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About your trip
Discover Sicily, the Mediterranean’s largest island, at a deliciously unhurried pace. This leisurely 10 day itinerary allows you to savour the sights and sounds of southern Italy - with plenty of stops for gelato and limoncello. Venture off the beaten track on a captivating detour to the Aeolian Islands, where you’ll explore smoking volcanoes and hot springs, topped off with a 4x4 jeep ride across magnificent Mount Etna on the main island. Foodies will delight in a Sicilian cooking workshop and street food tour, whilst culture fans will love exploring unmissable Taormina and the baroque towns of Noto, Ragusa and Modica.
- Whip up an authentic Sicilian feast in Palermo
- Hop between Italy’s Aeolian Islands, including Panarea and Stromboli
- Watch lava erupt from a volcanic crater
- Bounce across Europe’s most active volcano, Mount Etna, via jeep
- Explore the seaside towns of Cefalu, Lipari, Taormina 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.
Begin your tour of Sicily by exploring Palermo’s past. Its history stretches back over 2,700 years to the Phoenicians; since then, the Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Normans have added their own stamp on the place. You’ll sightsee on foot, strolling through squares and sampling street food as you discover more about the city’s history, art and traditions. After lunch, explore the soft-sand beaches around Palermo, before coming together as a group for a cookery class. Under the watchful eye of a knowledgeable chef, you’ll prepare dinner: authentic Sicilian dishes that you’ll certainly want to recreate once you get home.
Trade the city streets of Palermo for the rugged scenery of the Madonie mountains. Taking a winding road inland, you’ll stop off to walk on a Roman trail lined with centuries-old oak and maple trees. It was originally used by traders to get their goods to the coast. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a golden eagle. After a traditional lunch, continue on to the coastal city of Cefalù, where you’ll check in to the Kalura Hotel. Don’t miss Cefalù’s Norman cathedral and the palace of Osterio Magno, before cooling off in the crystalline 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. You’ll stay on the largest, Lipari, where a string of pastel-hued buildings frame the harbour. Eye up a lunch spot before dropping your bags at the hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore at your own pace. Take a peek inside the ruined castle and cathedral. Alternatively, you may prefer to visit the thermal springs of San Calogero by taxi. Unwind back at the hotel where the outdoor pool beckons.
This morning, you’ll board the hydrofoil again to Panarea. Keep your eyes peeled for celebrities – Michael Douglas, Oprah Winfrey and Beyoncé have all holidayed on this exclusive island, keen for a taste of dolce far niente (delicious idleness). Stroll through labyrinthine streets, where pink bougainvillea blooms spill over whitewashed walls. Later, sail to neighbouring Stromboli. The volcanic island’s biggest draw is its active crater, which has continuously erupted for 2,000 years. It's one of the most reliable places to see lava spewing from the earth’s core. Snatch one last glimpse from the hydrofoil as you return to Lipari.
Today, explore Lipari at leisure. This island is packed full of beaches overlooking azure water, centuries-old duomos, and cute tavernas. Wash down a bowl of pasta 'ncasciata with a glass of limoncello come lunchtime. Afterwards, cool off with a dip in the Mediterranean. Feeling like you’ve got extra energy? There’s an optional choice to visit Vulcano. Hike to the crater rim before descending to the island’s famous geothermal baths. Slather yourself in hot, mineral-rich mud, then wash it off in the hot spring, where jets of steam from underground fumaroles provide a gentle massage.
Jet back across on the hydrofoil to Milazzo before continuing to the idyllic town of Taormina. A guided walking tour will focus on its highlights: Greek and Roman theatres, a maze of medieval streets and sublime views of Mount Etna, Europe’s tallest active volcano. This is a tantalising pre-show to the main event: a thrilling 4x4 jeep tour across the volcano itself. Bounce over crusted lava fields, exploring Monti Silvestri, the Northeast Crater, the Voragine, and more. After a light lunch at a local agriturismo, continue to your hotel in Siracusa.
Say goodbye to the coast and venture inland to the hillside villages of Noto, Ragusa and Modica. Few visitors make it here, but to miss them would be a pity. Rebuilt after a devastating 1693 earthquake, they form part of the Val di Noto Unesco World Heritage Site, designated for its beautiful architecture. Countless churches and palaces were built from the local stone; their ornate detailing draws admiring looks to this day. Fans of Inspector Montalbano may recognise Ragusa and Modica as the filming location. Make sure you grab a gelato in Noto - it’s world famous for it.
Today’s tour of Siracusa promises to be a multi-sensory experience. In the lively Mercato di Ortigia, heaps of pistachios, almonds, sun-dried tomatoes, capers and blood-red oranges create a riot of colour. Throw in lots of shouting and gesticulating, not to mention the aromas that assault your nostrils, and you can see why the market is as much a visitor attraction as it is a local shopping destination. Using the produce as a framework, your guide will teach you about Siracusa’s rich cultural heritage. Afterwards, while away a few hours in its historic old town before regrouping for a farewell dinner.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end. It’s time to pack your bags, swap addresses with new friends and say farewell to Sicily – for now, at least. Alternatively, extend your stay in Italy!
- Nine nights boutique hotel accommodation
- Private and local transport
- Nine breakfasts, three lunches, three dinners
- Local Insider
- Palermo walking tour
- Palermo cooking class and tasting
- Tour of Madonie mountains and villages
- Lipari walking tour
- Vulcano walking tour
- Mount Etna 4x4 jeep tour
- Taormina walking tour
- Ortigia walking tour
- Ragusa walking tour
- Ragusa, Noto and Modica 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.
Gattopardo Park Hotel
The rustic charm of this traditional 18th century villa is enhanced by modern amenities such as an outdoor pool. Many of the Gattopardo Park Hotel’s spacious rooms overlook a well-tended Mediterranean garden. Take breakfast on the terrace to make the most of the pretty setting.
Henry’s House is a stylish boutique hotel on the island of Ortigia. Wooden beams, antique furnishings and paintings by local artists add a bold and unmistakably Sicilian flair to guest rooms, some of which boast sea views. Expect luxury touches like complimentary L'Occitane toiletries.
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.