A Quick Round Trip of Sicily

I received a week of annual leave while I was working at Deutsche Post/DHL over the summer – I couldn’t believe it either! – and so I took a week off work to travel around Sicily.

        Regmap

I flew into Catania on the east coast and made straight for Agrigento, a five hour bus ride away.  I got in late and found it extremely difficult to find a hotel open – after walking the length of town half the night I found a place.  I was in Agrigento to see some Greek temple ruins outside the town.  They were amazing structures along a dramatic ridge overlooking the Mediterranean, but a little more run-down than I was expecting.

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My next stop was the seaside village of Cefalu, which I got to by bus via Palermo.  I loved Cefalu and wished I had a few more days to see it properly.  It has an attractive old town centre that backs on to a steep mountain that was once used as the Normans as a natural fortress.

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The old town at night.                             The fresh water spring in town.

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My final destination were the Aeolian Islands off the coast, north of Milazzo.  These volcanic islands are one of the highlights of Sicily, and they didn’t disappoint!  I stayed on the main island of Lipari in a small pension near the harbour.  It was a lovely little town and great for walking around.  There were no "beaches" as such (typical Mediterranean, all rocks…) but the water was refreshingly cool and the most cobalt blue colour I’ve ever seen.  One day I rented a scooter and drove around the island, enjoying the views from the cliffs and stopping off for refreshing dips in some of the coves.

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The island of Lipari in the Aeolian Islands.

I planned a day trip to the extremely active volcanic island of Stromboli, where I was going to climb the volcano at night to watch the lava flows.  Unfortunately the seas were too heavy and the trip was cancelled, so I instead caught the ferry to the island of Vulcano next door.  I climbed the height of the crater there and walked around the sulphur fumaroles.

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I’m not very good at following instructions…

En route from Messina back to Catania to fly out I stopped off in Taormina, a cute little village on the hills above the sea.  It’s highlight is the huge Roman theatre that is still used for open-air performances today.

Dscn2511 The view from the hills of Taormina down the the sea below.  The water is incredibly clear!

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