Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and is known for its many tourist spots, architecture, and beaches. The island has many scenic views and exploring Sicily is a great way to experience its culture, food, art, and locals. Exploring Sicily is quite easy if you have a car but if you don’t like driving, there are other ways you can get around the island.
If you don’t know how to drive or don’t want to stress about driving, you might wonder how to travel around Sicily with a car. The island has a comprehensive bus system and you can also take the train to get around. Public transportation in Sicily is an affordable option and can get you to your destination with no problem.
If you are going to Sicily soon, you’ll have to know how to get around the island, especially if you don’t want to drive. There are other ways to get around Sicily and we will talk about them in this article.
How To Travel Around Sicily Without A Car
Driving a car is one of the best ways to get around in Sicily. It is very convenient, especially if you are traveling with kids. There are several car rental companies in the city centers of Catania, Palermo, and other parts of Sicily. You can either rent a car short term or long term. Aside from the city, you can also rent a car at Palermo and Catania airport.
Car rentals can definitely be booked in advance and rentals can get very expensive if you book them on the day of your arrival in Sicily. However, if you don’t want the hassle of driving around Sicily and worry about parking, you can definitely use Sicily’s public transportation system to get around.
Let’s take a look at how you can travel around Sicily without having to drive.
Getting Around Sicily By Car Rental With Hired Drivers
Yes, we’ve already talked about car rentals but you can still rent a car without having to be the one driving it. There are car rental companies that offer car rental services that include a private driver to take you to your desired destination. Most car rental companies offer this service for a full day. Some companies also offer a 24-hour service where the driver is available for 24 hours when you need to be driven somewhere.
If you like to travel around Sicily with convenience in mind but don’t want to stress about driving, car rentals with private chauffeurs are a good option. Do keep in mind that using this kind of service is typically expensive but if you have the budget for it, why not try it out?
Getting Around Sicily By Train
As we said earlier, using public transport is one way to get around Sicily. The public transportation system in Sicily can be quite difficult but you’ll eventually get the hang of it.
If you are not in a rush to get to your destination, taking the train is an affordable option. You will also get to enjoy Sicily’s scenery while traveling. If you do plan on taking the train, make sure to plan your trips and check the train routes as Sicily does not have an extensive train network.
Sicily also does not have high-speed trains so you will most likely take a little longer to get to your destination. If you are going to explore the rural parts of Sicily, taking the train might not be the best option. Sicily’s trains mostly connect major cities and do not cover remote towns.
The train service is also often delayed in Sicily. In some cases, trains along Palermo and Messina train stations are often delayed by about an hour. You really have to plan ahead and be patient if you want to take the train to go around Sicily.
You can purchase train tickets online and the cost of the tickets is per kilometer. Regional or Espresso trains have cheaper tickets as these are the slowest trains. You can also buy train tickets at the train station on the day of your travel.
Getting Around Sicily By Bus
Another public transport option in Sicily is the bus. Like Sicily’s trains, buses are also affordable. There are several bus companies in Sicily and buses are a more reliable mode of transportation than taking the train.
Since there are several local bus companies in Sicily, there is no central booking in place and you will have several bus options to choose from. You can also have a connecting bus ride depending on your destination. Some of the major bus companies in Sicily are AST, SAIS, Interbus, and Etna Transport. Interbus also has a direct bus service running from Palermo and Syracuse. With buses, you can travel from the city center to popular destinations in Sicily as there are several bus stations in Sicily. You can even take a bus going to Noto, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site,
Buses in Sicily also cover longer distances and are a faster option than trains. If you like to go to farther places, taking the bus to go around Sicily is a better option. However, like the trains, buses in Sicily also often run late.
You can also purchase bus tickets in advance, especially if you are going from Palermo to Trapani and vice versa. For intercity buses, you can typically buy tickets at the bus station or from the bus driver. You can also buy bus tickets from tobacco shops or newsstands. Do note that the tickets are non-refundable whether you bought them in advance or on-board.
Other Ways To Get Around Sicily
Aside from cars, trains, and buses, you can also get around Sicily via hydrofoil, ferry, bicycle rentals, taking a taxi, or joining guided tours. Sicily is surrounded by water so traveling by ferry or hydrofoil, especially if you want to visit Italy, is a great option.
While biking can be a challenge in Sicily, it can be great if you just want to explore the area that you are staying in and not use bikes for intercity travel. You can also hail a taxi driver to get around Sicily if you don’t want to wait for the bus or train to arrive. Guided tours are also great as you don’t have to worry about getting around Sicily. Guided tours typically have transportation included in the tour package.
While having a car is the best way to get around Sicily, you can still explore the island by taking the train or the bus. You have to be patient and plan ahead as the trains and buses in Sicily are often delayed. If you don’t like being delayed, you can also hail a taxi or rent a car with a private driver.
If you plan on visiting Sicily, it is better to take your time and take in the wonderful scenery. So, taking the bus or the train may not be a bad idea after all. If you have any other questions about how to get around Sicily, let us know and we’ll get back to you! Happy travels!