Sicily 3-Day Road Trip

sicily travel route

Sicily is the largest of the Mediterranean Islands and lies off the boot of Italy. Over the last two millenniums, it’s been ruled over by the Spaniards, Arabs, Greeks and Romans, all of which have left their mark on the food, culture and architecture. Across this stark landscape flanked by picturesque turquoise oceans lies ruins of temples, as well as the continent’s largest active volcano. Imagine picture perfect views while going on a road trip in Sicily, driving alongside sunny beaches and mountains. 


Best time to visit and weather

Though the island lies half way between Europe and Africa, it has a surprisingly mild climate cooled by the surrounding sea. During the summers, the temperature can creep upwards of 80 degrees, but the breeze coming off the Mediterranean helps to keep the climate comfortable. The outer months of spring and fall can be wonderfully warm, though the winter sees a few showers and occasionally a little snow, particularly inland. However, you can often find budget car rental Sicily during this time.

Rules on the Road

Like the rest of Europe, there are strict rules on the road. Whether you see locals abiding by them or not, it’s always worth staying legal, particularly with your car hire Catania. Wearing your seatbelt is mandatory in a moving vehicle, and though you are allowed about 1 unit of alcohol (it’s half that of the UK), it’s best to avoid completely. In Sicily, you are required by law to carry you driving license if you are from another EU country or a valid international driving license if you come from elsewhere. The speed limits are up to 130 kilometres per hour on the autostrada, 90 kilometers per hour on open roads, and 50 kilometers per hour in towns and cities.

Road trip distance

This leisurely 3-day road trip in Sicily takes you from the cultural hub Catania to the natural wonder of Mount Etna. Along the way, you’ll discover exciting food, beautiful countryside, and the distinct Sicilian culture.

Sicily Road Trip Distance:

Catania Airport to Catania: 7 kilometers
Catania to Mt. Etna: 48 kilometers
Mt. Etna to Acireale: 34 kilometers
Acireale to Catania Airport: 32 kilometers

sicily road trip

Sicily Road Trip Day 1 – Catania

There is no better introduction to Sicilian culture and food than the city of Catania located in the east of the island. When you arrive into airport, grab the keys for your car rental Catania from inside the terminal building and take the 20-minute drive down into the city. While the town isn’t short on hotels, you won’t be disappointed with a stay at the Il Principe Hotel. Located on the intersection between Via Crociferi and Via Etnea, this elegant property has recently been renovated and has gorgeous suites available. Il Principe Hotel is often voted the best accommodation in Sicily.

Hit the streets to explore Sicily’s second largest city. If it’s your first time in Catania, we recommend spending the afternoon seeing three different things. Wander down to the Piazza Duomo, a spectacular square flanked by towering Baroque architecture built in the 18th century. In the center, you’ll find the Elephant Fountain. Nearby the Piazza is Catania’s fish market. Walking through the market will help you gain a deeper understanding of Sicilian food and culture. Lastly, if time permits, visit the 2nd century AD Roman theater which was only discovered in the 20th century.

Almost every restaurant in Catania is good, but for homemade fare, try Al Tortellino, considered by locals to be one of the best in town. Here, you can expect buffalo mozzarella penne, and eggplant tagliatelle, as well wood oven pizzas.

sicily car rental

Sicily Road Trip Day 2 – Catania to Mt Etna

Today will surely be the highlight of the trip. Jump in your car rental Palermo and head north to one of Europe’s highest volcanos, Mt. Etna. The journey takes around an hour and passes pretty little Sicilian towns and villages along the way, as well as incredible views of the island’s countryside. There are several places to stay when you arrive, but one of the best (particularly with your car rental Sicily) is the Hotel Corsaro. They have free parking and are located inside the Etna Natural Park, offering uniquely close access to the natural wonder. The onsite restaurant serves up some excellent examples of Sicilian classics.

Spend the afternoon, hiking to the summit of Mt. Etna. The challenging hike zig-zags up the side of the volcano crossing black lava rock. When you reach the summit, you can take along the rim and enjoy awe-inspiring views down into the steamy craters. To descend, you have two options. Either take the 1.5-hour hike back down, or if you’re feeling lazy, catch the cable car.

sicily rent a car

Sicily Road Trip Day 3 – Mt Etna to Catania Airport

Wake up to the glorious sight of Mt. Etna. After breakfast, head off early in your car rental Sicily and drive around an hour to the craggy coast and sandy beaches near the town of Acireale. Here, you can spend a lazy afternoon on the beach. Bury your toes in the sand and read a good book, or cool off in the refreshing ocean.  For a spot of lunch, try any of the restaurants in town all of which serve up some of the freshest seafood on the island. In the afternoon, drive 30 minutes back to Catania Airport and drop off your car rental Catania in time for your return flight home.

If you are looking for tips and trick for a budget friendly vacation, we have something for you!

Have a great road trip!

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