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Anyone been to Sicily or Sardinia?

(22 Posts)
balia Tue 25-Feb-14 22:05:21

We've been going to Menorca for a couple of years and the family are very happy with it, price-wise and facilities (beaches, peace and quiet, food) but I'm feeling a bit 'done that' and fancy somewhere different. I really fancy Italy and the two islands seem like a good compromise (ie similar to Menorca). Any hints/tips? Will my Menorcan devotees like it?

Furzella Tue 25-Feb-14 22:08:46

We've been to Sicily a cou

PortofinoRevisited Tue 25-Feb-14 22:09:51

Been to Sardinia and loved it. Never been to Menorca though...

Furzella Tue 25-Feb-14 22:13:40

Gah, phone. We've been to Sicily a couple of times and it's amazing but nothing like Menorca. Menorca felt very easy and accessible in comparison, but the food, culture, whole beauty of Sicily is way better. We stayed in a villa just outside Scopello one time when my DDs were smallish (4 and 2 I think). They loved the ice cream and everyone made a huge fuss of them but we did drag them to temples, ruins, etc! If you want a mainly beachy holiday with all the resort facilities, you're probably better with a Greek island, but if you want culture, amazing food and more of an adventure, Sicily would be great. Don't know about Sardinia I'm afraid.

elQuintoConyo Tue 25-Feb-14 22:17:37

Sicily is the dog's bollocks, but quite faded and rough around the edges - that's why we loved it grin

Friends went and hired a car to get around - but roads are so poo that they spent more time driving than actually seeing anything!

Palermo is wonderful, Arabic influences, baroque architecture, medieval churches. Monreale is worth visiting (on a hill a short bus ride away). Mondello beach just outside Palermo is great, and a walk up Monte Pellegrino. The Teatro Massimo in Palermo was used at the end of Godfather 3 for the opera and shoot-out scene.

Agrigento's Valley of the Temples is amazing and relatively tourist-free, although the town itself is far from amazing.

Taormina is lovely, slightly expensive. Fantastic views of the sea and Mount Etna. The amphitheatre there was used in Woody Allen's Mighty Aphrodite.

Ragusa and the south-east meant to be lovely, but we never made it.

ElleDubloo Wed 26-Feb-14 12:56:32

I visited Sardinia with my boyfriend of 5 months (now husband of 3 months) in February 2013. The island was almost completely free of tourists, and we got to wander through quaint little towns and villages by ourselves. We only saw one other person walking around with a camera in one of the towns we went to.

We flew from London to Cagliari airport. We rented a cottage in a remote place by the sea (Funtana Meiga) where we stayed for 1 week. There were beautiful walks locally, but we also had a hire car which allowed us to explore the East side of the island for 2 days.

I remember it as the most romantic holiday I've ever been on. That might have been partially due to the company ;) But Sardinia itself is full of beautiful natural scenery, as well as gorgeous little towns and ancient Italian architecture. The people we met treated us with friendliness and curiosity and overwhelming generosity. It felt like going into another world.

juneau Wed 26-Feb-14 13:02:55

I've been to Sicily twice and would go back in a heartbeat. I wouldn't exactly say it's unspoilt, because thanks to the mafia there are a depressing number of ugly, unfinished, concrete buildings dotting the landscape, and there are parts that are extremely run down and tatty and, I guess, very poor.

However, in terms of the scenery, the people, the amazing turquoise sea, the wild islands, the volcanoes, the Greek temples, and the food (oh my god - the food!), it's probably the most amazing place I've been. It's also one part of Italy that is not especially touristy (unless you to to Taormina, which is). I think Sardinia is more unspoilt, if that's what you're looking for, but I thought Sicily was magical and I can't wait to take my kids.

Abra1d Wed 26-Feb-14 13:06:09

Sardinia is very beautiful. The sea on the Emerald Coast, is just that.

NoArmaniNoPunani Wed 26-Feb-14 13:07:39

I've been to both, preferred Sardinia

Crowler Thu 27-Feb-14 09:03:52

We spent a month in Italy last summer, most of it in Sicily. It is worn around the edges & they are not keen on people who don't speak Italian IMO. It's still very cheap, and we found the service really, really bad.

The exception is Taormina, which is considered the nicest part of Sicily. It is definitely reminiscent of the South of France. We stayed at the Grand Hotel Timeo which was painfully expensive but break-your-heart beautiful.

magimedi Thu 27-Feb-14 09:08:30

When I was in Sicily a couple of years ago we had an early evening drink on the terrace of the Hotel Timeo, looking over Mt Etna.

It was just amazing & I would love to stay there - but as 2 glasses of prosecco came to 32 euros I think I'll be waiting a while!

Crowler Thu 27-Feb-14 09:10:51

Checkout was a shocker.

The pool is to die for.

magimedi Thu 27-Feb-14 09:50:00

Crowler - as a friend of mine always say: "shrouds don't have pockets" grin

Crowler Thu 27-Feb-14 09:56:37

shrouds don't have pockets

Unsurprisingly, I really like this one.

Cakebaker35 Thu 27-Feb-14 10:00:33

I've been to Sardinia and menorca - they are very different. Sardinia is absolutely stunning, very mountainous in the middle with amazing coastline and beaches, some beautiful sand and some more dramatic nod rocky areas. It feels a lot more off the beaten track than menorca, quite a lot of Sardinia is really untouched by tourism so be prepared to have few words of Italian if you venture away from the handful of tourist areas. I absolutely loved Sardinia and would go back in a heartbeat. Menorca was nice too but if you want to get away from it all/from crowds Sardinia is for you.

juneau Thu 27-Feb-14 15:08:12

I should probably add a disclaimer that I speak Italian. I think either island could be difficult if you want to travel around and don't speak the language.

OhYouBadBadKitten Thu 27-Feb-14 15:19:16

How old are your children? I highly recommend going up Etna - you have to book but you get a cable car and a 4 wheel bus thing then you hike around before hiking down. You need good walking boots and if its early in the year hiking sticks as it can be slippery.

balia Thu 27-Feb-14 19:57:31

Thanks for all the opinions - DS's are 7 and 11 but we also take my mum and dad, so thinking it might be a bit adventurous (also not keen on rough round the edges). Another problem is that Mum and I both speak Spanish, which is a real advantage in menorca, obvs, but no Italian...I've also checked into flights and it looks like it would take the best part of a day to get to Sicily? No direct flights...

I'd love to go, for all the reasons above. We stay in a very quiet, very beautiful spot in Menorca. will do some more checking into Sardinia.

balia Thu 27-Feb-14 19:58:10

all the reasons above in other people's posts, not my own!

ElleDubloo Thu 27-Feb-14 21:36:23

We don't speak a word of Italian, and we got by just fine! We just had a guide book which had a few pages of common phrases at the back, which helped. People are friendly and will try to figure out what you're trying to say.

The most embarrassing situation was when I got my period halfway through the holiday and needed to buy sanitary towels. We spent so long in that pharmacy trying to mime and sketch out what we wanted. And all the store assistants and customers were crowding round us trying to figure it out. NB it's surprisingly hard to mime "period". Most people thought I was pregnant.

Tuttora Sat 01-Mar-14 18:18:26

There are direct flights to Sicily btw, start with Ryanair, Easyjet, British Airways, Monarch...

balia Sat 01-Mar-14 18:30:32

Thanks Tuttora - are they from London airports, though? We are in the frozen north.

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