Sicily Airports

Which airport to fly to, and onward travel possibilities – a guide

Sicily’s two principal cities are Palermo (the regional capital), in the west, and Catania in the east, and each has an airport. Both are served by flights from the UK, although these are seasonal and frequency varies. The route from the UK and other northern locations is very scenic: Palermo offers sea views and dramatic landings alongside hills, and flights to Catania take a route around the huge snow-capped, steaming bulk of Etna, Sicily’s great volcano.

Budget airline Ryanair also fly to Trapani airport in the far west of the island from many European destinations, though UK-Trapani flights are limited in number. The airport is also a military base.

The airports are all close to towns/cities and all have good bus connections – check their websites for the latest details of bus services and timetables.

Catania airport

Palermo Airport (PMO)

Palermo Airport is the most convenient Sicily airport for UK travellers who are looking for more frequent flights, convenience for visiting the island’s capital. Most flights, though are to/from other Italian destinations, including the holiday islands of Lampedusa and Pantelleria. The airport is named Aeroporto Falcone Borsellino (after two anti-Mafia investigators assassinated in 1992), and is located at Punta Raisa, about 30km from the city. Half-hourly buses run from the airport into Palermo, to Stazione Centrale. Less frequent buses run to Agrigento (two per day) and to Trapani (one per day). The airport’s official website has useful bus timetable info.

Catania Airport (CTA)

Catania Fontanarossa Airport is only 5km from the lively city of Catania. A bus service (Alibus) connects the airport with the town’s Via Etnea and Stazione Centrale frequently and cheaply, so it’s a very convenient airport to use even if your flight is late or early (which they tend to be). I usually spend at least one night in Catania if my flight isn’t well-timed for onward travel – it’s an interesting city and it’s easy to find things to do.

There are also direct bus services from the airport to the biggest tourist destinations in this part of Sicily, Taormina and Siracusa. Catania is the also best airport when you’re visiting the Aeolian islands – there are fast direct buses from the airport to the port in Milazzo for ferries to the islands.

Trapani Airport

Doubling as a NATO base, Trapani Birgi Airport was at one point closed for military operations. Close to the coastal town of Trapani, it’s useful for those who want to spend a holiday or start a tour on Sicily’s western coast. Local destinations include the Egadi islands, Erice, Marsala and San Vito lo Capo. There are also flights to the island of Pantelleria.

The airport is connected by bus with the centre of Trapani, with Palermo and by a long-distance service to Agrigento.

Other travel options

If you are travelling to Sicily from other parts of Italy, you can choose from trains and ferries as well as air travel. Flights connect Sicily with most of the major Italian cities. For more on trains, ferries and travel within Sicily, see the Transport section.