Guided Tours from Catania   Sicily vacation

Syracuse Noto  Etna Taormina Cefalu Palermo Monreale, Marsala, Selinunte Agrigento, Piazza Armenia, Ragusa 

8days/7nights – Guaranteed departures   #28                                 2 Apr – 29 Oct 2016

Departure dates on Saturdays: 

Day 1. Saturday : CATANIA 
Arrival on your own in Catania. Meet your group and the guide at the hotel for orientation dinner and overnight. Optional private airport transfers can be ordered.

After breakfast in hotel we will visit Siracusa, 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. We will continue visiting the splendid Ortigia, once a small island, the historical center of Syracuse. In Ortigia you will admire the beautiful the Baroque Cathedral built on top of an ancient Doric temple. From the 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 most clear example of theatrical tastes in 18th century architecture whose local limestone has been burnt gold by the sun. Noto’s Baroque is in fact a game of elegant curves, floral weaves, perspective views palaces and gardens, capitals and ornaments that adorn the facades of churches and monasteries. We will visit Palazzo Nicolaci Villadorata, a beautiful former noble residence of Don Giacomo Nicolaci, a patron of the arts. Back to Catania for dinner and overnight in hotel.

Day 3. Sunday: ETNA – TAORMINA – Catania
Today we start our program with an excursion to Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. We will reach the Silvestri Crater, the small volcanic cones now inactive, surrounded by ancient lava flows. From the top viewpoint you will be able to see all across Sicily in good weather even the distant Aeolian islands and Calabria on the mainland. Visit a local honey going far, then have lunch in a typical restaurant where will give you a cooking presentation of Sicilian dishes.  In the afternoon we will visit Taormina, charming town offering a lovely panorama of the Ionic Sea and Etna, famous for its fascinating Greek theatre, the ancient Cathedral and Palazzo Corvaja. You can have a nice walk among the typical small streets and go shopping (coral jewels, precious laces, ceramics, sweets and much more). Back to hotel in Catania for dinner and overnight.

Day 4. Monday: CATANIA – CEFALU – Palermo
This morning after breakfast in hotel we will leave to visit the historical centre of Catania with its original baroque style and its streets built with black lava stone from mount Etna. The walking excursion will start across the the ancient fish market to reach the Duomo square with its magnificent Cathedral and the famous Liotru statue, symbol of the city. Not far from here you could also see the Teatro Massimo Opera House, the University and famous baroque streets such as Via Crociferi. We will continue with the Diocesan Museum, one of the most important museums in Italy, which preserves works of sacred arts coming from the 121 baroque churches in Catania, such as the carriage carrying the silver statue of Saint Agatha during the celebration of the famous Feast. The sightseeing will be completed with the visit of Roman “Thermal Bath”. Transfer to Cefalù, charming medieval town situated at the northern coast of Sicily. We will visit its stunning Norman Dome and you will have free time to stroll through the town or to visit the famous and well-known Mandralisca Museum. We will proceed to Palermo for overnight. Dinner at the hotel or in a restaurant nearby.

Day 5. Tuesday: PALERMO – MONREALE – Marsala  
This morning we will get acquainted with sites in Palermo, the capital of Sicily, one of the richest towns in the island for its history and art. We will visit the beautiful Arab-Norman influenced cathedral Cathedral, Martorana church, the Palazzo dei Normanni with its precious Palatine Chapel. Continuing our walk we will admire the debated fountain in Pretoria Square, situated in the ancient Kalsa area and adorned with XVI century sculptures.  we will have a stop for a food surprise in the famous Antica Focacceria San Francesco. Free time for lunch. Later on we will proceed to Monreale to visit its huge Norman Cathedral, proclaimed the Eighth Wonder of the World with is sparkling golden mosaics, and its splendid Cloister in Arab-Norman style, a masterpiece of art, sculpture, and semi-precious stones. In the afternoon we will continue to Marsala in whose port Garibaldi, Italy’s national hero of unification landed in 1860. Visit of a prestigious wine cellar and wine tasting. Dinner and overnight in hotel.

Day 6. Thursday:  MARSALA  Salt Road – Selinunte – Agrigento
This morning the tour will continue along the charming and well-known Salt Road: the west coast of Sicily with many salt marshes, which have given rise to one of the oldest salt-extracting industries in the world. Between Trapani and Marsala they are now protected, in part because of the interesting birdlife, and also as important sites of industrial archaelogy.  On the way you will see the nice Island of Mothia (situated at the centre of a large lagoon in Marsala, known today as ‘Stagnone’), and the famous Salines and windmills. Departure to Selinunte to visit the largest Archaeological Park in whole Mediterranean and World Heritage Site! Surrounded by a splendid landscape near the African Sea, we will walk to the the ancient Greek city. Free time for lunch. Transfer to Agrigento and visit of the Valley of the Temples with some of the best preserved ancient Greek temples in the world. a World Heritage Site, where among hundreds of almond trees, the rests of the ancient Akragas rise. It was defined by Pyndar “the most beautiful city of mortals”. Once 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. You will see the “Temple of Hera”, the “Temple of Concordia” and the “Temple of Heracles”. Accommodation in hotel, dinner and overnight.

Day 7. Friday:  Piazza Armenia – Ragusa – Catania
After breakfast we depart for Piazza Armerina to admire the famous Villa Romana del Casale, World Heritage Site with its world famous mosaics, an other UNESCO World Heritage Site. 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! After free time for lunch, departure to charming Ragusa Ibla and visit of its historical center, typical example of  Sicilian baroque architecture with its Cathedral, situated in the beautiful square of the Dome.  This precious little city hosts more than 50 churches and many baroque architectural treasures. We’ll conclude the visiting day with a tasting of local products. Proceed to Catania for dinner and overnight in hotel.

Day 8. Saturday: CATANIA
Breakfast end of services.  Optional transfer to the airport.

Rate includes:

  • Transport service throughout by modern AC coach or minibus

  • Tour leader travel guide mulilingua. Tour conducted in English, Italian and Spanish  (from day 2 to 7th day)

  • 7 nights hotels accommodation in charming first class hotels, most located in the city centers

  • half board with daily brekfasts and dinners, plus 1 lunch

  • Sightseeing as specified in the itinerary
  • Local guides where necessary

  • Tasting of Sicilian products: Palermo: tasting of local street food; Marsala: visit of a wine cellar and wine tasting; Ragusa: tasting of local products; Etna: visit of a beekeeping honey company and honey and typical Sicilian preserves tasting; Taormina: lunch and show cooking.

  • VAT and taxes


Rates do not include:

Transfers in/out, all lunches, beverages, entrance fees for monuments, city taxes (if applicable) tips and extras in general, anything not specified under “rate includes”.

Price per person in Euro – 2016:

Euro 825 person based on double occupancy
Euro 210 Single supplement
Reduction for 3rd bed: Euro 30 per package

Pre-night / post night in hotel in Catania (with breakfast): 57 euro p.p. in double room / 92 euro in single room;

Transfer service from Catania airport to hotel in Catania (on day 1st): 32 euro (car 1/3 pax);

Transfer on request from Catania back to Palermo at the end of the program

Hotels used :

CATANIA (4****) NH Bellini or Nettuno or similar
PALERMO (4****) Palazzo Sitano or Mercure or similar
VALDERICE (3***) Baglio Santa Croce or similar
AGRIGENTO (4****) Demetra Resort or similar
MODICA (4****) Modica Palace or similar

Extra fees entrances payble locally to you guide:
•Taormina Greek theatre € 10,00 p.p.
•Piazza Armerina Villa Romana € 10,00 p.p.
•Monreale Cathedral € 3,00 p.p.
•Monreale Cloister € 6,00 p.p.
•Palermo Cappella Palatina € 8,50 p.p.
•Palermo Martorana Church € 2,00 p.p.
•Palermo Cathedral € 3,00 p.p.
•Selinunte Archeological Parc € 6,00 p.p.
•Agrigento Valle dei Templi € 10,00 p.p.
•Noto Palazzo Nicolaci € 4,00 p.p.
•Siracusa Archeological Parc € 10,00 p.p.
•Siracusa Cathedral € 2,00 p.p.