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Classic Sicily Tour from Palermo – Tour IT724

7 nights / 8 days – Fully escorted

Saturday Departures: Apr 6 – Oct 26, 2019 – Winter season dates available on request.

Visit: Palermo, Cefalu, Catania, Piazza Armerina, Caltagirone, Mount Etna, Taormina, Siracusa, Noto, Ragusa, Modica, Agrigento, Selinunte, Marsala, Palermo

Classic 8-day escorted circle tour of Sicily departs from Palermo. This tour visits the many UNESCO World Heritage sites found on the island. These include the Valley of Temples in Agrigento, Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina, Mount Etna, Siracusa and the baroque town of Noto. This tour includes three delicious meals per day, so you will get a wonderful opportunity to taste the local Sicilian and Italian cuisine. There is also an opportunity for wine tasting in Masala on this wonderfully immersive tour. 

Day 01 Saturday: PALERMO
Independent arrival at Hotel MERCURE PALERMO EXCELSIOR, prestigious historical Hotel located in one of the city centers’ s main streets. Enjoy a welcome cocktail. Dinner and overnight in your hotel.

Day 02 Sunday: PALERMO – CEFALU’ – CATANIA
After a buffet breakfast, we visit the Capital of Sicily, Palermo, one of the richest towns on the island for history and art. We will visit the Cathedral (during the Holy Mass, exterior visit only), the Palace of the Normans with its superb “Palatina” Chapel, the “Quattro Canti”, the fountain of “Piazza Pretoria”, the Church of Santa Caterina and its Cloister. Lunch today will be in a local restaurant. Depart to Cefalù, a charming coastal town and a former fishing village. It is home to a breathtaking Norman Cathedral, famous for its Mosaic of Christ Pantocractor – a stunning Byzantine mosaic that’s considered one of the most important pieces of religious artwork in Sicily. Take a stroll to the city center, down the main street to reach the Cathedral and the medieval wash-house built into the rock. Proceed to Catania. Accommodation, dinner and overnight at the Hotel MERCURE CATANIA EXCELSIOR.

Day 03 Monday: CATANIA – PIAZZA ARMERINA – CALTAGIRONE – CATANIA
After a buffet breakfast, we depart to Piazza Armerina in the inland of Sicily. We will visit the world-renowned Villa Romana del Casale. It houses the richest, largest and most complex collection of late Roman mosaics in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today we will have lunch in a local restaurant. Then we proceed to Caltagirone known for its ceramic handicrafts. The outstanding quality and creativity of Caltagirone’s ceramics is best admired in the most famous landmark of the town: the monumental Santa Maria del Monte staircase, whose 142 steps are decorated with hand-painted ceramic tiles, using the typical colors, shapes and patterns of the most traditional pottery production and art. Time at leisure to enjoy the many shops. Back to your Hotel in Catania: dinner and overnight.

Day 04 Tuesday: CATANIA – MOUNT ETNA – TAORMINA – CATANIA
After a buffet breakfast, weather conditions permitting we take an excursion to Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. Across fascinating landscape, we will reach a height of 1900 meters to visit the Sylvester Craters where you will enjoy a spectacular panorama over the Ionian Sea. On the way we stop in the village of Zafferana Etnea, “the City of Honey” to visit a beautiful place where they produce honey and we will have the chance to taste the precious nectar made by skilled hands. Continue to Taormina, a charming city called “the pearl of the Ionian Sea”, founded in 400 BC and beautifully located overlooking the sea and the peak of Mount Etna. Lunch in a local restaurant. Enjoy time at leisure to shop for handmade lace, coral jewels, ceramics, home-made sweets and preserves down “Corso Umberto” or simply walk through its tiny streets. You may wish to make an individual visit of the fascinating Greek-Roman theatre. Back to your Hotel in Catania: dinner and overnight.

Day 05 Wednesday: CATANIA – SIRACUSA – NOTO – RAGUSA
After a buffet breakfast, we depart to Syracuse to visit the most beautiful Greek colony of Sicily. We will visit the archaeological park “Neapolis”, including the famous Latomie of the Paradise, the Greek Theatre and the Dyonisios “Ear”. Next, we visit the island of Ortigia, the small baroque old city center of Siracusa: here you can admire the Cathedral, which is built on the site of the Temple of Minerva, the legendary “Fontana Arethusa” and the Temple of Apollo. Lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we proceed to Noto, one of the most beautiful cities in Sicily renowned for the harmony and unity of its Baroque style and today declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The splendid cathedral is one of the most famous buildings in Noto. Proceed to Ragusa: accommodation and dinner at the Hotel MEDITERRANEO PALACE. Optional visit “by night” to the ancient city Ragusa “Ibla”, cradle of Sicilian baroque, with its Cathedral, situated in the beautiful square of the Dome and the “giardino Ibleo” (supplement on the spot; the excursion will take place with a minimum of participants). Overnight Ragusa.

 Day 06 Thursday: RAGUSA – MODICA – AGRIGENTO
After a buffet breakfast, we depart to Modica to visit the city divided into two parts: Modica “Bassa” and “Alta”. Modica is also a UNESCO site and is famous for its Baroque churches and pretty squares. Here we will taste the famous chocolate (Xocoatl) made with ancient methods brought to Sicily by the Spanish. Lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we proceed to Agrigento to visit the magnificent Valley of Temples of Agrigento, a UNESCO World Heritage Site: The Temple of Concord, which is in almost perfectly preserved condition. Juno and Heracles represent the most beautiful example of the Greek civilization in Sicily. Accommodation, dinner and overnight at Hotel DIOSCURI BAY PALACE.

Day 07 Friday: AGRIGENTO – SELINUNTE – MARSALA – PALERMO
After a buffet breakfast, we depart to the Archaeological Park of Selinunte, the largest in the Mediterranean area with its impressive Temples and Acropolis. Stop in a local farmhouse famous for olive oil production where, before lunch, it will be possible to have a tasting. Continue to Marsala, a city on the western coast famous for its production of sweet Sicilian wine. We will visit the historical center and stop at a prestigious winery, where we will enjoy a wine tasting and learn about local production. Proceed to Palermo. Accommodation, dinner and overnight at Hotel MERCURE PALERMO EXCELSIOR.

Day 08 Saturday: PALERMO
Buffet breakfast, end of the Tour

Includes:

  • Accommodation in centrally located 4-star hotels
  • Welcome cocktail
  • 7 breakfast
  • 6 lunches
  • 7 dinners
  • Mineral water (1/2 per person) at all meals
  • 1/4 of wine & coffee only at lunch in local restaurants
  • Entrance fees at all sights detailed in itinerary in Siracusa, Piazza Armerina, Caltagirone, Agrigento, Selinunte, Palermo.
  • Tasting of local traditional products:
  • Olive oil, black bread tasting Castelvetrano
  • Olive tasting in Selinunte
  • Honey tasting in Zafferana Etnea (Mt Etna)
  • Chocolate tasting in Modica
  • Wine tasting in Marsala
  • Transportation by Bus GT max comfort or minivan with driver/guide for groups with less than 8 people
  • Tour escort at disposal for the whole tour
  • Guided visits according to the program
  • Whispers Kit
  • Porterage at hotels
  • Includes Entrance Fees

Excludes:

  • Airport transfers at the start and the end of the tour. Transfers can be arranged with us on request.
  • City Tax: Charged per person per night and is collected directly by the hotels
  • Drinks not indicated as included above. (Coffee and wine at meals in the hotels)
  • 6 night / 7-day, version of this tour is also available, it departs from Catania. Please inquire.

Hotels:

  • Palermo: Mercure Excelsior Hotel Palermo 4* or similar
  • Catania: Mercure Excelsior Catania 4* or similar
  • Ragusa: Mediterraneo Palace 4* or similar
  • Agrigento: Dioscuri Bay Palace 4* or similar

2019 Price Per Person in Euro:

US$ price will vary with the exchange rate

 Additional services:

  • Airport transfers are available on request
  • Additional night’s accommodation in Palermo are available on request