On this thrilling, 5-day introduction to Sicily, days are spent on guided tours through the cities on route, with headsets provided for the narration. Four-star accommodations are included each evening, along with breakfast and most dinners and lunches.
See the Itinerary section below for more details on each day.
Day 1: Palermo (D)When you arrive in Palermo, make your way to your designated hotel to meet your guide and tour group. Your guide will go over your itinerary during an orientation presentation, followed by dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Hotel in Palermo
Day 2: Palermo – Agrigento – Taormina (B,D)Depart in the morning for Agrigento, a hillside town famous for its magnificent Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On a guided tour of the valley, which dates back to the 5th century BC, you’ll understand why the ancient Greek poet Pindar described the site as “the most beautiful city built by mortal men.”
The Doric-style temples, all constructed within one century, face east – a standard criterion for Greek and Roman temples so the statue of the gods faced the rising sun. The highlight is the Temple of Concordia (similar in design to the Parthenon in Athens), which is an almost perfectly preserved condition. Your guide will highlight the history and architecture of this temple and several others that make up this archaeological treasure-trove.
Then, continue on to Taormina, arriving in the evening for a relaxing dinner at your hotel.
Overnight: Hotel in Taormina
Day 3: Taormina – Mt Etna – Taormina (B)Start your morning with a walking tour of Taormina’s charming city center, including the Greek/Roman amphitheater, with its spectacular view of Giardini Naxos and Mt Etna.
Then hop in the air-conditioned coach or minivan – depending on the size of your group – and journey to Mt Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. Venturing up 5,905 feet (1,800 meters), drive through the fertile slopes and villages that sit on ancient volcanic eruptions, and visit the Sylvester Craters for the best views around.
On the way back to Taormina, you have the option of taking a tour to the villages of Savoca and Forza d’Agro to see where The Godfather was filmed. These authentic Sicilian villages were chosen by director Francis Ford Coppola for most of the scenes in the Godfather movies. This is a good way to explore the real untouched Sicilian countryside, local lifestyle and culture!
For dinner back in Taormina, your guide can recommend great local restaurants for you to enjoy a Sicilian meal on your own.
Overnight: Same hotel in Taormina
Day 4: Taormina – Syracuse – Taormina (B,D)On your third day, venture to Syracuse, a city notable for its rich Greek history, culture, amphitheaters and architecture, and for being the birthplace of the mathematician and engineer Archimedes.
Take a guided tour of the city’s venerable highlights including Archaeological Park, the ancient Greek Theatre and two limestone cave sites: The Ear of Dionysius and Latomia del Paradiso, filled with orange and olive trees.
Head back to Syracuse in the evening to savor a special Sicilian dinner with wine at a restaurant characteristic of this region.
Overnight: Same hotel in Taormina
Day 5: Taormina (B)Your eastern Sicily excursion ends on your fifth day. Enjoy a leisurely buffet breakfast before checking out of your hotel and continuing your vacation on your own.