Splendors of Sicily by Central Holidays
Palermo, Agrigento, Ragusa and Taormina
9 Days | April-July
Starting At $2213
Sicily, the biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea, is full of art, history, and traditions. This Italy tour has everything, beginning with the enchanted beauty of Taormina’s Greek-Roman amphitheater, with its spectacular views of Giardini di Naxos and Mt. Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. Then tour the Archaeological Park of Syracuse followed by Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples. The Theban poet Pindar described the temples as “the most beautiful city built by mortal men.” Visit Sicily’s capital city, Palermo, among the many distinguished palaces and monuments.
Per Person Prices
Air is not included. Prices subject to change depending on departure date.
Day 1 – Travel
Board your overnight flight from the US.
Day 2 – Palermo, Sicily
After your morning arrival into Palermo’s Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Balance of the day is at leisure. Tonight enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. (D)
Day 3 – Palermo
This morning enjoy a tour of Palermo featuring the Massimo Theater, Quattro Canti, a splendid example of Spanish Baroque architecture, the Palace of the Normans, and the Cathedral housing the shrine of Santa Rosalia. The last stop will be at the Abbey of Monreale, an Arab-Norman Cathedral built in the 12th century famous for its magnificent Byzantine mosaics and the adjacent Benedictine cloister. Balance of the day is at leisure to relax or to take an optional tour of Cefalu, a picturesque fishing village outside of Palermo. (B)
Day 4 – Palermo/Erice/Marsala/Agrigento
This morning we take a breathtaking scenic drive up to the medieval town of Erice. After the Elymians settled here, it became an important religious site associated with the goddess Venus. Wander through its ancient streets, each cobbled with rectangular stones, and take some time to stop by one of the famous homemade pastry shops selling delicacies such as marzipan candies and pistachio pastries. After enjoying an olive oil tasting session and lunch accompanied by Marsala wine at a local farmhouse, we will travel along a coastline mostly made up of salt pans built back in roman times. Overnight in Agrigento. (B,L)
Day 5 – Agrigento/Ragusa
This morning enjoy a guided tour of “The Valley of the Temples”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the main archaeological treasures of the Mediterranean, this site is immersed in a rural landscape of rare beauty characterized by the presence of century-old olive and almond trees. Your guided walking tour will cover about one mile in a mostly downhill direction, with stops along the “Via Sacra” (holy pathway) to admire the Temple of Concordia, the Temple of Herakles and ruins of the Temple of Zeus. In the afternoon we continue to Ragusa. Dinner and overnight at hotel. (B,D)
Day 6 – Ragusa/Modica/Noto/Syracuse/Taormina
Today’s first stop will be in Modica, a quaint historic town and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Boasting some very fine Baroque architecture, picturesque views and historic sites, Modica is also known for its chocolate. Rich, dark and crumbly, it is produced in a traditional method imported from the New World by Sicily’s Spanish overlords. After a chocolate tasting session at one of the most prestigious chocolate makers, we resume our journey to Noto, part of the “Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue to the enchanting island of Ortigia, the old town center of Syracuse. Highlights of Ortigia are the cathedral square with its church built over an ancient Greek temple and the beautiful promenade with its panorama over the sea and the natural bay of the town. Dinner and overnight in Taormina. (B,D)
Day 7 – Taormina
Morning at leisure to relax, or to take an optional excursion to the slopes of Mt. Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. This afternoon, enjoy a walking tour of Taormina’s charming city center including the Greek/Roman amphitheater with breathtaking views looking over the bay of Naxos. (B)
Day 8 – Taormina, Savoca, D’Agro Valley/Taormina
Today enjoy a once in a lifetime experience: the “Godfather” tour. See the real Sicily while exploring Savoca and D’Agro Valley, the towns and area that served as location when filming the “The Godfather” trilogy. Afternoon at leisure. In the evening, bid arrivederci to your travel companions during a festive farewell dinner with delectable cuisine and sparkling wine in a fashionable restaurant. (B,D)
Day 9 – Taormina/Catania
After breakfst transfer to Catania Airport for your flight back to the US.