Now that 2013 is almost over, I'm looking ahead. Sicily has been on my list for too long and it's almost 2 years since I've been in Italy. Need I say more? My travel calendar is wide open. What's the best time of year to visit? I'm thinking of 7-14 days in Sicily, plus possibly a few days on the Amalfi Coast or in Umbria.
I was on a tour of Sicily and southern Italy a few years ago. We were there late September to early October. The weather was perfect! The beach at Cefalu was open and uncrowded. I don't remember any rain.
We went in April, around Easter that year. The wildflowers all over were incredible. At Selinunte my husband lay flat on his stomach to take a picture of the temple with the flowers in front of it. The weather was perfect. I'd always pick that time to go.
Chani, what do you want to do? Sicily is a HUGE island, and 14 days give you a pretty good flavor, but anything less just primes you for your next trip. It really gets VERY warm starting in June, but the Spring is just beautiful. One year we were there at the end of April, and the flowers were all ablaze. One year we were there in early June, and the beach sand would burn the bottom of your feet. We combined a trip to the Amalfi coast and a week in Sicily for one of our visits. There are lots of lo-cost flights that leave Naples and Rome that fly to Catania and/or Palermo. (Check out Whichbudget or Skyscanner.com.) You can also book an over night ferry from Naples to Sicily/ and or the Aeolian islands off NW Sicily (a fantastic stop when it starts to warm up! we spent three days, and did day trips to each island) We used the Lonely Planet guidebook to plan our trips. IMHO a rental car is a must. A stay in an Agritourisimo is also a must. You might like to add a trip to Sardinia to your bucket list. Another wonderful Italian isle that is awesome in early summer. We combined that with a trip to Tuscany and Umbria, taking the overnight ferry out of Livorno (after we saw the tower of Pisa.)
I used this site with lots of info on Sicily. It has many links to into on sites, hours of operation, mileage,
transportation.......... Best of Sicily
I agree with Steve and others - there is so much to see and do - 14 days is a good amount of time and renting a car makes it so much easier. For our trip, we flew into Catania and stayed nearby for 3 nights with a day trip to Taormina; 3 nights in Ortigia; 3 nights in Ragusa; 1 night in Scaccia to visit Agrigento; 4 nights in Trapani with day trips to Marsala (great Archaeological Museum), Scopello, Erice, and the Island of Mozia (really cool former Phoenician settlement); then final 3 nights in Palermo. We flew back from Palermo with a layover in Rome. The food was fantastic, the sights wonderful. We were there in April and it was a good time to visit - not too chilly and wildflowers were in bloom. There are many ways to arrange a trip to Sicily but this gave us a great overview with things left to see for another time - Trip Advisor was also useful for planning.
Spring seems to be the favorite. I checked my calendar and April's not so good. A 2 week trip (or closer to 3 with the Amalfi Coast or Umbria) would have to end no later than March 26, or start after April 23.
It is still pretty cool in March, and you will be wearing a coat. I'd go in late April/early May if that's an option.
I'm a little bit of an "older" woman, and I went to Sicily 2 years ago, and will be going again this September. I used magicofsicily.com. I rented a beautiful apartment (self catering, which offered the option of cooking in when I liked) overlooking the Med. and absolutely breathtaking views! It was in Taormina on the Northeast side. During that trip, their guide took me on several lovely day-trips, including the Gambino Winery for a wine tasting, a trip to Mt. Etna along with several other stops that day. I am using them again, traveling with two female friends and will be doing more excursions this trip, one to Catania and another to Syracusia (sp?). Taormina itself, has a lovely Greek Theatre partially in ruins which is spectacular, and lovely gardens. The town is a delight IMHO as well. I wouldn't be going a second time if I hadn't enjoyed it so much the first time. September is a good time for me the weather can bounce around a bit, from very warm to some thunderstorms, but the produce is at its premium. The best grapes, tomatoes, etc., I've ever had in my life! In the spring, I believe the artichokes will be in season. Enjoy! Sicily is magnificent!
Chani, one of our more memorable trips to Sicily started on Apr 23rd. I thought that was the perfect time to be there, except the water was a little cool. It was shirtsleeve weather, without lots of tourists. And yes, the Sicilian artichokes were just awesome!
Late spring or early fall. I would spend two weeks in Sicily, if possible. Bestows icily.com is a good place to start.
Late April or May would be very nice as would September or October. Avoid the summer if you can. The heat can be very unpleasant when you are spending all day outside sightseeing.