This 7 day, 6 night itinerary will introduce you to the wonders of Sicily. A true melting pot of culture. Sicily was once ruled by the Byzantines, the Normans, and the Arabs. It’s these influences that can be seen in their food, art, and architecture. It is also home to some of the most volcanic islands in the world. As with all of our trips, we can tailor it to your needs.
Day 1: Arrival in Palermo
Private transfers upon arrival. Check-in at hotel.
Afternoon Walking Tour of Palermo With Visit to Monreale Cathedral & Cloister
After meeting with your guide, you’ll drive to Monreale. The town grew around the Norman cathedral that towers over the surrounding countryside. Once there, you’ll get to visit this famous cathedral. Built in the 12th century by William the Good, its home to Europe’s largest mosaic. Roughly 6 acres of Byzantine mosaics fill the walls of the interior. There are also plenty of Arabic elements and Baroque details.
Next, return to Palermo to enjoy a walking tour of the old city-center for some sightseeing. Featuring the Quattro Canti (the Four Corners of the City), which is Palermo’s extravagant baroque square. Last, but not certainly not least, Palermo’s own 12th century Duomo (Cathedral). If you thought Monreale’s cathedral was impressive, you’re in for a real treat!
Step into the convent of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, where the aristocratic cloister nuns of the city live. They recently reopened their “dolceria” where you can get the absolute best cannolo in Sicily. Each is made according to the recipes passed down from the many generations of nuns. An unexpected, but worthwhile stop.
Day 2: Castelvetrano
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Farm & Planeta Winery
Today you’ll travel towards Castelvetrano for an exclusive visit and tasting at Centonze. Centonze is an extra virgin olive oil farm along the hills near the sea. It’s also near the ancient Greek colony of Selinunte, where olive groves have been cultivated for centuries.
The scenic farm covers approximately 35 acres and is home to organic citrus and olive trees. These centuries-old olive and citrus groves lie between the ancient “Latomie” (limestone quarries) and “Conigliere” (stone fences).
After your farm visit, you’ll drive to Planeta winery for lunch at its unique ULMO estate. From the sea to the hills, up to an altitude of 400 meters, the territory holds the largest extent of the vineyards. They cover over 250 hectares! All vines, both indigenous and international, are carefully selected for each area.
Day 3: Palermo
Street Food Walking Tour & Private Cooking Class
Your morning will begin with a street food walking tour of the old city-center and its ancient food market. The Capo market is one of the few remaining typical Sicilian markets in Palermo.
Certainly the best way to get to know Sicilian food is a walking tour of its main cities, Catania and Palermo. Palermo’s street-food speaks of Sicilian cultural heritage. Walking through its oldest markets (Il Capo market or Ballarò) is like attending an anthropology lecture. All by way of the bountiful stalls with the shouts of their sellers to attract potential customers.
Together with your private chef for the day, you will enjoy a lively food shopping session across the stalls of Palermo’s daily market. Then move to your chef’s kitchen for a private cooking lesson, featuring local Sicilian dishes. While you please your palate, sate your curiosity with the origins and traditions of Palermo cuisine.
After lunch, you will return to your hotel with the afternoon and evening at your leisure.
Day 4: Palermo, Cefalù, & Taormina
Private Walking Tour of Cefalù
Meet your guide at your hotel lobby and drive to Cefalù. Enjoy a private walking tour of the old town while sipping a caffè or a glass of champagne by the water. Cefalù’s cathedral was built in 1131 by order of Roger II, and is one of the finest examples of Arab-Norman architecture.
After leaving Cefalù a little after midday, drive towards the Madonie Mountains, for a visit to Santa Anastasia Winery. This beautiful 12th century Abbey has been artfully restored to its former glory. It’s surrounded by lush lands that allow it to produce delicious wines. Moving on, enjoy a unique lunch in the abbey’s charming retreat where food and ambiance translate into perfect Sicilian flair.
From the winery, you’ll head to Taormina and check-in to your hotel with enough time for some relaxation by the beach.
Day 5: Taormina
Private Excursion to Taormina, Savoca, & Castelmola
You will be picked up and dropped off at your hotel for a full-day program in Taormina, Savoca, and Castelmola.
The tour begins in Taormina, the quintessential Sicilian resort town. Despite its popularity, Taormina still maintains its small-town charm. Located high on Monte Tauro, Taormina’s sweeping bay views have charmed everyone from Goethe and D.H. Lawrence, along with thousands of tourists. Stroll down the main traffic-free street made up of 15th-19th century palazzi and intimate piazzas.
You will make your way up towards the famous Teatro Greco. This ancient theater was first built under the Greeks and then rebuilt at the end of the 1st century AD. Here, you will see some of the best views of southern Calabria, the Sicilian coastline, and Mount Etna.
Following Taormina, proceed towards Savoca, where you will see Bar Vitelli and the Church of St. Nicolo. Both featured in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather. Moreover, you can see traces of an ancient Synagogue are in Savoca. Evidence of the Jewish presence in Sicily before the Spanish Viceroys obliged them to leave in 1492.
The tour will end in Castelmola, located just 14 miles down the coastline. Here, you will see the castle ruins at the top of Mount Touro. You’ll also encounter the most breathtaking view of the surrounding sea.
Following the tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Day 6: The Aeolian Islands
Private Boat Tour to the Aeolian Islands
After a memorable breakfast with a view, you’ll take a private transport to the Portorosa harbor. It’s time to experience the ultimate private cruise through the most volcanic islands in the Mediterranean!
With your private 63 ft Ferretti 630 Yacht, you’ll enjoy a full-day boating experience with Skipper and hostess service. There will also be a possibility to dive into the crystal clear waters of the Aeolian islands. This group of islands is named for Aeolus, the ancient Greek and Roman god of the winds. Feel the wind in your hair, and enjoy this beautiful volcanic archipelago with its active volcanoes and magnificent views.
The landscape of Panarea is unforgettable, with colors changing from turquoise to deep blue. After this stop, you will have time to relax on board and reach Panarea harbor. Disembark and enjoy the lunch at Raya. The restaurant features a terrace facing the sea and the Aeolian islands.
The island of Stromboli is the latest to have emerged from the sea. Stromboli erupts lava, clouds of gas, and ash, which usually ooze down along “La Sciara”. You can relax and appreciate the eruptions, beautiful views of the islands from the comfort of your yacht.
In the afternoon, it’s possible walk the narrow streets of the island of Strombli. Due to their natural beauty and volcanic activity, the Aeolian Islands are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cruising back, admire the two smallest islands of the archipelago, Alicudi and Filicudi, from a distance.
Day 7: Taormina, Mt. Etna, & Catania Airport
Private Tour to Mount Etna, with lunch at a local winery
Mount Etna Private Tour
After breakfast, meet your driver in your hotel lobby and head for the slopes of Mount Etna. This fascinating spot features some of the most amazing vineyards in the world thanks to the volcanic soil. The highest vineyard on Etna sits at 1,300 meters above sea level, and has been around for hundreds of years. Etna’s oldest vines are 240 years old, with 11,000 plants per hectare.
Following lunch at a local winery, you will be dropped off at Catania Airport for your departure flight.
Please note this is a sample itinerary and can be modified it to your preferences. Services related with ferries must be checked and scheduled according to the ferries timetable on the specific day of travel. All shared tour options must be checked for availability.