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Best of Sicily 9-day Small Group Tour

  • 9days
  • Italy

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Small Group Tours Europe
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Small Group Tour on Italy's beautiful Sicily Island

Included in the Sicily Small Group Tour:

  • Multilingual Tour leader and professional travel guide (English, Italian, Spanish) for the whole tour (from the evening of the 1st day to the evening of the 8th day), local guides or audio-guides where necessary.
  • High class buses or 25/28 seats Gran Confort minibuses (from the 2nd day to the 8th).
  • Accommodation in charming 4 stars hotels mostly located in the city centre of the main Sicilian towns. Half board basis (dinner – 3 main courses fixed menu, (beverages not included) to have a taste of Sicilian and Italian cuisine.
  • Visit of the main suggested Unesco World Heritage Sites: Siracusa, Noto, Etna, Catania city centre, Palermo, Cefalù, Monreale, Selinunte, Agrigento, Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina, Ragusa.
  • 1 lunch in Taormina on day 7 (set menu, beverages not included) and show-cooking 
  • Tasting of Sicilian typical products:
    Palermo (day 2): tasting of local street food;
    Marsala (day 2): visit of a wine cellar and wine tasting;
    Ragusa (day 4): tasting of local cheese;
    Etna (day 7): visit of a beekeeping honey company and honey tasting;
    Catania (day 8): tasting of Sicilian “granita & brioche”.

Not included in the tour:

  • Transfers in/out
  • all lunches except 7th day with set menu
  • beverages
  • entrance fees for monuments/museums (as below)
  • city taxes (where compulsory)
  • tips and extras in general
  • anything not specified under “The rates include”

Optional extra fees for site visits not included:

  • Taormina Greek theatre € 10,00 p.p.
  • Palermo Cappella Palatina € 8,50 p.p.
  • Palermo Martorana Church € 2,00 p.p.
  • Palermo Cathedral € 3,00 p.p.
  • Monreale Cathedral € 4,00 p.p.
  • Monreale Cloister € 6,00 p.p.
  • Selinunte Archeological Park € 6,00 p.p.
  • Piazza Armerina Villa Romana € 10,00 p.p.
  • Agrigento Valle dei Templi € 10,00 p.p.
  • Noto Palazzo Nicolaci € 4,00 p.p.
  • Siracusa Archeological Park € 10,00 p.p.
  • Siracusa Cathedral € 2,00 p.p.

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  • Day 1

    PALERMO – independent arrival at the hotel in the charming city of Palermo (optional private transfer on request). Meet with your tour-leader: dinner and overnight in hotel in Palermo.

  • Day 2

    MONREALE - PALERMO

    After breakfast in your hotel, the morning will be spent visiting Monreale, its huge Norman Cathedral, proclaimed the Eighth Wonder of the World, and its splendid Cloister in Arab-Norman style: admirable masterpiece of art, sculpture, and semi-precious stones marquetry! Later we will discover the stunning Palermo, one of the richest towns in the Island for its history and art. Palermo stands on a bay at the foot of Mt Pellegrino, a headland described by Goethe as the loveliest he had ever seen. While the Baroque predominates, there is a profusion of different architectural styles reflecting the city’s multicultural past: Punic walls, Art Nouveau villas, noble residences, XVIIth century squares, including an elegant opera house. We visit the wonderful Arab-Norman Cathedral, the astonishing Martorana Church and the amazing Cappella Palatina, an admirable example from an historical and an artistic point of view, of how different cultures, religions and ways of thinking apparently incompatible can coexist. Ruggero II in fact employed both Byzantine, Muslim and Latin workers. During the day, we stop for a food surprise in a local bakery. Free time for lunch. Continuing our walk we can admire the Teatro Massimo and the fountain in Pretoria Square, situated in the ancient Kalsa area and adorned with XVI century sculptures. Dinner and overnight in hotel in Palermo.

  • Day 3

    MARSALA SALT ROAD – SELINUNTE – AGRIGENTO (hotel in 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, also as important sites of industrial archaelogy. On the way you will see the Island of Mothia (situated at the centre of a large lagoon in Marsala, known today as ‘Stagnone’), and the famous Salt Pans and windmills. Departure to Selinunte to visit the largest Archaeological Park in the Mediterranean and a World Heritage Site. Surrounded by a splendid landscape near the African Sea, we walk between the ruins of the ancient Greek city. Free time for lunch. Transfer to Agrigento and visit of the Valley of the Temples World Heritage Site, where among hundreds of almond trees, the ruins 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 in Agrigento.

  • Day 4

    PIAZZA ARMERINA – RAGUSA (hotel in Catania)

    Today we reach Piazza Armerina where we can admire the splendid polychrome mosaics of the famous Villa Romana del Casale, World Heritage Site. The complex, which has some of the most extensive and beautiful Roman mosaics known, is a World Heritage Site. This majestic villa, belonging to a member of the Roman Senatorial aristocracy, hosts prestigious mosaics representing mythological and historical episodes and scenes of hunting and entertainment. After free time for lunch, departure to Ragusa Ibla and visit of its historical centre of Sicilian baroque, with its Cathedral, situated in the beautiful square of the Dome and the “giardino Ibleo”. Used as a location of the extremely popular Police Inspector Montalbano TV series, it is today stated among the 44 Italian World Heritage Sites. This precious ancient city, well known thanks to the Commissario Montalbano television series, hosts more than 50 churches and many baroque architectural treasures. We conclude the day with a tasting of local products. Travel to Catania for dinner and overnight in hotel.

  • Day 5

    CATANIA

    Breakfast at the hotel and day at leisure to enjoy Catania city centre and shopping. Meet our tour-leader in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight in hotel in Catania

  • Day 6

    SIRACUSA – NOTO

    After breakfast at the hotel we visit Siracusa, the most beautiful and greatest Greek colony in Sicily and World Heritage Site! The visit starts 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, a small island which is the historical centre of Siracusa. In Ortigia you can admire the beautiful Cathedral which dominates the square with its authoritative presence. The present façade is a powerful Sicilian-Baroque composition but it gives no hint that this building was once a Doric temple! From Piazza Duomo you 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 clearest example of theatrical tastes of 18th century architecture where local limestone has been burnt gold by the sun. Noto’s Baroque is in fact a series of elegant curves, floral weaves, perspective views of palaces and gardens, capitals and ornaments that adorn the facades of churches and monasteries. We visit Palazzo Nicolaci Villadorata, a beautiful noble residence in Baroque style and once the residence of Don Giacomo Nicolaci, patron of the arts. Back to Catania for dinner and overnight in hotel.

  • Day 7

    ETNA – TAORMINA (hotel in Catania)

    This morning we leave to visit Etna the highest (c. 3350m) volcano in Europe and one of the largest and most active in the world, nowadays Unesco World Heritage Site. Its regional park protects 59.000 hectares of unique geology, flora and fauna, villages and farms, and traditional methods of forestry, bee-keeping, wine manufacture, stonework and carpentry. We will reach the “Crateri Silvestri”, small volcanic cones now inactive, surrounded by ancient lava flows. The view beyond the mountain’s hundreds of subsidiary cones and craters, can extend across the whole of Sicily , the Aeolian islands and Calabria. The spectacle is unique! Later we will visit a company of beekeeping: visit of the honey extraction lab, tasting of homemade honey and typical products of the area. We go on to Taormina, charming town renowned for its magnificent position above the sea commanding a celebrated view of Etna. Lunch in a typical restaurant where you will assist with a show-cooking lesson of typical Sicilian cuisine dishes. In the afternoon we visit Taormina’s fascinating Greek theatre, and then you will have free time for a nice walk among the picturesque medieval typical narrow streets, go shopping, or look around the local handycrafts (coral jewels, precious laces, ceramics, sweets and much more). The day ends with an overview of the beautiful Riviera dei Ciclopi. Back to our hotel in Catania for dinner and overnight.

  • Day 8

    Tuesday: CATANIA – CEFALU’

    Today we visit the historical centre of Catania, Unesco World Heritage Site, with its original baroque style and its unique streets built with black lava stone. The colour scheme of the city-centre building in fact is black and dark grey, relieved with white limestone details around the doors and windows. The result is extremely elegant! The city still preserves ruins of the Imperial Roman period despite having been rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693. Catania was the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily under the Aragonese dynasty. The walking tour starts across the “pescheria” (the ancient fish market) to reach the scenic Duomo square with its magnificent Cathedral and the famous “Liotru” statue, antique lava-stone elephant, symbol of the city. Not far from here we reach the University Square and walk along the splendid baroque Via dei Crociferi, the most representative 18th century street in Catania, where we can admire the famous S. Benedict Monastery, Unesco World Heritage Site. Before going on to the city center, we stop in a historic bar of the city to taste the typical “granita & brioche”. Free time for lunch. Transfer to Cefalù, charming medieval town situated on the northern coast of Sicily. We visit its stunning Norman Dome then you will have free time to stroll through the town or to visit the famous and well-known Mandralisca Museum. Travel to Palermo for overnight. Dinner at the hotel or in a restaurant nearby.

  • Day 9

    PALERMO

    Breakfast in hotel and end of your tour

    For organizational reasons or due to force majeure, the itinerary may be modified.

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Tours marked with are special prices.

Start End Max. No. Guests Accommodation Price p.p.
Apr 14 2020 Apr 22 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Apr 21 2020 Apr 29 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Apr 28 2020 May 06 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
May 05 2020 May 13 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
May 12 2020 May 20 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
May 19 2020 May 27 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
May 26 2020 Jun 03 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Jun 02 2020 Jun 10 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Jun 09 2020 Jun 17 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Jun 16 2020 Jun 24 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Jun 23 2020 Jul 01 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Jun 30 2020 Jul 08 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Jul 07 2020 Jul 15 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Jul 14 2020 Jul 22 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Jul 21 2020 Jul 29 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Jul 28 2020 Aug 05 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Aug 04 2020 Aug 12 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Aug 11 2020 Aug 19 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Aug 18 2020 Aug 26 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Aug 25 2020 Sep 02 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Sep 01 2020 Sep 09 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Sep 08 2020 Sep 16 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Sep 15 2020 Sep 23 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Sep 22 2020 Sep 30 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Sep 29 2020 Oct 07 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Oct 06 2020 Oct 14 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Oct 13 2020 Oct 21 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€
Oct 20 2020 Oct 28 2020 14 Single rooms 1,250€
Double rooms 985€

Car rental in Italy

If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.

Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote

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