3.5 star rating: Worth doing 9 Reviews

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  • Location: Taormina, Italy
  • Duration:  13 hours (approx.)
Visit Palermo and Cefalù on a day trip from Taormina, and discover stately Arab-Norman architecture, impressive churches and piazzas with Sicilian charm! With an expert local guide, enjoy walking tours of the cities to see highlights such as Palermo’s Il Capo market, La Martorana church and Cefalù Cathedral. An optional visit to the neighborhood of Monreale – a famous producer of olive oil, oranges and almonds – can also be arranged (own expense).

Highlights

  • Day trip to the Sicilian towns of Palermo and Cefalù from Taormina
  • Enjoy a Palermo walking tour and learn about the city’s Arab-Norman architecture
  • Stroll through Piazza Bellini to see the La Martorana church and Palermo Cathedral
  • Visit the Il Capo market and browse the colorful collection of food
  • Explore the town of Cefalù with a guide and discover the grandeur of Cefalù Cathedral

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

The Il Capo market is one of my favorite places in Palermo; it’s a hive of activity, where traders shout to attract customers. Look out for stalls selling refreshing granita (crushed ice with Sicilian lemon) or cannoli, a local delicacy of sweet ricotta encased in a crisp pastry roll!

What You Can Expect

Palermo and Cefalù Day Trip from Taormina

Walk around the historical center of Cefalu

Meet your guide at the Bus Terminal of Taormina and board your air-conditioned coach for your journey west across the island to Palermo, Sicily’s main town. Relax and admire the scenery as you travel, arriving in Palermo after roughly three hours on the road.

Stretch your legs on a walking tour of the city center – an area teeming with impressive art and ruins. Hear the history of the Arab-Norman monuments scattered through town, and how Palermo was Sicily’s capital under both sets of rulers. When the Normans seized power from the Arabs in the 11th century, they were so fascinated by their predecessor’s architectural legacy that they continued to include elements of Arabic style in their building designs.

Visit Piazza Bellini to see the La Martorana church – famed for its spectacular mosaics – and then stop for photos outside Palermo Cathedral with its elegant Arabic arches and blue-gray dome. Amble through the Baroque square of Quattro Canti (Piazza Vigliena), and head into Piazza Pretoria to admire its 16th-century fountains and palazzi.

The city is popular for its colorful markets. Visit Il Capo to saunter around the labyrinth of alleyways, browsing heaving stalls of fresh food and Arabic handicrafts. Spend time at leisure after your market visit, and relax at a cafe of your choice for lunch (own expense). If you want to visit the nearby town of Monreale, your guide can arrange transport for you at an additional cost.

Both groups meet back at a prearranged point for the journey to Cefalù, roughly an hour away. One of the sweetest Sicilian seaside towns, Cefalù boasts a historical town center comprising a maze of narrow alleyways strung with washing hung out to dry. Its standout attraction is Cefalù Cathedral, famous for its Mosaic of Christ Pantocractor – a stunning Byzantine mosaic that’s considered as one of the most important pieces of religious artwork in Sicily. Head inside to marvel at the feature with your guide.

After exploring the town with your guide and at leisure, return to your coach and travel back to Taormina. Your tour then finishes back at the start point.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2014

A thoroughly enjoyable and informative day.I would encourage any visitor to Sicily to take this trip.
The road traffic accident delayed us but we did not feel that we missed anything at all.

Aybike
Turkey

4 star rating: Recommended August 2015

This is a MUST DO trip if you are staying at the eastern side of Sicily and do not have time to go to the Western part. Palermo is a beautiful city with a lot of history and in my opinion it would be a big loss if you come alI the way to Sicily and miss visiting Palermo. I would like to thank our tour guide Rosalia Tramuto for such an enjoyable and informative tour. Our only concerns about the tour was 1- We had to pay for the head phones which is not logical as I never had to pay for head phones in any guided tour I bought. 2- If I were a Siclian I would not want any tourist to see that market place anyway. It is a dirty and stinky place where they sell meat and fish in open air with flies all over them. 3- The tour drops you off and picks you up in front of a restaurant. It is a little expensive but I must admit that food is great. You may try some other place for a cheaper lunch. But no matter what, I strongly reccomend this tour to everyone. Worth it!

4 star rating: Recommended June 2015

Palermo should improve as the tourist attraction. Cefalu is charming. The tour itself is good. But you better find your own place for lunch.

4 star rating: Recommended April 2015

A long journey but the scenery crossing the central plain made it worth the effort.

4 star rating: Recommended May 2014

This was a great trip. Marco the guide and Nino the driver were very good. However, the local guide in Palermo would not wait for us to run back into the cathedral to retrieve a hat (it took us 2 minutes!). By the time we came out, she and the group had disappeared! Although we could hear her on our "Whisper", she gave no clue as to her location. Our instruction was to meet ultimately at a restaurant, which we eventually found. She said she had gone searching for us but she couldn't possibly have had time. We felt she was unprofessional not to wait , for tourists in an unfamiliar city, for no more than 2 minutes.

3 star rating: Worth doing December 2014

The trip was nice, but due to all the language accommodations I felt we had to rush through the tour and therefore, I cannot give it a stellar rating. Alfredo, our tour guide was very good, but again, I felt he was pressed because of the language situation. I was under the impression that this was English only tour when I booked it and wish that I was informed of the multiple languages that had to be addressed. it will not deter me from booking another tour with victor tours, however, I will be more mindful of the above situation.

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better November 2014

Palermo - I didn't liked; dirty, cramped, buildings that gives you the feeling that will break down if you step beside them; a "fish market" that ought to impress you but, after seeing Boqueria in Barcelona, ​​this one will seem a bad joke unfortunately ...
Cefalu is indeed very nice place and I would return here but together with Palermo was a very tiring trip , almost 500 km in 'shoddy bus' !

1 star rating: I do not recommend this July 2015

Don't take this trip! Bus was half empty. They say you can either go to Palermo or Monreale (for extra money). Monreale is truly the jewel of Sicily. But there was no shuttle to Monreale. They tried to put me on a public bus.

1 star rating: I do not recommend this January 2015

I was ver disappointed, the tour guide was very rude and not helpful at all. I had especially requested to sit in front as I get very bus sick and she shoyted at me to get on the bus when I arrived and no arrangements had been made. This meant that I was forced to sit sideways in my seat for very long drives so I could see through the front window so I would not get sick. Added to that, we were made to pay extea for headsets for the tour of Palermo and they didn't even work.

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Tour code: 6099PALERMOCEFALU

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