Sicily is a wonderful land for a traveler. Whether you are a beach-goer or a passionate archeologist, or anything in between,- there will be something for a first timer to Sicily. Or most probably, there will be A LOT to capture your attention. You may want to have “a mix of everything”: sites and experiences, beach and towns, activities and relaxed Sicilian lifestyle, healthy Mediterranean diet and delicious Sicilian cuisine (far from always the same 😉 ). Also, you will probably want a mix of ‘must-visit’ tourist attractions and a genuine contemporary locals’ life…
We understand that a traveler’s time is always limited, thus you will probably not have 2 months to dedicate to all of that. If this is the case, then you first have to decide:
What are your priorities for this vacation?
Are you interested in e.g. Ancient Greek ancestry or pleasant baroque towns, trekking up the volcano Etna or you want to visit the places filmed in the ‘Godfather’? Initially, you can just decide for yourself ‘history with a bit of beach’, or ‘genuine sicily with wine and other local food production’, ‘just beach and food’, ‘relaxed vacation with kids’.
How much time do you have?
This one is pretty straightforward. Usually, you don’t adjust your days depending on what’s there to see but you adjust your itinerary to the time you have. If this is not the case – good for you, you’ll probably stay for a couple of months! Normally, if you want to see and experience a bit of everything across the island 2 weeks is optimal. It is enough to get a good feel of the island and understand what you will be coming back for.
When can you visit?
Depending on your priorities for this vacation you may also opt for a different season. July and September are the best for the beach vacation. April – June and September, October are optimal for exploring the island. For Sicilian wine or olive production, autumn will be preferred timing. The end of September and October are ideal to visit some local agriculture production and participate in something very genuine and local. Winter isn’t a great time to visit as the weather is unpredictable. But if you feel lucky – try it, and you may as well visit a lot and enjoy your stay! August is too hot for an intense itinerary and exploring the sites and towns during the day. In August the beaches are very crowded. It is also pricey for accommodation requires advanced booking. April – July and September, October are probably the best for a visit, with April, May and even early June still being a bit cold for swimming in the sea.
What is OK to skip?
This site aims to give you as a first timer to Sicily a comprehensive picture of how to spend your time and what to visit. You may have already a good idea of what is OK to leave out. If not – keep reading and scrolling images on this web-site. The answer is somewhere there.
If you are clear about the answers – you are already at a very good point! It is also useful to decide whether you prefer to have more flexibility and rent a car. You can reach the majority o interesting places and experiences in Sicily by public transport or by organized tours/with licensed guides. However, if you prefer to rely on public transport prepare to ease your itinerary quite a lot, and to have a detailed plan with time schedules before arrival. This will help against disappointments about local infrastructure and waiting time.