Highlights
  • Explore Palazzo Federico tour and Taormina's Teatro Greco tour
  • Visit Monreale Cathedral
  • Discover Segesta
  • Visit historical place Villa Romana del Casale
  • Experience Syracuse Ortygia walk

Rick Steves' most exotic tour in Italy will immerse you in the distinctive culture, cuisine, and history of Sicily. On your eye-opening loop around the island, your Rick Steves guide will introduce you to the hearty welcome and home cooking of a Sicilian family farm, the steamy power of Mount Etna, Italy's brightest pottery and boldest wines, Europe's most amazing ancient Greek ruins, and slow sunsets from picture-perfect seaside villages. Join us for the Best of Sicily in 11 Days!

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Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport

8
Rick Steves Travel Reviews & Ratings
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100% Recommend

5.0 out of 5
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Value
4.9 Guide
5.0 Activities
5.0 Lodging
5.0 Transportation
5.0 Meals
5.0
Best of Sicily in 11 Days Tour

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Rick Steves.

BH

Recommends

Excellent! October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We went on the My Way Best of Euope 14 day tour last month. Excellent tour. So much to see!!! We loved it!! I would highly recommend it if you are an independent traveler who doesn't want any stress.

Operator Rick Steves

J

Recommends

Highlights of the Lowlands May 2016

5.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
My first, and definitely not last, Rick Steves tour. Our guide was spectacular and the lodging nice at every location. I was blown away with how good the food was at every group meal.

Operator Rick Steves

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Sicily

We'll gather at our hotel in Palermo at 3 p.m. for a welcome meeting. Then we'll begin our Sicilian adventure together by joining a contessa for a personal tour of her family's home, the Palazzo Federico. We'll end our evening getting to know one another at a "Welcome to Sicily" dinner together. Sleep in Palermo (2 nights). No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 2: Palermo and Monreale

Let's meet our local guide and take a tour through Palermo's colorful and bustling Ballaró street market — all spiced with an evocative whiff of Africa. Then we'll greet our driver and hop aboard our coach bound for the hill-topping town of Monreale, renowned for its Arab-flavored cathedral, blending Byzantine, Arab, Jewish, Gothic, and Norman traditions, heritage, and art. We'll tour the cathedral's interior of glittering, golden mosaics as well as the story-telling columns of the cloister. After lunch, we'll return to the city, where your guide will show you their favorite part of Palermo, before setting you free to explore more of this exciting, energetic city, and discover a tucked-away trattoria for dinner on your own. Bus: 1 hr. Walking: strenuous

Day 3: Ancient Segesta and Mountaintop Erice

This morning we'll head toward the island's western coast, stopping at the ancient Greek site of Segesta to meander through its magnificent Doric temple and hilltop theater. Then we'll continue to the enchanting medieval mountaintop town of Erice. Believed by Romans to be the home of Venus, Erice eventually evolved into a center for Christian convents and home to heavenly pastries (which we'll learn about and taste). This afternoon we'll enjoy a tasty lunch that includes the region's specialties: sun-dried tomatoes, Castelvetrano olives, and Marsala wine. We'll take an orientation walk before setting you free for the evening. Sleep in Trapani (2 nights). Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: Salt Harvesting and Seaside Trapani

Today we'll drive down to the Trapani "salt-pans" — a coastal wetland and nature reserve where sea salt has been harvested for nearly 3,000 years. We'll tour the Phoenician island of Mozia, and learn about this bygone civilization. Then our guide will teach us the history and process of salt harvesting as we tour the area by boat. You'll be free to spend the rest of your day exploring the seaside town of Trapani. Find that perfect terrace, savor your favorite apertivo, and watch the sun slowly dip into the sea. Boat: 1 hr. Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: moderate

Day 5: Ancient Agrigento and Country Living

This morning we'll take a magical history tour through the ruins of Agrigento, one of the richest of the Greek colonies and a thriving democracy 2,500 years ago. We'll focus on Agrigento's "Valley of the Temples" — the largest, best-preserved collection of ancient Greek buildings outside of Greece itself. This afternoon we'll head to our tranquil countryside hotel. You'll have plenty of time to soak in the view or head to the beach before tonight's dinner together. Sleep near Agrigento (1 night). Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 6: Roman Mosaics and Syracuse

The Romans also colonized Sicily, which we'll learn about at today's first destination, the Villa Romana del Casale. Here we'll spend much of our morning surrounded by the world's most rich and colorful collection of Roman mosaics — including the time-bending "bikini girls" mosaic, discovered less than 60 years ago. On the road again, we'll stop to visit a working farm with its owner, followed by a midday feast. Then it's on to Syracuse. This evening we'll take a walk through the city's historic old town on the island of Ortygia. Sleep in Ortygia (2 nights). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Syracuse, Past and Present

This morning we'll learn more about Ortygia and take a closer look at this small fishing island. We'll explore the local market, stroll through centuries in the Cathedral of Syracuse, and marvel at the masterpiece of the Piazza del Duomo. This afternoon we'll enjoy a lively performance of Sicily's traditional puppet theater, where the language is no barrier to entertainment. Then the rest of the day is yours to wander through Syracuse's delightful jumble of Greek, Roman, medieval, and Baroque layers — or settle on a quiet park bench with a harbor view. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 8: Mount Etna, Wine, and Taormina

We'll begin our day with a short drive up the coast to Catania, where we'll take in the breathtaking view of Mount Etna, while learning more about the volcano with a spirited presentation by one of the University of Catania's volcanologists. Next we'll visit a winery on the slopes of the mountain, where we'll enjoy a tour through the vineyards and taste some of Sicily's deservedly famous wine before heading to Taormina. After we check into our hotel, we'll take a neighborhood orientation walk. This evening, join in the local passeggiata to feel the pulse of Sicilian culture, then find the ideal people-watching spot to enjoy your gelato and dinner on your own. Sleep in Taormina (2 nights). Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 9: Seductive Taormina

This morning we'll tour Taormina's remarkably situated ancient Greek theater, which is still used today for open-air performances. This afternoon you are free to luxuriate in this cliff-hanging, Old World resort town. Wander through its elegant gardens, posh cafés, and shops, ride a cable car down to the beach or explore the nearby mountain-top village of Castelmola. Any way you slice it, you'll have a ringside seat to savor il dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing), Sicilian style. This evening we'll meet up for a Sicilian pizza-making demonstration followed by dinner together. No bus. Walking: light to moderate (your choice).

Day 10: Colorful Catania

We're off to Catania, nestled at the foot of Mount Etna, where this morning we'll tour the Museum of the 1943 Landings in Sicily (Museo dello Sbarco). We'll learn how, nearly a year before D-Day, Allied troops found themselves fighting against — and at the same time liberating — their Italian adversaries. After a brief neighborhood orientation, you are free to wander through Catania's famous fish market, admire the baroque architecture of the grand Piazza del Duomo or enjoy people watching in one of the city's many cafés. We'll gather together tonight to say arrivederci, share travel memories, enjoy the freshest Sicilian food, and toast to new friends. Salute! Sleep in Catania. (1 night). Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: light to moderate (your choice).

Day 11: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. It's a breeze to reach Catania's airport by train or shuttle bus. Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Grazie e ciao!

Dates & Pricing
Checking price

Price From

$ 2,595

Price Per Day:

$ 236 per day
 
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 575
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Trip Includes
  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Sicily come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 21 group sightseeing events , Palermo walking tour , Palazzo Federico tour , Monreale Cathedral and Cloister tour , Segesta ,  Trapanese regional tasting , Sicilian pastry lesson , Erice orientation walk , Marsala Salt Flats boat cruise (weather permitting) , Tour of the island of Mozia , "Valley of the Temples" tour , Agrigento Archeological Museum tour , Villa Romana del Casale , Syracuse Ortygia walking tour , Puppet theater performance , Wine tasting at Sicilian winery , Mount Etna volcanologist talk , Taormina orientation walk , Taormina's Teatro Greco tour , Sicilian pizza demonstration , Museo dello Sbarco tour (WWII) , Catania orientation walk…and more
  • All group transportation from Palermo to Catania
  • 10 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Rick Steves Travel Store credit to use toward guidebooks for your trip
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2017
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions for important details regarding everything listed above.
Trip Excludes
  • International Airfare
  • Passport and visa charge
  • Airport transfers
  • Any kind of insurances
  • Other personal expenses
Optional Activities

Sightseeing on Your Own

If you arrive in Sicily before your tour begins, use the Sicily guidebook to get oriented. Ride the public transportation, try out a few words of Italian, and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

Here are suggestions for sightseeing in Palermo that we do not do as a group: Cappella Palatina, Teatro Massimo (closed Mondays), Marionette Museum, Museo Archeologico Regionale A. Salinas, Palazzo Abatellis, Capuchin Crypt, Palazzo Mirto, Galleria D'Arte Moderna (GAM).

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Maximum Number of People in Group: 28
Start City
Palermo
End City
Catania

Trip ID#: BesSicRic

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