We left the most southern tip of Sicily during a rainstorm and headed slightly inland to visit the chocolate town of Modica. It’s famed for its UNESCO Baroque architecture and an ancient Aztec chocolate recipe, which is pretty much the main reason I wanted to visit.
Some of the chocolate shops on the main street are geared towards tourists and don’t sell the best quality chocolate, so we went off the beaten path to find Il Modicano which sells organic and naturally vegan chocolate. It’s still made using the ancient method; a slow and long cold processing that preserves the sugar crystals, giving it a crunchy texture and a great taste. Full of chocolate, we drove to Marina di Modica and stayed at Camping La Spiaggetta for two nights enjoying stunning sunsets and taking runs along the empty beaches. The ruins of Fornace Penna are definitely worth a gander too.
We were slowly making our way west towards Agrigento and stayed a night each at Torre Mezzo and Lido Panama beach. We spent our days walking or running along the empty beaches and sunbathing in the glorious October sunshine. Finding wild camping spots is really easy in Sicily, we mainly used park4night or just spotted places on Google earth that looked good too. Most of the town’s were deserted as it was out of season so we usually had the places to ourselves.
We took Big Blue slightly off road to get to Punta Bianca beach. A unique place with a white rocky cliff, clear turquoise waters and views up and down the coast. It’s quite hard to get to so it’s not as busy as the Turkish steps making it a perfect place for van life.
The sunsets are unreal in Sicily and every night we’d be treated to absolute belters! We spent the next morning at The Valley of the Temples just outside of Agrigento. We easily parked the van at Porta V parking and took the short walked up into the park. It costs €12 per person but it’s so worth it to see some well preserved Greek temples and statues.
We travelled further west to the Turkish Steps and camped nearby in a free car park. The area is really nice and the beach is ideal for a sunbathe, swim and an evening stroll. You can only view the beautiful, natural staircase from a distance now as they are trying to preserve the unique geological formations, so you can walk along the beach or along the clifftops for panoramic views.
For the next few days, we stayed at a really quiet beach called Bovo Marina then found a lovely spot just outside the village of Marinella di Selinunte. We stayed for a couple of nights and woke up one morning to Sicily changing its Covid rating from green to orange which meant non-essential shops and cafes closed. This gave us the nudge to sadly book our ferry off Sicily to Genoa and start travelling back to the UK. Our MOT was due, we’d lost our job in France and needed to start looking for employment.
We gave ourselves a few more days in Sicily to carry on enjoying the winter sunshine and the freedom of living in Big Blue. We stayed at a campsite in Sferracavallo near Palermo for a few nights to catch up on some van life admin, then we drove back to the peninsula of San Vito Lo Capo to have a few more nights wild camping before we took the overnight ferry from Palermo to Genoa. Doing this meant we didn’t have to drive all the way back up through Italy, which was a shame because that was our original plan. The ferry costs around €130 and takes 21 hours. We booked a cabin which was cosy and the experience was actually really fun, especially watching the sunset and sunrise.
We left Sicily with heavy hearts as it was such a great place for van life. Water was really easy to top up, fuel was pretty cheap and vegan food was easily available. There are loads of places for wild camping and they are easy to find using Google maps or Park4Night. The beaches at this time of year are quiet and the temperature of the sea is still perfect for swimming. If you have a chance to visit Sicily, do! It’s a must. We love you Sicily and we’ll be back one day.