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Grand Tour of Sicily

17 days from £9,385pp

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Tour highlights

  • Hike the Zingaro Nature Reserve, one of Sicily’s most picturesque sections of coastline.

  • Enjoy a street-food tour through the bustling streets of Palermo and wine tasting on the slopes of Mount Etna.

  • Visit key filming location from The Godfather, nestled among Sicily’s rugged hillsides.

  • Visit Sicily’s most important classical sites from the temples at Segesta and Agrigento, to the Ancient Greek Theatre in Taormina.

  • Explore the glittering gold mosaics of the Norman cathedrals at Monreale and Cefalù.

Price includes:

  • Scheduled international flights
  • In-destination transfers
  • Activities and excursions as detailed
  • All accommodation
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

With international flights from a choice of airports including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

  • Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Palermo. On arrival in Sicily you're met and transferred to your hotel in the heart of Palermo to settle in.

  • Enjoy a walking tour of Palermo today with an expert local guide. During your tour visit some of the city's best known sites, including the Cappella Palatina and Cattedrale di Monreale, famous for their Norman architecture and ornate mosaics. In the afternoon, travel to nearby Monreale with your private driver for a guided tour of the town's iconic cathedral, known for its remarkable gold mosaics.

  • Today venture west from Palermo up into the hills to visit the captivating historical town of Castelbuono and its 14th-century castle with your guide. After your tour, visit the Abbazia Santa Anastasia, a medieval abbey and wine producer for a tasting lunch based around traditional Sicilian dishes. Before returning to Palermo you have some free time to explore the charming seaside town of Cefalù, well-known for its beautiful Norman cathedral.

  • Departing from Palermo this morning, travel along the coast to visit the Zingaro Nature Reserve for a guided hike. Known for its striking coastline of rocky outcrops and azure waters, the area boasts some of Sicily's most impressive natural scenery. There's time to take a dip in the water and enjoy a packed lunch during the hike before continuing on to your hotel.

  • Today is a busy day, beginning with a visit to the ancient ruined temple at Segesta. Explore the site with your expert local guide before heading down toward the coastline near Trapani, famous for its striking landscape of salt pans and historic windmills, for lunch. After lunch take a cable car with your guide up to the medieval town of Erice, perched precariously on a rocky summit overlooking the coastline below. After exploring the historic winding streets with your guide, there's time to visit the small pastry shop belonging to Maria Grammatico who was featured in the poignant Sicilian memoir, Bitter Almonds.

  • This morning after a leisurely breakfast, transfer though the Sicilian countryside to the town of Agrigento. After you have settled into your hotel and had the afternoon to relax, enjoy an evening panoramic drive around the ancient temple complex to see the structures lit up in all their glory, followed by a tour of the town.

  • Today with your guide enjoy a fully guided tour of the Valley of the Temples, learning about the influence of the ancient Greeks in the region. Starting from the top of the complex, work your way down through the valley, stopping at each of the different temples in turn and learn about their unique histories.

  • Enjoy another day exploring Sicily's ancient past as you take a trip into the interior to visit the detailed mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale. A sprawling complex that's believed to have belonged to a powerful figure within the Roman Empire, the villa contains some of the largest sections of intact Roman mosaics anywhere in the world. After your tour of the villa enjoy a traditional Sicilian lunch at a nearby restaurant before heading back to Agrigento and where you have the rest of the afternoon to relax.

  • This morning head to Sicily's beautiful southeast. Destroyed by an earthquake in 1693, the towns in the area were all completely rebuilt in striking Baroque style. With your guide, explore the towns of Modica and Ragusa, learning about their fascinating history before heading to your hotel in the countryside for the night.

  • Today visit Noto, another of Sicily's Baroque towns before heading south to the coast for a wine tasting experience with a local producer. After your tasting there's time to stroll through the pretty streets of Marzamemi on the coast and enjoy some beautiful views.

  • Heading through the countryside today, arrive into the ancient city of Syracuse, once a powerful city within the Greek Empire. Your hotel's located in the heart of Ortigia Island, the oldest part of the city connected by bridge to the mainland. The afternoon is free for you to explore independently, or relax at the hotel.

  • Enjoy a tour of Syracuse today with your guide. As well as visiting the huge archaeological park and ancient quarries just outside of the town, your tour encompasses the main sites of Ortigia, from the historic Duomo, built over the remains of an ancient temple to the bustling fish market. In the afternoon depart from Syracuse for the slopes of Mount Etna and your hotel out in the countryside.

  • Today depart from your hotel on an adventure up to the summit of Mount Etna, Europe's most active volcano. Accompanied by your guide, you have an early start to reach the main cable car that takes you up toward the top of the mountain. Exiting the cable car, travel in an off-road minibus across the moon-like landscape to reach one of the upper craters for a guided walk, learning more about the mountain. Descending from the summit, stop for a well-earned wine tasting lunch to sample some of the best produce grown in the fertile volcanic soils.

  • This morning head north to Taormina, the final stop on your grand tour. You have the remainder of the day at leisure to explore the town or relax by the beach or your hotel's pool.

  • Enjoy a tour of Taormina today, including the striking views across to Mount Etna and down the steeply plunging hillside to the waters below. The tour will take in the town's historic sites, including the Teatro Grecco, a beautiful ancient structure, still used for performances today, perched on the hillside with amazing views.

  • Today there is time for one final tour, heading up into the countryside behind Taormina to visit some of the key filming locations of The Godfather. At the end of the tour stop at the infamous Bar Vitelli, restored to look as it did in the film, for an exclusive wine tasting experience before heading back to Taormina.

  • Enjoy the morning relaxing in Taormina before being transferred to the airport in Catania for your flight. Your return flight will arrive the same day.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodation, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

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When to go

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Place Daily max temperature (°C) Monthly rainfall (mm)
Palermo
 
Marsala
 
Agrigento
 
Ragusa, Modica & Noto
 
Syracuse
 
Taormina
 

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