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Sicily in Depth

From $4,074
total price from New York
$3,395 air & land inclusive plus $679 airline taxes and fees
Tour Days
12 days
Tour Membership
12-24 guests

Overview

Crossroads of the Mediterranean…the “toe” in Italy’s boot…“God’s Kitchen”…Sicily is all this and much more, as we see on our stellar small group journey around this Italian island. It’s lively cities and ancient ruins, temples of man and of nature, hospitable people and delectable cuisine…a feast for all the senses.

Tour Details

Sicily in Depth

From $4,074

total price from New York
$3,395 air & land inclusive plus $679 airline taxes and fees

Tour Days
12 days

Tour Membership
12-24 guests

Tour Days
12 days

Tour Membership
12-24 guests

Overview

Crossroads of the Mediterranean…the “toe” in Italy’s boot…“God’s Kitchen”…Sicily is all this and much more, as we see on our stellar small group journey around this Italian island. It’s lively cities and ancient ruins, temples of man and of nature, hospitable people and delectable cuisine…a feast for all the senses.

Small Group Highlights

  • Palermo’s Arab-Norman UNESCO sites
  • Street food experience in Palermo
  • Stunning Monreale Cathedral (UNESCO site)
  • Medieval walled town of Erice
  • Trapani Nature Reserve and salt pans
  • Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples (UNESCO site)
  • Outstanding mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale (UNESCO site)
  • Archaeological Park of Neapolis in Syracuse (UNESCO site)
  • Wine tasting
  • Taormina touring
  • Mt. Etna excursion
  • Farmhouse lunch
  • Distinctive, well-located small group hotels

Day-by-Day Itinerary

B
= Breakfast Included
L
= Lunch Included
D
= Dinner Included
1
Depart U.S. for Palermo, Italy
Depart U.S. for Palermo, Italy
2
Arrive Palermo
D
D
Arrive Palermo

We arrive today in Palermo, the capital of Italy’s autonomous region of Sicily.  This evening we gather at our hotel for a briefing on the journey ahead, followed by a welcome dinner.

We arrive today in Palermo, the capital of Italy’s autonomous region of Sicily.  This evening we gather at our hotel for a briefing on the journey ahead, followed by a welcome dinner.

3
Palermo
B
L
B
L
Palermo

On this morning’s walking tour, we discover 2,700-year-old Palermo’s twin claims to fame: impressive architecture and world-class street food.  Highlights include Palermo Cathedral and Palazzo Reale, both a part of Arab-Norman Palermo, which is a UNESCO site comprising nine civil and religious structures dating to Norman rule in Sicily (c. 12th century).  We also see the Church of San Cataldo, another of Palermo’s Arab-Norman treasures.  Along the way, we pass through vibrant markets selling arancinicannoli, and other Sicilian specialties – which, of course, we stop to sample.  Following our tour, we enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then return to our hotel in the city center.  The remainder of the day is free for independent exploration.  With dinner on our own tonight, perhaps a culinary adventure is in order – and thanks to Sicily’s strategic Mediterranean location that lured many invaders, Sicilian food incorporates Italian, Arabic, and African influences into a singular and delicious cuisine.

On this morning’s walking tour, we discover 2,700-year-old Palermo’s twin claims to fame: impressive architecture and world-class street food.  Highlights include Palermo Cathedral and Palazzo Reale, both a part of Arab-Norman Palermo, which is a UNESCO site comprising nine civil and religious structures dating to Norman rule in Sicily (c. 12th century).  We also see the Church of San Cataldo, another of Palermo’s Arab-Norman treasures.  Along the way, we pass through vibrant markets selling arancinicannoli, and other Sicilian specialties – which, of course, we stop to sample.  Following our tour, we enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then return to our hotel in the city center.  The remainder of the day is free for independent exploration.  With dinner on our own tonight, perhaps a culinary adventure is in order – and thanks to Sicily’s strategic Mediterranean location that lured many invaders, Sicilian food incorporates Italian, Arabic, and African influences into a singular and delicious cuisine.

4
Palermo/Erice/Trapani
B
L
B
L
Palermo/Erice/Trapani

A full day of touring takes us first to the medieval walled town of Erice.  Perched atop a mountain nearly 2,500 feet above sea level, Erice offers panoramic views of the valley below, the port town of Trapani, and the Tyrrhenian Sea beyond.  We continue to Trapani, where we visit the region’s famed salt pans.  Though the area is a designated nature reserve, Sicilians still harvest salt here using centuries-old methods; indeed, the oldest of the area’s 60 working windmills dates to the island’s Arabic regime.  We tour the museum here and then enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before returning to Palermo.

A full day of touring takes us first to the medieval walled town of Erice.  Perched atop a mountain nearly 2,500 feet above sea level, Erice offers panoramic views of the valley below, the port town of Trapani, and the Tyrrhenian Sea beyond.  We continue to Trapani, where we visit the region’s famed salt pans.  Though the area is a designated nature reserve, Sicilians still harvest salt here using centuries-old methods; indeed, the oldest of the area’s 60 working windmills dates to the island’s Arabic regime.  We tour the museum here and then enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before returning to Palermo.

5
Palermo/Monreale/Agrigento
B
L
D
B
L
D
Palermo/Monreale/Agrigento

En route to Agrigento today, we stop in nearby Monreale.  Sitting on the slopes of Monte Caputo, Monreale overlooks La Conca d’Oro (or “the Golden Shell”), a richly fertile valley studded with groves of orange, olive, and almond trees.  Here we visit the city’s celebrated cathedral, another gem of Arab-Norman Palermo and one of the finest examples of Norman architecture still in existence. The imposing main façade and ornate outer cloister serve to prepare us for the cathedral’s breathtaking main sanctuary, where every inch of wall and ceiling space is covered with painstakingly detailed mosaics.  Crafted by artisans from Constantinople (now Istanbul), the dazzling mosaics contain some 4,850 pounds of pure gold.  Next we visit a nearby family-owned winery, where we enjoy a wine tasting and lunch.  Our journey then continues; late this afternoon we reach Agrigento and our hotel, where we dine together tonight.

En route to Agrigento today, we stop in nearby Monreale.  Sitting on the slopes of Monte Caputo, Monreale overlooks La Conca d’Oro (or “the Golden Shell”), a richly fertile valley studded with groves of orange, olive, and almond trees.  Here we visit the city’s celebrated cathedral, another gem of Arab-Norman Palermo and one of the finest examples of Norman architecture still in existence. The imposing main façade and ornate outer cloister serve to prepare us for the cathedral’s breathtaking main sanctuary, where every inch of wall and ceiling space is covered with painstakingly detailed mosaics.  Crafted by artisans from Constantinople (now Istanbul), the dazzling mosaics contain some 4,850 pounds of pure gold.  Next we visit a nearby family-owned winery, where we enjoy a wine tasting and lunch.  Our journey then continues; late this afternoon we reach Agrigento and our hotel, where we dine together tonight.

6
Agrigento
B
D
B
D
Agrigento

This morning we visit the Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO site and archaeological zone whose ruins of fallen Doric temples and sanctuaries date to Greek rule in the 5th century BCE.  Known in its heyday as the "most beautiful city of mortals,” Agrigento was one of the leading cities during the Golden Age of ancient Greece.  Our tour features both the eastern zone, where we see the beautifully preserved Temple of Concordia (c. 430 BCE), and the western zone, with the massive temple of Olympian Zeus, believed to be the largest Doric temple ever built.  Moving away from the outdoor sites, we enter Agrigento’s archaeological museum with its exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of this outpost of classical Greece.  Then we return to our hotel for dinner together.

This morning we visit the Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO site and archaeological zone whose ruins of fallen Doric temples and sanctuaries date to Greek rule in the 5th century BCE.  Known in its heyday as the "most beautiful city of mortals,” Agrigento was one of the leading cities during the Golden Age of ancient Greece.  Our tour features both the eastern zone, where we see the beautifully preserved Temple of Concordia (c. 430 BCE), and the western zone, with the massive temple of Olympian Zeus, believed to be the largest Doric temple ever built.  Moving away from the outdoor sites, we enter Agrigento’s archaeological museum with its exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of this outpost of classical Greece.  Then we return to our hotel for dinner together.

7
Agrigento/Piazza Armerina/Syracuse
B
L
D
B
L
D
Agrigento/Piazza Armerina/Syracuse

We travel across Sicily’s southern reaches today to Syracuse (Siracusa), stopping along the way in Piazza Armerina to visit Villa Romana del Casale, an elaborate 4th-century CE villa and UNESCO site boasting one of the richest and largest collections of mosaics in the Roman world.  Thanks to having been buried by landslides, the villa, its vivid frescoes, and the more than 3,200 square feet of mosaics survived the millennia in remarkably good shape.  Following our tour here, we continue on to Syracuse, arriving late this afternoon.  Once the largest city in the ancient world, Syracuse today is an alluring spot known for its superb archaeological sites and the relaxed seaside ambience of its Baroque old town.

We travel across Sicily’s southern reaches today to Syracuse (Siracusa), stopping along the way in Piazza Armerina to visit Villa Romana del Casale, an elaborate 4th-century CE villa and UNESCO site boasting one of the richest and largest collections of mosaics in the Roman world.  Thanks to having been buried by landslides, the villa, its vivid frescoes, and the more than 3,200 square feet of mosaics survived the millennia in remarkably good shape.  Following our tour here, we continue on to Syracuse, arriving late this afternoon.  Once the largest city in the ancient world, Syracuse today is an alluring spot known for its superb archaeological sites and the relaxed seaside ambience of its Baroque old town.

8
Syracuse
B
D
B
D
Syracuse

Today we discover what this city is best known for: the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, a UNESCO site that comprises a range of ancient monuments.  We begin our explorations at the 5th-century BCE Greek theater, the 16,000-seat amphitheater where the tragedies of Aeschylus were staged – in his presence – and is still in use today.  Next: Latomia del Paradiso (Paradise Quarry), the now overgrown shaft from which the white limestone used to build Syracuse was cut.  Because it has excellent acoustics, the quarry also is known as the Ear of Dionysius.  We continue on to the Roman amphitheater, the 1st-century BCE arena that once held gladiator spectacles; today it hosts musicals on its ancient stones.  Then we take a walking tour of Ortigia, the “white pearl” of Sicily, historical center of Syracuse, and a UNESCO site.

Today we discover what this city is best known for: the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, a UNESCO site that comprises a range of ancient monuments.  We begin our explorations at the 5th-century BCE Greek theater, the 16,000-seat amphitheater where the tragedies of Aeschylus were staged – in his presence – and is still in use today.  Next: Latomia del Paradiso (Paradise Quarry), the now overgrown shaft from which the white limestone used to build Syracuse was cut.  Because it has excellent acoustics, the quarry also is known as the Ear of Dionysius.  We continue on to the Roman amphitheater, the 1st-century BCE arena that once held gladiator spectacles; today it hosts musicals on its ancient stones.  Then we take a walking tour of Ortigia, the “white pearl” of Sicily, historical center of Syracuse, and a UNESCO site.

9
Syracuse
B
D
B
D
Syracuse

This morning we embark on a cruise along Sicily’s Ionian coast, dotted with tiny islands and caves.  We see the Spanish Wall, 13th-century Castello Maniace which served as a bulwark against invaders in the Middle Ages, and historic Ortigia Island.  We disembark at Ortigia, where we’re free to explore and enjoy lunch on our own.  Late this afternoon we return to our hotel, where we dine tonight.

This morning we embark on a cruise along Sicily’s Ionian coast, dotted with tiny islands and caves.  We see the Spanish Wall, 13th-century Castello Maniace which served as a bulwark against invaders in the Middle Ages, and historic Ortigia Island.  We disembark at Ortigia, where we’re free to explore and enjoy lunch on our own.  Late this afternoon we return to our hotel, where we dine tonight.

10
Syracuse/Mt. Etna/Taormina
B
L
B
L
Syracuse/Mt. Etna/Taormina

We depart Syracuse this morning and make our way up the coast to Mt. Etna, one of Europe’s largest active volcanoes.  The ancients believed conical snow-topped Etna to be the forge of Vulcan, god of fire; today, Sicilians have a very personal relationship with the volcano, which frequently erupts but is seldom destructive.  Descending from the volcano, we stop at a private farm set amidst acres of lemon and kiwi groves, where we enjoy a small group highlight: a homemade lunch prepared by the family who lives here.  To accompany our meal, we sample some excellent Sicilian wines.  Then we resume our journey to Taormina, arriving late this afternoon.  This evening is at leisure, with dinner tonight on our own.

We depart Syracuse this morning and make our way up the coast to Mt. Etna, one of Europe’s largest active volcanoes.  The ancients believed conical snow-topped Etna to be the forge of Vulcan, god of fire; today, Sicilians have a very personal relationship with the volcano, which frequently erupts but is seldom destructive.  Descending from the volcano, we stop at a private farm set amidst acres of lemon and kiwi groves, where we enjoy a small group highlight: a homemade lunch prepared by the family who lives here.  To accompany our meal, we sample some excellent Sicilian wines.  Then we resume our journey to Taormina, arriving late this afternoon.  This evening is at leisure, with dinner tonight on our own.

11
Taormina
B
D
B
D
Taormina

This morning we embark on a walking tour of this delightful medieval town set on a rocky terrace overlooking the Ionian Sea.  Highlights include the 3rd-century BCE Greek theater, where gladiators once battled; the 13th-century fortress-like Duomo; and grand Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, site of the ancient agora and today an inviting plaza.  This afternoon is at leisure to enjoy Taormina as we wish; tonight we celebrate our Sicily adventure over a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

This morning we embark on a walking tour of this delightful medieval town set on a rocky terrace overlooking the Ionian Sea.  Highlights include the 3rd-century BCE Greek theater, where gladiators once battled; the 13th-century fortress-like Duomo; and grand Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, site of the ancient agora and today an inviting plaza.  This afternoon is at leisure to enjoy Taormina as we wish; tonight we celebrate our Sicily adventure over a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

12
Depart for U.S.
B
B
Depart for U.S.

We transfer today to the Catania airport for our return flight to the U.S.

We transfer today to the Catania airport for our return flight to the U.S.

Tour Price Includes

  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
  • 10 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe, Superior First Class, and First Class hotels
  • 22 meals: 10 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after three tours; $300 after 10 tours)

Average Daily High by Month (°F )

  Mar Apr May Aug Sep Oct Nov
Palermo 62 65 71 84 79 72 66
Syracuse 63 68 75 88 83 75 67
Taormina 60 65 69 85 81 72 68

Average Temperature (°F )

  Mar Apr May Aug Sep Oct Nov
Palermo 62 65 71 84 79 72 66
Syracuse 63 68 75 88 83 75 67
Taormina 60 65 69 85 81 72 68

Dates & Prices

Please wait while we retrieve this information.

Tour Directors

Lisa Careless

“Lisa is one of the best tour directors we have ever had. She was caring, conscientious, knowledgeable and was able to adapt to any situation that required a change in the program.”

Andrea & Donald Gray
Tuscon, AZ

Franco Caputo

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Giulia Tamarri

"Giulia was amazing! She was incredibly accommodating and it was very apparent that her number one priority was making sure that everyone had an awesome trip."

Brandon & Sharlee Sara
Herriman, UT

Thomas Dovestone

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Marina Caruso

“Marina was on top of everything, from waiting for us at the airport, to each activity, each question.  Her knowledge and love of Sicily was thorough and a part of all she shared.”

Grace Berestecki
Needham, MA

Maurizio Caminita

“There are simply no superlatives worthy of Maurizio’s talents as a guide. He is always organized…[and] always ready to deal quickly and efficiently with the unexpected.”

Owen & Laurie Guitteau
Santa Barbara, CA

Eva Matosevic

"I cannot say enough about Eva. She is a gem! So wonderful! She went out of her way to help us and let us get a full experience. The best!"

Grace Ratliff
Garner, NC

Franco Carola

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Dania Mastacchini

“We enjoyed spending time with Dania. She was thoughtful, knowledgeable, and always positive. She has the perfect temperament for a tour leader.”

Rekha & Craig Arness
McLean, VA

Andrea Fiorillo

“Andrea was outstanding in all aspects. His attention to every detail was perfect! He also had a great personality that added fun to every part of the trip!”

John & Kristine Pagano
Cheshire, CT

Sara Basile

"Sara was amazing! She was upbeat, warm, helpful, knowledgeable, patient, and passionate! She greatly enhanced our experience!"

Susan Kossak & Howard Saltz
Kissimmee, FL

Marcello Torrisi

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Gaetano Salemi

“Absolutely outstanding! Very knowledgeable about Sicily and Italy, and the Italian way of life. Kept us entertained with stories and piano playing.”

Dennis & Sharon Marks
Vero Beach, FL

Osciri Chageg

“Osciri Chageg was splendid. He was knowledgeable, enthusiastic, personable, and understanding…true star.”

Nancy Maffucci
East Rockaway, NY

Diana Di Bartolo

"Diana was outstanding. She was very informative and shared her love of her country in a special and genuine way…another one of your outstanding guides!"

Marylin & Clark Bunton
Anaheim, CA

Davide Fanciulli

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Daniela Mendola

“Daniela was exceptional. Her caring attitude and knowledge of Italy were exceptional. She truly made the tour come alive.”

Gregory E. Peterson
Tyngsboro, MA

Tour Directors

Diana Di Bartolo

"Diana was outstanding. She was very informative and shared her love of her country in a special and genuine way…another one of your outstanding guides!"

Marylin & Clark Bunton
Anaheim, CA

Sara Basile

"Sara was amazing! She was upbeat, warm, helpful, knowledgeable, patient, and passionate! She greatly enhanced our experience!"

Susan Kossak & Howard Saltz
Kissimmee, FL

Daniela Mendola

“Daniela was exceptional. Her caring attitude and knowledge of Italy were exceptional. She truly made the tour come alive.”

Gregory E. Peterson
Tyngsboro, MA

Franco Carola

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Gaetano Salemi

“Absolutely outstanding! Very knowledgeable about Sicily and Italy, and the Italian way of life. Kept us entertained with stories and piano playing.”

Dennis & Sharon Marks
Vero Beach, FL

Eva Matosevic

"I cannot say enough about Eva. She is a gem! So wonderful! She went out of her way to help us and let us get a full experience. The best!"

Grace Ratliff
Garner, NC

Davide Fanciulli

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Lisa Careless

“Lisa is one of the best tour directors we have ever had. She was caring, conscientious, knowledgeable and was able to adapt to any situation that required a change in the program.”

Andrea & Donald Gray
Tuscon, AZ

Dania Mastacchini

“We enjoyed spending time with Dania. She was thoughtful, knowledgeable, and always positive. She has the perfect temperament for a tour leader.”

Rekha & Craig Arness
McLean, VA

Giulia Tamarri

"Giulia was amazing! She was incredibly accommodating and it was very apparent that her number one priority was making sure that everyone had an awesome trip."

Brandon & Sharlee Sara
Herriman, UT

Franco Caputo

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Marina Caruso

“Marina was on top of everything, from waiting for us at the airport, to each activity, each question.  Her knowledge and love of Sicily was thorough and a part of all she shared.”

Grace Berestecki
Needham, MA

Osciri Chageg

“Osciri Chageg was splendid. He was knowledgeable, enthusiastic, personable, and understanding…true star.”

Nancy Maffucci
East Rockaway, NY

Andrea Fiorillo

“Andrea was outstanding in all aspects. His attention to every detail was perfect! He also had a great personality that added fun to every part of the trip!”

John & Kristine Pagano
Cheshire, CT

Maurizio Caminita

“There are simply no superlatives worthy of Maurizio’s talents as a guide. He is always organized…[and] always ready to deal quickly and efficiently with the unexpected.”

Owen & Laurie Guitteau
Santa Barbara, CA

Marcello Torrisi

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Thomas Dovestone

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Destination Insights

Exploring...

Recommended Books & Films

Exploring...

Guest Photos & Testimonials

Our tour director was outstanding. The cities and historic sites were extremely interesting. The food was very enjoyable.
Carolyn Trunca
Fort Salonga, NY
This was truly an informative, educational, totally fun experience. Would recommend Odysseys Unlimited without reservation.
Karl Sanford
York, ME
Our tour director was outstanding. The cities and historic sites were extremely interesting. The food was very enjoyable.
Carolyn Trunca
Fort Salonga, NY
This was truly an informative, educational, totally fun experience. Would recommend Odysseys Unlimited without reservation.
Karl Sanford
York, ME
Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET

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