Sicily One Week Itinerary – Best Places to Visit in Sicily in One Week

Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, captivates visitors with its rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty. From ancient ruins to Baroque architecture, this Italian gem offers a glimpse into the past through its diverse landmarks. Discover the vibrant markets of Palermo, stroll along the enchanting streets of Taormina, and indulge in the island’s renowned cuisine, influenced by a melting pot of civilizations. With its stunning coastline, towering volcanoes, and picturesque landscapes, Sicily promises an unforgettable journey filled with sun-drenched adventures and timeless allure.

Sicily One Week Itinerary

One week in Sicily Itinerary

Maximize your upcoming trip to Sicily with this day-by-day itinerary. Discover the finest destinations to visit and the most captivating sights to explore throughout your week-long adventure.

Day 1: Arrival in Palermo

Begin your Sicilian adventure in Palermo, the island’s vibrant capital. Spend the morning exploring the historic center, where you’ll encounter architectural marvels like the Palermo Cathedral and the Palazzo dei Normanni. Dive into the bustling markets such as the Ballarò Market, where you can sample local delicacies like arancini and cannoli. In the afternoon, wander through the picturesque streets of the Kalsa district, admiring its eclectic mix of Arab-Norman buildings and baroque churches. Finish the day with a leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade of Foro Italico, watching the sunset over the Tyrrhenian Sea.


Day 2: Monreale and Cefalù

On day two, venture out of Palermo to explore the neighboring towns of Monreale and Cefalù. Start with a visit to the stunning Cathedral of Monreale, renowned for its dazzling Byzantine mosaics depicting biblical scenes. Afterwards, head to the coastal town of Cefalù, where you can climb up to the medieval fortress for panoramic views of the town and sea. Don’t miss the chance to relax on Cefalù’s beautiful sandy beach or wander through its charming historic center filled with narrow alleys and quaint shops. Enjoy a seafood dinner overlooking the picturesque harbor before returning to Palermo for the night.

Cefalu, Sicily
Cefalu, Sicily

Day 3: Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples

Today, journey south to Agrigento to explore one of Sicily’s most impressive archaeological sites, the Valley of the Temples. Marvel at the well-preserved ancient Greek temples, including the iconic Temple of Concordia, set against the backdrop of the Sicilian countryside. Take your time wandering through this UNESCO World Heritage Site, soaking in the rich history and breathtaking views. After exploring the Valley of the Temples, head into Agrigento’s historic center to enjoy a delicious Sicilian lunch at one of the local trattorias. In the afternoon, you can visit the Archaeological Museum to learn more about the region’s ancient past before continuing your journey to your next destination.

Agrigento, Sicily
Agrigento, Sicily

Day 4: Siracusa

On day four, make your way to the enchanting city of Siracusa, located on the southeastern coast of Sicily. Begin your exploration in the island of Ortigia, Siracusa’s historic center, where you can wander through labyrinthine streets lined with elegant Baroque buildings and ancient ruins. Visit the majestic Cathedral of Siracusa, built on the site of an ancient Greek temple, and explore the fascinating Archaeological Park of Neapolis, home to the impressive Greek Theater and the Ear of Dionysius. Take a break to savor fresh seafood at one of Ortigia’s waterfront restaurants, enjoying panoramic views of the Ionian Sea. In the evening, stroll along the seafront promenade as the sun sets, casting a golden glow over the picturesque harbor.

Seaside promenade Syracusa
Seaside promenade Syracusa, Author: Andrea Schaffer, Soure: Flickr

Day 5: Mount Etna

Today, embark on an unforgettable journey to Mount Etna, Europe’s highest and most active volcano. Take a guided tour to explore the lunar landscapes of Etna’s slopes, where you can see ancient lava flows, craters, and volcanic caves. Choose from various activities such as hiking, jeep tours, or even a cable car ride to reach higher altitudes. Marvel at the panoramic views from the summit, which stretches across the Sicilian coastline and as far as the neighboring islands. After descending from the volcano, reward yourself with a tasting of local wines produced in the fertile slopes surrounding Mount Etna. Spend the evening relaxing in one of the nearby towns, such as Taormina or Catania, where you can unwind with a delicious Sicilian dinner.

Mount Etna, Sicily
Mount Etna, Sicily

Day 6: Taormina

Spend your penultimate day exploring the picturesque town of Taormina, perched high above the Ionian Sea. Begin your day with a visit to the ancient Greek Theater, which offers breathtaking views of Mount Etna and the coastline below. Wander through the charming streets of Taormina’s historic center, lined with elegant palazzos, boutiques, and artisanal shops. Don’t miss the chance to sample Sicily’s famous almond sweets at one of the local pasticcerias. In the afternoon, relax on the beautiful beaches of Taormina, such as Isola Bella, a tiny island nature reserve connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of sand. As the sun sets, indulge in a romantic dinner at one of Taormina’s rooftop restaurants, enjoying panoramic views of the sparkling sea below.

Taormina, Sicily
Taormina, Sicily

Day 7: Catania and Departure

On your final day, explore the vibrant city of Catania before departing from Sicily. Start your day with a visit to the bustling fish market at Piazza del Duomo, where you can experience the lively atmosphere and sample fresh seafood delicacies. Stroll through the historic center to admire Catania’s magnificent Baroque architecture, including the iconic Cathedral of Sant’Agata and the imposing Ursino Castle. Take some time to explore the city’s vibrant street art scene, with colorful murals adorning the walls of buildings throughout the city. Before you leave, be sure to indulge in one last Sicilian meal at a traditional trattoria, savoring the flavors of the island one last time before bidding farewell to Sicily.


Accommodation options in Sicily

Rocco Forte Villa Igiea

Rocco Forte Villa Igiea, Palermo

Salita Belmonte 43, 90142 Palermo

This luxurious hotel offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and is located in a historic building. It features elegant rooms, a swimming pool, and exquisite dining options.


Grand Hotel Timeo

Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, Taormina

Teatro Greco 59, 98039 Taormina

Situated in the picturesque town of Taormina, this iconic hotel boasts breathtaking views of Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea. Guests can enjoy beautifully appointed rooms, a swimming pool, and impeccable service.


Dimora delle Balze

Dimora delle Balze, Noto

ss287 al km 6.3, 96017 Noto

This charming boutique hotel is housed in a renovated 19th-century farmhouse surrounded by olive groves and citrus orchards. Guests can relax in stylish rooms, unwind by the pool, and savor organic meals made with locally sourced ingredients.


What’s the best time to visit Sicily?

The best time to visit Sicily is during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) when the weather is pleasantly warm, ideal for exploring the island’s rich cultural heritage, scenic landscapes, and pristine beaches. During these seasons, you’ll encounter fewer tourists compared to the peak summer months, allowing for a more relaxed and authentic experience. Spring brings blooming flowers and moderate temperatures, while fall offers cooler weather and vibrant autumn colors. Summer (July to August) can be hot and crowded, though it’s perfect for beachgoers and those seeking lively festivals. Winter (December to February) is quieter but still offers mild temperatures and cultural experiences.

A few facts facts about Sicily:

Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, boasts a rich history, diverse culture, and stunning natural beauty. Here are a few facts about this captivating destination:

  • Cultural Melting Pot: Sicily has been influenced by various civilizations throughout history, including the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, and Spanish, resulting in a unique blend of architecture, cuisine, and traditions.
  • Mount Etna: The island is home to Mount Etna, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Standing at over 3,300 meters (10,900 feet), it is Europe’s tallest volcano and offers breathtaking landscapes and adventurous opportunities for hiking and exploration.
  • Ancient Ruins: Sicily boasts a wealth of ancient ruins, including the Valley of the Temples near Agrigento, which features remarkably preserved Greek temples dating back to the 5th century BCE.
  • Culinary Delights: Sicilian cuisine is renowned for its fresh and flavorful ingredients, with dishes such as arancini (stuffed rice balls), caponata (eggplant stew), cannoli (sweet pastry), and granita (flavored ice dessert) delighting food enthusiasts worldwide.
  • Stunning Coastline: Sicily’s coastline stretches for over 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) and is dotted with picturesque beaches, hidden coves, and charming fishing villages, offering ample opportunities for relaxation and seaside adventures.
Isola Bella in Taormina, Sicily
Isola Bella in Taormina, Sicily

Gastronomy of Sicily

Sicilian gastronomy is a vibrant tapestry woven from the island’s abundant natural resources and its complex tapestry of cultural influences. At its heart, Sicilian cuisine celebrates the freshness of local produce, from the citrus groves, rich volcanic soil nourishing fruits and vegetables, to the bountiful Mediterranean offering fresh seafood. Signature dishes include arancini, delectable fried rice balls filled with ragù or cheese; pasta alla Norma, a homage to the island’s eggplants paired with tomato sauce and ricotta; and the iconic cannoli, crispy pastry shells piped full of sweet ricotta cream.


The island’s history is tasted in its use of almonds, saffron, and citrus, reflecting Arab influences, while its sweets, like the granita, provide a refreshing escape from the Sicilian sun. Accompanied by wines such as Nero d’Avola or the sweet Marsala, Sicilian gastronomy is a testament to the island’s rich history, diverse culture, and culinary creativity.

Getting around Sicily

Getting around Sicily is relatively easy thanks to its well-developed transportation network. Here are the main options:

  • Car: Renting a car is a popular choice for exploring Sicily, offering flexibility and access to remote areas. Major cities like Palermo, Catania, and Messina are connected by highways, although driving in city centers can be chaotic.
  • Train: Sicily has an extensive rail network operated by Trenitalia, connecting major cities and towns. The train is a convenient option for longer journeys, offering comfort and scenic views, especially along coastal routes.
  • Bus: Buses are a cost-effective way to travel between cities and towns in Sicily. Several companies operate bus services, with routes covering most of the island. However, schedules may be less frequent in rural areas.
  • Ferries: Ferries connect Sicily to the surrounding islands, including the Aeolian Islands, the Aegadian Islands, and Malta. They offer a scenic way to travel and are especially popular during the summer months.

Extra tips for visiting Sicily

  • Explore Off-the-Beaten-Path: While popular destinations like Palermo, Taormina, and Agrigento are must-visit spots, consider exploring lesser-known towns and villages to experience authentic Sicilian life and culture.
  • Learn Basic Italian Phrases: While many Sicilians speak English, knowing some basic Italian phrases can enhance your interactions and show respect for the local culture.
  • Sample Street Food: Sicily is renowned for its delicious street food, so don’t miss the opportunity to try specialties like arancini, panelle, and cannoli from local vendors and markets.
  • Respect Siesta Time: Embrace the local custom of the siesta, where shops and businesses may close for a few hours in the afternoon. Use this time to relax, enjoy a leisurely meal, or explore quieter streets.
  • Stay Hydrated and Protect from the Sun: Sicily can get hot, especially during the summer months, so make sure to drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen, and seek shade during peak sun hours.
  • Visit Cultural Sites Early or Late: To avoid crowds and the heat, plan to visit popular cultural sites early in the morning or later in the afternoon when temperatures are cooler.
  • Respect Religious Customs: Sicily has a strong religious heritage, so be mindful of local customs and traditions, especially when visiting churches and religious sites.
  • Experience Sicilian Festivals: Check local event calendars for festivals and celebrations happening during your visit. From religious processions to food festivals, these events offer insight into Sicily’s vibrant culture.
  • Drive with Caution: If you’re renting a car, be prepared for narrow roads, aggressive drivers, and limited parking in city centers. Take your time, drive defensively, and familiarize yourself with local traffic laws.
  • Be Open to Slow Pace: Sicilian life operates at a slower pace, so embrace the relaxed atmosphere and enjoy the opportunity to savor each moment of your visit.

Make sure you have everything you need

What to pack for your next trip?

Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.

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