About your trip
The toecap of Italy’s boot has gained fresh hype following season two of TV’s most wanderlusty show, The White Lotus. Just like the characters, you’ll spend time in Taormina, Cefalu and Noto as you see the best of Sicily at a slow pace – in keeping with the local rhythm of life. Over 8 days in the largest island in the Mediterranean you’ll savour the sights and sounds of southern Italy, with plenty of pit stops for gelato and limoncello. You’ll go on a fascinating trip to the Aeolian islands for close encounters with smoking volcanoes and hot springs, and explore the dramatic slopes of Mount Etna. Sicilian cooking workshops and multiple street food experiences will help you immerse yourself in the local cuisine, while culture and ancient history abound in Taormina and the baroque towns of Noto, Ragusa and Modica.
- Whip up an authentic Sicilian feast in Palermo
- Hop between the Aeolian islands of Lipari and Vulcano
- Spend time on the most active volcano in Europe, Mount Etna
- Explore the seaside towns of Cefalu, Syracuse and Ortigia
- Learn to cook Sicilian cuisine and lunch at an agriturismo
- Admire the baroque architecture of the Val di Noto region
- Hike a Roman trail through the Madonie mountains
- Follow in the footsteps of The White Lotus season two by visiting Taormina, Cefalu and Noto
After your flight lands at Falcone-Borsellino Airport (PMO), make your way to the hotel where our Local Insider – who will accompany you for the rest of the trip – will greet you and the rest of the group at 6pm. Enjoy welcome drinks – we recommend starting with an Aperol spritz – and get to know the group over dinner at a local restaurant, and perhaps even a couple more spritzes before bed.
The best way to explore any city’s history, but particularly an Italian city, is through its food. That’s why this morning we’ll combine a walking tour of Palermo – discovering its 2,700-year history, from Phoenicians to Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Normans – with the very best of Palermitan street food. Stroll through squares and street markets, learning about history, art, culture and cuisine. After lunch, you’ll have some free time to explore the gold-sand beaches around Palermo, before regrouping for an evening cookery class. Under the watchful eye of a knowledgeable chef, you’ll prepare authentic Sicilian dishes and end the lesson by feasting on your tasty creations.
Trade the city streets of Palermo for the rugged scenery of the Madonie mountains on a winding road trip inland. You’ll stop off en route to walk along a Roman trail lined with centuries-old oak and maple trees that were originally used by traders to transport goods to the coast. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a golden eagle. Next we’ll stop at Castelbuono, for a wine tasting and lunch in a traditional restaurant, before continuing to the coastal city of Cefalù, where you’ll check into your hotel. The rest of the day is to be spent at your leisure – don’t miss the Norman cathedral and the palace of Osterio Magno in Cefalù, before cooling off in the Mediterranean sea.
Today, hop on the hydrofoil ferry to the Aeolian islands, a group of 12 tiny land masses off the north coast of Sicily. First stop is the largest, Lipari, where a row of pastel-coloured buildings frame the picturesque harbour. Our Local Insider will guide you through the narrow alleyways of the historic centre, leading towards the stunning old cathedral. Our next island hop lands on Vulcano, a Unesco World Heritage site. As you can probably guess, the island is characterised by its volcanic features, from craters and calderas to black sand beaches, sprouting fumaroles and natural hot springs. After making the most of Vulcano’s many wonders, you’ll be swept across to Taormina – the location of The White Lotus season two – for the night.
After breakfast we’ll visit Sicily’s most famous site – Mount Etna. It’s one of the tallest active volcanoes in Europe, and Italy’s highest peak south of the Alps. We’ll take you on an exploration of this fiery behemoth, reaching heights of around 1,900m (6,234ft) on our tour, before heading down for lunch on one of the farms located on the fertile grounds of Etna itself. After lunch we’ll transfer back to Taormina for a walking tour of this beautiful hilltop coastal town, made famous by The White Lotus. Our tour ends with a visit to the famous Greek Theatre which, as a remarkably well-preserved ancient amphitheatre, perched perfectly atop a hill with stunning backdrops of the Sicilian coastline, is quite the sight. This evening you can either explore Taormina at your leisure or join an optional cooking class.
Today we head south to the timelessly beautiful Syracuse, where the old city walls drop directly into the azure waters of the Ionian Sea. We’ll meet our local guide in front of Syracuse market, where you’ll get to taste, smell and see the glories of Sicilian culinary tradition through the perspective of a local. Our walking tour also takes us to Ortigia, the tiny island attached to the city, where you’ll see historical monuments and end up at a gorgeous old Sicilian market, where you’ll learn to become an expert on choosing the finest ingredients on offer. The rest of your afternoon and evening in Syracuse is free to spend as you wish.
Our last full day in Italy will star some of the island’s hidden gems, which form part of the Val di Noto Unesco World Heritage site. Our first stop will be the inland hilltop city of Ragusa and its old town, Ibla. Sloping piazzas and views of the surrounding countryside make this a dreamy spot to stop for a coffee, while the stunning architecture peaks with the majestic Duomo di San Giorgio. Next up is lunch in Noto, imbued with a reddish-gold hue from its baroque buildings, and famed for having some of the world’s greatest gelato. Finally we head to Modica where, amongst the densely lined buildings, lives a rich history of fine chocolate making. After learning about the city’s ever-changing story over the centuries, and gorging on some chocolate along the way, we head to our hotel in Catania and get together for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end. After breakfast you'll say a fond farewell to your new friends before returning home or continuing with your travels.
- Seven nights boutique hotel accommodation
- Private and local transport
- Seven breakfasts, three lunches, two dinners
- Local Insider
- Palermo street food walking tour
- Palermo cooking class and tasting
- Tour of Madonie mountains and villages
- Castelbuono stop with lunch and wine tasting
- Lipari walking tour
- Vulcano walking tour
- Visit to Mount Etna, including lunch at a local farm
- Taormina walking tour with entry to Greek Theatre
- Taormina cooking class
- Syracuse walking tour
- Ortigia street food tour
- Ragusa walking tour
- Noto walking tour with Lunch
- Modica walking tour
What's Not Included
- Travel insurance
- Flights to and from the destination
Hotel Federico II
Elegant, spacious, sophisticated – that’s Hotel Federico II in a nutshell. Found in the heart of Palermo, this is the perfect base for any stay in the Sicilian capital. There are lounges, a bar, restaurant and spa to make yourself feel at home, while the hotel’s authentic local cuisine is propped up by the organic Canalotto Farm.
Hotel Cefalù Gli Alberi del Paradiso
Expect panoramic ocean views throughout this little slice of country paradise, set in a vast park space with three ancient water mills less than a kilometre from central Cefalu. Highlights include a dreamy swimming pool hidden amid the trees, the outdoor terrace at Al Capone restaurant, the Gardens of Paradise spa and easy access to the beach and reef bar at sister hotel, Le Calette.
Hotel Albatros Letojanni
If you want the thrills and spills of Taormina, as seen in The White Lotus, but with easy access to a proper beach, then this seafront hotel in nearby Letojanni is the place to be. When you’re not enjoying the crystal clear waters of the hotel’s private beach, the building’s contemporary Mediterranean feel will offer a haven of relaxation, whether you can hear the lapping waves or not.
Villa Politi has been a bastion of sophisticated hospitality for over 150 years in Syracuse. This grand art nouveau mansion was originally opened by an Austrian noblewoman and her local painter husband, Mr Politi himself, but rooms have been given a 21st-century glow-up. You’ll struggle to find a better hotel in Syracuse, especially one that has a large outdoor swimming pool, a luxuriant park and two haute cuisine restaurants. Former patrons include Monica Bellucci, Winston Churchill and the King of Italy.
Placed between the historic centre of Catania and its stylish shopping district, this four-star hotel is perfectly positioned for any short stay in Sicily’s second city. Rooms have a crisp, clean and airy design, while the extensive breakfast spread is quite the way to start a day exploring the city.
Your safety and wellbeing are our top priority, so we’ve put the following measures in place on all our TRIPS:
- Our average group size is 10 people (max 18), which gives you all the security of being in a group whilst avoiding a crowd.
- Where possible, we use small/ boutique accommodation – this means fewer guests and reduced exposure to other travellers.
- We require all accommodation providers to share protocols around the extra health and hygiene measures they are taking.
- Included activities are exclusive to our group wherever possible, to minimise contact with others.
- Covid-19 negative test results or vaccine certificates may be required. Please check the entry requirements for the destination you are travelling to. Our travel experts can assist you in finding this information.
- We recommend you confirm all guidance on official government sites and check that you are able to travel with your travel insurance issuer. Your travel insurance may be invalidated if you travel against government advice. Our travel experts can assist you in finding this information.
- You must be aged 25 years or over to join this trip.
- Please be sure to check whether or not you need a visa to enter the country you're travelling to. Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions for further information.
- If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or accessibility requirements, please notify our Customer Support team as soon as possible.
- We won't charge you extra if you travel alone – you'll be allocated a twin room with another traveller of the same gender.
- To upgrade to a private room, share a room with a friend, or book pre- and post-trip accommodation and/or airport transfers, please contact our Customer Support team.
- Please be aware that travel insurance is compulsory for all travellers.
- Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. While unlikely, these changes can happen due to circumstances beyond our control. We will always do our best to ensure minimal impact on your experience.
- Please be aware images on this page are for illustrative purposes and may not reflect your itinerary exactly.
The world of travel is changing – and that's why we’re offering flexible booking conditions, to take the stress out of booking in times of uncertainty.
You can get a full refund should you need to postpone or cancel your trip up to 56 days prior to departure.
Read our Booking Guarantee to find out more about how our Support Team can help you.
For full details and cancellation charges, see our Booking Terms & Conditions.
Terms & Conditions
Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions.