Starts any day. March to October10 days from $7245.00
Arrive Palermo, Italy
Welcome to Sicily. You are met on arrival in Palermo, and taken to your hotel.
Palermo is the cultural and economic capital of Sicily, known for its blend of architectural styles. The rest of the day, enjoy time at leisure to relax or explore this truly Sicilian city.
Palermo & Monreale
In the morning, tour Palermo, including its 12th century Cathedral and Royal Palace, a true masterpiece of Sicilian-Norman architecture whose construction began in 1185 and lasted almost 700 years. Examine the exquisite mosaics in the palace’s Palatine Chapel, and visit the Opera House and the lively Capo Market before lunch.
In the afternoon, it is a short drive to visit the 12th century Monreale di Cathedral, known for its splendid Byzantine mosaics and the cloister of the Benedictine abbey. (B)
Cefalù & Castelbuono Excursion
This morning drive to the charming medieval coastal town of Cefalù built on the site of an ancient Greek and Sicanian settlement. Visit the medieval washhouse and tour the Norman Cathedral built by King Roger II in 1130.
Enjoy lunch at a local winery, before continuing to Castelbuono, a medieval village on the Madonie Mountains. (B,L)
Palermo to Segesta, Erice & Agrigento
Depart Palermo for the abandoned ancient city Segesta, built by the mysterious Elymis in 500 BC. Tour the majestic Doric temple, one of the world’s best-preserved Greek architectural sites.
Continue to Erice, a small medieval town offering commanding views from its 2,000-foot location atop Mount Giuliano. Visit Chiesa Matrice, the town's main church, the massive Elimo-Punic Walls, and the fragrant public gardens of the Giardino del Balio. After a typical Sicilian lunch, continue on to Agrigento and your hotel. (B)
Agrigento, Piazza Armerina & Ragusa
Start today with a walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Valley of the Temples a magnificent cluster of Greek ruins overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The temples are the remains of Akragas, a Greek city built about 582 BC, of unique amber sandstone. Explore the Temple of Hera, Temple of Hercules and the Temple of Concordia, that was converted to a Christian church in the 6th century.
Continue to Piazza Armerina for lunch and then visit another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Roman Villa del Casale. Dating back to the 3rd century BC, it hosts the biggest display of Roman polychromic mosaics in the world. End the afternoon with a scenic drive to your hotel in Ragusa. (B)
Ragusa & Modica Excursion
This morning explore Ragusa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an ornate capital of the Baroque style. Explore the maze of streets and monuments in this ancient Sicels village that was destroyed by the 1693 earthquake, and then was rebuilt by the most famous architects of the time.
After lunch, continue to Modica, another jewel of the baroque style, exemplified best by its Teatro Garibaldi, Palazzo Tedeschi, and the Church of San Pietro, which stands at the top of a monumental Baroque staircase flanked by statues of the Apostles.
Stop for a taste of the famous Modican chocolate before returning to Ragusa by late afternoon. (B,L)
Siracusa to Ortigia & Taormina
This morning take a walking tour of the classic Greek archaeological park of Ancient Siracusa. Visit the monolithic Greek Theatre, the Latomie of Paradise with the Dionysus’ Ear grotto, and the Roman Amphitheatre.
Continue on foot through the narrow streets of the ancient Greek colony of Ortigia. See the 7th century Duomo, the Fonte Aretusa, an ancient spring, and the Temple of Apollo. Enjoy lunch in Ortigia before departing for Taormina. (B)
This morning tour Mt. Etna, the highest and most active volcano in Europe. Ride the funicular up to 8,500 feet, to get a fantastic view of 10,000-foot Mt. Etna, and the surrounding countryside.
After lunch at Etna, enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Taormina. (B,L)
Enjoy a morning walking tour of Taormina’s old town, with its narrow streets filled with handicrafts, embroidery and antique shops. Visit the 5th century BC Greek Theater, the public gardens, the 14th century Palazzo Corvaja, and the medieval St. Nicholas Church. This afternoon is at leisure to relax, shop or explore more of beautiful Taormina on your own. (B)
Today you are taken to the airport for your departing flight home or on to your next destination. (B)
Grand Hotel Villa Igiea, Palermo
The Grand Hotel Villa Igiea is an immersion in a prestigious villa belonging to the Florio family, restyled by Ernesto Basile at the end of the 19th century. Here you can discover the exclusive combination between precious interiors and state-of-the-art facilities. Villa Igiea Palermo has been a landmark building in the area for more than one hundred years and is one of the best examples of art nouveau decor, certain to impress anyone who visits. This hotel features 122 rooms, including 17 suites and junior suites, which have all been recently refurbished.
Hotel Villa Athena, Agrigento
Situated within the Archaeological Park of the Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Villa Athena stands only two hundred meters from the Temple of Concordia, a true masterpiece of Doric art dating back to the 5th century B.C. Here can be found a Sicily which goes back millennia.
Eremo della Giubiliana Hotel, Ragusa
A historical site dominating the Mediterranean sea, in the midst of the pristine countryside of the hyblean plateau. This unique property is perhaps one of the few hotels in Sicily where one truly feels the intriguing charm of the prestigious island. Eremo della Giubiliana, to the south of Ragusa, dominates the Hyblean plateau among carob groves and stone walls; it is located at the center of southeast Sicily, in the heart of Val di Noto. From Eremo the most beautiful natural reserves of Sicily can be easily reached: Randello, the Natural Reserve of the Irminio River, the Pino d'Aleppo Natural Reserve, Vendicari, the famous necropolis at Cava d'Ispicaand Pantalica, the important archeological digs of Kamarina, the very interesting museums of Ragusa, Modica, Chiaramonte Gulfi, and the ancient fishermen districts with typical fish markets. Not to be missed are the baroque centers of Ragusa Ibla, Modica, Scicli and Ispica, only a few kilometers from Eremo, declared by UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ragusa is also an ideal place to embark in an extraordinary wine and food journey to discover the many specialties of the land: Ragusano D.O.P. cheese, an amazing variety of wild vegetables, the aroma of Cerasuolo and Nero d'Avola, and the famous sweets made from Modicano chocolate and carob honey.
San Domenico Palace Hotel, Taormina
The San Domenico, in the citadels historic heart, has hosted history's luminaries amid the entrancing charms of its ancient surroundings. Built on the site of a 15th-century monastery, the San Domenico Palace Hotel still conserves the original structure. It frames a scene of rare beauty, which sweeps from the ancient Greek Theatre to the peak of Mount Etna. To enhance your stay, the hotel features and services include an outdoor pool, fitness center, beauty salon, boutique shops, and a wonderful one-acre Mediterranean garden. There's also a choice of dining venues and a lounge. A 2014 Condé Nast Traveler Gold List Hotel