• archeology
  • culture
  • family
  • nature
  • relax
  • taste
  • traditions
Comfort

The best of Sicily: cultural and archaeological tour
Etna, Siracusa, Palermo and more

11 days

Discover the charm of a land that has seen the rising and setting of the largest populations of the Mediterranean with an eleven day tour which inculde all the highlights.

Immersed in the Mediterranean sea, crossroads of peoples and cultures, Sicily seems to balance millennia of invasions with its charming nature. Let yourself go and you will discover a land with an unique personality, originated by a mosaic of civilizations and traditions, made of folklore, flavours and scents. With this tour you will have the opportunity to visit - at your own pace - the most beautiful places of the island, to lose yourself between its streets, while recalling centuries of history and stories, surrounded by the aroma of its almonds and its majestic architecture.

Note: It is possible to start the tour from Palermo, inverting the holiday steps.

  • Overnights
  • Transport by luxury vehicles
  • English speaking driver/guide*
  • Excursions and tastings
  • Some dinners
*IMPORTANT:  in Sicily, the tour guides authorized to explain in the archeological parks, museums, churches have a red Badge
from € 2990
per person in double/twin room
Itinerary
1
day
Arrival in Catania

Our eleven days long journey surrounded by the charms of Sicily will start today. After your arrival in Catania (airport or port), we will move towards the very nice farmhouse or wine resort. After checking in, we will enjoy dinner or wine tasting with appetizers in order to rest and gather some energy before the excursions planned for the following days.

* Note: According to the time of arrival you can try to squeeze in a brief visit to Catania.

** Note: It is possible to start the tour from Palermo, inverting the holiday steps.

2
day
Etna and Taormina

During this day we will get to know the true Queen of eastern Sicily, who is called by the natives as a muntagna (The mountain): the volcano Etna.

Right after breakfast we will begin our journey headed to the Rifugio Sapienza (Sapienza Refuge, at elevation of 1800 m) stopping in front of the Crateri Silvestri.

Here we will do some shopping among the characteristic lodges of the area; later on we will be able to savour some lunch.

Throughout the afternoon we will reach Taormina; there, walking along Corso Umberto, we will visit the beautiful Greek theater, Palazzo Corvaja and the Odeon, without missing the chanche to stop and appreciate the magnificent seascape.

At the end of the day we will arrive in Siracusa , where we will spend the night.

3
day
Siracusa and Ortigia

Siracusa and Ortigia will today guide us onto a journey in the discovery of the ancient Greek world.

We will start the day wandering among the stalls of the peculiar Ortigia's market, an authentic and original temple of traditions and folklore. The path will lead us ot the Tempio di Apollo (Temple of Apollo), Piazza Archimede (Archimede's Square), Piazza Duomo and the famous Fontana Aretusea (Fountain of Arethusa).

Siracusa will disclose itself to its wholly during a visit to the Catacombe di San Giovanni (Catacombs of Saint John) and the Neapolis archaeological park where, among its renowed theater and the impressive Orecchio di Dionisio (Ear of Dionysus), we will be able to relive the glorious days of this ancient Greek colony.

* Note: As an overnight option to the a 4 star hotel we offer a stay at a great B & B.

4
day
Noto and fishing villages

The main attraction of the day will be Noto, Baroque's masterwork and World Heritage Site since 2002.

The city will disclose itself in the full splendor of its reconstruction, happened after the devastating earthquake in 1693: from Chiesa di Santa Chiara (St. Clare Church) to the Cattedrale di San Nicola (St. Nicholas Cathedral) up to the main monuments of the old town center.

Our other destination for the day will be the southernmost tip of Sicily: the ancient fishing villages of Marzamemi and Portopalo. Here we will visit the oldest almadraba in Europe and have the possibility to taste a full range of products derived from tuna, as well as the popular cherry tomatoes of the area.

Next stop will be Agriturismo Leone, where we will taste a dinner made with local products.

* Depending on time of year, the overnight location could be changed.

5
day
Donnafugata and Ragusa Ibla

Our day will begin by recalling the atmospheres of Visconti's Gattopardo (The Leopard) strolling down the corridors of Donnafugata's castle: room after room down to the famous castle's labyrinth, we will relive the glories of the Sicilian aristocracy.

We will then move over to Ragusa Ibla, where we will visit Piazza Duomo, the Hyblaean gardens, St. George's portal, St. Joseph's Church and Piazza Pola. In the afternoon we will get to know Modica, the city of Salvatore Quasimodo, well known for the outstanding chocolate production that you will taste during the day. Among the main points of interest we will visit the Chiesa di San Giorgio (Church of St. George), the Chiesa di San Pietro (Church of St. Peter) and the Chiesa di Maria di Bethlem (Church of Mary of Bethlem).

After that tour we will head back to the farm holiday to spend the night.

6
day
Palazzolo Acreide and Pantalica

Right after breakfast, we will carry on with our journey into the Sicilian Baroque reaching the ancient Greek colony named Palazzolo Acreide. We will explore the archaeological site area consisting of a beautiful Greek theater, a bouleuterion, some sanctuaries and the necropolis. We will then discover the modern part of the city through the Baroque churches of San Paolo (St. Paul) and San Sebastiano (St. Sebastian), Palazzo Caruso and Palazzo Judica. We will afterwards be visiting the historic house museum of Antonino Uccello, Italian anthropologist and poet, where we will retrace the history of the Sicilian peasant.

The conclusion of our day will be spent at Pantalica, natural reserve and one of the biggest necropolis in the whole in Europe, consisting of more than 5,000 tombs chiselled into the rock. We will furthermore visit the Byzantine church and the Anaktoron (the Prince Palace) before returning to the farm holiday.

7
day
Piazza Armerina and Valley of the Temples

During the day we will reach the very heart of Sicily in order to lose ourselves into the colours of the Roman mosaics of the Villa del Casale, which is situated only few kilometers away from Piazza Armerina.  Dating back to the fourth century, the villa’s mosaics represent scenes of Romans’ daily life and they are incredibly charming with their beautiful, vivid colors that remained almost unchanged over the centuries.

The second stop of the day will be Agrigento, city situated at the southwestern side of the island.

Visiting the Valle dei Templi (Valley of the Temples) is like going on a long journey backwards through the centuries. You will surely be amazed by the majesty of Tempio di Giunone (the Temple of Juno),  Tempio della Concordia  (the Temple of Harmony), and that of Ercole (Temple of Hercules), to then discover and analyze the archaeological site with the Tempio di Zeus (Temple of Zeus) and that of the Dioscuri (Temple of Castor and Pollux). But the true beauty of this site will be complete during the charming and hypnotic night tour just before the return to the city to overnight stay.

8
day
Selinunte and Mothia

After breakfast, we will begin our exploratory day visiting the largest archaeological park in Europe: Selinunte. Between temples and natural paths, we will be given the opportunity to rediscover the grandeur of a people whose wisdom has spanned through the centuries. We will continue our journey into the myth, reaching the mystical island of Mothia, Phoenician jewel immersed in the waters of the Stagnone di Marsala (Marsala's Lagoon). Starting from here, we will walk back on a road called “la via del sale” (the salt road): stretching from Marsala to Trapani, long white fields and windmills will tell us the story of what the locals call 'white gold'.

We will end our day in a wine resort in Trapani with a local wine tasting.

9
day
Erice and Segesta

Beginning from the glories of the Greeks and the Phoenicians we will descend today into the medieval world, visiting the historic burg called Erice. The beautiful landscape of Monte Cofano and the Egadi islands will be the background of a path between stones and mythes. Known as the 'city of a hundred churches', Erice still maintains some kind of mystical charm, and you will perceive that charm by strolling through its narrow streets and breathing in its native vegetation.

We will hold on firmly to this feeling while we drift towards Segesta in order to relish the beautiful Greek temple and theater nestled in the district of Trapani. At the end of the day we will travel towards to Palermo to overnight.

10
day
Palermo and Monreale

The whole day will be entirely dedicated to the Sicilian capital: the city of Palermo. From the Greeks, passing through to the Arabs and stretching until the house of Bourbon, Palermo managed to resist any invasion, by mixing the peculiarities of each culture in an unparalleled combination.

Among the main attractions we will visit the Cathedral, the Cappella Palatina (the Palatine Chapel), Piazza Pretoria (also known as square of Shame) and the Chiesa of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio (commonly called the Martorana).

Moving just few kilometers away from Palermo, we will reach Monreale, a small town known throughout the world for the spectacular cathedral where its mosaics are embedded in a gold background. After visiting the beautiful cloister next to the cathedral, we will continue to the hotel for the overnight stay.

11
day
Freetime in Palermo and departure

Today is the end of the journey that gave us the opportunity to travel through the island from coast to coast, discovering the natural wonders and the beautiful architecture remained intact over the centuries.

After breakfast we will split for the day: you can choose to continue to visit the city, discovering its narrow streets and markets, or to do some shopping before the end of the tour.

The last journey together will be the one to the airport, where we say goodbye before your departure.

Included
  • overnights:
    • Etna’s area with dinner or wine tasting with appetizers
    • farmhouse with dinner (with water and wine) in Noto area or hotel/B&B in Noto center
    • 4 stars hotel or excellent B&B with breakfast in Siracusa
    • 4 stars hotel with breakfast in Agrigento
    • 4 stars hotel or wine resort with breakfast in Trapani
    • 4 stars hotel or superior apartment with breakfast in Palermo
  • airport transfers
  • excursions with visits
  • tasting
  • dinners (on day: 1, 4, 5, 6, if you stay at Agriturismo Leone)
  • English speaking driver/guide or driver + English speaking local guides with RED BADGE
  • transport by luxury Mercedes Car or Van
  • overnights of driver/guide
Not Included
    • city taxes or tourist tax, payable directly at hotel, during the check out (only in some cities)
    • lunches
    • dinners (except on day: 1, 4, 5, 6, if you stay at Agriturismo Leone)
    • entrance fees (about € 100 per person)
    • tips (about 10% restaurant, driver/guide about € 75 per person)

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