Off-season at its finest: Sicily

Ever book a trip and think, this must be a scam? Prices so low even yo cheap ass thinks it’s too good to be true? I am talking about a 300 euro all-inclusive vacation for one week to Sicily: flight (from Amsterdam), hotel, transfer, food and drink.

It was so chilly in Amsterdam so we just needed some sun and the average forecast in Sicily, according to some sketchy website, was 18-25 degrees during October so we were thrilled. Thrilled and poor.

Correndon is maybe a Turkish airline (it’s not), but it didn’t matter since I flew with them before so I knew they actually existed which was a great start to the trip! My travel buddy, however, was sceptical since she had never heard of them. When we boarded, she questioned if there were enough oxygen masks for everyone. Nonsense, the plane is similar to Ryan Air except they give you mini mints at the end so don’t get your knickers in a twist.

After an hour’s bus ride from the Catania airport, we arrived in Lido di Noto. The hotel was actually clean and the meals edible so we were in heaven.

It was a good thing our idea of a cool party is drinking a glass of water with ice before we go to bed at 9:30 pm because there is nothing near the President Sea Palace Hotel except for the pool and beach (which closes). So I would advise you to bring a deck of cards or a book unless you like watching Italian television. Also, renting a car from the hotel is costly so we just stared at the brochure instead of spending money.

During the set meal times, there was a variety of food choices which was nice and we didn’t get diarrhoea from it which was a pleasant surprise. There was an automated drink dispenser that had water, juices, beer and wine. The wine tasted like mouldy soured grape juice but the limoncello served at the bar was good. Does your coca cola taste weird? If you answer like medicine, then you are in the right place!

Near Lido di Noto is the town of Noto. There was a public bus from the hotel which took 15-20 minutes. We didn’t know what stop to get off at but when we arrived the bus driver who didn’t speak English stood up and pointed to the bus door and said OKAY! really loudly so we knew it was time to get off. Noto is pretty. It has a few good gelato places (Caffè Costanzo. I tried the other highly rated one on TripAdvisor but I preferred this one) and nice lunch spots (Sabbinirica) but there isn’t much there. Basically one main street so if you are taking public transport, plan it properly or you may be sitting on a park bench for 1.5 hours dying of thirst but not wanting to pay outrageous amounts for a bottle of water.

We went on an excursion which cost 23 euros. We took a bus for 45 minutes and arrived at a Greek ruin site, only to be told we had to pay an additional 10 euros to enter so we choose to just chill outside the gate… for an hour until the tour was done. This tour was to Siracusa and the Greek amphitheatre which is nearby. Siracusa is really charming and a super sweet town right on the water. Too bad we only had an hour to see it so we missed half of it but I can imagine seeing the sunset right on the water would have been more lovely than not seeing it from a parking lot because the tour buses blocked your view. Cannoli Del Re is unreal delicious for cannoli. I bought multiple 2-euro cannolis instead of spending 2 euros to enter a nearby church. Tasty sins.

We took another excursion which again they didn’t give us enough time to see everything but it was magic. We went to Mt. Etna, where it SNOWED. I was in sandals. I literally went from doing cannonballs in the pool to throwing snowballs the next day. I was under-dressed and unimpressed with my silliness. Originally, we wanted to hike around the craters but it was too dangerous and we were told we only had 20 minutes since the bus may get stuck in the snow if we took too long. Then we went to Taormina. This place is GORGEOUS. I am talking Greek amphitheatre overlooking the Mediterranean with a hilltop town. Definitely must see.

There is some other awesome stuff to see on the island but you need a car for sure.

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