Duration

9 Days

Category

Multi Days

Tour Type

Small group

Season

9-17 MARCH 2019

 990

2019 Sicily Fam Trip

March 9, 2019 – March 17, 2019
8 nights/9 days

Palermo (3 night) Agrigento Area (1 night) Syracuse (4 nights)  

Route:
Land:   Palermo airport (PMO – Falcone Borsellino International Airport), West Side
Leave: Catania airport (CTA – Fontanarossa International Airport), East Side

March 9 (Saturday) Italy > Landing in Palermo (PMO)
March 10 (Sunday) Palermo > Erice and Segesta with lunch in an olive oil farmhouse > Palermo
March 11 (Monday) Palermo Street Food Walking Tour with snacks and Monreale AM
March 12 (Tuesday) Palermo > Hidden Sicily: Meal Experience and Alia > Agrigento Area
March 13 (Wednesday) Agrigento Area and Piazza Armerina > Syracusa
March 14 (Thursday) Syracusa > Etna slopes, Winery and Taormina > Syracusa
March 15 (Friday) Syracusa > Truffle Hunting and Nero d’Avola Wine > Syracusa
March 16 (Saturady) Syracusa AM. PM relax in Syracusa
March 17 (Sunday) Syracusa > Leaving from Catania (CTA)

Featured Properties Used:

Palermo                   
Hotel Plaza Opera
Agrigento Area         Alba Palace Hotel (Favara)
Syracusa                   Ortea Palace luxury hotel  

City Taxes:
The offer does not include city taxes which have to be paid directly to the hotel during check out.

The RATE IS PER PERSON, land only:
Travel Agent:                         Eur 990 in double/twin sharing
Travel Agent:                         Eur 1.470 in single room

Travel Agent Companion:     Eur 1.190 in double/twin sharing

What is Included:
–  Palermo: three nights accommodation
–  Agrigento Area: one night accommodation
–  Syracusa: four night accommodation
–  Daily breakfast
–  Private vehicle as shown in the itinerary
–  English speaking local guide as shown in the itinerary
–  Professional Tour Escort as shown in the itinerary
–  Meals, tastings as shown in the itinerary
–  ½ lt. mineral water at included meals
–  Admission fee
–  Visits as shown in the itinerary
–  VAT

What Is Not Included:
–  Intercontinental Flight
–  Gratuities and Tips
–  Porterage at airport
–  Fee for luggage handling fee at hotels
–  Beverages and meals not mentioned in the program
–  Travel Insurance
–  City Taxes
–  Airport transfers

  • Days
    9
  • Nights
    8
  • Duration
    9 Days
  • Category
    Multi Days
  • Tour Type
    Small group
  • Season
    9-17 MARCH 2019
Day 1
March 9 (Saturday): Palermo airport (PMO)/town
Private Vehicle and Italian Speaking Driver Disposal: no

Welcome to the warm, beautiful and pleasant island of Sicily! Upon arrival at Palermo Falcone-Borsellino Airport (PMO | Your Arrival by TBA) please proceed through Passport Control and collect your luggage inside the customs area. Then independent transfer in town.

H 7PM Meet and Greet with Tour of Sicily, Introduction and Lecture concerning the tour and history of Sicily, Welcome Drink and Snacks. (S)
Day 2
March 10 (Sunday): Palermo/Erice, Olive Oil Farmhouse and Segesta/Palermo
Private vehicle and Italian Speaking Driver Disposal: full day from h 8.30AM
English Speaking Tour Escort included full day from h 8.30AM


Breakfast at hotel.

Today departure for Erice uptown, which was an important religious site associated with the goddess Venus. Wander through its ancient streets and visit some of the famous homemade pastry shops—world-famous for marzipan candies and other delicacies like almond and pistachio pastries. Towering over the west of Sicily at 751m above sea level and often covered in its own personal cloud, Erice is a wonderfully preserved Mediaeval town offering the most breathtaking views and a palpable sense of history. Originally an Elymian city (the Elymians were around before the Greeks ever set foot in Sicily) Erice, or Eryx as it was first called, was a town of no little importance and renown and is said to have attracted the likes Hercules and Aeneas. Like so many Sicilian towns, it passed from one invader to another as all the usual suspects came and went, leaving their architectural calling cards and their cultural footprints. The name changed from Eryx, to Erice to Gebel Hamed and Monte San Giuliano but its essential character remained, obstinately repelling any attempt to change its real identity. Amongst the most visited sites are the two castles, Pepoli Castle and Venus Castle. The former was built by the Arabs while the latter was a Norman construction with imposing towers that derived its name from the fact that it was built on the site of the ancient Temple of Venus, allegedly founded by Aeneas.

Then to an Olive Oil Farmhouse for our lunch.

This afternoon onto Segesta one of the major cities of the Elymian people, one of the three indigenous peoples of Sicily. Segesta's ancient Greek temple can make a valid claim to being the best preserved in the world, and its amphitheatre boasts a hilltop position on Mount Barbaro second to none. The archeological site, about seventy kilometers southwest of Palermo, reflects the presence of several ancient civilizations, beginning with the elusive Elymians. While the magnificent Doric temple, though (strictly speaking) never completed - as the roof was never added and the pillars never fluted - is impressive, it is just the highlight of a large archeological park. Today we visit the Temple (Admission fee: included)

We then return to Palermo. (BB L)
Day 3
March 11 (Monday): Palermo and Monreale
Private vehicle and Italian Speaking Driver Disposal: half day from h 8.30AM
Palermo and Monreale, English Speaking Local Guide included half day from h 8.30AM


Breakfast at hotel.

Today a short drive takes us to Monreale, to see where Arab-Norman art and architecture reached its pinnacle in the Duomo (Admission fee: included), launched in 1174 by William II. It represents scenes from the Old and New Testaments all in golden mosaics. The story of how this splendid cathedral came into being starts when the Arabs took control of Palermo in 831. They transformed the cathedral into a mosque and banished the Bishop of Palermo from town. Not wishing to venture too far from his beloved cathedral, the Bishop settled in a small village in the hills overlooking Palermo, the site of modern-day Monreale. There, he built a modest church to keep the flame of local Christian worship alive. Some 240 year later, in 1072, the Normans drove the Arabs from Sicily, establishing Palermo as their capital and re-consecrating the Cathedral. In 1174, in an act of piety, thanksgiving and commemoration of the exiled Bishop, King William II ordered the construction of a new church in Monreale, dedicated to the Virgin Mary (one of the mosaics depicts King William II presenting the church to the Madonna). On its completion in 1182, Pope Lucius III elevated the splendid church to the status of metropolitan Cathedral. Enlightened, tolerant and appreciative of many aspects of North African and middle-eastern culture and art, William II employed the very best Arabic and Byzantine (as well as Norman) craftsmen to work on the cathedral. The result is a fabulous and fascinating fusion of architectural styles, artistic traditions and religious symbolism.

Later we drive back to Palermo to experience the Open Air Markets a place overflowing with beautiful fresh fish, and local vegetables and cheeses.  Originating from the era when Sicily was occupied by the moors, this 1000 year old market has run much in the same manner for centuries.  It has strong Arab influences, resembling an eastern souk, and these influences are also evident in the merchandise itself.  Next to mounds of ricotta and caciocavallo cheeses, barrels of olives and fat slabs of swordfish sit saffron and other spices, as well as sacks of beans and gorgeous indigenous fruits and local vegetables.  Here you will have the opportunity to taste a typical palermitano dish, such as the famous Panelle (a thin paste of crushed ceci/garbanzo beans rolled into sheets, fried and served in pizza-like slices). Snacks at the Open-Air Market.

This afternoon is at leisure. (BB S)
Day 4
March 12 (Tuesday): Palermo/ Hidden Sicily: Meal Experience and Alia/Agrigento/Favara
Private vehicle and Italian Speaking Driver Disposal: full day from h 8.30AM
English Speaking Tour Escort included full day from h 8.30AM
Dress Code: comfortable and use sturdy shoes because we walk in the country side and farm
Agrigento, English Speaking Local Guide included to visit the Valley of the Temples


Breakfast at hotel.

Today we drive to the country-side off the beaten route to join the Madonie Natural Park crossing amazing landscape full of unusual colors and lovely atmosphere. Our day drives us to experience “La Via dei Formaggi --The Way of Cheese--”. Various cheese tasting and cooking show indulge us to experience various types of dairy highest quality products. Walking tour to explore the Marcatobianco, a lovely 12th century hamlet, discovering its wineries and livestock farms. The experience continues with a tasting of “Pani Cunzatu”, homemade bread drizzled with “zero food miles” organic olive oil and local fresh ingredients.

The Pani Cunzatu is served by a friendly Sicilian lady, according to our traditions as a picnic lunch.

We then continue onto Agrigento.

Today we enjoy the finest of all ancient Greek sites—the complete Doric Temples (Admission fee: included), one of Sicily’s most famous historical attractions. This is one of the most outstanding examples of Greater Greece art and architecture and is one of the main attractions of Sicily as well as a national monument of Italy. The area was included in the UNESCO Heritage Site list in 1997. Founded as a Greek colony in the 6th century B.C., Agrigento became one of the leading cities in the Mediterranean world. Its supremacy and pride are demonstrated by the remains of the magnificent Doric temples that dominate the ancient town, much of which still lies intact under today's fields and orchards. This splendid archaeological park consists of eight temples (and various other remains) built between about 510 BC and 430 BC: the Temple of Hera, the Temple of Concordia, the Temple of Heracles, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Temple of Castor and Pollux, the Temple of Hephaestos, the Temple of Demeter, and the Temple of Asclepius (the God of Medicine). Apart from this latter, which is to be found on the banks of the Akragas river, all are situated in the same area on rocky crests south of modern day Agrigento (not really in a Valley at all!).

Later this afternoon, transfer to Favara, a small city in the area of Agrigento.

Tonight, dinner & showcooking in a local house! (BB L D)
Day 5
March 13 (Wednesday): Favara/Piazza Armerina/Syracusa
Private vehicle and Italian Speaking Driver Disposal: full day from h 10:00AM
English Speaking Tour Escort included full day from h 10:00AM.
Piazza Armerina, English Speaking Local Guide included to visit the Roman Villa


Breakfast at hotel.

Today, a pleasant walk permits you to reach the majestic Renaissance-style main Church and Piazza Cavour. Walking through the narrow streets of the historical centre, we will stop in a local pastry where you’ll have the chance to make your own “Cannolo” with fresh homemade Ricotta cheese.

Then we travel to Piazza Armerina situated deep in the Sicilian hinterland, at 721 metres above sea level, one of Sicily’s most frequented tourist spots.

Upon arrival lunch in a local trattoria.

This afternoon we visit the famous Villa Romana del Casale (Admission fee: included). Built in the middle of the 4th Century AD as a hunting lodge by a Roman patrician (it is not known for sure who the owner was) the Villa is home to some of the best preserved and extensive examples of Roman mosaics spread over around 3500mt. The villa is one of the most luxurious of its kind. It is especially noteworthy for the richness and quality of the mosaics which decorate almost every room; they are the finest mosaics in situ anywhere in the Roman world. These extraordinarily vivid mosaics, probably produced by North African artisans, deal with numerous subjects, ranging from Homeric escapades and mythological scenes to portrayals of daily life, including the famous tableau of girls exercising in their “bikinis”.

We then continue to Syracusa. (BB L)
Day 6
March 14 (Thursday): Syracusa/Etna slopes, Winery and Taormina/Syracusa
Private vehicle and Italian Speaking Driver Disposal: full day from h 8.30AM
English Speaking Tour Escort included full day from h 8.30AM
Etna Information: no ascent to the summit


Breakfast at hotel.

Today we drive to the Etna Natural Park-South Side, a beautiful Volcano rich in sounds, perfumes, and colors. On arrival, those interested in experiencing the Etna craters will have the opportunity to explore the Silvestri Craters.

Later we travel through one of the most beautiful Wine Roads of Sicily and crossing large expanses of vineyards, we will stop at a local farmhouse. This is the ideal place to enjoy relaxing moments surrounded by nature while sampling local cuisine and excellent wines. In fact, the wines are complemented by uniquely local delicacies. We then continue the tour visiting one local Wine Estate located on the slopes of Etna, where we can walk through the vineyard and finally tasting local meals. During the lunch enjoy the ETNA DOC wines.

During the afternoon we then continue onto Taormina. Upon arrival enjoy a drink at the tables of Caffè Wunderbar (or similar) in Piazza IX Aprile may set you back a few euros, but you'll be basking where Tennessee Williams and Elizabeth Taylor basked before you. As well as the famed Greek-Roman Theatre (Admission fee: included), there are several minor sites to be discovered around Taormina. The attractive principal thoroughfare, Corso Umberto is pedestrian and ideal for strolling and window-shopping. Picturesque lanes above and below the Corso are interesting to explore, while if you want to stretch your legs further there are attractive walks up into the hills, or down to the sea. Given its compact size, Taormina has a huge range of bars, cafes and restaurants where you can while away pleasant hours while admiring the views.

We then return to Syracusa. (BB L)
Day 7
March 15 (Friday): Syracusa/South East Discovery/Syracusa
Private vehicle and Italian Speaking Driver Disposal: full day from h 8.30AM
English Speaking Tour Escort included full day from h 8.30AM


Breakfast at hotel.

Today will be dedicated to discover the South East of Sicily.
We will take part an example of the Truffle hunting experience in a small forest of the Iblei Mountain.
We will discover an old Village where will be visited some of the Museum houses to discvover the lifestyle of the pupolation from 1700 till 1950.
We will have a lunch in the exclusive location of an old watermill located in the countryside of Noto where we will tast the local products and have pasta with the truffles found!!!
We will do our best to have a walk in the city center of Noto as well.

Later return to Syracusa. (BB)
Day 8
March 16 (Saturday): Syracusa
Private vehicle and Italian Speaking Driver Disposal: no
English Speaking Tour Escort included half day from h 9AM
Taxi service to/from the Archaeological Park


Breakfast at hotel.

Today we visit Syracuse. Our first stop in at the Archaeological Park (Admission fee: included) highlights of which are the Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre and the Paradise Quarry. The resulting park contains some of the most extraordinary monuments that classical antiquity has left us and, given their degree of interest and importance, has few equals elsewhere in Italy. Even a quick stay in Syracuse must include a visit to this archaeological site. Then stroll through the streets of Ortygia Island, the heart of the city center, to visit the Dome (Admission fee: included). This delightful pedestrian square is home to the wonderful Cathedral built on the site of an ancient Temple of Athena as can clearly be seen from the original Doric columns that were incorporated into the building’s main structure. Also on this square is the beautifully symmetrical Baroque Palazzo Beneventano and the church of Santa Lucia, the town’s patron saint. Later to the colourful daily Street Market, which sells a fantastic array of fruit, vegetables, fish and meat.

From here, wandering around the eastern limits of Syracuse you fill find a maze of streets that eventually open out at the southern extreme of the island and the inaccessible Castello Maniace, a true bastion built by Frederick II in 1239. Later onto the Byzantine Miqwe (Admission fee: included), located, at 18 meters of depth and is considered the biggest and oldest Jewish ritual bath in Europe.

The balance of the day is at leisure.

Tonight, we gather for a Farewell Dinner in a local restaurant with wine. (BB D)
Day 9
March 17 (Sunday): Syracusa/Catania airport
Private Vehicle and Italian Speaking Driver Disposal: no

Breakfast at hotel.

Today independent departure for Fontanarossa Catania airport (CTA). Arrivederci! (BB)

 

Legend Used:
BB
Breakfast L Light Lunch S Snack D Dinner TBA To Be Advised

Half Day and Full Day:
Half day is around 3 to 4 hours. Full day is around 7 hours.
Contact us for price information

Tour Map