We are delighted to feature a unique small group tours to discover spicy Western Sicily. Sicily may be Italian, but the islanders are Latin only by adoption. The greatest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily was for centuries the center of the known world. Its geographic position made it vulnerable to attacks by foreigners, but also a meeting place of civilizations, a bridge between East and West.
Sicily is an island with a unique identity and rich historical past. A melting pot of different cultures, traditions and architectural styles as well as beautiful landscapes and a coastline, which is home to some of Italy’s most stunning beaches.
The most African of the island’s landscapes, the North West saw a cultural melting pot of Phoenicians, Greeks and Arabs settling in Sicily. Their stamp remains. Incontestably some of the island’s most charismatic ancient sites are also to be found in the West, the Greek temple and theater in Segesta, surrounded by rolling meadowland and the Phoenician site on the island of Mozia, just off Marsala. Selinunte Doric columns are special too, as is the Phoenician ruins of Solunto, perched on the slopes of Monte Catalfano. But be prepared for contrast. From the vibrant port town of Trapani you can take a boat across to Sicily’s captivating Egadi islands or a cable car which whisks you up into the medieval walled town of Erice where you can almost feel that you have been transported to Tuscany.
We have a real passion for Western Sicily and look forward to sharing it with you!
AUGUST 31- ARRIVAL IN PALERMO
Meet your driver for an included Transfer from Palermo airport to Hotel Centrale Palace in Palermo for 4 nights with breakfast included, staying in a superior bedroom. Overnight in Palermo.
A crossroads of history, Palermo holds the distinction of being the world’s most conquered city, following conquests by the Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, and Normans. This morning, meet our local guide Giusi for a visit to the Byzantine MARTORANA CHURCH, which has some of the most impressive Norman mosaics in Palermo, The CATHEDRAL, PRETORIA, the striking PALATINE CHAPEL, an evocative chapel dating back to the 12th century with amazing mosaics and some of the rooms of the ROYAL PALACE, the bustling open market IL CAPO located in the ancient Arabic quarter of the city. After an included lunch in a local osteria,we’ll visit the famous MASSIMO THEATER, the biggest Opera House in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. This evening's dinner is on your own. Overnight in PALERMO
Meet your local tour guide Giusi in the lobby for a another unique experience of discovering the secrets of Palermo, visiting the stunning SANTA CATERINA D'ALESSANDRIA, a Grand Catholic church with ornate decor and a collection of precious works; its MOnastery and terraces; a walk to La Kalsa district, San ta Cita Oratory, the stunning Palazzo Butera and ABETELLIS. A local street food experience is included today.This evening's dinner is on your own. Overnight in PALERMO
SEPTEMBER 3-MONREALE & PALERMO
Meet your local tour guide Giusi at for enjoying the best ever experience in Palermo. The tour starts with a visit to MONREALE and its cloister; return to Palermo visiting the ZIZA PALACE AND BALLARO' AREA. Lunch is included today at a local tavern. End the day with a visit to the archaeological museum.This evening's dinner is on your own. Overnight in PALERMO
SEPTEMBER 4-SEGESTA,ERICE,SALT PANS & MARSALA
Western Sicily has always been more African than European. The day starts with a panoramic drive to SEGESTA, a unique archaeological site famous for its magnificent 5th century Doric temple. Though never completed it is one of the best preserved examples of a Greek temple.Our guide Azzurra will have the pleasure to meet you in Segesta and to be your guide also in Erice. Afterwards, we’ll be reaching the spectacular hill town of ERICE which combines medieval charm with astounding 360-degree views. It boasts a breathtaking setting high above the Tyrrhenian Sea, perfectly preserved medieval treasure and an impressive Castle with views over the Egadi Islands.After a “slow food” lunch in a local tavern, we’ll descend to Trapani by a 10 mins panoramic cableway ride (weather permitting) travelling along the Salt Road, passing Salt Pans and windmills and learning about the history and process of salt harvesting at the Museum of the Salt. Stay for two nights at the central ” HOTEL CARMINE“. Overnight in MARSALA
SEPTEMBER 5-MARSALA,MOZIA ISLAND & WINERY
Today we begin touring Western Sicily with an included visit to the striking town of MARSALA, the most popular wine producer on the entire island.A local tour guide will take you on an orientation tour of the town followed by a ferry ride to the Phoenician city of MOZIA, on the island of San Pantaleo, and today home to the Whittaker museum which we will visit today.Return to Marsala to visit a popular winery for a wine tasting of the engaging white from Catarratto grapes or the beguiling Mille e una Notte, named after Scheherazade, a spicy deep blend of Nero D’Avola, Petit Verdot and Syrah with a delicious lunch.Enjoy the rest of the day on your own.Overnight in MARSALA
SEPTEMBER 6-SELINUNTE, AGRIGENTO & MUSEUM
Following breakfast,we’ll visit the archaeological area of SELINUNTE- afterwards continue to AGRIGENTO where you’ll view the finest of all ancient Greek sites – the complete Doric Temples and the Archaeological museum,one of the most important and visited archaeological museums in Sicily. The Museum displays over 5688 artifacts that illustrate the history of the town from prehistoric times to the end of the Greek period. Overnight at the country hotel “BAGLIO DELLA LUNA“or similar, with dinner included.Overnight in AGRIGENTO
SEPTEMBER 7-ROMAN VILLA & CEFALU'
Today we leave for travelling through the interior of Sicily to reach PIAZZA ARMERINA where we will view the ruins of the ROMAN VILLA DEL CASALE, an ancient villa decorated with the finest Roman floor mosaics in existence. It is one of the 44 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Italy. Lunch is included in a family owned tavern near the Roman Villa.Following this,we’ll drive to the charming fishing town of CEFALU’ for your last two nights staying at the exclusive “HOTEL LA PLUMERIA”.Overnight in CEFALU’
SEPTEMBER 8-HIGHLIGHTS OF CEFALU'
Discover the charming fishing town of CEFALU‘. The squares, streets and churches of this medieval town are so postcard-pretty that it’s no wonder director Giuseppe Tornatore chose to set parts of his much-loved film Cinema Paradiso here. Most of Cefalu sites are found in the historic town center around Corso Ruggero and Piazza del Duomo, where you can visit the striking Cathedral, a mosaic-adorned outpost of Norman power and one of the jewels in Sicily’s Arab-Norman crown.A farewell dinner is included this evening. Overnight in CEFALU’
SEPTEMBER 9-GOODBYE SICILY