Multi-Day Tour | Escorted, Independent, Private

Walk, taste and breeze: Simply Sicily (10 days)

Essence of Sicily

Palermo, Italy To Catania, Italy

Valid for Departures Now Through: 18 Jan 2019


Day 1
Monreale, Italy
Palermo, Italy
Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa Snack

Welcome in Sicily

Arrival at Palermo. Pick up by private English speaking driver guide. Transfer to Monreale to discover the Arab-Norman splendour of the Cathedral and Cloister. This nearby treasure dates back to the 12th century and shows the diverse architectural influences of both the Norman and the Arab population. Then, you will be enchanted by Palermo's wide boulevards, traditional Sicilian Old Quarter and baroque palaces. You will see the city's main sights, including Quattro Canti (the Four Corners of the City) and Palermo's extravagant baroque square. The square is surrounded by four buildings with baroque sculptures that depict the Four Seasons, Spanish kings, and the patron saints of Palermo's four old quarters. See the twelfth-century Cathedral of Palermo, which houses a pantheon of royal tombs, and the Palace of Norman Kings. Accommodation in Junior suite at Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa 4 star in Palermo where you will stay overnight.

Day 2
Castelbuono, Italy
Cefalu, Italy
Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa Breakfast, Lunch

Castelbuono and Cefalù

Breakfast in hotel. Then, you will be picked up by private driver guide, for a full day excursion in Castelbuono and Cefalù. Start the tour by visiting Castelbuono, a mountain village in the heart of the Madonie Park. Here you will have some free time to enjoy a walk through the narrow streets of the village or a short hiking experience. Then move to the Abbazia Santa Anastasia for a visit of the winery and a light lunch.

Afterwards, you will drive to Cefalù. This fisherman village is famous for its wonderful Duomo. Founded by the Phoenicians in the VIIth and VIIIth century B.C., it was conquered by the Arabs in 831 which initiated a period of immense prosperity. Afetr the visit return to the Hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Day 3
Trapani, Italy
Castellammare Del Golfo, Italy
Baglio Soria Breakfast, Lunch, Snack

Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro and Erice

Breakfast at the hotel. Then, you will be transferred to the “Riserva dello Zingaro”, a true paradise for nature and sea lovers. Created in 1980, this reserve features several well-maintained paths, six beaches and diverse fauna and flora. You will adventure through the guided naturalistic paths and explore the Mediterranean landscape. A picnic lunch is included. In the afternoon, you will be transferred to the medieval town of Erice. Settled by the ancient Elymians, this enchanting hill town is an important historic site associated with fertility goddesses. There will be a pastry tasting at Maria Grammatico’s shop. At this point, you will have some leisure time. You will then accommodate yourself at the wine resort Baglio Soria, an ancient estate with breath-taking view on the Aegadi isalnds. Today, it is a little and charming hotel famous for the wine production. You will be invited for a visit of the wineyards. Finally, you will stay overnight.

Day 4
Marsala, Italy
Baglio Soria Breakfast, Snack

Walking on Mothia Island

Breakfast at the Baglio. Meet your private English speaking driver and depart for the Salt Road and its Salt Pans located on the coastline between Trapani and Marsala. Locals extract the salt from the seawater following the same procedure used by the ancient Greeks and Phoenicians who once colonized this part of the Sicily. In the middle of the pond, you will see the small Island of Mothia, one of the most important Phoenician settlements in the Mediterranean region. You will take a boat to arrive on the island. Then, there will be a walking tour of Mothia. Lunch at lesiure. In the afternoon visit the Florio Winery, today an historical brand not only for Sicilian wine making, but also one of Italy’s great classical wines. It is one of the leading and most popular wines in the world. You will visit the Museum of Agriculture and the ancient “Bottaia”. Finally, you will taste delicious Sicilian wines before being driven back to the Baglio to stay overnight.

Day 5
Agrigento, Italy
Palma Di Montechiaro, Italy
Mandranova Estate Breakfast, Lunch

“Archeo-Trekking” in Agrigento

After breakfast enjoy a private guided archeotrekking visit of the majestic Valley of the Temples, one of the most fascinating and visited places on the island. The location offers a marvellous landscape, one of the most important testimonies to the presence of ancient Greeks in southern Italy. Following the line of the hill we will visit the sacred zone of Akragas with the amazing view on the coast. From the temple of Hera/Juno we will reach the temple of Concordia after the fortification wall of the town. Then the temple of Hercules and the enormous temple of Zeus and the sanctuary of the ctonic deities. Crossing the Kolymbetra Garden a wonderful Mediterranean botanical Garden that was an old Greek water reservoir. Originally, this garden was an exquisite artificial lake, surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers. It was not only used as a water reserve for the city, but also a place for people to sit and contemplate. For years, it has been left abandoned. It was only in 1999, thanks to the FAI (National Trust for Italy), that the five-hectare garden was restored to its original splendor. Today, the Kolymbetra Garden, represents an enchanting concentration of the ancient agricultural and natural landscapes of Southern Sicily. Thanks to the restoration of the garden, visitors are able to explore the Mediterranean shrubs rich in pistachio, broom, myrtle, tamerix, citrus, ancient varieties of lemon, orange and mandarine, which are irrigated using a system based on that realized by the ancient Arabs. Then you will visit the temple of Vulcan and we will walk in the countryside until the heart of the Greek town: the Agorà were is possible to see the public buildings and the area of the recent excavations of the roman temple. For lunch you will enjoy a unique experience in an unexpected location, Surrounded by colors, flavors and scents of Sicily, we will offer you an amazing pic nic! You will taste arancini, cheeses with home made marmalade, olives and extra virgin olive oil, street food as Sfincione Siciliano, panelle and “pani cunzatu” with oregano, olive oil and caciocavallo cheese… A different way to enjoy so many Sicilian specialties and taste fine wines in a little corner of paradise among Greek temples.

Afterwards, you will be driven to Mandranova Estate for Dinner and overnight.

Day 6
Sant'angelo Muxaro, Italy
Mandranova Estate Breakfast, Lunch, Snack

The True Sicily and pizza lesson!

In the morning, you will have breakfast and then you will depart for Sant’Angelo Muxaro, an enchanting little village near Agrigento. You will meet your guide and start an archaeological walk with him through the nature and the largest Tholos Tomb in Sicily. Here, surrounded on all sides by the genuine Sicilian atmosphere, you will taste some of the finest Sicilian specialties. The guide will take you to a bakery so that you can taste homemade cookies and hot bread with extra virgin olive oil and oregano. In Sicily, the bakery is often identified with the name "u furnu" (the oven). In small town Sicily the bakery is often not just a place to purchase bread, but is also the place to go to get the “freshest news of the day.” It can also be a place to bake a dish prepared at home and it is here in this familiar and village-scale environment, where we spend a few hours, helping Mrs. Maria with her business, primarily to prepare pizza that will become our lunch at a table specially set in front of the bakery. Then, you will visit the house of a shepherd to taste soft pecorino cheese and the ricotta, still warm. This walking itinerary will really take you far from the classic touristic route. Finally, you will return to your hotel where you will stay overnight.

Day 7
Catania, Italy
Aci Castello, Italy
Zafferana Etnea, Italy
Monaci delle Terre Nere Breakfast, Lunch

Catania “La Pescheria”

In the morning, you will enjoy breakfast in your hotel and then, pick up by an English speaking driver and transfer to Catania. Meet your private guide and discover the city. Situated between the Ionian Sea and the majestic Mount Etna. The city is often blanketed by a dark rain of ash and cinders. In 1669, there was a violent volcanic eruption and it covered everything with lava. Less than thirty years later (1693), when the city was still nursing its wounds, an earthquake destroyed anything that was still left. Catania managed to react to these natural calamities and started a huge building project that foresaw wide use of black lava and light colored limestone. The city was a busy building site for decades and slowly the Baroque aspect that still characterizes the city began to form. Today, Catania is one of the greatest baroque cities of the Mediterranean and the city radiates a strange romantic beauty with its broad boulevards, spacious squares and great cathedrals, still striking in their black and white colors, lava and limestone, crumbling plaster, and cracked marble columns. Stop at the “Pescheria” for a seafood lunch in a local Trattoria, before to admire the famous Cyclops Coast visiting Acitrezza, Acicastello and its Medieval Norman Castle built in 1076 on a prehistoric basalt lava terrace. As you gaze out over the Ionian Sea, you will admire the Rocks of the Cyclops: imposing, spiky shards of black lava that rise up from the water. In the afternoon arrival in a country Hotel and dinner at leisure.

Day 8
Linguaglossa, Italy
Etna, Italy
Zafferana Etnea, Italy
Monaci delle Terre Nere Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Adventure on Volcano Etna with wine tasting and Pasta making

IIn the morning, after breakfast, depart to explore the Volcano Etna, largest active volcano in Europe, where you will admire a unique combination of nature and the uncontrollable essence of fire. Your trekking options are weather dependent and may include either an exploration of the recent craters of Monte Nero and the Bottoniera, or a walk in the Linguaglossa pine forest, crossing a corridor of lava flow. Here, you can go and visit the crater of 2001-2002 by cable-car (not included and weather dependent). Stop for a wine tasting and lunch in an Etna Doc winery.

After lunch return to the hotel where you will learn the secrets of making our homemade pasta and gnocchi, prepared with old Sicilian wheat and filled with wild herbs collected on the farm. The lesson takes place in a bakery. It includes the preparation of two courses that guests will taste at dinner.

Day 9
Taormina, Italy
Monaci delle Terre Nere Breakfast, Snack

Taormina and Castelmola

Pick up by English speaking private driver and guide and explore Taormina and Castelmola. Admire the legendary Greek theater, remarkable both for its incredible state of preservation and for its breathtaking view of the Gulf of Naxos and Mount Etna, and discover the antiquarium, where Greek inscriptions testify to the city’s ancient origins. Head to the nearby village of Castelmola. There, in a bar in the picturesque Piazzetta del Duomo, enjoy a taste of the celebrated local almond wine and delectable Sicilian sweets. At the end of your journey, return to your hotel.

Day 10
Catania, Italy
None Breakfast


In the morning, you will enjoy your final breakfast in Sicily before departing for Catania airport with your private transfer.

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Sicily is the largest of the Italian islands and known as the pearls of Southern Italy. The island can be discovered, understood and experienced with several itineraries dedicated to areas of interest ranging from nature to history and traditions.

Nature seems to have endowed all its wonders to this land: mountains, hills and above all the sea, with its incredible colours, its crystal-clear water and the beauty of its seabeds.

The island has many little islands scattered around the coasts of Sicily and Last but not least, its great volcanoes are symbols of the irresistible beauty and vitality of this incredibly charming region.

Fascination for this region grows with treasured archaeological sites that tell the story of the ancient origins of Trinacria (ancient name for Sicily).

If you would like to live a tailor-made and luxury experience of Sicily and love nature, food and culture than “Walk, taste and breeze: Simply Sicily” will be the best choice for you.

We will permit you to live the Sicilian quotidian life with a real and authentic overview of the different locations. The program is full of tasteful food and wine tastings, walking experiences and sightseeing.

Welcome to Sicily or better welcome to the Essence of Sicily.

About Us

Essence of Sicily is a boutique DMC offering luxury and unique experiences in Sicily and Aeolian Islands to suit any individual or group. Our customized luxury tours are chosen to offer a balance of Sicilian history, culture and cuisine, bringing you all the best that the beautiful island has to offer. All of our tours go above and beyond the normal remits – with private guides, private transfers and a personalized service, tailoring the experience exclusively for our clients. We pride ourselves on the connections we have on the island, ensuring we can offer proven quality from start to finish.

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Terms and conditions vary by program. Details will be provided upon request.

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