I’ll be honest with you. I don’t like to plan my holidays too much, I like to go with the flow and often make random decisions. It always turns out to be amazing, so why change my strategy? That’s kind of what happened to our trip to Sicily – it all started with finding very cheap flights via Ryanair. Once we booked the flights, we started doing some research and decided on an itinerary. So if you’re like me, here are 5 quick and easy tips you need to remember when travelling to Sicily:
Make sure to travel around the island as it’s so different and has so much to offer. Our itinerary was: Palermo – Cefalu – Taormina – Etna – Palermo. I have to say that every location has its own beauty and you don’t need more than a day to spend in any of these places. You can if you want to, but you can see enough in a day.
Food & Drinks
If you’re on a diet you might as well not go. The food is de-li-cious! Plenty of fresh seafood, prepared in different ways, accompanied by the best wines. If you don’t fancy the sea food, well, let me state the obvious: pizza & pasta! The only regret I have about our trip was that we didn’t eat more, and I’m not even joking.They also have the best ice-creams, fresh fruits and Cannoli, which is a traditional Sicilian desert best described as heaven. I realised I haven’t got any pictures of my Cannoli’s (which I think were 10 over the course of 2 days) and that’s because they were too delicious, I couldn’t take 2 minutes to snap a picture.
Prices in Sicily vary depending on the places. Except Taormina, everything is pretty much affordable and quite on the cheap side. Taormina however is a bit pricier, being the most touristy place. It is very good for buying souvenirs though, but I’ll cover this subject more in the Shopping section. Make sure you have cash available, there’s not many ATMs available and it feels like it’s safer to pay cash rather than card in most of these places (if you know what I mean). One big spent will be the accommodation, don’t be afraid to check out B&Bs – people are very friendly and prices tend to be much lower.
Best option is to rent a car – it gives you the freedom to move around the island and it’s quite affordable. However, be aware of the driving there! Around the East coast was brilliant, lovely sceneries and lovely roads. It was all great until we arrived in Palermo and we were just shocked – as my friends put it: like driving in India but maybe not as hectic. Or as the guide book put it: Driving in Palermo requires nerves of steel. I may add: and a car of steel, so you don’t get crushed by everyone else around you.
Sicily is a great place to buy some souvenirs: olive oil, pistachio cream and liquor, herbs, Cannoli, wine and kitchen accessories. They have the prettiest handmade ceramics, all with lemon and fruit patterns, very Sicilian like. I would also emphasise on the pistachio cream – is like Nutella but with pistachios – heaven in a jar! Make sure to keep some cash for these souvenirs – I spent about £100 with presents included. I bought all the kitchen bits and lemon soaps from Taormina. I had to buy all the food from the airport as I only had a hand luggage, but next time I’m getting a big luggage and get my food from local shops – cheaper and tastier!
Last advice I can give you – make sure to make the most out of the trip, walk around the small streets with beautiful architecture, enjoy a drink in one of those fancy hotels overlooking the water, swim in the most clear and blue water I have ever seen so far, don’t worry about the calories and make sure to indulge in their cuisine.
Sicily, you were amazing!