Of course, Sicily is part of Italy and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea with a multitude of attractions that make it famous.
This stunning island is one of the twenty regions of Italy and is famous for things like Mount Etna, the Roman Theater of Taormina as well as the bustling city of Palermo which is an attraction in itself and should definitely be included in your Sicily itinerary.
Sicily is an island that offers the perfect combination of beautiful landscapes, amazing beaches, incredible cuisine and one of the best climates in Europe, so it’s no wonder this island is popular with travelers and vacationers.
So let us show you what an 8 days Sicily itinerary could look like.
How to plan an eight day Sicily itinerary
Let’s start your Sicily trip in Palermo.
Day 1-3: Palermo
You begin your dream trip to Sicily by starting in the capital, Palermo, famous for its beautiful fountains and magnificent squares. But mostly for its incredible food culture – which is one of the main reasons why you are in Italy, right?
Sicilian cuisine is out of this world and draws many people for that reason alone, and one of the main attractions you can’t miss is the ancient world Food market La Vucciria. This market has social significance within the city and plays a central role here. At this iconic food market, you can enjoy all kinds of delicious and local street food, enjoy locals at Dolce Vita and enjoy the lively atmosphere that makes this place a standout.
To get here, go to Piazza Caracciolo in Palermo, Monday to Saturday between 7am and 7pm. Palermo is an ideal place to sample some famous street food such as arancini (Italian rice balls) and sfincione (Sicilian pizza) and take a cooking class to learn the secrets behind these delicious recipes. If you’re feeling adventurous, be sure to try the famous beef spleen sandwich, known as pani ca meusa.
With full bellies, you’re ready to face some of Palermo’s best attractions in just a few days.
- Palermo Cathedral: This impressive Roman Catholic Church dates back to 1185 and is a fantastic building of great importance in the city. It is open Mon-Sat 7am-7pm and Sun 8am-7pm.
- Palazzo Dei Normanni: This is by far one of the best preserved examples of Arab-Norman-Byzantine architecture and can be visited Mon-Sat 8:30am-4:30pm and Sun 8:30am-12:30pm.
- Teatro Massimo: The largest opera house in Italy and the third largest in the world.
If you have time and are looking for more things to do, consider adding these optional attractions to your list.
- John the Hermit: A medieval Norman church with impressive Arab-Norman architecture. You can visit Mon-Sat from 9:30am-6:30am and Sun from 9:30am-1:30pm.
- The Ballaro Market: Another market to experience more delicious Sicilian food and clothing. Here you will find delicious fruit, cheese, fresh fish and local vegetables. Mon-Sat 7.30am-8.30pm / Sun 7.30am-2pm.
Day 3-5: Taormina
Today you leave Palermo and follow the north coast towards Taormina, stopping in Cefalu – a stunning seaside hamlet – before continuing to the east coast of the island. Taormina is a fantastic resort that is definitely worth a visit. On your first night, stroll along the busy main street, Corso Umberto, and pick a bar or restaurant to spend the evening at.
After dinner, catch an open-air performance at the Greek theater from the 3rd century – guarantees a great experience and offers an insatiable view of the famous Etna in the distance.
The next day there is a variety of activities to enjoy in this beautiful seaside town including:
- Relax on one of the beaches like Isola Bella.
- Enjoy the panoramic view from Place IX Aprilewhich offers the best views of the city and Mount Etna and is of course open 24 hours a day.
- Church of the Madonna Della Rocco for even more incredible city and sea views, a peaceful oasis to relax in and the perfect place to enjoy a glass of local wine. Mon-Sun 8:30am-7pm.
- Alcantara Gorgewhich is a 50 minute drive from Taormina and is a geological wonder as well as the perfect place to see magnificent waterfalls and take a refreshing dip in the Alcantara River.
Spend your second night in Palermo listening to live music and enjoying delicious Italian cuisine in the city.
Top: Godfather fans can visit some of the film’s filming locations in the town of Savoca, just outside of Taormina, which served as the fictional town of Corleone.
Day 5-6: Catania
After breakfast, leave Taormina and drive to Catania. Of course, along the way you’ll stop at one of the island’s most famous sights – Mount Etna. This active stratovolcano is the highest volcano in Europe and draws many visitors just to marvel at the mere sight of this natural attraction. You can either take the Etna trail, which takes about an hour and is moderately difficult, or you can just spend some time enjoying the views and endless photo opportunities before continuing to Catania.
Continue reading: The World’s Most Famous Volcanoes
note: Whilst Italy is generally not an unsafe country to travel to, beware of pickpockets and petty theft, particularly in tourist areas. So be vigilant and watch your valuables in places like this.
Catania is the second largest city in Sicily and a place you simply cannot miss when planning your Sicily itinerary. Upon arrival, expect fantastic views of Mount Etna, which forms the iconic backdrop of this stunning city. Here you will spend the evening soaking up the atmosphere of the city in all its glory, evident in Piazza Duomo.
The next day, you’ll have all day to explore the city’s attractions, including:
- Palazzo Biscari: Visit this marvelous palace with its incredible Catanian Baroque architecture, complete with breathtaking frescoes. As this historic venue is now used for concerts, check out theirs website for upcoming unavoidable events. Mon-Sun 10am-1pm.
- Catania Cathedral: This beautiful and historic cathedral is centrally located, so there’s no need to see the wonderful Baroque architecture that makes it so popular. Look out for the domed roof, columned facade and numerous frescoes that can be admired for hours. Dedicated to the patron saint of Catania, Saint Agatha, whose feast day is celebrated from February 3rdapprox – 5th. Mon-Sat 10:30-12:00/16:00-17:30, closed on Sundays.
During your sightseeing tour of Catania, refresh yourself with a cold and fruity drink at one of Catania’s historic kiosks, which date back to the 18th century and can be found in many squares, most notably in Piazza Umberto. Enjoy another lovely evening in Catania with a delicious local dinner Pasta alla Norma (pasta and aubergine) and a breathtaking sunset over Mount Etna as you soak up everything you experienced today as part of your 8 days itinerary in Sicily.
Day 6-8: Syracuse
Today, after a fresh and delicious Italian breakfast, alongside world-famous coffee, prepare for the day and set off for Siracusa, which is an ideal location from which to discover its sights and is close to a few key stops – off-points too. On your way here you can stop at the archaeological site of Agrigento, which is one of the most important historical sites on the whole island. After marveling at the various fascinating ruins, continue to Syracuse for more adventures.
On your first day in Siracusa you will have the opportunity to discover many things including:
- The Fontana Diana in Piazza Archimede: Dating back to 1907, this is an important feature in the city of Siracusa dedicated to the goddess Diana.
- Ortigiawhich is accessed by a bridge and is famous for its incredible Baroque-style Piazza del Duomo – one of the best in Italy.
On your second day in Siracusa you will visit it Modica, which is a paradise for those with a sweet tooth, as it is famous for the Modica chocolates that you can taste and of course take home. This city is famous for its beautiful array of historical buildings, its Chocolate Museum and its tiny, narrow, picturesque streets.
You will spend the rest of the day at leisure strolling through this beautiful hilly city before making your way back to Catania for your last evening in Sicily and concluding your amazing 8 days Sicily itinerary.