Treasures of Sicily

Treasures of Sicily

2,510 Views
9 Days
From

$2700

$2231

Treasures of Sicily

9 Days Starting in Acireale and ending in Taormina

Visiting: Viagrande, Mount Etna, Syracuse, Noto, Ragusa Ibla, Province of Agrigento, Selinunte, Erice, Nature Reserve Zingaro, Palermo, Cattedrale di Monreale, Cefalù, Taormina

Tour operator:

Exodus

Tour code:

ADZ

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

6 - 18

Physical rating:

Leisurely / Moderate

Age range:

16 to 99

Special diets catered:

Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Adventure Tours

Activities:

Sightseeing, Walking

From:
$2700
$2231 (USD) Operator discount: -$406 The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$63 -17%
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Tour Overview

Sicily is one of the most fascinating islands in Europe, thanks to the indelible marks left by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, and Spanish civilisations. This comprehensive tour explores its sophisticated cities, picturesque villages, well-preserved archaeological sites, and splendid scenery. It starts with an excursion on Mt Etna, continuing to the towns of Syracuse, Agrigento, and Selinunte - all listed as UNESCO heritage sites. There is also a day in Zingaro National Reserve with magnificent views of the Mediterranean.

Highlights

  • Cover the island's highlights and best heritage sites in nine days

  • Visit archaeological sites in Siracusa, Agrigento and Selinunte 

  • Explore Baroque heritage in Noto and Ragusa Ibla

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1 : Start In Acireale
Location: Viagrande
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: No Meals

Our tour starts in Acireale, a charming historic town at the foot of Etna
and overlooking the sea. The town is considered the birthplace of Sicilian
baroque and boasts a magnificent Piazza del Duomo. Churches worth visiting
include San Sebastiano, patron saint of the town, with its ten statues of old
testament figures and the frescoes of the painter Paolo Vasta.

Day 2 : Excursion On Mt Etna, Europe's Highest Active Volcano; Afternoon Wine Tasting.
Location: Mount Etna, Viagrande
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast we enjoy a spectacular guided walk on Mt Etna, Europe's
highest active volcano. We hike up past several old lava flows to be rewarded
with a dramatic panoramic view of the volcanic landscape and old craters (1
to 2 hours walking, 5 km). You are strongly advised to take a
waterproof/windproof jacket, a warm top and to wear long trousers. In the
afternoon we enjoy a delicious wine & cheese tasting in one of the famous
wine cellars of the area. Transfer back to Acireale.

Day 3 : Drive To Syracuse To Visit Its Archaeological Site; On To The Unesco Baroque Town Of Noto.
Location: Syracuse, Noto
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning we drive to Syracuse (approx. 1h 20 mins drive), the most
powerful city-state in the Greek world and briefly capital of the Byzantine
Empire. Here we visit the superb Neapolis Archaelological Park with its
spectacular Greek theatre and well-preserved Roman amphitheatre, accompanied
by a local guide. In the afternoon we drive to our next destination, the
UNESCO World Heritage site of Noto (approx. 45 mins). This is an absolute
gem: a beautiful town built in the unique Sicilian baroque style using
beautiful honey-coloured stone.
**

Day 4 : Morning Visit The Hilltop Town Of Ragusa Ibla; Transfer To Agrigento's Valley Of The Temples.
Location: Ragusa Ibla, Province of Agrigento
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast we drive to the hilltop town of Ragusa Ibla (approx. 1hr 30
mins), a fascinating maze of winding streets dotted with remarkable baroque
churches, and continue on to Agrigento (2hrs 30 mins). Here we enjoy a guided
visit of its magnificent Valley of the Temples: the Temple of Juno, the
Temple of Concorde, one of the most well-preserved Doric temples in all the
Greek world, the Temple of Ercules and the Temple of Castor and Pollux. We
then overnight in Agrigento.

Day 5 : Visit Ruins Of Selinunte, Overlooking The Mediterranean; Drive To The Hilltop Village Of Erice.
Location: Selinunte, Erice
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

Our day starts with a transfer to Selinunte (1hr 30 mins) to explore one of
the most important archaeological sites in the Mediterranean, set high
overlooking the sea. We then move on to the mountaintop village of Erice (1hr
30 mins) , and stop en route for a view of the famous salt flats of Mozia,
dotted with characteristic wind mills (time permitting). Once in Erice, we
have time for a stroll through its narrow streets and will try the best
almond cakes (cassata) on the island. Overnight near San Vito Lo Capo.

Day 6 : Walk In The Stunning Zingaro Nature Reserve; Afternoon Transfer To Palermo.
Location: Nature Reserve Zingaro, Palermo
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning we take a break from the cultural highlights of the island and
head to the coast to explore one of the best examples of idyllic
Mediterranean landscape on foot. Stretching along the coast for 7km between
the lovely village of Scopello in the east to San Vito Lo Capo in the west,
the Zingaro Nature Reserve boasts some stunning walking trails with views out
to the cliffs and the glistening sea, hidden coves and pristine beaches. We
take a leisurely walk for up to 3 hours (including stops) along beautiful
coastal trails with the opportunity of a quick swim before returning to the
bus. In the afternoon we make our way to Palermo (approx. 2hrs) where we can
enjoy some time at leisure to discover the vibrant historic centre and lively
streets filled with restaurants and bars. We then overnight in Palermo.

Day 7 : Morning Visit To Monreale Cathedral; Guided Tour Of Palermo And Free Time.
Location: Cattedrale di Monreale, Palermo
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

After a short transfer to Monreale (approx. 1 hr), we visit its extraordinary
cathedral, considered the greatest example of Norman architecture in the
world. We then head to Palermo (approx. 1 hr) and our local guide will show
us the most important sites of this beautiful city, including Quattro Canti,
Pretoria Square, the Cathedral and Marina Square. In the afternoon we have
some free time in Palermo to enjoy this eclectic city at our own pace. We
overnight in Palermo.

Day 8 : Drive To The Fishing Village Of Cefalu To Visit Its Norman Cathedral; On To Charming Taormina; Free Time To Explore.
Location: Cefalù, Taormina
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning we drive to the fishing village of Cefalu (approx. 1 hr 15
mins), where we visit the impressive cathedral, home to elaborate Byzantine
mosaics, and the lovely historic centre with its winding mediaeval streets.
Our tour ends in one of the most renowned treasures of Sicily: the charming
town of Taormina (approx. 2hrs 40 mins drive). We have time to visit its
Greek theatre and enjoy the spectacular views of Mt Etna and the sea. We
overnight in Taormina.

Day 9 : End In Taormina.
Location: Taormina
Meals Included: Breakfast

Our tour ends in Taormina in the morning of day 9. 

What's Included

  • Special guided tours in main UNESCO sites and cities

  • All breakfasts and 1 wine tasting

  • All accommodation

  • London flights (if booking incl. flights)

  • Trasport by private air-conditioned bus throughout the trip

  • Airport transfers for group flights

What's Not Included

  • Local city taxes approx. €10-15 

  • Travel insurance 

  • Single accommodation 

  • Visa or vaccinations

Food

All breakfasts and a wine tasting on Mt Etna included. Sicilian cuisine is a melting pot of all the different cultures that have occupied the island, from the Arabs to the Normans. The island itself is incredibly fertile, enjoying a perfect climate which is ideal for the cultivation of fresh produce such as olives, oranges, lemons, eggplants, tomatoes, pistachios, almonds, grapes, and more — not to mention all of the seafood, tuna and swordfish fished right off the coast. The result? A cuisine that’s fresh, varied, and absolutely delicious! Sicilian wines are also superb and known to be strong and syrupy, like Marsala and Moscato.

Accommodation

On this cultural trip in Sicily, we use a varied selection of three- and four-star hotels. The places we stay are often near historic centres, allowing us to easily explore the towns in the evenings or during our free time.

Below are the accommodations we typically use:

Viagrande: Grand Hotel Villa Itria (nights 1-2)



With an outdoor pool, restaurant serving Mediterranean dishes made with local ingredients, and a cocktail bar-lounge, Villa Itria is an excellent spot to ease ourselves into the trip. There’s also a wellness centre for an additional cost.

Noto: Hotel Flora (night 3)



Our time in Noto is spent at Hotel Flora, which is ideally located in the historic centre of town. Noto Cathedral and the Piazza del Duomo are just a 10-minute walk away, while the hotel terrace offers views and a spot for a sundowner.

Agrigento: Hotel Della Valle (night 4)



Now well into the trip, Hotel Della Valle is a great place to relax as a group. When it’s hot, head to the swimming pool area, where you’ll find loungers, parasols and tables, plus a Mediterranean garden with palms and pines. Alternatively, you may prefer to find a shady spot for a drink.

Buseto Palizzolo: Baglio Fontana or B&B Trapani Crystal (night 5)



In Buseto Palizzolo, we stay at either Baglio Fontana (above) or B&B Trapani Crystal, depending on availability. The former is a historic agriturismo (converted farmhouse) with a working farm producing wines and olive oil, plus there's an outdoor pool. The latter is a contemporary retreat with an excellent location, just a short walk from the ancient wonders of the historic centre.

Palermo: Hotel Posta or Hotel B&B Quattro Canti (nights 6-7)



In Palermo, the group stays at either Hotel Posta (above) or Hotel B&B Quattro Canti. Hotel Posta has been run by the same family since 1921 and has an excellent location in the historic centre, just a five-minute walk from Teatro Massimo, plus there's a sun terrace and bar. Our alternative stay, Quattro Canti, is within walking distance of the Quattro Canti piazza, where the four ancient quarters of the city meet, plus there’s a rooftop terrace with views over Palermo.

Taormina: Hotel Villa Esperia (night 8)



Our final night is spent at Villa Esperia. Get the group together by the outdoor pool to toast the adventure and admire the sea views. Alternatively, a cable car to Taormina town centre is just 330ft (100m) from the front door. The hotel also has two restaurants: Bacio di Dama, which serves Sicilian dishes, and Mazzarino, a pizzeria.

Worth knowing

Some hotels require you to wear a swimming cap in the pool.

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  • Who is Exodus Travels?

    At Exodus Travels, we've been exploring the world for nearly 50 years. From Walking and Trekking, Cultural and Cycling, Responsible Wildlife, to Polar and our new Premium Adventures, we are proud to offer award-winning small group and self-guided tours to 100+ countries worldwide.

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes, our local guides are English speaking.

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    The minimum age for this tour is 16 years old.

  • Is there a supplement for solo travellers?

    If you would like to be paired with a tour member of the same gender, there is no additional charge. A single supplement can be requested if you would like your own room.

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    International flights are not included with this tour.

  • Can you assist with pre or post tour accommodation?

    We are happy to assist with pre and post tour accommodation. Please enquire for detailed information.

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    If you wish to make any changes to your booking, particularly if you need to alter any flights booked through us, please let us know as soon as possible. There is a booking or flight amendment fee of £40 per change and flight amendments often incur extra airline costs depending on the changes to be made and if the ticket has been issued or not.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Exodus has been trading since 1974

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Your final joining instructions and flight details, if booked with us, will then be sent out 2 to 3 weeks before departure. If you would like a hard copy posted, or if you require these any earlier, please contact the customer operations team. We advise that if you are booking connecting travel before receiving these, please ensure you leave plenty of time.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Travellers are welcome to opt to share a room with a tour member of the same gender for no additional charge. If you'd like your own room, we can request a single supplement so that you will have your own room throughout.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    You are welcome to meet the group after the tour has departed however there is no reduction in rate for joining a tour after the departure date.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

TREASURES OF SICILY

A good introduction to a fascinating Island.

Treasures of Sicily

A comprehensive tour around the island taking in all the main sites. There is a lot to see.

Amazing Sicily!

A fast paced, very full itinerary, covering some truly amazing places. Great group, made up of caring, fun, interesting and interested folks from a whole range of backgrounds. Highlights were the Etna Volcano visit by cablecar and Greek Temples at Selinunte. The tour does not include the mosaics of Villa Romano or the Aeolian Islands, both of which I still want to see....so look out Sicily, I'll be returning!

Treasures of Sicily

Brilliant introduction to glorious Sicily. So much to see, so little time, BUT a fantastic introduction covering everything from nature to culture, to ancient temples, wonderful scenery and fabulous food.

Sicily in a week

My husband and I had a fabulous trip to Sicily - a place I knew I would adore and I was not wrong. In 8 days you can only scrape the surface of this wonderful island but this round trip was a great way to see what it can offer. It was a perfect introduction to somewhere we will return to many times.

Treasures of Sicily

This was a fantastic introduction to Sicily. We were fortunate to experience a tremendous range of wonderful scenery, atmospheric historical sites, beautiful towns and mouth-watering Sicilian delicacies in our 8 days on the island. This trip covers a lot of ground and the days are full in order to see as much as possible. As the clock had changed and we lost an hour, this being a late season departure, this sometimes meant we arrived at our final destination as light was fading which meant we saw some amazing sunsets but occasionally missed out on seeing the sites in daylight.

A rush!

An enjoyable trip taking in most of the 'must see' places in Sicily: a great overview of the island. One niggle, though, is that because of the scale of the place the whole trip seemed too rushed: lots of time in the coach, and not quite enough time at various locations to give them justice. If you can afford the time (and higher cost), the newly-introduced 'Sicily Grand Tour' would be a better bet, but if you are prepared for the pace of this tour the 'Treasures of Sicily' does live up to its name.

Sicily in a week !

Overall an excellent trip. This covers the main sites round the island. As it is the largest island in the Mediterranean there is quite a lot of ground to cover so it is quite a busy tour. However it was worth it to see the contrasts of this lovely island which combined with the lovely food made a great holiday.

TREASURES OF SICILY

A really good mix of culture/history, landscape and adventure.  

A Crossroads of Civilisations and Cultures

Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Carthaginians, Berbers, Arabs - even Normans have all left their mark on Sicily - leaving a rich cultural legacy to be discovered by today's visitors. Because we completed a circuit of the whole island, there were inevitably some longer stints on the coach - but it was roomy and we always had a break halfway on longer stretches. Hotels were mixed -the one at Agrigento felt rather soulless and the Agroturismo had some problems - the rustic setting was fine but some people had no running water in the morning. I hope this problem can be fixed as I like the idea of giving custom to a local business. But the one in Palermo couldn't have been more central and the one at Taormina was delightful and so close to the beach (and the beachside restaurant where we had our last dinner)

Read all 60 reviews

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Join us to celebrate Exodus' 50th anniversary! Select departures of this trip feature extra inclusions to mark the occasion: a traditional puppet show, a local birthday celebration and a special edition Exodus kitbag.

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  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Exodus allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform exodus, 43 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of exodus charges.

    Up to 42 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 20 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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