Sicilian Cuisine, Culture & Country Life

9 days from $4,734 per person*
  • Visit a local food market and take a cooking lesson in Syracuse.
  • Enjoy a mouth-watering cooking class with lunch.
  • Private guided tour of Palermo's food markets and cathedral.
  • Discover Taormina and its Greek-Roman amphitheater.
  • Featuring expertly selected hotels.
Request a Quote

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!. ... Show More »

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.. « Show Less

Day
Activities Hotel & Meals
Hotel & Meals
  • Day 1 Palermo
    Palermo
    • Transfer - Private - Airport - Vehicle/Driver(2)
    • Italy - Welcome Package(2)
    • Self-Guided - Historic Palermo
  • Day 2 Palermo
    Palermo
    • Private - 1/2 Day Exploring Palermos' sites & Market & Monreale Cathedral (4 hrs) - Vehicle/Guide/Driver(2)
    • Optional Dinner (Fine casual dining options)
  • Day 3 Palermo to Agrigento
    Palermo to Agrigento
    • Palermo - Agrigento [via Regaleali (Cooking Class & Lunch) & 3hrs Guided Tour of Valley of the Temples] - Vehicle/Local Guide/Driver (2)
  • Day 4 Agrigento
    Agrigento
    • Mandranova Estate: Optional Cooking Class & Lunch/Dinner
  • Day 5 Agrigento to Syracuse
    Agrigento to Syracuse
    • Agrigento - Syracuse [Guided tour of Villa del Casale (3hrs) & Time at leisure in Caltagirone] - Vehicle/Local Guide/Driver
  • Day 6 Syracuse
    Syracuse
    • Private - Market Visit, Cooking lesson (with Lunch) and Syracuse & Noto - Host in am/Vehicle/Driver/Guide in pm(2)
  • Day 7 Syracuse to Taormina
    Syracuse to Taormina
    • Syracuse - Taormina [2 hrs] - Vehicle/Driver(2)
  • Day 8 Taormina
    Taormina
    • Private - 1/2 Day Walking Tour (4 hrs) - Guide(10)
    • Self-Guided - Beach Day
  • Day 9 Taormina
    Taormina
    • Taormina - Catania [Airport, 45 mins] - Vehicle/Driver (2)
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
Kensington Advantage
Personalized itinerary with private guide & driver. Award winning value.
  • Personalized itinerary that fits like a glove
  • Full attention of your own private guide & driver
  • In-country offices for 24/7 peace of mind
  • Multi-award winning
  • 30,000 delighted clients

With the inside track on the new, the old, the off-the-beaten track and the out-of-this-world, you won't find a more knowledgeable team of destination specialists.

Meet Our Experts
Curators of extraordinary experiences, you won't find a more skillful team.
30,000 Delighted Customers
"Kensington, you've done it again...perfection!"

Don't take our word for it.
Here's what our clients say.

"Fabulous trip. Every aspect from the planning to execution was excellent."

Newsletter Subscription
Have our hand picked trips, news & specials delivered to you.
Thank you for signing up!

Your details have been received and processed successfully.

Day 1: Palermo

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.

Accommodation: Mercure Palermo Excelsior (4*)

The Mercure Palermo Excelsior Hotel is located right in the city centre on the Vialedella Libertà, a main street renowned for its luxury boutiques, yet it is surrounded by greenery, including the English Garden. Explore Palermo’s rich architectural heritage and soak up its multicultural atmosphere from their hotel. Their rooms & suites combine comfort with luxury and beautiful decor in rich, warm colours. Enjoy casual and fine dining at their Liberty Hall Restaurant and Exè Restaurant and Bar. Benefit from their well-equipped Fitness Centre, which is open 24 hours a day so that you can keep in shape during your stay. You can also drop by to book a massage or body treatment in one of Palermo’s beauty parlours.

Palermo
Palermo
Mercure Palermo Excelsior Hotel
Mercure Palermo Excelsior Hotel

Day 2: Palermo

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.

Accommodation: Mercure Palermo Excelsior (4*)
Palermo Cathedral
Palermo Cathedral

Day 3: Palermo - Agrigento

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.

Accommodation: Mandranova Estate (4*)

The Mandranova Estate 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.

Agrigento
Agrigento
Mandranova Estate
Mandranova Estate

Day 4: Agrigento

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.

Accommodation: Mandranova Estate (4*)

Day 5: Agrigento - Syracuse

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.

Accommodation: Des Etrangers Hotel & Spa (5*)

The Des Étrangers Hotel & Spa, located in the heart of Syracuse on the island of Ortigia, is only 300 metres from Piazza Archimedes and only 150 meters from Piazza Duomo, where you can admire the famous Syracuse Duomo. The magnificent neoclassical facade of the Des Étrangers Hotel & Spa dominates the harbor of Siracusa in Sicily, from its position on the island of Ortigia. This five-star historical hotel has the elegance and style typical of the grand European hotels and features refined balconies overlooking the sea. Step in style into the grand entrance hall and admire the precious marble floors, the stucco works and gold decor of the walls and high ceilings. This luxury hotel offers world class services in a unique environment.

Syracuse
Syracuse
Des Etrangers Hotel & Spa
Des Etrangers Hotel & Spa

Day 6: Syracuse

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.

Accommodation: Des Etrangers Hotel & Spa (5*)
Syracuse Market
Syracuse Market

Day 7: Syracuse - Taormina

Transfer between Syracuse and Taormina with private vehicle and driver.

Accommodation: Belmond Villa Sant`Andrea (5*)

Set on its own exclusive beach, Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea is located beside one of the most beautiful coastlines in all of Italy. Built by an aristocratic family in 1830 among lush, subtropical gardens, this secluded retreat retains all the charm of a private residence. Settle into a sun-dappled seat and relax, and when you feel like venturing into town, a cable car whisks you in just three minutes to the center of Taormina, with its many cultural attractions and sophisticated shopping scene. Guestrooms feature timeless Italian style, and all the amenities needed for a luxurious and comfortable stay. Dine at Restaurant Oliviero and savor the freshest Italian and regional cuisine in a breathtaking setting. The hotel offers numerous bars on the premise, such as the Bar, the Pool Bar, and the Beach Bar, all offering tasty drink and lighter fare options. Guests can enjoy the private beach, wellness center, fitness center, and swimming pool.

Taormina
Taormina
Villa Sant Andrea
Villa Sant Andrea

Day 8: Taormina

Enjoy a 4 hour walking tour of the historical centre of Taormina, famous for its Greek-Roman amphitheatre and its enchanting view of the Ionic sea and Mt Etna. Let your Guide know your particular interests and he/she will help you discover the city in a new way.

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.

Accommodation: Belmond Villa Sant`Andrea (5*)
Taormina Beach
Taormina Beach
Taormina
Taormina

Day 9: Taormina

Relax on your private transfer to Catania (airport) from your Taormina hotel.

Accommodation:
Taormina Bay
Taormina Bay
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

Trip Terms & Conditions

  • Your deposit is due immediately on booking (30% of program price, minimum $350). The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.
  • Cancellations of confirmed bookings 90 days or more prior to departure will receive full refund minus a $350 (per person) administrative fee and any non-refundable paid fees (e.g. non-refundable airfare, cruise or hotel deposits). 60-89 days will be subject to loss of 30% of program price. 30-59 days will be subject to loss of 50% of program price. 29 days or less will be subject to loss of 100% of program price.
  • Tour quotes do not include airfare to/from the trip start point unless noted on the itinerary
  • Cost increases in currency exchange, government fees, taxes, surcharges or hotel/lodge tariff increases between quote date and start date are payable by the client.
  • Availability cannot be guaranteed until booked. We will exercise best efforts to book hotels per the itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of tour date we may be forced to offer substitutes.
  • Payment of the program price constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions set out at www.kensingtontours.com/terms-and-conditions
  • Living Standards and practices at destination may differ from those in North America with respect to provisions of utilities, services and accommodation.

Mercure Palermo Excelsior (4*): Palermo

The Mercure Palermo Excelsior Hotel is located right in the city centre on the Vialedella Libertà, a main street renowned for its luxury boutiques, yet it is surrounded by greenery, including the English Garden. Explore Palermo’s rich architectural heritage and soak up its multicultural atmosphere from their hotel. Their rooms & suites combine comfort with luxury and beautiful decor in rich, warm colours. Enjoy casual and fine dining at their Liberty Hall Restaurant and Exè Restaurant and Bar. Benefit from their well-equipped Fitness Centre, which is open 24 hours a day so that you can keep in shape during your stay. You can also drop by to book a massage or body treatment in one of Palermo’s beauty parlours.

Mercure Palermo Excelsior Hotel
Mercure Palermo Excelsior Hotel
Mercure Palermo Excelsior Hotel
Mercure Palermo Excelsior Hotel

Mandranova Estate (4*): Agrigento

The Mandranova Estate 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.

Mandranova Estate
Mandranova Estate

Des Etrangers Hotel & Spa (5*): Syracuse

The Des Étrangers Hotel & Spa, located in the heart of Syracuse on the island of Ortigia, is only 300 metres from Piazza Archimedes and only 150 meters from Piazza Duomo, where you can admire the famous Syracuse Duomo. The magnificent neoclassical facade of the Des Étrangers Hotel & Spa dominates the harbor of Siracusa in Sicily, from its position on the island of Ortigia. This five-star historical hotel has the elegance and style typical of the grand European hotels and features refined balconies overlooking the sea. Step in style into the grand entrance hall and admire the precious marble floors, the stucco works and gold decor of the walls and high ceilings. This luxury hotel offers world class services in a unique environment.

Des Etrangers Hotel & Spa
Des Etrangers Hotel & Spa

Belmond Villa Sant`Andrea (5*): Taormina

Set on its own exclusive beach, Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea is located beside one of the most beautiful coastlines in all of Italy. Built by an aristocratic family in 1830 among lush, subtropical gardens, this secluded retreat retains all the charm of a private residence. Settle into a sun-dappled seat and relax, and when you feel like venturing into town, a cable car whisks you in just three minutes to the center of Taormina, with its many cultural attractions and sophisticated shopping scene. Guestrooms feature timeless Italian style, and all the amenities needed for a luxurious and comfortable stay. Dine at Restaurant Oliviero and savor the freshest Italian and regional cuisine in a breathtaking setting. The hotel offers numerous bars on the premise, such as the Bar, the Pool Bar, and the Beach Bar, all offering tasty drink and lighter fare options. Guests can enjoy the private beach, wellness center, fitness center, and swimming pool.

Villa Sant Andrea
Villa Sant Andrea
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
  • Vanessa Oquendo — April 21, 2014 — Europe

    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 — Europe

    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 — Europe

    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 — Europe

    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 — Europe

    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 — Europe

    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 — Europe

    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 — Europe

    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 — Europe

    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 — Europe

    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.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

* USD per person, double occupancy. Custom designed personal tour. Prices subject to change.

Kensington Tours is committed to protecting your privacy and ensuring you have a positive experience on our website. You can read our complete Privacy Policy here. You can Contact Us here.

National Geographic Traveler : 50 Tours of a Lifetime 2014 Travel + Leisure : World's Best Award 2014 Family National Geographic Traveler : 50 Tours of a Lifetime