Sicily, Italy’s largest island, is known for many things, including its rich history and fascinating volcanic landscapes. For many, the main ports of entry are the city of Palermo on the north coast and Catania to the east, in the shadow of the volcanic eruption.
While both cities embrace the coastline and are filled with magnificent architecture and well-preserved remnants of the ancient Greek era, the countryside in between is not to be missed. One of the best ways to experience Sicily is to bypass the local transportation and get a taste of the island’s beauty. Tours from Palermo and Catania depart regularly, ranging from a few days to over a week. Here are five of the best itineraries.
Secrets of Sicily 5 Day Tour
Starting price: €628/person
While people have gone to the ancient Greek ruins and Mount Etna, Sicily’s most beautiful landscapes and least known towns have remained relatively peaceful and therefore retain their original atmosphere. From Palermo, travel west to see the Norman Cathedral in Monreale, through the salt marshes to the ancient Greek ruins of Selinunte, and to the Roman Villa in Piazza Armerina for a well-preserved mosaic. The final day of the trip heads to an area where baroque architecture is ubiquitous, ending in Catania.
Small tours to Siracusa, Ortigia Island and Noto
From 100 euros per person
This excellent day trip will explore the highlights of Sicily’s eastern coast. The nine-hour itinerary begins and ends in Catania with a tour of Syracuse’s ancient Greek ruins, such as the theater and the Temple of Apollo, before heading to the nearby island of Ortigia, where ancient Greek, Christian and Arabic heritage are intertwined. Finally, the tour group heads to Noto, a small sand-colored city known for its baroque architecture, which can be seen in all corners of its UNESCO-listed historical center. Group size is limited to 8 persons.
A new trip to Sicily.
From EUR 1,351/person
Over the course of eight days, we were able to complete a fairly comprehensive tour of Sicily around the island. Tours of Palermo and Catania, as well as many of the island’s main attractions, are available for a price that includes all accommodation, meals, transportation and guided tours. Highlights of the itinerary include an ascent of Mount Etna, the charming town of Taormina with its Greco-Roman theatre, and a series of UNESCO World Heritage Listed sites including the Valley of the Temple of Agrigento, the Baroque church of Modica, Noto and Almerina.
Four-night tour of Sicily from Palermo
From 648 euros per person
For lovers of Sicily’s culture and rich history, including the infamous Mafia, this four-day tour offers guests plenty of balance and experience. Includes cooking classes, mafia presentations – all at the Corleone, wine tastings at Marsala, and tours of some of the island’s fine architecture at Monreale, Palermo Palace and Temple Segesta. While tickets to these attractions do not include admission, the experience, classes, accommodations, transportation and most meals are free.
A trip to Sicily and the Aeolian Islands
From EUR 1,584/person
Another eight-day option is to replace the little-asked-for Aeolian Islands with Mount Etna and some of the more touristy spots on the east coast, such as Taormina. It starts with a visit to the many attractions around the islands of Selinunte and Aglegento, while the next few days are spent visiting the picturesque volcanic island group, mainly Lipari and Panarea, with their crystal clear waters and rugged coastline. The trip starts in Palermo and ends in Palermo and includes room, board, guide and transportation.