Exploring Sicily – where to fly?

Episode 18 of our European Overland trip 2020

For those who prefer the vlog, it’s – almost – at the bottom… 😉

It is a long drive down south into the booth of Italy and we spend a couple of relaxing days on the beach of Pioppi (you know, of the famous diet) and enjoy the beachlife after the cold and bad weather of the north. There is a relaxed atmosphere on the beach and in the little town.

We did not make reservations for the ferry and just take our changes. We follow the signs and a nice guy helps us out (okay, we could have done without him, but then we wouldn’t have been able to give him a nice tip…) and before we know it we are on the ferry to Messina and continue our roadtrip on the famous island.

We hope to find a free place to park for the night along the coast, but we end up on the first official campsite since weeks in Letojanni. It’s the last weekend of Italian holidays and before we know it we’re almost alone here. We enjoy the cool water and try to get some cool breeze during the night from a small ventilator. It is really getting used to these temperatures and we are surprised that it is still so hot in September.

We notice that paragliders take off somewhere in the mountains behind us, but when we try to reach the launch the road appears to be too small for our Zen Van. But, as the Paragliding app tells us, there are plenty flying sites on the island and we’ve just arrived. So we simply continue our roadtrip and are happy exploring old towns and other interesting sites.

We visit Etna from the south side and enjoy a cool night at 2000 meters. The next morning we are treated to a clear sky and go on a 6 hour hike. We can only go upto 2950 meters, from thereon you’re obliged to take an organized tour. Too bad for all those tourists that did buy a (expensive) ticket, as the top is soon covered in clouds and it’s our guess that there is not a lot to see when they reach it.

When we go sightseeing we try to do this early in the morning because of the heat and try to find a parkingplace next to the beach, or better, on it, hoping for cool nights. During the day there usually is a nice seabreeze, but the wind magically dissapears as soon as the sun sets and another restless night lays ahead.

We go to explore 3 more flying sites. We have to drive small roads, struggle through tight streets with overhanging balconies or roads where the trees are growing through the asphalt. The first one appears to be on private property and we’re not allowed to go there. The second one is covered with bushes and maybe a long time ago one paraglider may have used it. Finally Koos tries to take off from a patch near an abandoned house. Well, check the video how that turned out…

We visit the medieval town of Noto which lies 8 kilometres directly north on Mount Alveria. Best park your camper on a designated parkingarea (or conveniently on the campsite) and walk or cycle up to the town. There are a lot of beautiful buildings such as the town hall and the main church. And if you enjoy elaborate explanations of a guide, take the tuk tuk.

Another must visit is the fisher town of Marzamemi. The centro storico now is one big terrace with seaview. A great place for a nice dinner, but I guess not in the high season… Anyway a great way to finish part one of our trip to Sicily.

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