7 Days in Eastern Sicily – 7-Day Itinerary with Maps & Tips
Would you like to plan a 7-day itinerary in eastern Sicily and are you looking for a starting point from which to draw inspiration?
Then I’d say you’re in the right place!
I will take you day by day to discover the most beautiful cities in this area of Sicily, you will find a map to open easily on Google Maps, my travel advice, the best places to stay and the most beautiful activities, which will make this trip to Eastern Sicily is worthy of being remembered.
For this itinerary it is recommended to rent a car. Although the main cities are well connected by bus and train, there is no comparison in the kind of freedom that can be experienced by being able to move where and when you want.
Eastern Sicily itinerary 7 days
The dark brown heads on the terraces, smiling travelers walking with an arancino in their hands (yes, in this area of Sicily it is allowed to call it arancino), the warm and bright colors, the car horns and the hospitality.
This is what impressed me the most about my itinerary in Eastern Sicily. If you want to take inspiration from this trip, get ready to go from the top of the highest active volcano in Europe, to the Baroque cities par excellence; to walk in the black city and discover some of the most famous archaeological sites in the area;
ah yes, obviously also to enjoy breathtaking views and reach the southernmost point of Sicily.
If you agree, I’d say don’t waste any more time chatting: after taking a quick look at the itinerary map, let’s get to work!
Day 1: Catania
In all likelihood, it will be Catania, the arrival city of your trip to Sicily.
Catania Fontanarossa Airport is about a 20-minute drive from the city centre, making it the perfect home base for a trip to Eastern Sicily. Rent your car here for convenience.
I have to warn you, however, that driving in Catania is…how to say…a great experience!
Let’s say that I received more honking (and probably insults) when I stood still at an intersection more than I should, compared to when I threw myself in the middle of a road without having the right of way in any way.
Remember this when you don’t want to spend too much on car insurance!
Itinerary in Catania, the black city
One day is enough to admire the black city following a walking itinerary of the main things to see. Memorize the dark colors of Catania well, because they are unique and you will not find any other place with these characteristics.
You must know, in fact, that Catania has been destroyed and rebuilt 9 times and the stones that make up the buildings in the historic center are made of lava rock . From the main street, Via Etnea, you will be able to admire Mount Etna in the distance and underground, visit underground Catania, the old part of the city destroyed by lava.
Here you will be able to see with your own eyes what remains of the black Colosseum, second in size to that of Rome. You can discover Catania in complete autonomy, or by participating in a beautiful walking tour of the city with a local guide.
The recommended accommodation for this first night is the Duomo Bed & Breakfast. This property is located in the center of Catania and has a really good value for money.
See the day’s itinerary on Google Maps .
Day 2: The seaside villages of the lava and Taormina
Departure in the morning to reach the seaside villages of the lava. Less than a quarter of an hour from the center of Catania you can reach the Riviera of the Cyclops.
Here the landscape is unique and generated by the eruptions of Etna: the incandescent lava from the biggest eruptions reached the coast and the sea, generating unique formations of black lava rock.
The first stop of the day is Aci Castello: the large Norman castle overlooking the sea is the symbol of the city, as well as the main attraction, and can be visited.
The second stop is the village of Aci Trezza: here it is possible to visit a historic shipyard and admire the small wooden boats of the fishermen.
The most beautiful thing to do here is to stroll admiring the lava rock formations, the symbol par excellence of the Cyclops Riviera.
If you prefer to reach Aci Trezza by sea, you can do it with this boat tour from Catania.
Continuing towards Taormina, stop at the third lava village, Acireale. The town is spread over lava terraces that reach down to the sea.
Last stop of the day is Taormina.
Reach it to stroll in its historic center and admire the beauty of Isola Bella and its Roman theater (tickets here), from which you can also enjoy the majesty of the place you will reach tomorrow: Etna.
For this second overnight stay, my suggestion is to check availability at the La Terrazza Sul Mare B&B.
Itinerary of the day on Google Maps.
Day 3: Itinerary in Eastern Sicily – Excursion to Etna
The third day of this itinerary in Eastern Sicily is the one in which you will reach the fascinating, majestic and imposing highest active volcano in Europe.
The most complete excursion that will make you fully understand its grandeur is the trek to reach the summit craters. With this excursion you will reach the top of the volcano with an expert guide, who can take you up to admire the famous summit craters.
Depending on the activity conditions of the volcano, it may be that it is not possible to book this excursion.
Often the civil protection issues prohibitions that prevent this excursion from being carried out and trying to reach the top is illegal, as well as very dangerous.
The alternative, if allowed, is to reach the lower Silvestri Craters and walk the back of the donkey path. This route does not require particular skills, and in an hour it will lead you to the immense expanse of solidified lava formed over thousands of years of Etna’s activity.
What I would like to point out is that the journey is very monotonous, because you cross a volcanic valley, many suggest walking this path with a guide to avoid getting lost. I personally didn’t find it difficult, but if you want to be safer, this is the tour you should consider.
At the end of the excursion, head to Syracuse (about 1h journey) where you will spend the night at the Maison Ortigia, in the heart of the historic center of Syracuse in this structure only 200 m away from the beautiful and fascinating cathedral.
Check out the day’s itinerary on Google Maps.
Day 4: Syracuse and Ortigia
In the morning visit the Monumental Area of Neapolis, located in the heart of Syracuse.
Inside you can see the Greek theater and the Roman amphitheater, as well as many other remains from past eras.
To enter the Neapolis you can buy the entrance ticket online and visit it independently, alternatively, if you prefer to deepen the visit with fascinating anecdotes and stories, you can book a guided tour comfortably from here.
In the afternoon instead, get lost in the beautiful historic center of Syracuse, the island of Ortigia.
Visit the incredible Piazza del Duomo, walk through the narrow alleys of the Jewish quarter, admire and enter the Castello Maniace, overlooking the sea at the extreme tip of the island and treat yourself to an unforgettable sunset.
Remember that the island of Ortigia is closed to car traffic, but you will have no problem visiting the attractions on foot (possibly leave your car in Syracuse just before the 2 bridges on the island).
Overnight stay ⇒ Maison Ortigia (second night) .
Itinerary of the day on Google Maps .
Day 5: Noto and Marzamemi
Just 30 minutes by car from Syracuse, you can reach Noto, the pearl of the Baroque. Dedicate the morning of the fifth day of this itinerary in Eastern Sicily to visiting it, walk along Corso Vittorio Emanuele, let yourself be fascinated by the Baroque buildings, such as the Cathedral of San Nicolò and the church of San Domenico.
Then continue in the afternoon in the direction of Marzamemi (about 30 minutes by car), a suggestive colorful fishing village with a truly rare atmosphere on this trip to Eastern Sicily.
The village will show you an ancient Tonnara (where tuna were fished), whose interiors can be visited, and a pedestrian area all around, which will give you an embarrassment of choice of places to dine.
Visiting Marzamemi in the late afternoon and stopping in the center for dinner is a choice that I highly recommend.
For an overnight stay on this fifth day in Sicily, check availability at Casa Maritrì, right in Marzamemi.
Here the itinerary of the day on Google Maps.
Day 6: The southernmost point is Modica
Leave in the morning in the direction of Portopalo di Capo Passero: from this small town you can reach the southernmost point of Sicily.
From this symbolic place you can admire the junction between the Mediterranean or Ionian Sea and the Isola delle Correnti, a short distance from the mainland. You’ll know you’re at the southernmost point of Sicily when you see a statue with a plaque stating that you’re at the “southernmost tip of Italy”.
I must admit that this symbolic place is very fascinating, made even more exciting by the words engraved at the foot of the statue which reminds us that Ulysses landed right here returning from Troy.
Did you know that? In Europe there is a very similar place. Tarifa, Spain is the southernmost point in Europe, from here you can admire the outline of Africa in the distance and see the junction of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
Then continue towards Modica, but not before making a stop at the Cava d’Ispica. Here you will be able to see caves carved into the rocks in the Neolithic period, used as dwellings in the Middle Ages.
In the afternoon you will arrive in Modica: visit the Cathedral of San Giorgio, the chocolate museum and stroll along Corso Umberto I in the evening.
The true essence of the city, however, due to the particularity of its houses in gray rock and the fact that it is divided into Modica Alta and Modica Bassa, are the panoramic points. Reach the Modica viewpoint at sunset and “La Vetta” in the evening, to admire the beauty of this town, which when lit looks like a large nativity scene.
Recommended lodging for the night: A Casa di Sveva. This will allow you to be exactly halfway between Modica Alta and Modica Bassa. See the day’s itinerary on Google Maps.
Day 7: Scicli and Ragusa
Palaces, baroque churches and ancient narrow streets characterize Scicli. Panoramic ups and downs, narrow alleys and climbs will lead you to discover one of the cities declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Then head towards Ragusa. You must know, however, that the town is divided into Ragusa Superiore and Ragusa Ibla. In the latter area is the historic center of the city and most of the attractions are concentrated.
Reach the church of Santa Maria dell’Itria, the Cathedral of San Giorgio and enjoy a spectacular view of Ragusa Ibla from the Church of Santa Maria delle Scale.
Overnight stay at Le Scale sul Barocco. Itinerary of the day on Google Maps.
Take advantage of the eighth day to return to Catania, return the car and leave the airport. If you have more days available, instead, take a look at this 15-day tour of Sicily.
FAQ – Questions with answers
How to get around during a trip to Eastern Sicily?
The most practical choice is to rent a car and move around in this way. This will give you maximum freedom when moving.
If you prefer to avoid renting and travel by public transport, you should know that you will be able to reach most of the destinations on this itinerary as the main cities are well connected.
Alternatively, you can opt to choose Catania as a base and book the day trips that leave from here.
Is it better to opt for a trip to eastern or western Sicily?
If you are looking for a cultural, elegant holiday and want to discover many cities in Baroque style, what you should do is opt for a trip to Eastern Sicily.
If, on the other hand, what you are looking for is a holiday of sun, sea and excursions, you should opt for an itinerary in Western Sicily.
How to plan a 10-day itinerary in Eastern Sicily?
1st day – Catania
2nd day – Lava villages and Taormina
3rd day – Excursions on Etna
4th day – Ortigia and boat tour
5th day – Syracuse, Neapolis and Fontane Bianche
6th day – Noto and Marzamemi
7th day – Portopalo di Capo Passero and Modica
8th day – Scicli and Ragusa
9th day – Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples 10th day – Return to Catania and departure.
Did the 7-day travel itinerary in Eastern Sicily inspire you?
Would you like to start organizing it too, but don’t know how? Or do you want to customize it based on the days you have available, or your preferences?
Leave your comment below and I will reply as soon as possible. See you soon and have a nice trip!
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