In our “Discover Sicily” tour, you will experience a 10-day adventure of some of the island’s most beautiful and interesting destinations: Palermo, Siracusa, and Taormina. Uncover this magical part of Italy!
It is difficult to describe Sicily in just one short paragraph. We think of it as a mesmerizing island full of extraordinary history and traditions. It is also where art, culture, and sublime food come together with wonderful natural beauty. From the sea to majestic Etna and the beautiful countryside, there are so many reasons to visit Sicily. And we do our very best to give you a taste of all that this fascinating island has to offer.
PALERMO – 3 NIGHTS
The vibrant capital of Sicily, Palermo, is home to some of Italy’s most fascinating cultural gems. These consist of impressive private museums, the country’s largest opera house, and a robust food culture. During private touring, explore lively local markets, the old Arab quarter, and unique UNESCO-listed Arab-Norman architecture. Also, take a private excursion to Monreale for a tour of the stunning cathedral, a masterpiece of Arab, Norman, and Byzantine art.
Upon arrival at Palermo Airport, we will arrange for a private transfer to your accommodations of choice in the city center. Bella Vita Travels has a wonderful selection of 4 and 5-star hotels for you to choose from. This exciting city is the capital of Sicily and also full of character. During your stay here, we will arrange the following special experiences:
- A private “Half-day Tour of Palermo” with our professional English-speaking driver-guide. He/she will show you all the main highlights of this dynamic city in just a few hours. Sites to anticipate include the Arab quarter, the lovely markets of Capo or Ballerò, the Norman Palace, Teatro Massimo (Palermo’s Opera House), The Cathedral of Palermo, Quattro Canti, and more. We can also add on a visit up to Monreale if you wish.
- A full-day excursion to Segesta, Erice, and Scoppello. The first stop is the magnificent Temple of Segesta and its amazing intact amphitheater. . From there, drive toward the sea and to the lovely little village of Scopello. Here you will have beautiful vistas over the Mediterranean and the perfect lunch stop. Next, it’s on to the medieval town of Erice for dessert (and more)! This charming cobblestoned village is situated 880 meters above sea level. The views are sweeping over the land, sea, and nearby outer islands. Stroll the village and discover its other charm. The delectable pastries of marzipan made with almonds in different flavors (pistachio, pinots, orange, lemon, and so on..). Make sure to try them as they are an absolute must!
SIRACUSA – 3 NIGHTS
After checking out of your hotel, your private driver will be waiting to take you to your next destination in Sicily, the baroque town of Siracusa. But before that, you will have a wonderful day in-store (see below!). Your lovely accommodations in Siracusa will be either right on the island of Ortigia or just a short walk across a small bridge. In either case, you will be in the comfort of a beautifully restored palazzo turned luxury hotel.
During your stay in Siracusa, you will enjoy the following:
- Half-way through your private transfer from Palermo to Siracusa, your private driver will make a special stop at Piazza Armerina to visit the mosaics of the Roman Villa del Casale. These buildings are named after an agricultural settlement known as Casale, or farmhouse, which flourished in the 15th century. Nearly 38,000 square feet of perfectly preserved mosaic pavements decorate the Roman villa. You will also have time for a nice lunch nearby. Don’t forget to order a cannolo siciliano for dessert!
- One morning, together with your local expert guide, you’ll explore this rich and fascinating city on our Half-day History and Market Tour of Siracusa. It was once one of the major powers of the ancient Greek world and also bears traces of its Roman and Byzantine heritage. First, you will visit the remarkable Greek archeological site. Here lies the Temple of Apollo, which later became a Byzantine church and then an Arab mosque. There is also the impressive Greek theater and fabled Fountain of Arethusa. Then, stroll through the city’s picturesque winding streets to discover the traditional food market, elegant piazzas and admire the treasures on the island of Ortigia, Syracuse’s historical center. Here you will visit its great cathedral, built on the site of the Temple of Athena, as well as the island’s many impressive medieval and Baroque buildings.
- Visit “Baroque Sicily“! There are three towns of the area that have been on the “Val di Noto” UNESCO World Heritage since 2002. Scicli, Modica, and Ragusa are considered masterpieces of late-baroque architecture. Your first stop will be Scicli. Located on a ridge between two gorges, it’s setting alone is spectacular. The streets and buildings are full of charm. Your next stop is charming Modica, with its characteristic old town, magnificent churches, bell towers, intricate facades, red-tiled roofs, and of course world-renowned chocolate! You will watch how the chocolate is made as you visit the oldest chocolate factory in Sicily. Then, you will taste about twenty different flavors of chocolate and other typical Sicilian sweets. The last stop will be in Ragusa Ibla. This city has a magic atmosphere with spectacular Baroque churches, characterized by tower facades and noble palaces covered with “mascheroni”, sculpted masks representing different people from the past that decorate the local building facades.
TAORMINA – 3 NIGHTS
Your last, but certainly not least, destination on your “Discover Sicily” tour, will be beautiful Taormina. This historic clifftop town overlooking the sea is bound to enchant you! One day in Taormina, you’ll enjoy free time to explore the Greek theater, beautiful gardens, bougainvillea-lined backstreets and local boutiques. There will also be time to relax at your beautiful luxury resort overlooking the Bay of Naxos.
Your private driver will pick you up early morning and you will begin your adventure, making your way to Taormina. En-route, you will have another adventure on along the way (see below!). Then, it’s off to your gorgeous luxury accommodations overlooking the Ionian sea. During your 3 days in Taormina, you will enjoy the following experiences:
- En-route to Taormina, enjoy a Private Excursion to Mount Etna, the island’s still active volcano. The fertile soil of Etna has created a micro-climate of vineyards, orchards, and farms. After touring some of the most interesting volcanic sites on the mountain, it will be time for lunch. This will take place at a local winery. Here you’ll tour the cellars, taste the wine, and enjoy a feast of local dishes- definitely a lunch to remember!
- Experience Taormina and the coastline from its most exclusive viewpoint, on a Private Boat Tour. Relax and enjoy this excursion on board one of our lovely boats while being caressed by the ocean breeze and rocked by the gentle waves. Then, visit not only the fascinating Grotta Azzurra but also Capo Taormina and its rocky coastline. Etna and the Gulf of Giardini Naxos will provide the perfect backdrop for a photo. It will also be the ideal spot for a refreshing dip in the waters of the Grotta del Giorno. The tour will continue along the coast towards the Bay of Mazzarò. Afterward, finish off with an aperitivo on board before continuing on to the Bay of Mermaids. Don’t forget your sunscreen and bathing suit!
- Enjoy a very special experience led by a local chef who will teach you about Sicily’s gastronomic heritage in a Private Cooking Lesson and Dinner. The evening will take place in a historical villa owned by one of Taormina’s oldest families. Tie your apron and get to cooking under the watchful eye of your teacher. She will offer helpful guidance along the way to successfully create a typical Sicilian menu. Then, top the evening off with a delicious meal on the terrace. This will include the 4-courses you have created, plus a selection of Etna wines to soak up the atmosphere of the villa!
- We will leave one day at your leisure to enjoy and explore on your own. Feel free to soak up some Mediterranean sunshine and sea.
If you are not yet ready to go home, we can add several options to your Discover Sicily tour. A few days in the Aeolian Islands? Or a visit to the west coast of Trapani, Marsala, and Selinunte? Or even spending some dedicated wine time between Avola, Vittoria, and Etna regions? The choice is yours and we would be happy to design your trip as you wish.