Between dazzling historic churches, mouthwatering markets, and sandy beaches, there’s plenty to do in Palermo. But if you’re itching to explore beyond the Sicilian capital, try these rewarding day trips—and still get back in time for dinner.
Monreale — 8 miles (13 km) away
Nestled just above Palermo on the slopes of Monte Caputo, Monreale boasts a 12th-century cathedral adorned with glittering gold mosaics that outshine even Palermo’s Palatine Chapel. Definitely worth a visit, the cathedral’s gilded interior and well-preserved Norman-Byzantine architecture earned it a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Cefalu — 48 miles (78 km) away
Located an easy hour east of Palermo by road, Cefalu is a popular seaside escape for locals and visitors alike during summer. Enjoy a break from the bustle of Palermo on a stroll through the quaint, historic city center, and stake your spot on the gorgeous beach when the weather’s nice.
Segesta — 50 miles (81 km) away
Venture inland to Segesta to explore Sicily’s ancient Greek roots at the ruins of a Doric temple dating back to the fifth century BC, as well as a Greek theater. The whole area is rich in archaeological treasures, with Norman ruins, a mosque, and an Islamic necropolis also unearthed by excavations.
Erice — 63 miles (102 km) away
Travel about two hours toward Trapani to reach medieval Erice, perched atop a mountain of the same name and the ruins of a Phoenician city. Wander the cobblestone streets, visit a Norman castle, and marvel at a piece of the ancient city wall. You can also glide down to Trapani in a cable car for a taste of western Sicily and stellar views of the Mediterranean.
Agrigento — 89 miles (143 km) away
For an even deeper expedition into Italy’s ancient heritage, head to Agrigento and the UNESCO-listed Valley of the Temples. The largest archaeological site in the world, it encompasses seven Greek temples and other ruins, including the amazingly intact Temple of Concordia. Learn about the site’s fascinating history and browse artifacts at the Archaeological Museum of Agrigento.