About This Trip
Starting in vibrant Palermo and ending in lively Catania, this 10-day self-drive tour gives you a chance to dive deep into Sicily's culture, history, adventure, and relaxation. Along the way, you will visit the Archaeological Parks of Segesta, Selinunte and Agrigento, sip fortified wine in charming Marsala, roam ancient Greek and Roman ruins at Agrigento, discover the famous Sicilian-Baroque architecture in towns like Ragusa, Siracusa and Noto, and relax yourself in Eraclea Minoa where sunny beaches await. Private guide will be available throughout the journey.
- 1 - 2PalermoGet Your Rental Car, Discover the Highlights of Palermo
- 3Palermo - MarsalaArchaeological Park of Segesta, the Picturesque Town of Erice
- 4MarsalaIsland of Mozia, Marsala City Highlights with Wine Tasting
- 5Marsala - AgrigentoArchaeological Park of Selinunte, Beach of Eraclea Minoa, Agrigento Archaeological Park
- 6Agrigento - RagusaVilla Romana del Casale, Town of Piazza Armerina, Caltagirone, Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte
- 7Ragusa - SiracusaModica and Noto UNESCO Heritage Sites
- 8Siracusa - CataniaPiscarìa Fresh Fish Market in Catania, Cyclops Riviera
- 9 - 10CataniaMount Etna, Taormina, Return the Rental Car before Departure
Day 1: Arrival in Palermo
Upon arrival in Palermo, you will pick up your rental car and drive to your hotel for check-in.
Palermo, the capital of the autonomous region of Sicily, is known as a cultural melting pot and delicious Sicilian street food and restaurants. You may find numerous monuments influenced by the unique culture. And the flavor of local delicacies may also attract you deeply.
Day 2: Palermo - Monreale - Mondello - Palermo (50 km)
Today we recommend you to spend the morning discovering the highlights of Palermo: the Palermo Cathedral characterized by the presence of different styles, the Martorana with its spectacular interior, the oldest royal residence in Europe - the Norman Palace, most of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
A great place for you to visit in the afternoon is the hill-town of Monreale just outside Palermo. It is home to the Monreale Cathedral, one of the greatest existent examples of Norman architecture and part of the Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale UNESCO Heritage site. By end of today with a romantic evening walk around the Mondello promenade.
Optional Experience: Private guide for visiting Palermo and Monreale.
Day 3: Palermo - Segesta - Erice - Marsala (180 km)
After breakfast at the hotel, you will depart for Marsala on the westernmost point in Sicily. Along the way, the first stop to visit is the Archaeological Park of Segesta, once the major city of the Elymians influenced by the Greeks. The Doric Temple and the theatre are the two well-preserved monuments in the park. Another stop not to be missed is the picturesque town of Erice, where its delightful medieval streets full of craft shops may attract you.
You can take the rest of the day exploring this enchanting town and then find a nice place for an unforgettable sunset over the sea from above. Or you can also drive to the nearby salt flats of Trapani, with the characteristic windmills and the interesting Salt Museum. Upon arrival in Marsala in the evening, dinner is recommended to try "couscous with fish".
Optional Experience: Guided tour of the Archaeological Park of Segesta.
Day 4: Marsala
The small island of Mozia located at the center of Marsala's lagoon is worth spending the morning visiting. You can explore the history of the ancient colony founded by the Phoenicians in the 8th century BC from the archaeological site and the interesting Whitaker Museum.
Later on, spend the rest of the day strolling around the city center to enjoy its Baroque churches, yellow houses, blue sea, and green vineyards. For wine enthusiasts, a wine tasting in a local winery cellar is necessary since Marsala, one of the world's great fortified wines, is made exclusively in and around the town of Marsala.
Optional Experience: Visit a winery cellar with wine tasting.
Day 5: Marsala - Selinunte - Agrigento (160 km)
Breakfast at the hotel and then depart toward the Archaeological Park of Selinunte, the largest archaeological park in Europe. It is the location of the town of Selinunte founded in 650 AD and colonized by the Greeks later. Even though it was destroyed, you can easy to imagine the original shapes from the ruins.
Continue the drive to Agrigento via the towns of Sciacca and Porto Empedocle. Along the way, stop at the beautiful beach of Eraclea Minoa for swimming, and at the wonderful white cliff called the "the Turks' Stairway" for the stunning landscape.
Once arrived in Agrigento, it is recommended to visit the Archaeological Park of the Valley of the Temples for sunset, when the heat is fainting and the sunlight creates romantic shades.
For dinner, we suggest the Sardinian meatballs, the "macco di fava" (a cream of legumes) or - for the bravest - the "stigghiole" (lamb entrails).
· Guided tour of the Archaeological Park of Selinunte.
· Guided tour of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento.
Day 6: Agrigento - Piazza Armerina - Caltagirone - Ragusa (200 km)
Say goodbye to the coastline and drive toward the interior of the island to the wonderful Villa Romana del Casale about 3 km from the town of Piazza Armerina. It was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the richness and quality of its Roman mosaics.
Afterward, continue to the city of Caltagirone renowned as the production center of pottery. The highlight here should be the 142-step monument called Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte. Each step is decorated with different hand-decorated ceramics, using styles and figures derived from the millennial tradition of pottery making.
At the end of the day, you will reach Ragusa, which is part of the UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site of Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily). Before relaxing in the hotel, you can take some time exploring its quarter of Ragusa Ibla, the oldest in the historic center.
- Visit a ceramic workshop in Caltagirone.
- Guided tour of Ragusa and Ragusa Ibla.
Day 7: Ragusa - Modica - Noto - Siracusa (90 km)
The UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site of Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily) consists of eight towns in south-eastern Sicily. All of them were destroyed by the earthquake in 1963 and then rebuilt in the late Baroque style.
Today you will visit two World Heritage Site. One is Modica, which is famous not only for its architectural treasures and also for its chocolate. For those who wish, we can organize a visit to a chocolate factory with an inevitable tasting. Another one is Noto, the 'capital of the Sicilian Baroque'. Everywhere you look is an architectural gem, whether it's a fountain, an arch, a church, a palace, or even a staircase or a balcony.
Finally, you reached Syracuse. Here you can either walk freely around its charming old town, the islet of Ortigia, or visit the Archaeological Park of Neapolis.
· Visit a chocolate laboratory with tasting in Modica
· Guided tour of the Archaeological Park of Neapolis in Syracuse
Day 8: Siracusa - Catania (70 km)
Drive toward north about for an hour, you will arrive in Catania. A famous fresh fish market called "piscarìa" only open in the morning is one of the must-visit places. Nearby is the Cathedral Square with its splendid cathedral and the city symbol of Elephant Fountain.
In the afternoon, you can take a short excursion to the Cyclops Riviera. It is a 12 km long stretch of the coast and named after some legends about the huge rocks sprouting from the sea. You can soak in the stunning landscape dotted with lemons, agaves as well as palm trees, admire some fishing villages such as Aci Castello and Aci Trezza.
Optional Experience: Private guide for visiting Catania.
Day 9: Catania - Etna - Taormina - Catania (150 km)
Today you can do exploration outside of Catania. Take the morning to discover Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe with a height of 3350 meters. You can drive up to about 2,000 meters freely by car and get as close to the top as possible by cable car and then by a 4 wheel drive accompanied by an expert mountain guide.
The afternoon is to be spent in Taormina, suspended between rocks and sea, famous for its natural landscape, historical monuments, and the unforgettable panorama of the sea with Etna in the background. Here you should not miss the ancient theatre, the cathedral, and the medieval Corvaja Palace.
· Excursion with a mountain guide to the top of Etna by cable car and a 4 × 4 car.
· Private guide for visiting Taormina.
Day 10: Catania DepartureAfter breakfast, you will proceed to Catania airport. Return the rental car and board your departure flight.
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