Grade

Moderate

Duration

5 Days

Category

Multi Days

Tour Type

Private

Season

All Year

Availability

On Request

East Short Break – Private
5 days/4 nights | Syracuse (4 night)  

Route:
Land: Catania airport (CTA – Fontanarossa International Airport), East Side
Leave: Catania airport (CTA – Fontanarossa International Airport), East Side

Day 1 – LAND: Catania airport (CTA: Fontanarossa International Airport)/Syracuse
Day 2 – Syracuse AM (visit: Archaeological Park and Ortygia). PM at leisure
Day 3 – Syracuse/Modica (visit: Chocolate Shop) and Ragusa (visit: Ibla)/Syracuse
Day 5 – Syracuse/Taormina and Winery/Syracuse
Day 6 – Taormina/LEAVE: Catania airport (CTA: Fontanarossa International Airport)

Recommended Licensed Local Guide:
-Syracuse: already included (Half Day Walking Tour: 9AM-12PM)
-Taormina: Half Day Walking Tour: 9AM-12PM or 2PM-5PM

 

LEGEND AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION

TOUR DETAILS & BOOKING INFORMATION

TOUR CODE: EAST5

Day 1
Catania airport/Syracuse
Approximately Travel Time and Unit:  -  40 Miles (65 Kilometers)
Private Vehicle and Italian Speaking Driver Disposal: transfer-in only
Welcome to the warm, beautiful and pleasant island of Sicily! Upon arrival at Catania Fontanarossa International Airport (CTA | Your Arrival by TBA) please proceed through Passport Control and collect your luggage inside the customs area. Then transfer to Syracuse.
Day 2
Syracuse
Approximately Travel Time and Unit: -
Private Vehicle and English Speaking Driver Escort Disposal: NO
Taxi Service Disposal: round trip transfers to the Archaeological ParkSyracuse, English Speaking Local Guide included for a Walking Tour, Half Day from h 9AM

Today we visit Syracuse to visit to the Archaeological Park (Admission fee: not 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 and the Aretusa Fountain.

This afternoon is at leisure.
Day 3
Syracuse/Modica and Ragusa/Syracuse
Approximately Travel Time and Unit: Full Day  -  160 Miles (250 Kilometers)
Private Vehicle and English Speaking Driver Escort Disposal: full day from h 8.30AM
Today departure for Modica. Like the other towns in the Val di Noto, was badly damaged in the 1693 earthquake and largely rebuilt in Sicilian Baroque style. It is divided into two parts, “higher” Modica and “lower” Modica, which are connected by numerous flights of steps. Palazzi and houses rise from the bottom of the gorge seemingly stacked one on top of the other. Magnificent churches, with their inspiring domes, bell towers and intricate facades, punctuate the red-tiled roofs and one is struck by the uniform beauty of the whole. Modica has a long and varied history, complete with the usual toing and froing of successions of invaders. It came to real prominence in 1296, when Frederick II of Aragon (not to be confused with Frederick II “Stupor Mundi”) formed the “County of Modica”, a kind of “state within a state” that was initially governed by Mandfredi I Chiaramonte. Modica is custodian of a 400 year tradition of Sicilian chocolate-making. Being part of the Spanish kingdom for so many years meant that Sicily was often one of the first recipients of the new foodstuffs being brought back from South America. Cacao was one of these and today Modica still specialises in making granulous chocolate, often flavoured with chilli pepper, cinnamon or vanilla, that is based on Aztec methods and recipes. Chocolate shops abound and, for the real chocoholic, it is sometimes possible to watch the “chocolatiers” at work. Tasting of Modica chocolate is a must. Later onto Ragusa to visit one of the most fascinating towns in Sicily, Ragusa has caused many a visitor’s jaw to drop as they first set eyes on the lower part of the town. Essentially Baroque, the Ragusa you will see today dates almost entirely from 1693. Indeed, it was in this year that Ragusa, along with its neighbours, Noto, Modica, Scicli and Catania, was razed to the ground by a terrible earthquake that hit most of the eastern side of Sicily. Public opinion on where to rebuild the town was divided, and so a compromise was made. The wealthier, more aristocratic citizens built a new town in a different site, now Ragusa “Superiore”, while the other half of the population decided to rebuild on the original site, on a ridge at the bottom of a gorge, now Ragusa Ibla. The two towns remained separated until 1926 when they were merged to become the chief town of the province, taking the place of Modica. While the upper part has its fair share of architectural delights, it is the smaller Ragusa Ibla down below that really draws visitors. Whether you approach it from Modica to the south or from Ragusa Superiore, the sight of the jumble of houses, churches and civic palazzi piled on top of each other, clinging to the walls of the gorge, is really quite breathtaking. Although seemingly Mediaeval from a distance, once you enter the town’s heart, the Baroque logic of its plan becomes more obvious.

Later we return to Syracuse.
Day 4
Syracuse/Taormina and Winery/Syracuse
Approximately Travel Time and Unit: Full Day  -  100 Miles (160 Kilometers)
Private Vehicle and English Speaking Driver Escort Disposal: full day from h 8.30AM
Taormina, English Speaking Local Guide NOT included

Today departure for Taormina, the world-famous resort town of Sicily. 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: not 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.

Later we travel through one of the most beautiful Wine Roads of Sicily and crossing large expanses of vineyards (Etna D.O.C.), 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.

Light lunch in a local farmhouse with wine.

This afternoon we then return to Syracuse. (L)
Day 5
Syracuse/Catania airport
Approximately Travel Time and Unit: -  40 Miles (65 Kilometers)
Private Vehicle and Italian Speaking Driver Disposal: transfer out only  
Today departure for Fontanarossa Catania airport (CTA | Your Departure by TBA)
Included
  • airport transfers
  • All sightseeing, tasting and excursions as specified in the itinerary
  • English speaking Tour Director/Driver-Escort (as per program)
  • Licensed Local Guide as per program
  • One visit to a winery
  • Private vehicle as per itinerary
  • VAT
Not Included
  • Admission fees
  • Beverage and meal not specified
  • City taxes
  • Fee for luggage handling fee at hotel
  • Gratuities and tips
  • Hotel accommodation
  • Intercontinental/Local Flights
  • Licensed Tourist Guide if not specified
  • Porterage at airport
  • Travel Insurance
Contact us for price information

Tour Map