in sicily
The 2 main airports, on which you can land in sicily to start your road trip are palermo and catania.
From france, switzerland or belgium there are many flights to sicily for both airports and the prices are more or less the same. So your arrival airport depends on which part of sicily you want to visit.
If you want to visit the east coast, it is best to stay in catania to land and for the west, in palermo.
Tip: there are 2 other smaller airports in trapani and comiso. But its location is not ideal to start a road trip in sicily.
rent a car for your road trip in sicily
Making a road trip, of course, means rent a car!
The easiest way is to rent your car directly at the airport upon your arrival in sicily rent. at the airport you will find a wide range of car rentals and the prices are cheaper than renting your car at a city agency.
For my road trips, be it in sicily, spain or malta i always use the website rentalcars.Com. For different reasons:
- You can quickly and easily find all the prices compare the car rental companies. very practical to save money, but also to see the customer reviews.
- You can choose the full coverage insurance when booking: in case of theft, accident or even slight damage to your rental car (small scratches) you will receive compensation. In sicily you should be extra careful!
- You canfree your booking scancel or change.
- You will receive the best price guarantee: if you find a cheaper car rental somewhere else, they will refund you the difference.
As you may know scams with the landlords often in sicily and unfortunately this can spoil your vacation very quickly. To not to be deceived, you should read the following article before you book: car rental in sicily: everything you need to know!
road trip in sicily: 5 days or less
If you want to rent a 5 days road trip (or one less) lpleasant roadtrip) in sicily, you should read my following article: sicily in 2, 3, 4 or 5 days – the best itineraries.
In this article you will find everything you need to organize your short stay on the island easily and effortlessly, depending on your arrival airport!
road trip in sicily: one week in the east
1) catania (1 day)
But let’s get to the point: here you can find now a first vacation idea on sicily. The proposed road trip starts in catania and allows you the east of the island in one week to discover by car.
This 8 day road trip in sicily leads you to catania, syracuse, to the island of ortigia and to taormina.
day 1 : depending on your arrival time in catania you can start your vacation with a short walk to discover catania, the biggest city in this part of sicily. Start your visit with the piazza del duomo, which, like everywhere in italy, is the historical heart of the city, at. Here you can visit the elephant fountain, the palazzo municipio and of course the cathedral of catania or cathedral of sant’agata admire.
Continue your visit by walking along the 2 main streets: via etnea and the via crociferi. There you will find numerous stores and cafes, the monastery di san nicolo l’arena and some churches.
To learn all about the sights in catania, you should read my article below: visit catania.
2) syracuse, ortigia and the baroque cities (3 days)
The next day continue your road trip in the east of sicily and drive to syracuse and ortigia, 1 hour by car from catania. Plan 3 nights a.
Sightseeing on the island of ortigia:
- Piazza del duomo
- Castello maniace
- Aretusa fountain.
day 3: on the third day, in the morning you should walk on the syracuse-bike trail (starting from the piazza dei cappuccini) make. This way you will get close to the archaeological parks of neapolis, your afternoon activity! Don’t miss out roman amphitheater, the greek theaters or the famous ear of dionysius.
Day 4: on your 4. day take your car again and discover the baroque towns south of syracuse. Classified as a UNESCO world heritage site, the visit of noto, ragusa and modica a must during your road trip in sicily!
And to discover even more sights, take a look at my special article about syracuse: sights and activities in syracuse.
The archaeological park of neapolis in syracuse
3) taormina (3 days)
The last stage of this week-long road trip in sicily, will take you to for 3 nights to taormina. Calculate about 1 hour drive by car, to reach taormina from syracuse.
Day 5: discover the old town from taormina:
- Corso umberto
- Chiesa di san giuseppe
- the cathedral of san nicolo
- Piazza IX aprile
- greek theater
- via circonvallazione and your staircase that leads to the heights of taormina.
And finally go down to the isola bella and discover its beautiful pebble beach.
Day 6 : because a one week road trip in sicily without a visit the atna would not be complete, you should do this excursion on your second day of stay in taormina. And since you are traveling by car in sicily, you can of course go there by yourself.
But if you don’t want to bother with parking or other (annoying) things, then you should go for choose an organized excursion from taormina. The equipment, the transport and the guide are included in the price, which is very convenient.
Day 7: at last day of your week-long road trip visit one more of the most beautiful villages in sicily: castelmola. Located only 5 km from taormina, it has a beautiful ruined castle and offers a magnificent view of the atna river and valley.
Afterwards continue to the alcantara gorge, 50 minutes from taormina. This narrow canyon was formed by several lava flows which, when they cooled down, formed improbable rock formations.
And now, unfortunately, it’s already time to go back to to taormina return for a last night in sicily.
if you want to get more information about the sights and activities in and around taormina, you should read my article below: top 10 must-see attractions in taormina.
This guide is very practical: you can find here all my best tips and the best accommodations for each stage of your stay. planning your one week road trip will be such a breeze!
Isola bella, taormina
road trip in sicily: 10 days in the west
And immediately, following, a second vacation idea in sicily: how about a road trip from palermo to make visit western sicily by car in 10 days?
Itinerary for a 10 day road trip in sicily :
- zingaro nature reserve
1) palermo (2 days)
Day 1: as soon as you pick up your rental car, drive to palermo, to discover this town.
A short walk through the historical center is the first thing you should do! must-see sights:
- palace of the normans
- palermo cathedral
- Piazza vigliena
- Massimo theater
Day 2: continue your visit with the ballaro market and the abatellis palace fort, followed by walk on the fioro italico.
Then you can take a break at the botanical garden or in the gardens of villa giulia insert. You can also visit visit the catacombs and then spend the day in monreale, 30 minutes by car from palermo, stop to visit the famous cathedral of this city.
To plan your visit to palermo in the best possible way, you should read my article below: top 15 places to visit in palermo.
2) agrigento (2 days)
Day 3: on your third day your 10-day road trip in sicily continues in direction south to agrigento. Since the trip takes about 2h30, it is best to devote the rest of the day to swimming. Here are the 3 best places to relax by the water:
- At the capo rosso realmonte, about 25 minutes west of agrigento
- In the nature reserve punta bianca, a little further southeast from agrigento
- In the scala dei turchi (destination of the next day, decide for yourself if you want to go there twice!)
Day 4: on this fourth day you should get up early in order to visit the valley of the temples of agrigento, a must in the region. Then head back to the historical center of agrigento, to visit during a short walk from ca. 1 hour to discover the sights of this city.
End the day with a visit to the scala dei turchi, a wonderful place to swim. It is the ideal place to admire one of the most beautiful sunsets in all sicily!
If you want to get even more information, you should take a look at my following articles:
- top 10 things to see and do in agrigento
- What is the best way to visit the valley of the temples??
- La scala dei turchi: the ultimate travel guide
3) selinunte (1 day)
Day 5: today you will start your road trip in the west of sicily with selinunte fort. on the way between agrigento and selinunte you can stop at the beach of heraclea minoa stop and see the pretty town sciacca visit. On your afternoon itinerary is the visit to the archaeological parks of selinunte.
All details about this archaeological site can be found in my following article: selinunte archaeological park.
4) trapani (2 days)
Day 6: the next day you can go to direction trapani, where you will spend 2 nights.
On the way there you can spend stopover in marsala stop to taste the wine of the same name. Then take the SP21, that starts at the exit of the city. Discover in this way the SALT STREET, the salt marshes between paceco and trapani cross. During the whole trip you will enjoy a beautiful landscape !
If you in trapani when you arrive, you should first take a walk through the historical center on the via garibaldi or the corso italia make.
In the afternoon, drive on to the medieval village of erice, reachable by cable car or by car from trapani. Both solutions offer beautiful views, choose the one you prefer!
In erice you can stroll through the cobbled streets up to the castle: from there you can reach the beautiful view of trapani and the sea.
Day 7: on your second day in trapani you should choose excursion to the aegadian islands decide which destinations can be reached by ferry from the harbor. Favignana is the closest island and you can reach it in 1 day by bicycle (ideally!) discover. Also make swimming stops in the small bays!
Discover the must-see attractions of trapani in my article below: top 10 sights in trapani.
5) scopello (2 days)
Day 8: and again it goes on! your road trip through western sicily will now lead you to near scopello for 2 days (50 minutes by car from trapani).
Scopello is the ideal place to visit the zingaro nature reserve to visit, one of the most famous of the island.
From the south entrance and after paying 5€ you can visit a path, that leads along the sea, with many small bays. Ideal to alternate hiking and swimming. The return trip takes about 4 hours, but you can easily spend the whole day there, especially if you also plan to swim.
All the information you need to prepare your trip can be found in my article: zingaro nature reserve. 2 more beaches are waiting for you in scopello: the guidaloca beach and the tonnara beach. Try them too!
The nature reserve zingaro
Day 9: today you should take a walk in the surroundings of san vito lo capo, 55 minutes by car from scopello. The road that leads to san vito is beautiful! do not hesitate to stop at the many small coves for a swim. If you prefer big sandy beaches, go straight on: in sanvito lo capo a wonderful sandy beach awaits you.
After visiting the town of san vito lo capo, you will go on again. Your next stop is the mount cofano nature reserve, where you can also take a wonderful walk along the sea. Similar to the zingaro nature reserve, but with different landscapes. This walk is also very pleasant.
6) castellamare del golfo (1 day)
Day 10: to complete this road trip in sicily and finish the loop started from palermo, today head to castellamare del golfo. this town is only 35 minutes away from the airport of palermo, so it is ideally located to end your vacation.
But first you have to see one last sight: the temple of segesta, a must during your road trip in sicily! Located on a hill, this temple offers a beautiful view all around.
So now it is time finish your last day in castellamare: stroll through the city center and take a last bath.
If you want to get more details about this 10-day road trip, feel free to read my detailed article below: itinerary 10 days in the west of sicily.
In this travel guide you will also find my list of the best accommodations for each stage of your road trip.
planning your 10 day sicily road trip will be really easy this way!
monte cofano nature reserve
road trip in sicily: around the island in 2 weeks
If you are planning a 14-day road trip TO DO, you can easily go all the way sicily discover, from east to west!
My itinerary for your 2-week road trip in sicily starts in catania.
It combines the 2 other itineraries that I described above, with a few small adjustments to optimize your different itineraries for your visits.
Catania (2 days)
Day 1: arrival in catania and visit the historical center.
Start your city visit with the piazza del duomo the cathedral, then take the via etnea, to the piazza dell universita and its 2 palaces.
Stroll through the gardens of the villa bellini and finish your tour in the via crociferi with its many churches.
day 2: on your 2. Day should choose decide on an excursion to atna. several agencies in catania offer a day trip to atna. transportation, guide and equipment are included.
The top 12 sights in catania can be found here: catania: 12 must-see attractions.
Etna eruption – Sicily
2) syracuse (2 days)
Your two week road trip in sicily continues now with a 2 days stay in the city of syracuse and on the island of ortigia.
day 3: spend the first day in ortigia, to discover first the piazza del duomo, the temple of apollo and the harbor.
Then continue until castello maniace before finally reaching the fonte aretusa fountain where you can admire the sunset.
Day 4: dedicate this day to the "modern" part of syracuse.
Take a walk in the morning on the bike path, the one at the piazza dei cappuccini starts. In the afternoon visit the archaeological park of neapolis, to admire the roman amphitheater, the greek theater and the ear of dionysus.
Detailed descriptions of the sights in syracuse and ortigia can be found in this article: top 15 sights in syracuse .
3) noto, modica and ragusa (1 day)
day 5: at the 5. on the 14th day of your 14-day sicily road trip you will explore the 3 following baroque cities, which are part of the UNESCO world heritage: noto, modica and ragusa. Plan a full day (driving time and sightseeing) and plan to spend the night near ragusa.
4) agrigento (1 day)
Day 6: today we continue with the sightseeing the famous valley of the temples of agrigento, 2 hours by car from ragusa. Discover (and admire) the 8 temples of this city very famous archaeological site in sicily!
information to organize your visit can be found here: valley of the temples: the ultimate travel guide!
At the end of the day you can walk in the nearby historical center of agrigento do and see the scala dei turchi, admire one of the most beautiful natural landscapes of sicily, the.
Information on how to get there can be found here: how to reach the scala dei turchi?
5) selinunte (1 day)
Day 7: and now you can go to selinunte.
On the way make a bathing stop at beach of heraclea minoa and visit the town of sciacca. When you arrive in selinunte, dedicate your afternoon to a visit to the archaeological park, to see the remains of the temples.
To organize your visit in the best way, have a look at my following article: how best to visit the temples of selinunte?
A temple in selinunte
6) trapani (2 days)
Day 8: your next destination is trapani. plan 2 days in this city.
On the way you can visit marsala stop for a tasting of the wine of the same name, before you then visit the salt road (SP21) take. Between paceco and trapani you will be at many salt marshes drive by and enjoy beautiful landscapes.
After a walk through the historical center of trapani, you should the high village of erice visit. you can either take the cable car from trapani or go there by car.
In erice there is medieval castle to see and city walls that offer a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding area.
Day 9: on the 9. Day of your road trip in sicily continues to the aegadian islands. These islands are the closest islands to trapani. Every day ferries depart from the port of trapani to these islands. The island of favignana is the first.
If you want to discover it, you should go there, as soon as you arrive, rent a bike!
ideal to go around the whole island in one day and take bathing breaks in the bays. If you want to know more about trapani and the aegadian islands, you should have a look at my following article: trapani and surroundings.
7) scopello and zingaro (1 day)
Day 11: continue your 14 days road trip in sicily with scopello and in particular with the zingaro nature reserve away.
make the walk that connects the 2 entrances of the reserve from south to north and then return to your starting point.
And don’t forget to enjoy the beautiful bays along the way! More information and also advice on how to best visit the reserve can be found here: zingaro reserve.
8) palermo (2 days)
Day 12: the last stage of your road trip is the city of palermo. You should spend 2 days there to discover the historical buildings of this town.
things to see in palermo:
- Palazzo dei normanni and its palatine chapel
- Chiesa di san giovanni degli eremiti
- Cathedral of palermo
- palaces and churches
- Foro italico
- botanical garden and the gardens of villa giulia
Day 13: the next day visit the ballaro market, to immerse yourself in the typical sicilian atmosphere.
Then you can also the massimo theater (one of the biggest in italy) or, if you are a history lover, the regional archaeological museum of sicily.
There you will find, among other things, the remains of the excavations carried out in selinunte.
In the afternoon continue to monreale, to visit the cathedral, known all over the world for its magnificent mosaics of fine gold.
If you want to know more about the sights and activities in palermo, you should read my article below: top 15 sights in palermo.
9) taormina (2 days)
day 14 : before your road trip in sicily comes to an end, you still have to visit taormina on your travel program.
Take the road along the sea, those of palermo to cefalu leads you. The bay of cefalu is on all the postcards of sicily, so you really should not leave without a souvenir photo!
Afterwards, continue on to taormina: the historical center of this city is worth a side trip. First discover the corso umberto and then continue until piazza IX aprile.
Also don’t forget the stairs that lead to the sanctuary of the madonna della rocca lead, climb up to admire the panorama from there.
afterwards walk back and stroll a little through the shady gardens of villa comumale. End your day on the beach of taormina: isola bella
At sunset you should also check out the see greek theaters.
view of isola bella from taormina
day 15: this is (unfortunately already) your last day in sicily. End your 14 days road trip with the visit of the small village castelmola, 5 km from taormina. The panoramic view of the atna and the surrounding area is really worth a visit!
Do not miss also the nearby alcantara gorges. Formed by lava flows, this canyon offers amazing landscapes.
all my tips for an optimal visit to taormina and the gorges can be found here: taormina and surroundings.
To help you plan your 14 day road trip in sicily (your planning will be a piece of cake this way)!), you should read my detailed article below: around sicily in 2 weeks (by car).
for each stage of your road trip i will give you all the information you need and a list of the best places to stay
the alcantara gorge
3-week road trip in sicily with discovery of the aeolian islands
You plan do a three week road trip in sicily? This is really great! In 3 weeks you will be able to discover the whole island at your leisure and at the same time enjoy your vacation!
If you plan to visit sicily in 21 days by car, you should follow my itinerary for a 14-day road trip around sicily follow and add a few more days to also explore the aeolian islands.
Recommended itinerary for your tour:
- Start your car tour in sicily with the above itinerary for a14 days road trip to.
- Follow this program until stage palermo.
- Spend then 2 nights in cefalù, to visit one of the most photographed villages of sicily and the next day the regional natural park madonie TO DISCOVER.
- The remaining 5 days you will spend in the north of sicily to discover the aeolian islands explore. From milazzo you can volcano, stromboli or panarea visit. It is the opportunity to, after the atna, the 2 other famous volcanoes of sicily to admire.
- Finish your stay in taormina (2 days) and take advantage of it to relax a bit on the beautiful beach of isola bella, as also indicated in my 14 day itinerary mentioned above.
best season for a road trip in sicily
A road trip in sicily can be done at any time of the year season company. The temperatures are generally rather mild, even in winter. Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as a "bad period".
It depends more on what kind of vacation you want to have and what your interests are.
If you want to swim and sunbathe, are the months june, july, august, september and even october to prefer.
If you are more in the mood for a quiet vacation, to get away from the crowds and outside the season you can plan your road trip, the months are may-june and september-october ideal.
In these months you can still go swimming and see the sights of sicily, in all peace, without crowding. Discover. this is for me the best season to explore sicily by car.
If you prefer city tours and archaeological sites and swimming is not your thing, the other months of the year are from november to april perfect.
Of course it can happen, in these months, that it rains or that it is a bit colder, but this is the case in all of europe.
Good advice: if you want to visit atna or stromboli, you should avoid the months of december, january and february, because in these months it often happens that it snows there (in case of snowfall the visits are not possible).
erice castle, overlooking trapani
budget for a road trip in sicily
To give you an idea of what your road trip in sicily will cost you, I have a table created, in which the costs for 2 persons are summarized are (depending on the tour you choose).
Of course, the costs may vary, depending on your personal travel habits (choice of restaurants, accommodations…).
I personally only eat in restaurants in the evening (sandwiches for lunch) and prefer accommodations between 50 to 60€ per night.
And if you have already read some of my articles, then you surely know that my budget for ice cream is quite considerable! &
spending items for 2 peoplebudget for an 8 day road tripbudget for a 10 day road tripbudget for a 14 day road trip.
||110€ – with easyjet- 2 cabin suitcases – no checked luggage – arrival in catania
||245€ – with easyjet and one checked baggage for 2 persons – arrival in palermo
||200€ – with easyjet and one checked baggage for 2 persons – arrival in catania
|rental car (booked at rentalcars with full insurance)
||170€ (etna excursion included)
||270€ + with surcharge for ice cream
||380€ + with surcharge for ice cream
|TOTAL EXPENSES (2 persons)
visiting sicily by car: what you should know before your departure
To make a car tour in sicily, you should, before your departure, take note of the following:
- Sicilians do not respect the traffic rules, so be extra careful in traffic circles, at red lights and when you have the right of way.
- Sicilians often honk their horns, mostly for no reason or just because you hesitated for half a second too long to drive again! (this is not meant badly, so don’t worry about it, they just like to honk their horns!)
- car rental companies are professional scammers in sicily, (please excuse me for repeating myself!): so be very careful and take the fully comprehensive insurance with rentalcars.Com. To learn more about the different scams, don’t forget to read my article about the car rental in sicily to read.
- highways are usually free (no fees)
- gasoline is quite expensive, more expensive than in france. this edition you have to foresee because it will be quite consistent (roadtrip).
- The roads are in pretty good condition.
- Never, I mean really NEVER, leave valuables in your car or even anything in sight. thefts are very common in sicily. Even if you only take a 5 minute swim break, don’t leave anything lying around.
- Do not drive at night, and if there is no other way, fill up your tank during the day. Don’t stop at a rest area or gas station at night.
If I tell you all this, it is not to scare you, but just to warn you: in sicily you have to be really careful.
I personally have, during my road trips in sicily, never had any problems, but i must admit that i was much more attentive than in other countries.
for example, i generally preferred to leave my luggage at the hotel in the morning, even though this often meant a detour, rather than leaving it in the car all day long. of course sometimes there was no other way, but i always made sure that nothing was sticking out of the trunk and parked in guarded parking lots.
Rent a boat in sicily
If you feel like, during your sicily trip rent a boat, to get one have a nice day on the sea to spend, you should choose samboat decide. It is very simple, you have the most extensive range of boat rentals!
Motorboats, sailboats, yachts, small boats without a license, with or without a skipper: samboat offers a wide range of boats.
So what are you waiting for book your boat tour in sicily?&
And you, what do you plan to visit during your road trip in sicily?
Sicily travel guide
- Buy the best sicily travel guide on amazon.De
- buy the marco polo sicily travel guide on amazon.De
you travel around sicily? These articles will help you!
Discover all my articles about sicily: my best tips to prepare your trip!
- The top 20 sights in sicily
- Itinerary: 2, 3, 4 or 5 days in sicily – with all my best tips + accommodation suggestions (east coast + west coast)
- itinerary: 1 week in sicily – with all my best tips + accommodation suggestions (east coast)
- Itinerary: 10 days in sicily – with all my best tips + accommodation suggestions (west coast)
- itinerary: 2 weeks in sicily – with all my best tips + accommodation suggestions (sicily itinerary)
- Agrigento: top 10 places to visit
- Catania: the 15 best activities and attractions
- Palermo: top 15 sights
- Syracuse: top 15 sights
- Taormina: the 10 best activities and attractions
- Trapani: top 10 sights
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Sicily road trip car rental