Arrive in Catania International Airport and travel to the city center for a three nights stay in our central “HOTEL”, close to the city’s architecturally treasures. Meet your Sicilian tour manager for a welcome drink followed by dinner in restaurant. Overnight in CATANIA.
After breakfast at our hotel, we depart for Taormina, one of the island’s most ancient towns and most beautiful destinations. On the way you’ll discover the vibrant city of Catania, a city which owes its homogeneous Baroque architecture in gloomy black lava to the last quake of 1693. You’ll visit the Cathedral Of St. Agatha, where the reliquary of the patron saint is housed, Piazza Duomo (Cathedral Square), the Bellini theatre, the Villa Gardens and the lively local fish Market. We continue our journey along the panoramic cyclops coastline to reach a quaint village at the foot of the volcano where a Sicilian family will celebrate you with an included lunch. Following this, we’ll visit the hamlet of Castelmola perched above Taormina from where to enjoy fabulous views over the Ionian coast and Mount Etna. Continue to hillside Taormina for you last 4 nights at a first class HOTEL with breakfast included. Enjoy a welcome drink on arrival and dinner is on your own in one of the local trattoria. Overnight stay in TAORMINA
This morning tour takes you to visit the picturesque mountain village of Savoca, set on the foothills of the Peloritani Mountains. Here you’ll visit the 18th century Bar Vitelli, one of Coppola’s favourite spots and the church of St.Lucia. Continue to the stunning fishing village of Giardini Naxos,the site of the first Greek settlement in Sicily for an included lunch on a private sandy beach. In the early afternoon we continue to Taormina for an orientation tour and a visit to the Greek theatre. Clamped to a rocky bluff planted with cypresses, pines and lush subtropical vegetation, the exquisitely maintained medieval town of Taormina is Sicily’s glitziest and most dramatically situated resort. Taormina’s origin goes back to the time of Dionysus in about 400 BC. It remained an important city during the Greek and Roman periods and the theatre and Odeon still survive as reminders of those times. Taormina boasts a number of elegant mansions and palaces dating back to the Middle Ages, and several interesting churches including the 15th century fortified Cathedral and St Pancras which incorporates part of a Greek Temple. It is also a wonderful setting where to practice the “Dolce Far Niente”(the sweetness of doing nothing) while strolling the charming medieval city centre and enjoy the stupendous views. The evening is on your own for more explorations. Overnight stay in TAORMINA
Brekfast in hotel & Overnight stay in TAORMINA
Breakfast at hotel. Explore the majestic Mount Etna known to the Greeks as a “sky-lifting column” – Etna is the highest and largest volcano in Europe and one of the most active in the world. Currently it rises to 11,000 meters above sea level and literally tower over the Ionian coast of Sicily. Since 1987, its slopes have been part of the Etna Parkland, an area that includes both Alpine forests and the Black Summit. You will climb up to 7,000 feet. We walk on foot to visit the Silvestri Craters and the new lava flow from recent eruptions (further climb to the highest levels to pay locally). Then you will come to the village of Milo to visit a family-run wine cellar where you can enjoy excellent Sicilian wines accompanied by a delicious lunch. Transfer to Syracuse where the night will be spent.
Encapsulating Sicily’s timeless beauty, Syracuse is a dense tapestry of overlapping cultures and civilisations. In the morning, you’ll explore this major outpost of the Greek empire with a local expert. The city boasts an incredible historical heritage, starting from the Archaeological Park, featuring the ancient Greek Theatre now used for classical performances, the Latomie del Paradiso, the largest quarry in the ancient urban settlement and the Ear Of Dionysus, a subterranean artificial cave quarry used as a prison. You’ll see numerous elegant Baroque town houses, rebuilt after the earthquake that severely damaged the city in 1693; the elegant Piazza Duomo, dominated by the cathedral’s baroque facade that is subdivided by columns and the Temple of Athena from the 5th century BC lying behind it. After an included street food experience at the lively market, you’ll be sailing around the fascinating island of Ortigia to discover some of its prehistoric caves (weather permitting).Dinner is included in a local tavern. Overnight in Syracuse
A full day’s journey today takes you south-east to witness the splendours of the Sicilian Baroque architecture, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.In 1693, in the wake of a mighty eruption of Etna, this corner of Sicily was devastated by an earthquake. Towns were rapidly rebuilt out of the glowing local limestone.We’ll visit first the splendid “one hundred churches town” where to enjoy a tasting of the well-known Cioccolato Modicano, then we journey to ancient Ragusa Ibla, a picturesque hill town, famous for its labyrinth of crooked lanes, tiny squares and noble Palazzo. Upon arrival, we’ll visit the main church of San Giorgio, with its imposing facade and flight of steps, an exceptional example of the Baroque style in Sicily. After lunch on your own and an included visit to an historical Palazzo, we’ll journey into the Sicilian countryside to visit a far owned by a local family, sampling some Sicilian extra virgin Olive oil and learning about the rural life in Sicily. Salute!!Evening is on your own. Overnight stay in Syracuse
Your transfer to Agrigento features a stop at the Villa Romana del Casale, one of the 44 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Sicily, built in the first quarter of the 4th century. It contains the richest, largest and most complex collection of Roman mosaics in the world.The villa was a luxurious hunting lodge used, some believe by the Roman emperor Maximian. After being abandoned in the 1200s, it was covered by a mudslide that protected the mosaics until systematic excavation in 1880s. Following a lunch in a country family owned Osteria, your journey continues to the city of Agrigento . After staying in the hotel, we will spend the night, for a nigth tour with our vehicle, to admire the Valley of Temples illuminated at night. Then we will take a stroll in the centre of Agrigento. Overnight stay in AGRIGENTO
After breakfast we will travel to reach the hinterland of Agrigento where on the hill in the centre of the Platani River to visit the village called Sant’Angelo Muxaro. Our guide will then take us to a bakery. This walking itinerary really takes us far from the classic tourist routes.
In Sicily, the bakery is often identified with the name “u furnu” (the oven) even more so here where one of the last wood ovens remains and where it is still one of the first activities to begin the morning. In small town Sicily the bakery is often not just a place to purchase bread, but is also the place to go to get the “freshest news of the day.” It can also be a place to bake a dish prepared at home; and it is here in this familiar and village-scale environment, where we spend a few hours, helping Mrs. Maria with her business, primarily to prepare pizza that will become our lunch at a table specially set in front of the bakery. After Lunch, visit to the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, an incredible concentration of Greek temples in varying states of ruin and reconstruction. We’ll explore the major temples with a local expert who will shed light on these monuments to the Golden age of Tyranny. This historic site was the heart of one of the most important cities in the ancient world and is the prime example of the magnificence of Magna Grecia. Dinner is included in a local tavern . Overnight stay in AGRIGENTO
Breakfast in hotel. Departure to Palermo, arriving in the city, Start your discovery of Sicily with a guided walking tour of Palermo, the Sicilian capital. A crossroads of history, Palermo holds the distinction of being the world’s most conquered city and a melting pot of civilisations ranging from the Phoenicians, Romans and Byzantines to the Arabs and Normans. We have included today a visit to the Byzantine Martorana church, famous for its impressive Norman mosaics, the striking and evocative Palatine Chapel, dating back to the 12th century, the perfect expression of the marriage, with its gold-inflected Byzantine Mosaics crowned by a honeycomb “muqarnas” ceiling- a masterpiece of Arab craftsmanship. Time permitting we will also some of the rooms of the Royal Palace . After a visit to the Ballaro‘ market located in the ancient Arabic quarter of the city, you’ll attend a guided tour of the Opera Massimo Theatre ,the biggest one in Italy and one of the largest of Europe. Sicilian lunch is included in the best Palermitan tavern followed by a short drive in the hills south of Palermo to discover the town of Monreale, known for one of Sicily’s great sites – the stunning 12th century Norman cathedral literally wallpapered with golden mosaics that tell the stories of the bible. Evening is on your own to enjoy Palermo. Overnight stay in PALERMO
Breakfast in hotel. Western Sicily has always been more African than European and the first known settlers were the Elymians, probably Trojan refugees, about whom little is known. This morning we take a panoramic drive to Segesta, a unique archaeological site famous for its magnificent 5th century Doric temple. Though never completed it is one of the best preserved examples of a Greek temple. We continue travelling along the Salt Road, passing Salt Pans and Windmills and learning about the history and process of salt harvesting at the Museum of the Salt in Trapani. Afterwards, we’ll be reaching the perfectly preserved medieval treasure hill town of Erice which combines medieval charm with astounding 360-degree views. It boasts a breathtaking setting high above the Tyrrhenian Sea and its roots date as far back as the Carthaginian empire. It also boasts an impressive Castle with views over the Egadi Islands. After a “slow food” lunch in a local tavern and a taste of local Marsala wine, we’ll descend to Trapani by a 10 mins panoramic cableway ride (weather permitting) to return to Palermo. Rest of the evening is on your own. Overnight stay in PALERMO
Brekfast in hotel & Overnight stay in TAORMINA
After a buffet breakfast, depart to Cefalù, charming coastal town, a former fishing village which is also home to a breathtaking Norman Cathedral, famous for its Mosaic of Christ Pantocractor – a stunning Byzantine mosaic that’s considered as one of the most important pieces of religious artwork in Sicily. Take a stroll to the city centre and down main street to reach the Cathedral and the medieval wash-house built in the rock. Next, proceed to Milazzo harbor for boarding in the ferries / hydrofoil for Salina and Lipari.
Guided tour of PALERMO and MONREALE
Visit a 16th century Palazzo in the center of RAGUSA –
Tour of CATANIA with its FISH MARKET
SIRACUSA and BAROQUE TREASURES of the South East
Guided tour of ORTIGIA ISLAND & NEAPOLIS archaeological area –
SIRACUSA OPEN MARKET with local tastings
Visit unique VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES
CRUISING ORTIGIA ISLAND (weather permitting)
Included visit to SEGESTA TEMPLE and stunning hill town of ERICE –
Visit the treasures of Sicilian Baroque: RAGUSA & MODICA
CHOCOLATE DEMONSTRATION in MODICA
Orientation Tour of TAORMINA and its majestic GREEK THEATRE
Visit majestic MOUNT ETNA with included WINE TASTING in local wine estate
Lunch on the golden sandy beach of GIARDINI NAXOS
“SICILIAN HOME-HOSTED MEAL” near the ALCANTARA VALLEY
Discover unknown Sicily: The hill town of SAVOCA
Experience the “THE SALT PANS & MUSEUM OF THE SALT”
Authentic and personalized PIZZA MAKING EXPERIENCE in SANT’ANGELO MUXARO
Exclusive visit to an OLIVE ESTATE near RAGUSA
Included CABLE-WAY from ERICE to TRAPANI (weather permitting) and much more
Our unique hotels: 11 nights in hotels with a total of 3 nights in PALERMO, 2 night in AGRIGENTO, 3 nights in SIRACUSA ,3 nights in TAORMINA, 1 nights in CATANIA
Visit popular UNESCO World heritage sites
Sicilian tour director, AUTHORISED ACCOMPANIMENT AND TOURIST GUIDES, FOR ALL THE TOUR
All entrances to main Sicilian archaeological sites are included
All transportation on tour, via private air-conditioned 9 or 19 seats motor coach
Included city taxes and service charges at all hotels and restaurants
No hidden extras
Early arrival/Late stay options: We strongly recommend arriving a day or more prior to tour start.We’ll be happy to make these arrangements for you.
All transfers while overseas, baggage transfers and porters are included (not in Hotel Centrale Palace-Palermo)
Included regional meals: All breakfasts, 3 street food experience, 5 dinners, 5 lunches (main meals include regional wine, mineral water, espresso coffee or tea only )
View our Hotels: PALERMO- “Massimo Plaza Hotel“, “Centrale Palace Hotel“ or Ambasciatori Hotel ; AGRIGENTO- “Hotel Baglio della Luna “, “Colleverde Park Hotel“ or “Hotel Della Valle”; SIRACUSA -“Hotel Palazzo Cavalieri” ,“Royal Maniace Hotel“ or “Mercure Palace”; TAORMINA – “Hotel Exelsior” , “Hotel Miramare“ or similar, CATANIA “Il Principe hotel” or “Mercure Exelsior” or “Katane Palace hotel” or similar.
Arrival & departure: The tour will begin with transfers from Palermo airport to the hotel and end with a transfer to the airport in Catania from Taormina at scheduled times
Activity level: Light/Moderate
Trip Interruption and Cancellation insurance is not included. We highly recommend to protect your vacation.