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Sicily in Depth

Duration 8 days

Destinations visited :
  • Italy
    ,

See every slice of Sicily during this 8-day guided tour. Take off to Paradise Quarry in Syracuse with a Local Expert, who will show you its Ear of Dionysius, an ear-shaped limestone grotto: call out to your fellow travelers here, and your voice may echo as many as 16 times. Visit the Palermo Cathedral, a blend of architecture styles that combine for a stunning sight. Sample fresh olive oil at a lunch made of local produce from a farm near Trapani. Travel to the quaint fishing town of Cefalu, where you will stroll to the Porta Marina for a picture-perfect view of the harbor. In Taormina, perched above the Ionian Sea, join a Local Expert at the city’s cliffside Greek theatre, from which you can see Mount Etna, the island’s active stratovolcano.

Take a look at your day-by-day itinerary or contact us on 0207 620 8952 to find out more.

DAY 1

Welcome to Sicily.
Your complimentary, private transfer takes you to your local departure airport. On arrival at Catania airport, transfers leave for your hotel at 10:00, 12:30 and 15:30. Relax and settle in to your seaside hotel. After time to relax, join your Travel Director at 17:30 for an exploration of this bustling port town. See the magnificent Duomo and Piazza and the elegant noble buildings of the Palazzo Senatorio. Get to know your fellow travelling companions during your Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.
Hotel: Il Principe Hotel, Catania.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

DAY 2

Ancient Syracuse en route to Ragusa.
Sightseeing with your Local Expert takes you to Syracuse’s Paradise Quarry with its unusual Ear of Dionysius, an ear-shaped grotto with an unusual echo. Continue to the superb Greek theatre, carved out of solid rock, one of the largest of the ancient world. There is time to explore the atmospheric Old City, a maze of narrow streets lined with palaces, sprawling over the island of Ortygia. It was here that the famous geometrician Archimedes ran naked through the streets, crying ‘Eureka!’ Continue around the southeastern corner of Sicily to Ragusa.
Hotel: Mediterraneo Palace, Ragusa.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 3

Explore the Valley of the Temples and on to Palermo.
Journey along the southern coast of the island, past the oil producing town of Gela to Agrigento. Join a Local Expert to explore the Valley of the Temples, Sicily’s finest Greek sanctuary. Especially impressive is the massive Temple of Concordia and the clifftop Temple of Juno overlooking the sea. Your travels continue to the Sicilian capital of Palermo.
Hotel: Hotel Palazzo Sitano/Mercure Palermo Centro.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 4

Palermo & the Golden Age of the Normans.
Your Local Expert shows you the highlights of the city. Pass through the Baroque Quattro Canti and admire the beauties of the Fountain of Shame. Visit Palermo Cathedral which has been altered may times over the years and observe its unique blend of architectural styles. In Monreale, visit the finely-decorated cathedral and see its magnificent gold mosaics, a masterpiece of Arab-Norman art. Return to Palermo and enjoy a free afternoon exploring the rest of the city. For your dining pleasure, you are offered a selection of local restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening, each with their own ambience and cuisine.
Hotel: Hotel Palazzo Sitano/Mercure Palermo Centro.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 5

Exploring Erice.
Wind your way up to the charming hilltop walled town of Erice. Walk through the labyrinth of quiet alleyways, past medieval churches and enjoy sea views from the gardens next to the Castle of Venus! At a farm near Trapani, sample some of the freshest olive oil produced on the island and savour a tasting of Sicilian wine, followed by a light lunch of delicious local produce. Back in Palermo the evening is at your leisure.
Hotel: Hotel Palazzo Sitano/Mercure Palermo Centro.
Meal: Breakfast,Lunch with Wine

DAY 6

Cefalu and the Taormina Riviera.
Travel to the quaint fishing town of Cefalu. The town’s imposing cathedral was erected to fulfil a vow made by the Norman King Roger II. Stroll down to the medieval stone fountain and seek out the Gothic arch of the Porta Marina for a picture-perfect view of the little harbour.
Hotel: Hilton Giardini Naxos, Taormina Riviera.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 7

Taormina and the Dawn Coast of Europe.
our hotel faces east, so early risers may experience why D. H. Lawrence christened this ‘The Dawn Coast of Europe. ‘ After breakfast, perhaps take an Optional Experience through the vineyards to Mount Etna, Europe’s largest volcano. Travel to the old town of Taormina, which clings to the side of Mount Tauro overlooking the Ionian Sea and the snowy peak of Mount Etna. With your Local Expert, visit the Greek theatre set on a cliff and open to the sky. Take a moment to sit in this ancient theatre and absorb the view through the crumbling arches to snowy Mount Etna. Stroll on to the tiny courtyard of the Palazzo Corvaja, Taormina’s grandest building and further along the elegant Corso Umberto, the Piazza IX Aprile offers panoramic views. At a local restaurant, rejoice with your new-found friends over your Celebration Dinner of delicious, freshly prepared Farm-to-Table cuisine, accompanied with exquisite Italian wines.
Hotel: Hilton Giardini Naxos, Taormina Riviera.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 8

Depart Catania.
Appreciate the vistas of Mount Etna one last time on your departure transfer to Catania Airport. Transfers arrive at the airport at 06:30 and 08:30. On arrival at your home airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your private transfer home.
Meal: Breakfast

Authentic Dining

  • Palermo: Choose between a variety of restaurants and cuisines on your Dine-Around Evening.
  • St Julian’s: Enjoy a Welcome Dinner with your fellow travellers at your luxury hotel in St Julians. This Radisson Blu resort is famous for its delicious Mediterranean flavours.
  • Trapani: At a local farm, sample the olive oil produced on the island paired with a tasting of Sicilian wine and a light, rustic Highlight Lunch.
  • Taormina Riviera: Enjoy a Celebration Dinner with wine, reflecting some of Sicily’s top culinary heritage.
  • Dining Summary: 7 Breakfasts (B) 1 Lunch with Wine (LW) and 4 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Stay in Style

  • St Julian’s: Situated in the pretty seaside town of St Julian’s, The Radisson Blu Resort is a worthy getaway for travellers looking for tranquillity by the coast. The hotel offers gorgeous views of the Mediterranean Sea and a wellbeing spa for those looking to relax and rejuvenate in the indoor pool, jacuzzi, gym and sauna.
  • Taormina Riviera: Enjoy traditional Mediterranean hospitality on the rocky coast of the Ionian Sea at the Hilton Giardini Naxos.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Catania: During an exploration with your Travel Director see the Duomo, Piazza and the noble buildings of Palazzo Senatorio.
  • Syracuse: Walk through the gardens of Paradise Quarry, listen to the acoustics in the mysterious Ear of Dionysius and visit the Greek theatre.
  • Syracuse: Explore the ancient streets and delightful squares of in the Old City of Ortygia.
  • Ragusa: During your orientation with your Travel Director see the famous Baroque buildings and churches.
  • Agrigento: A Local Expert will lead you through the magnificent remains of the Greek colony in the Valley in the Temples. See the massive Temple of Concord and clifftop Temple of Juno.
  • Monreale: The sombre exterior of the cathedral at Monreale gives away few clues to the riches inside. Step into a world where the walls glitter with 12th century mosaics, the best of their kind in the world.
  • Palermo: Discover the Sicilian capital with your Local Expert. See Teatro Massimo, the Quattro Canti Square and the Fountain of Shame. View the composite architectural styles of the Palermo Cathedral and visit the Palatine Chapel, showcasing some of the finest examples of Norman art.
  • Erice: Led by your Travel Director, explore the quiet alleys of this ancient walled town, as if you’ve stepped into the Middle Ages. See the medieval churches and marvel at the sea views from the gardens of the Castle of Venus.
  • Cefalu: Your Travel Director will show you the cathedral, built to fulfil a vow. Walk to the medieval stone fountain in the old fishermen’s quarter, find the Gothic arch of the Porta Marina and see the harbour.
  • Taormina Riviera: Should you awake early, you may see why this is known as ‘The Dawn Coast of Europe.’
  • Taormina Riviera: Visit the ancient Greek Ampitheatre with your Local Expert. Set on a cliff, open to the sky, take your seats and enjoy the view through the crumbling arches to snowy Mount Etna.
  • Taormina Riviera: During your orientation with your Travel Director, visit the courtyard of Palazzo Corvaja, seat of the first Sicilian parliament, and stroll along Corso Umberto to Piazza IX Aprile.

Included Insight Services

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight’s luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert’s fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included – you’ll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.
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Sicily in Depth

See every slice of Sicily during this 8-day guided tour. Take off to Paradise Quarry in Syracuse with a Local Expert, who will show you its Ear of Dionysius, an ear-shaped limestone grotto: call out to your fellow travelers here, and your voice may echo as many as 16 times. Visit the Palermo Cathedral, a blend of architecture styles that combine for a stunning sight. Sample fresh olive oil at a lunch made of local produce from a farm near Trapani. Travel to the quaint fishing town of Cefalu, where you will stroll to the Porta Marina for a picture-perfect view of the harbor. In Taormina, perched above the Ionian Sea, join a Local Expert at the city’s cliffside Greek theatre, from which you can see Mount Etna, the island’s active stratovolcano.