Walking Sicily – The Leisurely – ONLY 2 PLACES REMAINING!

Walking Sicily – The Leisurely – ONLY 2 PLACES REMAINING!

From $ 5,990 AUD

Description

Immerse yourself in the beauty of this unique Mediterranean island. You’ll soak in the stunning site of Mount Etna, learn about the island’s history, culture and ancient civilisations and indulge in some delicious local cuisine on this 11 day, easy paced, walking tour.

11 Days departing Palermo – escorted by Bronny Tudor

TWO DEPARTURES

5-15 October 2018  – ONLY 2 PLACES REMAINING!

15-25 October 2018 – FULLY BOOKED

$5,990*per person twin share departing Palermo
Maximum group size 8

Download the brochure

Trip Name
Walking Sicily - The Leisurely Way
Days
11
Capacity
8
Overview
In the very south of Italy, sits the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea—Sicily. This island is filled with a rich history, unique traditions and cultures, delicious cuisine and some truly remarkable ancient and natural sites. The best way to explore this beautiful island is by foot, and this easily paced walking tour will give you an in depth look at this remarkable destination. Take in the island’s most prominent feature, Mount Etna, enjoy meals in the stunning natural environments surrounding you and learn about the Greek and Roman history in the charming towns along the way. You’’ll get a chance to indulge in the local delicacies, including the Sicilian centuries old chocolate recipe in Modica and you’ll leave feeling refreshed and relaxed after you’ve had the opportunity to take in the fresh Mediterranean air as you wander the island.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Friday 05 October
Palermo

Your journey starts in the bustling city of Palermo, the capital of Sicily. Discover a vibrant culture in this melting pot of Byzantine mosaics, Arabesque domes and frescoed cupolas. Enjoy your first taste of Sicilian cuisine tonight in a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Hotel Joli or similar
Meals: Dinner

Day 2 – Saturday 06 October
Palermo & Monreale

This morning, stroll through the old heart of Palermo admiring some of its main monuments, such as the cathedral which has a wonderful mix of styles. Originally built in the 12th century, it has been modified a number of times, most notably in the 18th century with the addition of its dome. Explore a labyrinth of small alleyways, buzzing colourful market squares and winding roads.

Then take a private minibus to nearby Monreale, situated in a panoramic position above Palermo with fantastic views over the city and the sea. Visit the stunning interior and exterior of its cathedral, described as one of the ‘wonders of the medieval world’, and climb to its roof. Stroll through the old historical centre before returning to Palermo where the afternoon is free for you to continue to explore this extraordinary city.

Accommodation: Hotel Joli or similar
Walking: 8 kms, estimated time approximately 2 hours
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 – Sunday 07 October
Cefalu & Nebrodi Mountains

Travel along the northern coast to the beautiful small town of Cefalù, one of Sicily’s ‘undiscovered treasures’. You will be dropped off at the foot of the town’s Roca, a mountain with a castle on top that overlooks the old city centre.

Embark on a walk up to the castle, then descend back into the old town and discover its charming narrow alleyways and imposing Norman cathedral. After lunch, enjoy a swim before continuing your travels along the north coast and then inland into the foothills of the Nebrodi Mountains. Upon arrival, settle into the agriturismo, overlooking the coast and the Aeolian Islands.

Accommodation: Agriturismo Borgo Abacena or similar
Walking: 7 kms, estimated time approximately 3 hours
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4 – Monday 08 October
Montalbano, Malabotta Forest & Taormina

After a leisurely breakfast in the morning, start with a short walk through the spiralling streets of nearby Montalbano Elicona. Discover the interesting medieval town centre and walk to the top where its impressive 13th century castle lies. Then hop back onto your private bus to discover the natural beauty of the greenery-drenched forest of Malabotta, a beautiful and little known inland nature reserve. Embark on a circular walk, partly through the forest, partly alongside strange rock formations locally known as ‘megaliti’. An ancient megalithic site, the Megaliti dell’Argimusco (now known as the ‘Sicilian Stonehenge’) has recently been discovered here. Enjoy a lunch of local specialties in the forest, with views of Mount Etna rising in front of you.

Continue to your next destination, the enchanting sea-side town of Taormina, situated in one of the most dramatic spots of the whole Mediterranean.

Accommodation: Hotel Continental or similar
Walking: 9km, estimated time approximately 4 hours
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 5 – Tuesday 09 October
Castelmola & Taormina

Drive to the charming hilltop town of Castelmola, a small fortified town with stunning views over the surrounding area, including Taormina, Mount Etna and the Mediterranean. After a stroll through its medieval streets, a visit to the castle and perhaps a drink on one of the terraces, walk down to Taormina along a beautiful panoramic footpath. Through pleasant agricultural landscape, with breathtaking views of the coastline and glorious Etna, you reach charming Taormina. Notice the Greek influence in the architecture, and be transported back to the days when this part of Italy remained an Aegean stonghold. Picturesque ruins and a backdrop of Etna make for memorable views. Walk through the backstreets, gardens, and of course visit the world famous Greek/Roman theatre and the cathedral. The whole afternoon will be at your leisure, so there’s plenty of time to explore at your own pace. Those interested can join an optional walk down to the sea opposite beautiful Isola Bella, a small protected island nature reserve. After a swim and some relaxation, and possibly a drink in the Mediterranean sun, you return to town by cable car.

Accommodation: Hotel Continental or similar
Walking: 9-11km, estimated walking time approx 3.5 hours
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6 – Wednesday 10 October
Mt Etna

Today come face-to-face with Europe’s largest active volcano, Mt Etna. Take your private minibus from Taormina into the valley of the Alcantara River, irrigated by a complex system of basins and canals that date back to the times of the Arab domination of Sicily. In Francavilla you’ll walk along the river, through a pleasant terraced landscape of orchards and fruit trees, and pass a few hamlets built of lava stone.

See many strange lava formations, all sculpted by the Alcantara River. Back on your minibus continue along the river, up to the charming little town of Linguaglossa. The volcano makes for very fertile soil, so enjoy a wine tasting in one of the renowned Etna wineries while overlooking the sea. Next, travel along the scenic Via MareNeve, the ‘road of sea and snow’. Here you can see the most recent lava flows, some only a few years old, reminding you that Etna is still very active! A walk here lets you feel the immense forces still working beneath you. Continue to the Sartorius Mountains, a completely different landscape. Walk partly through the forest and partly over older lava flows to a mountain hut with special views over the Strait of Messina. It’s then on to the southern side of Mount Etna, perhaps the best known part – again a completely different landscape. Here you will settle into a charming hotel that’s the highest in Sicily.

Accommodation: Hotel Corsaro
Walking: 7km, estimated walking time approximately 4 hours
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and Dinner

Day 7 – Thursday 11 October
Mt Etna & Ragusa

Get ready to travel towards the very top of Mount Etna by cable car. Once you have  arrived at an altitude of 2,500m you will then embark on a walk to the famous and dramatic Valle del Bove (Bull Valley), a valley formed when the original crater of Etna collapsed. It is Etna’s largest valley, in which many lava flows can be seen, one atop of the other. From here you will start your downhill walk past the craters of Montagnola, finishing at the crater series of Silvestri, a barren landscape formed by the explosion of 1892.

Alternatively there is the option to take the cable car back down to base. After lunch you will continue on to your next destination, Ragusa.

Accommodation: Hotel Montreal or similar
Walking: 13km and a cable car ride or 17km on foot, est. walking time approx 4-5 hours
Meals: Breakfast

** The itinerary today may vary depending on weather conditions.

Day 8 – Friday 12 October
Modica & Ragusa

Start the day with a short stroll through Ragusa, which is equally beautiful by day as it is by night. Ragusa is one of the most scenic Sicilian towns, and one that blends wonderfully into its surrounding landscape. The ‘new’ baroque city of Ragusa was completely rebuilt after the devastating earthquake of 1693, but the historic part of the town still features older monuments. Both parts of the town deserve a visit. You will then travel on to Modica by local train, an experience in itself. Modica is yet another wonderful baroque city, famous for its delicious chocolate, made for centuries according to the same secret recipe.

Indulge in a chocolate tasting at the oldest chocolate factory in Sicily, operating since 1880. They still make their chocolate using the same ancient technique and ingredients brought to Sicily by the Spaniards. Back in Ragusa, stroll through the wonderful baroque streets and choose from a range of restaurant options for dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel Montreal or similar
Walking: 9km, estimated walking time approx 3.5 hours.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 9 – Saturday 13 October
Vendicari Nature Reserve, Noto & Siracusa

Travel on to the nature reserve of Vendicari, one of the last remaining pristine sections of coastline in Sicily. Embark on a relaxed coastal walk, with the possibility of a refreshing swim. Continue to the beautiful small village of Marzamemi, deemed to be the most beautiful of all Sicilian fishing villages, with time for lunch and a stroll along the harbour. By mid afternoon you will leave for nearby Noto, perhaps the best known of Sicily’s baroque cities, where you can admire the wonderful colours of its many monuments in the beautiful late afternoon light. Next on your itinerary is Syracuse (Italian: Siracusa), an ancient town by the sea that was of immense importance as Greek Syracuse. Much of its charm lies in wandering the narrow medieval lanes, past romantically crumbling medieval palaces and churches.

Your feature stay hotel is located in the middle of the lovely historical heart of Siracusa, on the island of Ortigia. Hidden in its basement is Europe’s oldest Jewish ritual bath, a so called mikveh, discovered during renovation works.

Accommodation: Hotel Alla Guidecca
Walking: 9km, estimated walking time approx 3.5 hours.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 10 – Sunday 14 October
Siracusa

This morning, take a walking tour through the most interesting parts of the old town. You will discover many archaeological areas (some are amongst the world’s finest), countless baroque churches and many other important monuments. The character of the city is enchanting, with its crumbling facades and balconies supported for centuries by a host of stone lions, tigers, bears, dragons, moors, satyrs, devils, angels, kings, paupers, wenches and cherubs. Walk along limestone-paved streets overhung with drying laundry and ancient scaffolding, and discover some of the most expansive piazzas that Italy has to offer. Passing some open doors might give you a glimpse of an ornate secret courtyard, whilst others open right on to someone’s dining room where lunch is being prepared. The rest of the day will be free for you to take a boat trip around the island of Ortigia, a bike ride through the old city, or to just stroll around town, visiting its monuments and enjoying a coffee or savouring a granita in one of the lively bars. This evening you can gather together for an optional farewell dinner, a great opportunity to reflect on your Sicilian adventure.

Accommodation: Hotel Alla Guidecca
Walking: 9km, estimated walking time approx 3.5 hours
Meals: Breakfast

Day 11 – Monday 15 October
Siracusa

Your trip will come to an end after breakfast in Siracusa. You will be transferred to Catania for your flight home or elsewhere if you are continuing your journey throughout Italy or Europe. Arrivederci!

Meals: Breakfast

Pre and Post Accommodation

If you would like to extend your stay in Sicily, we can organise additional nights in both Palermo and Siracusa. Extra nights in Palermo will cost $170 per person twin share or $130 for a single room. Additional nights in Siracusa will cost $210 per person twin share or $150 for a single room.

Airfares and Additional Arrangements

Contact us for airfare options and additional arrangements in Sicily or throughout Europe.

 



Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
05-10-201815-10-2018AUD $ 5,990-

Inclusions

    What’s included in the price?

    • 11 day escorted tour
    • Local guide throughout
    • 10 nights accommodation including a 2-night feature stay in Siracusa
    • 10 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 5 dinners
    • Palermo Sightseeing Tour
    • Cefalu Sightseeing Walk
    • Montalbano Sightseeing Walk
    • Malabotta Forest & the ‘Sicilian Stonehenge’
    • Castelmola Country Walk
    • Sartorius Mountains Walk
    • Mt Etna’s Summit Area by Cable Car
    • Ragusa Sightseeing Tour
    • Vendicari Nature Reserve Coastal Walk
    • Siracusa Sightseeing Tour
    • Airport and local transfers

     

Map

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