(Palermo, Agrigento, Syracuse, Taormina)
Perhaps it’s the exquisite food, or the dramatic coastline, or the marvelous ancient ruins that enchant the most. No. It is the warmth of the people that makes it impossible not to fall in love with Sicily.
Sidestep the crowded tourist areas of the north and experience the true Italian way of life. Famous for its incredible scenery, ancient structures and profoundly good food, Sicily moves at a languid pace, perfect for those who want to digest every morsel of this delicious region. Spend your days strolling through colorful markets, glimpsing Greek temples and touring the dramatic coastline. At night, relax in lovely accommodations that offer old world charm and elegance.
Take a private guided tour of enchanting Palermo and experience Sicily’s Old Quarter, with its wide sweeping boulevards, impressive baroque palaces and twelfth-century Cathedral, which houses a pantheon of royal tombs. Meet with colorful characters and visit the fish and vegetable market before partaking in an entertaining cooking class and sitting down to a great lunch which you have helped prepare! Continue on to Arigento with your local guide and visit the beautiful Valley of the Temples, one of the most representative sites of Greek civilization in the Mediterranean area. Enjoy a private tour of Mandranova Estate and learn the process of making olive oil, then taste the best Extra Virgin olive oil you’ve ever had!.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance..
Meet your driver for a private Airport (Falcone Borsellino) transfer with a private vehicle and driver. Please note drivers may or may not speak English as their sole responsibility is to transfer clients from one location to another. If you would like to have the presence of an English speaking Assistant or Guide for your transfer this can be pre-arranged upon request and would be subject to an additional supplement.
A welcome package with a city map, train tickets (if relevant), and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
Explore Palermo at your leisure. Palermo is full of worthy destinations, and in the historic district in can seem as though they are all competing for your attention. Of all the things to see in Palermo, few showcase as completely the differing influences that have swept through the city as the city's cathedral. Refurbished and shining, the Teatro Massimo is one of the premier Palermo sights. It is the largest theatre in Italy and presents a full slate of performances each year. Blending flea market, kasbah, souk, and haggler’s heaven, the markets in Palermo vibrate with energy. The street foods are one attraction, and the goods quite another. See them at the Vucciria, Borgo Vecchio, Capo, Ballaro, or Piazza Perani. The museum and gallery of Islamic art, Zisa, was built in the 12th century, and was the hunting lodge of the Norman Kings. The interior highlights the architectural influences of the Moorish tribes who had only recently been conquered. One of the most memorable Palermo sights is underground. More than 8,000 corpses have been mummified and put on display in the Catacombs of the Capuchins, a monastic order whose ossuary is under the Santa Maria della Concezione.
Meet your guide in your hotel lobby this morning to visit Palermo and Monreale. You’ll be enchanted by Palermo’s wide boulevards, traditional Sicilian Old Quarter, and baroque palaces. You’ll see the city’s main sights, including Quattro Canti (the Four Corners), an extravagant baroque square ringed by four buildings with baroque sculptures that depict the Four Seasons, Spanish kings, and the patron saints of Palermo’s four old quarters. You’ll also see the twelfth-century Cathedral, which houses a pantheon of royal tombs. Afterwards, you will be taken to Palermo’s food market Il Capo, typical “par excellence”, full of color and folkloric. Here you will taste typical street food such as pani ca meusa, panelle, arancini....
Later you’ll discover the Arab-Norman splendor of the Monreale Cathedral. This treasure dates from the 12th century and shows the diverse architectural influences of both the Normans and the Arab population. At day's end, you'll be returned to your hotel in Palermo by private vehicle. At the end of the day you will be transferred to Regaleali, south east of Palermo.
Please let your Sales Advisor know if you would like to have any dinners included during your time in Palermo. There are lots of options from casual restaurants to ones of historical note such as the Osteria dei Vespri, where scenes of Visconti’s movie "The Leopard" were filmed.
Leave Palermo today for Agrigento. En route, you'll get to stop off at the Tasca D’Almerita Wine Estate in Regaleali. Tasca d'Almerita is one of the most important wine-producing estates in Sicily and is the most famous Sicilian cooking school. Fabrizia Tasca Lanza, a cooking teacher and cookbook author, will share her knowledge of local cuisine and its history with you today and you will learn how to prepare the caponata, arancini and cannoli with ricotta cheese at Casa Vecchie, in the middle of the vineyards.
Enjoy lunch at the Estate before exploring the countryside and enjoying the vineyards. Then depart for Agrigento to visit the beautiful Valley of the Temples, one of the most representative sites of Greek civilization in the Mediterranean area. In the company of a local guide, you'll get to visit the Temple of Hercules, the Temple of Juno, the Temple of Castor and Pollux, the wonderful Temple of Concord and finally the beautiful Garden of Kolymbetra. At days end you will be transfered to your accommodation in Agrigento.
Mandranova Estate has a long tradition of specialized cultivations which has been passed from one generation to the next. Today, after a reclamation and cultivation, 40 hectares are dedicated to olive trees, with extremely innovative cultivation, gathering and processing systems. This morning you will be privy to a private tour of the farm including its olive grove, and oil press. After learning the process of making quality olive oil, taste some of the best Extra virgin Olive Oil made on the island.
Enjoy lunch at the Mandranova Estate outside of Agrigento this afternoon.(beverages not included).
Consider taking a cooking lesson and enjoying the spoils in the Mandranova Estate. Please speak to your Sales Advisor if you would like this organized for you during your stay.
Leave Agrigento today and relax on the drive to view the famed Roman mosaics housed in the third-century Villa del Casale where a local guide will meet up with you. The mosaics are among the best preserved in the world, depicting scenes from everyday life. Scenes include children at play, and big game hunts showing some of the exotic African animals brought to Rome for gladiator games. Entrance fee included.
After your visit, you'll be transfered to Caltagirone whose ceramics are a symbol of Sicily. Spend some time at leisure if this is of interst as it has an evocative city center full of artisan shops. Enjoy lunch at leisure (not included) before being transfered to Siracusa this afternoon.
Meet with Mrs Fiora, a colorful local character to visit the fish and vegetable market and have an entertaining cooking class at her restaurant before sitting down to a great lunch which you have helped prepare!
Fully sated, meet up with a local guide for a guided tour of Syracuse and Noto. Until the Arab conquest of 878, the Siracusa was the capital of Sicily. It was by far the most important city on the island. You will visit the Ear of Dyonisus, the Greek Theatre, the Altare di Ierone. Walk through the historical centre on the Ortigia Island to admire the Cathedral, constructed over the ancient Temple of Athena, the Aretusa fountain and the ancient streets. Then discover the historical centre of Noto, the capital of Baroque in Sicily, and a very beautiful town with amazing Baroque style palaces. In 1693 an earthquake totally destroyed the town and nowadays, the new Noto is a masterpiece of Sicilian Baroque architecture and is listed among UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.
Depart for Catania this morning in the comfort of your chauffeur driven vehicle. In the company of your driver escort, you can visit its impressive Duomo and experience the city’s strong personality during at the "Pescheria", the daily fish and vegetable market.Enjoy lunch at leisure (not included) before taking in the scenery as you are driven along the famous Cyclops Coast through Acireale, its most important town, and Acicastello, with its Medieval Norman Castle built in 1076 on a prehistoric basalt lava terrace. As you gaze out over the Ionian Sea, you’ll can admire the Rocks of the Cyclops, imposing, spiky shards of black lava that rises up from the water.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Taormina today. Please note drivers may or may not speak English as their sole responsibility is to transfer clients from one location to another. If you would like to have the presence of an English speaking Assistant or Guide for your transfer this can be pre-arranged upon request and would be subject to an additional supplement.
Get the most out of your time spent in Taormina, and in the company of a local Guide, visit the amazing Greek Theatre set on a hill overlooking the sea and the Duomo. The historical centre is rich in luxurious shops, so feel free to do some shopping before returning to your hotel. (includes entrances).
Every day is beach day in Taormina. Even during the winter months, you can enjoy water sports such as wind-surfing, sailing, fishing, scuba-diving, canoeing, and snorkeling. In some beautiful nearby villages, there are excellent Paragliding clubs for those looking for a little more adventure. Stroll on the beach today and enjoy some relaxation time. Take the time to enjoy a beach side lunch and to take some photos of the sunset.
Car drop off at catania airport
The Excelsior Palace Hilton Hotel (4*) in Palermo is a restored 19th century palazzo with art nouveau features, within 150 meters of the Politeama and Massimo theatres. The guestrooms feature traditional décor and antique wood furnishings; all include balconies and satellite TV. The Liberty Hall Restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine and features 19th century décor. Having being completely restored in the year 2005, this historic building now houses one of the most impressive hotels in Palermo. Located beside the Giardino Inglese, Villa Garibaldi and Villa Trabia the property is perfectly suited to visiting the city's many sites.
The Mandranova Estate (4*) holiday resort is set in a garden of palm trees and African plants. We offer a stay of absolute comfort and tranquility in the rustic simplicity of the old farmhouse and renovated rooms in a train station and an old millstone. The "Gebbia, formerly used for agricultural irrigation, has been transformed into a small but lovely pool where guests can go for a refreshing swim in the summer heat. The charming owners are renowned for the warmth of their welcome and wonderful sense of hospitality and the restaurant, which is for the exclusive use of guests, offers excellent food prepared with locally produced ingredients. For beach lovers, there are several nice sandy beaches nearby.
On the edge of the island of Ortigia, the Hotel Des Etrangers et Miramare (5*) is within easy walking distance of the centre of Syracuse. The hotel is made up of 78 guestrooms and 13 suites. The architecture is rather elegant, in a neoclassic Sicilian style. The floors are covered with precious marbles, while the walls and ceilings are enriched with stucco work. Most bedrooms open onto the Porto Grande sea. On the 6th floor, there is a restaurant that offers a panoramic view of the Ortigia rooftops, bell towers and the expansive sea below.
Located in a historical English villa, the Ashbee Hotel (5*) was built in the 1908 from the Architect Robert Charles Ashbee, in the heart of Taormina. With 25 guestrooms and a number of suites, you will find everything you require for a relaxing English hospitality style stay. St. George Restaurant, the Pool Club Bar and the Terrace Bar offer spectacular views of the sea and surrounding area while providing a real flavor of the Mediterranean. The hotel also features large gardens and an outdoor swimming pool.
Vanessa Oquendo ,
April 21, 2014
"Melissa Field was extremely helpful! She was courteous, professional, knowledgeable, and friendly! She kept me updated on the status of everything and provided timely correspondence. She took ownership for any problems I had and remedied them. I had the most amazing time of my life in Iceland and Paris! I would not have experienced everything without the help of Kensington Tours."
Marilynn Weaver ,
April 21, 2014
"All of our guides were beyond fabulous! Our time in Dublin was much too short, would have loved to stay there at least one more full day. Would recommend extending this package to 15 days for any future visits. The train to Edinburgh was super! Beautiful scenery and great steak pies!"
Ann Saxon ,
November 06, 2013
"Our trip was fantastic!!! I cannot say enough good things. Lianne worked with our exact dates and time frame beautifully.Our drivers were prompt and friendly. The private guides were so knowledgeable. We left with an appreciation of the history, the culture, and the beauty of Andulasia. We were very pleased and will certainly recommend your company to friends and family."
Coby Scherr ,
November 05, 2013
"Everyone involved in our Portugal trip made it terrific. Exactly as advertised. Every event on time and most pleasant. Guides were well-informed, courteous and friendly. Really made for a great journey every time. Each hotel was clean, upgraded and staffed with knowledgeable and friendly folks. Breakfasts were complete -- almost too much to eat. It will always be a wonderful memory thanks to Kensington Tours."
Couples Dellinger & Hubbell ,
November 06, 2013
"We've been raving to everyone about the food, the friendliness of the people and the amazing history and sites in Turkey. Yes, we want to go back."
John Edstrom ,
October 22, 2013
"Overall, our tour in Spain was very enjoyable, and well planned and executed. Our private tour of the Alhambra was excellent. Virginia, tour guide for royal palace ruins outside of Cordoba, was also excellent. In Seville, we went to the Flamenco Show/dinner, and the Flamenco was outstanding!"
Kevin Wilshere ,
October 19, 2013
"Great trip to Spain! Thanks again for all your help, Lianne. The destinations, hotels, guides and everything were all top notch."
Chery Westlund ,
November 07, 2013
"My husband and I took a 3 week vacation to southern Europe and North Africa and had a great time. All the guides were very knowledgeable and bent over backwards to accommodate us. The arrangements made by Kensington went off without a hitch. This is our second trip with Kensington (we went to Peru in 2009) and we will certainly book with them again."
Randy Gramlich ,
October 07, 2013
"Thank you for your follow up, we both loved our time in Croatia. It’s really a beautiful place, especially the coast. Your choice of hotels was great. It was an incredible view from the Bellevue hotel in Dubrovnik and the Vestibule in Split was in the best possible location. We were able to relax in our room listening to the wonderful singers in the courtyard and its central location made it so easy to walk anywhere we wanted to see with ease. "
Jay Steffan ,
September 24, 2013
"We just returned from a 10 day trip to Paris and Normandy. We spent three nights in Paris and then enjoyed a seven night cruise on the Seine to Normandy with AMA Waterways. The time in Paris was well spent and has piqued our interest to return for a more thorough visit. Guide Wafaa Lankey was superb in our visit to Versailles. The Seine cruise was relaxing and beautiful. So many wonderful little towns and we wished we had more time in each one to explore and enjoy.
We traveled to Croatia and Slovenia using Kensington earlier this year which was a fantastic trip."
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