Sicily

Cefalú
04.10-11.10.2008

When we arrived at the hotel it was already 10 pm. Tired and hungry we finally got to our room where to our surprise a cold dinner was waiting for us. The following morning looked like a typical Irish day with sky full of dark clouds and periods of rain. But by the noon the sun had come out and we decided to check out the area. In the hotel grounds there was a tennis court, pool and a railway track. Yes, literally few metres from the hotel where we were staying. Luckily, we did not sped much time at the hotel during the day, so we did not see it as a problem and we did not hear any trains passing by at night. To get to the beach we had to go down the stairs (exactly 90 of them- quite steep as well). The hotel beach was really small and not very nice so we walked further along the beach until we got to the centre of Cefalú.Cefalú is a small town situated under a huge rock – La Rocca on the northern coast of Sicily. If you wanna, you can climb up to the top of the rock. There are stairs that finish after a while and then the only way to get up is to climb. It is a very steep hill so be ready for that. The views from there are stunning. There is a magnificent Cathedral built in 12th Century in the centre of Cefalú. It is called Il Duomo.  Later on wandering along typical narrow streets we found few agencies selling various excursions so we bought one to Etna-the volcano. To get to the top of the volcano we took a cable car and then a jeep. I has been an unforgettable experience but one of the coldest ones too. Even though in the mainland the temperature reached around 22 °C, up there it was a totally different story. Cold, windy and I found it hard to breathe too. The guides take you for a walk around the crater but we did not do this. We took pictures, recorded short videos and took a ride back to the base. The souvenir shops there are selling a great variety of products typical to Sicily such as drink called Limoncello or various things made of Lava. After we had a short stop in Taormina where we visited ruins of a Greek Theatre and had a lunch in one of the restaurants. Our last stop was at Messina, which is the closest point to Italian mainland.

Our next trip to Palermo, the capital of Sicily, we planned by ourselves. Well, to be honest, we just bought tickets at the station and after about 15 minutes we found out that we have to put them into a special machine to make it valid. Quite modern train had brought us to Palermo. Without map we slowly walked the streets until we got to a place with hop on, hop off bus stop. We did not hesitate a minute, and bought tickets straightaway. We did one round, took photos and got off to see some places closer and afterwards we run to catch the train back to Cefalú.

MORE INFORMATION:

  • The hotel was booked with GreatLateDeals.co.uk (£ 343.35)
  • Sicily is an island to the south of Italy
  • Accommodation – Hotel Santa Lucia e Le Sabbie d’Oro, Cefalú
  • Flight – EasyJet
  • Food – Half board

GOOD TO KNOW:

  • If you decided on going to Etna, do not forget to take some warm jacket, hoodie or anything with you. (when you get of the cable car there is a small place where you can borrow jackets and shoes)

PLACES WORTH VISITING:

  • Etna (the highest active volcano in Europe – 3 329 m, situated on the east coast of Sicily)
  • Palermo – the capital of Sicily
  • Taormina – the most popular tourist destination since 19th Century with ruins of Greek Theatre
  • Corleone – small town that is a birth place of some Italian mafia bosses either real or fictional

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