Enjoy the timeless history, culture, cuisine and sunshine of Sicily in a tour (very) conveniently planned with just two hotel check-ins and a cross-island itinerary – instead of a lengthy "circuit" around the island with the same place as starting and ending point. Your delightful itinerary crosses Sicily from Palermo to Taormina, meaning that your arrival will be at Palermo airport with a departure from Catania. Departures every month of the year are guaranteed with as few as two participants. Group size is 2 to 25.
(Please note: Summary follows. All breakfasts are included, other meals included are indicated in bold face. Locality and site names link to detailed descriptions on Best of Sicily.)
Saturday: Arrival at Palermo. Independent transfer from the airport. Overnight at hotel in Palermo. (Information on airport transfers is provided near the end of this page.)
Sunday: Following breakfast, we venture into Sicily's rugged interior to Agrigento to visit its timeless Greek temples and vast archaeological park. Time at leisure for lunch and to visit the museum. Overnight in Palermo.
Monday: Following breakfast we'll visit the Norman abbey of Monreale, overlooking the city, famous for its timeless Byzantine mosaics and Norman-Arab cloister. Then we'll explore Palermo with a walking tour through Via Maqueda with the external view of Massimo Theater (The Opera House), the Baroque Quattro Canti, Piazza Pretoria and a street market. The tour will end in Piazza Politeama. from there you will have the opportunity to join your hotel (walking distance). Time at leisure for lunch. Afternoon and evening at leisure. Overnight in Palermo.
Tuesday: Following breakfast we'll venture into Sicily's wine region. We'll stop at hilltop Erice, famous for its Phoenician heritage, medieval atmosphere and delicious pastries. Next we'll travel to Trapani along the coast below, known for its salt pans (marshes) and wind mills. Following a light lunch at an olive farm, we'll visit hilltop Segesta's timeless Greek temple and amphitheatre, and then enjoy an estate wine tasting. Overnight in Palermo.
Wednesday: Breakfast and check-out. Today we visit Piazza Armerina's ancient Roman villa, well known for its mosaics. Then we'll continue on to Taormina. Following check-in, evening at leisure in this charming hilltop town of winding streets and enticing shops, medieval walls, Roman ruins and a Greek amphitheatre. Overnight in Taormina.
Thursday: A day of leisure for shopping and sightseeing in Taormina. The atmosphere of this hilltop town, its shops and restaurants, makes it a great place to spend a day indulging personal tastes and unexpected curiosities. Optional excursion up the slopes toward the summit of Mount Etna, Sicily's highest mountain and Europe's largest active volcano. Another option is a cooking class. (See optional excursions below.) Evening and overnight in Taormina.
Friday: Check-out following breakfast. Independent transfer to Catania Airport.
Summary & Accommodation (lodging):
Prices: €1,140 per person double occupancy (i.e. two persons per room), €1440 single occupancy, payable by bank wire transfer or major credit card. See our general tours page and Conditions (below) for purchase conditions and cancellation policies.
For departures from April 7th to October 27th 2018: €1,295 per person double occupancy (i.e. two persons per room), €1590 single occupancy.
For departures from November 3rd 2018: €1,195 per person double occupancy (i.e. two persons per room), €1490 single occupancy.
Includes: Seven (6) nights accommodation in 4-star superior hotels listed here or the equivalent substitution (to be confirmed 20 days before beginning of your tour but usually Plaza Opera or Principe di Villafranca in Palermo and Hilton Giardini Naxos or Villa Diodoro in Taormina (which you can view here), transportation (coach or minibus) and tour escort for the entire trip, with all breakfasts, 1 light lunch at an olive farm, all taxes except local city taxes.
Does not include: Beverages, tips (gratuities) to escorts (or guides/drivers), airfare, meals not indicated, entrance fees at archaeological/historical sites (total approx. €70), trip insurance, airport transfers (may be purchased separately), porterage and baggage handling, options, anything not mentioned under "Includes" above, city taxes (see below).
Accommodation: Double room with private bathroom. Single room with supplement ("single occupancy").
Guide/Escort Language: English.
Group Size: From 2 to 25 participants.
Reservation Confirmation: In most cases we can accept a reservation 30 days prior to departure. However, to guarantee your place(s) we require reserving/confirming at least 45 days before the tour's start date.
City Tax: Following the example of Rome, Paris and New York, a few Sicilian cities have begun to tax hotel stays. The law prohibits billing or collection of the "city tax" by travel agents, so you may be required to pay this tax of €2 - €4 directly to the hotel at check-out.
Dates offered: Departures from Palermo every week from January to December. No other agency in the world offers a Sicily tour with this frequency and number of departures!
Please note major Italian legal holidays in 2017: 1 January, 6 January, 16 April (Easter), 17 April (Easter Monday), 25 April, 1 May, 2 June, 15 August, 1 November, 8 December, 25 December, 26 December.
This tour is organized by Chat & Tour (Tour of Sicily), Via Gen. Sirtori 25, 90145 Palermo, Italy. Visit our general tours page for faqs and purchase conditions regarding this and other tours.
This tour includes just about everything while allowing for free time and offering a few exceptional choices, yet without structuring the itinerary as a mere "frame" for a series of options and extra excursions. The tour has these options on Thursday, with a choice of an excursion to the Mount Etna region or a cooking class in Taormina. This permits you to choose which one, if any, is best for you. (Or you might simply choose to relax, go to the beach or go shopping!) If you decide to participate in an excursion or cooking class, please mention this when you reserve your tour. Each presumes a minimum of two participants.
1) Etna Jeep Excursion & Country Snack: You'll be taken by jeep to the higher altitude of the volcano slopes, including Fontana Peak the 'extinct' craters of the Sartorius Peaks and the lava flow from the 2002 eruption. Then you'll enjoy a snack at a farmhouse offering typical Sicilian cuisine. Returning to Taormina, the partially off-road drive will pass the Alcantara Gorge. €155.00 per person (8:30-2:30). We also offer a series of excursions on ATV 4x4 Quad Bikes (shown here) on the slopes of Etna and in the scenic Alcantara Valley nearby.
2) Market Gourmet Cooking Class: This is the epitome of food preparation from start to finish. Independent transfer to a local restaurant (near your hotel) where you'll be met by your chef. At an open-air market you'll select the fresh ingredients of your culinary creation - which (accompanied by the perfect wine) you'll enjoy as your lunch, followed by dessert. Preparing and tasting this piece of Sicily is an experience you'll never forget. The class runs from 9 AM to 2 PM (lunch time). €90.00 per person (available 15 March to 15 November).
Airport Transfers & Extra Nights (immediately before/after the tour):
Please mention these when you reserve your tour.
Airport Transfer: While there are buses, trains and taxis into Palermo and Taormina from Palermo's and Catania's airports, we can arrange a personalized transfer at €80.00 per person (based on a minimum of two passengers) from 8 AM to 7 PM, or €90.00 per person from 7:30 PM to 7:30 AM. Travel time in each case is approximately 40 minutes.
Extra Night in Palermo: Double occupancy (double or twin) €75.00 per person, Single occupancy €110.00. Whenever possible, lodging will be in the same hotel used during the tour.
Extra Night in Taormina: Double occupancy (double or twin) €130.00 per person, Single occupancy €170.00. Whenever possible, lodging will be in the same hotel used during the tour.
Extra Night in Siracusa: on request.
Special Offer: 1 Extra Night in Taormina + a full day tour to Siracusa (on Thursday) to see Archaeological Park and Ortigia Island (admission fees not included), operated by coach and multilingual tour leader. Available with minimum 12 people.
Double occupancy (double or twin) €170.00 per person, Single occupancy €210.00. Whenever possible, lodging will be in the same hotel used during the tour.
Please note: During these tours it is possible for there to be different drivers or tour leaders during the course of the week, or each day.
Conditions and Terms for Tours
Client will be advised of specific hotels to be used in his/her tour 20 (twenty) days before the tour's start date. Payment may be effected by bank wire transfer or major credit card. Prices are indicated in euros and valid through 31 December 2017. In the event of currency conversion to euros, the conversion rate shall be that of the day of payment; in the event of several payments for a single service the conversion rate may vary slightly based on the day's current exchange rate. All services are to be prepaid at least sixty days prior to the beginning of the tour ("start date" herein also referred to as the "departure"), with an initial payment or deposit (of €300 per participant) required to reserve a place in the tour, and in any event the balance or full price made payable within 60 (sixty) days of departure. In the event of cancellation by the client, the following portion of the total tour price will be claimed by the agency: €100.00 fixed fee 60+ days prior to departure, 25% 45-59 days before departure, 50% 15-44 days before departure, 80% 8-14 days before departure, 100% within 7 (seven) days of departure. At its discretion, the tour operator agency may waive such claims.
If purchased directly from the Italian tour operator (i.e. Tour of Sicily by Chat & Tour Srl) via this website, service shall be governed by the laws of the Italian Republic and the European Union. Local laws may also apply for any tour purchased through a travel agent outside Italy. It is the responsibility of each participant to be in possession of the necessary travel document, such as a valid passport. Basic services are insured in compliance with Italian law. Certain fees indicated (i.e. costs cited which are outside the actual tour price), particularly admission fees at archaeological sites, are understood to be beyond the tour operator agency's control and therefore subject to change without notice.
Hotel ratings are those established by the Italian travel commission and may differ from those indicated in privately-published travel guide books or websites. Tours begin in Palermo or Taormina, as indicated, on the dates specified. Unless the tour is purchased by a travel agent representing us, billing is processed through the tour operator, based here in Palermo, Italy (i.e. Tour of Sicily by Chat & Tour Srl). In the event that the tour operator agency effects cancellation of a tour at any time prior to departure, its sole responsibility and liability is limited to refunding the client the amount it has received in payment for the tour up to that date. The tour operator reserves the right to cancel or reschedule any tour departure in accordance with operating requirements or circumstances beyond its control (force majeure).
LEGAL STUFF: Tour of Sicily by Chat & Tour, Via Generale Sirtori 25, 90145 - Palermo, Italy. Full Travel Agency Licence Number: 996/VII/Tur-Sicily • IATA Tids 96 27583 0 • VAT (Partita IVA): IT04943140824 • ASTA Member Number: 900166379 • Site Member: ID 9310610 • NTA Member: TID 034 250.