Meraviglia of Sicily Deluxe Escorted Tour
8 Days/7 Nights
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS: Catania, Siracusa, Ragusa with Sicilian Typical products tasting, Caltagirone, Piazza Armerina, Agrigento, Monreale, Palermo, Segesta, Erice, Trapani, Cefalu, Nebrodi Park, Mount Etna and Sicilian cooking class (optional), Taormina
Day 01 (Saturday): CATANIA
You'll arrive on your own in Catania, and make your way to the hotel. In the afternoon meet and greet with your tour escort and your group. You'll enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner together before retiring for the night.
Day 02 (Sunday): CATANIA, SIRACUSA, RAGUSA with Sicilian Specialties tasting
Breakfast will be had at the hotel, before departing for Siracusa, another beautiful city on the coast with a past rich in history and culture. You will visit its archeological site where you'll see the Greek Amphitheater, Dionysus Ear, Minerva's Temple and the Roman Theater. The tour will continue to the Island of Ortigia, the old baroque city center of Siracusa built by the Aragonians. You will admire the Cathedral and the Fountain of Aretusa. At the end of the tour free time for lunch on your own in Ortigia Island . Transfer to Ragusa, a beautiful town built in two sections, the “new” one built after the 1693’s earthquake and the old one called Ragusa Ibla which is a wonderful and well known example of the Baroque architecture and art. Before retiring to the hotel for dinner you will enjoy a typical aperitif and a tasting of typical products overlooking the main square and the majestic Cathedral of Ragusa Ibla. Dinner and overnight at your Hotel in Ragusa.
Day 03 (Monday): RAGUSA, CALTAGIRONE, PIAZZA ARMERINA, AGRIGENTO
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Caltagirone, home of the ceramic industry in Sicily to visit a ceramics laboratory and showroom before to move to Piazza Armerina and visit the famous Villa Romana del Casale, housing the world's largest collection of late period Roman Mosaics. Typical lunch in a local restaurant to taste the local specialties. The tour moves to Agrigento, where you will visit the Valley of the Temples. This collection of temples represents some of the most beautiful Classical architecture, with the temples of Juno, Hercules, Zeus, Concord and Castor and Pollux. Dinner and overnight at your Agrigento Hotel.
Day 04 (Tuesday): AGRIGENTO, MONREALE, PALERMO
After breakfast, you'll head to Palermo, where you'll have free time for lunch after checking in at the hotel. In the afternoon, the tour will continue to Monreale, where you'll tour the Cathedral with its beautiful 12th century mosaics and the Benedictine monastery. You'll return to Palermo for a sightseeing tour of the Capital of Sicily, viewing wonders of art and architecture, such as the Palatine Chapel, the Cathedral, the Opera house and Praetorian Square. The night will end with dinner in a local restaurant and a good night's sleep at your Hotel in Palermo.
Day 05 (Wednesday): PALERMO, SEGESTA, ERICE, TRAPANI, PALERMO
You'll enjoy a breakfast buffet, before leaving for Segesta, another beautiful archeological site, home of the majestic Doric Temple and other Grecian ruins. The tour will continue towards Erice, an enchanting medieval town on Mt Erice and famous for its Phoenician and Norman ruins. Don’t forget your camera to take pictures of the breathtaking views over the city of Trapani, the salt works on the coast and the Egadi Islands. Free time for lunch in Erice before continue in a panoramic tour to Trapani to see the salt windmills still working the coast. At the end of the day return to Palermo, where you'll enjoy dinner and spend the night at your hotel.
Day 06 (Thursday): PALERMO - CEFALÙ – NEBRODI PARK - TAORMINA
After breakfast at the hotel, we'll make our way to the charming sea town of Cefalu’. You'll discover the nice city center of this old fisherman village and visit the Norman Cathedral, with its beautiful mosaics, and the medieval wash-house built in the rock. The tour will continue to the “Parco dei Nebrodi”, a beautiful natural park where you'll stop for a characteristic lunch at the Miraglia Forest. In the afternoon we’ll drive to Cesarò, Randazzo where you’ll be able to admire the Mount Etna from an unusual point of view. Arrival in the evening at your hotel in Taormina where you will have dinner before a good night's rest.
Day 07 (Friday): TAORMINA, MOUNT ETNA (optional), TAORMINA
You'll have the morning to yourself, after breakfast, to relax sipping a delicious Sicilian granita, write your postcards or take the cable down to the beach. If you're interested, you might like to go on an optional excursion to Mount Etna (optional activity not included). If the weather conditions allow you, you'll reach the 1800 meters level of the highest active volcano in Europe from where you'll see an amazing panoramic view of the Ionic Sea. In the afternoon you will visit Taormina, a beautiful medieval town between the Mount Etna and the blue sea and enjoy some free time shopping for handmade lace, ceramics, coral jewels and local food and sweets in the many small shops on the Corso Umberto or if you would like, you may be able also to visit the famous Roman-Greek Theater (on your own, not included). Return to your hotel for a farewell Dinner with your tour party. Overnight in Taormina.
Day 08 (Saturday): TAORMINA
After breakfast at the hotel, end of services.