TOUR SICILY & THE AEOLIAN ISLANDS

9 Days / 8 Nights

Half board basis

From: $1,855*

Itinerary:

DAY 1: Palermo: Arrive independently to the hotel in the charming city of Palermo (optional private transfer on request). In the evening you will meet our tour-leader and your travel companions and enjoy a welcome dinner. Overnight in hotel.

DAY 2: Monreale – Palermo: After breakfast in hotel, the morning will be spent visiting Monreale, its huge Norman Cathedral, proclaimed the Eighth Wonder of the World, and its splendid Cloister in Arab-Norman style: admirable masterpiece of art, sculpture, and semi-precious stones marquetry! Later we will discover the stunning Palermo, one of the richest towns in the Island for its history and art. Palermo stands on a bay at the foot of Mt Pellegrino, a headland described by Goethe as the loveliest he had ever seen. While the Baroque predominates, there is a profusion of different architectural styles reflecting the city’s multicultural past: Punic walls, Art Nouveau villas, noble residences, XVIIth century squares, including an elegantopera house. We will visit the wonderful Arab-Norman Cathedral, the astonishing Martorana Church and the amazing Cappella Palatina, mirable example from an historical and an artistic point of view, of how different cultures, religions and way of thinking apparently incompatible can coexist. Ruggero II in fact employed both Bizantyne, Muslim and Latin workers. Along the visiting day, we will have a stop for a food surprise in a local bakery.  Free time for lunch. Continuing our walk we will admire the Teatro Massimo and the debated fountain in Pretoria Square, situated in the ancient Kalsa area and adorned with XVI century sculptures. Dinner and overnight in hotel. 

DAY 3: Marsala – Salt Road – Agrigento: This morning the tour will continue along the charming and well-known town of Marsala, where Garibaldi went ashore in May 1860. Marsala is a Mediterranean modern city, divided between sea and land, featuring unforgettable colors: bright yellow, intense blue, strong red, dazzlingwhite and natural green. It preserves several ruins of Phoenician, Arab and Norman dominations and a wide artistic heritage with sanctuaries and caves, hypogeums, underground roads, necropolis and thermal baths. We will discover the lovely city center andits aristocratic buildings, monuments and imposing Baroque churches. We will proceed to the West coast of Sicily to visit the popular Salt Road; here the salt marshes have given rise to one of the oldest salt-extracting industries in the world. Between Trapani and Marsala, the Salt Road is now protected, in part because of the interesting birdlife, and also as important sites of industrial archaeology. Time for lunch, wine and  typical products tastings in a local winery. Transfer to Agrigento and visit ofthe Valley of the Temples stated World Heritage Site, where among hundreds of almond trees, the rests of the ancient Akragas rise. It was defined by Pyndar “the most beautiful city of mortals”. Once one of the most prosperous of the ancient Greek cities on the island, Agrigento presents a remarkable series of Doric Temples of the 5thcentury. You will see the “Temple of Hera”, the “Temple of Concordia” and the “Temple of Heracles”. Accommodation in hotel,dinner and overnight.

DAY 4: Piazza – Armerina – Ragusa Ibla: Today we will reach Piazza Armerina where we will admire the splendid polychrome mosaics of the famous Villa Romana del Casale, World Heritage Site. The complex includes some of the most extensive and most beautiful Roman mosaics known.This majestic villa, belonged to a member of the Roman Senatorial aristocracy, hosts prestigious mosaics representing mythological and historical episodes and scenes of hunting and entertainments. After free time for lunch, departure to Ragusa Ibla and visit its historical centre cradle of Sicilian Baroque, with its Cathedral, situated in the beautiful square of the Dome and the “giardino Ibleo”. Used as a location of the extremely popular Police Inspector Montalbano Tv series, it is today stated among the 44 Italian World Heritage Sites. This little precious ancient city  hosts more than 50 churches and many Baroque architectural treasures. We’ll conclude the visiting day with a tasting of local products. Proceed to Catania for dinner and overnight in hotel.

DAY 5: Catania – Lipari: Your holiday will continue with the Aeolian Islands extension without a tour leader. After breakfast, you will have free time to enjoy the beautiful Catania. Its city centre is declared Unesco World Heritage site for its stunning beauties, the late-Baroque architecture and the unique lava stone buildings. In the late morning, private transfer to Milazzo. Boarding on the hydrofoil for Lipari island. Arrival at Lipari island and transfer to 4 Star hotel. Free afternoon. Dinner and overnight in the hotel. 

DAY 6: Panarea – Stromboli: Breakfast in hotel and departure from Lipari harbour for a full day excursion to Panarea & Stromboli. Before leaving Lipari, the boat will stop at Cave of pumice to enjoy an unforgettable swim. The excursion will then continue to Panarea, where you will have the opportunity to visit the beautiful bay of Calajunco, above which lies the prehistoric village of Cape Milazzese, and swim in Zimmari beach. Proceeding on, the boat will skirt among the small islands nearby and you will have a stop in the charming Cava degli Innamorati. In Panarea, you will have free time to have lunch, take a stroll through the elegant streets, or visit the prehistoric village and have a nice swim. In the afternoon the excursion will continue to Stromboli. The first stop will be Ginostra, a fascinating small fishing village. Once on the island, dinner and free time to stroll, take a swim or doing shopping. In the warmer time of the year, among dips and long swims, it will be possible to enjoy stunning beaches and volcanic caves. Back to the boat at sunset, you will admire Strombolicchio, a gigantic rock and the Sciara del Fuoco, a stunning volcanic explosion of reddish lapilli creating lava rivers reaching the sea!

DAY 7: Lipari – Salina: After breakfast, full day excursion to Lipari & Salina islands. Leaving the harbour, the boat will skirt Lipari coast and you will have a view of the Castle of Lipari, the Monte Rosa and Canneto. You will have time to swim in the crystalline blue water of Pumice Cave beach. Proceeding on to Salina, the captain will show you the famous Acquacalda bay. First stop will be on Santa Marina Salina the biggest town of the island. Our tour goes on along Salina east side, visiting from the sea, Malfa village, Capofaro town and its Malvasia wineries; you will also stop inside the Pollara bay, famous for the movie “Il Postino” -shot by Massimo Troisi.  The boat will then stop in the charming fishermen’s village Lingua where you will have free time to visit the island, its Lago Salato or enjoy typical restaurants. On our way back we will visit the most beautiful grottos inLipariand you would have time for a swim in Vinci beach, in front of theFaraglioni. Back to Lipari in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.

DAY 8: Lipari – Taormina: Breakfast in hotel, transfer to Lipari harbour to take the hydrofoil for Milazzo. Once arriving in Milazzo, there be a driver waiting for you for a private transfer to Taormina, a charming town renowned forits magnificent position above the sea commanding a celebrated view of Etna. Free time for a nice walk among the picturesque Medieval typical narrow streets, go shopping and looking around the local handcraft (coral jewels, precious laces, ceramics, sweets and much more). Dinner and overnight in hotel.

DAY 9: Taormina: Breakfast in hotel and end of services.  Private transfers or excursions available.

Package Includes:

Sicily

  • Multilingual Tour leader and professional travel guide* from the evening of the 1st day to the evening of the 4th day, local guides or audio-guides where necessary.
  • Deluxe bus from day 2 to day 4
  • Whisper kit
  • Half board basis in hotels or local restaurants (dinner –3 main courses fixed menu -beverages not included) to have a taste of Sicilian and Italian cuisine.
  • Visit of the main suggestive Unesco World Heritage Sites: Monreale, Palermo, Agrigento, Piazza Armerina, Ragusa.
  • 1 lunch: day 3 in a local winery in Marsala.
  • Tasting of Sicilian typical products: Palermo (day 2) tasting of local street food; Marsala (day 3): visit of a wine cellar and wine tasting; Ragusa (day 4): tasting of local cheese.
  • Private transfer Milazzo Harbour-Taormina hotel(without tour leader)

Unescorted extension to Aeolian Islands

  • Half board treatment, beverages not included (packed lunch instead of dinner on the day of Panarea and Stromboli excursion) 
  • Private transfer Catania Hotel -Milazzo Harbour(without tour leader)
  • Transfer Lipari Harbour –Lipari Hotel(without tour leader)
  • Hydrofoil back and forth Milazzo -Lipari –Milazzo(without tour leader)
  • 1 boat excursion in group without guide Lipari & Salina or Vulcano
  • 1 boat excursion in group without guide Panarea & Stromboli 
  • Aeolian Islands city taxes

For organizational reasons or due to force majeure the itinerary may be modified 

Aeolian Islands’ excursions are subject to confirmation and might be replaced with similar ones, in accordance with weather conditions.

NB: Please note the company is not responsible for any disruption due to weather and sea conditions concerning all hydrofoil and ferry crossings among the islands.

*Package descriptions and pricing are subject to change without notice.

Contact Us at 800-621-2259 or info@tourcrafters.com to book today!