Sicilian Secrets Tour & Aegadian Islands – Catania/Trapani
A memorable journey to discover the hidden treasures of Sicily with its fascinating history, art, traditions, scents and flavours and to relax yourself in the wonderful Favignana!!
- Central 4* hotels in Catania, Ragusa, Palermo and Favignana. Hotel in front of the sea in Agrigento.
- Tour leader and professional travel guide from the evening of the 1st day to the evening of the 5th day.
- Street-food tasting in Palermo at the famous Antica Focacceria San Francesco; granita and brioche tasting in Catania; visit and chocolate tasting in Modica at Sabadì; honey tasting near Etna mountain.
- Guided visit of the wonderful Castro-Polara Grimaldi Palace to discover habits and customs of the ancient Sicilian aristocracy during the belle époque. Lunch at the amazing Gli Orti di San Giorgio in Modica to taste some local delicacies.
- Private visit, wine tasting and light lunch at Cantine Florio in Marsala.
- Nice illustrated book about Sicilian culinary tradition with recipies in English as gift and souvenir of your journey.
Tour of Sicily & Aegadian IslandsRegular departures every Saturday from Catania10 days / 9 nights
Day 1 - Saturday: CATANIA (hotel in Catania)
Arrive independently to the hotel in the charming city of Catania (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 - Sunday: SYRACUSE – NOTO (hotel in Ragusa)
After breakfast in hotel departure to Syracuse to visit the most beautiful and greatest Greek colony in Sicily and World Heritage Site! The visit will start with the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, with its Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre, the Latomie of Paradise and the Ear of Dionysius. Proceeding on and visit of the splendid Ortigia, a small island which is the historical centre of Syracuse. In Ortigia you will admire the beautiful Cathedral which dominates the square with its authoritative presence. The façade is a powerful Sicilian-Baroque composition but it gives no hint that this building was once a Doric temple! From Piazza Duomo you will reach a wide terrace on the waterfront surrounding the famous Arethusa’s Fountain, one of the most famous fresh-water sources of the Greek world. Free time for lunch. Departure to Noto, the capital of Sicilian Baroque, famous for its fine buildings of the early eighteenth century and declared Unesco World Heritage Site. Inspired by Baroque ideals of “open city”, Noto is a rare masterpiece and the clearest example of theatrical tastes in 18th century architecture whose local limestone has been burnt gold by the sun. Noto’s Baroque is a game of elegant curves, floral weaves, perspective views, palaces and gardens, capitals and ornaments that adorn the facades of churches and monasteries. Visit of Palazzo Nicolaci Villadorata, beautiful noble residence in Baroque style. Free time for a walk along the town. Transfer to Ragusa for dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 3 - Monday: RAGUSA IBLA – MODICA – PIAZZA ARMERINA (Hotel in Agrigento)
Today visit of Ragusa Ibla and its historical centre cradle of Sicilian Baroque. 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 town hosts more than 50 churches and many Baroque architectural treasures! You will be fascinated by its Cathedral, situated in the beautiful Dome square and you will love the “Giardino Ibleo”, the oldest of the four main gardens in Ragusa… At 383 meters above sea level, from this beautiful garden you can admire a spectacular panorama! The tour proceeds towards Modica chest of innumerable Baroque architectural treasures and for this reason stated Unesco World Heritage Site. Walking along the tiny streets of this charming town, you will have a stop to visit Sabadì, one of the most renowned chocolate manufacturers whose chocolate has been awarded as the best Modica chocolate in the last 9 years! You will enjoy a multisensorial chocolate tasting discovering the authentic Sicilian perfumes… the local nepitella (wild mint), the orange blossom honey, the raw PGI - quality Sicilian lemon and the PGI – quality Sicilian red orange are just some of the many flavours you can taste! Proceeding on you will visit the beautiful and perfectly preserved noble seventeenth-century Palazzo Castro Polara Grimaldi. You will be astonished by its amazing balcony which dominates the town with a spectacular view and you will feel to be brought back to the past at the beginning of the XX century where time seems to have stopped. The style of the interior has the typical flavor of Sicilian noble palaces: frescoes of landscapes, wallpapers in splendid satins, vases and furnishings of the most precious manufacture, together with the private collections of Donna Grazietta Grimaldi are all signs which give you the impression that nothing has changed and that the ancient traditions of the house are still alive. You will then be brought back to present time savoring some local delicacies under the shadow of the amazing Orti di San Giorgio: 7 gardens suspended between light and beauty. A breath-taking panorama will be the setting of your relaxing lunch! The day goes on to the charming Piazza Armerina to visit the famous Villa Romana del Casale, Unesco World Heritage Site, to admire the splendid polychrome mosaics! 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: you will love it! Departure to Agrigento. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 4 - Tuesday: AGRIGENTO - MARSALA- SALT ROAD - (hotel in Palermo)
This morning the tour continues in Agrigento visiting the famous Valley of the Temples stated World Heritage Site. It was defined by Pyndar “the most beautiful city of mortals”. As one of the most prosperous of the ancient Greek cities on the island, Agrigento presents a remarkable series of Doric Temples of the 5th century. Among hundreds of almond trees you will admire the rests of the ancient Akragas. You will see the “Temple of Hera”, the “Temple of Concordia” and the “Temple of Heracles”. Proceeding on, visit of 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, dazzling white and natural green. After a walk along the city centre, guided tour of the Florio Cellars. The visit starts in front of the majestic giant vats, built at the end of the 19th century and still used for the refinement of Marsala wine. It continues inside the 3 fascinating barrel chambers, 165 meters long and running beneath 104 arches, under which 1.400 small barrels and about 600 larger barrels and vats of different capacities are arrayed, as c. 5.500.000 liters of Marsala wines age in silence and stillness. After a thirty minute tour through the barrel vaults, where the ancient tuff stone floor has been restored, you will reach the avant-garde tasting rooms named Donna Franca and Duca Enrico. You will enjoy a delicious light lunch and a memorable wine tasting experience! The tour will continue visiting 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 for its interesting birdlife, and also as an important site of industrial archaeology. Transfer to Palermo, accommodation in hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 5 - Wednesday: MONREALE - PALERMO (hotel in 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 you will discover the stunning Palermo, one of the richest towns in the island for its history and art. Palermo stands on a bay dominated by Mount 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, 17th century squares, including an elegant opera house. Visit of the wonderful eclectic Cathedral, the astonishing Martorana Church and the amazing Cappella Palatina, admirable example from an historical and an artistic point of view, and a prove of how different cultures, religions and way of thinking apparently incompatible can coexist. Ruggero II employed Bizantyne, Muslim and Latin workers. During the day, you will have a stop for a surprise to taste the local street food in the famous Antica Focacceria San Francesco. Free time for lunch. Along the path you will admire the famous Teatro Massimo and the debated fountain in Pretoria Square, situated in the ancient Kalsa area and adorned with 16th century sculptures. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 6 - Thursday: PALERMO – FAVIGNANA (AEGADIAN ISLANDS) (Hotel in Favignana)
After breakfast in hotel, private transfer to Trapani. Boarding on the hydrofoil to reach Favignana. The larger and most important of the Aegadian Islands, in the 70’s was named “La Farfalla” by the painter Salvatore Fiume, thanks to its butterfly shape. Free time in the afternoon. Dinner in a local restaurant and overnight in hotel.
Day 7- Friday: FAVIGNANA boat excursion (Hotel in Favignana)
The day will start with the departure from Favignana harbour, for a relaxing circumnavigation of the island. During the excursion it is possible to listen to the historical background of the Tonnara factory and Florio family and stay in the most ashtoning bays. First stop of this tour will be in Cala Rossa, one of the most known destination of Favignana, whose cliff is characterized by wonderful tuff caves surrounded by blue and crystalline waters. Later you will get to Bue Marino, Cala Azzurra – famous for its sandy white beach and the most crystalline sea of the island – and Lido Burrone where you will enjoy free time for a dip. Arrived to the southern side of the island (Marasolo/Preveto), it is possible to enjoy a relaxing pause for a typical lunch on board. Time for snorkeling or swimming to discover the charming coves. In the afternoon, departure for Cala Rotonda for a swim, break with coffee and pastries and return to Favignana, after one last stop to Cala del Pozzo for a swim. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 8- Saturday: FAVIGNANA (Hotel in Favignana)
After breakfast, free time available to discover this beautiful island. Walking around the two squares of the city, you will be attracted by traditional Mediterranean architectures, popular for their white walls and blue or green windows. Moving towards the waterfront, you will see a beautiful scenery similar to a portrait! The vintage mood of Favignana’s harbor will enchant you: ancient boats, nets and anchors give to this place a magic atmosphere! Do not miss the chance to have a swim in one of the splendid sea coves or, as an alternative, choose an extra boat excursion to Levanzo. You will have the occasion to visit this lovely fisherman village and have a stop to taste the delicious local “granita” and “gelato”. The tour will proceed heading to the Il Faraglione, Cala Fredda and Cala Minnola, with a stop for a dip. Back to Favignana harbour in the late afternoon. Dinner, overnight in hotel.
Day 9 – Sunday: FAVIGNANA - TRAPANI (hotel in Trapani)
Breakfast in hotel, free time, check-out in hotel and boarding to Trapani. You will spend the free afternoon in the lovely Trapani’s city centre, also known as the “City of 100 churches” and popular for its which hosts an impressive collection of fine local coral art crafts! The city owns a fascinating and legendary history; represented by Virgil in the Aeneid, Trapani’s origins are connected to Carthage, the most bitter Rome’s enemy. Dominated by the Roman empire and the Spanish kingdom, it still reveals this fusion made of different cultures and people. You will have the chance to stroll among the nice alleys, discovering its Arab atmosphere. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 10 – Monday : TRAPANI
Our tour of Sicily and Aegadian Islands ends today. Breakfast in hotel and end of services. Private transfers or excursions available.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.
Accommodation in charming 4 stars hotels mostly located in the city centers of the main Sicilian towns, carefully selected for their location and design to combine tradition with comfort:
- Catania city centre:Il Principe Hotel 4* / Romano House Hotel 4* or similar
- Ragusa:Mediterraneo Palace Hotel 4* or similar
- Agrigento:Baia di Ulisse Wellness & SPA 4* or similar
- Palermo city centre:Mercure Palermo Centro 4* / Ibis Styles Palermo Cristal 4* or similar
- Trapani:Hotel Vittoria 4* or similar
- Favignana:Hotel Tempo di Mare 4* / Hotel Florio 4* or similar
- Multilingual Tour leader and professional travel guide* (English, Italian, Spanish) from the evening of the 1st day to the evening of the 5th day, local guides or audio-guides where necessary.
- Deluxe bus from day 2 to day 5.
- Whispers kit
- Accommodation in charming 4 stars hotels mostly located in the city centre, international breakfast included.6 dinners in hotels or local restaurants (dinner – 3 main courses fixe menu, beverages not included) to have a taste of Sicilian and Italian cuisine.2 lunches: on day 3 light lunch in Modica; on day 4 in Marsala in the well-known Florio Cellars.
- Visit of the main suggestive Unesco World Heritage Sites: Syracuse, Noto, Ragusa, Modica, Piazza Armerina, Agrigento, Monreale, Palermo.
- Tasting of typical Sicilian delicacies: Modica (day 3) visit of the well-known chocolate manufacturers Sabadì with tasting;Marsala (day 4) visit of the famous Florio wine cellar and wine tasting;Palermo (day 5) tasting of local street food.
- Private transfer Hotel in Palermo – Trapani PortPrivate transfer Trapani Port – Hotel in Trapani
- Accommodation in charming 4 stars hotel, international breakfast included.
- 3 dinners in hotels or local restaurants (dinner – 3 main courses fixed menu, beverages not included) to have a taste of Sicilian and Italia
- Transfers in/out,
- all lunches except for the one on day 3 in Modica, on day 4 in Marsala and on board in Favignana on day 7,
- entrance fees at monuments/museums,
- city taxes (where compulsory),
- tips and extras in general,
- anything not specified under “The rate includes”.
EXTRA FEES ENTRANCES*
- Syracuse Archeological Park € 10,00 p.p.
- Syracuse Cathedral € 2,00 p.p.
- Noto Palazzo Nicolaci € 4,00 p.p.
- Piazza Armerina Villa Romana € 10,00 p.p.
- Agrigento Valley of the Temples € 12,00 p.p.
- Monreale Cathedral € 4,00 p.p.
- Monreale Cloister € 6,00 p.p.
- Palermo Cappella Palatina € 12,00 p.p.
- Palermo Martorana Church € 2,00 p.p.
*to be confirmed
You will receive your travel documents by email 10 days before the departure . You will be given the names of the confirmed hotels, place and time of meeting with our guide for the day of your arrival and all the details you need for your unforgettable holidays in our amazing Island!