This journey to Sicily’s undiscovered side reveals Greek and Roman ruins and the splendour of Baroque architecture that tells tales of years gone by. More than just a feast for the eyes, the island is also famed for its Modica chocolate and Marsala wine.
Delve deep into Sicily's history and culinary traditions as this tour reveals the island's hidden side.
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
- Return flights from Gatwick with easyJet
- 7 nights half board in 4-star hotels
- 15 meals: 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 7 dinners
- Travelsphere Tour Manager and Local Guide
- Overseas transfers and other transportation
- Audio Guide
- Stagnone saltpans
- Cruise to Mothya island and Marsala wine-tasting
- Discover Montalbano's Sicily
- Ragusa visit and chocolate-tasting in Modica
- Lunch overlooking the Valley of the Temples
Please note: Thanks to your feedback we know you want to explore more at your own pace. That’s why from 2019 we’re including 3 dinners, so you can experience eating out.
- DAY 1 UK/Palermo
- Today you'll depart on your flight to Palermo. On arrival, we'll transfer you to your hotel in Mazara del Vallo, where you'll stay for three nights.
- DAY 2 Stagnone saltpans
- A great included day out starts after breakfast, when we head to the Stagnone saltpans. Here, amongst a landscape dotted with medieval windmills, you'll take a tour and learn all about the ancient tradition of sea-salt production. You'll also hear about the many species of wildlife that thrive in this habitat. Next you're going to cruise to the small island of Mothya. Archaeological highlights here include the 'Cappidazzu', a place for religious sacrifice, parts of the island's ancient defensive walls and a necropolis. Your final stop is at the famous Florio vineyard where a lovely end-of-the-day treat is a tasting of the sweet fortified wine, Marsala.
- DAY 3 Trapani & Erice
- You can choose to spend today at leisure, or discover more of the island on an optional excursion to a pair of little-visited towns. Formerly a Phoenician trading port, Trapani is our first stop and its Old Town still bears the evidence of its medieval past. A stroll gives you the chance to admire churches and palaces as well as the 14th century offshore fortress Torre della Colombaia. Looming over Trapani's harbour is our next destination, the medieval hilltown of Erice. Its steep lanes are surrounded by defensive walls and topped by a magnificent castle.
- DAY 4 Ragusa
- We're heading to the west of the island today to our new base of Ragusa, which will be our home for four nights. On the way we're going to stop for lunch at a restaurant which offers marvellous views of the Valley of Temples.
- DAY 5 Ragusa & Modica
- We're going to spend a further day exploring the 'real' Sicily, starting with our base, the UNESCO-listed Baroque town of Ragusa. We then move on to Modica, whose medieval buildings are cut into a deep gorge and make a spectacular sight. One highlight here is Gagliardi's masterpiece the Church of San Giorgio, although for some, the real highlight of the day is a chocolate tasting! The town is famous for its richly flavoured chocolate, and as well as shops selling this delicious treat, you might also get to see chocolatiers at work. There's free time here too, so you'll have ample opportunity to buy some confectionary to take home as a souvenir.
- DAY 6 Montalbano’s Sicily
- If you're a fan of the popular TV series 'Inspector Montalbano', based on the novels of Andrea Camilleri, you'll love today's included exploration of Montalbano's Sicily. We'll visit the former fishing village of Marzamemi, whose large piazza is just a few steps from a lovely stretch of sandy beach, and Puntasecca. This is the fictional 'Marinella' in the TV series, where you'll see Montalbano's beach house. Finally, we'll take in the sights of UNESCO-listed Scicli, which is framed by cliffs and boasts an array of wonderful Baroque architecture.
- DAY 7 Syracuse & Noto
- The choice is all yours today, you can spend the time relaxing at your hotel or maybe get out and about and explore Ragusa at your own pace. Alternatively, you can soak up some more fabulous historic sights on an optional excursion. In the company of a knowledgeable Local Guide you'll discover the Greek theatre at Syracuse, which dates back to the 5th century BC. Its seating area is among the largest ever built, with 59 rows able to hold 15,000 spectators. The Roman amphitheatre here, where gladiators and wild animals would battle for gory entertainment, is an equally impressive highlight. You'll also visit Noto, a beautiful town which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1693 and subsequently rebuilt. Its historic centre is a wonderful sight, almost entirely made up of crumbling Baroque palaces, churches and houses.
- DAY 8 Catania/UK
- Today you'll transfer to Catania for your return flight to UK.
- Hotel Mahara
- Hotel Mediterraneo
- et in Ragusa centre, Mediterraneo Palace Hotel is a 2-minute walk from Ragusa Cathedral. It offers soundproofed rooms with satellite TV and free Wi-Fi. The modern and spacious rooms at Mediterraneo Palace are all air conditioned. They come with a minibar and tea and coffee making facilities. The Hotel Mediterraneo Palace’s restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine and Sicilian specialities, along with a savoury and sweet breakfast buffet. A bar-patisserie is also available.
- Syracuse and Noto
- See medieval gems in Trapani and Erice