Treasures of Sicily

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Traveller ratings
4.4 / 5 from 48 reviews >
Trip code: 
ADZ
Way to Travel:
Guided Group Adventure Holidays
Activity:
Culture & Discovery Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
6–18

Discover Baroque towns, ancient Greek ruins and enjoy stunning scenery

Sicily is one of the most fascinating islands in Europe, thanks to the indelible marks left by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans and Spanish civilisations. This comprehensive tour explores its sophisticated cities, picturesque villages, well-preserved archaeological sites and splendid scenery. It starts with an excursion on Mt Etna, continuing to the towns of Syracuse, Agrigento and Selinunte - all listed as UNESCO heritage sites. There is also a day in Zingaro National Reserve with magnificent views of the Mediterranean.

Please note that the visit to Segesta will no longer be programmed in the 2018 itinerary. To view next season's trip notes please visit https://www.exodus.co.uk/tripnotes/adz/10388.

 

 

Highlights

  • Explore Baroque heritage in Noto and Ragusa Ibla
  • Visit archaeological sites in Siracusa, Agrigento and Selinunte 
  • Cover the island's top highlights and heritage sights in nine days

Key information

  • 7 nights in 3 and 4-star hotels and 1 night agriturismo, all en suite
  • Sightseeing on foot and 2 daywalks
  • Group normally 6 to 18, plus local leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by private air-conditioned minibus 

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 1 wine tasting
  • All accommodation
  • London flights (if booking incl. flights)
  • Airport transfers for group flights
  • Special guided tours in main UNESCO sites and cities

What's not included

  • Travel insurance 
  • Single accommodation 
  • Visa or vaccinations
  • Local city taxes
Call us on
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Beautiful village of Ragusa, Sicily, italy

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Acireale
to
Taormina
  • Day 1

    Start in Acireale.

    Our tour starts in Acireale, a bustling town just 30km north of Catania and a short drive from Taormina. From its lofty position above the sea it offers stunning views of the Ionian Sea and of Mount Etna. Our hotel is located in the centre of the old town by Piazza Duomo, home to some fine baroque buildings including the Cathedral, the Basilica dei Santi Pietro e Paolo, the town hall and Palazzo Modò.

  • Day 2

    Excursion on Mt Etna, Europe's highest active volcano; afternoon wine tasting.

    After breakfast we enjoy a spectacular guided walk on Mt Etna, Europe's highest active volcano. We hike up past several old lava flows to be rewarded with a dramatic panoramic view of the volcanic landscape and old craters (1 to 2 hours walking, 5 km). You are strongly advised to take a waterproof/windproof jacket, a warm top and to wear long trousers. In the afternoon we enjoy a delicious wine & cheese tasting in one of the famous wine cellars of the area.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Drive to Syracuse to visit its archaeological site; on to the UNESCO Baroque town of Noto.

    This morning we drive to Syracuse (approx. 1h 20 mins drive), the most powerful city-state in the Greek world and briefly capital of the Byzantine Empire. Here we visit the superb Neapolis Archaelological Park with its spectacular Greek theatre and well-preserved Roman amphitheatre, accompanied by a local guide. In the afternoon we drive to our next destination, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Noto (approx. 45 mins). This is an absolute gem: a beautiful town built in the unique Sicilian baroque style using beautiful honey-coloured stone.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Morning visit the hilltop town of Ragusa Ibla; transfer to Agrigento's Valley of the Temples.

    After breakfast we drive to the hilltop town of Ragusa Ibla (approx. 1hr 30 mins), a fascinating maze of winding streets dotted with remarkable baroque churches, and continue on to Agrigento (2hrs 30 mins). Here we enjoy a guided visit of its magnificent Valley of the Temples: the Temple of Juno, the Temple of Concorde, one of the most well-preserved Doric temples in all the Greek world, the Temple of Ercules and the Temple of Castor and Pollux. Overnight in Agrigento.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Visit ruins of Selinunte, overlooking the Mediterranean; drive to the hilltop village of Erice.

    Our day starts with a transfer to Selinunte (1hr 30 mins) to explore one of the most important archaeological sites in the Mediterranean, set high overlooking the sea. We then move on to the mountaintop village of Erice (1hr 30 mins) , and stop en route for a view of the famous salt flats of Mozia, dotted with characteristic wind mills (time permitting). Once in Erice, we have time for a stroll through its narrow streets and try the best almond cakes (cassata) on the island. Overnight near San Vito Lo Capo.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Walk in the stunning Zingaro Nature Reserve; afternoon visit to Segesta archaeological site; overnight in Palermo.

    Italy's first nature reserve, Zingaro, is home to the rare Bonelli eagle, along with 40 other bird species and 700 plant varieties. Accompanied by our tour leader, we walk along the reserve's rugged coastline dotted with Mediterranean flora, tiny bays and hidden coves providing excellent swimming spots in one of the most idyllic settings on the island. In the afternoon we move to the ancient city of Segesta (40 mins drive), founded around 1200 BC by the mysterious Elymians. Here we visit the Greek theatre and the well-preserved 5th-century BC Doric temple, set on top of a hill and surrounded by mountains. Overnight in Palermo.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Morning visit to Monreale Cathedral; guided tour of Palermo and free time.

    After a short transfer to Monreale (approx. 1 hr), we visit its extraordinary cathedral, considered the greatest example of Norman architecture in the world. We then head to Palermo (approx. 1 hr) and our local guide will show us the most important sites of this beautiful city, including Quattro Canti, Pretoria Square, the Cathedral and Marina Square. In the afternoon we have some free time in Palermo and enjoy this eclectic city at our own pace. Overnight in Palermo.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Drive to the fishing village of Cefalu to visit its Norman Cathedral; on to charming Taormina; free time to explore.

    This morning we drive to the fishing village of Cefalu (approx. 1 hr 15 mins), where we visit the impressive cathedral, home to elaborate Byzantine mosaics, and the lovely historic centre with its winding mediaeval streets. Our tour ends in one of the most renowned treasures of Sicily: the charming town of Taormina (approx. 2hrs 40 mins drive). We have time to visit its Greek theatre and enjoy the spectacular views of Mt Etna and the sea. Overnight in Taormina.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    End in Taormina.

    Our tour ends in Taormina in the morning of day 9. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Essential Info

Visas

Italy

No visa required for British passport holders.
Please note in Italy it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times.

Vaccinations

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and a wine tasting on Mt Etna included.

Sicilian cuisine is a melting pot of all the different cultures that have occupied the island, from the Arabs to the Normans. The island itself is incredibly fertile, enjoying a perfect climate which is ideal for the cultivation of fresh produce such as olives, oranges, lemons, eggplants, tomatoes, pistachios, almonds, grapes, and more—not to mention all of the seafood, tuna and swordfish fished right off the coast. The result? A cuisine that’s fresh, varied, and absolutely delicious! Sicilian wines are also superb and known to be strong and syrupy, like Marsala and Moscato.

Weather

Sicily has a good all year round climate, with plenty of sunshine and warm/hot temperatures. The summer departures ought to have daily hot sunshine and temperatures can reach 33 to 38 degrees. The earlier and later departures are likely to be cooler with a slightly higher chance of rain. In late summer there is the possibility of heavy thunderstorms, but these are usually short-lived.

Is this trip for you?

This is a comprehensive itinerary, with a few long and busy days due to the amount of distance that we cover. There is some gentle walking involved on most days during the sightseeing but it won't be strenuous. There are also two excursions on foot included in this trip: on Mt Etna we walk for up to 2 hours on hilly-to-steep terrain of old dried lava, rocky ash and sand. A second walk will take place in the stunning Zingaro Nature Reserve, where we will walk for up to 3 hours (including stops) along idyllic Mediterranean coast. Both of these walks are optional: there are cafés not far from the trails, where you can sit and wait for the rest of the group, should you prefer not to join these walks. Since we spend the first two nights in the same accommodation, you may even choose to spend the day exploring the wonderful baroque town of Acireale instead of Etna.
The overall Activity Level for this trip is 2 (Leisurely/Moderate) meaning that it is suitable for all people who are in good health and fitness.

Call us on
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

3 and 4-star Hotels and Agriturismo

On this trip we use different comfortable 3 and 4-star hotels and one agriturismo . Some of them have been chosen for their warm hospitality and typically Sicilian character and others for their convenient location. They are often located in proximity of the historic centres we visit so that we can easily explore the towns in the evenings or during our free time. All rooms have en suite facilities and some hotels have a pool and WiFi.

List of hotels normally used:

  • San Biagio Resort, Acireale 
  • Hotel Flora, Noto
  • Hotel Della Valle, Agrigento 
  • Agriturismo Baglio Fontana, Buseto Palizzolo 
  • Hotel Politeama, Palermo 
  • Hotel Andromaco, Taormina  
Call us on
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call us on
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed September 2017
    Deborah Hughes

    Sicily is a varied and wonderful place to,visit

    A fast and busy trip that delivered an amazing taste of Sicily. Every site was different and spectacular.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every place was inspirational.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Milena was fantastic. She was informative, organised and caring. She truely made this trip a wonderful experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack lightly as you need to get your case in the back of a mini bus and live out of a suitcase. Do not look at any photos before you go so that when you arrive at each site you will be amazed.
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Valerie Berry

    The magic of Sicily

    A great trip and although quite a fast pace there was plenty of time to enjoy the towns, ruins and magnificent scenery. The food and wine was of course splendid wherever we went our wonderful guide Mileena was there with her extremely helpful maps of every town and ruin visited. There is something in this trip for everyone. If you can't walk far there is always a cafe with a lovely outlook to sit at, on the other hand if you want to walk and climb steps for wonderful views, then you can do that too

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting some of the towns really early in the morning where there was just me and the street cleaner around. it was so atmospheric to have an espresso in the Duomo square without the hordes of tourists which would appear later. The Sicilian food specialities were wonderful too

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mileena was exceptional. Nothing was ever too much trouble. She was so enthusiastic and the maps she gave us at every stop must have taken her hours to highlight but they were so useful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take comfortable walking shoes with you and plenty of sunscreen

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was lovely to have a few surprises such as the chocolate and wine tastings.
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Nigel Day

    A rush!

    An enjoyable trip taking in most of the 'must see' places in Sicily: a great overview of the island. One niggle, though, is that because of the scale of the place the whole trip seemed too rushed: lots of time in the coach, and not quite enough time at various locations to give them justice. If you can afford the time (and higher cost), the newly-introduced 'Sicily Grand Tour' would be a better bet, but if you are prepared for the pace of this tour the 'Treasures of Sicily' does live up to its name.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The stunning mosaics at Monreale. The views of Etna were great (except when the scirocco brought in the Sahara sand).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Salvo was very knowledgeable, and helpful. he also made sure there were plenty of loo stops - important given the length of some of the coach trips!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Consider carefully your aims for the trip (see my summary), but then enjoy yourself. Make sure that you have plenty of cash to pay for meals, souvenirs and tips, as you can't rely on credit or debit cards being accepted. If you need more cash, most places have ATMs. When paying by credit/debit card or withdrawing cash at an ATM, you will sometimes be offered the opportunity to pay in your home currency - as a rule, though, this will involve a poor exchange rate and a fee, so you are probably best advised to reject this option and hope your card issuer is more generous. Leave room for the gelati and sorbets (granita)! You will walk them off. As always with such tours, be prepared for some minor disappointments - for example, our tour of the Zingaro Nature Reserve was called off due to the fire risk caused by a scirocco blowing through, and the "elaborate Byzantine mosaics" at Cefalu Cathedral were hidden whilst the building was undergoing some renovation. However, there is so much else to see that such disappointments are unlikely to detract significantly from your holiday.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A note to Exodus: given the time pressure at some of the locations, it would have been better to have local guides at more of them, rather than just handing out a photocopied map with instructions to meet back in, say, 2 hours. The walking involved was more of a stroll than a ramble, so I would class this as a leisurely tour rather than leisurely/moderate. However, if the weather had been hotter, my views might have changed.
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Susan Wiltshire

    Treasures of Sicily

    A very busy week spent travelling to a considerable number of places. Not much time to see anywhere properly but a good overview of the island. A lot of time spent in the coach.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking on Etna was an interesting and inspirational part of the trip - if you enjoy views and volcanoes!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader did not interact with the group and carried out his duties without humour, fun or enjoyment. This was the most disappointing aspect of the week, as having travelled with Exodus before, I have had far better group leaders who can make the holiday wonderful, exciting and longing for more. We had two other tour guides for a short period of time who were knowledgeable and interesting. Vanessa was particularly helpful on our last day helping us with travel arrangements and being a real group leader even diverting the coach to see some extra sites on the way to the airport. What a difference had she been our group leader for the week!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not take any extra items unless you really need them. Pack so you can find items easily without unpacking your suitcase each night. Bags of items of clothing are a good idea. Some people used poles when walking on Etna. Take them if you feel more comfortable using them on steep slopes - up and down. Take shoes to wear for swimming in the National Park as the beach is made up of large stones.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Sicily is a beautiful island full of wonderful buildings and history. It warrants a longer holiday with time to linger.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We were sorry to hear that Susan was disappointed with aspects of her tour’s leadership as her tour leader usually receives very good feedback; we are in contact with Susan directly in this regard and our local manager has also followed up on her concerns with her tour leader. 

     

    Marta Marinelli - Product Manager for Sicily

  • Reviewed May 2017
    William Sinclair

    Sicily

    Tour leader, Milanda and driver could not have been better Loved Sicily and our guide brought the Island and its' history alive with her vast knowledge and infectious enthusiasm She is warm, compassionate and very caring of her groups well being Hotels... good locations... some beds below standard Have no back issues but if you did mattress standard poor at 2 Hotels Want to do Umbria Italy next year Do you have a tour of Morocco?

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The guide

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Read above.... just a special lady

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    No .... a personal thing

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    NoQm8an
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Pamela Tilbrook

    Sicily

    The sites we visited were fascinating, the accommodation was satisfactory, the guide was knowledgeable and the driver was good.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Some of the remarkable archaeology sites, eg the doric temple at Segesta, and the cathedral at Monreale.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very knowledgeable, helpful and friendly.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Barbara Zielinska

    Treasures of Sicily

    Brilliant introduction to glorious Sicily. So much to see, so little time, BUT a fantastic introduction covering everything from nature to culture, to ancient temples, wonderful scenery and fabulous food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I don't have just one. I loved everything, but especially the incredibly well preserved antiquities, including from Greek and Roman times.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Salvo was exceptional. Very hard working, making sure we all finished with a strong sense of appreciation of his Island and a desire to return. He was calm, able to adapt to unpredictable changes in weather which involved changes to itinerary. He created the perfect balance between bringing us to places and leaving us free to explore.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get fit before you leave! It is a magnificent journey with fabulous, full days, which demand some level of fitness. Pack layers covering yourself from warm, to hot to rain.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I absolutely loved this trip and would highly recommend it as a great "taster" for Sicily.
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Lia Menasce

    MS

    An amazing trip, magical days in Beautiful Sicily, in the company of wonderful people, great food, and a very special guide, Fabio, who passed his love for Sicily to all of us

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    each day was different and wonderful. perhaps favorites were Etna and Zingaro Natural reserve

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The best!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Cannot think of anything.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    THanks!
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Roger Doran

    Treasures of Sicily

    An ok trip, The towns were very pretty and the temples were in a good setting.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking round the towns and sampling the local food

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ok, but her english was not great and she wanted talk about ancient times and geology too much instead of telling the group the modern side of the island.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not book this trip if you are single and under the age of 50 and you wish to stay out later than 10 pm.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One of the hotels we stayed in had no hot water in the shower, which was unacceptable for the price of the trip.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Valerie Gray

    Treasures of Sicily

    I had a great trip to Sicily with this tour and would never had enough knowledge or time to get to and see half the places the tour took us to.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The landscape, stunning archeological ruins, an evidence of the people's tenacity to survive and strive after political and natural disaster. (See any picture of a fortified medieval hill town or coastal village hanging precariously to the coast)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader managed to keep us on track and ensure our needs were met with such grace and humour. She was able to make the answer to our questions seem fresh and new. She had a great depth of knowledge about the archeological sites and history of the area being a native of Sicily.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It helped me a great deal to read about the history of Sicily when Sicily was a Greek colony to appreciate the ruins Siracusa and the Valley of the Temples become much more meaningful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was my first time on a tour with Exodus I appreciate the small group size. It would not have been possible to see a fraction of what we saw with a larger group. We were very lucky to have a very organized group who were on time for our free time meet ups. I would consider doing another trip with Exodus again.

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