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Sicily, a destination for lovers of : Nature – Beaches – Sea – Culture – Gastronomy – Hiking.
In love with road trips, gastronomy and the Italian dolce Vita, Sicily is an island that intrigued me. I love to live different types of experiences in the same trip. And for sure, between nature reserves, villages, beaches, volcanoes, temples, the island has a very rich cultural heritage, heritage of its history with multiple influences. 🧡
It is the largest of the Mediterranean islands (to give you an idea, its surface is three times larger than Corsica).
We chose to do a road trip in order to move around as much as possible, since there is a lot to see all around the island.
Discover in this article my detailed itinerary by train trip through Sicily.
General information about Sicily
Let’s start with some general information about Sicily.
How to get to Sicily? ✈️
The first step of this road trip was to choose the arrival and departure point. As the island is big, it has 4 airports (all served by Ryanair) including Palermo, Trapani, Comiso and Catania. We have chosen according to the prices of the tickets by arriving in Trapani and leaving from Catania.
When to go to Sicily?
May-June or September-October. The climate is mild, swimming is possible, visits to sites are pleasant, and you avoid the tourist influx of July and August.
How to get around? 🚆
The car is in my opinion the most efficient way to get around, but you can also easily get around the island by public transport. The rail and bus network is excellent in Sicily, and in general this is also the case throughout Italy. We only travelled by train around Sicily and it was more than feasible.
You can easily book trains on the official Italian railway website.
Budget details for 1 week in Sicily by train 💵
- ✈️ Flight: From Brussels-Charleroi with Ryanair, €150/person return trip.
- 😴 Hotels: ± 75 euro per night (in total, €448 for the 6 nights).
- 🍴 Restaurant: ±500 euro in total (going to the restaurant every night).
- 🚆 Transportation: 184 euro for public transportation (train, bus, cab).
Average for a 6 nights’ trip = +-1400€ or +-700€ per person, excluding activities.
👉 I was very surprised by the expensive prices of the island, and especially by those in the restaurants. I didn’t expect it to be such an expensive destination. So keep this in mind for your trip to Sicily.
My 1 week itinerary by train through Sicily in 5 steps
1 | Trapani & Erice
Trapani, the historical center
We spent the first night in Trapani. The historical center of Trapani is not very big and can be visited easily on foot. The oldest and most popular streets in the center are Via Garibaldi, Corso Italia and Corso Vittorio Emanuele. This is where you will find all the restaurants, cafés and stores.
For those who love shopping, you will find your happiness along Via Giovanni Battista Fardella, the main shopping street of the city with its many clothing stores, shoe shops, cafes and restaurants.
👉 Our accommodation | B&B Barone Sieri Pepoli
The village of Erice 🏰
If you are visiting Trapani, I recommend a visit to the beautiful medieval village of Erice. It is without a doubt a place of interest to visit.
Erice is a small medieval village perched at more than 750 meters above sea level and offers a magnificent view of Trapani, the Egadi Islands and San Vito Lo Capo.
From the castle you have a magnificent view of the whole valley of Trapani and the sea in the distance.
To get there, you can either go by car (±25 min from the center of Trapani) or take the cable car. By taking the cable car you will be at the top in ten minutes for €9 round trip. Note that the cable car is not in the center of Trapani itself, you will have to take a bus to get there or walk for 30 minutes.
We wanted to take the cable car to go up, but due to windy weather, the cable car was closed. We finally had to opt for a taxi, which was quite expensive.
My travel tip in Erice
- Take the opportunity in Erice to taste the local pastry of Erice, the Genovesa. You can find it in every pastry shop in the village. The Genovesa is the typical dessert of the town of Erice. It is a large shortbread filled with custard, baked in the oven and then topped with a dusting of powdered sugar.
- Taste also the local dish, busiate alla Trapanese. As the name suggests, this dish comes from the area around Trapani, where cooks mix almonds, tomatoes, basil, garlic and Pecorino cheese to create a sauce similar to pesto. This sauce is traditionally served with busiate, a local pasta mixture.
2 | Aegadian Islands – Favignana ⛱
On the next day we went for one night to Favignana island. Favignana is one of the three islands that, together with Levanzo and Maretimo, make up the Aegadian Islands and constitute one of the must-see places during your stay in Trapani. Favignana is the biggest of the 3 and the most visited because it is the best served from Trapani.
How to get to Favignana?
From Trapani, to get to Favignana, you need to take a ferry. Whatever company you choose, departures are from the port of Trapani.
We paid €45 round trip for 2, and it takes about 30 minutes to get there. There are trips every hour.
Once in Favignana, the best option to visit the island is to rent a bike. On foot, you will not be able to do much except visit the village and the surrounding seaside. If you go to Favignana, it is mainly to visit the beaches and the beautiful coves.
To see as beaches: Cala Rossa, Lido Burrone, Cala Azzurra, Cala Rotonda and many others. And of course, you can take advantage of the opportunity to swim.
👉 Our accomodation | Poggiamico Guest House
If you have more time, you can also go to the island of Levanzo. To go there, you have 2 choices:
– Take the ferry from Trapani, about 25 minutes for about 20 euros round trip per person.
– Go from Favignana, where taxiboats will take you there in 10 minutes.
If you want to stay there, there are only 2 hotels. Most of the time you can just make a day trip from Favignana. Take advantage of this small and quiet island to relax and rest. No car noise to pollute, there are simply no roads in Levanzo.
To finish with the Egades islands, you can also go to Marettimo, the wildest, the most remote and certainly the least touristy of the 3 islands.
To go there, count 1h20 by hydrofoil from Trapani. In Marettimo, there is not much to do except enjoy the calm and the sun.
My travel tip in Favignana
- Restaurant – Trattoria Da Papu
- Ice cream – Icecream Favignana
- Cocktail bar – Camarillo Brillo
Another thing to do around Trapani that we did not do is the town of Segesta. The town is about 30 minutes by car from Trapani. There you will find one of the most important archaeological remains in the area, the temple of Segesta.
3 | Palermo
On the third day of our trip, we went to the capital of Siciy, Palermo. Palermo is a typical Italian city, where modern infrastructure harmoniously blends with its historic center. It also boasts an impressive mix of architectural and decorative styles, including Byzantine, Arabic and Italian. And as in most Italian cities, a walk in the center of Palermo allows you to enjoy a pleasant interlude out of time.
Palermo, 6 must-sees
1 | The market of Ballarò
Palermo is also the city of street food. A recent ranking, established by the American network Virtual Tourist, placed Palermo in 5th place among the best producers of “street food” in the world. Today, a visit to the street food is a must.
The Ballarò market is an open-air market where you can find fresh products (fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, juices, spices,…), but also small stalls all more typical than the others and small “street food” restaurant, ideal for a quick lunch! Here, you’ll dive into an authentic tasting experience, among the noises of the city center, the barking of the street vendors, the bright colors and the intoxicating smells coming from the kitchens of the restaurants and the markets.
2 | Piazza Pretoria
Piazza Pretoria is also known as the “Square of Shame” because of the statues of naked men that adorn the iconic Pretoria Fountain, one of the city’s main landmarks.
3 | Le Quattro canti
The Quattro Canti intersection marks the intersection of the 2 main streets of Palermo, via Vittorio Emanuele (the street where the cathedral is located) and via Maqueda which leads to the Massimo Theater.
4 | Massimo Theater
Continue your walk of Palermo by taking the ‘Via Maqueda‘ which will lead you straight to the Massimo Vittorio Emanuele Theater.
5 | Palermo Cathedral
From the outside, the cathedral is simply magnificent. Don’t miss the chance to climb up to the roof of the cathedral to admire a beautiful panorama of the whole city of Palermo. Access to the roof is 7€.
6 | The Norman Palace
The Norman Palace, one of the most visited monuments, sometimes also called “Royal Palace of Palermo“.
The Norman Palace, located in Piazza Independenza, is the perfect representation of the cultural mix in Palermo.
👉 Accommodation | Barlaman luxury Rooms
My Palermo Travel Tip 👍
- Restaurant – Osteria Al Ferro di Cavallo
4 | Cefalù
On the fourth day we took the train from Palermo to Cefalù. Cefalù is located at 1-hour drive from Palermo. The small town of Cefalù is located by the sea, and allows for a pleasant walk along the beach as well as in the small streets of the old town, lined with souvenir stores.
What to do in Cefalù?
1 | Visit the cathedral
Not to be missed in Cefalù is a visit to the cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the most important buildings in Sicily at the time of the Norman domination of the island.
2 | Rocca di Cefalù
If you have the time, I recommend you to climb up to the Rocca di Cefalù, which overlooks the city to contemplate the view. The hike is quite sportive, count on about 30 min of hard climbing. The entrance costs €4 per person and the site closes at 4pm. I advise doing this hike early in the morning, when the sun is not yet very strong.
👉 Accomodation | Casanova Rooms and Apartment
My Cefalù travel tip 👍
- Restaurant – TINCHITE’ Taverna & Putia (❤️)
5 | Taormina – Sicilian Saint-Tropez🐚
The last step of this Sicilian trip is Taormina. Taormina is a small town considered as one of the jewels of Sicily. Perched on a cliff 200 meters high, Taormina offers an incredible view of the sea and especially of Mount Etna.
The city is divided into two parts : an upper part, where the city center is located, and a lower part, where the beach is located. To connect the two parts, you can take a cable car for the sum of €3. You can also do it on foot, in which case it takes about 25 minutes to walk to the bottom.
The center of Taormina is entirely pedestrian.
Corso Umberto is THE main street that crosses the whole center of Taormina. Flanked on both sides by a succession of luxury stores, clothing, jewelry, souvenirs, it is easy to understand why it has been nicknamed “Saint Tropez Sicilian“.
A must-see in Taormina is the Isola Bella. And in my opinion, you can’t miss it. It is a small cove simply sublime with its pebble beach and its crystal clear waters. On the spot, many activities are offered to you (Kayak, jet ski, Diving, Boat trip).
My travel tip in Taormina 👍
- Bam bar (excellent place to taste delicious granita / brioche, one of the specialties).
Taormina and its surroundings
- Alcantara Gorge – Located about 20 km from Taormina, the gorge is a real canyon made of black lava walls up to 50 meters high. It is one of the hidden gems of Sicily.
- Castelmola – This small village above Taormina is a natural terrace built on the ruins of a Norman castle.
I hope this article on my 1 week Sicily by train itinerary, will help you prepare your visit! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments of the article. I’ll be happy to answer them.
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