Cefalù, Sicily by motorhome | © Cefalù, Foto: IgorZh - stock.adobe.com

Sicily Round Trip by Motorhome

Cities thousands of years old with magnificent baroque palaces, ancient temples, sandy beaches in gorgeous bays, dreamy fishing villages, secluded hilly landscapes inland and the bubbling and smoking volcano Mount Etna: Sicily is a top destination for motorhome enthusiasts. As Sicily is closer to Libya than Milan, the island is perfect for soaking up the sun - and a good mood - especially in spring and autumn. The Motorhomecouch presents the island's main sights, the best campsites and answers the most important questions.

Monreale Monastery Sicily | © Cloister with fountain courtyard in the Benedictine monastery in Monreale , Foto:  michoff  - stock.adobe.com
  • Cloister with fountain courtyard in the Benedictine monastery in Monreale , Foto: michoff - stock.adobe.com
Concordia Temple | © Concordia Temple, Foto: pegaso123 - stock.adobe.com
  • Concordia Temple, Foto: pegaso123 - stock.adobe.com
The Temple of Concordia in the archaeological sites of Agrigento

The Sicily motorhome route offers

  • ...the rich cultural heritage of Sicily since Greek antiquity
  • ...impressive nature experiences at the largest volcano in Europe
  • ...romantic villages and vibrant cities
  • ...Mediterranean specialities and probably the best chocolate in Italy
  • ...marvellous beaches

Type of route: Holiday route
Theme: History, architecture, volcanism, hiking, beaches
Start / Finish: Messina - circular route
Length: 1126 km
Region: Sicily
Holiday regions: Taormina, Etna, Madonie, Palermo, Agrigento (Valle dei Templi), Val di Noto, Syracuse

Sicily Map Round Trip by Motorhome | © ALPS ALPINE Europe GmbH
  • ALPS ALPINE Europe GmbH

Travelling to Sicily

Sure, it's a long journey to Sicily: it's 1,620 miles from London to Catania, 2,178 kilometres from Paris, and 2,476 kilometres from Hamburg. But for motorhome enthusiasts in particular, being on the road is already part of the holiday, and the Alps, the Apennines and the south of Italy offer particularly beautiful scenic attractions for travellers passing through. Depending on how you are travelling from the north, either the route via the Inn Valley and the Brenner Pass or the route via Switzerland and the St. Gotthard Pass may be a good option. The two routes join at Modena in the Po Valley. The route then continues via Bologna, Florence, Rome and Naples to Villa San Giovanni on the Strait of Messina. There you take the ferry to the island, which is only a few kilometres away as the crow flies. The ancient Romans had already dreamed of a bridge at this point, and there have been plans for decades without any of them ever being realised. The ferry crossing from Villa San Giovanni to Messina takes 20 minutes and the boat departs every two hours during the day. The ferry company Caronte & Tourist currently charges €52.90 for the crossing for up to 5 people in a motorhome.

There are also ferries from Naples to Sicily, namely to Palermo, operated by the same company. The crossing is usually at night, takes 9 to 11 hours and costs around €200 to €350 per journey with a motorhome and 2 people, depending on where you sleep. Alternatively, you can also take the ferry to Palermo from Livorno and Genoa. This passage takes around 20 hours and costs around €200 to €380 per journey, depending on where you sleep.

Strait of Messina, Sicily by motorhome | © Strait of Messina, Foto: Pinosub - stock.adobe.com
  • Strait of Messina, Foto: Pinosub - stock.adobe.com
Sicily by motorhome: everything you should see and need to know | © Foto: Z O N A B I A N C A - stock.adobe.com
  • Foto: Z O N A B I A N C A - stock.adobe.com

The Top Sights

Most of the sights are located on the coast, so a round trip is a good idea - almost a thousand kilometres in total. But it is also well worth travelling through the hilly countryside with its distinctive villages perched on mountain ridges that resemble castles from a distance. Regardless of the cultural sights, the north and east coasts are more scenic than the west and south. The following highlights start in the north-east of the island and run anti-clockwise along the coast.

Sicily Motorhome Route

10 Highlights in Sicily

Picturesque town at the foot of Mount Etna with spectacular views over the sea
Largest volcano in Europe and still active - especially recently
A particularly picturesque old fishing village with a beautiful beach
Marvellous nature park with great views of the north coast of Sicily and very few people
This is where the wealth of Sicily manifested itself, which today often also shows its morbid side
San Vito
Wonderful sandy beach in the far north-west, not far from a valuable nature park
A town clinging to a mountain ridge with medieval flair and magnificent views
Agrigento (Valle dei Templi)
Some of the best-preserved Greek temples anywhere
Val di Noto
Thanks to a terrible earthquake: four architecturally cohesive baroque cities
The ruins of one of the most important Greek cities and a fascinating old town on an island
Sicily Motorhome Route


The hilltop town of Taormina on the west coast condenses the many different charms of the islands within its own city limits: ancient heritage, picturesque old town, volcanic views, fertile hills and a steep coast to the wonderful sea with many idyllic bays and small sandy beaches. Taormina was founded around 1300 BC by the Siculi and is one of the oldest settlements in Sicily. It was under Greek rule from 358 BC and later under Roman rule. Ancient buildings such as the Teatro Greco still bear witness to this era. The second largest ancient amphitheatre in Sicily was built by the Romans in the 2nd century BC and offered space for over 5,000 spectators. One of the first prominent visitors to Taormina was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe on his trip to Italy in 1787. In addition to the Teatro Greco, a stroll through the picturesque old town, which is situated on Monte Tauro 200 metres above sea level and offers spectacular views not only of the sea and the offshore Isola Bella, but also of Mount Etna.

Not far inland from Taormina, the Alcantara Gorge is well worth a detour. The river has dug deep into the black volcanic rock. At the Gole dell'Alcantara, you can walk into the gorge at a very narrow point in the river - but only when the water is low in summer. In winter and spring, the river can be raging. But even at these times of year, many paths along the gorge offer alternatives and impressive views.


There is no recommended campsite or pitch in Taormina, but only 9 kilometres to the south is the highly rated Area Attrezzata Camper, Parking Lagani.

Taormina and Mount Etna | © Taormina, Foto: majonit - stock.adobe.com
  • Taormina, Foto: majonit - stock.adobe.com
Alcantara Gorge, Sicily by motorhome | © Alcantara Gorge, Foto: XtravaganT - stock.adobe.com
  • Alcantara Gorge, Foto: XtravaganT - stock.adobe.com
Sicily Camper Van Route


At more than 3,300 metres, Mount Etna to the north of Catania is the highest volcano in Europe. It is still active, and there have been minor eruptions recently. It towers impressively into the sky, covered in snow, not far from the coast. The panorama from the top is spectacular, surrounded by the clouds of smoke that often rise from the crater. If you want to climb Mount Etna, you need to be in good physical condition and bring suitable equipment: hiking boots, sunglasses, food and warm clothing, because even if it is over 30 degrees on the coast, the temperature at the top can only be a little above zero.

You can climb Mount Etna on your own, either from the south or the north. From the south, you drive to the Rifugio Sapienza, which is located at an altitude of 1,900 metres. There are car parks, bars and shops and from there you can hike through the wild landscape below the summit, where numerous craters have been formed by eruptions on the flanks, such as Monti Silvestri.

The best way to get to the summit of Mount Etna is to take the Funivia Etnea cable car to the Montagnola station at around 2,400 metres. From there, you can either continue by cable car or take one of the off-road vehicles available to Torre Filosofo at an altitude of around 2,900 metres. The cost for the entire route there and back is approx. 60 €. Mountain guides are available at Torre Filosofo for the hike to the summit.

From the north, travel via Giarre or Linguaglossa to the Etna North station at an altitude of approx. 1800 metres at Piano Provenanza. From there, off-road buses take you up to the Volcanological Observatory at an altitude of approx. 2800 metres. The tour continues to the summit with mountain guides. The cost from Etna North is also around €60 per person.

Exploring the summit landscape of Mount Etna on your own is not permitted. Guided tours on and around Mount Etna are offered by Etna Trekking and Go Etna, among others. Both agencies also provide information about restrictions and closures due to the volcano's activity.

You can circumnavigate Mount Etna by railway with the Ferrovia Circumetnea. The 110-kilometre route leads from Catania almost all the way around the mountain. The route starts in Catania Borgo and ends in Giarra-Risposto. During the journey, which takes around three hours, you can admire the contrast between the fertile landscape and the barren volcano. Stops can be made in Bronte, the town of pistachios, where the famous Bronte Pistachio Festival takes place at the end of September, and in Randazzo, a medieval village built entirely of lava rock.


The Area Sosta Camper Spuligni is a simple but much-praised campsite on Mount Etna.

Mount Etna, Sicily by motorhome | © Mount Etna, Foto: Nikolay Kazakov - stock.adobe.com
  • Mount Etna, Foto: Nikolay Kazakov - stock.adobe.com
Sicily Motorhome Route


The former fishing village is one of the most beautiful places on the north coast of Sicily. The picturesque old town of Cefalù nestles right next to the sea, overlooked by a huge wooded cliff. The cathedral of Santissimo Salvatore, built by the Normans, is imposing, and the narrow streets with numerous restaurants, bars and shops invite you to stroll around, even if not exactly for solitary walks, as Cefalù quickly becomes overcrowded in season. The town has a very beautiful, 2.5 kilometre long white sandy beach, an exception in this area.


Camping San Filippo is a very nice campsite to the west of Cefalù.

Cefalù, Sicily by motorhome | © Cefalù, Foto: IgorZh - stock.adobe.com
  • Cefalù, Foto: IgorZh - stock.adobe.com
Sicily Motorhome Route


The Parco delle Madonie (note the emphasis on the i!) extends in the hinterland above Cefalù. The most species-rich forests in the Mediterranean grow on the lonely mountain ranges, mainly on the rainier northern slopes of the mountains. Here you will find cork and holm oaks, elms and giant holly trees. The last natural occurrences of the Nebrodi fir can also be found here. The Madonie Park covers an area of around 15,000 hectares and was declared a nature reserve in 1989. The highest elevation is Pizzo Carbonara, at 1979 metres, the highest non-volcanic mountain in Sicily. In snowy winters, the mountains are used for winter sports. The mountains are also an important drinking water reservoir for Palermo.

There are countless wonderful hikes in the Madonie Park, some of which the provider komoot has put together here. From the hills and peaks, you can often see as far as the coast. The secluded area is just the right place to discover Sicily's quiet interior. But beware: the paths are often very poorly marked. A hiking map and compass are strongly recommended.


There are no serviced campsites directly in the park, so travelling by camper van has its very original charm here again. A good and very secluded pitch for hikes in the Madonie Park and on the Pizzo Carbonara is located at the top of the Piano Battáglia pass. Coming from Isnello, turn left up the one-way road just before the top of the pass. After about 300 m you can park your car in a tarmac car park. There is also a tarmac car park on the left about 150 m after the pass.

Just outside the park is the well-rated Agricampeggio Gole di Tiberio.

Madonie, Sicily by motorhome: everything you should see and need to know | © Madonie, Foto: Danita Delimont - stock.adobe.com
  • Madonie, Foto: Danita Delimont - stock.adobe.com
Sicily Camper Van Route


Palermo is the capital of Sicily and is one of the most worthwhile places to visit on a round trip, even if driving into the city centre in a motorhome requires a little courage and driving composure - as well as the willingness to get involved in Sicilian road traffic. A good navigation system plus an attentive co-driver is also useful. However, the two car parks suggested below invite you to walk or take public transport into the city. Then you can confidently leave the chaos of Palermo's road traffic to the bus driver, who masters it perfectly.

The starting point in Palermo and a first-class sight are the cathedral and the royal palace at the highest point of the city. Both date back to the 12th century, the time of the Norman King Roger II, and were built in a fascinating mix of Arabic, Byzantine and Norman styles. You should definitely climb to the roof of the cathedral, from where you can enjoy wonderful views over the city and the Gulf of Palermo.

Palermo's many aristocratic palaces are similarly magnificent, but mainly from the Baroque period, one of which is immortalised in the novel The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, which was made into a film by Lucchino Visconti in 1963. Many of these palaces are still inhabited by the families who owned them, and some of them can be visited, such as Palazzo Conte Federico. In addition to the historical splendour, Palermo is at least as attractive due to the morbidity of many of the old buildings. You can experience the decay in every corner and at the same time see new impetus and new ideas for utilising the old buildings.

And of course, the narrow alleyways of the old town, which are interrupted by symmetrical streets in the south-western part of the city, many of which are now pedestrianised, offer plenty of Sicilian life with all its sensory impressions. A bizarre attraction at first glance, but then a highly interesting insight into the burial rites of the 17th century, is the Capuchin crypt with over 2,000 mummified corpses, most of which are displayed in their original clothes. And the mafia museum and memorial not far from the cathedral is definitely worth a visit. It not only commemorates the many victims of the mafia in Sicily, but also explains the origins of this criminal organisation, its rules and why it is so difficult to get to grips with it.

Seven kilometres south of Palermo rises Monte Caputo with an architectural monument of the highest order: the cathedral of Monreale is a Norman building from the 12th century and is one of the island's top sights.


Due to the traffic in the Sicilian capital, it is advisable to park on pitches just outside the city centre and travel into the city by public transport. Idea Vacanzepa and Green Car Palermo are recommended.

Palermo Cathedral, Sicily by motorhome | © Palermo Cathedral, Foto: Boris Stroujko - stock.adobe.com
  • Palermo Cathedral, Foto: Boris Stroujko - stock.adobe.com
Sicily Motorhome Route

San Vito

San Vito on the cape in the very north-west of Sicily has one of the most beautiful beaches in Italy and lies at the foot of the 512 metre-high Monte Monaco, from where you have a magnificent view. The Zingaro nature reserve at the outermost tip of the island is also worth a visit. When a road was planned in the 1970s along one of the most scenic stretches of coastline from Castellammare del Golfo to San Vito, there were considerable public protests. The government relented and designated Zingaro as the first nature reserve in Sicily in 1981. It covers 1,600 hectares and an approx. 7 km long coastline with small sandy bays and rugged limestone cliffs. The highest point is Monte Speziale at 914 metres. The karst area is criss-crossed by rugged limestone cliffs and provides a habitat for more than 40 bird species, including falcons, vultures and eagles. Following a forest fire in 2012, which affected around 80 per cent of the reserve, the vegetation has since recovered well. One attraction in the Zingaro Park is the Uzzo Grotto a few hundred metres inland from Tonnara del Uzzo, a vertically open magma bubble about 20 metres high. It has been used as a shelter and stable for goatherds since time immemorial.


Camping Bay of Guidaloca, which is located right next to the nature reserve, is currently closed. A little further south is the well-rated Agricampeggio Scopello. In San Vito, the Camping Village La Pineta is rated as very good.

Zingaro Nature Park, Sicily | © Zingaro Nature Park, Foto: e55 evu - stock.adobe.com
  • Zingaro Nature Park, Foto: e55 evu - stock.adobe.com
Sicily Camper Van Tour


The medieval town of Erice is spectacularly enthroned on Monte Erice and offers a marvellous view in all directions. It is best to park the car in Trapani and take the cable car up, but you can of course also walk the 751 metres in altitude. In the off-season, you could also take a motorhome up the winding road, as there are car parks at the top. However, only experienced drivers should be on the road, as it is possible to take evasive manoeuvres on the precipice.

Erice is sometimes shrouded in fog, which has its own mystical charm when it wafts through the old alleyways. Especially when the clouds clear and the view opens up over the inland and the Mediterranean, as far as the offshore archipelago of the Egadi.

The well-preserved old town dates largely from the 16th and 17th centuries, but the mountain was inhabited long before that. The town was architecturally and culturally characterised by all the powers that ruled Sicily over the course of time. The town walls date back to Punic times, the Castello di Venere was built by the Normans and the Chiesa Madre church was built in the 14th century in the Chiaramonte style. A stroll through Erice should include a stop at the Pasticceria Maria Grammatico. It is said to have the best marzipan and almond biscuits in Sicily.


There is no recommended campsite in and around Erice or Trapani. It is 15 kilometres from the well-rated Camping Lido Valderice.

Erice, Sicily by motorhome | © Erice, Foto: Alexey Oblov - stock.adobe.com
  • Erice, Foto: Alexey Oblov - stock.adobe.com
Scala dei turci, Sicily | © Scala dei turci, Foto: Edler von Rabenstein - stock.adobe.com
  • Scala dei turci, Foto: Edler von Rabenstein - stock.adobe.com
Scala dei Turchi near Realmonte
Sicily Motorhome Route

Agrigento (Valle dei Templi)

The archaeological sites of Agrigento, south of today's Agrigento, are among the most impressive buildings in Sicily. They are the remains of the Greek city of Akragas (lat. Agrigentum), founded in 582 BC, one of the most important ancient Greek cities in Sicily. The temples, some of which are very well preserved, bear witness to the size, power and cultural heyday of the Greek city. Several monumental temples were built on a ridge along the southern city wall, of which the Temple of Concord is one of the best-preserved temples of Greek antiquity. The term "Valley of the Temples" is somewhat confusing for visitors, as in archaeological terminology the site is correctly called the "Hill of the Temples" (Italian: Collina dei Templi), whereas the term "Valley of the Temples" (Italian: Valle dei Templi) has become established in the vernacular due to its location below the present-day city. In other words, a valley that lies on a hill.


There are several beautiful campsites around Agrigento, we recommend Camping Valle dei Templi and Camping Internazionale Nettuno.

Agrigento, Sicily by motorhome | © Agrigento, Foto: crocicascino - stock.adobe.com
  • Agrigento, Foto: crocicascino - stock.adobe.com
Alpine Navigation System | © Alpine Navigation System
Motorhome Navigation

Travelling south is even more fun with a navigation system from ALPINE. The motorhome software helps you reach your destination safely and relaxed and the ALPINE sound brings the right atmosphere to your motorhome.

Learn more
Sicily Motorhome Route

Val di Noto

The "Val di Noto" is also not a valley in the geographical sense, but the name of an administrative unit. It includes the enchanting late Baroque towns of Catania, Caltagirone, Militello in Val di Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo Acreide, Ragusa and Scicli. Noto, Ragusa and Modica in particular (but not only!) are well worth a visit. All the towns were almost completely destroyed by an earthquake. Thanks to their simultaneous reconstruction, they now offer magnificent examples of Sicilian Baroque architecture. Due to this special architecture, UNESCO declared the towns of the Val di Noto a World Heritage Site in 2002, stating: "The towns of the Val di Noto represent the high point and the last heyday of Baroque art in Europe." If you get dizzy from all the columns, gables, domes and sculptures, you can treat yourself to a sweet break in Modica, where the best chocolate in Sicily, some say Italy, has been produced for centuries.


Camping Scarabeo is recommended for visiting the towns in Val di Noto, right on the coast.

Noto, Sicily by motorhome | © Noto, Foto: dalib0r - stock.adobe.com
  • Noto, Foto: dalib0r - stock.adobe.com
Sicily Motorhome Route


Syracusa in south-eastern Sicily was also founded by the Greeks, and a number of ancient buildings have survived to this day, including the huge amphitheatre where spectators could look out over the sea from the stage. For several centuries, Syrákusai was the largest and most powerful Greek polis in Sicily and its cultural centre. Cicero described it as "the largest and most beautiful of all Greek cities". When the Arabs conquered Sicily in the 9th century and made Palermo their new capital in 831, Syracuse gradually lost its former supremacy.

The centre of today's old town is located on the 40-hectare island of Ortygia, which lies between two natural harbours and is separated from the mainland by a narrow passageway. This is where most of the historic buildings and sights are located, the most important being the cathedral and Piazza Archimedes, Palazzo Beneventano del Bosco and Castello Maniace. After the Second World War, the historic centre was in danger of falling into disrepair. Many residents moved to the modern residential neighbourhoods on the mainland. Extensive renovation and restoration work from 1990 onwards has revitalised and revitalised Ortygie.


Around Syracusa, Area Sosta ClaudCar, Ippocamper and Agritourist Rinaura Campeggio are rated as very good.

Syracuse, Sicily by motorhome | © Syracuse, Foto: romas_ph - stock.adobe.com
  • Syracuse, Foto: romas_ph - stock.adobe.com


Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions.

Sicily by motorhome: why is it worth it?

Sicily is the perfect combination of natural and cultural experiences, fascinating and diverse landscapes and ancient cities. This is combined with a rich cuisine, strongly inspired by the Orient, and friendly, open people.

How much does camping in Sicily cost on average per night?

An overnight stay at a campsite in Sicily costs around 40 euros on average. Of course, prices vary greatly depending on the season, location and facilities of the campsite.

Is wild camping allowed in Sicily?

In principle, wild camping is prohibited in Italy and therefore also in Sicily. Fines of between 100 and 500 euros can be imposed. However, many local authorities have designated near-natural rest areas where you are allowed to stay overnight for up to 24 hours - but without being allowed to put tables, chairs and porches outside. The coasts of Sicily are of course particularly tempting, but this is also where most tourists are concentrated. Free rest areas close to nature are therefore more likely to be found in the interior of the island, often around national parks or near farms.

Is Sicily suitable for camping with children?

Why not? Apart from the long journey, which is of course interrupted by an exciting ferry crossing, children will not be bored in Sicily, such is the diversity of the island and its tourist attractions. The Vacanze con bambini website provides an overview of child-friendly campsites.

Is camping in Sicily dangerous?

Tourists need not fear the mafia in Sicily. But of course burglary and theft do occur in southern Italy, just like anywhere else in the world - and it's no secret that the corresponding statistics for southern Italy are higher than the European average. Italy is one of the top countries in terms of the frequency of car theft, and in 2021 Italy was even in first place with 210 car thefts per day. However, the most frequently stolen brands were Fiat and Lancia, with the Fiat Panda, Fiat Cinquecento and Fiat Punto taking the first three places, followed in fifth place by a non-Italian brand, the VW Golf. Camper vans do not appear in these statistics. In the event of an accident, it is important to have insurance that covers the damage, as well as safety and alarm devices in the motorhome.

When is the best time to travel?

Sicily's climate is Mediterranean, which means that summers can be very hot and dry, while winters are mild and rather damp. In July and August, the average temperature can rise to more than 26 degrees Celsius, whereby average means that it very often gets hotter than 30 degrees during the day. The hot Scirocco wind from the Sahara ensures even higher temperatures in the south. The sea also warms up to 25 degrees. Inland, it is sometimes around 6 degrees cooler than on the coast, which is due to the higher altitude. And on Mount Etna it is also cool in summer, sometimes even really cold! The driest period is from May to September, when there is virtually no rainfall. The island is surprisingly green in spring, from around April, making Sicily an ideal destination during this time, as well as in autumn. November can also be very beautiful in Sicily.

What are the traffic conditions like in Sicily?

Traffic in the major Sicilian cities, especially Palermo, is notorious. Motorhome drivers are better off parking their vehicles in a suburb. This also applies to other larger towns. The small, winding old villages and towns, often clinging to mountain ridges, were not built primarily for motorhomes, and even with good navigation systems it is easy to end up in dead ends or at impassable bottlenecks where you have to manoeuvre backwards. Travelling through the countryside does not present any major difficulties, but Sicilian side roads are often poorly surfaced and have many bends.

Which events should you not miss?

In April, Good Friday processions take place in every town in Sicily, which are very important in the Catholic calendar. The spectacle is particularly impressive in towns such as Marsala, Enna and Tràpani.

The feast of St Lucia, the patron saint of Syracuse, has been celebrated in Syracuse in May since ancient times. Today it also commemorates the famine of 1646, when the population worshipped the saint and were sent quails and ships with grain as a miracle. Since then, processions have been held and, of course, quails are eaten.

In July, Palermo celebrates the feast of St Rosalia, the patron saint of the city, with a large procession, music and traditional food.

In August, Catania celebrates the feast of St Agatha, which commemorates the return of the remains of the patron saint to Sicily. Up to one million people visit every year.

Which are the best campsites?

Tripadvisor has a list of the best rated campsites in Sicily, which can be found on this page.

Where can you find out more?

At the Italian tourist office, among others.

Text: Gerd Henghuber

Sicily Motorhome Route

Route guidance with parking space information

You can also find more information about the sights in our Explorer Map.