Sicilian Secrets : Tour of Sicily

Valley of the Temples, Escorted Group Tours | Cultural Italy

Tour Introduction

7 NIGHT ESCORTED GROUP TOUR
Groups of 30 people or more. Departing every Saturday from April till October. Includes 4 nights in Catania, 1 night in Palermo, 1 night in Marsala, & 1 night in Agrigento.

7 NIGHT ESCORTED GROUP TOUR
Groups of 30 people or more. Departing every Saturday from April till October. Includes 4 nights in Catania, 1 night in Palermo, 1 night in Marsala,  & 1 night in Agrigento.

DEPARTURE DATES 

2018 March 31
2018 April 7, 14, 21, 28
2018 May 5, 12, 19, 26
2018 June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
2018 July 7, 14, 21, 28
2018 August 4, 11, 18, 25
2018 September 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
2018 October 6, 13, 20, 27

ITINERARY

DAY 01 SATURDAY  CATANIA 
Self arrival in hotel in Catania. Meet with tour guide. Dinner and overnight in hotel.

DAY 02 SUNDAY  SIRACUSA - NOTO
After breakfast in hotel, visit Siracusa, the most beautiful and greatest Greek colony in Sicily and World Heritage Site! The visit will start with the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, with its Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre, the Latomie of Paradise and the Ear of Dionysius. Continue visiting the splendid Ortigia, a small island which is the historical center of Siracusa. Admire the beautiful Cathedral which dominates the piazza. The present façade is a powerful Sicilian-Baroque composition. From Piazza Duomo, continue to  Arethusa’s Fountain, one of the most famous fresh-water sources of the Greek world. Free time for lunch. Departure to Noto, the capital of Sicilian baroque, famous for its fine buildings of the early eighteenth century and declared Unesco World Heritage Site. 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.

DAY 03 MONDAY ETNA - TAORMINA
This morning, leave to visit Etna the highest (c. 3350m) volcano in Europe and one of the largest and most active in the world, nowadays Unesco World Heritage Site. There are splendid views of the lava fields on the approach roads to Rifugio Sapienza. 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.  Later,  visit to a company of beekeeping and rustic cellar: visit of the honey extraction lab, tasting of homemade honey and typical products of the area. Next is Taormina, a charming town renowned for its magnificent position above the sea. Lunch in a typical restaurant where you will assist to a show-cooking lesson for some typical Sicilian cuisine dishes. In the afternoon,  visit the Greek theatre, and then take advantage of some 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). Back to the hotel for dinner and overnight. 

DAY 04 TUESDAY  CATANIA - CEFALÚ
Breakfast in hotel.  Today visit to Catania's historical center. Catania was once 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, symbol of the city. Not far from here, you will reach the University Square and 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. Continue walking along the precious historical city centre. Free time for lunch. Transfer to Cefalù, charming medieval town situated at the northern coast of Sicily. 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. Proceed to Palermo for overnight. Dinner at the hotel or in a restaurant nearby.

DAY 05 WEDNESDAY PALERMO - MONREALE - MARSALA
Breakfast in hotel. The morning will be spent visiting the Palermo, one of the richest towns in the island for its 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! 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. During your tour, stop for a food surprise in the famous Antica Focacceria San Francesco. Free time for lunch. Later , 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, continue to Marsala. Visit of awine cellar and wine tasting. Dinner and overnight in hotel.

DAY 06 THURSDAY  MARSALA SALT ROAD - SELINUTE - 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, see the Island of Mothia, and the famous Salines and windmills. Departure to Selinunte to visit the largest Archaeological Park in whole Mediterranean and World Heritage Site. Free time for lunch. Transfer to Agrigento and visit of the Valley of the Temples,  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”.  Back to hotel, dinner and overnight.

DAY 07 FRIDAY PIAZZA ARMERINA - RAGUSA
Breakfast in hotel. Begin the day with a visit to Piazza Armerina. There you can admire the splendid polychrome mosaics of Villa Romana del Casale, a World Heritage Site. After free time for lunch, departure to Ragusa to visit its historical center and the cradle of Sicilian baroque. This city is today among the 44 Italian World Heritage Sites. It hosts more than 50 churches and many baroque architectural treasures. Tasting of local products at the end of the visit. Proceed to Catania for dinner and overnight in hotel. 

DAY 08 SATURDAY CATANIA
Breakfast in hotel and end of services.

RATES INCLUDE
- Accomodation in 4 star hotels
- Transport service for whole tour (from 2nd day to the 7th)
- Half board (dinners)
- Driver escort/tour
- Leader for whole tour (from evening of 1st day to evening of 7th day)
- Local guides or audio-guides where necessary
- Tasting of Sicilian typical products
- One food surprise in Palermo
- Lunch and cooking show 

RATES DO NOT INCLUDE
- Transfers in/out
- All lunches except for day 3
- Beverages
- Entrances fees for monuments/museums
- City taxes (where compulsory)
- Tips and extras in general
- Anything not specified under "RATES INCLUDE"

HOTELS
All hotels are carefully selected for their location and design to combine Sicilian tradition with comfort.

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