Explore Sicily Trip

The Around The Sun Explore Sicily Trip allows you to savour the best of all the Mediterranean's most captivating destinations!

Looming over the island is Mt Etna, the highest volcano in Europe and one of Sicily's most iconic sights. Climbing to the summit and seeing inside the smoking crater is an experience not to be missed.

Its rugged natural beauty and fascinating history have made Sicily a land of striking contrasts. The Around The Sun Explore Sicily Trip covers all the iconic sites, but it also takes you off the beaten track and introduces to local people.

If you have any specific ideas about an itinerary you would like, or would like Around The Sun to build a private, custom trip for you please Contact us  or Create Your Own Journey.

 

 

Explore Sicily Trip Dates

Trips run from:

 April to June 2018 or Sep to end Oct 2018

 

Contact us for more information.

This suggested itinerary can also be run privately, or customised so the departure date and programme completely suits you. 

All scheduled small group trips will be confirmed and guaranteed by Around The Sun at least 56 days before the trip commences. However, if at 56 days before departure there are insufficient bookings to cover the cost of running the trip we reserve the right to cancel the trip. Anyone who has already made a booking will be given the choice to receive a full refund, to transfer their booking to another trip, or to continue on the trip with fewer passengers but at a higher price.

Departures for private, customised trips are all fully guaranteed. Contact us now for quotes and information on private, customised trips.

Full Itinerary
Day 1 - Arrival in Palermo

Arrive at Palermo Airport and transfer to your hotel. There’s time to relax in your charming accommodation before meeting your guide.

In the late afternoon we take a brief walking tour of Palermo, a city founded in the 8th century BCE by the Phoenicians who named it Ziz; later the Greeks christened it Panormos meaning ‘all port’. The Arabs brought the lemon, orange, cane sugar, and the cultivation of mulberry trees, dates, cotton and hard wheat.

Palermo became one of the Muslim world's most splendid cities, surpassed only by Baghdad; furthermore, its blend of African, Arab and Italian is unique and charming.

The group’s welcome dinner is in a typical restaurant in Palermo.

Day 2 - The Zingaro Nature Reserve   

Today a private transfer takes us to the Zingaro Nature Reserve where an astonishing walk awaits us. From Scopello to San Vito lo Capo we explore one of the most well-preserved and pristine coastlines of Italy. Here typical Mediterranean vegetation grows above an azure sea against steep mountains.

The Zingaro has been shaped by nature creating countless grottoes in the limestone cliffs and a series of enchanting rocky beaches. After a pleasant walk we enjoy a picnic lunch immersed in the nature reserve before returning to Palermo. Here we can indulge in a city walk discovering the highlights of the town.

Day 3 - Monreale - Segesta

Today we leave Palermo and enjoy an excursion to a must see highlight, not far from the town. Monreale overlooks a famed and fertile valley, the Conca d’Oro, or ‘golden shell’, and is home to the best-preserved Norman cathedral in the world. The sumptuous cathedral, built in 1183, is the pinnacle of Arab-Norman art and architecture and is particularly famous for its huge, shimmering Byzantine mosaics.

Monreale drew artisans from Persia, Asia, Africa, Greece, France, Venice and Pisa. The Cathedral’s glistening gold interior fuses Arab purity with Byzantine majesty.

Then we explore the dramatic Greek Temple of Segesta dating back to the 5th century BCE. Much admired by Goethe, it is set among steep valleys with a magnificent view of the surrounding peaks. We will follow in Goethe’s footsteps and at the same time learn about the mysterious history of the Elymians.

We continue to Marsala, our home for the next two nights. Our group dinner will be at a local restaurant not far from the hotel.

Day 4  - Salt Road – Island of Mozia - Marsala

Today we experience a captivating journey along the west coast of Sicily, the Salt Road or Via Del Sale: one of the island’s most unique sights.

We visit a mill immersed in an amazing lagoon with piles of salt and stretches of white crystallization tanks. After taking the boat across the lagoon we reach the island of Mozia, the most important Phoenician and Carthaginian settlement in the Mediterranean (8th century BCE).

We visit the Casa Whitaker and marvel at the marble sculpture - the Youth of Mozia, the perfection of ancient statuary. The archaeological museum offers a range of interesting objects, from vases to masks to tombstones.

Then, we take a walk around the island, admiring the remains of the Punic town walls and the Kothon, the old Phoenician harbour. 

In the afternoon we enjoy a wine and food experience in a real oasis: a remarkable baglio (wine making courtyard) that used to belong to the Florio family, the family responsible for popularising Marsala wine.

Day 5 - Selinunte – Agrigento

Today we leave Marsala heading to the Temple of Selinunte, one of the most important of the Greek colonies in Sicily.  Facing the Mediterranean, the evocative acropolis is situated in scenic splendour.

We continue to Agrigento. Located on a plateau overlooking Sicily's southern coast, Agrigento was founded as Akragas around 582 BCE by a group of colonists from Gela, who themselves were the immediate descendants of Greeks from Rhodes and Crete.

Christened Agrigentum by the Romans and Girgenti by the Saracens, the city was renamed Agrigento in 1927. We will visit the Valle dei Templi, certainly one of the most outstanding sites of the ancient world and one of the highlights of our trip.

We have time to explore the Temple of Juno, built around 450 BCE, which is still intact; the Temple of Concord, built around 440 BCE; the Temple of Hercules built in 520 BCE in archaic Doric style, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

Day 6 - Taormina

After breakfast, we leave Agrigento and travel to the charming village of Taormina, Sicily’s most sophisticated and dramatic resort, celebrated by poets and writers alike! Upon arrival we can choose to simply relax on the terrace of the hotel or to stroll the medieval streets of this delightful town and to shop along Corso Umberto, the main pedestrian thoroughfare.

We enjoy a walking tour and visit the Teatro Greco and the famous Villa Comunale. The villa’s scenic footpath is lined with benches facing the view over the sea and Mt Etna. We then stop at the Piazza IX Aprile for a glittering view of Mt Etna before making our way across to the church of Sant’Agostino, the Palazzo Ciampoli to the Badia Vecchia.

Day 7 - Mt Etna or Siracusa

Today we go on an excursion to the summit of Mt Etna. Looming over eastern Sicily, Etna is the highest and largest active volcano in Europe! Feared and loved, it is both snow and fire, lush vegetation and lava.  Weather permitting, we reach the summit by cable car and 4×4 bus.

Alternatively, if the weather is bad on the mountain, we could opt for a lovely visit to Siracusa. Located on the southwest coast, Siracusa was founded in 733 BCE and was once a powerful Greek port whose fleet was feared throughout the Mediterranean.  It was the birthplace of the scientist Archimedes and attracted visitors such as the philosopher Plato and later the Apostle Paul. 

We visit Ortigia, the cultural island linked to Siracusa by the Umbertino Bridge, strolling through the historic Piazza Archimede to the duomo, once a 6th century BCE temple dedicated to Athena before it was converted to a Christian cathedral in 640 CE. Then we explore the archaeological sites: the sparkling white Greek Theatre, the Ear of Dionysius, the Altar of Hieron II, the Roman Amphitheatre and Cordari Grotto before returning to Taormina by private transfer.

This evening, we enjoy our farewell dinner in a typical restaurant near the hotel.

Day 8 - Departure

Our amazing trip ends after breakfast with a group transfer to Palermo.

 

Inclusions

Contact Around The Sun for pricing.

Inclusions:

  • English speaking local tour leader
  • English speaking licensed cultural guide in Palermo, Monreale, Segesta, Mozia, Selinunte and Valley of the Temples in Agrigento
  • 2 nights ****Hotel  in Palermo
  • 2 nights *** Hotel in Marsala
  • 1 night *****Hotel in Agrigento
  • 2 nights in a charming Sicilian Villa in Taormina
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 4 dinners
  • 5 picnic lunches
  • 1 wine tasting
  • Guided visit to Mount Etna
  • Transfer from Palermo Airport on day 1
  • Transfer from Taormina to Palermo on day 8
  • All transfers according to the program

NOT Included:

  • visas, airfares and airport taxes
  • travel insurance (compulsory)
  • drinks
  • meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • entrance fees
  • cultural guide in Taormina

All scheduled small group trips will be confirmed and guaranteed by Around The Sun at least 56 days before the trip commences. However, if at 56 days prior to departure there are insufficient bookings to cover the cost of running the trip we reserve the right to cancel the trip. Anyone who has already made a booking will be given the choice to receive a full refund, to transfer their booking to another trip, or to continue on the trip with fewer passengers but at a higher price.

Departures for private, customised trips are all fully guaranteed. Contact us for quotes and information on private, customised trips.

Sicily Overview

Sicily is a distillation of three thousand years of history, a blend of zestful traditions, ancient cultures, outstanding natural beauty and exuberant people.  

The island has always been a crossroads where many different civilisations have met. They have left a heritage of extraordinary cultural variety.

There are well-preserved Greek, Roman, Norman and Saracen ruins. These date from the Greek colonisation (8th - 3rd century BCE), the Roman period (2nd century BCE to 4th century CE), Arab invasions (9th - 10th  century CE) and  Norman rule (11th - 12th century CE). It is these great epochs, when commercial towns were developed along the coast, that make Sicily such a fascinating destination today.

The Around The Sun Explore Sicily Trip allows you to savour the best of all the Mediterranean's most captivating destinations!

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

If you have any questions please contact us. We have an enormous amount of experience – and we have expert operators on the ground in all our destinations.

If our small group guided tours don’t meet your needs we’re set up so that we can create private tours – using our published itineraries – or custom tours that are both private and customised to meet your wishes.

See Create Your Own Journey.

 

Explore Sicily Trip

Looming over the island is Mt Etna, the highest volcano in Europe and one of Sicily's most iconic sights. Climbing to the summit and seeing inside the smoking crater is an experience not to be missed.

Days:7
Luxury:**** four star
Type of Tour:Small Group Guided Tour
Experience: Car Touring
Challenge: Easy
Cost: Contact ATS

JOURNEY MAP