BACKROAD SICILY TOUR
Experience the Sicilian lifestyle and tradition with a group tour limited to 14/16 participants! We are thrilled to introduce a wonderful journey to discover the beautiful Sicily travelling from west to east, through the magical interior of this paradise island.On a crossroads in the Mediterranean, part of Europe and Africa, yet belonging to neither, Sicily was tramped across by half of the ancient civilized world. As conquerors came and went, they left behind elements of their culture, resulting in the rich and varied mixture that typifies every aspect of Sicilian life, from language, customs and cooking to art, and, most notably, architecture.
Sicily is a curiosity, and the legacy of the past is redolent everywhere. They say that today there is as much Phoenician, Greek, Arabic, Norman, Spanish or French blood in Sicilian veins as there is Italian. The resulting mixture – exotic and spicy- has created a distinct culture at the foot of Italy. We have a real passion for Sicily and look forward to sharing it with you !
Read what our friends say about this fantastic small group tour
- Guaranteed departure group travel: small, friendly group limited to 14/16 participants only!
- Guided tour of SPICY PALERMO and MONUMENTAL MONREALE
- TAORMINA: Mediterranean garden in the foothills of Mount Etna
- Tour of CATANIA with its FISH MARKET & the CYCLOPS COASTLINE
- SIRACUSA and BAROQUE TREASURES of the South East
- Guided tour of ORTIGIA ISLAND & NEAPOLIS archaeological area
- SIRACUSA OPEN MARKET with local tastings
- Visit unique VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES
- Majestic MOUNT ETNA and WINE TASTING in local wine estate
- Lunch on the golden sandy beach of GIARDINI NAXOS
- “SICILIAN HOME-HOSTED MEAL” in a quaint village
- Visit the charming fishing town of CEFALU’
- Visit popular UNESCO World heritage sites
- Exceptional Multilingual Tour leader and professional travel guide (English,Italian or French)
- Main Sicilian archaeological sites entrances are included
- Transportation on tour, via private air-conditioned 20 seats motorcoach
- Included gratuity for city guides
- Local guides included in Palermo,Monreale,Siracusa
- Early arrival/Late stay options: We recommend arriving a day or more prior to tour start.We’ll be happy to make these arrangements for you.
- Our regional meals: All breakfasts, 3 street food experience, 3 dinners, 3 lunches (main meals include regional wine, mineral water, espresso coffee or tea only)
- Arrival & departure: The tour begins in our hotel in Palermo and end in Taormina. Airport transfers are included
- Activity level: Moderate
- Terms & conditions/Single supplement: (View Here) and FAQ ( View Here)
- Trip Interruption and Cancellation insurance is not included. We highly recommend Travelex-Insurance.com to protect your vacation.
- Purchase of European Travel & Health Insurance is strongly recommended
“BACKROAD SICILY TRAVEL ITINERARY”
TOUR LIMITED TO 14/16 PARTICIPANTS ONLY FROM PALERMO TO CATANIA
DAY 1: WELCOME TO MONUMENTAL SICILY
Arrive in Palermo for a two nights stay in our central hotel, close to the city’s architecturally treasures. At 6.30 pm meet your tour director for a discovery orientation tour followed by dinner in a local restaurant.Overnight in PALERMO.
DAY 2: HIGHLIGHTS OF PALERMO & MONREALE
Start your discovery of Sicily with a guided walking tour of PALERMO, a crossroads of history, being the world’s most conquered city and a melting pot of civilizations. The city was the seat of the Arab Emirate in the 10th century, and Middle Eastern influences can still be seen in the architecture of the churches and in the narrow streets and alleys of the old Arab quarter.Today we discover what this city is best known for:the Byzantine MARTORANA CHURCH, famous for its impressive Norman mosaics, the evocative PALATINE CHAPEL, dating back to the 12th century and some of the rooms of the ROYAL PALACE. After a visit to the famous CAPO MARKET for a local street food experience, you’ll drive to the hills of Palermo to uncover the beauty of MONREALE, known for one of Sicily’s great sites – the stunning 12th century Norman cathedral literally wallpapered with golden mosaics that tell the stories of the bible.The remainder of the day is at leisure.Overnight in PALERMO
DAY 3: CAPTIVATING CEFALU’ & VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES IN AGRIGENTO
This morning drive takes you to visit the charming fishing village of CEFALU‘. The squares, streets and churches of this medieval town are so postcard-pretty that it’s no wonder director Giuseppe Tornatore chose to set parts of his much-loved film Cinema Paradiso here. Most of Cefalu’ sites are found in the historic town center around Corso Ruggero and Piazza del Duomo, where you can visit the striking Cathedral, a mosaic-adorned outpost of Norman power and one of the jewels in Sicily’s Arab-Norman crown. After time on your own for sightseeing and maybe an Italian “gelato”,you’ll continue to the ancient city of AGRIGENTO, a UNESCO heritage site for a tour of the VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES, an incredible concentration of Greek temples in varying states of ruin and reconstruction. This historic site was the heart of one of the most important cities in the ancient world and is the prime example of the magnificence of MAGNA GRECIA. Tonight you’ll be staying at a central hotel with an included dinner.Overnight stay in AGRIGENTO
DAY 4: ROMAN VILLA MOSAICS & SIRACUSA’S ELEGANCE
Your transfer to SIRACUSA features a stop at the ROMAN VILLA ,one of the 44 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Italy, built in the first quarter of the 4th century. It contains the richest, largest and most complex collection of Roman mosaics in the world. Following a hearty included lunch in a family restaurant, your journey continues to the city of SIRACUSA for the next three nights in the heart of the island of ORTIGIA.The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to make your own discoveries or simply wandering the colorful winding streets and alleys of elegant Ortigia.Overnight stay in SIRACUSA
DAY 5: SIRACUSA- “TAPESTRY OF CULTURES”
In the morning, you’ll explore this major outpost of the Greek empire with a local expert guide.The city boasts an incredible historical heritage, starting from the Archaeological Park, featuring the ancient Greek Theater now used for classical performances, the Latomie del Paradiso, the largest quarry in the ancient urban settlement and the Ear Of Dionysus, a subterranean artificial cave quarry used as a prison. You’ll see numerous elegant Baroque town houses, rebuilt after the earthquake that severely damaged the city in 1693, the elegant Piazza Duomo, dominated by the Cathedral’s baroque facade and the Temple of Athena from the 5th century BC lying behind it. After a “foodie experience” at the lively market, you’ll be enjoying the afternoon at leisure.Overnight in SIRACUSA
DAY 6:VOLCANIC CATANIA,CYCLOPS COASTLINE & HOME-HOSTED FAMILY EXPERIENCE
This morning, depart for TAORMINA, one of the island’s most ancient destinations in Sicily. On the way you’ll discover the vibrant city of CATANIA, which owes its Baroque architecture in gloomy black lava to the last quake of 1693. During your free time,you might consider visiting the Cathedral of St. Agatha, where the reliquary of the patron saint is housed, the cathedral square, the Bellini theater, the Villa Gardens or the lively fish market.Today, a Sicilian family will welcome you for a traditional home-hosted lunch, a delightful way to experience everyday life. Spend the last two nights in the charming town of TAORMINA in a central family hotel,with breakfast included.Clamped to a rocky bluff planted with cypresses,pines and lush subtropical vegetation,the exquisitely maintained medieval town of TAORMINA is Sicily’s glitziest and most dramatically situated resort.Dinner is on your own this evening.Overnight stay in TAORMINA
DAY 7:IN THE SHADOW OF MOUNT ETNA & WINE TASTING
Explore majestic MOUNT ETNA, the highest and largest volcano in Europe and one of the world’s most active.The peak changes in size over the years. It currently rises at 11,000 feet above sea level and literally towers above Sicily’s Ionian coast.Descend to the village of LINGUAGLOSSA to visit a family run winery to taste some excellent wine.Enjoy a farewell dinner this evening.Overnight stay in TAORMINA
DAY 8:ARRIVEDERCI SICILIA
Breakfast in hotel and end of the tour