Highlights of Sicily

The Around The Sun Highlights of Sicily trip allows you to explore one of Southern Europe's most exciting and beautiful destinations. We have carefully selected strategic destinations to give you an expert overview of this fascinating island. Its rugged natural beauty and fascinating history have made Sicily a land of striking contrasts. The Around The Sun Highlights of Sicily tour covers all the iconic sites, but also takes you more off the beaten track than most tours to connect you with the landscape, the history and the 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.

Highlights of Sicily - History, Food & Wine

FIXED DEPARTURES: 

9 to 17 May 2018.

13 to 21 September 2018.

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.

PRIVATE DEPARTURES: 

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

April, May, June 2018 and September till end of October 2018.

Departures for private, customised trips are all fully guaranteed.

Contact us now for quotes and information on private, customised trips.

Full Itinerary

Day 1 - Depart Melbourne/Sydney/Perth
Day 2 - Arrival in Catania

Welcome to sunny Italia! After arriving at Catania airport a private transfer will whisk you away to your charming accommodation. You will have time in the afternoon to explore the intricacies of this great city with our guide.

The evening meal will be your first opportunity to savour the local fare and welcome the group.

(Breakfast, entry fees, lunch and drinks not included)

Day 3 - Catania region and Mount Etna  

Today we head towards Mount Etna to fully appreciate the rich terrain and see the still active volcano in all its glory. Looming over eastern Sicily, Etna is the highest and largest active volcano in Europe.

Then we will take you to an exclusive lido (seaside resort) where you will experience some real Sicilian hospitality. We'll be visiting lots of little seaside villages along the way. Have your camera and beach gear at the ready!

We finish our coastal tour at Acireale and we stay nearby in a spectacularly baroque hotel.

(drinks not included)

Day 4 - Taormina, Giardini Naxos & Castel Mola   

We visit the charming village of Taormina today - Sicily's most sophisticated and dramatic resort, celebrated by poets and writers alike.

We will stroll down the medieval streets to shop along the Corso Umberto, the main pedestrian thoroughfare. We enjoy a walking tour and visit Teatro Greco and the famous Villa Communale. The villa's scenic footpath is lined with benches facing the view over the sea and Mount Etna.

We stay the night in a character-full old world hotel. The evening is free for you to do as you please.

(Entry fees, drinks, lunch and dinner not included)

Day 5 - Noto and Siracusa

Noto is a world heritage site with amazing Baroque architecture. We spend time admiring the cathedral and the main square before we visit the Riserva Naturale di Vendicari.

The nature reserve is one of the few places left in Mediterranean Europe that retains its original habitat. The reserve is a haven for water birds who come here to breed. There is a lovely long sandy beach with unusual obelisk like algae. The nature reserve is popular with walkers and bird watchers, or you can simply relax on the beach before we head to our private accommodation and a degustation of local antipasto and wine.

Siracusa was founded in 733 BC and was once a powerful Greek port whose fleet was feared throughout the Mediterranean. We visit Ortigia, the picturesque, cultural island linked to Siracusa by the Umbertino Bridge.

(Entry fees, drinks and lunch not included)

Day 6 - Piazza Armerina, Valley of the Temples - Agrigento

Piazza Armerina is a highlight of the tour. We marvel at the extraordinarily well-maintained Roman hunting lodge full of exquisite mosaics.

We then move to the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, a World Heritage site that dates back to BCE 581. It was first inhabited by the Greeks from Rhodes and Crete and Agrigento was one of the most important economic and political centres of ancient times.

Tonight we stay in a superb converted farmhouse set amongst lush, ancient olive groves. You will sample some of the region's delights for your evening meal but you many not want to ever leave!

(Entry fees, drinks and lunch not included)

Day 7 - Mazara del Vallo and Erice

Today is another extraordinary day. We visit the temples of Selinunte before the heat of the day sets in. We then head to the gorgeous town of Marsala, namesake of the famous fortified wine.

We then explore the west coast of Sicily - the Via del Sale, the Salt Road. We visit a salt mill amongst lagoons with piles of salt and white crystallisation tanks. From here we can see the island of Mozia which was the most important Phoenician and Carthaginian settlement in the Mediterranean.

After traversing the salt pans of Trapani we will find ourselves in Erice around sunset just in time to capture the breath-taking views over Trapani. Tonight we enjoy a special wine-tasting and supper at the enoteca (wine bar) in Erice.

(entry fees, drinks and lunch not included)

Day 8 - Riserva dello Zingaro and Monreale

The Zingaro Nature Reserve is where we will take an amazing walk today. From Scopello to San Vito to Capo we explore one of the most well-preserved and pristine coastlines in 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 our walk we enjoy a pleasant picnic lunch immersed in the nature reserve before leaving for Monreale, the resort town for Palermo.

In Monreale we also visit the sumptuous cathedral built in 1183 at the pinnacle of Arab-Norman art and architecture. It is deservedly famous for its 50,000 square feet of shimmering Byzantine mosaics.

(entry fees, drinks and dinner not included)

Day 9 - Monreale and Palermo

Today we leave Monreale to explore our final destination - Palermo.

The city was founded in the 8th century BC by the Phoenicians who named it Ziz. Later it was christened Panormos meaning "all port" by the Greeks. Palermo later became one of the Muslim world's most splendid cities, surpassed only by Baghdad. Its Afro, Arab and Italian blend of architecture is unique and charming. We also visit one of the city's most vibrant markets where you can sample the local specialties.

Our farewell dinner will be in a typical restaurant in Palermo.

(Entry fees, drinks and lunch not included)

Day 10 - Depart Palermo & Roma for Melb/Syd/Perth

After a final relaxed breakfast, a private transfer will take you to Palermo's airport for the next leg of your journey.

 

Price & Inclusions

Contact Around The Sun for pricing.

Everything important - hotels, transport, guides and most meals are organised for you and included in the overall price. All you have to do is relax and enjoy - we handle the stress and hassle of logistics.

Hotels are four star - but more importantly, they are charming - often stunning and very comfortable.

Transport is in a comfortable minibus (or luxury car with driver for smaller groups). We have private transfers to/from airports and train stations.

Sicilian cuisine is amazing and our local knowledge guarantees you will experience the best this diverse region has to offer. The trip includes at least one formal wine tasting and one formal cooking lesson. You can of course do more along the way if you choose!

In total 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 6 dinners are covered. Drinks are not included unless complimentary wine is offered. The Sicilians are generally warm and generous with their wine!

Local guides help lead us off the beaten track, introduce us to local people and provide entertaining and interesting information. They will be with us in Catania, Selinunte, Agrigento, Marsala, Monreale and Palermo. Local guides enhance our travel experience and can introduce us to a philanthropic cause if you choose to get more involved.

We also believe you want the freedom to wake up and make your own decisions about what you do. So, we have left some flexibility in the itinerary and have therefore not included entry fees or meals when we don't know in advance what we/you want to do. Please see detailed day-to-day itinerary which specifies those things that are not included.

Airfares are not included.

Travel insurance is not included and is mandatory.

Visas are not included.

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 Greek colonisation from the 8th to 3rd century BCE, the Roman period from the 2nd century BCE to the 4th century CE, the Arab period around the 9th and 10th centuries CE, and Norman rule in the 11th and 12th centuries. 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 Highlights of Sicily - History, Food & Wine adventure allows you to savour all the iconic sites of one of 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 Highlights of 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.

 

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.

Highlights of Sicily - History, Food & Wine

Days:10
Luxury:**** four star
Type of Tour:Small Group Guided Tour
Experience: Culture by car
Challenge: Easy
Cost: Contact ATS

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