How to spend seven days in Sicily
My favourite quote about Sicily has to be "Sicilians build things like they will live forever and eat like they will die tomorrow" because, from my experience, that is 100% accurate.
A land with historical influences from cultures all over the world including Greeks, Normans, Romans and Islamic, Sicily certainly is unique in many aspects, ranging from its architecture to its cuisine.
But with so much to see and do in the largest island of the Mediterranean, it seems impossible to decide how to spend just seven days in this magical place - but fear no more, because I am here with the perfect one-week itinerary to get a real taste of what Sicily has to offer.
For some more information about our trip, check out my Sicily series over on YouTube.
Important things to know
My number one recommendation is to hire a car for your trip, this was really crucial for us as most of the places we visited were outside of the main cities and not really accessible using public transport.
We chose to stay in places that included breakfast, this really is a time saver in the mornings as you don't have to worry about going out to find somewhere to eat - also, the breakfasts provided in Italy from my experience are always 10/10!
Having just seven days makes it borderline impossible (well maybe not impossible, but certainly not enjoyable) to adventure around the entire island, I therefore recommend choosing either the west or the east side of the island.
This brings me on nicely to my next point, we chose to explore the west side of the island and so this guide will be tailored around that location, if you're interested in exploring the east side this isn't the guide for you :)
Our itinerary in brief
Below is an extremely summarised version of our itinerary to give you a general idea, I've added in a day 0 as we flew into Palermo in the late evening.
Day 0: Arrive into Palermo
Day 1: Drive from Palermo to Agrigento via the Teatro di Andromeda and Scala dei Turchi
Day 2: Explore the Valle dei Templi then drive to Trapani
Day 3: Get the cable car from Trapani to Erice
Day 4: Take a ferry from Trapani to Favignana and spend the day exploring the island by bike
Day 5: Drive to San Vito Lo Capo and chill on the beach, then on to Scopello and Castellamare del Golfo
Day 6: Hike around Monte Cofano, then drive to Palermo via Mondello if there's time
Day 7: Spend the day exploring Palermo before your flight
Day 0: Arriving into Palermo
I'm not sure this really counts as a day as we arrived into Palermo in the late evening and so didn't have much time to do anything other than have a little walk, eat some food and sleep. I can however give you recommendations for where to eat and where to sleep!
Where to eat
It was already late when we went out to explore the streets of Palermo and so we definitely didn't want a nice sit-down dinner, however, after a bit of TripAdvisor searching we stumbled on Passami ù coppu. This street food style establishment sells a range of delights both sweet and savoury, all served in little cones which you can either eat at the few tables lining the street or takeaway. We actually visited here twice during our trip so can wholeheartedly recommend it!
Where to sleep
We stayed at the Porta di Castro, a charming little B&B in central Palermo near the infamous Mercato di Ballarò. This place was absolutely beautifully decorated and offered us the best breakfast of the entire trip - although prewarning I have never been so full in my life.
Day 1: Palermo to Agrigento
Today has quite a bit of driving (around 3-4 hours in total), as you'll be heading down to the opposite side of the island. This is also the only day you'll be venturing away from the coast and into central Sicily, so enjoy the change of terrain around you on the way!
When I was hunting for things to do in Sicily I stumbled across a place called Teatro di Andromeda. Around 1hr 30mins drive from Palermo, this theatre and sculpture garden was built over the course of 30 years by sculptor and farmer Lorenzo Reina. Each seat of the theatre corresponds to a point in the Andromeda constellation and it's all in all just a really cool place with spectacular views of the surrounding valleys.
After a couple of hours taking in the scenery and admiring the sculptures dotted around the site, hop back in the car for another 1hr 30mins drive to the Scala dei Turchi, the final stop before heading to Agrigento for the evening.
This rocky cliff is translated as ‘Turkish Stairs’ after the Arab pirates that sought safety beneath its chalky limestone cliffs. Though you used to be able to climb over these natural white stairs, recently they have been closed due to conservation issues.
Where to sleep
The B&B Sorahnia is located just outside of Agrigento and a short drive away from the Valle dei Templi, it's a stunning house that reminded me of a Greek Villa! The breakfast in the morning was absolutely delicious and was all lovingly prepared by the owner on site.
Day 2: Agrigento to Trapani
Today's a day to wake up pretty early and head over to what is probably the main sight around Agrigento, the Valle dei Templi. There is a range of ticket types (from €12 to €17) which you can book online and I'd suggest going for the full package, as you get access to see the main temples, as well as all the 'side quests' dotted around the site. I'd set aside around 5-6 hours to fully experience everything without feeling rushed!
After finishing your visit you'll be driving to your next main destination, Trapani. It takes aroud 2 hours and there are plenty of cute beaches to break up the journey. I'd recommend also stopping at the salt flats in Marsala at sunset for some gorgeous views.
Following that it's just a short drive into Trapani where you can check into your hotel (you'll be staying in this one for the next three nights!) and head out to explore the area for the evening.
Where to sleep
You'll be staying in Trapani for three nights so you want to make sure you pick a great place to sleep! In the midst of Trapani's little alleyways you'll stumble across the adequately named Secret B&B. This place has nice large rooms and is perfectly located for exploring the city. They dont provide parking however there's a very cheap and safe public car park a few minutes walk away (search Piazza Vittorio Emanuele on google).
Day 3: Erice
Just above Trapani is the charming medieval village of Erice. It's accessable by car however the best way to reach Erice is definitely by cable car! Once you arrive, there are maps dotted around which guide you on a mini tour of the town, viewing many of its cute churches and winding streets.
There are plenty of small restaurants and pasticcerie where you can stop for lunch before heading back down into Trapani and spending the rest of your day relaxing on a beach or exploring the centro storico.
Day 4: Favignana
This is quite possibly my favourite day of the entire trip! Trapani is connected by ferry to the three Egadi islands, the largest of which is Favignana. This remote island has a circumference of 32 sq km and the best way to explore it is by bicycle.
Take an early ferry to Favignana and as soon as you step off the boat you'll be greated by a host of different bike rental companies trying to get you to choose them - honestly from what I could tell they were all the same so take your pick. The cost of renting 2 bikes for the full day was only €12 and includes the lock and a basket for your bikes, you can also pay a bit more to get an electric bike or a scooter.
Favignana is full of cycle paths, with most tourists chosing to stay on the right hand side of the island. There are plenty of stops around the island with some absolutely stunning beaches and crystal clear water (my favourite was Bue Marino). We also ventured to the left hand side of the island, accessed via a long tunnel through a mountain, which is far less touristic and a bit more peaceful/off the beaten track.
Day 5: Trapani to Castellamare del Golfo
Now it's time to leave your mini home in Trapani and venture on to your next destination, Castellamare del Golfo, but not before making a couple of important stops along the way in San Vito Lo Capo and Scopello.
Around 45 minutes drive from Trapani is the coastal town of San Vito Lo Capo, known for its large sandy beach. You can relax on the beach or rent a pedalo and go out and enjoy the beautiful water (we did both!).
From there, it's another 50 minute drive to the adorable village of Scopello. Head down to Tonnara di Scopello, a medieval tuna-fishing estate turned private bay/beach, where for €4.50 you can relax on sun loungers and take in the stunning views of what's possibly the nicest bay in Sicily. There's also an awesome pasticceria back in the main village where you can stop for a cannolo before heading onto Castellamare del Golfo for the evening.
Where to sleep
By far the largest room of our whole trip was at the Antico Canale in Castellammare del Golfo, seriously, it was essentially an entire apartment and had two seperate balconies! Breakfast was served on the roof terrace and was all homemade by the owners.
Day 6: Castellammare del Golfo to Palermo
Today you'll be driving slightly north of Castellammare del Golfo to Monte Cofano, a nature reserve that offers a range of hiking options for the day depending on what you're most interested in.
This day we had pencilled out entirely to hike around Monte Cofano, however, unfortunately, the weather did not agree with us! We managed to do one of the routes (granted, in our swimming costumes because we were in the middle of a thunderstorm) before one of the rangers told us the whole reserve was completely closed due to danger from the bad weather.
If you end up in a similar situation, or if you just dont fancy spending a whole day hiking, you can either head over to Palermo a little earlier or opt for a stop in Mondello for your last beachy afternoon of the trip.
Where to sleep
For our final night we stayed at inCanto. This hotel was the most expensive of our trip at £80 a night and you could certainly tell, we felt fancy! Breakfast was ordered by checking the options you wanted and leaving the card on the door for it to be brought to your room the next morning at whatever time you specify. Located right next to quattro canti this is the perfect option for your final day exploring.
Day 7: Palermo
The last day before your flight is dedicated entirely to exploring Palermo. There are lots of things you can do and I've written a handy guide of the best things to do (and eat!) here:
And that concludes your final day in Sicily! We absolutely loved this magical place and, although we weren't always lucky with the weather, felt like we really embraced what the island has to offer.
Ciao for now!
The Chaos Diaries
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