The beautiful island of Sicily is the largest in the Mediterranean and proudly unique from the rest of Italy.
It is rich in culture, customs and tradition as evident in the local art, music, cuisine, architecture and language. It is also one of the most naturally scenic places in Italy with a coastline of pristine sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs and rocky shores with crystal-clear azure waters, while inland is characterized by rolling hills, fruit and olive orchards, ancient villages and archaeological treasures.
We begin with 7 nights on the western side of the island in Mazara del Vallo, famous as one of Italy’s foremost fishing harbours. Mazara is a diverse, multi-ethnic city where people live in harmony and are known for their warm hospitality. The area has seen a myriad of rulers (including Arabs and Normans) which is apparent in the great variety of architectural styles. Our sightseeing here will include the historic centre of Mazara del Vallo, Segesta - one of the best preserved and most beautiful Greek temples, the picturesque hilltop town of Erice, the island of Mozia with its salt marshes, windmills and vineyards, Arab-flavoured Monreale with its ancient murals, the old town and market of Palermo with fantastic views of Mount Pellegrina.
We then travel to the eastern side of the island for a 6-night stay in the elegant cliff-top resort town of Taormina. En route we visit The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento - one of the most important archaeological sites in Sicily. Our sightseeing in this area will include the lovely resort town of Giardini Naxos (which stretches out along the Ionian Sea), the bustling city of Catania, ancient Syracuse and the typical Sicilian towns where the famous trilogy “The Godfather” was filmed! Our tour will also include a sampling of local wines and regional specialties.
In Mazara del Vallo we stay at the Mahara Hotel, within walking distance of the city centre. The hotel offers a full service spa and guest rooms feature French balconies with garden views. Our hotel in Taormina is the beautiful Villa Diodoro, situated on the cliff with views of Mt. Etna and the Bay of Naxos. The hotel is within walking distance of the historic centre and the spacious guestrooms are garden view.
***Those participating in any of our tours to Europe must be able to walk fairly long distances and climb stairs easily.