How do I get to Cefalù?

Cefalù is about halfway along the north coast of Sicily on the main A20 highway. If you are driving, it is not a good idea to take a car into the heart of Cefalù, you may want to contact your hotel and ask about parking information prior to arrival.

Cefalù is within reach of the international airport at Palermo, which is served by direct budget flights from the UK. The two towns are connected by the Autostrada 20 and also by a railway line (with trains approximately hourly). Palermo airport to Cefalù will take about one and a half hours.

Several buses a day run to/from Castelbuono and Palermo from outside Cefalù's train station, the journey is about one hour. The railway station is in walking distance of the historic center and beaches.

There are 8 trains daily from Rome (10.5–12 hr); and 10 - 12 trains daily from Messina (2.5 - 4 hr). There are at least hourly trains from Palermo (45 - 75 min).

In the summer, a few hydrofoils run to Palermo and the Aeolian Island.

How do I get around by bus?

Urban buses provide transport within Cefalù, and more bus services link the town with surrounding towns and villages.

Is Cefalù a walking city?

Yes, Cefalù is small enough to walk around.

I will have a car in Cefalù, where can I park?

Once in Cefalù, park along either side of Via Roma is free, or pay about €1 per hour for a spot within one of the two lots signposted from the main street; both are within an easy walk of the town`s medieval center.

How do I get around by taxi?

Taxis are one of the easiest way to get about and take advantage of the city`s history-rich surroundings. Cefalù Taxi (tel. 0921-422554) operates the taxis, most of which can be found clustered at Piazza Stazione or Piazza Colombo.

Is Cefalù a dangerous city?

Cefalù (and Sicily in general) is a safe town to visit - a resort town. Nevertheless, you should always take precautions when traveling, ie., keep your passport in your hotel safe if you can, don`t carry a great deal of cash, be vigilant about your own safety and beware of pickpockets. It is always recommended to avoid walking alone at night and in remote areas. Use the same street smarts that you would use in any large city worldwide.

Can I pay/tip in US dollars?

The currency used in Cefalù (and the rest of Italy) is the euro (€), US dollars are not accepted. We suggest to exchange some money before the trip and have some euros on you since the rate will be a lot higher on the spot and no currency other than euro is accepted.

It is also useful to remind your bank and credit card company that you will be travelling to make sure your cards will work while in Italy. We recommend you record all your credit card numbers, as well as the phone numbers to call if your cards are lost or stolen.

Under the euro system, there are seven notes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 euros. Notes are the same for all countries. There are eight coins: 1 and 2 euros, plus 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents.

Rates fluctuate, so before departing consult a currency exchange website such as www.xe.com to check up-to-the-minute rates.

For more information about tipping visit: Tipping in Italy

What is the weather like in Sicily? When is the best time to go?

The best time to visit Sicily is from May to June or September to October. These late spring and early fall months typically offer beautiful temperatures in the 70s. As such, these are the most popular times to visit, as well as the most expensive. If you plan a July or August vacation, you`ll contend with fewer crowds, fewer open businesses and high temperatures that can reach the triple digits. Still, if you can take the heat, you can find deals. Winter temps are typically in the 50`s; you can find greatly reduced hotel rates, however, swimming and beach days are out.

We recommend traveling to Cefalù during the early fall when temperatures are still hot and weather is still dry but hotels are a lot cheaper (about half the normal price than August). Average temperatures hover in the low 80s, just a bit colder than the average 85°F you would get during high season.

The beaches are jam-packed, and temperatures can rise up into the high 90`s, and even reach over 100 degrees. It`s far better to come during spring, when the hillsides are filled of flowers, or autumn, when you will often be greeted with warm, sunny weather, and crowd-free sands.

I don`t speak Italian. Will many people speak English?

The official language spoken in Cefalù is Italian. If you don`t speak Italian we suggest learning at least a few Italian words and phrases before you arrive. This will come in handy in more remote parts of Sicily. Even if you do speak Italian, you might not understand everything the Sicilians are saying to each other, since they may be speaking the local dialect (actually a distinct language), but they all speak Italian. We suggest you get a good English-Italian and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1-10.

What is the food like?

Cefalù, Italy may be a relatively small town, but thanks to its beautiful location and rich history, it has become one of the island`s most popular tourist destinations and hosts a charming community of restaurants to boot. There are plenty of seafront terrace restaurants along Via Bordonaro in the old town center, many of these cater only to tourists. If you see a menu in about 12 different languages, we recommend to keep on looking. Despite being packed with restaurants, Cefalù does not generally offer great value for money.

From arancini (fried rice balls) to schiacciata or sfincione (this region`s version of pizza or focaccia), Cefalù, and Sicily in general, is a street food lover`s paradise! Sicilian food comes with the strong flavors of the southern Mediterranean, introduced by the ancient Greeks, and the sophistication of the Arabs who ruled Sicily in the 10th-century. It is based upon a unique blend of influences from the island`s complex history.

Sicilians are renowned for their sweets - colorful marzipan creations, ricotta cannoli (ricotta anything!), cassata, granita or gelato filled brioche, you name it! Try a cannolo or a cassata al forno (like a baked cheesecake or ricotta pie filled with choc chips).

What are the best areas for shopping?

The town`s most stylish shops are in Corso Ruggero, while the parallel Via Vittorio Emanuele, which runs close to the sea, offers restaurants, bars, and numerous souvenir shops.

Note: Value-added tax (VAT) rate is currently 22% in Italy for standard goods. Travelers outside the EU can claim back sales tax on purchases over €155 if they have bought from shops displaying the `tax free` shopping sign.

What should I do if I need medical assistance or need to go to the hospital?

Police, dial 112

Ambulance, dial 113

For first aid, tel. 0921-424544; and for Guardia Medica, tel. 0921-423623 (open daily 8 pm to 8 am and located at Via Roma 15). Hospital - The Cefalù Hospital - San Raffaele is at Contrada Pietrapollastra (tel. 0921-920111).