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Amazing Sicily
Sicily - Italy
Inside Monreale - Palermo, Sicily
Monreale
Catania, Sicily
Mt. Etna Rising, Over Catania, Sicily

Sicilian Secrets: Palermo to Palermo Back

  • Tour Code : TUR-01310
  • Type : Small Group
  • Duration : 9 days
  • Departs from : Palermo
  • Meeting Place : Hotel

Description

This is a fantastic tour of Sicily that is one of the most comprehensive tours of Sicily that we offer.  Departing from and ending in Palermo it makes a great tour for those who who can get direct flights now being offered into and out of Palermo.

Over the course of this tour, main highlights include Palermo and Monreale, Marsala, Siracusa, Noto, Taormina, Mt. Etna, Cefalu and many other extraordinary towns. Over the course of the tour, as per our detailed itinerary we visit producers of local products and dine in truly authentic Sicilian restaurants where we include dinner every evening.

For the day-to-day itinerary destinations we visit, see the detailed itinerary below: 

DEPARTURE DATES 2018: 
 
April  03 10 17 24
May 01 08 15 22 29
June 05 12 19 26
July 03 10 17 24 31
August 07 14 21 28
September 04 11 18 25
October 02 09 16 23
 
Extra fees entrances (to be confirmed):
  • Taormina Greek theatre € 10,00 p.p.
  • Piazza Armerina Villa Romana € 10,00 p.p.
  • Monreale Cathedral € 3,00 p.p.
  • Monreale Cloister € 6,00 p.p.
  • Palermo Cappella Palatina € 8,50 p.p.
  • Palermo Martorana Church € 2,00 p.p.
  • Palermo Cathedral € 3,00 p.p.
  • Selinunte Archeological Parc € 6,00 p.p.
  • Agrigento Valle dei Templi € 10,00 p.p.
  • Noto Palazzo Nicolaci € 4,00 p.p.

Itinerary

 

Day 1 - Independent Arrival in Palermo -Welcome Dinner and Tour Orientation in Palermo

Where we visit : Palermo
Meeting Location : Hotel
Today you will arrive independently at the hotel in Palermo.  

This evening you will enjoy a welcome dinner at an authentic restaurant in Palermo. and orientation of the tour ahead.

Overnight at the hotel in Palermo. 
 
Meals : Dinner
 

Day 2 - PALERMO - MONREALE - MARSALA

Where we visit : Palermo, Monreale, Marsala
After breakfast at the hotel this morning we will begin our tour of the city of Palermo, one of the most important cities in Sicily and one of the richest cities in southern Italy, famous for its incredible history and art.

Palermo stands on a bay at the foot of Mt Pellegrino, a headland described by Goethe as the loveliest he had ever seen. While the Baroque predominates, there is a profusion of different architectural styles reflecting the city’s multicultural past, including an elegant opera house! We will visit the wonderful Arab-Norman Cathedral, the astonishing Martorana Church and the amazing Cappella Palatina, mirable example from an historical and an artistic point of view, of how different cultures, religions and way of thinking apparently incompatible can coexist.

Ruggero II in fact employed both Bizantyne, Muslim and Latin workers. Continuing our walk we will admire the debated fountain in Pretoria Square, situated in the ancient Kalsa area and adorned with XVI century sculptures. Along the visiting day we will have a stop for a food surprise in the famous Antica Focacceria San Francesco. Free time for lunch. Later on we will proceed to Monreale to visit its huge Norman Cathedral, proclaimed the Eighth Wonder of the World, and its splendid Cloister in Arab-Norman style: admirable masterpiece of art, sculpture, and semi-precious stones marquetry!

In the afternoon we will continue to Marsala in whose port Garibaldi landed in 1860. Visit of a prestigious wine cellar and wine tasting.

Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
 

Day 3 - MARSALA SALT ROAD - SELINUNTE – AGRIGENTO

Where we visit : Agrigento
This morning the tour will continue 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. Between Trapani and Marsala they are now protected, in part because of the interesting birdlife, and also as important sites of industrial archaelogy. On the way you will see the nice Island of Mothia (situated at the centre of a large lagoon in Marsala, known today as 'Stagnone'), and the famous Salines and windmills. Departure to Selinunte to visit the largest Archaeological Park in whole Mediterranean and World Heritage Site! Surrounded by a splendid landscape near the African Sea, wewill walk among the rests of the ancient Greek city. Free time for lunch.

Following lunch we head to Agrigento and visit of the Valley of the Temples stated World Heritage Site, where among hundreds of almond trees, the rests of the ancient Akragas rise. It was defined by Pyndar “the most beautiful city of mortals”. Once one of the most prosperous of the ancient Greek cities on the island, Agrigento presents a remarkable series of Doric Temples of the 5th century. You will see the “Temple of Hera”, the “Temple of Concordia” and the “Temple of Heracles”.

Dinner and Overnight at hotel in Agrigento  
Meals : Dinner
 

Day 4 - PIAZZA ARMERINA - RAGUSA - CATANIA

Where we visit : Piazza Armerina, Ragusa, Catania
In the morning after breakfast today we will head to Piazza Armerina where we will admire the splendid polychrome mosaics of the famous Villa Romana del Casale, World Heritage Site. The complex, which has some of the most extensive and most beautiful Roman mosaics known, is a World Heritage Site. This majestic villa, belonged to a member of the Roman Senatorial aristocracy, hosts prestigious mosaics representing mythological and historical episodes and scenes of hunting and entertainments!

After free time for lunch, departure to Ragusa Ibla and visit of its historical centre cradle of Sicilian baroque, with its Cathedral, situated in the beautiful square of the Dome and the “giardino Ibleo”. 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 city, well known thanks to the Commissario Montalbano television series, hosts more than 50 churches and many baroque architectural treasures.

Near Ragus we will have a stop before we head to Catania and enjoy some local products from the area.

Once we reach  Catania  there will be time for dinner and overnight. 
 
Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
 

Day 5 - Day at Leisure and Free time for Shopping in Catania

Where we visit : Catania
Today is a day dedicated totally to your leisure, so enjoy some shopping or just walking along the sea-side of Catania.

In the afternoon catch up with your tour leader to determine tonight's dinner in Catania.

Overnight at the hotel in Catania 
Meals : Dinner
 

Day 6 - DAY TRIP FROM CATANIA TO SIRACUSA & NOTO

Where we visit : Siracusa, Noto
After breakfast at the hotel this morning we will head to the beautiful island city of Siracusa, the most beautiful and greatest Greek colony in Sicily and a World Heritage Site.  Here we will visit the incredible Archaeological Park of Neapolis, with its GreekTheatre, the Roman Amphitheatre, the Latomie of Paradise and the Ear of Dionysius.

After our visit of the ruins, we will head to the historical center of Siracusa, which is located on the splendid island of Ortigia, connected to the mainland by a small bridge.  Here you will have a chance to admire the beautiful Cathedral which dominates the square with its authoritative presence.

The present façade is a powerful Sicilian-Baroque composition but it gives no hint that this building was once a Doric temple! From Piazza Duomo you will reach a wide terrace on the waterfront surrounding the famous Arethusa’s Fountain, one of the most famous fresh-water sources of the Greek world.

Free time for lunch.

Following lunch we will head to the beautiful golden town of Noto, the capital of Sicilian baroque, famous for its fine buildings of the early eighteenth century and declared Unesco World Heritage Site. Inspired byBaroque ideals of “open city”, Noto is a rare masterpiece and the most clear example of theatrical tastes in 18th century architecture whose local limestone has been burnt gold by the sun. Noto’s Baroque is in fact a game of elegant curves, floral weaves, perspective views palaces and gardens, capitals and ornaments that adorn the facades of churches and monasteries.

We will visit Palazzo Nicolaci Villadorata, beautiful noble residence in Baroque style and once the residence of Don
Giacomo Nicolaci, a patron of the arts.

Back to Catania for dinner and overnight in hotel.
Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
 

Day 7 - MT. ETNA – TAORMINA

Where we visit : Mt. Etna, Taormina
This morning we will leave Catania to visit Mt. Etna the highest (c. 3350m) volcano in Europe and one of the largest and most active in the world.  Today it is a Unesco World Heritage Site and sits withing a regional park that protects 59.000 hectares of unique geology, flora and fauna, villages and farms, and traditional methods of forestry, bee-keeping, wine manufacture, stonework and carpentry.

We will reach the “Crateri Silvestri”, small volcanic cones now inactive, surrounded by ancient lava flows. The view beyond the mountain’s hundreds of subsidiary cones and craters, can extend across the whole of Sicily, the Aeolian islands and Calabria. The spectacle is unique!

Heading down into the valley we head towards beautiful Taormina.  On-route we stop to visit a local company who produces some of the finest honey in Sicily and you will have a chance to visit of the honey extraction lab, tasting of homemade honey and typical products of the area.

Following our visit here, we proceed to  Taormina.  a charming town renowned for its magnificent position above the sea commanding a celebrated view of Etna! Lunch in a typical restaurant where you will assist to a show-cooking lesson for some typical Sicilian cuisine dishes.

In the afternoon we will visit  Taormina. 's fascinating Greek theatre, and then you will have free time for a nice walk among the picturesque medieval typical narrow streets and go shopping and looking around the local handycraft (coral jewels, precious laces, ceramics, sweets and much more).

The day will end with an overview of the beautiful Riviera dei Ciclopi.

Back to our hotel in Catania for dinner and overnight.
Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
 

Day 8 - CATANIA - CEFALU - PALERMO

Where we visit : Cefalu, Palermo
Prior to departing Catania today we will visit the historical centre of Catania which is a Unesco World Heritage Site, with its original baroque style and its unique streets built with black lava stone. The colour scheme of the city-centre building in fact is black and dark grey, relieved with white limestone details around the doors and windows.The city still preserves ruins of the Imperial Roman period and the historical center of Catania is extremely elegant despite having been rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693.

Catania was the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily under the Aragonese dynasty. The walking tour will start across the “pescheria” (the ancient fish market) to reach the scenic Duomo square with its magnificent Cathedral and the famous “Liotru” statue, antique lava-stone elephant, symbol of the city. Not far from here we will reach the University Square and we will have a walk along the splendid baroque Via dei Crociferi, the most representative 18th century street in Catania, where we will admire the famous S. Benedict Monastery, Unesco World Heritage Site. We will continue walking along the precious historical city centre.

Free time for lunch.

Following lunch we head to Cefalù, charming medieval town situated at the northern coast of Sicily. We will visit its stunning Norman Dome and you will have free time to stroll through the town or to visit the famous and well-known Mandralisca Museum. We will proceed to Palermo for overnight.

Dinner and overnight in Palermo. 
Meals : Breakfast
 

Day 9 - CONCLUSION OF SERVICES IN PALERMO

Where we visit : Palermo
After breakfast at the hotel today it will be time to say arrivaderci!

Conclusion of our services in Palermo. 
Meals : Breakfast

Map

 

Inclusions/Exclusions

Tour Highlights and What's Included

  1. Accommodation in Centrally Located, Four Star Hotels
  2. Breakfast and dinner daily
  3. Detailed explanation of sites
  4. Dinners where indicated with wine included
  5. English speaking professional tour guide
  6. Excellent Photo Opportunities
  7. Wine and Olive Oil Tastings

What's Not Included

  1. Gratuities of any type
  2. Meals not mentioned in the program
  3. Travel Insurance

Sites and Locations Visited on this Tour

Pricing & Availability

Please contact us today by either phone or email for assistance with this booking.
Email : team@italygroupspecialists.com
Toll Free : 1-866-779-2565

Hotels

Grand Hotel Federico Palermo

The Grand Hotel Federico II, opens to an elegant foyer that leads into several spacious lounges lovingly furnished. The lounge bar with the adjacent reading room, may offer You relaxed hours choosing between an assorted selection of teas, herbal infusions, and local distilled.

Hotel Baglio Basile

Hotel Baglio Basile is surrounded by pretty vineyards and palm trees, set between Marsala and Mazara del Vallo in western Sicily. It features a modern wellness centre and swimming pools..

Hotel Dioscuri Bay Palace

The hotels has 100 rooms, all elegantly furnished and equipped white every comfort to ensure a truly unique experience. Ideal for any type of stay, you can choose between different types of rooms: Standard rooms, Superior rooms, Deluxe room and Junior Suite.

Hotel Principe D'Italia

The 4-star hotel Principe di'Italia, in the beautiful setting of South-East Sicily, combines relaxation, wellness and sport for the family, with the largest wellness center in the island. For a stay or a luxury wellness program near the Syracuse sea and the architectural beauties of Val di Noto, it is the ideal place where to spend a relaxing weekend, a holiday with children or a stay dedicated

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Client Testimonials

Dear Guiseppe and Jesse,
We just returned from our most wonderful vacation to Italy and wanted to first thank you for putting together such a wonderful trip, and second to provide some feedback for the future.

Hotels
1. Hotel Sovestro in San Gimignano was wonderful. The staff were very friendly and helpful and made the first portion of our journey very stress free. They made us feel like we were part of their family. I would recommend it to anyone and would specifically ask for it if we were to make a return visit.

2. Hotel La Baia in Monterosso was nice and it's location was very good especially for us older folks humping luggage from/to the train station.

3. Hotel Lucchesi in Florence- what can I say expect FANTASTIC. The rooftop view at sunset is well worth it. Again very friendly and helpful staff. Would recommend it to everyone.

Wine Tour
Money well spent. We had a great time overall. The driver Mario was OUTSTANDING. He had lots of local knowledge as well as about winemaking. USE HIM AGAIN!!!

The various wineries we visited on tour:
Altesino- fantastic and they were not cheap on their pouring. Great experience.
Azienda Agricola Patrizia Cencion Sloaria- Again a great tour by one of the owner's daughters. We felt like we were the only thing on their mind although there were other customers there. A great way to complete the day.

Again we had a fantastic time and are very appreciative of everything you booked for us. We wish you continued success and if our travels should bring us back to Italy, we know who to call.

- Ron and Deb Crosby Read More

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