Sicily In Depth

Italy

Regional Journey

Sicily in Depth (Preview 2020)

Duration: 8 days Visiting: Italy

Prices from US${{lowPrice | number:0}}

Menu
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Reviews
  • Dates & prices

Enjoy warm Mediterranean hospitality, as you journey from picture-perfect fishing villages to ancient Greek temples. Witness the rich legacies of the ancient Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans and Ottoman Turks and even uncover a few secrets about the local Mafia. Taste Sicilian wine, feast on delicious seasonal cuisine and meet passionate locals along the way.

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Sicily.

    On arrival at Catania airport, transfers leave for your hotel at 10:00, 12:30 and 15:30. Relax and settle in to your seaside hotel. After time to relax, join your Travel Director at 17:30 for a short exploration of this bustling port town. See the magnificent Duomo and Piazza and the elegant noble buildings of the Palazzo Senatorio. Get to know your fellow travelling companions during your Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.

  2. Day 2

    Ancient Syracuse en route to Ragusa.

    Sightseeing with your Local Expert takes you to Syracuse’s Paradise Quarry with its unusual Ear of Dionysius, an ear-shaped grotto with an unusual echo. Continue to the superb Greek theatre, carved out of solid rock, one of the largest of the ancient world. There is time to explore the atmospheric Old City, a maze of narrow streets lined with palaces, sprawling over the island of Ortygia. It was here that the famous geometrician Archimedes ran naked through the streets, crying ‘Eureka!' Continue around the southeastern corner of Sicily to Ragusa.

  3. Day 3

    Explore the Valley of the Temples and on to Palermo.

    Journey along the southern coast of the island, past the oil producing town of Gela to Agrigento. Join a Local Expert to explore the Valley of the Temples, Sicily's finest Greek sanctuary. Especially impressive is the massive Temple of Concordia and the clifftop Temple of Juno overlooking the sea. Your travels continue to the Sicilian capital of Palermo.

  4. Day 4

    Palermo & the Golden Age of the Normans.

    Your Local Expert shows you the highlights of the city. Pass through the Baroque Quattro Canti and admire the beauties of the Fountain of Shame. Visit Palermo Cathedral which has been altered may times over the years and observe its unique blend of architectural styles. In Monreale, visit the finely-decorated cathedral and see its magnificent gold mosaics, a masterpiece of Arab-Norman art. Return to Palermo and enjoy a free afternoon exploring the rest of the city. For your dining pleasure, you are offered a selection of local restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening, each with their own ambience and cuisine.

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    Exploring Erice.

    Wind your way up to the charming hilltop walled town of Erice. Walk through the labyrinth of quiet alleyways, past medieval churches and enjoy sea views from the gardens next to the Castle of Venus! At a farm near Trapani, sample some of the freshest olive oil produced on the island and savour a tasting of Sicilian wine, followed by a light lunch of delicious local produce. Back in Palermo the evening is at your leisure.

  6. Day 6

    Cefalu and the Taormina Riviera.

    Travel to the quaint fishing town of Cefalu. The town's imposing cathedral was erected to fulfil a vow made by the Norman King Roger II. Stroll down to the medieval stone fountain and seek out the Gothic arch of the Porta Marina for a picture-perfect view of the little harbour.

  7. Day 7 - Relaxed Start

    Taormina and the Dawn Coast of Europe.

    Your hotel faces east, so early risers may experience why D.H. Lawrence christened this 'The Dawn Coast of Europe.' After breakfast, perhaps take an Optional Experience through the vineyards to Mount Etna, Europe's largest volcano. Travel to the old town of Taormina, which clings to the side of Mount Tauro overlooking the Ionian Sea and the snowy peak of Mount Etna. With your Local Expert, visit the Greek theatre set on a cliff and open to the sky. Take a moment to sit in this ancient theatre and absorb the view through the crumbling arches to snowy Mount Etna. Stroll on to the tiny courtyard of the Palazzo Corvaja, Taormina’s grandest building and further along the elegant Corso Umberto, the Piazza IX Aprile offers panoramic views. At a local restaurant, rejoice with your new-found friends over your Celebration Dinner of delicious, freshly prepared Farm-to-Table cuisine, accompanied with exquisite Italian wines.

  8. Day 8

    Depart Catania.

    Appreciate the vistas of Mount Etna one last time on your departure transfer to Catania Airport. Transfers arrive at the airport at 06:30 and 08:30.

Highlights

 

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Catania: During an exploration with your Travel Director see the Duomo, Piazza and the noble buildings of Palazzo Senatorio.
  • Syracuse: Walk through the gardens of Paradise Quarry, listen to the acoustics in the mysterious Ear of Dionysius and visit the Greek theatre.
  • Syracuse: Explore the ancient streets and delightful squares of in the Old City of Ortygia.
  • Ragusa: During your orientation with your Travel Director see the famous Baroque buildings and churches.
  • Agrigento: A Local Expert will lead you through the magnificent remains of the Greek colony in the Valley in the Temples. See the massive Temple of Concord and clifftop Temple of Juno.
  • Monreale: The sombre exterior of the cathedral at Monreale gives away few clues to the riches inside. Step into a world where the walls glitter with 12th century mosaics, the best of their kind in the world.
  • Palermo: Discover the Sicilian capital with your Local Expert. See Teatro Massimo, the Quattro Canti Square and the Fountain of Shame. View the composite architectural styles of the Palermo Cathedral and visit the Palatine Chapel, showcasing some of the finest examples of Norman art.
  • Erice: Led by your Travel Director, explore the quiet alleys of this ancient walled town, as if you've stepped into the Middle Ages. See the medieval churches and marvel at the sea views from the gardens of the Castle of Venus.
  • Cefalu: Your Travel Director will show you the cathedral, built to fulfil a vow. Walk to the medieval stone fountain in the old fishermen’s quarter, find the Gothic arch of the Porta Marina and see the harbour.
  • Taormina Riviera: Should you awake early, you may see why this is known as 'The Dawn Coast of Europe.'
  • Taormina Riviera: Visit the ancient Greek Ampitheatre with your Local Expert. Set on a cliff, open to the sky, take your seats and enjoy the view through the crumbling arches to snowy Mount Etna.
  • Taormina Riviera: During your orientation with your Travel Director, visit the courtyard of Palazzo Corvaja, seat of the first Sicilian parliament, and stroll along Corso Umberto to Piazza IX Aprile.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Palermo: Choose between a variety of restaurants and cuisines on your Dine-Around Evening.
  • St Julian's: Enjoy a Welcome Dinner with your fellow travellers at your luxury hotel in St Julians. This Radisson Blu resort is famous for its delicious Mediterranean flavours.
  • Trapani: At a local farm, sample the olive oil produced on the island paired with a tasting of Sicilian wine and a light, rustic Highlight Lunch.
  • Taormina Riviera: Enjoy a Celebration Dinner with wine, reflecting some of Sicily’s top culinary heritage.
  • Dining Summary: 7 Breakfasts (B) 1 Lunch with Wine (LW) and 4 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE

  • St Julian's: Situated in the pretty seaside town of St Julian’s, The Radisson Blu Resort is a worthy getaway for travellers looking for tranquillity by the coast. The hotel offers gorgeous views of the Mediterranean Sea and a wellbeing spa for those looking to relax and rejuvenate in the indoor pool, jacuzzi, gym and sauna.
  • Taormina Riviera: Enjoy traditional Mediterranean hospitality on the rocky coast of the Ionian Sea at the Hilton Giardini Naxos.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations.

Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.

Accommodation

 

Il Principe Hotel

Catania (Historic) - Italy

The Il Principe Hotel is centrally located in the heart of Catania's historic centre, surrounded by Baroque architecture. The beautifully refurbished rooms feature high ceilings and have been designed with your comfort in mind.

Mediterraneo Palace

Ragusa (Contemporary) - Italy

A hotel next to the Santa Domenica Valley and crossed by three historic bridges. Located in a strategic position of the city, just a few minutes away on foot to the Municipal Gardens of Villa Margherita.

Hotel Palazzo Sitano/Mercure Palermo Centro.

Hotel Palazzo Sitano/Mercure Palermo Centro.

Hilton Giardini Naxos

Taormina Riviera (Traditional) - Italy

Overlooking the Ionian Sea, the Hilton Giardini Naxos boasts traditional Mediterranean hospitality and fabulous rooms and facilities.

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.6 out of 5 based on 11318 independent user reviews received during the past year.

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