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Campervan hire Sicily

An island of turquoise shores and fertile slopes, Sicily is an ancient and exotic mishmash of colours, cultures and conquerors, and a timeless tribute to rumbling Mount Etna.

 

Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily is a historical hub of world trade and seafaring civilizations. It’s an island where east meets west; where couscous meets frutti di mare; where Arab architecture meets Norman interior; where the mountains meet the sea. Hire a campervan on either side of Sicily, in Palermo or Catania, and get exploring. For campervan or motorhome travellers especially, Sicilia is an endless adventure, where each stop comes with a jaw drop, because the island has the ideal size for holiday road trips, and condenses multiple continents into one mind-blowing experience.

 

Getting around Sicily by campervan

 

Like on the mainland of Italy, diesel for your campervan hire in Sicily is more expensive than in most other European countries.

Speeding limits for your campervan on Sicilian autostrades (motorways) are 130km/h (80mph). Regular highways are limited to 110km/h (68mph). Regional roads have speeding limits of 90km/h (55mph).

Sicily is very easy to travel by campervan. Do be careful when driving in cities or on rural roads, where traffic can be more chaotic. This also goes for the winding roads near Mount Etna.

Sicily has two toll roads, the A18 between Messina and Catania, and the A20 between Messina and Palermo. Other than that, roads in Sicily are free for your Indie RV rental.

Wild camping is forbidden in Italy, but Sicily has plenty of camping sites. You’ll also find motorhome stops, called aree di sosta, around the island, which come both equipped and unequipped.

 

Travel costs for road trips are slightly less in Sicily compared to mainland (northern) Italy. A three-course meal for two costs €40 on average. Bills already include supplements, so no need to tip, but round the bill up (or add 5-10%) if you feel like it.

Sicily sits right in the middle of the Mediterranean climate zone, which gives it a subtropical climate with dry summers (avering 29°C in July) and wet winters (averaging 13°C in January).

Sicilians are generous and welcoming people, who love sharing––food most of all! The southern temperament shows most in the elaborate gestures supporting verbal communication.

Most people speak both Italian and Sicilian. Sicilian has loan words from Greek, Catalan, French, Arabic, Spanish, and other languages––which shows their heritage! English is barely spoken outside of cities.

Sicilian cuisine shows traces of all its (former) inhabitants. With an Italian base, it adds Greek, Spanish, French, and Arab elements to its flavours. A great example is couscous alla trapanese, which marries couscous with seafood. For a real staple ,try pasta alla norma, which is tomatoes, eggplant, basil, and ricotta.

 

About Sicily

Sicily’s had civilizations land on its shores since the Bronze Age. Most of the early settlers lived alongside each other, forming colonies on parts of the island. The Phoenicians and Greek were such examples, building cities on far parts of Sicily, sometimes waging tiny wars between each other or amongst themselves. Rome became the first single ruler of Sicily after it had fought its Phoenician arch nemesis Carthage and conquered the Greek colonies. Six centuries of exploitation as ‘Rome’s bread basket’ and Byzantine intermission famished the island, but Sicily finally prospered when the 9th-century Saracens and 11th-century Normans took charge. The latter founded the Kingdom of Sicily, under which all cultures and peoples thrived. Later European rulers, including French and Spanish royals, were sometimes decent, but often not-so-decent monarchs. However, they did add a Baroque flair to the island!

With a curious mix of ancient settlers, interesting invaders, and benign rulers, road trips through Sicily prove a rich experience. Plan your Sicily campervan hire to start in Palermo and start exploring in the island’s capital, where you’ll find Arab-Norman palaces and wander open air markets. Next, visit Agrigento’s majestic Valley of the Temples, a world famous UNESCO Heritage Site and one of the most fascinating displays of Greater Greece art and architecture. Or visit Siracusa, one of the most important city-states of the ancient Greek world, and which Archimedes famously defended from Roman war galleys by setting them on fire with a giant magnifying glass. Next, make your way over to Baroque Catania, acclaimed for its stunning Piazza del Duomo and the whimsical Fontana dell’Elefante statue. For the best remnant of Roman rule, visit the Roman villa outside the town of Piazza Armerina, which has some of the most magnificent mosaics you can find, anywhere.

 

What to discover

Valley of the Temples

A two-hour motorhome drive from Palermo, the ancient Greek temples of Akragas are some of the best examples of Greco architecture on the island. The Temple of Concordia is especially-well preserved!

The Valley of the Temples is obscured by almond orchards, which host the almond blossom festival in late February. We recommend you join the festivities if you’re around!

Taormina

Rising above the Ionian Sea, the hilltop town of Taormina is Sicily’s favourite summer destination. Which is no wonder, because the town has everything holiday goers want: spectacular views, sandy beaches, ancient ruins, and it’s close to Mount Etna.

Being a popular destination, Taormina gets very busy in high season. The best time to drive hire a campervan in Catania and drive over to Taormina is right before and after July and August!

Mount Etna

Sicily might have changed over time, but history provide some constants.  Whether you were a Phoenician trader, Greek philosopher, Roman legionary, Arab emir, or Norman monarch, Mount Etna was always there, looming over the island like a fiery giant.

Getting to the heart of Sicily is going for a spectacular hike along Etna’s slopes. Though it’s an active volcano, you can hike it without supervision up to 2,400 meter. Bring a guide if you want to go higher.

 

Explore Sicily - ruins with a beautiful view behind
Explore Sicily - beautiful landscap with a beach
Explore Sicily - beautiful beach and sea color
Explore Sicily - beautiful view to the village and sea
Explore Sicily - view to the village
Explore Sicily - red mountains
Explore Sicily - house with beautiful lighting
Explore Sicily - street with antique houses
Explore Sicly - mountains by the sea

Campervan hire in Catania

Indie Campers Catania Depot
Via Giuseppina Virlinzi, 26 - 95121, Catania

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Campervan hire in Palermo

Indie Campers Palermo Depot
Falcone–Borsellino Airport - Località Punta Raisi, 90145 Cinisi

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