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Which would you choose: Sardinia or Sicily

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The title says it all really, the two islands have been suggested by a colleague as both being pretty good holiday destinations and they sound ideal to us. Sardinia has better beaches, apparently, while Sicily has beaches in some areas but also a bunch of other things, including a volcano, to go look at but it's bigger and more difficult to get around.

 

On holiday we do everything; like to doze on beaches, go for a bit of a swim, perhaps a dive, rent a car and look at stuff, walk and cycle a bit, excitement, laziness, and of course eat and drink well. Both islands have all this, Sardinia has a small island charm, Sicily has more to offer and we're having trouble deciding. We'll be going at the beginning of September, but that's the same for both.

 

There's not much on TT, tonnes on the net, but does anyone have their own suggestions? Mrs. Angel and I would love to hear.

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We went to Sardinia over Easter and other than the weather we had a lovely time. Great Island. We went to Alghero, the northern part of the Island. We will go back. Great flights on Ryan Air directly to the city. Beautiful country side. If you'd like to see pics or something PM me.

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Alghero is great - food fab and a lovely town for exploring. Not as snooty as the "costa smeralda" on the east of sardinia - which is very nice but pricey.

 

just to throw something else into the mix - try corsica too - can highly recommend Calvi on the n-w corner of the island. good food, lovely beach and yummy cheap vino!

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Thanks for the tips gents, I'll have a look. We're sort of limited where we can go as we have a hotel voucher to use and they don't have hotels everywhere (see hotelvouchershop.com in the vent...). Corsica would normally be on the list... As it is both the other islands offer what we need.

 

I think a closer look at hotels is our next task. Can anyone make a suggestion?

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We stayed here http://www.hotelvillalastronas.com/ in Alghero - v posh (was our honeymoon) but fabulous!

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I would seriously suggest staying away from Italy altogher if you want an enjoyable holiday, free from rudeness and stress.

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Thread Revival B)

 

was just having this Sardinia v. Sicily conversation last week, opting for Sicily this time around. Any new experiences / tips / warnings / must-sees to share? We (moi, the boyfriend and another couple) will be down there in September for a ten days with a rental car - though I've already heard that driving and parking in the bigger cities is a disaster..

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HellesAngel

 

The righr answer it is going to be a question. What you want to do/see/enjoy?

 

Both Sardinia and Sicily are wonderful islands. They can offer beaches, culture, sightseeing and nature.

 

Sicily is bigger and you can stay three months there and still have things to do and see since every town or village has his own character.

 

Sardina is more for the seaside lovers, if you rent a car you can explore the inside where you find the local culture as well.

 

It also depends on how much do you want to spend. Sardinia is going to be more expensive, expecially on the seaside areas.

 

If you go to Sicily I would select an area end explore it rather than try to do all the island in two weeks.

I would not go to see the Etna volcano. It is nice and unusual of course but it is not a first attraction. There are so many better things to do and explore there.

 

I think from Menningen there are wizz air flights to Trapani. Just as an example of a 8 days tour, I'd do.

Trapani 1 day,

Favignana island 2 days,

Erice, Segesta 1 day

Palermo and Monreale 3 days

Cefalu 1 day

There is much more ... just contact me if you need more details ...

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Sardinia is my favorite, but have enjoyed multiple trips to Catania, Sicily. Driving and parking are always an adventure in Italy... I've driven down a few the wrong way, but hey, all Italians do. (saying so, because my husband is Italian and makes the road his own) Catania is known for its baroque architecture (the downtown area is a World Heritage Site). Site seeing is wonderful and we enjoyed walking around all day and the drive along the coast. We had a favorite little beach just outside of Catania heading in the direction of Siracusa. We rented a casa just a small walk from the Playa and enjoyed having relaxing days with the kids. It is not the same as the Bahamas, but we had a great time. Never had a bad meal. Hope you all have a wonderful time.

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HellesAngel

 

The righr answer it is going to be a question. What you want to do/see/enjoy?

 

I think you'll find that trip may well and truly be over, unless he's a fastidious planner..

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Ah, this old gem. We went to Sicily and had a great time. Rented a car at the airport and (using our GPS we brought from Germany) had no trouble getting around although sometimes in the smaller streets the GPS reception was a bit patchy and so the location a bit dodgy and the turn advice not always great. That brings up the driving in Sicily - your driver needs to be, how should I put this, confident and assertive as the streets are somteimes very narrow, on steep hills, with blind turns and the traffic is crazy in some places, like Palermo or even rush hour in Castellammare, and it's all a bit more fun than Germany. There are many speed checks on the motorway, and the speed limits seem to change a lot for no apparent reason so watch out for that, I have also read that the Italian police have started to take drink-driving very seriously. We had absolutely no trouble though, once the police flagged us down but waved us on when they saw we were tourists, and despite the mad traffic I actually prefered driving in Palermo to Munich, the people are nicer and you can bend the rules to suit your needs - one way streets are often just a suggestion... But do remember it's not Munich and empty the car of everything at night.

 

We stayed in Castellammare del Golfo (top left) in Hotel al Madarig which was good - clean, well located, and the staff were great, but the breakfast was a bit of a disappointment. Actually, it was crap. Anyway, the Lonely Planet was pretty good as a guide for finding stuff to do and restaurants, but also asking locals was quite good too. Being Italy the food is generally very good. Places to visit include San Vito, Trapani, Marsala, Palermo, Monreale, and loads more that are in the books. The island is very big so to avoid loads of driving I'd advise to choose one side of it and stick there, don't try to drive from one side to the other.

 

If you're looking for beaches then you may be disappointed as Sicily is a volcanic island and most beaches are pretty rocky but we found some phenomenal snorkeling in the most unlikely places. Take your mask, snorkel & fins and perhaps some shoes for swimming in. I think some of the best was in Area Marina Protetta Capo Gallo - Isola delle Femmine just outside Palermo but couldn't be sure. The beach was awful, we stopped there at random just because we were there to make the best of the last of the afternoon, but the water was full of deep volcanic channels and walls where lava had flowed, and was teeming with fish. Absolutely fantastic.

 

I don't think Hutcho went to the same Italy I've been to, always had a great time.

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I love Sicily. If you want history then it's the place to go.

 

Driving through Palermo is an experience. Will add more later.

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That brings up the driving in Sicily - your driver needs to be, how should I put this, confident and assertive...

Don't expect that people give way, if you're entitled to it. If you slightly hesitate, you can wait and wait and wait some more :) . Traffic lights are for tourists only.

 

 

..., but the breakfast was a bit of a disappointment. Actually, it was crap.

Italian breakfast usually consists of just a cappuccino and a "brioche" or small croissant. Don't expect too much of it. Wait for lunch and dinner. That's the real thing :)

 

 

There are many speed checks on the motorway, and the speed limits seem to change a lot for no apparent reason so watch out for that..

Fast cars are being stopped by even faster cars of the Italian motorway police. You see a Gallardo, a gift from Lamborghini to the Italian police.

post-147368-13436441372826.jpg

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Thanks for the replies, everyone! It looks like we'll be spending most of our time in the northern-ish parts of the island, travelling from west to east, and ending in Catania. Our primary driver lived for a short while in Padua, so fingers crossed that she learned the ways of the italian road well enough to safely navigate us through it all!

 

Another quick question.. apart from our first and last nights, which we'll book in advance, we were hoping to simply stumble across casas or pensions that would be able to put us up last minute.. this is based on the other couple's experiences in Croatia.. but is it realistic for Sicily?

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Sicily! How I loved thee..

 

Ok, here is my take on it after the wife and I spent ten days on the western side in late May:

 

We came into Trapani, spent 2 nights in Marcela, 3 in Cefalu, 2 in Agrigento, then back out via Trapani.

 

Marsala - the highlight for us. Best B&B in Trip Advisor is Il Profuma del Sale, the host, Celsa, is amazing (former chef with homemade goodies for breakfast) and she knew ALL the spots. I would recommend booking ahead for this one though, we did and found out when we were there that it is generally well booked and we were lucky. When we go back (and we will) we will be based out of here the whole time, the west/south west has the beautiful spots and so much to do. If you are near Marsala and have a car, then spend your Sunday morning at http://www.aziendacucchiara.it/en/chiSiamo.php and enjoy the hospitality that is Salvatore. If you are there early enough you will get to experience the cheese making process and get to sample some of the best sheep cheese in your life done in the traditional Sicilian manner. They don't speak english there but it didn't seem to stop us (ok, I was wearing a NZ rugby shirt which helped since Salvatore enjoys the sport but I think he is just a great guy in general). SLO restaurant in Marsala is good value for money as well..

 

Cefalu - good for the sun, tends to be a bit touristy but was ok when we were there. Would recommend if you want the sea/sun experience. Don't wear shorts as a female if you want to visit the churches.. (probably goes for all of Sicily).

 

Agrigento - we had a great time there, parking was rough but if you wait around then something will open up.. everyone does it, so should you. Probably only needed one night there but it was still wonderful. We stayed at La Casa di El and found it a great experience. The host really made our experience. If you do go here, eat at Opera restaurant, cheap and great food! Scala dei Turchi is also a must go.

 

All in all, I would recommend staying around the west side of the island, I think it is too big a task to try and do the whole island in anything less than a month, and the west has some of the best spots. Highlights would be:

 

Erice - get some pastries from Maria Grammatico, you won't regret it.

Saline - there was a great cafe near the boat stop by the Saline tour, I forget it's name but they had great live music too. And local prices.

Salemi - good history here, close to Marsala.

Segesta - we didn't make it here, but vow to next time. Much like Agrigento..

 

Next time we are there it will be 2 weeks in the west, fewer tourists, better sights, great people.

 

Booking ahead.. it may be wise, depends on where you want to stay, we always tried to get one of the top rated B&Bs on our trip and usually found we had to try a few but maybe it was our "luck".

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Many thanks for the tips, very interesting. Mrs. Angel and I will also be back and also probably return to the western side, although the idea of the east and that big hill are quite tempting. So much to do, so little time.

 

Anyway, one more thing that sprung to mind reading your tips was the time of year to visit - last time we went we were constrained to September by work and we went at the beginning of the month. It was actually good, although it's very low season and all the (nasty) touristy places were shut the weather was good if a little unstable, it was warm without being burning hot, the sea has had the entire summer to warm up and the beaches were empty, but some of the more tourist oriented places did have the feel of ghost towns. It seemed all the really good restaurants were still open so we were happy.

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I've been back since, and I stand by my previous comment. Awful place.

 

What kind of experience did you have in order to deem THE WHOLE of Italy an awful place?

 

I've been to the Amalfi Coast and found the people warm, welcoming and friendly. Sure, you get rude people, but you get them everywhere. It didn't seem too stressful when we were sipping wine on the terrace, lounging by the pool or walking along one of the stunning seafronts either.

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Sicily! How I loved thee..

 

Cefalu - good for the sun,

 

Agrigento -

 

Scala dei Turchi is also a must go.

 

Segesta - we didn't make it here, but vow to next time. Much like Agrigento..

 

I liked Cefalu - don't forget to see the Christ Pantocrator in the church.

 

Agrigento - too near traffic - better to see Selinunte imho. scala de Turchi is awesome.

 

Sgesta is also good.

 

I'd recommend a stay on the slopes of Etna. I found it awesome. We did the trip to the top of the volcano which blew us away.

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