Traveling to Malta and Sicily during late May, Early June 2020. Have 3.5 weeks. We have Malta figured out but looking for suggestions for must sees in Sicily, places to stay etc. Will have a car so getting about will be no problem. Not to worry won't drive in Palermo! Thank you!
Popular places in Sicily people visit: Syracusa/Ortigia, Taormina, Villa Romana Casale (mosaics), Agrigento (ruins), Selinunte (ruins), Erice/Trapani, salt farm at Marsala, Cefalu, Palermo, Monreale (cathedral), Noto, Ragusa, Modica, Calatafime-Segesta (ruins). If you want to know the hotels/B&Bs we stayed at, send me a PM.
If I recall correctly (don't have the book right at hand as I type this), the new (this year) RS Sicily book has suggested itineraries for 7 days, 10 days, etc., including a drive around the island that hits many/most of the cities and places mentioned in the first response. Also: My favorite place to base during my 2 weeks in Sicily earlier this year was Ortigia. Beautiful!
Jaime above offered an excellent list for Sicily to which I would add Mt Aetna.
As for Malta based on our visit I would not recommend it.
Can you tell me why you would not recommend Malta?
It's been several years since I went to Malta, and it was on a guided tour (very intensive with an archaeologist and a historian). I loved it! Are you planning to drive there? Traffic is pretty bad and they drive on the left, as in the UK. I spent 2 weeks in Sicily, mostly with a car, and had to cut out a lot to see what was most important for me. I started in Palermo, then 2 nights in Cefalu and back to Palermo to pick up a car for the rest of my trip. I drove into Catania once to visit the WWII museum (recommend it) and traffic was very slow - not hard to drive, just need patience and a tiny bit of aggressiveness doesn't hurt. Sundays are pretty dead in the small towns, so plan accordingly - beaches and archaeology sites might be best.
Look at the new RS Sicily guidebook. We loved Sicily & Malta both.
3.5 weeks is a good amount of time for Sicily + Malta. Been to both, loved them both.
Besides the list given above of good places to visit (we did all of those) try to include at least one day driving through the interior. Before we went I had just read a book - The Stone Boudoir: Travels through the Hidden Villages of Sicily by Theresa Maggio and decided to visit some of the villages in her book. It was great and a nice change from the rest of Sicily. Felt like I saw the "real" Sicily.
There are photos of them in my Sicily gallery - https://andiamo.zenfolio.com/p379649825
Here's Malta - https://andiamo.zenfolio.com/p217899981
Another vote for seeing the interior, which is easy enough to do with a car, I believe. I was limited to trains and buses but managed to get (briefly) to Enna, Caltagirone and the Villa Romana del Casale--plus the Baroque towns in the southeast, of course. I love island interiors because they typically get a minute number of tourists compared to the coastal cities and towns.
One of the books I used for pre-trip preparation mentioned that the Greek site at Morgantina (not terribly far from the Villa Romana) gets very little tourist traffic.
Hi, we are going to the same places a month earlier for 40 days. This is our itinerary: Palermo 3 nts., Gozo 3 nts., Valletta 6 nts, Triapani 3 nts., Agrigento 2 nts. Villa Romano 1 nt., Ragusta 3 nts., Siracusa (Ortygia) 6 nts., Mt. Etna 2 nts., wine country north of Etna 2 nts., Lipari 3 nts., Cefalu 1 nt., then back to Palermo for three more nights. Of course there will be trips to surrounding areas, but this should give you an idea of our priorities.
While I drove through Naples intact (at least the car, if not my nerves) I will also have no car in Palermo. We are largely staying in airbnbs but for shorter stays have booked B&Bs. I can provide these if interested. Hope this helps.
What a great itinerary! So much to see, typical Italy could spend months poking about! If you could supply some of the places staying I would appreciate it. We will also be staying in airbnb's and small hotels. Any info would be greatly apprciated. Thanks
To answer your question I didn't find anything of interest in Malta where as Sicily has many attractions of merit.