9 days (7 nights) • Escorted tour
(2) PALERMO Hotel Principe di Villa Franca or similar
(1) AGRIGENTO Hotel della Valle or similar
(3) Taormina/GIARRE/Giardini Naxos Sicilia Hotel Spa
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean surrounded by the Ionian, Tyrrhenian and Mediterranean seas with mild climate all year round. This picturesque island has been gifted with dramatic landscapes and the majestic Mount Etna, which is Europe’s most active volcano. Sicily’s influence from Arab, Greek and Roman traditions have endured the test of time and remain in its architecture, culture and cuisine.
This escorted tour of Sicily is a chance to truly discover the island and it’s hidden gems. Let us show you all the Splendors of Sicily with guided trips to historic sites and traditional flavours at every meal.
Evening departure. Meals and refreshments served on board. (Included shuttle transfers in Palermo 11:00 am and 4:00 pm departure airport departure) All arrival different from above time must be arranged on your own or as private transfers)
After morning arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel (11:00 am or 4:00 pm transfers). Balance of the day is at leisure. Your Sicily tour starts at 6:30 Pm orientation meeting with your tour
Director in the Lobby followed by special welcome dinner at a local restaurant that will introduce you to the Sicilian flavors and local cuisine. (D)
A morning tour of Palermo, a city full of character, features Quattro Canti – a splendid example of Spanish Baroque architecture, the Palace of the Normans, the cathedral, and the famous Benedictine Abbey of Monreale. Here you will admire a 12th century cathedral, housing very fine mosaics representing a complete cycle of the Old and New Testaments. Balance of the day is at leisure to relax or take an optional tour with your tour director to the picturesque fishing village of Cefalù. (B)
Journey south to the western corner of Sicily dominating the mediterranen.
Our first stop will be near the sea town of Marsala, re-discovered in the 18th century by English merchant John Woodhouse and known for its sweet wines. We drive along Trapani’s coastline to admire the ancient Salt flats off the island of Mothia. Today enjoy a lunch and olive oil tasting session at a local Organic farmhouse (agriturismo).
In the afternoon we continue to explore all the western coast of Sicily through Mazara del Vallo, Sciacca, Ribera until we arrive to the Valley if the Temples in Agrigento for check in at your hotel. (B,L)
This morning explore with your on site guide the ancient greek city Akragas, a hillside town famous for its magnificent Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a guided tour of the valley, dating back to the 5th century B.C. The poet Pindar described the site “the most beautiful city built by mortal men”.
The Doric style temples, all constructed within a century, face east, a standard criteria for both Greek and Roman temples so the statue of the god housed in each temple faced the rising sun. The best temple is that of Concordia (similar in design to the Parthenon in Athens) which is in an almost perfectly preserved condition.
After visiting the Valley of the Temples, we drive to Syracuse to explore the island of Ortigia including the old greek harbor and the medieval heart of the city. Late afternoon check in at your hotel on the lower slopes of Mt Etna Volcano overlooking the Mediterranean sea.
Tonight enjoy a relaxing dinner at your hotel. (B,D)
Today enjoy a once in a lifetime experience! The “Godfather” tour, featuring the authentic villages chosen by Francis Ford Coppola for most of the scenes in the Godfather movies. This is a good way to also explore the real untouched Sicilian countryside, local lifestyle and culture. In the afternoon experience a private walking tour of Taormina’s charming city center that also includes the Greek/Roman amphitheater, with its spectacular view of Giardini Naxos and Mount Etna. Time at leisure before returning to your hotel. (B)
Today you have the opportunity to explore on your own, relax at the hotel or join our optional tour. Today’s optional tour will take you to Messina with its storied port and history as a trading city. With easy access to Italy, as the closest in proximity to the mainland, Messina is unique in comparison with the smaller villages and towns that dot Sicily.
Known as the city that launched a thousand ships as a major port during the Crusades, its extensive history dates back thousands of years. Next, cross the Straits of Messina and head to Reggio Calabria on the Italian mainland, known for its panoramic waterfront promenade & Archeological Museum. More recently called “the rainbow of Italy” for the changing colors of the seas of its coastline, you can enjoy the unforgettable display of changing shades from cobalt blue, to violet, to turquoise, to grey-blue, to sparkling blue-green, and more throughout the day. Dinner this evening is included at your hotel. (B,D)
Today explore the slopes of Mt. Etna (largest and most active volcano of Europe). On our way to 6000ft through the fertile slopes and villages that sit on ancient volcanic eruptions we stop for an interesting honey-tasting session in Zafferana. Upon arrival at Silvestri Craters enjoy the best views enjoy some free time.
Our day will end with a wine tasting session at a local winery followed by an included farewell dinner with delectable cuisine and sparkling wine. (B,D)
Morning transfer to Catania Airport for your return flight home. Meals and refreshments served on board. Same day arrival into USA. (B)