Are you planning a trip to Sicily Italy? I highly recommend this stunning island as a destination. It has beautiful views, a volcano, stunning waters and amazing food.
However, it is quite a big island, so it can be difficult to choose where to go if you have one week. If you like boutique hotels and unique experiences – and to eat – this is the Sicily Itinerary 7 Days for you.
I have visited both the eastern and western sides of Sicily and it is impossible to choose one over another. Therefore, I have put together the highlights of each side for this Sicily itinerary.
Sicily Itinerary 7 Days
Table of Contents
- Sicily Itinerary 7 Days
- Day 1: Syracuse
- Day 2: Syracuse, Noto and Taormina
- Day 3: Taormina
- Day 4 Trapani
- Day 5 of 7 Day Sicily Itinerary: Favignana
- Day 6 Sicily 7 Day Itinerary: Erice and Zingaro Reserve
- Day 7 of 7 days in Sicily: Scopello and Palermo
- Getting There and Getting Around
- Who Paid for What in this Post
Day 1: Syracuse
The flights from London arrive in the afternoon, so by the time you get to Syracuse, it will be early evening.
Stay at the lovely Hotel Gutkowski. It is very reasonably priced at 110 euros a night and the location is fantastic – just on the edge of lovely Ortygia and across from the waterfront.
The design is simple and lovely, with lots of white. This Sicily boutique hotel has a great terrace serving Granite in the afternoon. I would highly recommend heading to some of the foodie/deli shops nearby and grabbing some local wine and cheese and meat and having pre-dinner drinks on the terrace – it is lovely.
If you’re tired, Hotel Gutkowski has a great restaurant with outdoor seating. Otherwise, take a short walk into the heart of Ortygia and see one of the many things Italians do well, the evening early promenade. This normally kicks off about 30 minutes before sunset. Don’t miss Ortygia’s famous fountain and the main square. The entire city of Syracuse is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Head to Le Vin De L’ assassin Bistro for dinner. This highly recommended restaurant in Sicily is located in one of Syracuse’s back streets. Try their signature tuna dish. Don’t have dessert here. Instead, on your walk back to the hotel, grab a cannoli or a gelato at one of the many stores waiting for your business.
Day 2: Syracuse, Noto and Taormina
After a delicious breakfast at Hotel Gutkowksi (don’t miss the fresh ricotta) head to the nearby food market and streets to see the fresh produce of Syracuse.
Then hop in the car and head for the beautiful small town of Noto. Noto is filled with beautiful pale-colored buildings that make for some lovely streets.
Use the main street, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, as your kick-off point, and then wander the side streets. Make sure you pop into Caffe Sicilia for either ice cream or a Granite.
After exploring Noto, hop in the car and drive north 150 kilometers (2 hours) to beautiful Taormina and check in to the lovely Hotel Villa Angela. This gorgeous little hotel is in the hills around Taormina and every room has a fantastic view.
There is a lovely terrace near reception where you can have a sundowner and a lovely pool. The staff at Hotel Villa Angela Taormina is lovely – very friendly and helpful. They even organized my half day trip to Mt Etna.
The rooms at this hotel in Sicily aren’t massive but are a good size and beautifully decorated. And each has a lovely balcony.
The hotel has a shuttle bus that goes down to the city gates once an hour and does a regular pickup. This was fantastically convenient. You do need to book the Hotel Villa Angela shuttle during peak times.
And a final fun fact – one of the owners of Hotel Villa Angela Sicily is the lead singer of the Simple Minds Jim Kerr. Apparently, he occasionally visits, so watch out for him when you stay!
Jump on the shuttle bus, head into the pedestrianized old town of Taormina, and join the pre-sunset promenade down Taormina’s main street, Corso Umberto I. Head to the Metropole for an expensive glass of wine in a fancy environment. Then move on to Malvasia for a classic Italian dinner.
Day 3: Taormina
After a great hotel breakfast, it is time to climb Mt Etna. Mount Etna is the highest active volcano in Europe and stands at over 3,300 meters. It is possible to hike this UNESCO World Heritage site independently, but most people take a tour. And if you want to see the summit, you will need to take a tour.
As we are a bit limited on time with this itinerary, I recommend that you book a tour that takes the minimal hiking option. This means you will take a cable car up the mountain and a 4 x 4 jeep to the summit.
I took this option when I visited; it was fantastic to visit the summit. I could see the path that hikers could take from the cable car, and to be honest, it didn’t look very interesting. The exciting terrain is the summit which has an otherworldly feel. This is one of the best things to do in Sicily.
Mount Etna is quite high so it will be much cooler on the summit. Do make sure you dress appropriately.
Remember, Mount Etna is an active volcano. This means there may be some days when it is impossible to visit the summit. Check ahead with your tour company.
The trip is likely to get you back to Taormina mid-afternoon. Wander the lovely old town of Taormina and do some shopping. There are some great boutiques. Or head to the Teatro Greco, Taormina’s most famous landmark. This is a great time of day for photos. Don’t miss Piazza IX Aprile and San Giuseppe on Taormina’s main street.
If you are after dinner with an amazing view, Al Saraceno is the place. And if you are staying at Hotel Villa Angela, it is only a 5-minute walk. I would recommend making a reservation – and asking for a table on the terrace at this Taormina restaurant so you can take advantage of the view.
Day 4 Trapani
Day 4 is an early start as it is a 4-hour drive from Sicily to Trapani from Taormina. If you have the time, try to drive along the coastal road for some wonderful views.
The lovely town of Trapani has the Mediterranean sea on one side and the Tyrrhenian sea on the other. It is known as the city of wind and sailors departed all over the world from Trapani. It has the second biggest port in Sicily after Palermo.
It will most likely be mid-afternoon when you arrive in Trapani. It is possible to walk along the walls of Trapani and explore the entire port area and get some great views. Ligny Tower is at the tip. This coastal watchtower was built between 1671 and 1672 and is an archeological museum today.
Walk back through the old town. It is pedestrianized and full of beautiful old buildings, arches, churches, wonderful restaurants, and food stores.
Then hop back in the car and head for the famous Trapani Salt Pans.
Back in 1863, two years before Italian Unification, all of the town of Trapani was a salt pan. Today 1000 hectares of salt pans, a 15-minute drive from the heart of the city of Trapani, are now a nature reserve and home to 230 different bird species and 1100 flamingoes that appear in the afternoon.
Trapani still exports salt to 34 countries and it is collected by hand. They stopped using the beautiful windmills after World War Two as new technologies became available. However, they are still in place today to add to the unique landscape.
The heart of the salt pans is the salt museum with a windmill on its roof – and some great views over the salt pans. The downstairs museum tells the history of salt in Trapani and also covers its famous red garlic production (red garlic is 3 times stronger than normal garlic).
The museum is also perfect for watching the famous Trapani sunset over the salt pans.
Head back into Trapani after the sun has dropped. It’s time to try Trapani’s most famous dish, fish couscous. North Africa meets Sicilian seafood in this delicious dish. And the place to eat fish couscous is Cantina Siciliana which has won many awards and is best known for its fish couscous.
If you want to feel like a local in Western Sicily, I highly recommend the Five Place Design Suite and Apartments. Located in the heart of Trapani, these modern apartments have a full kitchenette, separate bedroom, and separate bathroom. The living area is generous, with a large couch and a table for four. I loved my balcony, which faced the main street – a perfect place to watch life go by in Trapani.
The bedroom is huge, and it has a second balcony and a tv. The design aesthetic is very modern, with steel grey with splashes of yellow and blue. The kitchenette has a hot plate, crockery, and cutlery. The bathroom is also a good size and has a walk-in shower.
Five Places has a reception area in the building that has everything you need, including a coffee machine The staff is very friendly and keen to help. They also offer great suggestions at reception or through a list in the room of restaurants and local sites.
Breakfast is not provided, so guests can visit one of the many cute cafes in Trapani or do some grocery shopping and live like a local.
Day 5 of 7 Day Sicily Itinerary: Favignana
Favignana is the largest of the Egadi Islands off the Western Coast of Sicily. The island is a protected area and the town centre is mostly car free in the summer. It is a very popular holiday spot with Italians.
Favignana is a super easy day trip from Trapani. Five Place is a short walk from the port in Trapani, where you can pick up the Liberty Lines ferry. It takes just 30 minutes on the ferry to get from Trapani to Favignana and they run regularly.
Favignana is most famous for tuna. When the Liberty Lines ferry pulls into Favignana, you will first see local fishermen selling the day’s catch upon exit. And the most famous catch around Favignana is tuna.
The Florio family developed the tinned tuna industry around Western Sicily. They built Villa Florio, meaning a small villa, on Favignana in 1878 and used it as their countryside home.
It is possible to take a tour of Villa Florio. There are some terrific black and white photos inside featuring a who’s who of 1920s society enjoying themselves on the island. And don’t miss the beautiful sea-themed stained glass windows and the harbor views from the upstairs terrace.
The Florio family also built a tuna factory in Favignana. I would never have thought of a tuna factory as an interesting place to visit, nor could I have imagined calling one beautiful, but Ex Stabilimento Florio Favignana is both fascinating and beautiful.
My personal highlight of the tuna museum was all the displays of the old stylish packaging on tables. When the factory was operational, these are the tables where workers packed the tuna into tins and drizzled olive oil on top.
Ex Stabilimento Florio Favignana is open most days between 930 and 1330 and 1600 and 2000. Eight guided tours run each day.
By this point, you will most likely be craving tuna. It is a short walk back to the heart of Favignana’s old town, where Antonio Tammaro runs tuna tastings. Make sure you try the local specialty tuna rosso.
But don’t eat too much; you cannot miss having a tuna kebab from Tuna Fish City in the main square for lunch. The tasty bread roll overflows with seared tuna, tomatoes, onions, peppers and lettuce and is fantastic.
Then it’s time to relax. Favignana is a protected area, so its beaches are pristine and oh so clean. The best way to explore the island is to hire an e-bike. There are few cars on the island, so bicycles are the main form of transport.
It would be hard to go wrong when choosing a beach on Favignana, but we visited Cala Azzurra. There is a café on the main road to look after all your snacking needs. I highly recommend the granites.
Take the Liberty Lines Ferry back to Trapani once the sun starts to come down. Tentazioni di Gusto is a seafood restaurant a stone’s throw from the Five Place hotel in Trapani. It serves Lobster Sicilian style. This means the lobster meat has been covered in bread crumbs and fresh lemon and is delicious. It isn’t cheap but justify it as a uniquely Sicilian experience.
Day 6 Sicily 7 Day Itinerary: Erice and Zingaro Reserve
Erice is a beautiful mountaintop town seven kilometers from Trapani. Hop on the cable car to get up there and experience some fantastic views on the short ride. However, don’t get your hopes up that there will be outstanding visibility, as Trapani is almost always partially covered in some fog. I found the fog to be very photogenic.
There are three entrances to Erice, each with its own gate, and all of them will take visitors to its charming old town. This is a town that is made for wandering with its medieval meandering paved streets, many churches, religious figurines and cute shops and restaurants. The town is also known for its many secret terraces that can be viewed through the wrought iron gates of some of the houses.
If you’re looking to head home with Sicilian food and/or handicrafts, Erice is the place to go. There are loads of quaint stores filled with all things Sicilian. I was particularly impressed by Erice’s outstanding patisserie-style shops with what seemed like thousands of colorful sweet treats.
In addition to its amazing sweets, Erice is also well known for science. Virtually every Nobel Prize scientific winner has spent some time at the Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture. It was visited by the pope and was where Russian and US scientists were brought together in 1985.
The center also offers an outstanding view of the Ricci Valley and down to Trapani, which is not to be missed.
Erice has both a castle, Castello di Venere (Castle of Venus) and a turret, Torretta Pepoli. The Castle of Venus is the “main” castle that sits at the very top of Erice and dates back to Norman times. Torretta Pepoli is a tower that sits below the Castle of Venus.
Torretta Pepoli was built between 1872 and 1880 and is very beautiful. The Castle of Venus offers many fantastic views over the region but one of the most attractive views is the one that includes the Torretta Pepoli.
Walk down from Erice, hop in the car, and head to Tonnara di Scopello, your home for the evening. It will be a quick check-in as you want to head down to the beach and hop on a boat to explore the stunning Zingaro Nature Reserve. This seven-mile strip became a protected area in the early 1980s. Visitors can only enter the reserve on foot.
The stacks of Scopello will then emerge from the water and make for stunning photographs. They are similar to the rocks of Capri, but uniquely these rocks have prickly pears growing on them. The stacks of Scopello have been used in many Italian movies and tv shows.
Tonnara di Scopello is more like a little seaside village than a hotel and one of the best places to stay in Sicily. The Tonnara dates back to the 13th century. It was developed into a tiny seaside village between the 15th and 16th centuries. This is the base of the current hotel. In 1874 the Florio Family was awarded the Tonnara at a public auction and turned it into “Palazzina Florio.”
Tonnara di Scopello is made up of 15 apartments which all have sea views. Each apartment is unique and all have retained as much as possible of the original features. The interior design theme is fresh, simple and nautical.
There is no direct catering, but a small store with food on the beach. There is also an open-air museum on the site detailing the history of fishing in the area.
Day 7 of 7 days in Sicily: Scopello and Palermo
Morning on the beach at Tonnara Di Scopello and then drive to Palermo Airport to drop off the car and fly home.
Getting There and Getting Around
Check out cheap flights to both here:
Who Paid for What in this Post
I covered the costs of my flights to and from Sicily. I covered all the costs involved in visiting the island’s eastern side. West of Sicily tourism covered all of my on-the-ground costs when I visited their side of the island – thanks Daniela!
This Sicily Itinerary 7 days post does contain affiliate links. That means if you click through on some of the links and make a purchase I will receive a small commission. I wanted to make sure you were aware of this.
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