Sicilian Trilogy exclusively in English, small group tour (maximum 20 participants)
2019 depart every Tue: year round
Cost from: $3029 pp twin share (s/supp $576)
Itinerary will be modified accordingly for differnet departure cities:
*Departures are from Syracuse on Thursday & Friday
*Departures are from Taormina on Wednesdays
day 01 tue Palermo
Welcome to the Island of Sicily! Independent transfer to the hotel and the remainder of the day is at leisure
day 2 wed Palermo-Cefalù-Taormina
Today departure to Cefalù, a charming coastal town built on a promontory dominated by a sheer cliff. Still keeping its ancient print, Cefalù has grown around the Cathedral, one of the most interesting medieval monuments of the island, that boasts outstanding mosaics and a wonderful cloister. Stroll through the medieval narrow street and admire the picturesque houses on the sea and the long beach of finest sand. This afternoon we then continue to Taormina, the world famous resort town of Sicily.
day 3 thu Taormina at leisure
After breakfast, Today is at leisure: Taormina is a hill-village with a glossy sheen of glamour. A drink at the tables of Caffè Wunderbar (or similar) in Piazza IX Aprile may set you back a few euros, but you'll be basking where Tennessee Williams and Elizabeth Taylor basked before you. As well as the famed Greek-Roman Theatre (Admission fee: not included), there are several minor sites to be discovered around Taormina. The attractive principal thoroughfare, Corso Umberto is pedestrian and ideal for strolling and window-shopping. Picturesque lanes above and below the Corso are interesting to explore, while if you want to stretch your legs further there are attractive walks up into the hills, or down to the sea. Given its compact size, Taormina has a huge range of bars, cafes and restaurants where you can while away pleasant hours while admiring the views. Enjoy your stay at leisure in Taormina or inquiry us for an Optional Excursion!
day 4 fri Taormina-Syracuse
Today we depart for Syracuse, founded by colonists from Cornith in 735 B.C. and once the most important competitor to Athens. On arrival visit through the Archaeological Park (Admission fee: not included) highlights the Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre and the Paradise Quarry. Then stroll through the streets of Ortygia Island (2 hours) the heart of the city center. This afternoon transfer to Syracuse hotel. Walking tour of Ortygia Island for around 2 hours to explore the town
day 5 sat Syracuse-Ragusa-Modica-Syracuse
Today departure for Ragusa. The city is situated in the Iblean mountains and, along with Ragusa, it is part of the UNESCO Heritage Sites in Sicily. The main economy of the area revolves around dairy cheese & agricultural products like olives, carobs, legumes, and grains. Upon arrival we walk through the historical town of Ragusa Ibla highlights the wide array of Baroque architecture in Sicily, including several stunning palaces and churches. Light lunch in a local trattoria. This afternoon a short drive takes us to Modica a small village famous for the chocolate. Modica's chocolate is one of the most famous products of the Ragusa area. It is still made the same way the ancient Aztecs made chocolate in Mexico and its tradition dates back to the 16th century. The technique was brought over by the Spaniards who in turn learned about it in what is now Mexico. Later we return to Syracuse.
day 6 sun Syracuse-Piazza Armerina-Agrigento-Palermo
Following breakfast, departure to Piazza Armerina to visit the amazing Roman Villa of Casale (Admission Fee: not included) in Piazza Armerina. The mosaics discovered here are celebrated among scholars of antiquity. This afternoon, after a short stop for a snack including a mixed starter, water and coffee, we drive through the interior of Sicily to reach the Archaeological Park of Agrigento. Here you will visit the finest of all ancient Greek sites—the complete Doric Temples (Admission fee: not included). Later we drive to Palermo.
day 7 mon Monreale and Palermo Market
A walking tour into a lively open air market, a place with strong Arab influences, resembling a souk, with picturesque stands of fresh fish, cheeses, fruits and vegetables. During the tour you will have the opportunity to observe local people in their dailly activities and to savor foods that a real Sicilian people love to eat! Tasting of typical street food is included. The walking tour through the ancient center of Palermo is around 3-4 hours and you will visit several monuments including Piazza Pretoria and the Cathedral. At the end of the walking tour (3-4 hours) you will reach Monreale by taxi for a short stop (about 45 minutes) to visit the Dome (Admission fee: not included), a wonderful example of the Arab-Norman art and architecture. Launched in 1174 by William II, the Dome represents scenes from the Old and New Testaments all in golden mosaics. Return to Palermo by pre-paid by taxi.
Please note: meeting point in piazza Verdi, right in front of the stairs of Massimo Opera Theater (around 10 minutes walking distance from Palermo Hotel)
day 8 tue Palermo-Erice-Segesta, Olive Oil & Winery-Palermo
Early departure to tour western Sicily where we reach Erice uptown. The Elymians settled the medieval town of Erice, which was an important religious site associated with the goddess Venus. Wander through its ancient streets and visit some of the famous homemade pastry shops, world-famous for marzipan candies and other delicacies like almond and pistachio pastries. Later we proceed to have a light-lunch at a local vineyarde including tasting of mixed local product such as cheese, salumi, olives, local bread combined with their production of olive oil and wine. This afternoon we continue onto Segesta, one of the major cities of the ancient indigenous Elymian people, to visit the unfinished Doric temple (Admission fee: not included), late 5th century BC, built on a hilltop just outside of the ancient city and has a commanding view of the surrounding area. Later we return to Palermo.
day 9 wed Palermo
After breakfast at hotel. Time to say goodbye to Sicily. Independent transfer to Palermo airport (PMO).
Inclusions: twin share at four star hotels, breakfast daily,3 lunches, 1 snack, walking tour of Syracusa, Ragusa, Palermo 7 Erice, visit of Doric temple in Agrigento, deluxe transport, English-speaking tour director & driver-escort, local guide from minimum 2 people in Palermo, Monreale, Agrigento,Siracusa, taxes.
Sightseeing: Palermo -market, Monreale -the Duomo & the golden mosaics, Segesta- the Doric Temple Erice- Castle built on the remains of Venus Temple, Piazza Amerina- the ancient mosaics at Villa Romana, Agrigento- the Valley of the Temples, Syracuse- Archaeological Park & Ortiga Island, Ragusa-Baroque Sites
Hotels: Palermo-Hotel Plaza Opera, Taormina-Hotel Villa Diodoro, Siracusa-Grande Albergo Alfeo (or similar).
Excluding: entrance fees, beverages and meals not mentioned in the program, transfers, luggage handling, licensed tourist guide Piazza Armerina (Roman Villa) Erice & Segesta, admission fees, gratuities, airport transfers, city taxes.
On request: airport/port transfers, accommodation before and after the tour, single supplement.
Optional: full day Etna jeep ride with lunch