This seven-night small group tour is a mouthwatering culinary exploration of this beautiful Italian island. Reflecting the multicultural history of the island, local dishes have Italian, North African, Greek and Arabic influences. Sample the best Sicilian cuisine and experience the island’s rich and varied history as you travel through beautiful landscapes and visit the less-frequented western side of the island.

• Syracuse: 1 night
• Modica: 1 night
• Agrigento: 1 night
• Palermo: 2 nights
• Taormina: 2 nights

7nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE

This seven-night small group tour is a mouth-watering culinary exploration of this beautiful Italian island. Reflecting the multicultural history of the island, local dishes have Italian, North African, Greek and Arabic influences. Sample the best Sicilian cuisine and experience the island’s rich and varied history as you travel through beautiful landscapes and visit the less-frequented western coast.

• Syracuse: 1 night
• Modica: 1 night
• Agrigento: 1 night
• Palermo: 2 nights
• Taormina: 2 nights

7nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE
 
 
ITINERARY

Day 1: Syracuse Upon arrival transfer to your hotel in Syracuse where you will spend one night. This evening join your group and local tour leader for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. You will have the opportunity to meet your fellow travellers and ask your tour leader any questions you may have. Stay: Villa Politi Hotel. D.

Day 2: Syracuse to Modica Following breakfast embark on a tour of the city of Syracuse which was once the most important Greek colony in the western Mediterranean. Visit the Archaeological Park of Neapolis where you shall witness incredible collection of ruins. While in the park see the ancient quarry of Latomia del Paradiso, with its deep and narrow cavern, which is also known as the ‘Ear of Dionysius’; the Greek Theatre, which is one of the largest of its kind in the world; and the 1st-Century Roman Amphitheatre, once the scene of gory gladiator fights. Continue on to the old centre of the city, which is located on the island of Ortigia, where you will witness the remains of the 6th-Century BC Temple of Apollo, the Arethuse fountain, and the Syracuse Cathedral which was built incorporating the 5th-Century BC Temple of Athena. Before departing, wander through the vibrant vegetable and fish market. The final part of today’s journey is to the town of Modica. As well as taking in the baroque architecture you will visit a local pastry shop, or pasticceria, where you will sample some of the town’s famed chocolate – the perfect end to your first full day in Sicily. Approx. journey time: 2¼ hours. Stay: Modica Palace Hotel. B, D.

Day 3: Modica to Agrigento Begin the day with a visit to the town Ragusa which consists of the old town – the hillside Ragusa Ilba – and the new town Ragusa Superiore, set on the plateaued peak of a limestone hill. You will spend some time here exploring the old town and witnessing the Cathedral of San Giorgio, and some fine examples of the town’s various styles of architecture. Journey on from Ragusa towards the ancient city of Agrigento. Established in the 6th Century BC as the vast Greek city of Akragas, this archaeological site has a rich history and you will explore the site with a local guide. The major attraction here is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the ‘Valley of the Temples’ which is located on a ridge on the south side of the ancient city. Here seven Doric-style Greek temples can be seen including the Temple of Concordia – one of the finest and best preserved examples of Ancient Greek architecture in the world. Your hotel for the night is the charming Baglio della Luna which overlooks the Valley of the Temples. Being so close to the archaeological site means you can return at night when the ruins are beautifully lit. Your evening visit will be followed up with a gelato. Approx. journey time: 3 hours. Stay: Baglio della Luna. B, D.

Day 4: Agrigento to Palermo Today is dedicated to the towns, islands and sights of the island’s west coast. First stop is the western-most town of Marsala, renowned for the dessert wines that are produced in the surrounding countryside. This introduction of this famous variety of wine to the outside world has been credited to the English trader John Woodhouse in the year of 1773. Today it remains a popular drink throughout Italy as well as further afield. Later you will take a short boat trip across to the island of Mozia which is located in the Stagnone Lagoon. During your time on the island you will be able to witness the remains of an ancient Phoenician settlement. Visit the island’s small museum to see the Greek statue of the ‘young man of Mozia’ before returning to the mainland and continuing along the coast to the medieval town of Erice, which is located on the peak of Mount Erice at 750 metres above sea level. The city is dominated by the Venus Castle and from here you can enjoy panoramic views over the western coastline and the Egadi Islands. Travel onwards to the island’s main city of Palermo where you will stay two nights at the boutique hotel Principe di Villafranca. This evening is free to discover your own spot for dinner in the heart of the city – there is no shortage of restaurants to try! Approx. journey time: 2½ hours. Stay: Principe di Villafranca. B, L.

Day 5: Palermo Today explore the city of Palermo and the hill town of Monreale, which is located just outside of Palermo, witnessing architecture from the ancient to the Medieval. In both Palermo and Monreale you can view beautiful buildings from the Norman-Byzantine period, including the grand Norman Palace, the breathtaking mosaics of the Palatine Chapel and the beautiful 12th-Century Monreale Cathedral. At lunch you’ll have further opportunity to sample traditional Italian cuisine with a visit to a local pizzeria, before you continue on your tour of the city. Again the evening is free allowing you to try another of the city’s many restaurants. Stay: Principe de Villafranca. B, L.

Day 6: Palermo to Taormina This morning you’ll travel east along the coast from Palermo to the pretty seaside resort of Cefalù. Spend some time discovering its charming harbour, winding alleyways and its typical Norman cathedral before heading to a local restaurant for lunch. Afterwards continue east once again to the most famous of Sicily’s resort towns – Taormina. This historical town is buzzing with intimate piazzas, chic boutiques, jewellery and antique shops, street cafés and restaurants plus a fine Greco-Roman amphitheatre. There’ll be some time to explore before visiting the Italian national monument Casa Cuseni. Built in the early 20th Century, this charming casa is now a museum as well as a bed and breakfast. Your hotel for the next two nights is the charming Villa Sonia, which is located in nearby Castelmola. Approx. journey time: 3¼ hours. Stay: Villa Sonia. B, L.

Day 7: Taormina Today you will visit Mount Etna – Europe’s highest and most active volcano. Enjoy the drive through the Alcantara River valley and the town of Randazzo which is built almost entirely of lava stone. As you approach the slopes of the volcano witness the enormous lava stream created by the 2002 eruption before stopping at an elevation of 1900 metres above sea level. Those that want to get closer to the crater can join an optional excursion, continuing by jeep up to the observatory station which is situated below the summit (payable locally). En route back to your hotel you will visit a local wine cellar where you will have the opportunity to enjoy a wine tasting. Your final evening will be spent enjoying a seafood dinner at a local restaurant. Stay: Villa Sonia. B, L, D.

Day 8: Taormina to UK Today transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK. Alternatively, extend your stay in Taormina. B.


Stay longer

Beaches of Sicily 3 nights

Extend your stay in beautiful Taormina, exploring the historic streets and visiting the beach at Taormina Mare.

Day 1: UK to Syracuse Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel in Syracuse where you will spend one night. This evening join your group and local tour leader for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. You’ll have the opportunity to meet your fellow travellers and ask your tour leader any questions you may have. Stay: Villa Politi Hotel (or similar). D.

Day 2: Syracuse to ModicaFollowing breakfast, embark on a tour of the city of Syracuse which was once the most important Greek colony in the western Mediterranean. Visit the Archaeological Park of Neapolis and witness an incredible collection of ruins. While in the park you’ll see the ancient quarry of Latomia del Paradiso, with its deep and narrow cavern, which is also known as the ‘Ear of Dionysius’; the Greek Theatre, which is one of the largest of its kind in the world; and the 1st-Century Roman Amphitheatre, once the scene of gory gladiator fights. Continue on to the old centre of the city, which is located on the island of Ortigia, where you can see the remains of the 6th-Century BC Temple of Apollo, the Arethuse fountain, and the Syracuse Cathedral which was built incorporating the 5th-Century BC Temple of Athena. Before departing, wander through the vibrant vegetable and fish markets. The final part of today’s journey takes you to the town of Modica. As well as taking in the baroque architecture, visit a local pastry shop, or pasticceria, and sample some of the town’s famed chocolate – the perfect end to your first full day in Sicily. Approx. journey time: 2¼ hours. Stay: Modica Palace Hotel (or similar). B, D.

Day 3: Modica to Agrigento Begin the day with a visit to the town Ragusa which consists of the old town – the hillside Ragusa Ilba – and the new town Ragusa Superiore, set on the plateaued peak of a limestone hill. Spend some time exploring the old town, witnessing the Cathedral of San Giorgio and some fine examples of the town’s various styles of architecture. Journey on from Ragusa towards the ancient city of Agrigento. Established in the 6th Century BC as the vast Greek city of Akragas, this archaeological site has a rich history and you will explore the site with a local guide. The major attraction here is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the ‘Valley of the Temples’ which is located on a ridge on the south side of the ancient city. Here, seven Doric-style Greek temples can be seen, including the Temple of Concordia, one of the finest and best preserved examples of Ancient Greek architecture in the world. Return at night when the ruins are beautifully lit. Your evening visit will be followed up with a delicious gelato. Approx. journey time: 3 hours. Stay: Baglio della Luna (or similar). B, D.

Day 4: Agrigento to Palermo Today is dedicated to the towns, islands and sights of the island’s west coast. The first stop is the western-most town of Marsala, renowned for the dessert wines that are produced in the surrounding countryside. This introduction of this famous variety of wine to the outside world has been credited to the English trader John Woodhouse in the year of 1773. Today it remains a popular drink throughout Italy as well as further afield. Later, take a short boat trip across to the island of Mozia which is located in the Stagnone Lagoon. During your time on the island you’ll be able to witness the remains of an ancient Phoenician settlement. Visit the island’s small museum to see the Greek statue of the ‘young man of Mozia’ before returning to the mainland and continuing along the coast to the medieval town of Erice, which is located on the peak of Mount Erice at 750 metres above sea level. The city is dominated by the Venus Castle and from here you can enjoy panoramic views over the western coastline and the Egadi Islands. Travel onwards to the island’s main city of Palermo where you will stay two nights. This evening is free to discover your own spot for dinner in the heart of the city – there is no shortage of restaurants to try. Approx. journey time: 2½ hours. Stay: Principe di Villafranca (or similar). B.

Day 5: Palermo Today, explore the city of Palermo and the hill town of Monreale, which is located just outside of Palermo, witnessing architecture from the ancient to the Medieval. In both Palermo and Monreale you can view beautiful buildings from the Norman-Byzantine period, including the grand Norman Palace, the breathtaking mosaics of the Palatine Chapel and the beautiful 12th-Century Monreale Cathedral. There’ll then be a leisurely walk around a food market in the city. This is the perfect place to buy some food for your lunch. Again the evening is free allowing you to try another of the city’s many restaurants. Stay: Principe de Villafranca (or similar). B.

Day 6: Palermo to Taormina Travel east along the coast from Palermo to the pretty seaside resort of Cefalù. Spend some time discovering its charming harbour, winding alleyways and its typical Norman cathedral. Afterwards continue east once again to the most famous of Sicily’s resort towns – Taormina. This historical town is buzzing with intimate piazzas, chic boutiques, jewellery and antique shops, street cafés and restaurants plus a fine Greco-Roman amphitheatre. There’ll be some time to explore before visiting the Italian national monument Casa Cuseni. Built in the early 20th Century, this charming casa is now a museum as well as a bed and breakfast. Approx. journey time: 3¼ hours. Stay: Villa Sonia (or similar). B.

Day 7: Taormina Today you will visit Mount Etna, Europe’s highest and most active volcano. Enjoy the drive through the Alcantara River valley and the town of Randazzo which is built almost entirely of lava stone. As you approach the slopes of the volcano witness the enormous lava stream created by the 2002 eruption before stopping at an elevation of 1900 metres above sea level. Those that want to get closer to the crater can join an optional excursion, continuing by jeep up to the observatory station which is situated below the summit (payable locally). On the journey back to the hotel visit a local wine cellar for the opportunity to enjoy a wine tasting. Your final evening will be spent enjoying a seafood dinner at a local restaurant. Stay: Villa Sonia (or similar). B, D.

Day 8: Taormina Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK. B.


Stay longer

Beaches of Sicily 3 nights

Extend your stay in beautiful Taormina, exploring the historic streets and visiting the beach at Taormina Mare.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

The perfect itinerary for food and culture lovers alike. It is also an ideal choice both for first time visitors to Sicily and those who may have visited before yet want to experience more than just the island’s beaches.

Good to know

• All departures are guaranteed
• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey)
• Average group size of 13 guests
• A maximum of 18 guests.

What to expect

• This tour is unsuitable for those with walking difficulties
• The trip to Mount Etna on Day 7 is subject to weather and volcanic conditions and the optional Jeep excursion to the summit is perfect for active guests who do not mind visiting high altitudes
• On the single traveller departure (24th May 2017) the hotel on Days 6 and 7 will be the Hotel Catania Excelsior, in the coastal city of Catania, approximately 35 miles south of Taormina.

Is this for you?

The perfect itinerary for food and culture lovers. An ideal choice for both first timers and those who may have visited before yet want to experience more than the beaches.

Good to know

• All departures are guaranteed
• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey)
• Average group size of 13 guests
• A maximum of 18 guests.

Accommodation on tour

We’ve selected excellent quality boutique hotels that are well placed for local exploration. One of our favourite properties is the Baglia della Luna which has just 23 rooms and suites and an incredible setting overlooking Agrigento’s spectacular Valley of the Temples. And if it’s more spectacular views you’re after,  you’ll love the rural home of Hotel Villa Sonia in Castelmola, which has views of the Sicilian coast towards Mount Etna.

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

May 09, 23°; Jun 06; Aug 29; Sep 12; Oct 03

° Dedicated departure recommended for single travellers

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups and a relaxed approach
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), or the freedom to explore local restaurants independently
• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £1694 per person, ref IT7000

Creative tour Explore Sicily with a award-winning illustrator on our creative tour Sketching Sicily tour.

Tour dates

2018 May 10, 24' Jun 07, 21; Aug 30; Sep 13; Oct 04

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups and a relaxed approach
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), or the freedom to explore local restaurants independently
• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £1694 per person

Highlights of Sicily

Why Kuoni?

The setting of your hotel in Agrigento – overlooking the incredible Valley of the Temples – allows you to visit the ruins both in the day and night. Following your evening visit you can sample some of the island’s best gelato! The next day, as you explore the lesser-visited west coast, you will have the opportunity to take a boat trip over to the island of Mozia where you can see the excavated remains of an ancient settlement.

Why Kuoni?

The setting of your hotel in Agrigento – overlooking the incredible Valley of the Temples – allows you to visit the ruins both in the day and night. Following your evening visit you can sample some of the island’s best gelato! The next day, as you explore the lesser-visited west coast, you will have the opportunity to take a boat trip over to the island of Mozia where you can see the excavated remains of an ancient settlement.

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Escorted Tours 2018