Let’s start with the base line: It is so worth it! Every km, every moment. Sicilia is a wonderful destination that offers you almost everything. Except for good surfing conditions, but that is another story of another holiday.
With Martina, I joined two weeks of a fantastic road trip. We followed the sun and the cultural attractions, we tasted local delicacies in all kinds of restaurants and faint sulphur smell on the volcanos. We shared Hector’s space, doubts where to find the next bus stop and wine with a view.
The peak of the entire trip was the peak of Stromboli: Lucky us, we were spontaneous and in time for perfect conditions, five weeks before an unusual strong eruption caused death and danger. We are grateful for our harmless, yet impressive-as-hell experience on top of the volcano.
Apart from that, every day and every place offered various highlights:
(1) Kaltern am See: Nice region, especially with good weather. We compensated endless rain with good company and tasteful dinner (special greetings to Michael!).
(2) Baia Domizia: Probably a boring place with a neat campsite. After 24 hours constant rain, we worshipped bright skies and sea view. Price: 31,60 € for 1 Hector + 2 Ladies.
(3) Tropea: Beach, a relaxed campsite (18,- € and well-located) and the first of the most beautiful sunsets during the trip, accompanied by wine and snacks and the view towards Stromboli.
(4) Capo Milazzo: Arriving on Sicilia! Camping Riva Smeralda might have seen better days in the late 80ies, however, it is the ideal starting point for an excursion to the Aeolian Islands. With sunny weather, low expectations and with 20,- € (per night) you can enjoy sea view all over.
(5) Stromboli: Terrific!!! Count in at least 4 hours on the boat, 40,- € for a charming bed & breakfast and unconventional volcano guides. Most people tend to see everything on Sicilia except for the Stromboli – what a mismatch, given that it has been the outstanding sensation of the journey.
(6) Taormina: Hector is well-located on Camping Paradise at Letojanni (23,73 €/night) while the crew is well-located in the general setting of Taormina – ancient theatres, vivid city streets and mouth-watering restaurants included.
(7) Siracusa: Not the simple parking (20,- €), but the famous peninsula Ortigia seemed worn-out at first. Hour by hour, though, it turns out to be interesting, old, young, touristic, vivid and delicious.
(8) Noto: Public bus transport is a bit of an adventure between Camping Sabbiadoro (28,80 €/night) and Noto. The baroque town of Noto is all worth it, including a cathedral and further churches, food and arts. If you think that Avola might be fine for a stop over: it is not and we are proud having it found out all on our own.
(9) Etna + Catania: Hard, very hard to catch a cloudless day on the 3.000 m peak. Although we failed on that part, we still claim being the lucky ones as we decided against an overnight-stay on the 2.000 m parking at Etna Sud – we would have been shaken with the eruption happening a mere three hours later. Instead, we can confirm that even outside of Catania downtown they have fantastic seafood!
…more to come in Part 2…