(Palermo, Agrigento, Ragusa, Taormina)
Some wonder why Mt. Etna remains so active. They’ve obviously never spent time in Sicily.
Experience a rich and diverse history on an island known for striking architecture, gastronomic delights, sculpted coastlines and mountain ranges bursting into cerulean skies. Meander winding cobblestoned streets in old city centers, explore ancient Greek ruins in lush valleys, and stroll through bustling markets with their kaleidoscopic array of local delicacies. In the evenings, unwind in elegant surroundings as oleander-scented breezes waft in from the warm night air.
Visit the Catacombs of the Capuchins where more than 8,000 mummies are on display. Stroll through Quattro Canti (the Four Corners), a lavish baroque square home to grand baroque sculptures depicting the four seasons. Explore Erice, a brooding medieval town known as the birthplace of Venus, and stop at the world-famous pastry shop by Maria Grammatico for a taste of almond sweets, genovesi and nougat. Meet your guide for a personal tour of the astounding Valley of the Temples, Garden of the Kolymbetra and the Necropolis. And, when you’ve had your fill of ancient ruins, take a relaxing stroll along the beach and watch as the sun sets behind Mt. Etna, painting the sky in hues of gold and pink.
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.
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.
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 impressive food market Il Capo which is full of color and great epicurean delights. Be sure to sample some typical street food such as pani ca meusa, panelle and arancini while you are there!
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.
Dinner not included in tour price.
Today you will leave Palermo for Agrigento. Your first port of call will be Segesta, where you will meet your local guide to visit the Greek Theatre and the Temple. Transfer to Erice, a wonderful and mysterious medieval town made famous in ancient times as the birthplace of Venus. Walk through the cobblestoned streets of the town, smelling a variety of aromas emanating from the numerous pastry shops for which Erice is famous. You will visit the Norman Castle and the Duomo and stop at the world famous Pastry shop by Maria Grammatico to taste almond sweets, genovesi and nougat to match with Marsala wine. From here, you will be driven along the Salt Road looking at the Salt Pans en-route to Agrigento. Take in the views of the Salt Pans on the coastline between the cities of Trapani and Marsala before arriving at Agrigento, your destination for the day. (includes entrances in Segesta and tasting at pastry shop).
Meet up with your guide in Agrigento for a three hour guided tour visiting the magnificent Valley of the Temples, scenery of extraordinary beauty, amongst the imposing Greek ruins, the Garden of the Kolymbetra and the Necropolis. (includes transportation and entrance for Valley of Temples included).
Leaving for Ragusa in Eastern Sicily today, you'll pass through an area whose heritage, both for importance and for beauty, has been declared World Heritage by the UNESCO. Arrive in Ragusa Ibla, meet up with your local guide and admire the flamboyant Baroque architecture of the town, seeing the historical centre and the Portale of San Giorgio, Villa Ibla, Piazza Pola with the Chiesa of San Giuseppe and finally the Duomo di San Giorgio and Palazzo La Rocca. At day's end you will be brought to your accommodation in Ragusa.
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
Spend the day traveling by private vehicle and with your own driver from Ragusa to Taormina, stopping at various places of interest along the way. Meet up a local guide at Syracuse for a tour of the main sites such as the Ear of Dionysius, the Greek Theatre and the archaeological site. Until the Arab conquest of 878, the city was the capital of Sicily and was by far the most important city on the island. Continue on to Ortigia, one of the most interesting urban areas of Sicily, and visit its famous Duomo, built upon the old temple of Athena.(Includes entrance in Syracuse and Noto).
Today is devoted to Sicilian wines and food. You'll be driven by private vehicle to Viagrande, where you will meet Mrs Eleonora Consoli of La Cucina del Sole (The Sun’s Kitchen). Eleonora has written several cookbooks on Sicilian gastronomy and is the unofficial expert on Sicilian cooking in the world. She will conduct a hand-on cooking class, teaching several classic Sicilian dishes, which you will get to enjoy over lunch in the company of Eleonora in her home. (includes beverages).
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.
Relax on your private transfer to Catania (airport) from your Taormina hotel.
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.
Hotel Villa Athena (5*), is a fully renovated hotel respecting the original stately late 7th century villa. It is enveloped by The Valley of the Temples archaeological park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The hotel is situated just outside the famous town of Agrigento, in front of the temple rib and only 200 meters from the Temple of Concordia - a real masterpiece from the ancient Doric period. The rooms at this superb hotel are fully equipped with the finest facilities including internet and fine furnishings, ensuring you have a relaxing and carefree stay.
Eremo della Giubiliana (5*), a charming hotel set in a historical residence, a few kilometers south of Ragusa, is surrounded by pristine nature, carob forests and stone walls. Very old thick white stone walls surround and protect the courtyards and inner structure. The property has various categories of rooms including stone Cottages on the estate. The cuisine, initially based around the sophisticated recipes of the nobility of the Hyblean Highlands and the produce of the Nifosì arable farm, evolved in 2009 into the Don Eusebio Restaurant.
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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