Sicilian Trilogy English spoken, small group tour (maximum 22 participants)
2018 depart every Sat, Sun, Mon & Tue: Jan to Dec 19
Note: The itinerary may change depending on the day of the week you depart
Other itineraries also available on request: 9 days Palermo/Syracuse, Taormina/Taormina or Syracuse/Taormina
day 01 Palermo
Welcome to the Island of Sicily! Independent transfer to the hotel and the remainder of the day is at leisure.
day 02 Palermo-Piazza Armerina-Taormina
Breakfast at hotel. Today departure for Piazza Armerina. Upon arrival we 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, we then continue to Taormina, the world famous resort town of Sicily.
day 03 Taormina
Breakfast at hotel. 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. (BB) Enjoy your stay at leisure in Taormina or inquiry us for an Optional Excursion!
day 04 Taormina-Syracuse
Breakfast at hotel. 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, the heart of the city center. This afternoon transfer to Syracuse hotel.
day 05 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 06 Syracuse-Agrigento-Palermo
Following breakfast, we drive through the interior of Sicily to reach the Archaeological Park of Agrigento. On arrival independent visit of the Archaeological Museum (Admission fee: not included) that offers a fine introduction to the splendors of ancient Akragas and gives an insight into the life of the Greek settlers. Then you will visit the finest of all ancient Greek sites—the complete Doric Temples (Admission fee: not included). Later transfer to Palermo.
day 07 Palermo-Monreale
Breakfast at hotel. Today a short drive take us to Monreale, to see where the Arab-Norman art and architecture reached the pinnacle of its glory with the Duomo (Admission fee: not included), launched in 1174 by William II. It represents scenes from the Old and New Testaments all in golden mosaics. Then transfer to Palermo and walking tour of the city center. The walking tour will start with the lively Ballarò Market, a place overflowing with beautiful fresh fish, and local vegetables and cheeses. Originating from the era when Sicily was occupied by the moors, this 1000 year old market has run much in the same manner for centuries. It has strong Arab influences, resembling an eastern souk, and these influences are also evident in the merchandise itself. Next to mounds of ricotta and caciocavallo cheeses, barrels of olives and fat slabs of swordfish sit saffron and other spices, as well as sacks of beans and gorgeous indigenous fruit and local vegetables. Here we have the opportunity to taste a typical palermitano dish, such as the famous Panelle (a thin paste of crushed ceci/garbanzo beans rolled into sheets, fried and served in pizza-like slices). Then by walk we reach Piazza Pretoria and the famous “four corners” converge in a quartet of baroque palaces from the climax of the Spanish rule dating from 1560. Then our short stroll will continue through Via Maqueda with the external view of Massimo Theater (The Opera House). The visit will end in Piazza Politeama. from there you will have the opportunity to join your hotel (walking distance). Afternoon and evening at leisure.
day 08 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 in a local winery-farmhouse 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 09 Palermo
Time to say goodbye to Sicily. Independent transfer to Palermo airport after breakfast. B
Inclusions: twin share at four star hotels, breakfast daily, one light lunch in a local winery-farmhouse in Trapani area with tasting of local dishes, wine and olive oil, one light lunch in a local trattoria in Ragusa, deluxe transport, English-speaking tour director (from 6pax) & driver-escort (if less than 6pax), local guide from minimum 6 people when needed, taxes.
Sightseeing: walking tour of Palermo with capo market, the Duomo & the golden mosaics in Monreale, the Doric Temple in Segesta, a walking tour in Erice, the ancient mosaics at Villa Romana in Piazza Armerina, walking tour of the Island of Ortigia, the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento.
Hotels: Palermo-Hotel Plaza Opera, Taormina-Hotel Villa Diodoro, Siracusa-Grand Hotel Ortigia (or similar).
Excluding: entrance fees, beverages and meals not mentioned in the program, transfers, luggage handling, licensed tourist guide if less than 6 people on the tour, gratuities, city taxes.
On request: airport/port transfers, accommodation before and after the tour, single supplement.