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TRIP IN BRIEF

Sicilian Gems

From $2,073 AUD
  • 10 Days
  • Cities Visited

    Palermo, Monreale, Cefalu, Catania, Etna, Taormina, Syracuse, Noto, Ragusa, Modica, Piazza Armerina, Agrigento, Marsala, Salt Road

    Group Size:
    2 to 50
    Age Range:
    0 to 99
    Languages: English, Spanish, Italian
    Type: Guided Group Tours

Or contact your local travel agent.

Italy
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Tour at a Glance

Tour at a Glance

Explore the magnificent gems of Sicily

  • Visit Monreale
  • Explore Cefalù, a charming Medieval town situated at the northern coast of Sicily
  • Excursion to Mount Etna
  • Explore Catania at your own pace
  • Visit Syracuse, the most beautiful and greatest Greek colony in Sicily
  • Start Point:
  • End Point:
  • Stops:
  • Map is an indication of destinations visited and may not depict the exact route taken.

Itinerary

Transfer to the hotel in Palermo that will be used on the tour. Rest of the day is at leisure. In the evening, you will meet our tour leader and your travel companions. Enjoy a welcome dinner. Overnight Palermo.

Meals Included:
Dinner

After breakfast in hotel, the morning will be spent visiting Monreale, 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! Later you will discover the stunning Palermo, one of the richest towns in the island for its history and art. Palermo stands on a bay dominated by Mount 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: Punic walls, Art Nouveau villas, noble residences, 17th century squares, including an elegant opera house. Visit of the wonderful eclectic Cathedral, the astonishing Martorana Church and the amazing Cappella Palatina, admirable example from an historical and an artistic point of view, and a prove of how different cultures, religions and way of thinking apparently incompatible can coexist. Ruggero II employed Bizantyne, Muslim and Latin workers. During the day, you will have a stop for a surprise to taste the local street food in the famous Antica Focacceria San Francesco. Free time for lunch. Along the path you will admire the famous Teatro Massimo and the debated fountain in Pretoria Square, situated in the ancient Kalsa area and adorned with 16th century sculptures. Dinner and overnight in hotel. Overnight in Palermo.

Meals Included:
Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast transfer to Cefalù, charming Medieval town situated at the northern coast of Sicily. Visit of its stunning Norman Dome and free time to stroll through the town or to visit the famous and well-known Mandralisca Museum. Arrival in Catania and free time for lunch. Later on the tour will continue visiting Catania’s historical centre stated 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 buildings is black and dark grey, relieved with white limestone details around doors and windows. The effect is extremely elegant! The walking tour will start from 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 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. Continuing the visit enjoy a break in a historical bar of the city centre to taste the typical “granita & brioche”. Dinner at the hotel or in a restaurant nearby and overnight. Overnight in Catania.

Meals Included:
Breakfast, Dinner

This morning after a short visit of the famous “pescheria” (the ancient fish market) in Catania, the tour will continue with an excursion to the Mount Etna, the highest (c. 3350m) volcano in Europe and one of the largest and most active in the world, nowadays Unesco World Heritage Site. Its regional park 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. Views of stunning landscapes will amaze you heading to Rifugio Sapienza. You 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! You will have a stop to enjoy the local homemade honey and some typical products of the area. The tour continues towards Taormina, charming town renowned for its magnificent position above the sea commanding a celebrated view of Etna. Free time for lunch and in the afternoon visit of Taormina’s fascinating Greek theatre which will leave you breathless for its commanding view on Giardini Naxos bay and the Etna mountain! Free time for a nice walk among the picturesque Medieval typical narrow streets, to go shopping and looking around the local handicrafts (coral jewels, precious laces, ceramics, pastries and much more). The day will end with an overview of the beautiful Riviera dei Ciclopi. Back to the hotel in Catania for dinner and overnight Overnight Catania.

Meals Included:
Breakfast, Dinner

Free day. Meet our tour-leader in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight in hotel. Overnight Catania.

Meals Included:
Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast in hotel departure to Syracuse to visit 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. Proceeding on and visit of the splendid Ortigia, a small island which is the historical centre of Syracuse. In Ortigia you will admire the beautiful Cathedral which dominates the square with its authoritative presence. The 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. Departure to Noto, the capital of Sicilian Baroque, famous for its fine buildings of the early eighteenth century and declared Unesco World Heritage Site. Inspired by Baroque ideals of “open city”, Noto is a rare masterpiece and the clearest example of theatrical tastes in 18th century architecture whose local limestone has been burnt gold by the sun. Noto’s Baroque is a game of elegant curves, floral weaves, perspective views, palaces and gardens, capitals and ornaments that adorn the facades of churches and monasteries. Visit of Palazzo Nicolaci Villadorata, beautiful noble residence in Baroque style. Free time for a walk along the town. Transfer to Ragusa for dinner and overnight in hotel. Overnight Ragusa.

Meals Included:
Breakfast, Dinner

Today visit of Ragusa Ibla and its historical centre cradle of Sicilian Baroque. 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 town hosts more than 50 churches and many Baroque architectural treasures! You will be fascinated by its Cathedral, situated in the beautiful Dome square and you will love the “Giardino Ibleo”, the oldest of the four main gardens in Ragusa… At 383 meters above sea level, from this beautiful garden you can admire a spectacular panorama! The tour proceeds towards Modica chest of innumerable Baroque architectural treasures and for this reason stated Unesco World Heritage Site. Walking along the tiny streets of this charming town, you will have a stop to visit Sabadì, one of the most renowned chocolate manufacturers whose chocolate has been awarded as the best Modica chocolate in the last 9 years! You will enjoy a multisensorial chocolate tasting discovering the authentic Sicilian perfumes… the local nepitella (wild mint), the orange blossom honey, the raw PGI – quality Sicilian lemon and the PGI – quality Sicilian red orange are just some of the many flavours you can taste! Proceeding on you will visit the beautiful and perfectly preserved noble seventeenth-century Palazzo Castro Polara Grimaldi. You will be astonished by its amazing balcony which dominates the town with a spectacular view and you will feel to be brought back to the past at the beginning of the XX century where time seems to have stopped. The style of the interior has the typical flavor of Sicilian noble palaces: frescoes of landscapes, wallpapers in splendid satins, vases and furnishings of the most precious manufacture, together with the private collections of Donna Grazietta Grimaldi are all signs which give you the impression that nothing has changed and that the ancient traditions of the house are still alive. You will then be brought back to present time savoring some local delicacies under the shadow of the amazing Orti di San Giorgio: 7 gardens suspended between light and beauty. A breath-taking panorama will be the setting of your relaxing lunch! The day goes on to the charming Piazza Armerina to visit the famous Villa Romana del Casale, Unesco World Heritage Site, to admire the splendid polychrome mosaics! 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: you will love it! Departure to Agrigento. Dinner and overnight in hotel. Overnight Agrigento.

Meals Included:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning the tour continues in Agrigento visiting the famous Valley of the Temples stated World Heritage Site. It was defined by Pyndar “the most beautiful city of mortals”. As 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. Among hundreds of almond trees you will admire the rests of the ancient Akragas. You will see the “Temple of Hera”, the “Temple of Concordia” and the “Temple of Heracles”.  Proceeding on, visit of the charming and well-known town of Marsala, where Garibaldi went ashore in May 1860. Marsala is a Mediterranean modern city, divided between sea and land, featuring unforgettable colours: bright yellow, intense blue, strong red, dazzling white and natural green. After a walk along the city centre, guided tour of the Florio Cellars. The visit starts in front of the majestic giant vats, built at the end of the 19th century and still used for the refinement of Marsala wine. It continues inside the 3 fascinating barrel chambers, 165 meters long and running beneath 104 arches, under which 1.400 small barrels and about 600 larger barrels and vats of different capacities are arrayed, as c. 5.500.000 litres of Marsala wines age in silence and stillness. After a thirty minute tour through the barrel vaults, where the ancient tuff stone floor has been restored, you will reach the avant-garde tasting rooms named Donna Franca and Duca Enrico. You will enjoy a delicious light lunch and a memorable wine tasting experience! The tour will continue visiting the popular Salt Road: here the salt marshes have given rise to one of the oldest salt-extracting industries in the world! Between Trapani and Marsala, the Salt Road is now protected for its interesting birdlife, and also as an important site of industrial archaeology. Transfer to Palermo, accommodation in hotel, dinner and overnight. Overnight in Palermo.

Meals Included:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast in hotel, free time to enjoy Palermo city centre and its beauties. As a nice alternative you can book a private excursion to Erice, ancient town founded by the Elyms, which is castled on Mt S. Giuliano at 751 meters of altitude. This is a fascinating ancient village with tiny and narrow streets, Medieval arches and Spanish style courtyards which will seduce you! Thanks to its elevated position you can enjoy a wonderful view: from one side the bay of Trapani, the salt pans and the Aegadian islands and from the other side the wide valley of Valderice, Custonaci and the hinterland countryside. You will visit Eryx city centre, its main cathedral and the Venere Castle. In the afternoon you will proceed towards Segesta, ancient Elymians colony dominated by a commanding and elegant solitary Doric temple. The wide hills dedicated to crop and pasture, and the few trees which space out the landscape are probably the same as thousands of years ago… The few recent houses built, in fact, do not interfere with the natural beauty of these places. Visit of both the temple and the theatre which were built in the III century b.C. and are located 400 meters above sea level. Overnight in Palermo.

Meals Included:
Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast, check out of hotel. End of services.

Meals Included:
Breakfast

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What’s included?

Accommodation in 4* hotels

Touring with multilingual guide

Local guides or audio-guides where necessary

Tours as per itinerary

9 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 9 Dinners

Transportation by air-conditioned vehicle

Optional private excursion to Erica and Segesta on Day 9

Optional privilege package which includes:

  • Superior/deluxe room (rather than standard)
  • Private arrival and departure transfer
  • City taxes
  • All entrance fees

Additional: $784 per person (price based on twn/dbl room). Available to select at time of booking.

Arrival transfer from Palermo Airport to hotel in Palermo

Whisper kit

Tips and gratuities to tour directors, drivers and local guides

Porterage service

Passport or visa fees

Any beverages or food not listed in itinerary

Entrance fees to monuments or museums when not mentioned

Baggage and personal insurance of any kind

Hotel taxes, service charges and tips for baggage handling

City tax for overnight stays (according to each city council rules)

Any other items of personal nature

Entrance fees at monuments and museums:

  • Sicily:
    • Monreale Cathedral € 4,00 p.p.
    • Monreale Cloister € 6,00 p.p.
    • Palermo Cappella Palatina € 12,00 p.p.
    • Palermo Martorana Church € 2,00 p.p.
    • Taormina Greek theatre € 10,00 p.p.
    • Syracuse Archeological Park € 10,00 p.p
    • Syracuse Cathedral € 2,00 p.p.
    • Noto Palazzo Nicolaci € 4,00 p.p.
    • Piazza Armerina Villa Romana € 10,00 p.p.
    • Agrigento Valley of the Temples € 12,00 p.p.

Pricing & Availability

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Palermo Palermo  
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Palermo Palermo  
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Palermo Palermo  
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Palermo Palermo  
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Palermo Palermo  
From $2,073 per person
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Palermo Palermo  
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Palermo Palermo  
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Palermo Palermo  
From $2,073 per person
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Palermo Palermo  
From $2,073 per person
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Palermo Palermo  
From $2,073 per person
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$2,073pp
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Palermo Palermo  
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Palermo Palermo  
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All rates are based on twin/double share. Please enquire for single and triple rates. Rates are based on AUD. Availability is conditional on final confirmation from the supplier and is subject to change.

Hotel List (or similar)

Mercure Palermo Centro
Via Mariano Stabile, 112, 90139 Palermo PA, Italy
Tel: +39 091 324911
Rating
4
Mercure Palermo Centro
Ibis Styles Palermo Cristal
Via Roma, 477 A, 90139 Palermo PA, Italy
Tel: +39 091 507 0649
Rating
3.5
Ibis Styles Palermo Cristal
Il Principe Hotel Catania
Via Alessi, 24, 95124 Catania CT, Italy
Tel: 39 095 250 0345
Rating
Il Principe Hotel Catania
Romano House Catania
Via Giovanni di Prima, 20, 95131 Catania CT, Italy
Tel: +39 095 352 0611
Rating
4
Romano House Catania
Mediterraneo Palace Ragusa
Via Roma, 189, 97100 Ragusa RG, Italy
Tel: +39 0932 621944
Rating
4
Mediterraneo Palace Ragusa
Baia Di Ulisse Hotel Agrigento
Via Lacco Ameno, 92100 Agrigento AG, Italy
Tel: +39 0922 417639
Rating
4
Baia Di Ulisse Hotel Agrigento

Important things to note

Hotel rooms may not be available for check-in before 2:00 p.m.

Tour can be a combination of regular tours, therefore coach changes may be required.

The same people may not be travelling throughout the tour.

Entrance fees to sights and tourist taxes are not included and are to be paid locally

A government tourist tax may need to be paid locally upon arrival at your hotels.

Have a question about this tour?

You can ask your question here, and we’ll get back to you!

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TRIP IN BRIEF

Sicilian Gems

From $2,073 AUD
  • 10 Days
  • Cities Visited

    Palermo, Monreale, Cefalu, Catania, Etna, Taormina, Syracuse, Noto, Ragusa, Modica, Piazza Armerina, Agrigento, Marsala, Salt Road

    Group Size:
    2 to 50
    Age Range:
    0 to 99
    Languages: English, Spanish, Italian
    Travel Style: Guided Group Tours

Or contact your local travel agent.

Italy
Speak to our Italy Expert - Dannielle

Dannielle has travelled extensively throughout Croatia, Greece, Italy and Slovenia. Speak to her now.

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