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This pre-designed itinerary can be booked as is or be completely customized to your tastes. You can change details like upgrading accommodation or adding extra nights and excursions to suit your budget, interests and needs!
DAY 1: WELCOME TO PALERMO!
Welcome to Palermo! You will reach your hotel with a driver from the airport. Welcome briefing upon arrival with a local assistant. The rest of the day is at leisure. We suggest a casual walk in the stunning city center.
DAY 2: PALERMO & MONREALE
Meet your driver at your hotel for a full day private visit of Palermo and Monreale. Palermo is the Capital of Sicily, a city whose rich history is marked by the influence of many different cultures, brought here from the many invaders who played a role in making Sicily and Palermo what it is today.
After your visit to Palermo, we'll head to Monreale, the historic hill town just outside of Palermo. The Cathedral is a beautiful fusion of architectural styles, influenced by Arab, Byzantine, and Norman craftsman and for sure, the highlight of the Cathedral is the golden mosaics that cover the entire interior. Depictions of saints, kings and angels, biblical scenes from the old and new testament, ending in a large image of Christ make up this mosaic masterpiece. When you exit the Cathedral take some time to visit the Cloisters next door. This former Benedictine abbey was also built on William's instructions, and one can argue just as beautiful. Overnight in Palermo. Meals: B
DAY 3: ERICE, TRAPANI & SALT PANS
Transfer from Palermo to Menfi with stops in Erice and Trapani for an independent visit. As you drive along the coast, the edge of the sea is marked with salt flats, dotted with windmills that in years past were used to pump water. Built around its port, the historic center of Trapani abounds in testimonials to its history and art: ancient buildings, monuments, and churches such as the Cathedral of San Lorenzo with its elegant Baroque façade, and the Sanctuary of the Annunziata.
As you drive further south, you'll see not far from the coast, the small isle of Mothia, a Phoenician settlement where several ruins are visible. Erice is a medieval town though its roots go far back in history. The city is perched on a mountainside overlooking Trapani, surrounded by defensive town walls and crowned by the Castle of Venus from where you can get a breathtaking view of the coast. After our visit to the area, we'll arrive late in the afternoon in Menfi. Overnight in Menfi. Meals: B
DAY 4: DAY AT LEISURE
We're firm believers in not packing in every day with preset sightseeing. Our view is that free time is a great way to get to know a town or area at your own pace. The ancient Greek city of Selinunte is close by. It's one of the most impressive archeological sites in the Mediterranean and as pleasant as anything you'll see in Greece. This was Magna Graecia and in 409 B.C. Selinunte ceased to exist because 100,000 Carthaginians laid siege to the town and over nine days slaughtered 16,000 of the town's inhabitants.
If this isn't to your liking, we can organize a bit of vineyard touring or roll up your sleeves and take a cooking class at the Planeta Estate. Last but not least, don't feel guilty about just hanging out by the pool, reading that book you packed, and enjoying a wonderful lunch at the restaurant. That's what vacation is all about! Meals: B
DAY 5: AGRIGENTO & MODICA
In the morning after breakfast, we'll leave Menfi for Syracuse with a stop in Agrigento for a guided visit of the Valley of the Temples. Agrigento was in ancient times the Greek city of Akragas settled by colonists from the Greek islands of Rhodes and Crete. The town prospered and as in Selinunte, in 406B.C. Hannibal and the Carthaginians laid siege to the city. Today the Valley of the Temples is viewed as the best examples of the ancient world because of how well the original settlement site has been preserved.
After the exploration of Agrigento, you'll head east, and we'll take a stop in Modica for an independent visit. The town is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site as one of the Baroque cities of Sicily. If you're a chocolate lover, this is the town to visit. Take a stop at Antica Dolceria Bonajuto (Corso Umberto I, 159), the cities most famous chocolate maker. Buy enough to last a few days! Overnight in Syracuse. Meals: B
DAY 6: SYRACUSE & ORTIGIA
Today we'll take a guided walking tour of Syracuse. Syracuse was defined by Cicero as "the most beautiful city in Magna Graecia." He was right, of course. Still today the echoes of its ancient grandeur reverberate from the streets, churches, and monuments. Syracuse is a destination no traveler should pass up and, with Sicily's Mediterranean climate, can be visited in any season of the year. Made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, the city shows its ancient vestiges in every nook and cranny, from Classical to Baroque splendors, all within a landscape of enchanting beauty.
This city was once the largest city in the Western world with a population of almost 300,000. The Greek theater dates back to the fifth century B.C. and could seat 15,000 people. Ortigia, the small island off the mainland, is the soul of Syracuse, filled with 2,500 years of history. The daily morning food market is not to be missed. Take a stop at a beautiful shop called "I Sapori dei Gusti Smarriti" (flavors of lost tastes) where you'll find a few wonderful Sicilian delicacies to bring back home or nibble on the road. Meals: B
DAY 7: TAORMINA
In the morning, we'll drive from Syracuse to Taormina. Along the way, enjoy the beautiful views of the volcano Mount Etna. Upon your arrival, you'll have a guided visit of Taormina, 'Pearl of the Mediterranean Pearl,' located on a sheer natural terrace above the sea, with breathtaking views around every corner. Winding streets with shops, bars, and restaurants make it a perfect holiday spot. The Greek theatre is, located in a fantastic position carved into the earth. It is hard to say if today's audience, as well as in ancient times attended performances without being fascinated by the views across the sea. Taormina is an ideal destination all year round, thanks to the mild climate and all that it has to offer for fun, relaxation and a joie de vivre. Overnight in Taormina. Meals: B
DAY 8: TAORMINA DEPARTURE
After breakfast, make your own way to the airport or train station for your departing flight or train for your onward journey. An optional private transfer is available. Arrivederci! Meals: B