Day 1 – Palermo arrival
Arrival at Palermo airport. Pick up by private English speaking driver and transfer to Hotel Excelsior Palace Mercure 4****. Spend the rest of the day at your own leisure. Overnight in Palermo.
Day 2 – Palermo walking tour
Breakfast in hotel. Meet your guide at hotel and start your Walking tour. The itinerary begins with a morning visit of the Capo market, the oldest in Palermo, where you can see and taste famous Palermo Street Food such as “panelle”, “arancine”, “crocchette” and “PaniCaMeusa”. Admire colorful stalls featuring an abundance of fruit, vegetables, seafood and meats as the sellers’ cry for our attention. Then, visit Palermo that stretches along a beautiful bay on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Founded by the Phoenicians in the VIIth and VIIIth centuries B.C., the city was conquered by Arabs in 831, and a period of immense prosperity commenced. You will be enchanted by the city’s wide boulevards, traditional Sicilian Old Quarter, and baroque palaces. You will then visit the city's main sights, including the Norman section, Quattro Canti di Citta (the Four Corners of the City), Palermo's extravagant baroque square and the twelfth-century Duomo (Cathedral). After this you will take a taxi at your own expenses to visit Monreale, and to discover the Arab-Norman splendour of the Cathedral and Cloister. This nearby treasure dates from the 12th century and shows the diverse architectural influences of both the Normans and the Arab population. Finally, you will return to your hotel. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight stay.
Day 3 – Segesta - Erice
In the morning, we will head to Segesta, for the guided Tour of the Temple and the Tether. You will continue to Erice, a magical, medieval town perched atop Monte San Giuliano overlooking the city of Trapani, the Egadi Islands and the famous saltpans where sea salt is made. The views from this mountain top village are breathtaking, and on a clear day, you can see the African coast. Visit the Norman Castle and Duomo as you walk through the cobble-stoned streets of the town, taking in the fresh air and a variety of aromas emanating from the numerous pastry shops for which Erice is known. In fact, we will stop to visit Maria Grammatico’s famous pastry shop to see the variety of sweets she lovingly creates. After visit your driver will accompany you to your hotel in Agrigento: Hotel Baglio della Luna 4****. Check in and free time at your leisure.
Day 4 – Agrigento, Valley of The Temples
After breakfast, meet your private guide at the hotel, and together take a taxi at your own expenses to reach the superb archaeological park, the Valley of the Temples. If there is one thing to see in all of Sicily, Agrigento’s stunning temples would be it. Private guided tour of the Valley of the Temples. You will visit all of the iconic temples including Juno, Concord, and Castor and Pollux. At the end of the tour you will be free to enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Overnight in Agrigento.
Day 5 – Piazza Armerina
Breakfast at the estate and check out. Then, you will be transferred to Piazza Armerina to visit on your own the mosaics of the Roman Villa del Casale, named after an agricultural settlement known as “Casale”, or farmhouse, that flourished there in the 15th century. This beautiful Roman Villa consists of 3,500 square meters of mosaic pavement, still perfectly intact. It may have also been a hunting lodge and a location to entertain important guests. The mosaics include a 60-meter-long hunting scene, in which groups of men struggle and sweat as they capture ferocious animals in India and North Africa before transporting them to Rome for gladiator games. Transfer to Siracusa and accommodation at Antico Hotel Roma 4*. Overnight stay in a classic room.
Day 6 – Siracusa
Today you will be free to enjoy Siracusa at your leisure.
Day 7 – Taormina
Breakfast at the hotel and check out. Transfer to Taormina at Hotel Isabella 3*. Check in and free time at leisure. After lunch meet at your hotel and enjoy a 3h guided walking city tour. Founded by the Greeks in 358 B.C.. Taormina was occupied by the Romans and then fell into Byzantine hands. The little town is located on the East coast of Sicily, overlooking the Ionian Sea. Taormina is called the “Pearl of the Mediterranean” for several reasons: nestled on Mount Tauro, it offers the beauty of Mediterranean architecture all the while surrounded by endless magnificent views of both sea and mountains. Thanks to its high position in altitude, Taormina offers visitors a breathtaking panorama. From its Greek theatre, you can admire the bay of Giardini Naxos and Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe, while on the other side you can gaze out over the coastline toward Messina and view the proximity of the Calabrian coast. Overnight stay at Hotel Isabella 3* in classic room.
Day 8 – Volcano and Etna wine tasting and lunch
Breakfast at the hotel. Pick up by your naturalistic driver guide. Explore Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. Discovering Mount Etna is one of the greatest adventure tours in Sicily, not only for the volcanic phenomena but also forthe different kinds of vegetation visible during the ascent. This volcano has more than 400 craters, split all over the Catania county. The first stop of the tour is Valle del Bove, a wide valleylocated on the eastern slope of the volcano. Valle del Bove is part of the protected area of the Etna Regional Park. Proceeding, you will go through old lava flows that date back to 1979 until you reach Mount Fontana, 1300meters above the sea level. This is a great panoramic point, from which you can admire the majesty of the valley and of the Monti Sartorius. Afterwards, a short walk will lead you to the craters of the Sartorius Mountains, which date back to 1865 and are characterized by seven little eruptive cones. Halfway down from the top, you will reach another panoramic point which offers a breathtaking view of the Ionian Coast, from Riposto to Taormina and a glimpse of the Calabrian Coast, of the North-East crater and of the latest new lava flows and craters of 2002. Lunch will be served in a exclusive Etna Doc Winery. Return to Hotel.
Day 9 – Catania airport
Breakfast at the hotel. Pick up and transfer to the airport of Catania to get your flight back home.