Over Wintered in Scicily?

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by veevee, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    Has anyone over wintered in Scicily before as we fancy that.

    We have visited Scicily for just over a week in during an October and was pleasantly surprised at the temperatutres and how warm the sea was, but of course that's a bit different to spending 2 or 3 months there.

    Ta
     
  2. gozomike

    gozomike Funster Life Member Life Member

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    Sicily

    Hi

    No I haven't been on Siciily during the Dec to Feb period but I am on Gozo, Malta which is about 90k (60 Mille) south during that period. Temp drops to around 15c day and 5c at the worst during the night.

    When I drove back starting 3 weeks ago the weather on Sicily was nice and sunny, last year at the same time I landed in Pozzallo in a big thunder storm with floods everyware. I think you would find a few bad days and a lot of good ones. There do seem to be quite a few europeans who settle into the camps for the over winter period.

    Mike
     
  3. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Looks on with interest. Being lovers of Italy we've wondered if Sicily is an alternative to Morocco.

    Realistically in terms of weather and cost, it probably isn't. Probably more an alternative to Spain.
     
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  4. timndelia

    timndelia Read Only Funster

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    Sicily in winter?

    We spent February 2010 in Sicily. Some really spectacular sights and scenery. Etna was snow covered and we drove up but the police didn't allow us to camp as we would have been stuck up there if it snowed overnight. Freezing cold up there.

    Everywhere pretty quiet except Palermo, Messina and around Catania.

    Enough campsites were open and there are a few Sostas in good spots. Didn't see many from UK; mostly Germans.

    We had mixed weather but not much rain. Reasonably warm but not 'shorts weather' when we were there.

    It's a long drive! Best with a couple of mates.

    Probably wouldn't do it again but very pleased we've been and would recommend it. It beats sitting on the coast in Spain or Morocco but of course inland they both have some fantastic spots.

    Good luck if you go.

    TaD
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
  5. superk

    superk Read Only Funster

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    Yes! Beginning November to mid February.
    Are you planning to stay in one place or tour? There are sites where UK folk and others stay throughout - Punta Braccetto on the South coast and Finale near Cefalu on the north coast. Both have excellent facilities.
    However, staying in one spot you will miss a great experience. The island is immensley varied and whatever your interest I'm sure you will find what you want.
    We toured most of the time usually wild camping without any difficulty. We visited just about everywhere - the topography is amazing - from a Ritzy coastal resort, Mount Etna, wild mountains across the interior to the western side which is more Arab than Italian. We parked on a car park in the centre of Palermo that had room for 5 or so vans and even provided simple facilities. Palermo is a city of contrasts - wealth and ruin - we walked the backstreets without difficulty. Also drove up lonely mountain roads to Corleone - 183 Mafia deaths in this village (now a small town.) I recommend that you don't read any books about the Mafia before you go! - You will not be aware of any such activity.
    We found the people are exceptionally friendly. One one sight we were the only ones there so as it was Xmas and the guardian was going to join his family they simply gave us the keys and a phone number. Others gave us parking when they were closed. I had a regulator problem and a technician came in over Xmas to fix it for us.
    The weather varies from sunbathing to heavy rain.
    It's all in my next book currently being edited.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
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  6. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    It's all very encouraging, and thanks to all.

    We are planning for winter 2013/2014, as with family commitments allowing we want to make a US coast to coast and back again by public transport early in 2013. We had intended to take a month this winter in Portugal but the US thing costs are mounting.

    Our natural mode is to stay a short while and move, the short while may be 1 day to a week, but rarely longer.

    Have to say driving in Palermo in rush hour is the most distinctive place I have ever driven, it felt like a battle of machismo and wits combined.

    We spent 3 days on the dock at Trapani waiting for a ferry to Tunisia and we thought the life swirling around the town fascinating. So this time the idea is to make Sicily the destination rather than a staging point.

    superk, when is you book due for publication, and can it be read in any other form apart from kindle?



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  7. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    USA - dead easy, board plane in NY, get off in LA. How hard is that.

    Naples is just about the worst driving we have ever experienced in Italy, but never gone further south. Yet ?
     
  8. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    Ah Naples, yes that's interesting too. On the same trip we traversed Naples early evening about an hour before kick off of a local football Derby. But Palermo is in a class of it's own...

    As usual you're right Brian, should have been more specific. All travel by land transport, Greyhound and Amtrak, it's a 'for the journey things' not sightseeing.



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  9. superk

    superk Read Only Funster

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    Previous book was published but publisher went out of business so did a Kindle. You don't need a Kindle to read it simply download a FREE Kindle reader app onto your computer from here [ame="http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000425503"]Amazon.co.uk: Read Kindle ebooks everywhere with our free reading apps[/ame]

    Book about Italy being edited will probably do that as a Kindle and paperback.

    Thanks for your interest and enjoy your travels.
     
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  10. superk

    superk Read Only Funster

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    Just realised I wrote a whole spiel on Sicily on MFFun you might find it useful:

    OK here we go - a few ideas:

    When you come off the ferry you can turn right and go along the north coast or south and along the east coast towards Catania. There are motorways in both directions and it might be advisable to take the motorway at first. Just have to thread your way through town first - it's busy but doable.

    We went south but the nicest campsite is Rais Gerbi on the north coast at Finale near Cefalu - its on the right as you leave in a westerly direction N38.02225 E14.15489 say hello to Rosalba.

    If you go south to Catania then Camping Jonio is most peoples choice it's north of Catania N37.53277 E15.11951 and can be expensive for short stays if you don't belong to ASCI. You can bus into Catania.

    If you want to break the journey before Catania then stop at Camping La Focetta Sicula at Alessio Siculo N37.93104 E15.35612.

    Inbetween the two Taormina is worth visiting if you can park - they don't ley MHs park at the top - we know of people who overnighted in the car park of the funiculare and on the coast.

    For Etna - you can go up by 4x4 or cable car (personal preference 4x4) - quite expensive and overnight in the Refugio Sapienza car park - make sure your heating is working! This is where you can ascend from.

    If you want a campsite Camping Etna at Nicolosi N37.62262 E15.00869 is about half way up to the Refugio.

    I recommend visiting Siracusa and there is a Sosta right in the centre of town with all facilities and easy road access and short walk to the Archeological sites, museum and somewhat further to Ortygia - but worth it. Parcheggio Von Platen, Via Augusto Von Platen N37.07674 E15.28735

    From Siracusa you can get to Noto (The Golden City) by train and its worth it. Otherwise drive there and look for Noto Parking - its signposted from most directions but is small although I'm sure Michele or one of his sisters will help you park. It has electric and a new but one/two person toilet block, good dump and outside showere BRRR!
    It's in a lemon grove -when you arrive it will be closed just telephone (328 8065260 380 5058898 320 9778979 340 7058151) the number is by the gate or hang around - word seems to get to them somehow. One of the family will drive you to town and pick you up again. Say hello to Michele for me. N36.88369 E15.08525

    On the South East coast a lot of folks (mainly German/Swiss) with large vans aim for Punta Broccetto N36.81742 E14.46661 (sorry can't remember the name of the site) - its the neatest cleanest site you'll find (own toilet facilities) but without transport that's it - a beachside site little else in easy reach.

    Agrigento - worth a visit for the ruins - camping Vallei dei Templei should be easy for you N37.26963 E13.58306

    Secca Grande and Camping Kameni N37.43843 E13.24530 will have room for you amongst there small number of pitches but its only good for an overnighter.

    Marinella-Selinunte - we thought the remains here better than Agrigento - there's a road behind the car park where we wild camped along with a Swiss couple - police came by never bothered it's a very quiet village out os season N37.58299 E12.83525

    There's a nice site at Petrosina - take the coast road - camping Biscione N37.70127 E12.47794 - we were the only ones on it for Christmas - they gave us the keys - phone if you need anything. Nice family - there's one restaurant in the village - good place to relax.

    Do try and run up the West coast to Trapani - Marsala worth a visit -we wild camped along here if you want just one spot to wild camp try the car park next to the little ferry that goes to Mothia Island - there's a couple - we used this one N37.85604 E12.47731 This is the most Arabic area of Sicily with salt pans etc.

    From Trapani don't miss Erice - fantastic views - steep climb up but motorhome parking below town.

    San Vito lo Capo worth a visit - lovely pensinsula - you can camp at a Sosta its on the right before you get to town N38.16212 E12.73665 don't be tempted to use one of the campsites - they are very dark in winter with lots of trees for summer shade.

    The Zingaro National Park is a wonderful place you can approach from San Vito - we wild camped at the entrance - N38.12523 E12.78778 magical wild coastline or from the south near Scopello it's a narrow road but pretty with the tuns fisheries - I saw a big Hymer doing it - the village is worth a visit but only approach from the south.

    For Palermo you can either camp at Camping Degi Ulivi, Via Pegaso N38.19824 E13.28051 that has trains into Palermo or, if you are brave (and we were) try Green Parking N38.10962 E13.34253 in Palermo itself - you're right in the middle of town and can walk everywhere its a sosta with electric, water dump and a single shower but has 24-hour security - we thought it excellent whereas the train journey can be a bit wearisome if you've been walking round all day. All the guidebooks say don't drive in Palermo - by the time you've driven through Italy and round Sicily it's not so bad - maybe do it on a Sunday?
    Palermo kept us entertained for five days. Loads to see and if you are adventurous get off the main streets into the back alleys and see the real life. Heady mix of elegant shops, decaying palaces, amazing churches interesting people. We went everywhere and had no problems just warm welcomes.

    And so your back to Cefalu (don't miss) and the Rais Gerbi camp at Finale.

    I've missed a great deal of our tour out - Piazza Armerina amazing Roman Mosaics, Corleone - 193 Mafia murders, etc etc but you need to make your own discoveries. Sicily has a lot to offer - hugely varied - try and get into the inland mountains. If your there in February go to Acireale for Carnivale it's beyond description!!

    Can't do anymore - it will all be in my next book!!

    Have a great trip - let me know how you get on.
    :BigGrin:
    Keith
     
  11. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    Bravo Sicily

    Keith, that's exceptional thank you and yes I will keep in contact.

    How can we not go there now, it sounds magical when viewed close up and of course it would have been influenced by so many cultures.

    I think from your description we must ensure that we are there for Carnivale in February, that will give us a fixed point to build a trip around.

    Please let everybody know when your book is finished, we are first in the queue for it.

    Thanks for taking the time, it's very inspirational.



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