Holidays in Sicily have recently become increasingly popular.
Perhaps it is the island’s preserved identity, its remoteness from the main tourist cities of Europe and Italy, that makes vacation in Sicily so attractive. Based on the results of my trip to Sicily, I wrote a lot of articles, here I give a brief guide on how to plan a vacation in Sicily, and also show my photos of rest in Sicily
The content of the article:
- Visa to Sicily
- Mobile Communications in Sicily
- Tours to Sicily
- How much is a ticket to Sicily
- Trip to Sicily: tickets, hotels, transfer, insurance
Trip to Sicily or Sicily on your own
To relax in Sicily, you can buy a ticket to Sicily or organize your vacation in Sicily on your own. Each of the options has its advantages. When buying a tour, you do not need to spend your time organizing vacations – buy tickets, look for a hotel, take care of a transfer. With the independent organization of leisure, you can not only save, but also choose absolutely any place of residence, create an individual travel route around the island, and simply be independent of anyone. The choice is yours.
Visa to Sicily
Some tourist to relax in Sicily need a visa. Sicily is the administrative region of Italy, so any Schengen is suitable, if you have one.
Mobile Communications in Sicily
Arriving in Sicily, you need to know that WI-FI is not in all hotels and houses, and therefore you will need to get a SIM card here. Also with mobile Internet it will be easier for you to use online maps while traveling.
The same operators work in Sicily as throughout Italy:
There is no limit, but you can buy packages with a different number of gigs – 4, 8, 10, 12, etc. The price of local sims varies from 10 to 30 euros , depending on the desired number of gigabytes.
You need to remember the local features. Sometimes rates are programmed for a month. And if you took a tariff from 10 GB of the Internet, but you ran out of them in a week, it often turns out that you cannot replenish your account again and continue to use the Internet. We have to wait a month for the next replenishment and extension of the term of use. Or you will have to buy a new SIM card.
For tourists, tariffs with a lot of Internet traffic are suitable, for example, Wind in 2018 had tariffs: 8 GB (+ calls) for 10 euros per month, 20 GB (+ calls) for 12 euros per month, 20 GB (Internet only) for 9 euros per month. BUT: keep in mind that unlike Russia, in Italy you have to pay extra for a SIM card and some other fees. So, a sim card with a tariff of 10 euros cost me 25 euros!
Another minus of buying SIM cards in Italy: the schedule of the kiosks. On weekdays, there is always a lunch break (from about 13 to 16), close at 18-19 hours, on Saturday at 16 hours, and on Sunday they don’t work at all.
Tours to Sicily
The tour usually includes air travel, hotel accommodation, transfer, meals (depending on the chosen tour package), as well as medical insurance. If you prefer not to bother with ticket tracking, finding the right hotel and other organizational issues, then it is better to buy a ticket. You can do this either in one of the travel agencies of your city, or without leaving your home online.
Individual trip to Sicily
For those who prefer to plan their holidays on their own, you need to take care of the following components: airline tickets, hotel, insurance, visa and transfer.
Tickets for Sicily.
To buy tickets to Sicily, but as cheap as possible, it is better to start tracking prices in advance. I won’t surprise anyone by saying that it’s better to monitor several search engines at once – Jetradar.com , Skyscanner and Momondo.
Prices for flights to Sicily :
Hotels in Sicily
Choosing accommodation is the next step. If your vacation is on the “high season”, especially in the summer months, then it is better to book accommodation in advance. Firstly, because it will not be so easy to find housing on the spot, as most of the housing will already be booked. Remain, as a rule, the most expensive, or uncomfortable options. And secondly, booking in advance is usually cheaper, and with a full prepayment of the hotel or apartment, you will not depend on currency fluctuations.
Hotels and apartments are best booked through Booking – reliable, wide selection, detailed description of objects and reviews that you can trust. Examples of housing in Sicily:
Do not forget to take care of transfers to your hotel. Upon arrival, of course, you can take a taxi, but you need to negotiate the price with the driver before you get in the car. In Sicily, many people are trying to “cash in” on tourists, although they always do it with a sincere smile, so be careful. You can order a taxi in advance through the kiwitaxi service , you pay a fixed amount via the Internet, and you don’t have to pay anything on the spot.
If you prefer public transport, this, in principle, will not be a problem either. If you arrive in Palermo, then you can use my article Palermo Airport , where I tell you how to get from the airport to the city, as well as to other cities of the island from Palermo.
Please do not neglect medical insurance, even if you enter the country with an open Schengen visa (a medical policy is a mandatory document to apply for a visa). Medicine in Italy is expensive, and it’s very difficult to buy a cough medicine in a pharmacy, especially in small towns. Sicily practically does not speak English. So, going to the pharmacy in Santa Flavia, where we rested, I, with a little knowledge of Italian, could not buy anything. Firstly, there were a lot of people (perhaps this pharmacy was the only one in the whole town), and secondly, compared to our pharmacies, where at least part of the medicines are in the window, there was nothing to “poke a finger” at all . It might also have taken some prescription for medicines (I don’t know for sure if someone living in Italy is reading this article, write to us, Please, a few words about pharmacies).
When planning a vacation in Sicily, it is important to plan your budget. Despite the fact that Sicily is the poorest region of Italy and the prices there are lower than, for example, in Rome, it is still Italy , and vacation on Sicily (especially in tourist Taormina, or Cefalu) can not be called “budget”.
The main expense item will, of course, hotels in Sicily . So, hotels in Cefalu will cost from 60 euros per night, and in Taormina – from 70 euros. To save money, I recommend booking B&B hotels, that is, bed and breakfast, they cost from 25 euros in Sicily. We stayed at B&B Sicilio in the town of Santa Flavia. Price from 40 euros per night with breakfast (double room).
As for food prices, lunch in a cafe will cost 10-15 euros for two, dinner with wine in a restaurant 25-50 euros, street fast food 1.5-3 euros, sweets (like canolly) an average of 2 euros. Do not forget about the “copy” – a service charge in restaurants, about 1-2 euros per person.
Read more about hotel prices, transport, food, tours here
Even if you have chosen a beach holiday, I recommend that you go to at least the nearest attractions! All the sights of Sicily, probably, cannot be listed, since the island is quite large, and in each of its areas there are interesting cities, natural attractions, and historical places. Of course, for most tourists, the most important attraction of Sicily is Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. It is worth visiting the capital of the island – the city of Palermo with its Cathedral and the Royal Palace, in addition, Palermo is also known for its street food. In the south of the island you can visit the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento (you can buy an entrance ticket on the spot, or you can in advance through a specialized site), or Modica – the “chocolate capital” of Sicily. In the West, the city of Trapani, as well as Marsalu – a city that glorified Sicily with its unique wine. And, of course, such eastern cities as Catania, Taormina and Syracuse. Do not forget about the “mafia” past of the island, and maybe the present.
You can visit the sights of Sicily on your own, for example, by renting a car, or with a guided tour.
Car rental in Sicily
I recommend my article “Car rental in Italy”
Holidays in Sicily will become brighter if you rent a car. There are three ways to do this:
- Car rental at local rental offices
- Rent in international companies, for example, Europcar, Avis, Sixt, etc.
- Find the best option on Rentalcars and book a car with a 10-15% discount
If you decide to rent a car, be sure to study the rental conditions in the rental company that you have chosen. If you book through Rentalcars, then the conditions are written in very detail. The minimum driver age for car rental in Sicily is 19 years. A young driver from 19 to 24 years old may incur additional charges. An international driving license can be required.
Specify in advance the amount of the deposit and deductible (that is, the amount that is not insured and in case of trouble you will have to pay it). In Italy, the franchise, as a rule, is 1000-3000 euros, a deposit – from 300 euros. It is blocked on a credit card, therefore, I recommend that you get one. It is a credit, not a debit, because, firstly, a debit card may simply not be accepted, and secondly, the amount of 2,000 euros is quite big to have on the card and block it for up to a month. Money is not withdrawn from a credit card, therefore, interest on a loan is not charged to you. To protect yourself and your 2,000 euros, it may be worthwhile to take out additional insurance, which will provide, in which case, a full refund of the deposit.
Also be vigilant when renting a car in Sicily, and in Italy in general. Be sure to inspect the car before signing documents and draw up an act that lists all the damage to the car.
Guided tours and excursions in Sicily
If you decide to study Sicily with a guide, then you need to book excursions. You can order excursions in several ways:
- At the tour operator, if you have arrived on a ticket (as a rule, these are group tours)
- On-site, at local agencies (in most cases there will be English-speaking groups)
- Book online.
Food in Sicily
Do you like to taste new food as I like it?) If so, then Sicily is a great place for gastro-tourism. In Sicily, you can try both Italian cuisine and Sicilian cuisine, and it is unique, as it incorporates the traditions of both Spanish, Arabic and Greek. Also Palermitan fast food is famous all over the world, which can be tasted only here: arancini, panel, and, of course, panino con la milza, that is, a spleen sandwich. Read more about the cuisine of Sicily in my article “ Food in Sicily. What to taste “
For the best experience you can buy tasting tour or cooking class.
When is it best to go to Sicily, or the weather in Sicily for months.
Of course, the warmest months in Sicily (they are also the sunniest) are the summer months, June, July and August. The sea at this time is the warmest (up to 28 ° C). The coldest are the winter months: December, January and February, the average air temperature + 11 ° degrees. The rainiest months are September, October and March (the number of days when it rains is 4).
And finally, some more of my photos of rest in Sicily
Here are the main points that will come in handy when planning a trip to Sicily. If you have any questions, ask in the comments. Well, I wish you a sunny holiday and a gentle sea on the island! Let your holidays in Sicily be remembered for a long time!