Summary

During this impressive 10-day Sicily Tour from Catania to Taormina (Castelmola, Savoca) you will discover the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea in southern Italy and visit such impressive destinations as Catania, Syracuse, Noto, Ragusa, Modica, Piazza Armerina, Agrigento, Marsala, Palermo, Monreale, Cefalù, Etna, Taormina. Near Taormina you will discover 2 of the most beautiful villages in Italy: Castelmola, which is characterized by narrow medieval alleys, little squares and ancient churches and has a wonderful landscape over the Ionian Sea, and Savoca, which treasures vestiges of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque origins and is one of the two most famous filming Sicilian locations of the movie “The Godfather” by Francis Ford Coppola. You will also have free day in Taormina to enjoy this amazing city on your own. If you are a solo traveller willing to join a group, this tour also suits you as you can be accommodated in a single room (Single Room Supplement: 355 €). This is a group guided tour (also suitable for solo travellers) that starts every Saturday from March 19, 2022 to November 12, 2022.

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Valeria

Valeria

Local travel expert in Italy

I am Valeria and I speak English, Spanish and French. My passion for travel and love for my land will let you discover Sicily and its treasures throughout extraordinary itineraries.

Itinerary


On the arrival day, you will arrange by your own the transfer to the hotel in the charming city of Catania in Sicily (optional private transfer upon request).

In the evening, you will meet the tour-leader and your travel companions and enjoy a welcome dinner.

Accommodation at the hotel in Catania.

This day, starting in Catania, will continue with a visit to Syracuse, the most beautiful and greatest Greek colony in Sicily listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO! The guided tour begins with the visit of the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, the Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre, the Latomie of Paradise and the Ear of Dionysus. The city is also the birthplace of Archimedes, a leading mathematician and engineer. Syracuse was one of the Mediterranean's major powers in ancient times.

You will continue the tour by visiting the beautiful Ortigia, a small island that is Syracuse's historical centre. In Ortigia, you will admire the beautiful Cathedral that dominates the square with its authoritative presence. Its facade is a powerful Sicilian-Baroque composition, but it gives no hint that this building was once a Doric temple!

In the afternoon, you will have some free time for lunch. more

After lunch, you will travel to Noto, the capital of Sicilian Baroque, famous for its fine early 18th century buildings and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Inspired by the Baroque ideals of "open city", Noto is famous for its fine early 18th century buildings, which are considered some of the finest examples of Sicilian Baroque style. In fact, Noto's Baroque is a game of elegant curves, floral weaves, palaces and gardens, capitals and decorations adorning the facades of churches and monasteries.You will visit Nicolaci Villadorata Palace, a beautiful Baroque noble residence, once the residence of Don Giacomo Nicolaci, a patron of the arts.

Departure to Ragusa. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel in Ragusa.

This day will begin with the visit of Ragusa Ibla and its historical centre, cradle of Sicilian Baroque. Used as a location of the extremely popular Police Inspector Montalbano Tv series, it is today stated among the 44 Italian World Heritage Sites. This little precious ancient town hosts more than 50 churches and many Baroque architectural treasures! You will be fascinated by its Cathedral, situated in the beautiful Dome square, and you will love the “Giardino Ibleo”, the oldest of the four main gardens in Ragusa. At 383 meters above sea level, from this beautiful garden you can admire a spectacular panorama!

The tour continues towards Modica town with innumerable Baroque architectural treasures and for this reason declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walking along the tiny streets of this charming town, you will have a stop to visit Sabadì, one of the most renowned chocolate more manufacturers whose chocolate has been awarded as the best Modica chocolate during the last 9 years! You will enjoy a multi-sensory chocolate tasting discovering the authentic Sicilian flavours: the local nepitella (wild mint), the orange blossom honey, the raw PGI - quality Sicilian lemon and the PGI – quality Sicilian red orange are just some of the many flavours you can taste!

Then, you will visit the beautiful and perfectly preserved noble seventeenth-century Palazzo Castro Polara Grimaldi. You will be astonished by its amazing balcony, which dominates the town with a spectacular view and you will have the feeling of being brought back to the past at the beginning of the 20th century, where time seems to have stopped. The style of the interior has the typical structure of Sicilian noble palaces: frescoes of landscapes, wallpapers in splendid satins, vases and furnishings of the most precious manufacture, together with the private collections of Donna Grazietta Grimaldi. All these signs will give you the impression that nothing has changed and that the ancient traditions of the house are still alive. You will then be brought back to the present by savouring some local delicacies under the shadow of the amazing Orti di San Giorgio: 7 gardens suspended between light and beauty. A breath-taking panorama will be the setting of your relaxing lunch!

The day goes on to the charming Piazza Armerina for visiting the famous Villa Romana del Casale, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and admiring the splendid polychrome mosaics! This majestic villa, which belonged to a member of the Roman Senatorial aristocracy, houses prestigious mosaics representing mythological and historical episodes.

Departure to Agrigento. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel in Agrigento.

In the morning, you will enjoy an excursion in Agrigento where you will visit the Valley of the Temples, one of the most outstanding examples of Greater Greece art and architecture, and one of the main attractions of Sicily, included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. Agrigento presents a remarkable series of Doric Temples of the 5th century and here you will see the “Temple of Heracles” and the “Temple of Concordia”.

Next, you will travel to Marsala where you will discover the city centre and the aristocratic buildings, monuments and Baroque churches. It is a lovely Mediterranean city featuring beautiful colours: bright yellow, intense blue, dazzling white and natural green. You will also enjoy a guided tour at Florio Cellars where you will see three fascinating barrel rooms with around 1,400 small barrels and 600 larger barrels where approx. 5,500,000 litres of Marsala wines age more in silence and stillness. After a 30 min. tour you will enjoy a wine tasting and lunch at the wine cellar.

You will continue the tour along the charming and well-known Salt Road: the west coast of Sicily with many salt marshes, which have given rise to one of the oldest salt-extracting industries in the world. They are now protected between Trapani and Marsala, in part because of the interesting birdlife, and as important sites of industrial archaeology.

Transfer to Palermo. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel in Palermo.

After breakfast, you will spend the morning in Monreale. Here, you will see the huge Norman Cathedral, proclaimed the 8th Wonder of the World, and its splendid Cloister in Arab-Norman style: admirable masterpiece of art, sculpture, and semi-precious stones marquetry. It is one of the nine structures included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale.

Then, you will have a stop in Palermo, that is the cultural, economic and tourism capital of Sicily. While the Baroque predominates in Palermo, there is a profusion of different architectural styles reflecting the city’s multicultural past: Punic walls, Art Nouveau villas, noble residences, 17th century squares, including an elegant opera house. You will visit the wonderful Arab-Norman Cathedral, the astonishing Martorana Church and the amazing Palatine Chapel included in the more UNESCO World Heritage Site mentioned above. In Palermo, you will enjoy tasting local Sicilian street food and will stop for a food surprise at Antica Focacceria San Francesco.

In the afternoon, you will have free time for lunch.

The walk will continue after lunch, and you will have the opportunity to admire the Teatro Massimo and the debated fountain in Pretoria Square.

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel in Palermo.

In the morning, you will be transferred to Cefalù, charming medieval town situated on the northern coast of Sicily. You will visit the amazing Norman Dome and have free time to walk through the city or visit the famous Mandralisca Museum.

In the afternoon, you will have some free time for lunch in Catania.

After lunch, you will visit Catania, the second largest city of Sicily after Palermo, the old town of which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its original Baroque style and its unique streets built with black lava stone. The colour of the city-centre buildings is black and dark grey, relieved with white limestone details around doors and windows. The effect is very elegant! The guided tour starts from the picturesque Duomo square with its magnificent cathedral and the famous statue of “Liotru”, antique lava-stone elephant, symbol of the city. Not far from here, you will more reach the University Square and you will have a walk along the splendid baroque Via dei Crociferi, the most representative 18th century street where you will admire the famous S. Benedict Monastery, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Before continuing along the precious city centre, you will make a stop at a historic bar in the city in order to taste the typical “granita and brioche”.

Dinner at the hotel or in a restaurant nearby and overnight in Catania.

After a short visit of the famous “pescheria” (the ancient fish market) in the morning, you will visit Etna, the highest volcano in Europe (about 3350 m) and one of the largest and most active in the world, between the cities of Messina and Catania, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its regional park protects 59,000 hectares of unique geology, flora and fauna, villages and farms, and traditional methods of forestry, beekeeping, wine manufacture, stonework and carpentry. You will enjoy views of stunning landscapes heading to Rifugio Sapienza. You will reach the “Crateri Silvestri”, small volcanic cones now inactive, surrounded by ancient flows of lava. The view beyond the mountain’s hundreds of subsidiary cones and craters, can extend across the whole of Sicily, the Aeolian Islands and Calabria offering a unique spectacle!

You will make a stop to visit a beekeeping company, where you more will see the honey extraction lab, taste homemade honey and typical local products.

You will then proceed to Taormina, a charming town on the east coast of the island of Sicily, renowned for its magnificent location above the sea with an amazing view of Etna.

Free time for lunch in the afternoon.

After lunch, you will visit the fascinating Greek Theatre of Taormina which will leave you breathless for its commanding view on Giardini Naxos bay and the Etna mountain. You will have free time to walk through the picturesque medieval narrow streets, go shopping and have a look at the local handicrafts (coral jewels, precious laces, ceramics, sweets and much more).

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel in Catania.

After breakfast, you will enjoy a free day in Taormina, defined by Goethe as the “paradise on earth”. You can enjoy the Medieval village visiting its historical monuments, or doing shopping for buying some of the local handicrafts.

As an alternative you can relax by the sea and enjoy the colours and scents of its Mediterranean vegetation. You are recommended to visit Isola Bella, one of the most enchanting beaches in Sicily, also called the “Pearl of the Mediterranean” thanks to its particular location and vegetation: a perfect mix of tropical plants and local flora!

Dinner and accommodation at the hotel in Taormina.

After breakfast, this 10-day Sicily Tour from Catania to Taormina (Castelmola, Savoca) will continue to Castelmola, near Taormina, a small village with a wonderful landscape over the Ionian Sea. It is characterized by narrow medieval alleys, little squares and ancient churches, and has been officially recognized as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. You will visit the highest point, having a nice walk from the main square, Piazza Sant'Antonino, decorated with an extraordinary mosaic in local white stone and lava stone, up to the ruins of the Castello di Mola, of Greek-Byzantine origin.

Next, you will enjoy an excursion in Savoca located over a rocky hill, which is also one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. The village treasures vestiges of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque origins in its territory. You will visit the famous open-air set of the famous movie “The Godfather” more by Francis Ford Coppola, walking through the delightful alleys and lingering in front of the famous “Vitelli” bar. You could imagine yourself as being in one of the most famous scenes of the film, when the character played by Al Pacino meets the father of the future bride and asks Apollonia’s hand. You will reach the church of Santa Lucia, chosen to shoot the wedding scene.

Return to Taormina and free afternoon. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Taormina.

On departure day, you will arrange your own transfer from the hotel to the airport. If your flight is in the afternoon, you can enjoy the morning on your own.

Prices

Travel dates

March 19-26 (2022)

April 2-09-16-23-30 (2022)

May 7-14-21-28 (2022)

June 4-11-18-25 (2022)

July 2-9-16-23-30 (2022)

August 6-13-20-27 (2022)

September 3-10-17-24 (2022)

October 1-8-15-22-29 (2022)

November 5-12 (2022)

Price per person in €

2 Pers.

6 Pers.

18 Pers.

4* Hotels

1549€

1549€

1549€

Travel dates Accommodation Price per person in €
2 Pers. 6 Pers. 18 Pers.

March 19-26 (2022)

April 2-09-16-23-30 (2022)

May 7-14-21-28 (2022)

June 4-11-18-25 (2022)

July 2-9-16-23-30 (2022)

August 6-13-20-27 (2022)

September 3-10-17-24 (2022)

October 1-8-15-22-29 (2022)

November 5-12 (2022)

4* Hotels 1549€ 1549€ 1549€

What's Included

  • 9 nights accommodation in a double (DBL) or twin (TWN) room at 4-star hotels;
  • Breakfast at the hotel;
  • Lunch on day 3, 4 of the itinerary (beverages are not included);
  • Dinner on day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 of the itinerary (beverages are not included);
  • Excursions on the entire itinerary;
  • Chocolate tasting in Modica;
  • Wine tasting at the wine cellar in Marsala;
  • Tasting of local street food in Palermo;
  • Tasting of Sicilian “granita and brioche”;
  • Honey tasting in Etna area;
  • Transportation (deluxe bus) from day 2 to day 9 of the itinerary;
  • Multilingual tour leader and professional travel guide (English, Spanish, Italian) for the whole tour.

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