Private Holiday Self-Drive Holiday
Sicily is one of the most fascinating islands in Europe, with a wealth of archaeological sites and monuments, a result of the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Byzantines and Aragonese leaving their enduring legacy on the island. This captivating tour provides plenty of opportunity to discover Sicily's intriguing history and culture. Explore at your own pace on this self drive tour.
Day 1: Palermo (B)
Upon arrival at Palermo airport you will be met by a local operator and transferred to your accommodation. The remainder of the day is at leisure to unwind from your travels or to begin exploring Palermo.
Day 2: Palermo (B)
Visit the wonderful Arab-Norman Cathedral, the astonishing Martorana Church and the amazing Cappella Palatina, marvelous examples from both an historical and an artistic point of view of how different cultures, religions and ways of thinking can coexist. Admire the Teatro Massimo and the debated fountain in Pretoria Square, situated in the ancient Kalsa area and adorned with XVI century sculptures. Take an optional foodies tour with a local guide to explore the city’s markets and daily life. You will taste the local foods and learn all about their history, the recipes, and all the secrets of this unique world of colours, aromas, and humanity.
Day 3: Palermo – Monreale – Segesta – Erice – Trapani (B)
Pick up your rental car and on your way out of Palermo visit the Cathedral of Monreale, named by some as the 8th Wonder of the World. En route to Trapini visit the archaeological site of Segesta and the medieval village of Erice, full of narrow roads and local craft shops. Among the stone houses is the San Carlo pastry laboratory, a jewel for those who want to get away from the tourist circuits. The production is totally hand-made and the recipes come from the nearby convent. The success of the production is supervised by the octogenarian, Caterina. Continue on to you accommodation at the selected hotel in Trapani.
Day 4: Trapani – Salt Plains – Vito Lo Capo – Trapini (B)
A day for nature lovers today as you head out to visit the salt pans and immerse yourself in a unique scenery of contrasts, colours, and reflections. You will discover the history of salt (once used for currency hence the phrase “worth one’s salt”) and explore a natural reserve with more than 200 species of birds. At the end of the visit, head north to San Vito Lo Capo and take a boat tour along the coast of the Zingaro Natural Reserve - a corner of paradise where the intense blue of a clear sky combines with the changing colour of a sea with crystal clear waters and the white of blinding sand beaches.
Alternatively you can take a full day boat tour to the Egadi Islands located in front of Trapani.
Day 5: Trapini – Selinunte – Menfi and the Turkish Staircase – Agrigento (BL)
Travel towards Selinunte and visit the largest archaeological site in the Mediterranean area - a city which was home to 30,000 people in 400 BC. Continue on to Menfi where you will reach a family-run winery dating back to 1860. Their production is focused on excellent organic wines: white, reds, and rosé. You will take a tour of the winery followed by wine tasting and lunch in a family setting. Later continue to Agrigento, but be sure not miss a stop at the Scala dei Turchi (Turkish Staircase) – a spectacular stretch of coast in the shape of a huge staircase, made of a blinding white marl. Continue on to your accommodation in Agrigento.
Day 6: Agrigento – Ragusa or Modici (B)
On your drive today visit the Valley of the Temples, a stated World Heritage Site where among hundreds of almond trees rests of the ancient Akragas rise. It was defined by Pyndar “the most beautiful city of mortals” and it was once one of the most prosperous of the ancient Greek cities on the island. Continue to Piazza Armerina to visit the Villa Romana del Casale, a Unesco World Heritage Site with beautiful mosaics that alone are worth a trip to Sicily. Further on you will find Caltagirone, a town famous for the production of pottery. The centre for many cultural events in Caltagirone is the wonderful staircase of Santa Maria del Monte which leads to the Cathedral. All of the 142 steps are made of lava and decorated with exquisite floral and geometric motifs. Continue on to your accommodation in Ragusa or Modica.
Day 7: Ragusa – Modica – Noto – Syracuse (B)
Visit Ragusa Ibla, a unique architectural phenomenon of the Baroque - a maze of narrow cobbled streets, churches, palaces, and monuments. Most of the buildings here are adorned with capitals made of local stone and inlaid by the hands of skilled craftsmen. Continue to Modica and visit a chocolate shop to taste the famous chocolate imported by the Spanish and still produced according to the Atzec recipe. On the way to Noto make a stop at Cava d’Ispica, renowned for its archaeological remains as well as an ancient mill, and its caves. Let yourself be enchanted by the baroque town of Noto before reaching your accommodation in Syracuse.
Day 8: Syracuse – Solarino – Syracuse (BL)
Discover Sicily beyond the typical tourist destinations today with a visit to an olive grove that represents an essential element of the landscape. Walking through the trees you will learn how the delicious olive oil is a simple product yet complex to create, and one that requires care and attention in all phases of the production. You will have the opportunity to taste different types of oil with local breads and other bite-sized tasters of typical products followed by a light lunch. Later, get back to Syracuse and visit the archaeological site of Neapolis with the Dionysious’ Ear and the Greek theatre.
Day 9: Syracuse – Taormina – Catania (B)
After departing Syracuse visit Taormina - maybe the most famous town in Sicily, with outstanding views on the sea and the Mount Etna. Visit the Greek Theatre and take one of the alleyways that unfold from the main street to discover unique views Mediterranean houses perched on the steps, and restaurants overlooking the sea. The shops of Taormina offer the best of the Sicilian food. Be sure to taste the “arancini” (rice balls) together with “schiacciate” and “focaccia” at Stritfud or at Arco About Pizza. In the afternoon get back to Catania, return your rental car and continue with your own arrangements.
- Private transfer from the Palermo airport to the hotel
- 2 night accommodation in a double room on BB basis at ta boutique hotel in Palermo
- Shared tour in a small group (max 12 people) of the market of Palermo
- 8 day rental of a group C car (D group in case of 4 people travelling) with basic insurance – manual transmission – air conditioning – 300 kilometers per day
- 2 night accommodation at a historical hotel in Trapani in a double room with breakfast
- Half day boat tour in a small group in the Zingaro Natural Reserve
- Tour of a winery wine tasting and lunch in Menfi
- 1 night accommodation in a double room on BB basis at a historical hotel in Agrigento
- 1 night accommodation in a double room on BB basis at a historical hotel in Ragusa or Modica
- 2 night accommodation in a double room on BB basis at a 4**** hotel in Syracuse
- Guided tour of an olive farm olive oil tasting and a light lunch walk amongst the olive trees
- 2 hour cooking course at a bakery in Syracuse
- 1 night accommodation in a double room on BB basis at a boutique hotel in Catania
- International airfares
- Optional tours and excursions
- Tourist tax to be paid to the hotels
- Tipping/Gratuities (please refer to tour notes for a recommended guideline)
- Personal Expenses
- Departure taxes
- Hotel charges for minibar or any extra charges
- Visas (unless specified)
- Any other services not clearly mentioned in the inclusions above
Accommodation based on the below or similar
Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa
Baglio Soria Resort OR Giardini Mon Plaisir
Foresteria Baglio della Luna OR Masseria Agnello
Ragusa / Modica
Eremo della Giubiliana OR Hot Antico Convento dei Cappuccini
Borgo Rantano OR Donna Coraly
Hotel Liberty OR Donna Carmela Boutique Hotel
Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. Note prices usually display available discounted rates if any, (eg. Early Bird Deals if applicable). All featured tour itineraries and offers maybe subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. All passports must be valid for 6 months prior to your return to your home country. Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. Special VIP meet and assist offers are valid for New Zealand passport holders, for other nationalities please check at the time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.