Palermo, Italy
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clock-o13 hours (Approx.)
ticket-oMobile ticket
commentOffered in: English and 2 more

Overview

Say arrivaderci for the day to Taormina and spend some time in Palermo and Cefalù on this intriguing guided day trip. Discover the unique architecture, influenced by the Normans and the Arabs, and learn about the long and interesting history of both places. With your expert local guide, stroll the streets of both cities, taking in the Il Capo market in Palermo and the main cathedral in Cefalù. Consider doing an optional trip to Monreale, an area just outside of Palermo to visit a well-known producer of olive oil, oranges and almonds (at own expense).
  • 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
After meeting your guide at the bus station in Taormina, hop on the comfortable coach to begin your journey to to Palermo and Cefalù. During the bus ride, enjoy the scenery from your window: the rolling hills, the vineyards and olive groves.
Once in Palermo, start a walking tour of the center of the city, a part of town that is pulsating with a fun Mediterranean vibe. Enjoy the all the art and ancient ruins scattered throughout the city. Learn about the history of the city and all its occupiers – from Arabs to Vikings to the French. And get a lesson in identifying different types of architecture and which occupier built it. The austere Viking or Norman structures and the more ornate Arab buildings are an eye-pleasing sight. Learn how, after the Vikings/Normans conquered the city, they were influenced by Arab architecture and adopted some of their techniques.
Linger for a while in Piazza Bellini and learn about La Martorana Church, a spiritual structure known for its marvelous mosaics, and then pose for some photos in front of Palermo Cathedral, a building that dazzles the eye thanks to its elegant Arabic arches. Perambulate through Piazza Vigliena, also known as Quattro Canti, and then admire the Renaissance-era fountains in Piazza Pretoria.
One part of Palermo not to be missed is Il Capo Market. Saunter around the lively market, its narrow walkways crammed with vegetable, fruit and seafood sellers. Take some free time here and enjoy the lively southern Italian ambience of the place. Perhaps sit down at a cafe and enjoy lunch (at own expense). It's here when you might choose for the optional visit to the nearby town of Montrealie. The guide will arrange transportation at an additional cost.
When the time comes, get back on the couch to head to Cefalù. During the hour-long ride, enjoy the scenery. Once in this exciting seaside town, begin strolling the streets with your guide, taking in narrow alleyways, the plus-sized churches and the leafy squares. Stop for a while at Cefalù's cathedral and study the amazing mosaics.
After discovering the town with your guide and at your own leisure, hop back on the coach and head back to Taormina to conclude the tour.

Reviews

Viator Traveler's Reviews

3.5
25 Reviews
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D
, Sep 2018

This was our first excursion in Sicily and we knew it would be a very long day! We were surprised to see how dirty the city was but did not detract from the beautiful churches we saw.Afrer reading other Trip Advisor reviews we opted not to eat at Restaurante 59 but had a wonder meal in restaurant Basil opposite the opera house. It took a while to navigate the steps to get food but the locals were friendly and guided us through. You must pay first and then go to the window to order your pasta--it will be the pasta for the day. I had homemade raviolis and my husband the best spaghetti with clams sauce. The best we have had thus far! Cefalu was very pretty seaside town. I wish I had put my swim suite on and gone swimming instead of seeing another church. As it turned out I did go in for a dip up to my knees-just rolled up my shorts. This was a good taste of both areas- I do not have the desire to go back to Palermo but would think about spending a few days in Chefalu!

V
, Feb 2018

I was staying in Messina the other side of Sicily and I wanted an easy way to explore the capital of Palermo. I was so happy when I found this tour option. It is a VERY LONG DAY! You do leave at 6am and you do not return until 7pm that night, however for one person wanting to get a glimpse of the other side this was good. I enjoyed seeing the historic heart of Palermo and you can definitely see why Cefalu is a thriving beach town for Europeans. A great way to explore.

m
, Dec 2017

good tour, but be prepared - it's a long ride.

U
, Sep 2017

This trip was a little bit hard it was a long day. But still Palermo and Cefalu' are both places to see! In Palermo we had a local guide and she was pleasant. Our guide for the trip recommended us to have a lunch in a restaurant in Palermo Restaurant and Pizzeria 59. I must say it was the worst! The food was bad. For example on our antipasto plate there were two cold frankfurters - straight from the package. They still had some slimy gel on them!!! And the place was also expensive. I would never recommend that restaurant to anybody.
But otherwise the trip was alright!

F
, Jul 2017

The long drive to Palermo was not a problem. The problem was that the guide needed to speak in 3 languages which whilst on the bus was ok but when we were walking took too long so didn't see many things do we decided to leave and do our own thing. If I had of known would have booked my our transport

b
, Jul 2017

This is a really, really long day, so be prepared to be tired. The journey to to Palermo takes around 4 hours, and the coach doesn't have a toilet so makes a stop at a service station. Palermo is a nice enough city but nothing spectacular and, while I'm glad I've seen it, it probably wasn't worth the time/money in the end. In hindsight I probably would have liked more time to explore on my own, instead of follow the walking tour that we were taken on. This walking tour consisted of quite a long time spent in two different churches, and a very quick walk through the market. To be honest there are other things I would have liked to see, and I'm not sure why it was necessary to spend so much time in two churches I've got nothing against churches, but one is generally enough. And the market was quite small and run-down - certainly no better than you'd see in any other city. Also it's a grocery market rather than a street-food market, so you can't really buy anything. The suggested lunch restaurant is nice, with reasonable prices and good pizza you don't have to go there and can go elsewhere if you prefer.

Cefalu is a nice place and, again, was worth seeing, but to be honest it's not as nice as Taormina.

To be honest there are quite a few better and cheaper, and less tiring things you can do with your time if visiting Taormina. But this was OK.

M
, Apr 2017

Long road trip. The guide lost me and 2 other people while passing through the market! We found the gruop after 2 hrs. The tour stoped at touristic restaurant where they tried to cheat us on the bill.

A
, Jan 2017

wonderful tour

M
, Nov 2016

This was a very fast way to see a little bit of both places. We were lucky enough to have an actual tour guide Rossana give us a quick tour around Palermo with a lot of information. It was nice to have a local guide. The sights were somewhat interesting but as I mentioned it is a very quick overview. We had lunch at Restaurant 59. It was very good, but as some others mentioned, it is expensive. I ordered lasagna with a side, and Coke Light as a beverage, and the Coke Light came in a very tiny bottle so I ordered two, not realizing that it cost 4 euros a bottle! Then there is also the cover charge of 2 euros just to eat inside, but that is very typical of most places, so I can't fault them for that. I will say the lasagna was worth what I paid for it, but if you eat lunch there you may want to order something else as a beverage. I also had the tempura style vegetables and those were good. After that, we were off to Cefalu, which I thought was much more scenic than Palermo, and even more scenic that Panarea and Stromboli which I had visited earlier in the week. It was a long day, but nice to get a taste of what these two places were like in case I want to come back for a future visit. The only somewhat negative point is that the tour was conducted in three languages, which makes the explanation times a bit long and cumbersome. We were a large enough group that we could have had an English-speaking guide and German-speaking guide. There were a couple of Spanish speakers who got by with Italian. Other than that, it was a nice tour.

d
, Sep 2016

Graet tor and round trip. Impressed by multi-language skills of guide who filled us in with al lsorts of information.


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