Sicily has always been fascinating for travellers. This largest island of the Mediterranean has besides a great number of sites of immense cultural-historic value also natural landscapes that make it unique in Europe. The largest volcano of the European continent, the Etna, is just one example of this. In the past decennia much has been done to make the island accessible by investing in infrastructure, still it remains a long journey to arrive to the island. Here you will find some information on how to reach Sicily by air, by sea and with your own transportation. A number of useful links have been gathered on ferries and flights to Sicily with which you can plan your trip. Ofcourse if you have any questions we will be happy to try to answer them, just follow us on Twitter, @motyainfo.
Travelling by air
The main airports of Sicily are to be found near Palermo, Catania and Trapani. The most convenient companies are Ryanair (on Trapani), Easyjet, TUIFly, but also companies like Meridiana maintain low cost connections from many airports in Europe. Once in Sicily it is easy to rent a car with companies like AVIS, Hertz or Maggiore. The airports in Sicily are not very big which makes it fairly comfortable travelling, there are always bars and shops. If there are no direct flights it is possible to change on most Italian airports like Milan, Rome, Florence, Pisa, Naples to a flight heading to Sicily.
Travelling by sea
There are various possibilities travelling by boat. There are connections from Naples maintained by Tirrenia, but also from Genoa, Livorno and Civitavecchia by Grandi Navi Veloci. From Genoa the ferry takes 20 hours to reach Palermo and from Civitavecchia about 12 hours. The advantage is that you arrive with less fatigue in Sicily than when you have to drive all the way and you still have your own car. The connection between Sicily and mainland Italy is maintained by Caronte & Tourist with a ferry every 20 minutes. The ferry takes 20 minutes to reach the other side of the Strait of Messina.
To visit the beautiful islands around Sicily there are ferry services departing from Sicily, like the one fast ferries from Trapani to the Egadian islands (only by foot). If you want to visit these islands with your car you would have to take the slow ferry. It is also possible to reach Sicily through Sardinia, a connection is maintained between Cagliari and Palermo and Trapani. It is possible to combine a vacation to Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily.
Travelling by public transportation
It is possible to travel by train to either Genoa or Calabria and take the boat from there. On the site of the Italian railroads (FS) you can look up the departure times. The railroads on Sicily connect the main cities even though it is wise to obtain information on the timetables as departures are not so frequent.
There are many local bus companies that maintain lines. The regional buscompany is the Azienda Siciliana Trasporti (AST) and they give an overview of timetables and connections on their website.
Travelling by car
Travelling by car can be shortened by taking the ferries (see above). Calculated from Milan the ride to Sicily is about 761 km on the A1 to Naples and 495 km on the A3 to Calabria. Sicily has a number of highways (Autostrade) that connect Messina to Palermo and Catania/Syracuse, and that run from Palermo to Trapani and Marsala. Along the coast you will find the infrastructure better developed than in the internal regions of Sicily. Ofcourse a map or navigation is needed in the car and it is wise to keep in mind the opening times and the frequency of gasstations especially off the main roads.