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Best of Sicily in 11 Days tour

Considering Best of Sicily tour for 2023 but not sure I would enjoy spending 3 hours on a bus almost every day as the itinerary outlines. Could those who've taken this tour chime in on this aspect of the tour with their comments and whether or not they recommend? Would a more concentrated area like Naples/Amalfi/Sorrento with less bus time be better? We've done all of northern Italy, this will be our first time doing Southern Italy, third tour to Europe, second with RS. Thanks!

Posted by
1064 posts

We did this tour 3-4 years ago and it was one of our favorite!! Actually the time that your on the bus is minimal because they stop at interesting sites frequently. The Cathedral at Monreale is awe-inspiring, the Roman Villa floor mosaic's are amazing and each stop on the tour was so interesting. I would encourage you to read the reviews from the people who take the tour to get a feel for what it is really like.

I have been to the Amalfi coast and it is very nice but literally over run with tourists, especially Capri, so I would recommend the Sicily tour!

Posted by
37 posts

We did that tour in October 2019 and enjoyed it. Travel days were always broken up with a worthwhile sight or demonstration. The tour does cover a lot of ground. Make sure you watch season 2 of White Lotus on HBO before going.

Posted by
3041 posts

This had to be one of the top 3 of the 14 Rick Steves tours I’ve taken. Realize that it is not necessarily 3 straight hours on the bus but a total of three hours in a day. As an example, on day 3 the tour starts in Palermo then visits Segesta, then Erice before heading to Trapani. On the tour I took, there was also a stop for a long lunch between Segesta and Erice. I think most tour goers look to the bust trips as times to get a little rest. This is a great tour and one of the busiest.

Posted by
2108 posts

I thought I would dislike bus time on tours, but after 8 tours, I no longer worry.

Stops are frequent enough, and often even the WC stops have something interesting. Lots of room to stretch out, interesting info from the guide, and ability to enjoy passing scenery without worrying about driving or parking.

The Sicily tour is near the top of my list. It was wonderful!

Posted by
191 posts

I will add my endorsement to what has already been said. We took this tour in 2017 and it was one of our favorites. We went in mid-April and it was beautiful! Flowers were blooming and everything was green. I don’t like heat, so it was the perfect time for me.

Posted by
5927 posts

There is so much to see, and so many stops, that the bus time just flies by. And your guide will take advantage of bus time to fill you in on local events, history, economics, customs, and language.

This is a great tour; you'll have a wonderful time.

Posted by
2450 posts

Me too, from 2014. Wonderful tour, never noticed any long bus rides.
And, RS tour buses are always roomy and comfortable. In 11 tours, I think I have had a double seat to myself every single day.
There are many advantages to touring in a bus — no getting lost, no concentrating on the road and missing all the scenery, no struggling to find parking, no traffic tickets, pretty much door-to-door service, pit stops every two hours or so, often involving a good lunch spot, much less hassling with baggage, if any. Almost never a taxi, bus or metro ride between transport and lodging.

Posted by
22 posts

I went on the BS tour in 2022. Ditto to all the comments above. Monreale and the Villa mosaics were amazing and the temples. WOW! The bus gives you a break from all the wonderful sightseeing. Make sure you go early in the year. June was a bit too warm for me. BTW, this is a very active tour. Oh, and take it from me. Pay attention to the stairs. I came home with a fracture in my tibial plateau! (Now healed).

Posted by
554 posts

Ditto as others say about the bus ride. It is broken up every two hours for driver, toilet, beverages and snacks available to buy. The bus is furnished with the 16oz bottled waters supplied by the bus driver, 1 euro per bottle, so no worry about water. Everyone can have their own seat which is a highlight in itself when on a tour.

People use the bus for rest, reading, editing pictures, and read up on the tour stops. Often we had cellular reception so texting and emails were available at times..
The guide provides input and insight of the day and intertwines cultural and historic highlights along with current events of the country you’re visiting. It’s not long and drawn out but just enough information whenever you’re in the bus to keep it interesting and flowing.

I just completed one of the late October Sicily tours, excellent! It’s in my top three of the seven I have done. Weather is pleasant, the food is delicious, the people are always nice and there are immense highlights and activities in this tour to charm you all the way! Sicily is an excellent destination and four.

Posted by
265 posts

I took the Best of Sicily tour in 2013 and out of the 5 RS tours I’ve taken, it is definitely one of my favorites. I highly recommend it. Since the itinerary has changed a little in recent years and the tour is now one day longer, I’ve even toyed with the idea of taking this tour again but then there are so many places I have yet to visit even once.

As others have mentioned, the bus rides were broken up by stopping to see interesting sites along the way and by the “in transit” activities mentioned by Diane above. The bus time on this tour was never an issue for me at all.

Posted by
138 posts

We took this tour in 2018, and, just as everyone has been stating, I don't recall the bus time being long at all. If anything, I recall wanting the bus time to be longer, so that I could sleep on the bus because these tours can be quite exhausting!

On the day the itinerary states 4 hours are spent on the bus, it is broken up by a very nice lunch stop. And, of course, there is a pit stop every two hours, and the Italian Autogrills are the absolute best!

This was a great tour, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it!

Posted by
5 posts

Finished this tour on 12/02/22. For me looking at the countryside going by is an important part of the tour to be experienced.

Posted by
1202 posts

3 hours on a bus is nothing, please do not worry about it. This year we did the Best of Eastern Europe and some days were 6 hours on the bus. We are doing Sicily June 2023 and while we like bus time it will be different for us with only 3 hours a day.

Posted by
79 posts

I second the statements that 3 hours bus travel, which is broken up, is not much. Having done Scandinavia, Best of Eastern Europe and Turkey this year, 6-8 hours on a bus can make for a long day. I will be on the Sicily tour next year, end of April through first of May. looking forward to having a wonderful time. My wife and I just started watching While Lotus last night and Catania looks fantastic.

Posted by
8079 posts

Mark, the show is set in Taormina, if that's what you're referring to.