Upon your arrival at Palermo Airport, you’ll be welcomed by our driver who will provide private transfer to your hotel in the oldest city and capital of Sicily. Enjoy the rest of the day to casually explore on your own or stretch your legs with a walk to discover some of Palermo’s impressive architecture. With influences by the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Spanish, and Normans, there are many magnificent, centuries-old buildings here. It’s easy to find tasty eats too, including street food like panelle (Sicilian fritters), arancini balls, and crocce (a mix of eggs and mashed potatoes dusted with breadcrumbs and fried).
Half-Day Private Tour of Palermo
Today you’ll learn more about Palermo and its history with your private guide on a half-day tour. You’ll explore the traditional Old Quarter, Quattro Conti, which begins with Piazza Pretoria, known as the “Square of Shame” because of the iconic Pretoria Fountain with its nude statues. The intersection is framed by four buildings and also includes sculptures that depict the four seasons. You’ll gaze up at the 12th-century Cathedral of Monreale, one of the finest examples of Norman-style architecture, and see the Cathedral of Palermo. It dates back to the same period, featuring a Renaissance clock tower and Moorish-influenced exterior.
Private Transfer from Palermo to Realmonte
Having explored Palermo, it’s time to head to your next destination: Realmonte. Your driver will meet you after breakfast at checkout. Relax and enjoy the approximately hour and 50-minute ride to your boutique hotel where you’ll have the remainder of the day at leisure. This is the perfect time to take advantage of the facilities of your hotel, perhaps lounging around the pool with a good book in between refreshing swims, or simply unwinding while enjoying the dazzling views of the vineyards that stretch out to the coast. The on-site restaurant offers delicious traditional Italian fare, so you’ll have all you need right here.
Half-Day Tour Valley of the Temples & Kolymbetra Gardens
Today you’ll explore the Valley of the Temples and Kolymbetra Gardens on a half-day tour. Look forward to many photo-ops, including the 5th-century BC Doric temple, the largest ever discovered. Set atop a ridge overlooking the sea, it’s absolutely jaw-dropping. You’ll see an unfinished Temple of Zeus that’s nestled among almond and olive trees, while the Garden of Kolymbetra is an oasis that’s been associated with the Garden of Eden. Of all the citrus gardens here, it’s considered to have the most remarkable archaeological and historical value. Filled with pomegranate, citrus, and olive trees, it’s sandwiched between cliffs and descends to a lush river valley.
Rural Sicily Food Tour with Lunch
A highlight for foodies, today you’ll head into rural Sicily for a food tour that includes a visit to an artisanal cheese farmhouse. The process of cheesemaking will be revealed as you explore the farm, garden, dairy, and fruit processing area, as well as the animal stables. See firsthand how milk is made, watch the pasta-making process, and more. After your tour, you’ll enjoy a light lunch that features products right from the farm, including cheeses, fruit, cannoli, and grilled meat or vegetables, complemented with some local wine. It’s the perfect way to delight your senses while learning more about Sicily through its flavors.
It’s time to say farewell to Realmonte with your driver providing private transfer to your hotel in the historic center of Siracusa. After settling in, enjoy the rest of the day on your own, with lots to explore in this city that was built atop an 8th-century BC Greek settlement. It boasts a fascinating archaeological site with very well-preserved Roman and Greek ruins, including a 5th-century BC Greek theater. You might also check out Piazza Duomo, home to the Siracusa Cathedral. We recommend heading to the waterfront promenade at dusk to watch a glorious sunset followed by dinner in one of the many outstanding restaurants.
Half-Day Private Siracusa & Ortigia Island Walking Tour
This morning you’ll join a knowledgeable local guide to explore Ortigia Island, the historical center of Siracusa. At the far end of the island promontory, you’ll be in one of the best vantage points for a view of 13th-century Maniace Castle which dominates the city, overlooking the entrance to the bay. Stroll the colorful streets with baroque buildings, several of which have balconies draped with flowers, while learning more about the island’s history and legends. The Jewish district is home to Apollo Temple, the largest Doric temple in Sicily, while the Fountain of Arethusa is the subject of a story about a nymph.
Your driver will meet you at your Siracusa hotel upon checkout to bring you to your final destination: hilltop Taormina. Dating to the 3rd century BC, the town because well-known when mentioned in Goethe’s Italian Journey. After checking into your hotel and taking time to refresh, you might enjoy a walk along the Corso Umberto, a lively pedestrianized promenade lined with elegant boutiques and eateries. If a dazzling view is what you’re after, head to the Greco-Roman theater which showcases a vista of Mount Etna and the sea. A sea view can also be enjoyed while dining alfresco at one of the many waterfront eateries.
Walking Tour of Taormina
A walking tour with an expert local guide will reveal Taormina and its historic center in-depth. You’ll follow your guide through the narrow alleyways, visiting lovely squares like Piazza Duomo with its baroque fountain and a 13th-century cathedral. The stone-built Duomo has a gothic-style interior and an exterior that looks like a fortress. Discover the 10th-century Corvaja Palace and its Arabic-influenced features and the Roman Odeon, an over 2,000-year-old Greco-Roman theater that was a popular venue for Roman elite, built for dramatic performances, and expanded later for gladiator battles and contests. Most notable is its impeccably preserved original walls you’ll see behind the state area.
Small Group Michelin-Star Cooking Class
Your final full day in Sicily is all about the food. You’ll join a cooking class, instructed by a Michelin-starred Sicilian chef to learn how to make some of the dishes that you’ve probably enjoyed during your trip. It’s the perfect souvenir as your new skills will allow you to share a slice of Sicily with friends and family at home. Discover Sicilian culinary techniques as you become chef for the day, getting help from the expert while adding some of your own creative twists to the dishes you’ll make. When the meal is finished, enjoy the results with a refreshing beverage.
Having explored many highlights of Sicily, your trip will soon come to an end. If you’d like to extend your time here or explore other destinations, reach out to our travel experts who can create a bespoke itinerary addition. Otherwise, your driver will meet you at your hotel upon checkout to provide private transfer to Catania Airport so that you can begin your journey home.
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