This 1172km road trip through Sicily starts in Palermo and follows the panoramic rocky coasts and paradisiacal beaches of western Sicily to the picturesque fishing villages and archaeological sites of southern Sicily. This is followed by a tour inland to the ceramics town of Caltagirone until we rejoin the south coast and the iconic city of Syracuse. The route continues around the Etna Natural Park and through numerous authentic Sicilian villages in the Etna Valley to breathtakingly beautiful Taormina. The return journey winds through natural parks to the medieval town of Cefalù, around the Parco delle Madonie until we end the road trip in Sicily's capital Palermo.
Highlights along the way include the paradisiacal beaches of western and eastern Sicily, archaeological sites, picturesque fishing villages and authentic inland villages, a visit to the mafia village of Savoca, the drive around the park of the volcano Etna, numerous culinary delights and the cities of Siracusa, Cefalù, Taormina and Palermo.
- Perfect travel companion if you want to discover Sicily by motorhome, car or motorbike
- Clearly organised into 7 stages with 32 places of interest, travel tips, 13 hiking routes, local tourism services and places to stay (50 camping sites and 48 motorhome sites)
- Available as PDF (travel guide 48 pages) in attractive design, illustrated with inspiring texts and high-quality photography
- Includes interactive map for PC, tablet or smartphone so you have all information at hand en route
- Includes GPX file so you can download the entire route onto your GPS
Some highlights on this road trip
Palermo - Trapani
Our road trip starts at Palermo airport, about 30 km west of the Sicilian capital that we will visit at the end of our route. The first part of this stage to Trapani runs along the coastline with its many beaches. Those who absolutely want to take a dive in the sea can already do so here. Those who want a beach experience should drive on to San Vito lo Capo, where you will find perhaps the most beautiful beaches of Sicily. Culture lovers will enjoy the impressive Greek temple of Segesta and the nearby Roman theatre. It is a must to visit the temple in the evening, when it is put in an atmospheric light.
Before Trapani, we make a small diversions through the interior to Erice, a high medieval village with a breathtaking view of the west coast of Sicily, the Egadi Islands and the salt flats of Trapani.
Trapani - Agrigento
Trapani is the gateway to the Egadi Islands, of which Favignana is the most famous and beautiful. For centuries, this has been the centre of tuna fishing in Sicily. As soon as we leave Trapani southwards, we drive along the beautiful Sicilian salt coast, a place where salt is still extracted in shallow basins of seawater.
The city Marsala and the further located Mazara del Vallo (with its Arab quarter and the colourful kasbah) are Arab inspired. A bit further on (near Selinunte), the Greek atmosphere (thanks to the temples) dominates again, only to become Arab in Sciacca. Sciacca is one of the most beautiful villages on this tour of Sicily. You can stroll along the fishing port and the narrow streets with orange trees, baroque churches and colourful ceramics.
Before you arrive in Agrigento, a stop at the white limestone rock with its Scala dei Turchi (Staircase of the Turks) in Realmonte is an absolute must.
Agrigento - Sampieri
Forget the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens. The most beautiful Greek temples are in Sicily in the Valle dei Templi (Valley of the Temples) just beyond Agrigento. The Greek city of Akragas was once located here and is now one of the largest archaeological sites in Italy.
At Gela, we dive inland on our way to Caltagirone, city of ceramics. Climb the Scalinata di Santa Maria del Monte, a 130-metre-long staircase with 142 steps made of grey lava rock and covered with ... ceramics in a fascinating way.
After this piece of art we dive back to the coast to the fishing village of Sampieri. You can walk along the beach and the dunes to a remarkable piece of architecture, the ruins of the former brickworks Fornace Penna. Still fancy an authentic Sicilian town? Before Sampieri, make a stop in the baroque town of Scicli.
Sampieri - Siracusa
On the coastal route between Sampieri and Catania, a stop in Marzamemi is definitely worthwhile. It is an enchanting fishing village in a beautiful setting on the Ionian Sea. Here, we leave the south side of the island and head past the Vendicare nature reserve to the iconic city of Syracuse.
Were you impressed by Scicli? Then be sure to stop off at Val di Noto, another Baroque gem on Sicily's east coast. The destination of this stage is Syracuse, once the most influential city of the Greek empire after Athens. Syracuse is a pleasant city where the old centre (on the Ortygia peninsula) is the place to be. A must-see is the archaeological park in the Tyche district with impressive remnants of the Greek character of Syracuse, including a theatre carved out of the rock. For sea and beach lovers, this part of the route is dotted with breathtakingly beautiful bays and beaches.