Our 5-Day Sicily Itinerary

Sicily is the largest and one of the most gorgeous Italian islands. This means that you will need a longer vacation to explore most of it in detail. It is full of amazing cities and small towns you will fall in love with, but 5 days would definitely not be enough to see each one of them. However, if you only plan to stay for a week, you can create a well-structured 5-day Sicily itinerary and get to explore the most beautiful places on the island.

The most difficult thing is to select the cities you want to visit, not only because there are many of them but also because you need to ensure that going from one to another will be easy and convenient. You do not want to waste time travelling, so your itinerary needs to be well-planned. Five days go by in the blink of an eye, meaning you need a solid travelling strategy. 

Below, I have included an itinerary that can serve as a guide to what to see in Sicily in 5 days. This way it will be easier for you to create your schedule and include the places and activities you want. Plus, your itinerary will ensure that your trip goes smoothly and you get an unforgettable Sicily experience.

Pro Tip: If you are looking for accommodation in Sicily. I strongly recommend you check out our friends at Bookings for You. They have some of the best properties available in Sicily at reasonable prices. 

Sicily in 5 Days | Syracuse
5-Day Sicily Trip | Palermo

Syarcuse and Palermo 

Day 1: Explore The Beauty of Palermo 

Palermo is the capital of Sicily, so it goes without saying that it should not be missed. That is, you should begin your island adventure with an exploration of its treasures and make the most out of your stay there. The greatest thing about starting your 5-day tour of Sicily with its capital is the versatility it possesses. Whether you are interested in history, culture, or architecture, you can see it all right in the heart of Palermo!

VIa Maqueda Palermo

What to See in Palermo? 

There are some landmarks you should not skip because they are authentic, and you cannot see them elsewhere. Such places are the Byzantine Mosaics and the Norman Palace. Another thing you should check out is the Villa Bonanno – a dreamy place with a miraculous setting. You will be surrounded by lush greenery, gorgeous fountains, and an abundance of talented musicians all around the villa. 

Whenever you get tired of your Palermo exploration, you can enjoy the marvellous city squares. There are many of them, so you can easily find one where you can take your break and enjoy the breathtaking scenery around you. Do not forget to admire the architecture in the surroundings and spot the various styles, such as Gothic, Norman, Moorish, and Baroque. The city has captured all its originality, meaning you are in for a quite diverse experience.

What to Do in Palermo? 

Considering it is the capital, you will have the opportunity to make your 5-day Sicily itinerary quite versatile. Besides visiting the popular landmarks, enjoy exploring the countless shops in the city. Buy unique souvenirs to remember your trip authentically, or opt for amazing artwork sold in many stores downtown. Just be sure you have enough room in your suitcase because you will be tempted to buy many one-of-a-kind things! 

Moreover, do not miss out on the chance to try out the local cuisine. Palermo is home to many gorgeous restaurants with breathtaking ambience and delicious food. However, do not expect classic Italian food, such as spaghetti and meatballs. The dishes are quite different from those you can find on the menu of traditional Italian-American restaurants. Instead, you will have the chance to taste delightful regional delicacies, including many seafood specialities. The city centre has numerous trattorias, so you will not regret choosing any place, for that matter!

Church of Saint Domenico | 5 day Sicily itinerary

Day 2: Enjoy The Marvellousness of Cefalu and Taormina 

Cefalu and Taormina are ideal places to explore on the second day of your 5-day Sicily itinerary. These two majestic places offer different things, so you will have quite an adventurous day combining them on your schedule. 

Cefalu is an amazing coastal town where you will witness the beauty of the Sicilian beaches. On the other hand, Taormina is a chic spot with an abundance of restaurants and cafes, ideal for a relaxing matinee. Both of these places will be a good addition to your Sicily road trip of 5 days. Plus, they are close to one another, meaning you will continue your journey from Palermo with ease.

What to Do in Cefalu?

As I mentioned, this is a coastal city, so expect many beaches in the area. When I want a serene beach day, I generally prefer the quiet side of Cefalu, i.e. the area of La Salinele. Luckily, this place is not far away from downtown, so you can both explore the town and enjoy the extraordinary sand beaches and crystal-clear waters of Cefalu. 

However, if you do not want to spend your time lying around, head to the city centre. There are numerous shops where you can buy a lot of unique gifts and souvenirs. Once you are done shopping, check out some of the gorgeous cafes and trattorias in the city’s heart. Ensure you enjoy an aperitivo along with an antipasto and feel like a local. If you want the ultimate experience, you cannot skip on this combination!

What to see in Sicily in 5 days | Cefalu
5 day Sicily itinerary | Cefalu Beach

The Cefalu Cathedral and the Cefalu Beach

What to Do in Taormina? 

After you are done exploring Cefalu, you can hit the road in the direction of Taormina. It is a 2-hour drive along the Sicilian coast, so you will really enjoy the ride. If you decide to spend half of your day in Cefalu, you will reach Taormina during the golden hour, which is the most breathtaking period of the day. 

Taormina is a picturesque village with the most astonishing views of Mount Etna. Solely strolling the streets will take your breath away considering it is abundant with colourful buildings, lively squares, and peaceful churches. 

One of the things you should not miss out on is visiting the Teatro Antico de Taormina. You will get the chance to take a peek at Italian history and be taken back in time. Although it was a place for gladiator battles, nowadays, it is a spot where artists gather and enjoy the inspiring scenery.  

To further explore Taormina on your 5-day tour of Sicily, take a cable car and get to the main part of the village. You do not have another option since this part is on a cliff. There you will see Isola Bella, a marvellous rock beach ideal for relaxing and swimming. It is the perfect spot for watching the sunset with a little bit of wine!

The beach at Taormina and a snippet of the historic center at night

Day 3: Immerse Yourself with The Beauty of Catania 

Catania is a port town that is the closest you can get to Mount Etna. It is a vibrant city known for its lively atmosphere, amazing Baroque architecture, and extraordinary nightlife. It is a great place for different activities, so you can plan your exploration of the town however you want. You can begin the third day of your Sicily road trip of 5 days by doing something active, such as hiking. Or, you can have a historical adventure around the place. 

Since you are visiting Sicily only for a week, one day in Catania would be enough. Opting for different attractions will make your trip versatile, meaning you can make the most of your visit.

5 day Sicily itinerary | Catania

One of the many areas of Catania that comes alive at night 

What to See in Catania?

If you get to Catania early in the morning, my best recommendation is to hit the hiking trails and admire Mount Etna. I am talking about an active volcano, so if you want a thrilling experience, you may want to get active and include hiking in your 5-day Sicily itinerary. Then, get to the town centre and enjoy the majestic baroque architecture at every corner. Catania is a UNESCO Heritage Site, so exploring its streets is a must. Enjoy the magic of the squares and buildings and admire their distinctiveness!

What to Do in Catania?

When you are done seeing Catania’s great features, you may want to opt for specific local activities for a thrilling experience. For instance, visiting La Pescheria is a way to get to know the seafood delights that this amazing place offers. Then, choose a coastal restaurant and taste the produce with majestic views in front of you. Even if you are not a big fan of seafood, I strongly suggest trying these delights – you will be impressed! 

After a great lunch, head over to the Bellini Gardens, where lavish greenery takes centre stage. The dreamy surroundings will take your breath away! Make sure you take some photos because the outcomes will be epic.

5 day Sicily itinerary | Greek Roman Theatre | Catania
What to see in Sicily in 5 days | Bellini Gardens

The Greek – Roman Theatre and Bellini Gardens in Catania

Day 4: Dive Into The Spectacular Beauty of Syracuse and Ragusa 

Continue your Sicily road trip of 5 days in Syracuse. It is less than an hour’s drive from Catania, so if you leave early in the morning, you will have enough time to see both Syracuse and Ragusa. These two towns are known for magnificent settings and are commonly referred to as the island’s gems. They are close to one another, so you can easily plan your day without wasting too much time driving.

Palazzo Beneventano Del Bosco | Syracuse

Palazzo Beneventano Del Bosco in Syracuse 

What to Do in Syracuse? 

Syracuse is a place where you can see the remains of ancient times. So, ensure you take some time to explore the town’s historical side. Visit the Neapolis Archeological Park and see the marks of Greek and Roman history. The Temple of Apollo is another historical landmark where you can see the features of ancient times step back in ancient times.

When you are done with the historical stuff, get to Ortygia’s Piazza. This is one of the most astonishing squares in Italy where you can admire the Baroque architecture but also check out some local cafes and restaurants for delicious delights. However, have your lunch along the sea. There are plenty of restaurants on the coast of Syracuse where you can try the seafood delicacies. 

If you want something more adventurous in your 5-day Sicily itinerary, you have to check out the caves of Syracuse. Explore the mystical caves on a boat and admire the dark tunnels that hide the town’s true treasures. You can also swim in the middle of the sea if you want to since these tours offer that chance.

What to Do in Ragusa? 

Ragusa is only an hour away from Syracuse, so you will easily reach it by car. This is another great town that comes with marvellous features, such as splendid Baroque architecture and wondrous views from the hills. Upon arrival, you should first explore Ragusa’s majestic alleyways. They are characterised by cute stone houses, charming surroundings, and serene tranquillity.

Continue your relaxation in Ibleo Garden, where greenery and peacefulness dominate. Once you see the city’s core, it is time to get another perspective: check out the panoramic views of Ragusa. Head to Panoramica di Ragusa and enjoy a beautiful sunset with unparalleled scenery. 

Ragusa | What to see in Sicily in 5 days

View of Ragusa Old Town

Day 5: Finish Your Sicilian Adventure in The Gorgeous Noto 

Noto Street | What to see in Sicily in 5 days
Noto Sicily | 5 day Sicily Trip

Some highlights of the Noto Historical Center

Your 5-day Sicily itinerary should have a spectacular finish, and that is why I suggest exploring Noto. This amazing city is a UNESCO Heritage Site, meaning you will enjoy splendid sights wherever you turn. Starting from majestic architecture to glorious shops, nothing about Noto will disappoint you. 

Depending on your 5-day tour of Sicily and travel schedule, you can plan your last day in different ways. Cathedral di Noto is one place you cannot miss. It is huge, and its architectural style will amaze you. Also, take advantage of the chance to explore the chocolate shops around the area. There is even a chocolate museum where you can treat yourself to delightful sweet delicacies. 

Sicily is quite big, so you will not be able to get to see all of it in one short trip. However, with the right schedule, you can get the most out of the island and enjoy its most spectacular treasures. I hope this 5-day Sicily itinerary will help you plan your desired adventure and have an unforgettable Italian experience!

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