Explore Calabria And Sicily
11 Days / 10 Nights From Palermo to Palermo
Sicily, Calabria, Agrigento, Catania, Cefalu, Enna, Erice, Messina, Monreale, Palermo, Ragusa, Syracuse, Taormina, Tindari, Trapani, Catanzaro, Cosenza, Reggio di Calabria
Upto 5 Pax: Citroen C4 or Similar
6-7 Pax: Renault Espace or similar
8-9 Pax: Renault Traffic or similar
Welcome to Palermo, Sicily’s capital, for your two-night stay. Noted for its rich history, culture and great food, Palermo is a city that has been influenced by a multitude of cultures – Greek, Roman, Arab, Norman, French, Spanish and Byzantine which have all left their permanent mark. In the restaurants of this wondrous place you can try lots of local dishes invented in this city.
Tourist Class Hotel Tonic or similar (2 nights)
Worth a visit is the Palazzo dei Normanni, one of Italy’s most beautiful palaces and surrounding gardens that are a green oasis from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Piazza Pretoria is the site of a spectacular fountain and numerous marble statues. At the Catacombe del Cappuccini is the impressive sight where some 8,000 mummies were placed decked out in their finery and preserved in the very fine air. The Zisa is a magnificent castle used by the kings of Palermo for hunting. In the city’s streets and squares there are many kiosks, which prepare and serve typical Palermo dishes such as panelle (a fried snack made with chickpeas) and sfincione (a tomato, anchovy and onion pizza). The Quattro Canti square is in the heart of the old city and on its four corners are palaces and statues that represent the four seasons. The Kalsa is Palermo’s Arabic quarter, built close to the sea.
This morning your drive takes you through the Sicilian plain known as the Conca d’Oro (Golden Basin) of Palermo to the town of Monreale, whose magnificent cathedral is remarkable for the blending of Moorish and Norman styles. From here drive to the small fishing town of Cefalu. Set between the sea and rocks sits the splendid cathedral built of golden-tinted stone. At the the top of a high cliff lies the ancient town of Tindari and its Zona Archeologica with its interesting finds from this ancient city. From Tindari you drive to Messina and board the ferry and cross the Straits to the toe of the boot of Italy into Calabria, Continue to the town of Reggio di Calabria for your overnight stay.
Tourist & First Class Grand Hotel Excelsior or similar
Continue your journey across Calabria, a region of remarkable beauty with its olive trees and citrus groves of clementines and oranges. Continue to the town of Cosenza for your overnight stay. A very ancient town once under the influence of the Greeks, its historical center is one of the best-preserved in Italy with finely renovated palaces and medieval squares. There are old craftshops, and in the evenings the area is lively and filled with people. Here there is a fine cooking tradition using cheeses and wines. On the slopes of the castle hill to the northwest lies the handsome new town, while the old town with its narrow winding streets is built on the tongue of land between the Rivers Crati and Busento. The city’s flea market, Via Lungo Crati De Seta, opens daily.
Tourist Class Holiday Inn or similar
As you leave Cosenza your drive takes you along the wonderful Calabrian coastline to the ancient town of Catanzaro where we have arranged your overnight stay. The town has a history of Greece, Roman and Byzantium. It sits on a rock and is split into two parts by the steep Fiumarella valley, the two sections being connected by a huge concrete steel bridge. The beach town of Catanzaro Lido has a boardwalk and harbor for small fishing and pleasure boats. It is known as the City of the three Vs, referring to the city’s distinct features of San Vitaliano, its patron saint; Velvet, an important silk center since the time of the Byzantines; and Vento (wind) with strong breezes from the Ionian Sea.
Tourist & First Class Grand Hotel Paradiso or similar
Continue your journey through the rich groves of olives, vines, orange and lemon trees and fields of flowers to Reggio di Calbria, then recross the Straights of Messina back to Sicily. At Lungomare the long and elegant sea-front promenade lined with palm trees and magnolias offers wonderful views of the Sicilian coastline. Today’s journey ends at the magnificent town of Taormina for your overnight stay. Overlooking the sea and facing Mt. Etna it is renowned for its peaceful atmosphere and beautiful monuments and gardens. The Greek Theater dates back from the 3rd century BC. The main street of Taormina, the Corso Umberto, has three gateways. At one of the wonderful Taormina seafood restaurants try the white wines of Etna.
Tourist Class Dorange Dalcantara or similar
Leave Taormina for the city of Catania, dramatically situated between the Ionian Sea and Mount Etna. Although buried by Etna’s lava a total of seven times, ruins from the ancient city remain. One of the Roman structures that can still be seen is the Roman Theater. Catania’s principal square is the bustling Piazza del Duomo. Your drive through beautiful scenery then takes you to the city of Syracuse where we have arranged your overnight stay. More than any other city in Sicily, Syracuse manifests a visible continuity from its ancient Greek past, both historical and mythological. Some of the ancient sights to see are in the older quarter, on the island of Ortegia. This is the medieval city’s historic center and is reached via the Ponte Nuovo (New Bridge). There is a Greek amphitheater (literally carved out of the rock) and also a Roman one, both well preserved. St. Paul visited Syracuse”s Christian community, and here you”ll find the most extensive Paleo-Christian catacombs outside Rome itself. Adding to the city”s religious heritage are the recently discovered Jewish baths in Ortigia, which are at least 1,500 years old. There are no shortage of good restaurants in Syracuse with some great seasonal seafood restaurants and charming pizzerias.
Tourist Class Hotel Mediterraneo or similar
From Syracuse your drive to Ragusa which offers magnificent views of this fascinating town.Ragusa”s baroque architecture has earned it UNESCO World Heritage status. The medieval lower town can be reached on foot by a series of stairways or by car on a winding downhill road leading to a large parking lot at the bottom. Continue to the mountain town of Enna with its panoramic views. The Castello di Lombardia is a medieval castle, and from the top of its tallest tower there is an exceptional view of the Sicilian mountain peaks and Etna. Today’s drive ends in the ancient Greek city of Agrigento where we have arranged your overnight stay. Attractively set on a hillside facing out to sea, the remains of the old city still has a medieval structure with narrow winding streets – an extraordinary place to see! Located on a hillside yet only 4 km from the sea, the local cuisine is rich in seafoods as well as from the countryside. Typical Mediterranean antipasti, the popular cavatelli (pasta with tomatoes and eggplant), delicious sole fish, barbequed lamb, caponata (fried mixed vegetables served cold) and renowned Sicilian pastries.
Tourist Class Hotel Costaazzurra or similar
From Agrigento drive to Selinunte which is a large archaeological site of rare evocative beauty facing the Mediterranean Sea. One of the Temples was reconstructed in the 1950s with historical authenticity that enables you to envisage far more accurately what the whole site must have been like. Head for beautiful Trapani, a town which sits at the foot of Monte Erice. Its Old Town juts out on a narrow peninsula between its harbor and the open sea, and boasts a number of historical sights. At the Old Town’s Centro Storico are a number of beautiful old mansions.
Tourist Class Hotel Vittoria or similar
Today”s journey takes you to Erice, which is located in a panoramic position 750 feet above sea level, with views that span over all of eastern Sicily and the Egadi Islands, Erice preserves all the fascination of an ancient medieval town, with little piazzas, winding streets and gorgeous flowering courtyards. Drink a glass of the famous Marsala wine which is produced locally.
From here your drive takes you back to Palermo via the truly magical archeological site of Segesta, its ochre colors contrasting to the green hillside where it is situated. Segesta”s temple is one of the best-preserved Doric temples and it is truly a breathtaking experience to walk up the hill to where it sits. A short walk from the temple takes you to the Greek (and later Roman) theatre. As the site of an ancient town which was only abandoned in the Middle Ages, Segesta also boasts the archaeological remains of many other times and cultures. Leave Segesta and drive through Sicily’s beautiful countryside as you return for your evening and overnight stay in Palermo.
Tourist Class Tonic Hotel or similar
Drop-off Rental Car and Depart Palermo