Most people visiting both Palermo and Catania spend about 7 to 10 days in Italy, which usually includes some time in Taormina as well. For travelers wanting to visit Palermo and Catania exclusively, plan a week to eight days for a well-paced trip. Even travelers with limited time can see Sicily's highlights in as few as five or six days. For the best itineraries, including Palermo and Catania, keep reading below.

How many days do you need in Palermo & Catania?

  • Most travelers spend 7-8 days in Palermo and Catania combined
  • Visiting Palermo and Catania in 5 or 6 days is possible, but it will feel rushed
  • With 9 or more days, most travelers choose to add more stops to their trip
  • The most common extensions are Taormina, Agrigento, and Ragusa

How Many Days to Spend in Sicily

Recommended Itineraries for Palermo & Catania

Recommended Itinerary for 1 Week

Taormina's Isola Bella
Taormina's Isola Bella
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Palermo Palermo
Day 2 Guided Tour of Palermo, Visit Monreale Palermo
Day 3 Drive to Catania, Visit Agrigento Catania
Day 4 Day Trip to Ragusa Ibla, Modica & Scicli Catania
Day 5 Day Trip to Syracuse & Guided Tour Catania
Day 6 Day Trip to Taormina, Guided Mount Etna Hike Catania
Day 7 Depart  

Discover Sicily's highlights with this quick 7-day self-drive itinerary. Starting in the regional capital of Palermo, you'll spend time discovering the Norman-Byzantine Monreale Cathedral before cutting across the island to explore the Greek temple ruins of Agrigento. Cap off the trip with four nights in Catania, the perfect access point to the Sicilian-Baroque cities of Ragusa Ibla, Modica, and Scicli, as well as the historic Syracuse and the elegant seaside town of Taormina. Read more

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Extended Itineraries

1-Week Itinerary Including Taormina

Cinque Terra hiking trail
Cinque Terra hiking trail
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Palermo, Evening Guided Tour Palermo
Day 2 Palermo Segway Tour & Cooking Class Palermo
Day 3 Transfer to Taormina Taormina
Day 4 Mount Etna Tour Taormina
Day 5 Transfer to Catania, Self-Guided Exploration Catania
Day 6 Catania Walking Food Tour Catania
Day 7 Depart  

This seven-day highlights itinerary is perfect for travelers on a time crunch. Start in Palermo, voted in 2015 by Forbes as the European capital of street food, to explore Sicily's vibrant culture and history. Visit a variety of churches, from an Italo-Albanian Catholic Church to the 12th-century Monreale Cathedral, and learn how to prepare a 4-course Sicilian meal. Continue to sophisticated Taormina to explore the arts and hike to the top of Mount Etna. End your trip in Catania to see Baroque architecture and cool off with refreshing watermelon granitas. Read more

2-Week Itinerary Including Syracuse & Taormina

Village of Savoca
Village of Savoca
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Palermo, Evening Guided Tour Palermo
Day 2 Palermo Segway Tour & Cooking Class Palermo
Day 3 Free Day in Palermo Palermo
Day 4 Palermo Catacombs & Monreale Cathedral Palermo
Day 5 Transfer to Syracuse, Afternoon Ortygia Tour Syracuse
Day 6 Free Day in Syracuse Syracuse
Day 7 Transfer to Taormina, Afternoon City Tour Taormina
Day 8 Mount Etna Tour Taormina
Day 9 Three Etna Wineries Tour Taormina
Day 10 Free Day in Taormina Taormina
Day 11 Transfer to Catania, Self-Guided Exploration Catania
Day 12 Catania Walking Food Tour Catania
Day 13 Free Day in Catania Catania
Day 14 Depart  

If you have two weeks and a thirst for Sicilian sunshine, delicious street food, and fascinating culture, then this is the trip for you. Spend four days exploring Palermo's diverse history, shopping at bustling markets, and relaxing on sunny beaches. Visit Syracuse—home city of mathematician Archimedes—and explore the Old Town of Ortygia, then head to Taormina to hike Mount Etna and catch a performance at the ancient Greek Theater. End your trip with a street food tour and sunny views of the Ionian Sea in Catania. Read more

How to travel between Palermo & Catania

The cities of Palermo and Catania, both located in Sicily, are approximately 131 miles (212 km) apart. Palermo, Sicily's largest city, is on the northwest side of the island, by the Gulf of Palermo, while Catania is on the eastern side, on the coast of the Ionian Sea. The quickest way to get from Palermo to Catania would be via rental car or private transfer, which takes about 2.5 hours. Read more


Map of Palermo & Catania: Best Itinerary Ideas
Map of Palermo & Catania: Best Itinerary Ideas