Want to visit some of these beautiful towns? Book Culture Trip’s 10-day Sicilian adventure with stops in Palermo, Syracuse and Taormina. You’ll also get to enjoy gazing out at the Tyrrhenian Sea from a hillside hotel in Cefalù.
Sitting on the eastern coast of Sicily, at the foot of Mount Etna, this town offers something for everyone. Following a huge volcanic eruption in 1669, most of the old town was destroyed. After this calamity, it took a long time to rebuild Catania, but, thanks to the stamina and determination of the locals, it is in bloom once more.
As the capital of Sicily, this majestic town boasts many grand sites that are well worth a visit. Have a look at the cathedral, the Palazzo dei Normanni and the Palazzo Abatellis for starters. The Museo Archeologico Regionale Antonio Salinas, the botanical gardens and the creepy catacombs at the Capuchin Monastery are also worth exploring. And don’t ignore the great restaurants and the amazing street-food culture for which Palermo is rightly famed.
As with pretty much everywhere else in Sicily, you’ll find relics of the past around every corner in Syracuse. Founded by the Greeks, this town nurtured many famous Greek poets, mathematicians and politicians. The Syracuse Greek Theatre was one of the biggest the Greeks ever constructed, but the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Fountain of Arethusa, the more modern cathedral of Castello Maniace and the many palazzi deserve a visit, too.
This town lies on a rocky hillside and is accessible by car or bus. The road leads up a steep and narrow hill, which can sometimes be tricky to navigate. It is well worth a visit if you long for a small town offering a little peace and quiet but also wish to catch a glimpse of the rich historical heritage that Sicily has to offer. History buffs will love the ancient amphitheatre in town.
Agrigento is well known for its Greek ruins, including those in the Valley of the Temples. Some of the ruins were sadly damaged and destroyed over the years, but most of them are still in very good condition. Agrigento was once a wealthy town, due to its trade agreements with Greece, and is now thriving as a major tourist centre.
If you arrive from the Italian mainland, the ferry will drop you off in Messina, and you’ll be impressed from the minute you step off the boat. Huge trees line the roads, and orange, lemon and olive groves cover the sloping hills as far as the eye can see. Stop for a look at the cathedral or the Church of Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani, as well as the botanical gardens and the lovely Porta Grazia.
Cefalù is among the most popular places in Sicily. There is a wonderful family-friendly seaside area, where you can relax while surrounded by locals’ houses and terraces. You can also visit the Roman baths or the ancient cathedral, where there is a world-famous fresco of Christ, the Christ Pantokrator. If you don’t like crowds but would like to visit Cefalù, try to go around October and November or in the spring; the weather is lovely and still warm, but there are hardly any tourists.
Discover our full selection of trips in Italy – where will you go first? Choose an Epic Trip for the full cultural deep dive, or a shorter Mini Trip for an equally-delicious bite of Italian adventure.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.