Grade

Moderate

Category

Escorted Tour

Season

Scheduled Dates

Accommodation

Included

Airline Tickets

Not Purchased by us

Language

English Only

Small Group Size

Up to 12 people or less

Food and Wine Grand Tour of Sicily – 10 Days – Escorted Tour

Food and Wine Introduction: Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean, just off the ‘toe’ of Italy’s boot. It’s also an island with a unique, eclectic, and rich history: Sicily was first ruled by the Phoenicians, followed by the Greeks, followed by the Romans. After the Romans came the Muslims, followed by the Normans, Muslims, Normans, Spanish, and finally, Italians. Each of them made an indelible imprint on Sicilian Culture, Gastronomy, Wine and Olive Oil. Sicily represents the set of all the Mediterranean culinary traditions concentrated in a single small and amazing island!

Tour Recap
9 nights/10 days
Palermo (3 night) Agrigento (1 night) Syracusa (3 night) Taormina (2 night)
Airline Tickets: not purchased by us

Land: Palermo airport – West Side
Leave: Catania airport – East Side

Day   1 (Sunday) Palermo airport > Town
Day   2 (Monday) Monreale and Palermo Street Food Half Day Tour
Day   3 (Tuesday) Palermo > Marsala Winery, Lunch and Erice > Palermo
Day   4 (Wednesday) Palermo > Countryside Cooking Class and Meal Experience > Agrigento
Day   5 (Thursday) Agrigento, Winery, Olive Oil and Lunch > Syracusa
Day   6 (Friday) Syracusa Half Day Walking Tour. PM relax in Syracusa
Day   7 (Saturday) Relax in Syracusa or Optional Day Tour
Day   8 (Sunday) Syracusa > Modica Chocolate Tasting, Ragusa Ibla and Lunch > Taormina
Day   9 (Monday) Taormina > Etna Volcano, Winery and Lunch by WD4X4 Land Rover > Taormina
Day 10 (Tuesday) Taormina > Catania airport

ASK FOR MORE DETAILS

LEGEND AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION

TOUR DETAILS & BOOKING INFORMATION


Day 1
(Sunday) Palermo Airport > Town
Welcome to the warm, beautiful and pleasant island of Sicily! Upon arrival at Palermo Airport please proceed through Passport Control and collect your luggage inside the customs area. Then, independent transfer to your hotel.

The balance of the day is at leisure.
Day 2
(Monday) Monreale and Palermo Street Food Half Day Tour
English Speaking Guide Included for half day from h 9.00am
Taxi Fee to/from Monreale: included (round service)


Breakfast at hotel.

Today meet our Tour Leader at hotel and reach Monreale by taxi in order DUE GIOIELLI DI PALERMO - AgoraNewsto visit the Dome (Admission fee included), a wonderful example of the Arab-Norman art and architecture. Founded in 1174 by William II, the Dome represents scenes from the Old and New Testaments all in golden mosaics.

We then back to Palermo by taxi to start our Street Food Walking Tour!

A recent ranking, compiled by the American network Virtual Tourist, placed Palermo in 5th place among the best producers of “street food” in the world. To survive your street food experience in Palermo you need: very-very light breakfasts, no-diet-no-calories restrictions today, comfy shoes, a couple of sentences or gestures in Sicilian language and a veteran belly. 

During the itinerary we will see several monuments like: Piazza Pretoria, the Four Corners and an external view of the Cathedral.

Il festival del cibo siciliano arriva a FerraraWe will explore a suggestive and lively open-air market, a place with strong Arab influences, resembling a souk, with picturesque stands of fresh fish, cheeses, fruits and vegetables. During the tour we will have the opportunity to observe local people in their daily activities and to savor foods that a real Sicilian people love to eat! Tasting of typical street food is included.

The tour will end in front of the Massimo Theatre-Palermo Opera House (external view), then

The balance of the day is at leisure.
Day 3
(Tuesday) Marsala Winery, Lunch and Erice
Private Vehicle and English Speaking Driver/Tour Leader Disposal: full day from h 8.30am

Saline Ettore e Infersa, tra Trapani e MarsalaBreakfast at hotel.

Today meet the tour leader at hotel. Then we travel to Marsala region along the Salt Way Road. While travelling we will be fascinated by this unusual landscape: panels of mirror-like water, held by thin strips of earth and white windmills. In Summer now as then in some areas between Trapani and Marsala it is possible to admire piles of salt just harvested.

We then visit a local Marsala Winery (if will be possible will be chosen  the Florio Winery)

Cantine Florio is one of the oldest wine companies in Marsala and the history of wine in this city is interwoven with the history of this company. It was founded in 1833 by Vincenzo Florio, who after having bought land in the countryside, decided to establish his cellars for wine production in the area. We strictly recommend to read the Lions of Sicily, a novel by Stefania Auci based on the true history of the uncrowned kings of Sicily: the story of a family, restless and ambitious, shrewd and determined to be richer and more powerful than anybody else

Lunch in a very local and suggestive trattoria to taste local delicious dishes.

This afternoon departure for Erice, a wonderfully preserved Mediaeval town offering the most breathtaking views and a palpable sense of history. 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.

Almond marzipan probably came to Sicily from Spain, where the Arabs may have introduced it during the Middle Ages. Whether they also brought it to Sicily, which was home to several emirates before 1071, is a matter of debate. However, there is no doubt that it was the Arabs who introduced sugar cane in both Sicily and Spain, and without this key ingredient marzipan could not exist.

Then we drive back to Palermo.
Day 4
(Wednesday) Countryside Village Experience
Private Vehicle and English Speaking Tour Leader Disposal: full day from h 9.00am

Village Experience from Palermo - Tour of SicilyToday will be dedicated to the Countryside Village Experience. We will be deep in the life of a small little village of the inland of Sicily  to have an amazing experience based on the interaction with local life having the opportunity to visit a small cheese factory, a Farmhouse, old greek cave-tumbs (if weather permit).

Lunch will be done in a local farmhouse  in a perfect Family atmosphere

In the afternoon we then continue our tour to Agrigento.
Day 5
(Thursday) Agrigento, Winery, Olive Oil and Lunch
Private Vehicle and English Speaking Driver/Tour Leader Disposal: full day from h 9.00am
Local Guide to visit the Valley of the Temples: not included

Valle dei Templi ad Agrigento - Fidelity ViaggiToday independent visit with audioguide of the finest of all ancient Greek sites (Admission fee and audioguide: included), the whole Doric Temples, 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. 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).

Then we drive to a Winery and Olive Oil Farm where we stop for a visit, wine, olive oil tastings and a delicious light lunch.

This afternoon we then continue onto Syracusa.
Day 6
(Friday) Syracusa Half Day Walking Tour
English Speaking Guide Included for: Half day from h 09.00am
Taxi Fee to/from Archaeological Park: included (round service)

Today we start the visit of Syracuse with a transfer by Taxi to the Archaeological Park (Admission fee: included), whose main highlights of which are the Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre and the Paradise Quarry. The resulting park is one of the most extraordinary heritage left us by classical antiquity and, given its degree of interest and importance, it has few equals elsewhere in Italy. Then stroll Siracusa. Recupero degli immobili privati in Ortigia, in arrivo 1,5 milioni di euro – SiracusaOggi.itthrough 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. Later to the colorful daily Street Market, which sells a fantastic array of fruit, vegetables, fish and meat.

This afternnoon is at leisure or Optional Experience:
> Syracusa Sailing Experience
Sail in the waters of the bay of Syracuse, enjoy the beauty of Ortygia and listen to the ancient stories of this Greek harbor. Savor a delicious tasting of food and wines made by local farmers and producers.

 
Day 7
(Saturday) Relax in Syracusa
Today is at leisure or let us recommend a few Optional Day Tours:

#1> Truffle Hunting with lunch and Time Machine
Enjoy the experience of walking in the forest with a local experienced truffle hunter and his trained dog. Follow the Truffle hunting in Tuscany with lunch and wine tasting | Visit Tuscanydog hurriedly through the forest as he sniffs about and experience the surge of excitement as he starts digging for these edible treasures. Once some truffles have been found, you will be treated with a delightful meal that incorporates the fresh truffle you just discovered along with a wine tasting of local area wines. On the way to the restaurant, we will visit the ethno-anthropological itinerary “the farmer work places”, that includes a visit of the museum dedicated to the artisanal works, and a tour of the places of the past. Great opportunity to travel back in time! 

#2> Cheese, Wine and Tuna Fishing Village
Come arrivare e cosa vedere a Marzamemi e nei dintorni | SiViaggiaA full day experience with the visit of an authentic Sicilian farm, cheese tasting, traditional food tasting – olive oil, cheese, sun dried tomatoes – and a typical Sicilian lunch, followed by the visit of a local winery and wine tasting, ended by a sunset walk in an amazing fishermen village.
Day 8
(Sunday) Modica Chocolate, Ragusa Ibla and Lunch
Private Vehicle and English Speaking Driver/Tour Leader Disposal: full day from h 9.00am

Antica Dolceria Bonajuto | Modica | Urban ItalyToday departure for Modica. Like the other towns in the Val di Noto, it was badly damaged by the 1693 earthquake and largely rebuilt in Sicilian Baroque style. 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 is also famous because it is the custodian of a 400-year tradition of Sicilian chocolate-making. Today Modica is still specialized in making grainy chocolate, often flavored with chilli-pepper, cinnamon or vanilla, based on Aztec methods and recipes. Chocolate shops abound, and for the real chocoholic, it is sometimes possible to watch the “chocolatiers” at work. A Chocolate Tastings of Modica chocolate is a must.

Later onto Ragusa Ibla to visit one of the most fascinating towns in Sicily.

Today lunch in a local trattoria to taste the local dishes.

Ragusa, la città barocca dalle due anime | RomaThis afternoon we then visit Ragusa Ibla: 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 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, now Ragusa Ibla. While the upper part has its fair share of architectural delights, it is the smaller Ragusa Ibla down below that really draws visitors.

Later we then continue onto Taormina, the world famous resort town of Sicily.

Upon arrival in Taormina say Arrivederci to the Driver/Tour Leader!
Day 9
(Monday) Etna Volcano by WD4X4 Land Rover with lunch in a Winery
Private Jeep WD4X4 Land Rover with English Speaking Driver Disposal: full day from h 9.00am
Dress Code: Dress in layers and use sneakers
Etna Visit: no ascent to the top and no hike


Today meet the off-road’s driver and transfer to Etna Volcano.

During our first stop we will discover a unique canyon comprised of basaltic lava (the “Alcantara Gorges”) and shaped by the waters of the Alcantara river.

Jeep Experience Days, abbiamo scalato l'Etna - Auto.itThe Alcantara’s vertical cliffs reach 30 meters in height and its structures have been forged by high intensity geological and geothermal events. In prehistoric times, a river flowed here over clay sediments until a massive volcanic eruption channeled magma into the river bed forming the current canyons.

Etna Wine Tasting Excursion - Escursioni Etna - Etna ExcursionsTraveling through one of the wine roads of Sicily and crossing large expanses of vineyards (Etna D.O.C.), we will arrive at a local winery. This is the ideal place to enjoy relaxing moments surrounded by nature while sampling a lunch and excellent wines.

We will then make a brief stop at the 2002 lava flow reachable by jeep through a winding dirt road surrounded by chestnut and oak forests.

The 2002 eruption lasted from October 27th to January 29th 2003 and it is considered one of the most explosive eruptions of the past one hundred years.

Continuing our excursion we will reach the Ragabo pine forest where hidden among pines and brooms, we will discover the cave of Corruccio (1350 meters above sea level) a cave formed by flowing lava.

Later, driving up along the Mareneve road we will reach Piano Provenzana (1800 meters above sea level), a ski resort, theater of the great eruption of 2002. After enjoying an excellent espresso, we will take a short walk to visit the ruins of the hotel Le Betulle destroyed by a molten lava flow.

Before coming back to Taormina, traveling through one of the wine roads of Sicily and crossing large expanses of vineyards (Etna D.O.C.).

Later we return to Taormina
Day 10
(Tuesday) Taormina > Catania Airport
Today time to say goodbye to Sicily.
Today independent transfer to Catania Airport.

Arriverci!
Included
  • Admission fees as per itinerary
  • All sightseeing, tasting and excursions as specified in the itinerary
  • Daily breakfast buffet
  • English speaking Tour Director/Driver (as per program)
  • Hotel accommodation
  • Licensed Local Guide as per program
  • Meal as per Description
  • Private air conditioned transportation as per program
Not Included
  • Airport transfers
  • Beverage and meal not specified
  • City taxes
  • Fee for luggage handling fee at hotel
  • Gratuities and tips
  • Intercontinental/Local Flights
  • Porterage at airport
  • Travel Insurance
Contact us for more information
2021 DEPARTURE DATES:
September: 5; 19
October: 3; 17; 31
November: 14

2022 DEPARTURE DATES:
March: 20
April: 3; 17
May: 1; 15; 29
June: 12; 19
September: 4; 18
October: 2; 16; 30
November: 6; 20

FEATURED PROPERTIES USED FOR THIS TOUR:


First Class Properties:
Palermo:
Hotel Garibaldi
Agrigento:
Colleverde Park Hotel
Syracusa:
Grande Albergo Alfeo
Taormina: 
Hotel Villa Diodoro
Hotel may be substituted with similar categories

Deluxe Properties:
Palermo:
Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa
Agrigento: 
Baglio della Luna Hotel
Syracusa:
Antico Hotel Roma 1880
Taormina: 
NH Collection
Hotel may be substituted with similar categories

ROOMS DEFINITIONS:
Single Room: room with a single bed for 1 person only
Double for Single use: double/twin room for 1 person only
Twin Room: room with a pair of single beds for 2 persons
Double Room: room with a large/double bed ideally for a couple
Triple Room: double with extra small single bed ideally for a couple with kid

IMPORTANT:
We do accommodate solo-travelers in Single Room
Double for single use surcharge is available ON REQUEST

PRE-POST NIGHTS: AVAILABLE ON REQUEST
Whenever possible, lodging will be in the same hotel used during the tour.
Pre-nights: Palermo
Post-nights: Taormina

Tour Map