Sicilian Secrets Tour Sicily & Aeolian Islands – Palermo/Taormina
A memorable journey to discover the hidden treasures of Sicily with its fascinating history, art, traditions, scents and flavours and to relax yourself enjoying the cristaline waters of the wonerful Aeolian Islands ...!
- 4* Hotels in the city centre of Palermo, Catania and Lipari
- Multilingual tour leader and professional travel guide from the evening of the 1st day to the evening of the 4th day.
- Local street-food tasting in Palermo at the famous Antica Focacceria San Francesco; in Catania tasting of Sicilian "granita and brioche" ; honey-tasting near the Etna mountain.
- 2 Full day boat excursions to discover the Aeolian archipelago!
- Nice illustrated book about Sicilian culinary tradition with recipies in English as gift and souvenir of your journey.
Tour of Sicily & Aeolian IslandsRegular departures every Tuesday from Palermo 9 days / 8 nights
Day 1 - Tuesday: PALERMO (hotel in 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 - 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 3 – Thursday: CEFALU’- CATANIA (hotel in Catania)
After breakfast transfer to Cefalù, charming Medieval town situated at the northern coast of Sicily. Visit of its stunning Norman Dome and free time to stroll through the town or to visit the famous and well-known Mandralisca Museum. Arrival in Catania and free time for lunch. Later on the tour will continue visiting Catania’s historical centre stated Unesco World Heritage Site, with its original Baroque style and its unique streets built with black lava stone. The colour scheme of the city-centre buildings is black and dark grey, relieved with white limestone details around doors and windows. The effect is extremely elegant! The walking tour will start from the scenic Duomo square with its magnificent Cathedral and the famous “Liotru” statue, antique lava-stone elephant, symbol of the city. Not far from here we will reach University Square and we will have a walk along the splendid baroque Via dei Crociferi, the most representative 18th century street in Catania, where we will admire the famous S. Benedict Monastery, Unesco World Heritage Site. Continuing the visit enjoy a break in a historical bar of the city centre to taste the typical “granita & brioche”. Dinner at the hotel or in a restaurant nearby and overnight.
Day 4 - Friday: ETNA – TAORMINA (hotel in Catania)
This morning after a short visit of the famous “pescheria” (the ancient fish market) in Catania, the tour will continue with an excursion to the Mount Etna, the highest (c. 3350m) volcano in Europe and one of the largest and most active in the world, nowadays Unesco World Heritage Site. Its regional park protects 59.000 hectares of unique geology, flora and fauna, villages and farms, and traditional methods of forestry, bee-keeping, wine manufacture, stonework and carpentry. Views of stunning landscapes will amaze you heading to Rifugio Sapienza. You will reach the “Crateri Silvestri”, small volcanic cones now inactive, surrounded by ancient lava flows. The view beyond the mountain’s hundreds of subsidiary cones and craters, can extend across the whole of Sicily, the Aeolian islands and Calabria. The spectacle is unique! You will have a stop to enjoy the local homemade honey and some typical products of the area. The tour continues towards Taormina, charming town renowned for its magnificent position above the sea commanding a celebrated view of Etna. Free time for lunch and in the afternoon visit of Taormina’s fascinating Greek theatre which will leave you breathless for its commading view on Giardini Naxos bay and the Etna mountain! Free time for a nice walk among the picturesque Medieval typical narrow streets, to go shopping and looking around the local handicrafts (coral jewels, precious laces, ceramics, pastries and much more). The day will end with an overview of the beautiful Riviera dei Ciclopi. Back to the hotel in Catania for dinner and overnight.
Day 5 - Saturday: CATANIA – LIPARI (Hotel in 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* hotel. Free afternoon. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.
Day 6 – Sunday: LIPARI – SALINA (Hotel in Lipari)
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 in Lipari and you would have time for a swim in Vinci beach, in front of the Faraglioni. Back to Lipari in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.
Day 7 – Monday: PANAREA - STROMBOLI (Hotel in Lipari)
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 8 - Tuesday: TAORMINA (Hotel in 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, defined by Goethe as the "paradise on earth". Free day. You can enjoy the Medieval village visiting its historical monuments, or doing shopping buying some of the local handicraft products. As an alternative you can relax by the sea and enjoy the colors and scents of its Mediterranean vegetation... We suggest to visit Isola Bella, one of the most enchanting beaches in Sicily, also called the "Pearl of the Mediterranean" thanks to its particular location and vegetation: a perfect mix of tropical plants and local flora! Dinner and overnight in hotel
Day 9 - Wednesday: TAORMINA
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:
- Palermo city centre:Mercure Palermo Centro 4* / Ibis Styles Palermo Cristal 4* or similar
- Catania city centre:Il Principe Hotel 4* / Romano House Hotel 4* or similar
- Taormina:Villa Diodoro Hotel 4* / Hotel Caparena Wellness & SPA 4* or similar
- Lipari:Hotel Bougainville 4* / Hotel Mea 4* or similar
- Multilingual Tour leader and professional travel guide* (English, Italian or Spanish) 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.
- Whispers kit
- Accommodation in charming 4 stars hotels mostly located in the city centre, international breakfast included.5 dinners in hotels or local restaurants (dinner – 3 main courses fixe menu , beverages not included) to have a taste of Sicilian and Italian cuisine.
- Visit of the main suggestive Unesco World Heritage Sites: Monreale, Palermo, Cefalù, Catania city centre, Etna.Tasting of Sicilian typical products:Palermo (day 2): tasting of local street food;Catania (day 3): tasting of Sicilian “granita & brioche”;Etna (day 4): visit of a beekeeping honey company and honey tasting.Private transfer Milazzo Harbour-Taormina hotel
Private extension to Aeolian Islands
- Accommodation in charming 4 stars hotels, international breakfast included.2 dinners and 1 lunch, beverages not included (packed lunch instead of dinner on the day of Panarea and Stromboli excursion).
- Private transfer Catania Hotel – Milazzo HarbourTransfer Lipari Harbour – Lipari Hote
- lHydrofoil back and forth Milazzo – Lipari – Milazzo
- 1 boat excursion in group without guide Lipari & Salina or Vulcano
- 1 boat excursion in group
- Tour leader/guide in Aeolian Islands
- Transfers in/out
- All lunches except for the one on day 7 during the Panarea and Stromboli excursion
- Entrance fees at monuments/museums
- City taxes (where compulsory)
- Tips and extras in general
- Anything not specified under “The rate includes”.
EXTRA FEES ENTRANCES*
- 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.
- Taormina Greek theatre € 10,00 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!