July 2017, my family and myself decided not to go to central Italy this year and go to Sicily, the country Italy kicked into the sea.
We travelled around to a few parts of Sicily; each place was so different compared to each other.
Scoglitti was the first place we stayed in. We booked a transfer from the airport although our Airbnb host actually landed at the airport to collect us, which was so nice, but we weren’t aware they were planning on doing it. The villa was lovely that we stayed in quite close to the beach though we did have some problems such as our water running out. This seemed to be a problem in the area that there was a water shortage.
Sicily in general was very expensive to rent a car, as they are all shocking drivers. Literally its like bummer cars hitting into each other like nothing normal. Due to this Rent a cars are ridiculous prices with a nuts excess fee if something was to happen the car. We decide to rent for the second week so we were kind of stranded the first week.
Scoglitti was a lovely place although everything was so out of the way. Yes we were on the beach but the town itself was a good half an hour walk and even at that there was really 2 small supermarkets. If you were planning on going to Scoglitti I would recommend renting a car even though it’s so dodgy. It was quite a rural area in that not a lot of people actually spoke English compared to other towns in Sicily. This was quite an issue when we tried to sort out our water shortage problem.
We used the same man that took us from the airport as our taxi for the week. He drove us to a city called Ragusa for a day. It is a hilltop City with beautiful buildings. It was such a hot day to be exploring a city but still worth it.
Places to visit:
- Duomo of San Giorgio
- Giardino Ibleo
- Ragusa Cathedral
We stayed in Agrigento for one night. It had sooo much history. It was a hill top city with ruins of The ancient city of Akragas. We took an open roof bus tour, this would have been an amazing tour if it didn’t have rain for the first time in months… Literally the first day of rain in months and it was the day we decided to do an open bus tour.
It was still really nice seeing all the ancient ruins on the hill tops and hearing the history of them although they weren’t for letting us out at some stops as it was to slippy and they didn’t know if they were for doing another bus after us as it was pouring so much.
Places I would recommend to visit if you don’t want to do the tour are:
- Valle dei Templi (Main Attraction)
- Giardino della Kolymbetra
- Chiaramonte Castle
Our last stop on the tour was Scala dei Turchi. Now you couldn’t see this from the bus so had to get out even though our bus told us we would have to get our own way back which we didn’t care. Thankfully it started to brighten up and definitely brighten up at the best attraction.
I can understand why this is one of the biggest attractions of Sicily. Beautiful white cliffs.
It was amazing.
Cefalù was our next stop on our Sicilian trip. It is the most popular spot of the Sicily and I can understand why. It had a beautiful long beach with a small port. There is so much history in the city.
Our Airbnb was fab, it was quite high up and the walk back to it was horrific but was worth it. Our view from the house was amazing looking over all of Cefalù and the sunset was breath taking.
In the centre of Cefalù was the Oratorio del Santissimo Sacramento, this was the Cathedral of the town. It had a square which was always buzzing day and night. We went here near enough every night we stayed. It was so full of life.
I would definitely recommend going to Cefalù, it was so full of life and such a beautiful city. It was so nice to have a beach that was busy but you still had your own personal space and even better had a man coming around selling donuts (My fav part). It was the nicest part of Sicily to stay in for sure.
We took the train to Palermo to get our rental car. Palermo is the capital of Sicily but we didn’t stay here as there isn’t much to do in it. You can definitely see the whole city in a day for sure.
Palermo’s Cathedral was definitely the highlight of the city. The architecture throughout the city was really beautiful and not like Central Italy. Although it was quite sad to see that nothing was kept good/restored. You can really see how there isn’t much money put into Sicily’s Tourism.
We still enjoyed our day trip to Palermo, we left that evening and got our rental car (Bus). As we are a family of 6 we always end up having to get a mini van lol. It was bad enough having to drive in Sicily with their horrible roads and dodgy drivers. Even worse in a Mini Van.
To make things better the van was covered in dents with a 2 Grand excess fee if the Vehicle was hit. We made sure we seen and took pictures of every dent before we left the rental place.
We stopped off at a Lidl before we went home to grab some groceries and as soon we we parked up our front bumper fell off…. FRONT BUMPER. We hadn’t did anything to it other than drive it so it was the owner before us hit and said nothing. With a 2 grand excess fee with a company that definitely won’t believe us , the only thing for it was to try fix it ourselves.
I had the job of running into the Lidl and finding things to some how hold it back up and thankfully found Cable ties. Out of all things Cable ties actually held it together.
I found our car story hilarious because I thought it was hanging in with cables but no daddy after the trip told us he started screwing screws from cupboards and screwed the bumper onto the van with them… even better he used my black nail varnish to cover the screws lmaoo.
Some how we actually got away with it! AMAZING. Like imagine having to pay £2000 for something we didn’t do lol. There would have definitely would have been rows.
Catania is on Sicily’s East Coast. It is a city although we were told it was a very dodgy area. We were thankful mum booked a very nice hotel so we felt safe. Catania was at the foot of Mount Etna. This was the reason why we stayed here, to climb A active volcano lmao.
We travelled by taxi everywhere except going up to Mount Etna as we didn’t want anything to happen the car if we left it on the street. We already had enough bad luck with it so Taxi was the best opinion.
There wasn’t much in the city there was the town square which we had dinner in for the nights we stayed here. Not much shopping or activities, thankful for the pool at our hotel to let us chill for the day.
Things to do:
Our last day in Sicily we drove up to the parking point of Mount Etna. On the way to the point we seen what destruction the Volcano did to houses and land below it. It was crazy. What was even crazier is that the Volcano could have erupted when we were on it lol. Scary biscuits.
We weren’t able to climb the whole thing for safety precautions although my brother and I tried to get as far up as we could. The ground was getting warmer and warmer.
It really is amazing how Volcanos work and seeing how hot the ground was getting the higher up.
In general Sicily is an amazing country full of so much History and Architecture. It really is not publicised enough. Their was a few downfalls with Sicily;
- Public transport was not great – why we hired a car for half our trip.
- So much rubbish! – This was actually disgusting. They didn’t have A efficient waste system. The amount of rubbish on road sides and in country side was scary.
- Not Clean, everything seemed so dirty. It made me really sad as everywhere was so amazing and could have really brought more attention to the cities if they were kept clean. It seems that the government doesn’t care much about Sicily’s environment or tourism.
I loved Sicily and will be back for sure!