Does anyone know much about Sicily? Im hoping to travel to Sicily in June for a week. The only flights I can find get into Trapani late on a Sunday night and leave the following Sunday again late. I was wondering where the bast place would be to base myself in the west of Sicily - I would like to explore a bit but Im a bit anxious about car rental and only having a week I want to spend some days relaxing on a nice beach. Taormina seems like the place most people go for the beach - but this seems quite far to go and complicated to get there without a car? Can someone suggest a nice beachy resort with transport links and a bit of life on the west side of the island relatively easy to get to from trapani? A bit much to ask?
You don't need to rent a car. It is possible to get around by public transport. I was in Sicily for a week last year.
I really liked Palermo and Catania. I spent some time in Sferravacallo, 15 km outside of Palermo. There is a bus to there from Palermo. Sferrovacallo has the only budget accomodation in Palermo. There are 3 camping sites there, one doubles as a hostel and rents out beds in a bungalow on the site. The next beach was in Mondello.
Another nice camping site with a great beach is Cefalu. And Catania has a great hostel that is a good starting point for the the little train around the volcano or the bus up to the summit of the Etna. The beach in Catania is just a bit behind the harbour (Lungomare Presidente Kennedy).
And while I haven't been there, I heard good things about Sporting Club Village at Mazara del Vallo.
Trapani is itself is interesting because you can visit the salt exploring area.
And the temple of Segesta is rather near.
Castellaamare and San vito d. Capo have nice beaches.
Car renting is rather expensive but safe if you drive carefully.
Sicilians drive 'close'! Last year I made > 2.800 kms on Sicily.
Do not drive on saterdays and sundays between 16 and 21 hrs!
And if you like to travel to Palermo, go there by train.
Near Sferracavallo you'll find Isola delle Femmine. Is has a train station (25 minutes
to the center of Palermo) and a beach.
Camping Internazionale La Playa (091-8677001) has 3 caravans for rent and
the daughter speaks German.
From Palermo you can catch a train to Cefalu (2 hrs).
Tip: eat a very nice lunch (from 12.30 - 14.30) in Sferracavallo: you just order a
lunch (not the menu card) and for about 25 euro's you'll eat the best lunch ever.
I lived in Sicily for a few months with some girlfriends. car hire is easy and cheap and the only way to get around! (Though yes they drvie fast) You cannot go to sicily and miss out on taormina, catania, sircacusa! its seems far but its only a few hours through the middle of the island (and that in itself is fascinating with the farm lands and rolling hills) Agrigento temples are amazing too.
The greek roman ruins and stadiums are breathaking...and a trip up mt Etna is well worth it.
Miss messina...but be sure to get a ferry to the Aeolian islands....Salina sulpher baths...."vulcano" exploding every ten minutes...which you can hike up....would recommend Lipari to stay on. Beautiful and very accessable (1 hour ferry from north of sicily I think - memory a bit fuzzy on that) Can then get ferries back or on and up to Naples, Positano, Rome, wherever.
Enjoy and be sure to eat Cannolli, madorla, Penne Norma, blood oranges and a peach bellini, swim off isola bella, feel the heat of etna (and drink the nero d'avola wine from the grape that grows best in volcanic soil) ...all sicilian specialties!
I agree if you are going into Trapani, San Vito Lo Capo is the ideal beach holiday location and a great location to visit the west of Sicily. You are very close to the Zingero nature reserve less than 20 Km away and Segesta , with its Greek ruins is quite close as well and excursions can be arranged to get you there without a car.
I hope you have sorted yourself out but if not have a look www.siciliangems.com for info on the area and the rest of Sicily.
I would not miss Taormina. BUT I would not go there for the beach since it is too crowded. Look at a list of great Sicilian beaches here: http://www.sicilyguide.com/sights/beaches.htm