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Sicily Experiences

The largest Mediterranean island, Sicily is surrounded by the glistening waters just off Italy’s mainland. A land of rugged beauty, Sicily boasts extraordinary landscapes as well as a colourful history and vibrant culture. With the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans and Arabs all calling Sicily ‘home’ at different points in time, the island has a human tapestry unlike anywhere else. While history and culture have created fascinating architecture and archaeological sites for visitors to explore today, Sicily’s urban communities are buzzing hubs of modern day life, centring on the capital of Palermo. With impeccable culinary and wine credentials too, this Italian island offers a little something for everyone.

Select an experience below to find out more.

Alcantara Gorge and Mount Etna

This full day includes a great outdoor excursion into the wonders of nature and an opportunity to enjoy one of Sicily’s most impressive icons.

 

Includes

  • Transfer and guide
  • A full day tour

From£51per person

Forgotten Sicily

Visit two of the most typical and unknown towns of the beautiful hills around Taormina. Discover hidden treasures in the Agrò Valley, amazing testimonies of the Middle Age!

 

Includes

  • English speaking guide
  • Dinner and drinks
  • Featured folk music

From£80per person

Explore Syracuse

Siracusa is a beautiful mix of Greek, Roman, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art just waiting to be explored.

 

Includes

 

  • Coach travel
  • English speaking guide

From£54per person

Agrigento & Piazza Armerina

The Valley is amongst the most evocative sites of the Greek world and one of the most impressive complexes outside the Greece.

 

Includes

  • Full day tour with transfers
  • English speaking guide

From£58per person

In the Godfather's Footsteps

Hardly any of our guests miss this trip! It’s laid back, fun and takes in some breath-taking scenery along with some hair-raising bends!

 

Includes

  • Full day tour with transfers and English speaking guide

From£41per person

The island of Lipari and Volcano

Sicily’s Aeolian Islands are famous holiday destinations for fashion designers and pop singers alike who are swapping glitz and glamour for the simplicity of these tiny islands.

 

Includes

  • Coach travel
  • Full day tour with English speaking guide
  • Mud bath experience

From£86per person

Alcantara Gorge, Sicily

Alcantara Gorge, Sicily

Alcantara Gorge and Mount Etna

Spend a day exploring one of the world’s most famous volcanoes and its surrounding landscapes on this day long tour.

We’ll depart at 8:00 and travel by coach straight to the Alcantara Gorges. The impressive geography here was created following an eruption of Mount Etna. Thousands of years ago, the Alcantara river bed was blocked by lava from the volcano. The river water had the effect of cooling the lava faster than it normally would, forming columns. Over time, the river eroded a channel through the columns, creating the gorges and ravines we can see today. Your guide will show you some of the most captivating spots along this 32 mile long river bed.

After this stop at Alcantara Gorges, we’ll make our way up Mount Etna, while your guide tells you more about the geography and history of this towering volcano. Mount Etna is one of the highest volcanoes in Europe that is still active, also covering an immense area of 459 square miles. Greek Mythology says the savage monster known as Typhon was trapped under the mountain by Zeus, explaining the volcanic activity.

Mount Etna’s soils are incredibly fertile, and you’ll spot extensive vineyards, orchards and other agriculture – all making the most of the land –  on your journey up the mountain. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mount Etna is a unique and powerfully beautiful location. When we reach Rifugio Sapienza – a high mountain refuge at about 2,000 metres above sea level – you’ll have the opportunity to soak up the immense scenery.

Operates on a Wednesday. Meeting point Taormina by coach. Prices from £51 per person including transfer & guide (doesn’t include lift down to gorge or lunch).

Taormina, Sicily

Taormina, Sicily

Forgotten Sicily

Spend the afternoon and evening in the Sicilian countryside, exploring off the beaten track communities and enjoying culinary secrets from the region.

We’ll depart on this tour at 15:30, weaving our way along the beautiful rolling hills surrounding Taormina. The journey is an important part of this experience, as you’ll feel a sense of travelling back in time to a Sicily of a bygone era. You’ll soak up this feeling even more when we stop at two quaint towns in the Agrò Valley.

The Phoenicians were the first people thought to have colonised the Agrò Valley, and subsequently the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Arabs. The result is villages and communities that have a glorious array of architectures and influences to spot at every twist and turn. The towns of the Agrò Valley have everything from fortified castles to Roman villas, medieval frescoes to Renaissance artworks, churches to ancient theatres. There are some modern cultural references too, with many scenes from The Godfather filmed in this locality. The history-steeped streets and archaeological attractions can often be seen to the backdrop of the Ionian Sea, making this an incredibly picturesque part of the world.

After you have explored some towns of the Agrò Valley, we’ll make our way to the U Lantirnaru restaurant – a name which means ‘lantern maker’. An evening of traditional Sicilian food, wine and folk music awaits at this family run establishment – making you feel part of the community in this traditional region of the island.

Operates on a Friday including transfers, guide, dinner & drinks, folk music. Prices from £80 per person.

Ortigia Island, Siracusa

Ortigia Island, Siracusa

Explore Syracuse

Spend a full day getting to know the coastal city of Syracuse, known for its ancient ruins, unusually shaped cave and island of Ortiga.

We’ll depart at 7:30 on this tour that takes you straight to the heart of one of Sicily’s most illustrious cities. A coastal spot overlooking the glistening Ionian Sea, Syracuse is a city steeped in history and culture. In ancient times, Syracuse was a powerful Mediterranean city, and it is also particularly well known for its Greek history, old amphitheatres and art through the ages. It was also the birthplace of Archimedes, the Greek mathematician, engineer, physicist, astronomer and inventor. For all these reasons, it’s no wonder Syracuse is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You’ll spend the day getting to know Syracuse from the inside. With the help of an expert guide, you’ll pay a visit to the city’s archaeological area, Neapolis. In particular, you’ll visit the remains of the largest Greek theatre in Sicily. We’ll also visit the Ear of Dionysius – a limestone cave in the Temenites Hill – which is shaped like an ear. The acoustic effect inside the cave is also quite astounding, and the sound of voices is said to echo 16 times. We’ll also visit the Altar of Hieron, the largest known altar from ancient times.

We’ll complete our day on the island of Ortiga, which is the main centre of Syracuse. We’ll wander through the cobbled streets, learn more about Syracuse and its art through the ages, and visit the grand cathedral.

Operates on a Tuesday. Meeting Point Taormina by coach. Prices from £54 per person.

Vill Romana Del Casole

Vill Romana Del Casole

Agrigento & Piazzo Armerina

Visit some of the most impressive temples and ruins in Sicily on this tour that embraces the history of ancient Greece.

This full day tour departs at 7:30, when we’ll make our way to Sicily’s hilltop city of Agrigento. This city was actually one of the most renowned and richest colonies of ancient Greece. Nowadays, the archaeological remains of Agrigento are world famous, and this will be the focus of our tour. The Valley of Temples is one of the best known spots – a series of seven temples which are located on a high ridge rather than a valley as the name suggests. Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Temple of Concordia is one of the best preserved temples, which was later converted to a Christian place of worship. You’ll also explore the ruins of one the largest Doric temple believed to ever have been built – the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

After a morning of archaeological discovery followed by lunch, we’ll travel to the region around Piazza Armerina. One of the most esteemed spots to visit in this locality is Villa Romana del Casale. This grandiose Roman villa was found to have one of the most varied and intricate collections of Roman mosaics in the entire world. As such, the villa is a named UNESCO World Heritage Site too. Your guide will tell you more about the immense villa and its mosaics, which depict everything from mythological stories to ancient recreational scenes.

Operates on a Friday. Prices from £58 per person including transfer & guide.

 

Savoca, Sicily

Savoca, Sicily

In the Godfather’s Footsteps

A must for film fans, this full day tour takes you to the famous locations depicted in The Godfather.

This 12-hour tour runs every Saturday and promises a day of seeing Sicily’s most spectacular scenery, while following in the footsteps and Al Pacino and others while you visit some of the filming locations from the famous movie, The Godfather. The 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy was based on Mario Puzo’s novel. With Marlon Brando and Al Pacino playing the leaders of a fictional New York crime family, filming took place in both New York and Sicily. On this tour, we’ll visit some of the most recognisable filming locations from this cult film.

In particular, we’ll pay a visit to the hilltop town of Savoca. Bar Vitelli in the town was the location where Michael Corleone asked Apollonia’s father if he could meet his daughter. Bar Vitelli is still in operation and looks just the same as it did in the movie, so we’ll stop for a drink in the bar and reminisce about this memorable scene in the film.

We’ll also visit the town of Forza d’Agrò, where other scenes from The Godfather were filmed. This was thought to be a particularly good location for the movie due to the abundance of older buildings and stone roads found here, providing an authentic backdrop. The town’s church is also used in scenes from both The Godfather and The Godfather Part II.

Operates on a Saturday. Prices from £41 per person including transfers & guide.

Lipari Island

Lipari Island

The island of Lipari and Volcano

Spend a day on a smaller island off Sicily’s coast and discover a corner of quiet luxury and volcanic beauty.

We’ll depart on this full day trip at 7:00 and travel straight to the island of Lipari. The largest of Sicily’s Aolian Islands, Lipari is a favourite holiday spot among public figures who enjoy the quiet charm and laidback atmosphere of the island. The island has an extensive history, with many fascinating artefacts excavated from throughout the ages, which indicate the island was already inhabited and thriving in at least 5000 BC. It is possible to see some of the many discoveries on the island in the archaeological museum.

Another popular pastime in Lipari is to hop over to the neighbouring Vulcano Island to visit the Vulcano Island Mud Baths. These naturally occurring mud baths are heated by the earth, keeping the mud at a fairly constant 28°C year round. You’ll have the opportunity to paint yourself in mud, sit back and relax. Your skin will feel smoother and you’ll feel generally more relaxed after this experience!

Back on Lipari, you can also visit the castle ruins and visit the Lipari Cathedral, where the first church was consecrated in 1131. For some relaxation time, Lipari has numerous beaches, while Marina Corta (small marina) is a charming place to wander around. Lipari Town is home to some postcard-perfect cafés and restaurants, while strolling around the streets and piazza is the perfect way to soak up the feeling of the island idyll.

Operates on a Thursday. Meeting point Taormina by coach. Prices from £86 per person.

 

More Sicily Experiences

Premium Etna Sunset

Make your way up the incredible Mount Etna for one of the most awe-inspiring sunsets in Sicily, followed by a traditional meal with wine.

This eight and a half hour small group tour departs at 15:00, when we’ll travel directly to Mount Etna by minibus. We’ll take the scenic route to get there so you can soak up some of the best views in Sicily en route to the island’s famous volcano.

Mount Etna is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, since it is one of the highest active volcanoes in Europe and the tallest peak in Italy south of the Alps. Sicily has had influences from many cultures over the centuries, and the name of the volcano has a vivid meaning in many languages. The word ‘Etna’ comes from the Greek phrase ‘I burn’, while in Arabic, the name for Mount Etna is Jabal al-Nār (the Mountain of Fire). Volcanic activity first occurred at Mount Etna an incredible 500,000 years ago. Your guide will tell you more about the remarkable volcano as you continue on your tour.

The higher you climb in the minibus, the bumpier the terrain becomes, until you will move to off-road vehicles. Your tour will take you higher still, until the only way to travel is on foot. You’ll hike for around 30 minutes to reach the highest point possible, just in time for sunset.

To complete your evening, we’ll descend to around 2,000 metres above sea level, where you’ll enjoy a traditional Sicilian meal with wine in a mountain chalet.

Operates on a Thursday. Prices from £142 per person including transfer, guide, off road buses, alpine guide, dinner & drinks.

 

Wine Tasting in Catelbuono

Visit a traditional hilltop town and enjoy wine tasting at an award-winning winery on this afternoon tour.

We’ll depart on this four and a half hour tour at 15:00, when we’ll make our way directly to the Madonie Mountains. This is Sicily’s highest mountain range after Mount Etna and a member of the UNESCO Global Network of National Geoparks. Rocky outcrops in the area of the mountain range have been estimated at being 200 million years old. Many fossils have been found in the rocks too, and in the towns and villages in this region where buildings have been built with local rocks, fossils are actually visible on building exteriors!

Our tour will take us to one of the hilltop towns in this area. Castelbuono has been described as the prettiest of all, thanks in part to its enchanting castle with Arab-Norman architecture. We’ll visit this castle, where your expert guide will tell you more about the castle, its histories and the captivating stories surrounding it. We will also take a stroll through the pretty town before continuing our journey.

Our final stop will be at the Abbazia Santa’Anastasia winery, a gold medal award winning wine maker. Located in a converted 12th century Benedictine abbey, the property’s vineyards have existed for centuries. You’ll have the opportunity to visit the cellars, learn about the wines – including some organic ones – and enjoy an expert led wine tasting session. The wines come accompanied with a selection of regional appetisers, giving you a true taste of the region.

Operates on a Friday. Prices from £45 per person including transfers, guide & wine tasting.

Sicilian Gems – Taormina & Mount Etna

Spend the day at a hilltop town overlooking the sea before visiting the awe-inspiring Mount Etna.

This eight and a half hour tour departs at 6:45, when we’ll travel directly to Taormina. This hill top town occupies an enviable position overlooking the sea. With Mount Etna towering behind it too, the locality offers a geographical spectacle like no other. Thought to date back to at least 358 BC, Taormina is home to a cacophony of remnants of bygone eras. Ruins of the old town, including the old fortifications, can be seen scattered on a hill overlooking the modern day centre of Taormina. The ancient theatre of Taormina dates back to Roman times – and is still used for theatre and opera performances today, while Palazzo Corvaja dates back to the 10th century.

Elsewhere in the town, the Church of San Domenico is a popular place to visit for its history, and the municipal gardens also make a peaceful retreat. Although it has a cliff-side position overlooking the sea, Taormina offers the best of both worlds, with the beach accessible via the town’s cable car.

Once we’ve spent some time exploring Taormina, we’ll continue our journey up Mount Etna. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the tallest active volcano in Europe outside the Caucasus, Mount Etna is a mighty geographical phenomenon. We’ll travel up to around 2,000 metres above sea level so you can get out and soak up the feeling of standing on a volcano.

Operates on a Thursday. Prices from £55 per person including transfers & guide.

Dinner in Madonie Mountains

Explore a traditional Sicilian mountain village and indulge in a typical meal from the region on this eight and a half hour tour.

We’ll depart at 15:30 for this experience that takes you to the heart of the Madonie Regional Natural Park. This swathe of protected green space is home to the Madonie Mountains, the tallest mountain range in Sicily with the exception of Mount Etna. With six mountains over 1,500 metres tall and many others in addition to this, the natural park offers incredible landscapes. Many of the small villages and towns in the region date back to medieval times, and San Mauro Castelverde is said to be one of the most beautiful ancient settlements.

Our tour will take us to the heart of San Mauro Castelverde, where your guide will tell you more about this town in a wonderful mountain setting. Particularly well known for its old churches, we’ll find out more about these religious buildings, including the 17th century Church of S.Giorgio Martire with its Norman-Arab bell tower, and the Church of Badia, which has intricate frescoes dating back to the 1500s. The town’s castle is also a fascinating place to visit, and offers the best views of the surrounding natural park and Mount Etna beyond.

After exploring this mountain community, we’ll make our way to Karsa, a small hamlet of San Mauro Castelverde. Here you’ll enjoy a traditional meal at the family-run Trattoria La Posada. The cuisine incorporates an array of local and organic produce from the surrounding farms, and is served accompanied by traditional music.

Operates on a Friday. Prices from £60 per person including transfers, guide, dinner, drinks & folk music.

Discover Corleone

Uncover the fact and fiction of the Mafia on this guided tour of a town inextricably linked with the crime organisation.

We’ll depart at 8:00 on this seven hour tour that takes you to the heart of the stories of those who inspired The Godfather. We’ll travel through Sicily’s rolling countryside offering magnificent sightseeing opportunities of the island’s landscape, before arriving in Corleone after an hour and a half. Here you’ll meet an expert guide who will lead you through the streets of the town, telling you more about the Mafia.

The name Corleone is the first reminder of The Godfather book and film, since Don Vito Corleone was the fictional main character who emigrated from Corleone to New York. Although Don Vito Corleone was fictional, the town of Corleone is where several Mafia bosses have originated from. Your guide will tell you more about the local Mafia clan – the Corleonesi – who led the Mafia in the 1980s and 1990s. They are said to have been the most violent group to ever control the organisation.

We’ll also take in some of the other sights of Corleone while exploring the history of the Mafia. This includes the Mother Church, which is dedicated to the 4th-century French bishop Saint Martin of Tours. Afterwards, we’ll pay a visit to the Mafia and anti-Mafia Museum of Corleone, which tells more of the work done to fight the Mafia, including the stories of some magistrates who paid with their lives.

Operates on a Saturday. Prices from £50 per person including transfers & guide.