Tips for Palermo mini-bus and coach tourism

Useful tips for Palermo bus groups with ‘what to see’ and ‘what to do’ items and  ‘bus- friendly’ or must see tourist sites in Palermo. Check our list of attractions before planning your bus tour with a stop or departure in Palermo. Let us know if your favourite attraction or ‘bus-stop’ is not there and you think we should add it to our list of Palermo highlights.

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Palermo, Villa Giulia

Palermo, Villa Giulia credit: Harvey Barrison CC BY-SA 2.0

What to see during your group tour in Palermo with rented coach bus or mini bus

If your mind plans to rent a bus or minibus for tours in Palermo and surrounding areas, we recommend the following spots/attractions that you must not forget to include in your group tour (as well as a hat and many bottles of water if you do it in summer, of course):

The Palermo Cathedral:

How could you not start your tour at the Cathedral, or Duomo, if in any Italian city it tends to be a jewel of architecture? Palermo is no exception, and its main temple dates back to the 12th century and was build in Gothic-Catalan style. The Cathedral is located on Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the city's main street.

Palazzo dei Normanni:

Another Italian classic are the palaces, and this one in Palermo is one of the most sumptuous in the country. It was built on an Arab fortification of the 11th century, and attests to the wealth of the Norman rulers who lived in it. The Church and the Royal apartments are decorated with stunning Byzantine mosaics. The Palazzo dei Normanni is situated in the Piazza Indipendenza, in the heart of the city. Leaves your mini bus or coach in the parking near the Cathedral.

The Palazzo dei Normanni Palermo

The Palazzo dei Normanni Palermo credit: Harvey Barrison CC BY-SA 2.0

Tower Piraino / Stanze Genie:

This unique museum contains examples of Sicilian and Neapolitan old tiles as well as other small works of art. It is situated within a beautiful Palace called Tower Piraino, that is also worth a visit.

Fontana Pretoria:

Another Italian classic are the ornamental fountains, some of them so famous that they appear in movies. In Palermo there is a lovely fountain, surrounded by beautiful palaces, in which you can make a (bus) stop along the way and enjoy the shade while you take some photos. The Fontana Pretoria is in the square of the same name, in the old quarter of the city.

Fontana Pretoria

Fontana Pretoria credit: Matteo Arco CC BY-ND 2.0

Walking through the popular markets of Palermo:

If you want to leave behind your bus driver, the old stones like churches and monuments and enjoying the outdoors than one of the most interesting attractions of the city are its markets. Especially the Ballarò (of fish) market in the Vicolo del Carmelo, and the Vucciria (fruit and vegetables market) in the Cathedral quarter. The colourful characteristics and the essence of the city seem to concentrate there and if you prefer to shop at night to escape the heat, the Borgo Vechio, next to the port, opens also at night.

Mercato di Ballarò. Palermo, Sicilia (Italia)

Mercato di Ballarò. Palermo, Sicilia (Italia) credit: Juan Antonio F. Segal CC BY 2.0

A meal in Palermo:

After visiting the markets your appetite will be arisen and you are now looking forward to meeting the cuisine of Palermo, which is rich, varied and very tasty. From the most delicious cakes, not suitable for anyone on a diet, to traditional dishes such as the "arancino" (breaded and fried rice balls, stuffed with mozzarella and peas). You can enjoy a menu of typical dishes at the Trattoria ai Cascinari (address: Via D'Ossuna, 43). For a more than reasonable price you can invite your bus driver.

Ristorante Capricci di Sicilia - Palermo

Ristorante Capricci di Sicilia - Palermo credit: gnuckx CC BY 2.0

Baths and relax on the beaches of Palermo

Unless you have chosen the winter to make your bus tour in Sicily, you will want to take a bath one day on some of its beaches, one of its most popular attractions.

sicily-palermo-mondello

sicily-palermo-mondello credit: Marek Lenik CC BY-ND 2.0

Beach of Cefalù:

At one hour from Palermo city via the A19 motorway, you will find waters of turquoise colour, a very white and very fine sand on a kilometre of beach. Enjoy and escape a the Palermo heat (especially with an umbrella, of course). If you are in the middle of August, it is one of the beaches most appreciated and frequented by the inhabitants of the area and therefore it’s not likely to be empty.

Lascari Beach:

If you want to escape the crowds, this is another beach which is much less crowded than the previous, and it is also at an hour drive from Palermo along the A19 road towards Taormina. It’s known for its beauty and its calm, even in the busiest periods of the summer. It’s also a preferred destination for naturists so, either you leave your swimming suit or bikini in your bag or you try to look the other way. Before taking your group or a bus full of tourists to this beach make sure you all feel the same about the 'nudist' topic. It may result in a particular situation if half of the group in your bus enjoys the freedom of bathing ‘naturally' and the other half feels uncomfortable with so much nudity around.

Isola Bella-Taormina-Messina-Sicilia-Italy

Isola Bella-Taormina-Messina-Sicilia-Italy credit: gnuckx CC BY 2.0

By autobus or by foot in Palermo?       

Palermo is a large city, with many trips to make and distances to travel, sometimes with quite high temperatures and a relentless sun. So if your group does not consist of fans of 'desert marathons' we advise you to have a bus or mini bus nearby with a good air-conditioning. If this is the case it should be agreed with your bus driver not to be to far away from your group. You will appreciate having a shelter with air conditioning and be able to sit down and rest in a cool bus after walking and bathing on the beach.

City tours in Palermo

You can rent a bus in Palermo for tours in the city or in Sicily region. Palermo is a large city full of things to do and atractions to visit, and it can also be very warm in the summer months. So, it won't be bad idea to enjoy the comfort of a rented mini bus with air conditioning. At the end of the tour, you must not forget the gastronomic delights of Sicily, undoubtedly one of its main attractions.

In terms of nightlife, it must be said that Palermo is very lively, and it offers many possibilities. In summer, the night will be one of the best moments of the day, no doubt, and you can enjoy some wine and a plate of pasta before going on with the party.

Teatro Massimo - Palermo Italy

Teatro Massimo - Palermo Italy credit: gnuckx CC BY 2.0

Tourism in the city of Palermo

Palermo immediately evokes beautiful coast landscapes, historical legacy and the stories that come to us from mafia films. Therefore, the city attracts a huge number of tourists a year, and has a network of road transportation that connects it with the rest of the island comfortably.

Villa Giulia, Palermo

Villa Giulia, Palermo credit: Harvey Barrison CC BY-SA 2.0

Tours in the city of Palermo

You can rent a bus in Palermo to move quickly around its different points of interest, and also to have refreshing breaks if you visit it in summer. Among the most essential things to visit in Palermo we can mention the Cathedral, the churches of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio and Santa Maria della Catena, the Piazza Pretoria or Piazza della Vergogna, the Palazzo dei Normanni and the island of Ustica.

Catedral de Palermo

Catedral de Palermo credit: Leandro Neumann Ciuffo CC BY 2.0

Tours in Sicily

When we think of Sicily we all remember the mobsters from the film The Godfather, because all the Corleone family comes from the island. We associate it with a stony place where many orange trees grow and where drug lords return to rest some time and forget about their crimes. Obviously, the Italian island is much more than that.

The region of Sicily is the largest of all forming Italy, and it enjoys a special status. With its five million inhabitants, it is the island with the highest population density, after the small Malta. Its tourist importance is very large, so mucho so, that when the young aristocrats of the nineteenth century made his European tour - the Grand Tour – they used to finish it on the island. Ah, do not forget that its inhabitants, besides Italian, speak Sicilian, so do not panic if you do not understand at all!

 Taormina, Sicilia - Italia

Taormina, Sicilia - Italia credit: Eduardo M. CC BY 2.0

For your tour with private transport in a rented bus or coach with driver around Sicily for your holiday, we recommend that you organize yourselves as soon as possible, and that you plan your itinerary as much as possible to avoid the unexpected. It is the best way to maximize the time that you will have. In your tour with private transportation in a car with driver in Sicily you may include visits of all kinds, including a trip to a wonderful Greek temple like the Concordia in Agrigento, beaches considered among the best in the world like the rabbits one in Lampedusa, or an impeccably preserved Roman villa such as the Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina.

PIAZZA_ARMERINA

PIAZZA_ARMERINA credit: Vincenzo Fileccia CC BY-SA 2.0

Tours around Sicily and its islands 

If your family or your group have already visited the capital of the island but you still have time to continue your journey, here we suggest a number of ideas to organize some tours or excursions around Sicily. What is certain is that if you are traveling through this place, you should like the beach and the sea, plus ancient history.

Minibus route to the volcano Etna

The Etna and its frequent eruptions make the landscape worth a visit, no doubt, and to climb its 2,800 meters, it is compulsory to do it in a comfortable minibus.

Etna Volcano Paroxysmal Eruption Jan 12 2011

Etna Volcano Paroxysmal Eruption Jan 12 2011 credit: gnuckx CC BY 2.0

Visit to the Temple of Concord

One of the nicest features of Sicily is that it combines amazing beaches and great weather with an impressive cultural and historical heritage. Therefore, if you like such visits, you will be happy visiting the Temple of Concord, in Agrigento, undoubtedly one of the jewels of Sicily that you should not miss at all. Dating from 430 BC, approximately, it is not known to whom it was dedicated, but by its date and state of optimal preservation, it is one of the most important sacred buildings of the Greek world.

 Temple of concord, Agrigento

Temple of concord, Agrigento credit: Sarah Murray CC BY-SA 2.0

Rabbits beach (Spiaggia dei conigli)

 Isola dei Conigli a Lampedusa

Isola dei Conigli a Lampedusa credit: Lucio Sassi CC BY-SA 2.0

Clearly, you cannot be in Sicily without a swim in one of the amazing beaches that border it. Also, if you go to this place in summer, you will be quite thankful for it! Among all the bays that you can choose from, one of the most valued by everyone who visits Sicily is undoubtedly the Beach of Rabbits (Spiaggia dei Conigli) in Lampedusa, an island belonging to the archipelago of the Pelagie Islands. Obviously, for this refreshing visit you will have to park your bus or minibus and take the boat in the summer months which makes frequent trips to Lampedusa.

Tell your driver to take you away from the island capital, Palermo, to the small town of Piazza Armerina, at about three hour drive along the A19 motorway. There you can visit a Roman villa of great importance, both for its size and its state of preservation, as for its famous mosaics, perfectly preserved by a timely flood that covered them with a layer of mud. The villa dates back to the early fourth century, and judging by its majesty and wealth it had to belong to a wealthy patrician. In any case, the contemplation of the mosaics is well worth the visit.

Villa Romana del Casale

Villa Romana del Casale credit: Andrew Malone CC BY 2.0

More about Palermo

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