Sicily Itinerary

Temple of Concordia, Agrigento, Sicily, Italy
With at least six days in Sicily, head out to Agrigento for its scenically set Valley of the Temples.
By Rick Steves and Sarah Murdoch

Mamma mia! There's so much to see, so little time. How to choose? To help you get started, we've listed our top picks for where to go in Sicily, and our plan for your best two-week trip.

Depending on the length of your trip, and taking geographic proximity into account, here are our recommended priorities:

  • 4 days: Palermo (with half-day trip to Monreale for its cathedral) and Siracusa
  • 6 days, add: Agrigento
  • 8 days, add: Mount Etna and Taormina
  • 10 days, add: Villa Romana del Casale and Cefalù
  • 12 days, add: Trapani, with day trips to Erice, Favignana, Mozia, Segesta and/or Selinunte
  • 14 days, add: Ragusa and nearby towns (Scicli, Modica, Noto)
  • 16 days, add: Catania, and slow down

Rick’s Best Two-Week Trip to Sicily by Car

To get the most from your time in Sicily, it's best to have a car (except in intense Palermo — if you begin there, pick up your rental car from the airport as you leave town). This two-week itinerary covers the country's top sights.

Day 1:  Fly into Palermo, begin sightseeing there (sleep in Palermo)

Day 2:  Sightsee Palermo; side-trip to Monreale (sleep in Palermo)

Day 3:  Pick up car, visit Segesta en route to Trapani (sleep in Trapani)

Day 4:  Day-trip to Mozia and the salt flats, and up to Erice (sleep in Trapani)

Day 5:  Morning drive to Agrigento to tour the Valley of the Temples (sleep in Agrigento)

Day 6:  Morning drive to Villa Romana del Casale, sightsee there, then afternoon drive to Ragusa (sleep in Ragusa)

Day 7:  Follow the southeast Sicily countryside drive (with stops in Scicli and Modica), as outlined in the Rick Steves Sicily guidebook (sleep in Ragusa)

Day 8:  Morning drive to Noto, then to Siracusa; start sightseeing there (sleep in Siracusa)

Day 9:  Sightsee Siracusa (sleep in Siracusa)

Day 10:  Drive north, choosing between Catania (fish market and WWII museum) or Mount Etna (volcanic sights and wineries); end your day in Taormina (sleep in Taormina)

Day 11:  Vacation from your vacation in Taormina (or day-trip to Etna wineries) (sleep in Taormina)

Day 12:  Morning drive to Cefalù, afternoon on the beach (sleep in Cefalù)

Day 13:  Return to Palermo, drop off car, fly out of Palermo

With more time: With extra time, spend more days in Palermo and include both Catania and Mount Etna.

With less time: To pare this itinerary down to one week, from Palermo (2 nights) head directly to Agrigento (1 night) and the Valley of the Temples. From Agrigento, visit Villa Romana del Casale on the way to Siracusa (2 nights). Then drive north, sightseeing at Catania or Mount Etna along the way to Taormina (2 nights). The next day, drive to Catania, where you can drop the car and fly elsewhere.

Rick’s Best One-Week Trip to Sicily by Public Transportation

If you're relying on public transportation, it's wise to group overnights in big cities and day-trip from there.

Day 1:  Fly into Palermo, begin sightseeing there (sleep in Palermo)

Day 2:  Sightsee Palermo; side-trip to Monreale (sleep in Palermo)

Day 3:  Day-trip to beachy Cefalù (1 hour by train) or the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento (2 hours by bus) (sleep in Palermo)

Day 4:  Morning in Palermo, afternoon bus to Siracusa (3.5 hours) (sleep in Siracusa)

Day 5:  Sightsee Siracusa (sleep in Siracusa)

Day 6:  Morning in Siracusa, afternoon train to Taormina (2 hours) (sleep in Taormina)

Day 7:  Join an excursion tour to Mount Etna or take it easy in Taormina (sleep in Taormina)

Day 8:  Bus to Catania Airport (1.5 hours) and fly out from there

With more time: You can stretch out this itinerary by doing any of the following: overnight in Cefalù (train); add Trapani (bus); spend a night or two in Catania (train/bus); or relax in Ragusa for a night or two (train), with a side trip (by bus) to Noto.


Sarah Murdoch is the co-author of the Rick Steves Sicily guidebook.