Sicily and Aegadian Islands – 10 Days/9 Nights
You will be amazed by views of stunning landscapes of mountainous islands, an active volcano, unique geology, flora and fauna, villages and farms.
Itinerary: Catania • Siracusa • Noto • Taormina • Cefalù • Monreale • Favignana • Levanzo • Trapani
- Multilingual Tour leader and professional travel guide* (English, Italian or Spanish) from the evening of the 1st day to the evening of the 5th day, local guides or audio-guides where necessary.
- Gran Comfort bus (from the 2nd day to the 5th)
- Accommodation in charming 4 stars hotels mostly located in the city centre
- Half board basis in hotels or local restaurants (dinner – 3 main courses fixed menu , beverages not included) to have a taste of Sicilian and Italian cuisine.
- Visit of the main suggestive Unesco World Heritage Sites: Syracuse, Noto, Etna, Catania city centre, Cefalù, Monreale, Palermo.
- 1 lunch in Taormina on day 3 (fixed menu, beverages not included) and show-cooking
- Tasting of Sicilian typical products: Etna (day 3): visit of a beekeeping honey company and honey tasting; Catania (day 4): tasting of Sicilian “granita & brioche”. Palermo (day 5) tasting of local street food
- Private transfer Hotel in Palermo – Trapani Port – Private transfer Trapani Port – Hotel in Trapani Private tour extension to Aegadian Islands
- Accomodation in charming 4 stars hotel
Favignana: Grand Hotel Florio 4* or similar
- Half board treatment in local restaurant, beverages not included
- Hydrofoil go and back Trapani – Favignana – Trapani
- Local guide in Favignana city centre (4 hrs)
- 1 excursion in group Favignana– Levanzo (lunch on board included)
- City taxes Aegadian Islands
Rates DO NOT Include:
- Transfers in/out
- all lunches except for the one on day 3 and day 8 – beverages
- entrance fees at monuments/museums
- city taxes (where compulsory)
- tips and extras in general
- April: 27
- May: 04 • 11 • 18 • 25
- June: 01 • 08 • 15 • 22 • 29
- July: 06 • 13 • 20 • 27
- August: 03 • 10 • 17 • 24 • 31
- September: 07 • 14 • 21 • 28
*City Tax not included and must be paid directly at the hotel on check out
Day 1 SATURDAY: CATANIA
Arrive independently to your hotel in the charming city of Catania (optional private transfer on request). In the evening you will meet your tour-leader and your travel companions and enjoy a welcome dinner and spend overnight in your hotel.
Day 2 SUNDAY: SIRACUSA • NOTO
After breakfast in your hotel you will visit Syracuse, 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.
Your tour will continue with a visit to the splendid Ortigia, a small island, which is the historical centre of Syracuse. In Ortigia you will 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 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.
You can enjoy some free time for lunch before departing to Noto. Noto happens to be the capital of Sicilian Baroque, famous for its fine buildings from the early 18th century and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Inspired by Baroque ideals of open city, Noto is a rare masterpiece and possibly the best example of theatrical tastes of 18th century architecture whose local limestone has been turned golden by the sun. Noto’s Baroque is in fact a game of elegant curves, floral weaves, perspectives, palaces and gardens, capitals and ornaments that adorn the facades of churches and monasteries.
We will visit Palazzo Nicolaci Villadorata, a beautiful noble residence in Baroque style and once the residence of Don Giacomo Nicolaci, a patron of the arts. Back to Catania for dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 3 MONDAY: ETNA • TAORMINA
In the morning, you will travel to Etna, the highest (c. 3350m) volcano in Europe and one of the largest and most active in the world. Nowadays a 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, beekeeping, wine manufacture, stonework and carpentry. Views of stunning landscapes will amaze you as you travel to Rifugio Sapienza. You 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 you will visit a company of beekeepers; visiting the honey extraction lab, tasting homemade honey and traditional foods of the area. You will proceed to Taormina, a charming town, renowned for its magnificent position above the sea, commanding a celebrated view of Etna.
Enjoy lunch in a traditional restaurant where you will witness a cooking lesson to learn some traditional Sicilian cuisine. In the afternoon you will visit Taormina’s fascinating Greek theatre, and then you will have free time for a walk among the picturesque Medieval typical narrow streets, do some shopping and check out so,e of the local handycraft (coral jewels, precious laces, ceramics, sweets and much more). The day will end with an overview of the beautiful Riviera dei Ciclopi. Travel back to your hotel in Catania for dinner and overnight.
Day 4 TUESDAY: CATANIA – CEFALU’
You will visit the historical centre of Catania which has been stated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Catania has original Baroque style with unique streets built with black lava stone. The colour scheme of the city-centre buildings, is in fact, black and dark grey; relieved with white limestone details around the doors and windows. The result is extremely elegant.
The walking tour will begin 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, the symbol of the city. Not far from here you will reach University Square and will walk along the splendid Baroque Via dei Crociferi, the most representative 18th Century street in Catania, where you can admire the famous Saint Benedict Monastery, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Before going on along too the precious city center, you will stop in a historic bar to taste the typical granita and brioche. Enjoy some free time for lunch. Transfer to Cefalù, the charming Medieval town situated at the Northern coast of Sicily. You 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. You will proceed to Palermo for an overnight stay and dinner in your hotel or in a nearby restaurant.
Day 5 WEDNESDAY: MONREALE - PALERMO
After breakfast in your hotel, the morning will be spent visiting Monreale. See its huge Norman Cathedral, proclaimed the Eighth Wonder of the World, and its splendid Cloister in Arab-Norman style. Here, you will also see admirable masterpiece of art, sculpture and marquetry made from semi-precious stones.
Later you will discover the stunning Palermo, one of the richest towns on 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, 17th Century squares, including an elegant opera house. You will visit the wonderful Arab-Norman Cathedral, the astonishing Martorana Church and the amazing Cappella Palatina, mirable example from an historical and an artistic point of view, of how different cultures, religions and way of thinking apparently incompatible can coexist. Ruggero II in fact employed both Byzantine, Muslim and Latin workers. Throughout your tour, you will stop for a food surprise in the famous Antica Focacceria San Francesco and enjoy some free time for lunch.
Continuing your walking tour, you we will admire the Teatro Massimo and the debated fountain in Pretoria Square, situated in the ancient Kalsa area and adorned with 16th Century sculptures. Dinner and overnight in hotel in Palermo.
Day 6 THURSDAY: PALERMO – FAVIGNANA (AEGADIAN ISLANDS)
After breakfast in hotel, private transfer to Trapani. Boarding on the hydrofoil to reach Favignana. The larger and most important of the Aegadian Islands, in the 70’s was named “La Farfalla” by the painter Salvatore Fiume, thanks to its butterfly shape. Free time in the afternoon. Dinner in a local restaurant and overnight in hotel in Favignana.
Day 7 FRIDAY: FAVIGNANA
After breakfast in your hotel, the tour will continue along the Favignana city centre. This charming fishing village, founded in the 17th Century, hosts the valuable Palazzo Florio the most known building in the island. The Florio’s were an Italian family, and were the main players in Sicilian industry during the Belle Epoque. Afterwards, you will visit the Ex Stabilimento Florio, the ancient tonnara (tuna factory), a fine example of industrial archeology. Today it’s a museum and exhibition centre of several historical findings which testify to the flourishing past of the tonnara.
Later in the morning you will discover Villa Margherita’s Giardino Dell’Impossibile, Hypogeum gardens – created inside ancient tuff quarry caves. A dream that began over forty years ago: planting a botanical garden among the tunnels and caverns of Favignana’s ancient stone caves, which today has become a gigantic, open air, garden of Eden, with over 200 species of Mediterranean plants.
Enjoy free time for lunch and the afternoon to provide you with the opportunity to enjoy a swim in one the local sea coves. The most well known is Cala Rossa, located in a beautiful tufa quarry, shows crystal clear waters and cliffs from which you can admire a spectacular view. Alternatively, Cala Azzurra is popular for its sandy white beach. Enjoy dinner in a local restaurant and overnight in your hotel in Favignana.
Day 8 SATURDAY: FAVIGNANA • LEVANZO boat excursion
Later in the morning you will leave Favignana for a boat tour towards its beautiful sea coves, where you will enjoy a swim in their blue waters. After lunch on board, you will proceed towards Levanzo, where you will stop for about an hour to offer you the chance to visit this lovely fishing village and stop to taste the delicious local granita and gelato. The tour will proceed, heading to the Il Faraglione, a small island of the archipelagos with the most lovely sea coves, such as Cala Fredda and Cala Minnola. Here, you will stop for a dip. Back to Favignana harbour in late the afternoon for dinner and overnight in your hotel.
Day 9 SUNDAY: FAVIGNANA • TRAPANI
After breakfast in your hotel, check-out and travel to Trapani. You will spend the afternoon in the lovely Trapani’s city centre, also known as the City of 100 Churches and popular for its which museum which hosts an impressive collection of fine local coral, majolica, and gold and silver artefacts.
The city owns a fascinating and legendary history, plus an enviable geographic location: between the two seas, at the foot of Mount Erice, near the archaeological site of Selinunte, in front of the Egadi Islands and the salt marshes.
Walking through the old town, the signs of the passage of various civilizations over the centuries are immediately evident. You will have the chance to stroll among the lovely alleys in the town, discovering its Arab atmosphere. Enjoy dinner and overnight in your hotel in Trapani.
Day 10 MONDAY: TRAPANI
Enjoy breakfast in your hotel and end of services. Private transfers or excursions available.
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