We are considering taking the Sicily tour in mid/late March. Can anyone who’s taken the tour during that time of year advise about the weather? While of course we’d be prepared for rain, is that much of what we should expect? Wanted to read in the Reviews section what those people might have commented weather-wise but the furthest back the reviews go is June. Thanks for any advice!
Luv2Travel, there have been a couple of similar threads recently you might find with a Search. Did you look at the weather chart under the tour description? We went in February and we saw daytime temps in the 50s. Evenings were in the 40s, sometimes mid 30s. So you should be a bit better off in March. Note, however, it was very windy on a couple of places (like Erice) and cold on Mt Etna, so you should be prepared for all temps. We didn't see rain, but its always good to have a water resistant outer layer handy.
Its an island with a lot of mountains, so the weather was never the same all over, and sunny in one place; cloudy in the next stop.
I did that tour in mid-March 2018 and we had quite pleasant weather with only a couple of minor rain sprinkles. Cold and windy on Etna, perhaps not unusual.
We heard that the tour immediately preceding ours ran into quite a bit of rain, though.
You can find actual, day-by-day historical weather statistics for about the last ten years on the website timeanddate.com. I suggest checking out at least the last three years (I'd do five) to observe the range of weather you might expect. I've linked to the data for Palermo in March 2019. And here's Siracusa, which this year seems to have been noticeably warmer, wetter and more variable over the individual 24-hour periods. There are other locations available as well.
We took this tour this past spring. We were there during Easter week in April. The weather was -- we thought -- ideal. The island was abloom with wildflowers. Mimosa blooming along the roads as we departed Palermo was an unforgettable sight. Also, the Valley of the Temples, and the other Greek ruins one visits on this trip, were awash in wildflowers. (If you're the least bit allergic be sure to bring along your allergy medications.) We live in Northern Virginia and Sicily was further along with the return of Persephone than we were in the States. (The legend of Persephone, splitting the year with half in Hades & the remainder on earth with her mother Ceres, we learned on the trip is attributed to having happened on the Island.) Yes, it was downright cold when we drove up to Mt. Etna. The wind was howling and there was ice and we learned that an earlier in the year tour had not succeeded in making the ascent as the road was too treacherous. Otherwise, it was what I would describe as ideal "sweater weather." I would much prefer to be on the chilly side than swelter in the heat! Oh, though you asked only about the weather, I shall add that we though this was an all around terrific trip. It was our second RS trip. In May of 2018, we took the RS 2 week trip in England. It was during the 2 weeks prior to the wedding of the Bonny Prince Harry to Miss Meghan and the Chelsea Flower Show. We have friends who live in London and we stayed with them after the RS trip to celebrate the wedding there with our friends (their whole street had a block party, with a never-ending supply of Pym's Cup, Champagne, and beer) and to attend the Show. Next spring we are signed up for the RS trip to Greece that departs from Athens on March 30. So, we ENJOY very much RS trips and The Spring. So, I would encourage you to go! If you do, please write up a report of it and post it on this Forum. Best Wishes!
We did this tour twice (back when there were two different itineraries depending on the season): in June of 2014, and late February - early March of 2015. The June weather was, as I recall, spectacular, except for our trip up Mt Etna, which was cold, snowy, blustery, and miserable. In June!
The weather on the 2015 tour was pleasant, mostly. I just reread my trip notes, and saw that our first morning at the tour hotel it was too cold and windy to enjoy breakfast on the terrace, so we ate inside. And I do remember that our visit to the vineyard, the last full day of the tour, was cold and rainy. The other days were fine. I remember wearing just a light windbreaker and/or sweater most days, and some days didn't even need those. The evenings were quite cool, as a rule. I'm going to guess that daytime temps were in the 50s and 60s, probably mostly in the 60s.
I would think in late March the days will be pleasantly warm, with cool evenings.
I can't remember if I posted a trip report for that tour; unfortunately I came down with bronchitis just as the tour was getting going, so my participation was limited. I'll look, though, to see if I posted anything useful. If so, I'll come back to this thread and post a link.
Hi Luv2. You are going to love your time in Sicily! We took this tour twice. In late March we found the weather less rainy than the previous tour in late February but still had a little rain from time to time. It was jacket or layers cool at night and pleasant weather during most days. During the March tour, we had the added bonus of being there during Easter Week and what a treat that was for us! We enjoyed every second of the week long celebration.
You can look at the averages but weather is...well, unpredictable, except as you get very close. Pack for wet, dry, cold, warm and you’ll be fine. We took back to back RS tours starting in mid May this year. Rome was a week of rain, and I’m talking gully washers here. And it was cold. Sicily warmed up, but not a lot. We had several days of rain. Mt. Etna was freezing. I’ve never taken jeans to Europe but based on what I was seeing I wore them on the plane and nearly every day thereafter.
Thank you all got your wise words and encouragement. I have read for years that this tour is exceptional and hope we can put it on our itinerary for 2020.