PALERMO, AGRIGENTO, AND TAORMINA
Experience old-world, Mediterranean charms on this Spirit of Sicily tour, which includes airfare, accommodations, and more. Take in all Palermo has to offer, from its architecture reflecting an abundance of different cultures to its historic avenues and coastal seascapes. Heading to Agrigento, stop to explore the hilltop town of Erice, a medieval town built atop Monte San Giuliano, and admire the salt pans, Sicilian windmills, and dazzling white mountains, as we drive along. Discover fascinating Roman ruins and temples in Agrigento, and then make your way to the Taormina area to enjoy views and a light exploration of Etna Volcano—plus, some leisure time to explore the area at your own pace. On your last day, delight in a scenic coastal drive along the Riviera Dei Ciclopi.
- Overnight flight
- 3 nights in Palermo
- 1 night in Agrigento
- 4 nights in Taormina Area
- Round-trip airfare from New York (JFK) via scheduled flight on Alitalia
- Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
- All intra-Italy transportation via air-conditioned motor coach
- Accommodations at First Class hotels
- 11 meals: 7 breakfasts (B), 1 lunch (L), and 3 dinners
- A glass of wine with included dinners
- Comprehensive sightseeing tours including admission fees as indicated in the itinerary
- Professional English-speaking Tour Director throughout
Click the Day by Day itinerary above (or swipe on mobile devices) to see the experiences that await on each day of your tour.
USA to Palermo
Your unforgettable trip to Sicily begins as you depart New York (JFK) today.
Arrive in Palermo
Welcome to Italy! Arrive in Palermo, where you’ll be met and escorted to your centrally located hotel. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure in Sicily’s capital where the architecture reflects the city’s many conquerors including the Normans, Arabs, Asians, and Greeks with distinct styles ranging from Arabic to Baroque, and from Norman to Art Nouveau. This evening, enjoy an orientation tour followed by a welcome dinner. Cristal Palace Hotel or similar (D)
After breakfast, enjoy a guided tour of Palermo’s city center where you’ll explore old avenues, Arabic neighborhoods, and iconic cathedrals. You’ll see the exterior of Teatro Massimo, Palermo’s elegant Opera House, and visit the Palatine Chapel inside the Norman Palace. Afterwards, continue to Monreale, a small hill town. Here, you’ll visit the “royal mountain,” a mighty Norman cathedral hidden further in among the houses with a beautiful panoramic view, and the distinguished and beautiful Cloisters. This afternoon is at leisure. (B)
Today is at your leisure. You might consider an optional tour visiting Cefalu, founded on a hillside facing the sea with a medieval appearance, and Castelbuono, an ancient village in the Madonie Park rich in historical and artistic attractions. (B)
After breakfast, check-out from your Palermo hotel and depart for Agrigento. Along the way, explore the hilltop town of Erice, a medieval town built atop Monte San Giuliano. It was once an ancient settlement predating the Middle Ages, but little remains from this period. Today it has incredible city walls, fine paved streets, stone houses with decorated doorways, and open spaces with churches all dating from the Middle Ages. Enjoy lunch today at a typical farm producing olive oil and other products.
Continue on the drive along salt pans and Sicilian windmills, it is possible to see…
Agrigento/Piazza Armerina/Taormina Area
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then explore Agrigento. See the ruins of the Valley of the Temples, where the city’s ancient architects erected most of their sacred buildings during the fifth century BC. The four major temples were – and still are – stunning and reflect the wealth and luxury of ancient Agrigento. Next, visit Villa del Casale at Piazza Armerina, a Roman Villa known for its beautiful, well-preserved Roman mosaics which was only excavated in the 20th century. It was part of a late third and early fourth century AD Roman estate and is one of the most…
Following breakfast, depart for the Etna Volcano. Drive along the coastline, renowned for its beautiful scenery, stopping to ascend the slopes of massive Mount Etna with a gentle walk. The volcano totally dominates the life and landscape of eastern Sicily. Some villages and roads are built from lava and the flows have cut great swaths through the valley that have ultimately provided the extremely fertile soil of the island. The views are impressive as we ascend the snow-capped mountain. Reach the Taormina center for a guided walking tour of Taormina including Via piazza Vittorio Emanuele,…
Today is at leisure to enjoy Taormina on your own. You might consider an optional tour to Siracusa, an ancient city founded by the Greeks from Corinth, and Noto, the epitome of a baroque town. (B)
Taormina Area/Catania/Riviera Dei Ciclopi/Acireale
After breakfast, discover Catania, called the black baroque town because it is made of lava from the neighboring Etna Volcano. Afterwards enjoy a scenic drive along the Riviera Dei Ciclopi for stunning views of the coast. Admire pretty fishing villages such as Acitrezza and Acicastello and take a walk to admire Acireale and its historical center. Afterwards return to Taormina where you’ll enjoy a farewell dinner at your hotel. (B,D)
Taormina Area to USA
Check out of the hotel after breakfast and travel to the Catania airport for your return flight to the US! (B)
Optional Tours Customize your trip with these optional tours.
To enhance and make your experience when you visit Italy more complete and memorable, your tour director will offer optional tours. All rates are approximate in US dollars and are subject to change based on fluctuation of exchange rates and suppliers rates. Payment should be made in local currency by cash, or major credit card (additional service fee may apply). Optional tours are subject to a minimum number of participants, payable in cash (Euro) or credit cards and may be cancelled if the minimum is not met. Additional optional tours may be added for your enjoyment, and the optional tours listed below may not be available on all departure dates. Optional tours are non-refundable.
Cefalu & Castelbuono
- From approx. $89 Per Person, lunch included
On this optional tour, visit Cefalu which was founded on a hillside facing the sea near Palermo. Cefalu has retained its medieval appearance with the center of the town located around a Norman cathedral built in the 12th century. Enjoy lunch on a terrace overlooking the blue sea before proceeding inland to discover the small and ancient village of Castelbuono in the Madonie Park, rich in historical and artistic attractions. This internal region between the Northern Coast and Central Sicily has a wealth of ancient small villages where many people still live according to Sicilian traditions….
Siracusa & Noto
- From approx. $105 Per Person
On this optional tour, travel to Siracusa. This ancient city was founded by the Greeks from Corinth, and was once the most important city in the Western world. Siracusa reached its zenith in the 5th century BC when it ruled all of Sicily. In the unique Parco Archeologico, the impressive ruins include the magnificent Greek Theatre, one of the biggest and best preserved int he entire Mediterranean, situated adjacent to a large Roman Coliseum and an ancient quarry possessing such remarkable acoustics that Caravaggio called it “Orecchio de Dionisiso” or “the Ear of…
Your flights from New York to Italy and back are on the following airlines with the corresponding schedules. We recommend that you arrive at the airport at least 3 ½ hours before the scheduled departure.
|2019: Apr. 30, May 14||Alitalia Airlines||9:30PM||2:30PM|
|2019: Sep. 3||Alitalia Airlines||5:30PM||2:30PM|
Please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing immigration and customs if you are planning a connecting flight. We recommend at least 3 ½ hours. Please keep in mind that flight schedules are always subject to change.
ADVANCE SEAT ASSIGNMENT
The airlines above do not assign seats in advance. Seat assignments can only be arranged at the airport upon check in. If you have a preferred seating choice, please make sure you check in for your flight as early as possible. These airlines do not offer any frequent flyer miles.
International flights to/from the U.S. are not included. Land-only travelers are responsible for arranging the entry and exit flights, as well as their arrival and departure transfers. smarTours cannot be held responsible for any damage caused by air schedule changes and delays. Unused land services are non-refundable.
Main Tour Only: Land services start upon independent check in at Palermo hotel on Day 2 of the itinerary listed on the tour page. Land-Only services end after breakfast at Taormina area hotel on Day 10 of the itinerary listed on the tour page.
PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION
You must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. Visa not required for American passport holders. Non U.S. citizens should check with the respective consulates as to the most current visa requirements to all their travel destinations. Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.
TICKETS AND FINAL DOCUMENTS
Your airline tickets along with final instruction and some additional travel tips will be sent to you 10 – 7 days before the scheduled departure of your tour. Please make sure to advise us in case your address changes.
Immunizations are NOT currently required; however, you may wish to consult your personal physician or local public health authorities as to their suggestions.
You may expect daytime high temperatures ranging in the 50’s and 70’s.
NON-INCLUDED MEALS AND SIGHTSEEING
The hotels used on this tour have several dining choices from coffee shop to specialty restaurants. Average cost for dinner (excluding drinks) in the coffee shop is about $20-25 per meal per person. Optional sightseeing tours and evening activities will be offered. Your hotel will accept credit cards for your non-included meals.
CREDIT CARDS AND LOCAL CURRENCY
Hotels and some stores accept major credit cards. However, for “street shopping” you will need local currency. You can either exchange U.S. Dollars into local currency in advance of your trip, or you may use your debit card to withdrawal local currency from an ATM. It is recommended that you bring along cash in small denominations.
Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage (suitcase) and one carry-on piece. We recommend that you do not over-pack and that you take a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind.