From Palermo to Catania: Your Ultimate Sicily Road Trip Guide


A road trip through Sicily offers a tantalizing blend of nature, history, and cuisine. This Italian island has an incredibly rich heritage and diverse landscapes that make every moment on the road an adventure. Our road trip will begin in the bustling city of Palermo and conclude in the beautiful coastal city of Catania. Let’s jump in and explore what makes this road trip unforgettable.

Why Rent a Car?

Public transport may be convenient, but nothing gives you the freedom and flexibility like having your own car. Cars-Scanner is a recommended service for car rental in Sicily. Book a car at Palermo airport to start your journey, and if needed, you can easily arrange for car hire at Catania airport as well.

Itinerary Overview

  • Day 1: Arrival at Palermo and City Exploration
  • Day 2: Palermo to Cefalù
  • Day 3: Cefalù to Taormina
  • Day 4: Taormina and Mount Etna
  • Day 5: Taormina to Catania

Day 1: Arrival at Palermo and City Exploration

Palermo, the capital of Sicily, is where your adventure begins. This city is a blend of various cultures that have left their mark over centuries. Don’t miss the Palermo Cathedral, Teatro Massimo, and the Ballarò Market. Spend your first day soaking in the history and culture.

View on Google Maps: Palermo

Day 2: Palermo to Cefalù

Drive to Cefalù, a charming coastal town that is approximately an hour and a half away from Palermo. Here, you can relax on the beaches, explore the narrow medieval streets, and visit the famous Cefalù Cathedral.

View on Google Maps: Cefalù

Day 3: Cefalù to Taormina

It’s time to leave the western coast and head to the eastern coast. The drive to Taormina is roughly three hours. Taormina is known for its stunning beaches, the ancient Greek theatre, and panoramic views of Mount Etna.

View on Google Maps: Taormina

Day 4: Taormina and Mount Etna

Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. You can opt for guided tours that will take you close to the craters. This is an experience you won’t forget easily. The geological wonder is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that adds a touch of adventure to your trip.

Day 5: Taormina to Catania

The last leg of your road trip will bring you to Catania, which is just an hour’s drive from Taormina. Known for its Baroque architecture and vibrant street markets, Catania is the perfect end to your journey. Visit the Cathedral of Santa Agatha, explore the Fish Market, and indulge in some delicious Sicilian cuisine.

View on Google Maps: Catania

Dining and Accommodation

Palermo: Try ‘Arancini’ rice balls and stay at hotels near the city center for convenience.

Cefalù: Enjoy fresh seafood and choose from numerous beachfront hotels.

Taormina: Indulge in Cannoli and consider staying in hotels with a view of Mount Etna.

Catania: Don’t miss ‘Pasta alla Norma’ and look for accommodations near the city center.

Insider Tips

  • Parking: Parking can be challenging in cities like Palermo and Catania. Choose accommodations that offer parking facilities.
  • GPS: Make sure your rented car has a GPS system or use a reliable mobile app. Sicilian roads can be tricky.
  • Local Laws: Always carry your driving license, and be aware of local driving laws to avoid fines.

There you have it—an ultimate Sicilian road trip that blends the island’s history, nature, and culinary delights. It’s a journey that will leave you with memories for a lifetime.