Discover a magical Mediterranean island where the simplest pleasures are the most vivid. On this 7-day journey across Sicily, you’ll sample local olive oils and citrus fruits from ancient royal towns, stand among the ruins of proud empires, and venture across Mount Etna’s otherworldly lava fields. Experience a land where medieval villages cling to mountainsides and twisting lanes invite you to stroll down unexpected paths. There’s nothing like your first taste of Sicily—just pair a local dessert wine with a fresh coastal breeze, and you’ll understand how life is truly meant to be savoured.
Arrive in Palermo and make your own way to your hotel. That night, have dinner in the hotel and rest up for the adventure that lies ahead.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, and then head out on a morning excursion to Monreale, recently included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, an ancient royal town famous for its almonds, olive oil and citrus fruits, as well as for its fine Norman architecture. Visit the elaborate Cathedral of Monreale and then enjoy some shopping of local delicatessen and souvenirs. Back to Palermo and continue with a walking tour of the city. Wander the streets of the Old Town, hearing tales of Palermo’s 3,000-year history and discovering attractions like Palermo Cathedral. Walk inside the impressive-looking place of worship and marvel at its arches, cupolas and mosaics – with an incredible mix of influences coming from several dominations on the island. Enjoy free time in the late afternoon and return to your hotel for dinner. Overnight.
Early breakfast and departure to Erice, a medieval village stacked into the side of Monte San Giuliano. Many say that little has changed in the village since the sixth century, and its labyrinth-like twist of lanes is perfect for a cool and pleasant morning amble. Continue to Marsala, a pretty coastal town on the westernmost point of Sicily. Explore at leisure, perhaps shopping for a bottle of local Marsala dessert wine to take home. Return to your coach and travel south, passing Mazara del Vallo – the closest Sicilian city to Africa – before stopping in the town of Agrigento, your final destination of the day. Visit Ancient Greek monuments and ruins at the Valley of Temples (entrance included) – a UNESCO World Heritage site – and learn about archaeological relics like the Classical Temple of Concord the Temple of Hercules; the Temple of Jupiter, one of the largest Doric-style buildings. Check in to your hotel in the evening. Dinner and overnight.
Breakfast at the hotel and travel to Noto, a picturesque fishing town popular for its stately Baroque architecture. Visit Cathedral of San Nicolò, recently restored after a earthquake, and then have a nice walk in the town’s center. Continue along the south coast to Syracuse, on Sicily’s southeastern tip. Visit “Parco Archeologico della Neapolis”, Syracuse’s famous archaeological area, home to a vast collection of Greek and Roman ruins from all over Sicily. Head inside to see impressive landmarks such as the Greek Theater, the Roman Amphitheater and the Ear of Dionysius – an artificial limestone cave. After the visit, cross one of the city’s bridges for a visit to the island of Ortygia – the most ancient part of Syracuse – home to a wealth of Baroque churches and medieval palaces. In the late afternoon arrive in Taormina, check in to your hotel and enjoy dinner.
Breakfast at your hotel and then head off to Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe and the highest mountain in Italy. Learn about volcanic activity and marvel at the old lava fields and black magma rock that comprises Etna’s landscape. If weather permits, you have a chance to climb to the summit (1800 m). After, return to Taormina, the beautiful and romantic town located on Mount Tauro. Return to Taormina in the afternoon and spend the rest of your day at leisure. Dinner and overnight.
After breakfast travel to Savoca and Forza D’Agrò, two pretty hillside villages where Francis Ford Coppola filmed some of the immortal scenes of Godfather’s trilogy. A visit for cinema lovers but, even if you aren’t a fan, this stop is a fascinating way to visit these unspoiled and typical Sicilian villages with a real insight into the island and the heart of its people. A stop for a “Granita” at Bar Vitelli is a “must” for any visitor in town. It is still run by the family who owned it at the time of the movie shooting and you can see a photo-collection taken while Francis Ford Coppola was filming some scenes of The Godfather II. We also leave you some free time to explore more and really soak up in the atmosphere of this hidden, not-for-tourists Sicilian hill town. After the visit, departure for Catania. In the afternoon, free time to explore Catania’s UNESCO-listed historical center with his Baroque palaces and Roman ruins. See Piazza Dante and the Fountain of the Elephant, carved from volcanic rock. Dinner at the hotel and overnight.
Enjoy one final breakfast before the tour comes to an end.