The bustling and beautiful city of Palermo is a great base for a Sicilian vacation. There are so many sights within easy reach that you can stay in one place and not have to move around too much. These are our picks for the best day trips to take from Palermo.
For the Sun Worshipper
Just because you have picked a city for your base, doesn’t mean you can’t spend a day or two at the beach. Mondello Beach is less than 10 miles away, a short bus or taxi ride from the city center. This popular beach has clear blue water and a long, wide crescent of soft sand. Rent a sun lounger and an umbrella at one of the private clubs, or find a patch of sand in a free section. There are cafes and restaurants along the long boardwalk area where you can have lunch, or grab a sandwich.
For the Outdoor Lover
Escape the hustle and bustle of chaotic Palermo and head for one of the tranquil, natural places that are within an easy drive. The Madonie Mountains are Sicily’s highest mountain range and have trails that are good for hikers and mountain bikers. The Parco delle Madonie is a regional park that incorporate the 15 mountain villages. Bring the kids to the Parco Avventura and they can spend the day zip lining, orienteering or even working on tenor archery skills. The lesser known Nebrodi National Park also stretches over miles and has its own mountain peaks and lakes. It is home to the the Nebrodian black pig, which is used to make prized salami and prosciutto in the area. Stop in one of the mountain villages and have a taste. Mountain biking and hiking are the main activities in the park.
For the Historian
While it is unlikely you will exhaust the historic sites that there are to visit in Palermo, there are so many treasures nearby that it would be a shame to not explore just slightly further afield. The hill town town of Monreale, which sits on the slopes of Mount Capto, is within view of Palermo on a clear day. You can take a public bus or private taxi to reach this historic town. Visit the astonishing Arab-Norman era cathedral with its dazzling mosaics and multicolored cloisters, and have a drink or gelato in one of the town’s piazzas. In just over an hour’s drive, you can be at the extraordinary site of Segesta, which is home to one of the world’s most intact Greek temples. Once a powerful city descended from Trojans, you can still visit the two main sites, a theater and the Doric temple. Located high on the Mount Barbaro, this once very strategic spot now affords incredible views of the surrounding countryside.
Keep everyone happy with a day in pretty Cefalu. This coastal city has a fortress like cathedral filled with intricate mosaics for the history buff, and one of Sicily’s most scenic beaches for the beach bunny. The soft ocher buildings and narrow cobblestone streets are made for wandering, with plenty of stops for a postcard perfect picture. The lungomare, which runs along the seafront, is popular for a stroll and a stop for coffee and gelato.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.