Luxury Tailor Made Journeys depart on the dates that work for you and feature expert local guides throughout your journey. The itinerary below can be customized to your interests.
Arrive Palermo, Italy
Arrive in Palermo, capital of Sicily, where you are met by your Guardian Angel and privately transferred to your hotel.
Palermo & Monreale | Bottega of a Sicilian Cart Painter
Begin with a privately guided city tour, starting with Palermo’s stunning cathedral and cloisters. Proceed to the Palatine Chapel, a superb example of the 12th-century Arab-Norman-Byzantine architectural style. Afterward, wander through the Ballarò Market, soaking up the vibrant atmosphere. Then, in the heart of the city, discover the Palermo Duomo, built on the site of a Muslim mosque, which was in turn built over an early Christian basilica. Explore the Quattro Canti, where you see the medieval San Cataldo Church with its Moorish-style architecture, and La Martorana Church, decorated with Byzantine mosaics. Continue to visit the bottega (studio) of a traditional Sicilian donkey cart painter, to learn about this time-honored craft.
Segesta | Exploring Northwest Sicily
Today, visit Segesta, one of the finest surviving Greek temples in Sicily; solemn isolation lends the site an almost mystical air. Afterward, enjoy a scenic drive to the hill town of Erice to take in vistas of the stunning Trapani coast and the Egadi Islands. Stop at the Grammatico Pasticceria, where, subject to the availability of its renowned owner, Maria Grammatico, you are treated to a pastry-making demonstration followed by a sampling of the sweets made on site. Next, visit the windmills near Trapani and the salt pans at the Stagnone. Venture into the wine producing region of Marsala for a winery tour and tasting, before returning to Palermo.
Agrigento | Olive Oil Tasting & the Temple of Selinunte
Travel first to Agrigento, and then on to Castelvetrano, where you visit a local tenuta (farm estate). Nestled among olive groves and vineyards, the farm is renowned for its delicious olive oil. Enjoy a guided visit before savoring a selection of oils, followed by lunch on site. Afterward, visit Selinunte, one of the most striking archaeological sites in the Mediterranean, led by an expert local guide. Explore its monumental Doric temples, and view the surrounding landscape and the turquoise sea below from the site’s lofty acropolis. Then, continue to your luxury hotel.
Favara | Cooking Class
Journey to Favara, a Sicilian settlement that dates back several millennia, to sample its famed culinary delights. Stop at a local pasticceria to try a sweet “pasta di Elena” and learn the Sicilian way to stuff a cannoli shell. Next, attend a cooking class that includes a series of appetizers such as caponata, arancini or another local dish of your choosing. Also learn about local almond production and enjoy a tasting of fresh almond milk. Then, enjoy the delicacies you helped create for lunch, along with a selection of local wines. Continue to the nearby Valley of the Temples, the jewel of southwestern Sicily. The impressive remains of five Doric temples comprise this richly-preserved fifth-century BC site, resplendent with 1,000-year-old olive trees and diverse Mediterranean flora. Visit the 2,000-year-old Temple of Concord, one of the best preserved Greek temples in the world.
Syracuse | Masterful Mosaics
Set out for Syracuse today, stopping en route in Piazza Armerina to view the stunning mosaics of the 15th-century Roman Villa del Casale. This beautiful Roman Villa consists of 4,000 square yards of mosaics, still perfectly intact. Marvel at the colorful, 60-meter-long depiction of a hunt, in which groups of men struggle and sweat as they capture ferocious animals. Proceed to Caltagirone, well known for its ceramics. Sicilian ceramics date back to medieval times, when pottery was used especially for pharmaceutical purposes, tableware, and to decorate royal or noble homes. Enjoy lunch at your leisure before continuing to Syracuse, where you check in to your hotel.
Syracuse & Modica | Vast Archaeological Site
Today, explore Syracuse on a guided tour that provides insights into the ancient history of the Mediterranean. Visit a vast archaeological site on the edge of the city, a treasure trove of temples and amphitheaters. Discover remarkable Greek and Roman ruins, such as the cave called “The Ear of Dionysius,” as well as Baroque buildings and classic churches such as the Duomo, built upon the old temple of Athena. Finally, stop in the delightful town of Modica for a chocolate-making demonstration and tasting, before continuing to your hotel in Taormina.
Taormina | Cooking Class in a Family Home
Travel to the village of Giardini Naxos for a lesson in traditional Sicilian cooking at a local family’s home. Following a warm welcome by your host and instructor, head to the vegetable garden to pick the freshest ingredients available for the dishes you are about to create. Your enthusiastic host then guides you through the preparation of mouth-watering Sicilian recipes as you learn culinary tricks of the trade. When you’re finished, enjoy the delicious lunch you have helped prepare. Next, proceed to the tranquil medieval village of Castelmola, where you may sample the locally-produced almond wine. Afterward, continue to Taormina for a walking tour. Perched atop a high cliff, Taormina appears to float above the azure waters of the Bay of Naxos. Stroll the city’s narrow streets full of local color and flavor, including its main street, Corso Umberto, discovering chic stores and a wealth of history. Finish your day at the Greek Theater, from which you enjoy spectacular views of Mount Etna.
Taormina | Excursion of Mount Etna by Jeep
Today, experience iconic, volcanic Mount Etna by private Jeep. Pass through a piney wood to reach a lava cave called Grotta del Corruccio, which you explore by torchlight. Afterward, continue to the Sartorius craters that originated during the 1865 lava flow, and summit a crater rim to gaze at the surrounding volcanic landscape. Continue by Jeep in the direction of Dagala, site of a forest circled by a recent lava flow. Listen as your guide explains the flora and fauna that populate this unique environment. Enjoy a lunch at a local winery, and sample some local vintages, before returning to Taormina.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your departing flight, accompanied by your Guardian Angel who assists you with check-in.
Enhance Your Journey
Elevate your experience with a host of options available for an additional cost.
Savor a Food Tour in Palermo
Soak up the vibrant atmosphere of Vucciria and Capo, Palermo’s main markets, while traders try to attract customers for the day’s fresh tuna, vegetables and confectionaries. Discover the secrets of the city’s celebrated street food, enjoying tastings along the way, as your guide explains the customs and traditions of local food and its significance in Palermo’s culture.
Alternate Touring: Syracuse and Noto
Explore Syracuse and Noto, en route to Taormina. Visit a vast archaeological site on the edge of modern Syracuse, to view rare temples and amphitheaters. Also discover remarkable Greek and Roman ruins, such as the cave called “The Ear of Dionysius,” as well as Baroque buildings and classic churches, including the Duomo. Continue to Noto, one of Sicily’s most beautiful Baroque cities, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you stop for a delicious treat at Caffé Sicilia — and where Carmelo Assenza, the master of all Sicilian pastry chefs, and his staff delight you with amazing pastry creations.
Alternate Touring: Syracuse and Ragusa
Explore Syracuse and Ragusa, en route to Taormina. Visit a vast archaeological site on the edge of modern Syracuse, to view rare temples and amphitheaters. Also discover remarkable Greek and Roman ruins, such as the cave called “The Ear of Dionysius” as well as Baroque buildings and classic churches, including the Duomo. Continue to Ragusa for a visit to Ragusa Ibla; the ancient and more tranquil part of the city.