The Sicilian capital is an unmissable stop on any trip to Sicily: you cannot say that you have done a complete tour if you have not passed through Palermo! Furthermore, the city is an excellent compromise between nature and culture, and a good base from which to start discovering its surroundings.
In the immediate vicinity there are places rich in testimonies of ancient cities and other natural places of enchanting beauty such as reserves and salt pans, as well as of course breathtaking beaches that, you know, abound in Sicily!
Here are what they are the best day trips around Palermo!
- Zingaro Nature Reserve
- Monreale and Mondello
- Segesta and Erice
- Archaeological Area of Solunto
- Marsala, Island of Mozia and the Saline
- The Valley of the Temples and Agrigento
- Corleone and Bosco della Ficuzza
- User questions and comments
1 - Riserva dello Zingaro
Very famous protected natural area 73,9 kilometers from Palermo which extends between Scopello and San Vito lo Capo offering varied landscapes and enchanting beaches. Once in the city it will not be difficult to find an organized tour that takes you to discover the unspoiled nature of this beautiful place made of paths, cliffs, caves, beaches, coves and crystal clear sea where the most popular activity is snorkeling in the clear waters and colorful backdrops.
Coming from Palermo, the entrance to the reserve is from Scopello, a small town where the tours include a stop at the end of the day for a snack with the typical cunzato bread. Within the reserve there are three paths to cross it, the coastal path, the mid-slope path and the high path, each of different duration and level of difficulty. Enjoy long walks alternating them with relaxing stops between the beautiful sandy beaches of Cala Marinella, Cala dell'Uzzo, Cala Berretta and Cala Capreria, just to name a few!
- Range: 73,9 km
- the ideal would be to travel by car otherwise from Palermo you would have to make several changes between trains and buses and then complete the journey by taxi, taking over 3 hours. By car, on the other hand, it can be reached in an hour and a half via the A29 motorway to Castellammare del Golfo, then following the signs for Scopello - Get directions
- open every day from 7:00 to 19:30, organized tours last about 10 hours with departure in the early morning and return in the late afternoon
- admission to the reserve costs € 5,00 full and € 3,00 reduced, while the prices of the organized tours start from € 100,00 and include transfer, entrance, tour guide and lunch
- From Palermo: sea and nature to the Zingaro Reserve
2 - Monreale and Mondello
A day between Monreale and Mondello is the perfect combination of architecture and relaxation, that's why often the two destinations are included in the same tour, both from organized tours and independently.
Monreale is just 20 minutes from Palermo, the archbishop's seat full of religious sites. The structure that most attracts is the beautiful Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria Nuova, built in 1174 and revisited several times over the centuries, so much so that today it has architectural elements of different styles such as Baroque, Renaissance, Aragonese, Norman and Byzantine . Of the latter there are many mosaics that decorate the interior and have contributed to the inclusion in the Arab-Norman itinerary of Palermo, Cefalù and Monreale established by Unesco.
At the end of the visit of Monreale it is time to discover Mondello, the renowned maritime district 12 kilometers from Palermo where there is a huge former Art Nouveau bathhouse. And to top it off, enjoy the long sandy beach equipped with every service by relaxing or participating in boat rides and practicing water sports and snorkeling.
- Range: 12 km Monreale / 12 km Mondello
- given the short distances between the areas, even in this case a car is recommended to avoid the numerous changes and long laps of public transport. However, the 389 bus reaches Monreale (Get directions), while to get to Mondello you have to go back to Palermo and take line 806 (Get directions)
- the Cathedral of Monreale is open every day from 08:30 to 12:45 and from 14:30 to 17:30, while the Mondello beach is always accessible
- bus tickets cost € 1,40 each way
- Mondello Coast: Exclusive Tour with Lunch from Palermo From Palermo: Monreale Cathedral Private Tour
3 - Segesta and Erice
Segesta and Erice are two small Sicilian pearls included in a panoramic and cultural tour in the footsteps of the Elimi, the oldest Sicilian population, both located just over an hour from Palermo.
Segesta is an ancient city rich in archaeological sites, while Erice is a small town of medieval origin built on the top of the homonymous mountain. Usually the first part of the day is dedicated to the Archaeological Area of Segesta whose itinerary will make you discover the ruins of a temple, a theater, a sanctuary, an agora and a medieval area, all enclosed by mighty walls bequeathed by the Greeks and Romans as a testimony of their passage.
Immediately after we move to Erice admiring the scenic beauties that arise during the journey towards the mountain with extraordinary views of the coast and the mountains of San Giuliano. Not to be missed in Erice are the Cyclopean Walls, the Castle of Venus, the Pepoli Castle and the Castle, the Towers and the Balio Garden, as well as of course the characteristic streets of the historic center, ancient and rich in popular culture with local craft shops and Sicilian gastronomic delicacies.
- Range: 91 km
- from Palermo you can reach Segesta with a direct bus from the Tarantola Bus company (Get directions) and always with the same company you move from Segesta to Trapani and then continue with the cable car to Erice (Get directions)
- the Archaeological Area of Segesta is open every day from 9:00 to 17:00
- the entrance to the Archaeological Area of Segesta costs € 6,00, buses about € 10,00 in total, the cable car costs € 6,50 round trip
- Segesta, Erice and the salt flats: 1 day tour from Palermo Erice: private half day tour
4 - Cefalù
Always a renowned seaside resort, Cefalù is an unmissable day trip for anyone who is in the capital, from which it is only an hour away. Although famous for its beaches, the town also offers history and architecture, clearly visible for example in the Norman Cathedral. It is the main place of worship but also the greatest attraction. The building dates back to the 2015th century and since is part of the Arab-Norman itinerary of Palermo, Cefalù and Monreale of Unesco. The structure seen from the outside is very reminiscent of a fortress, also thanks to its two high towers that overlook the landscape, but inside there is a succession of extraordinary Byzantine mosaics that give it style and elegance.
Another interesting attraction of Cefalù is the Museo Mandralisca with an archaeological theme with permanent and temporary exhibitions and a picture gallery. But we know well that if we talk about Cefalù you are already thinking about the beaches! A kilometer and a half of coastline awaits you a few steps from the historic center to make you relax and have fun on its beautiful equipped beaches, ideal for both children and sportsmen.
- Range: 70,1 km
- by regional train from Palermo to Cefalù central station or by SAIS company bus - Get directions
- the Cathedral of Cefalù is open every day from 8:30 to 18:30
- the train and bus cost € 5,00 each way, the entrance to the Cathedral costs € 3,00, tours start from € 60,00 - book online
- Monreale and Cefalù: half day tour from Palermo
5 - Archaeological Area of Solunto
Fans of ancient history cannot miss a trip to the Archaeological Area of Solunto, located just 30 minutes from Palermo, rich in historical remains and artifacts that reveal the origins of this almost forgotten city. In fact, the area is not very well known and yet it is a really interesting site from a historical point of view as the city has ancient origins and a long history, in fact it starts from its construction in the th century BC by the Phoenicians up to be inhabited by Greeks and Romans until the third century AD Inside the park you feel practically catapulted back in time walking along uninhabited and deserted streets observing the remains of theaters, temples, places of prayer and places of entertainment such as a gym and spa, all embellished with columns, mosaics on the floors and frescoes on the walls.
Also worth visiting is the Antiquarium, also within the archaeological area, where various artifacts found during excavations carried out throughout the site are preserved. Finally, to end the visit in the best possible way, enjoy the wide view of the Sicilian coast.
- Range: 18,1 km
- by train from Palermo to Santa Flavia station, then you have to walk for 15 minutes or by taxi - Get directions
- it is open every day from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 to 18:30
- entrance to the site costs € 4,00 full price and € 2,00 reduced, the train costs € 2,00 each way
6 - Marsala, Island of Mozia and the Saline
Another interesting tour that will keep you busy the whole day is that of Marsala and its historical and natural sites, as well as of course gastronomic given the fame of its wines.
Marsala is located 106 kilometers from Palermo and the ideal would be to reach it by car to be more free to move. First of all, a visit to Marsala can only begin with its historic center where the Archaeological Museum, Porta Garibaldi, the Crispia Salvia Hypogeum, the Flemish Museum, the Church of Purgatory and extraordinary elegant buildings are located.
Ma the real point of interest of Marsala is its lagoon, a regional nature reserve in which the Saline and the Stagnone Islands are located, among which there is Mozia. The salt pans are a natural spectacle formed by waters with a high salt concentration where there is certainly the Salt Museum to find out more! Mozia is instead an island founded by the Phoenicians and included in Unesco because of its territory entirely considered an archaeological park. To conclude the visit of Marsala, there are many wineries to visit where you can enjoy an excellent wine tasting, such as the Florio, Martinez and Pellegrino wineries.
- Range: 106 km
- with the direct bus of the Autoservizi Salemi company or by train, changing in Piraineto - Get directions
- the bus costs € 50,00 each way, the train € 10,00 each way
- From Palermo: Private Wine and West Sicily Tour
7 - The Valley of the Temples and Agrigento
Another day dedicated to lovers of history and discovery is the one in the Valley of the Temples, the archaeological area of Agrigento which corresponds to the ancient Greek city of Akragas, located 124 kilometers from Palermo.
This site has now become the symbol of the city and its main tourist attraction, as well as declared a regional park and since 1997 also a World Heritage Site. It is characterized by the number of temples it includes but above all by theexcellent state of conservation which these have maintained over the centuries, practically a paradise for lovers of ancient history. Inside, in an area of 1.300 hectares which makes it the largest archaeological site in the world, there are a series of Doric temples such as the Temple of Zeus, Heracles, Athena and Isis! Moreover, after the visit of the Valley of the Temples, complete the day in the historic center of Agrigento among its equally ancient streets and surrounded by stone buildings, but do not miss above all the panoramic view that the city offers from above over the entire valley, a landscape like few others: the coast and the sea, the greenery all around and the temples that pop up in the panorama!
- Range: 124 km
- by train with the regional direct from Palermo to Agrigento or with the Cuffaro company bus also direct - Get directions
- the archaeological site is open every day from 8:30 to 19:00
- the train costs € 8,00 each way, the bus € 9,00 each way, the entrance to the site costs € 10,00 full and € 5,00 reduced, the complete tours start from € 50,00
- Agrigento and Valley of the Temples: 1 day tour from Palermo Agrigento: entrance ticket to the Valley of the Temples
8 - Bagheria
Bagheria is located just half an hour from Palermo, easily accessible and can be visited independently! It is the town where in 2009 the film Baaria was set, which recounted important historical moments in the political, economic and social fields of Sicily in the 50s.
In addition to this, Bagheria is known for being the birthplace of several talents such as the director Giuseppe Tornatore, the poet Ignazio Buttitta, the photographer Ferdinando Scianna and the painter and politician Renato Gattuso.
A day in Bagheria will fascinate you for sure! Among the streets of its historic center you can breathe art and history, between splendid churches such as the Madrice Church and the Church of the Sepulcher, interesting museums such as the one dedicated to the painter Gattuso, the Acciuga Museum and the Toy and Wax Museum eighteenth century baroque. Above all, Villa Palagonia stands out, known as the "Villa dei Mostri", an eighteenth-century residence characterized by eccentric and grotesque statues of monsters.
And to conclude with a flourish, a little relaxation on the golden Aciddara and Kafara beaches or a walk on the promontory of Capo Zafferano which offers a magnificent view of the coast and Bagheria.
- Range: 15,7 km
- Bagheria is well connected to Palermo by several daily trains that reach it directly and in a short time - Get directions
- the train costs € 1,70 each way. Entrance to Villa Palagonia is allowed from 9:00 to 13:00 and from 16:00 to 19:00 with guided tours by reservation at 091-932088 or by email at email@example.com
9 - Corleone and Bosco della Ficuzza
Corleone is a renowned Sicilian town an hour's drive from Palermo which unfortunately owes its fame to the unpleasant events related to the mafia. In fact, there are two centers in the country that deal with this theme which certainly deserve a visit: the International Documentation Center on the Mafia and the Anti-Mafia Movement and the Laboratory of Legality Association. However, Corleone is a town that will also fascinate you in its appearance with its eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century buildings in Baroque style and its ancient churches. A few steps from the historic center there is also a marvel of nature like few others: the Waterfalls of the Due Rocche!
The real attraction of Corleone, however, is another, the Bosco delle Ficuzze, a protected nature reserve that hosts a huge evergreen Mediterranean forest. Inside there are plant and animal species such as oaks, chestnuts, maples, gorse and hawthorns, foxes, hares, tortoises, weasels and hedgehogs. The reserve is also rich in streams and natural lakes which make it even more beautiful.
- Range: 50,5 km
- in Corleone there is no train station and can only be reached from Palermo by AST buses, even if the best solution is the car to be able to move independently - Get directions
- Bosco della Ficuzza is open every day from 9:00 to 13:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00
- the entrance to Bosco della Ficuzza is free, the bus to Corleone costs € 4,00 each way
- Corleone: full-day private tour from Palermo