Open your world and discover the highlights of the beautiful island of Sicily. Take a relaxed approach and only change hotels once while on your tour and be amazed by the wonders of this “jewel” in the Mediterranean. From ancient to medieval to modern, span through time and experience the traditions and cultures that make Sicily what it is today.
Depart the United States on your overnight flight to begin your tour of Sicilian Highlights.
Upon arrival in Palermo, you and your English speaking tour escort will join your private motorcoach driver for a direct transfer to your 4* hotel in PALERMO. Relax and make yourself comfortable for the remainder of the day. Meet your fellow travelers and tour leader at your first Sicilian group dinner at your hotel.
Breakfast included at your hotel. Depart from your hotel with your private motorcoach and driver and English speaking local guide for a full day tour of Palermo and Monreale. A cultural mix makes Palermo one of the most interesting cities in Europe. Take in the city’s picturesque piazzas – Piazza Pretoria and Piazza Bellini and see the Quattro Canti – the most remarkable intersection in Palermo. The city’s architecture reflects the Sicilian cultural mosaic through its Moorish, Norman and Spanish Baroque styles. Pay visits to the Norman Palace, the Martorana Church and the Palermo Cathedral which houses royal tombs and the impressive Imperial Crown of Constance of Aragon. Enjoy lunch on your own. Take a short drive to the lovely town of Monreale to explore its Cathedral and Benedictine Cloister.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s one of the greatest examples of Norman architecture in Italy – decorated with over 6,340 square meters (almost 70,000 feet) of mosaics and 24-carat gold brilliantly portraying scenes from the Old and New Testaments. Return to your hotel and enjoy a free evening with dinner on your own.
Breakfast included at your hotel. Depart from your hotel with your private motorcoach and driver and head south into the town of Corleone. Made famous by author Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather trilogy, you’ll learn about the history of the Mafia. For decades, the villagers have struggled with the connection to the Mafia and are now fighting back. Join a local resident who will guide you through the CIDMA (International Documentary Center of the Mafia and the Anti-Mafia Movement). Hear tales of the Mafia’s brutal past, the plight of the Sicilian people and the struggle to eradicate the Mafia. Make your way back to Palermo and enjoy dinner this evening at a local restaurant and a specialized opera performance at “Opera at the Palace”.
Breakfast included at your hotel. Depart from your hotel with your private motorcoach and driver for a half day tour of Cefalù and the Sicilian countryside. Head east along the coast from Palermo to the seaside town of Cefalù where you’ll find one of finest cathedrals in all of Sicily. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015, the Cefalù Cathedral was constructed in 1131 and is the focal point of this charming town center. You’ll have free time to stroll the medieval streets and alleys and enjoy the picturesque harbor. Continue to a local farm in the Sicilian countryside where a farmer will demonstrate the traditional methods of making ricotta cheese. After, share an authentic Sicilian lunch prepared by a local chef using the farm’s products. Upon returning to Palermo, the rest of your afternoon and dinner is at leisure.
Breakfast included at your hotel. Depart from your hotel with your private motorcoach and driver for a half day tour of Agrigento and a drive to your next destination of Taormina. Arrive in Agrigento, on Sicily’s southern coast, “the most beautiful city of the mortals…” as defined by Pindar and home of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Valley of the Temples. Experience the world of Ancient Greece in Sicily by visiting the Temple of Heracles, Temple of Concordia, Temple of Zeus, Temple of Juno and the Temple of Castor and Pollux with your local English speaking guide. After touring the ancient ruins of Agrigento, journey across Sicily through the Erean Mountains until you reach the stunning coastline of the Ionian Sea. The hillside town of Taormina, picture perfect with sweeping views of both Mount Etna and the sea, will be your home for the next four nights. Enjoy a group dinner tonight at your hotel.
Breakfast included at your hotel. Depart for your half day tour of Taormina with your motorcoach and driver and your local English speaking guide. This charming resort town became a haven for writers, artists and musicians beginning in the 19th century. You’ll see why Taormina’s natural beauty has earned the name “the jewel of Sicily” and has inspired so many in the arts. On your tour, you’ll visit the impressive Ancient Greek theatre – built in the 3 rd century BC and still in use for performances and as host of the annual Taormina Film Festival. Also see the medieval Taormina Cathedral and the beautifully landscaped Public Gardens. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Spend the afternoon getting to know this city perched high above the sea. Perhaps you’d like to dine at a sidewalk café, enjoy a famous Sicilian gelato or cannoli, browse the shops and boutiques or partake in an optional excursion that takes you to Mount Etna. Dinner is at your leisure.
Breakfast included at your hotel. Depart with your motorcoach and driver for a half day in Castelmola. You’ll climb the twisting road high above Taormina to the quaint medieval village of Castelmola. The unparalleled views of the coastline, Mount Etna and across to Calabria are breathtaking. Walk through the medieval alleyways and see the town’s cathedral and the remnants of the Norman castle for which the village is named. Return to Taormina so you can enjoy the rest of your day at leisure with lunch and dinner on your own.
Breakfast included at your hotel. Depart with your motorcoach driver for a full day in Syracuse. Drive south following the coast to discover the ancient beauty of the city of Syracuse – the largest and most important city-state in Greek controlled Sicily. There, with your expert local guide, you’ll visit the Neapolis Archaeological Park which has the Latomia of Paradise, the Rope-Makers’ Grotto, the Ear of Dionysius, the Greek Theatre, the Altar of Hieron and the Roman Amphitheater. Then you’ll travel to Ortygia, a small island which is the old town center of Syracuse. You can see the Fountain of Arethusa, the Temple of Apollo and visit the Cathedral of Syracuse. Return back to Taormina and toast to Sicilian culture during your farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Breakfast included at your hotel. Transfer with your motorcoach and driver to Catania Airport. Your tour comes to a close as you return home with many cherished memories of Sicily.