Meet The Sicilians!
Small Groups, Cultural Experience

The Best of Sicily

Sicily has been called the “eternal crossroads of the Mediterranean” and the vast diversity of her people, cultures, and even landscape will certainly support that claim. The best of Sicily trip gets you up close to Sicilian life, indulging in Sicilian foods, meeting local families, cooking, visiting an olive oil and wine estates. You will explore coastal towns, Greek Temples, Baroque towns and a beautiful Island.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrival, Cefalu dinner. (D)
To begin our tour we will meet  at the Palermo Airport. We will then make our transfer to Cefalu. The historic town of Cefalu sits on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea and is as celebrated for its breathtaking beaches as its Arab-Norman architecture. This picturesque town is where the classic Italian film, Cinema Paradiso” was filmed.

We’ll check in to our accommodations where we can freshen up prior to this evening’s Welcome Dinner.

Day 2:  Cooking class, free afternoon  (B,L)
Today we will take part in a Sicilian cooking class. It is guaranteed to be a memorable-and enjoyable-time!  We’ll enjoy our lunch al fresco. (if weather allows)
You will have your afternoon free to discover the many historic sites around Cefalu. Marvel at the cathedrals, museums, and churches, peruse the shops for unique mementos,  or simply delight in a relaxing stroll along the beach.

Day 3: Medieval towns, Olive oil estate (B, L,D)
We’ve much to experience in our travels today!  We’ll visit the medieval village of Castelbuono, built entirely around the castle of Ventimiglia. As you look about you’ll believe you’ve been transported back in time, the village is so wonderfully preserved.

Castelbuono is a spectacular experience for foodies and epicures. As the center of the Sicilian Slow Food Movement Castelbuono offers an opportunity to taste foods unique to the area. We’ll taste such palate-pleasing edibles as  panettone, pistachio cream, and a Nutella-like spread, served as locals enjoy, with sugar crystals and manna. All of these delicious bites are exclusive to the area.

Another pristinely preserved town is Petralia Soprana. From the Italian word, Sopra, for above, this village sits at the highest point in the Madonie mountain range, offering spectacular vistas from amidst the cobbled lanes lined with quaint stone houses.

After our lunch we’ll amble southward to a family-owned olive oil estate. The estate, near Sicily southern coast, is surrounded by olive groves. This serene setting will provide our accommodations for the night. Each room is magnificently appointed and sure to please.

This evening we will enjoy a sumptuous dinner prepared by our lovely and welcoming hosts.

Day 4: Valley of the temples, A day in a life (B,L, D)
Our 4th day finds us journeying to spend  the day in a Sicanian community. Walk among the picturesque village making few stops.  Tasting cheeses produced each day by a local family. A bakery stop: Tasting  “pani cunzatu ” (bread with local olive oil and pepper), almond cookies. Tasting artisanal products that will introduce you to a less known Sicily, through its people.

In the afternoon we’ll visit the Valley of the Temples. This UNESCO World Heritage Site (so declared in 1997) encompasses over 1300 hectares of stunning monumental and landscape, spilling toward the sea. On this site are the ancient ruins of the city of Akragas, founded by colonists from the nearby Gela and the island of Rhodes in or around 582 BC. The ruins are immersed in rare beauty characterized by centuries-old almond and olive trees, making the ancient Akragas one of the single most important Greek colonies in Sicily.

Our tour of the Valley of the Temples will be led by an official tour guide of the archaeological park. Our guide is knowledgeable and well-versed in the archaeological and historical sites of the Valley of the Temples. The tour begins with the Temple of Hera, situated at the very top of the hill, offering an absolutely one-of-a-kind vista of the Sicilian Sea. The tour takes us on a mile-long trek (nearly entirely downhill) along the holy path (sacra via) where we’ll stop to admire the fortifications of Byzantine tombs, The Temple of Concordia, the Temple of Heracles, the Temple of Zeus, and the Sanctuary of Chthonian Deities (the Temple of Castor and Pollux, or Dioscuri). Truly fascinating.

After the tour we’ll head back to our olive oil farm to relax and enjoy dinner.

Day 5: Ragusa, Watermill, Ortigia(B,L)
This morning we will visit the pretty baroque town of Ragusa. The town of Ragusa is situated among the rocky peaks of Modica. Having succumbed to the 1693 earthquake, as many of the neighboring towns did also, Ragusa has two side. There is Ragusa Superiore, the rebuilt work-a-day town noted for it’s easy-to-navigate grid streets and common sense 18th century architecture, and then there is Ragusa ibla-The Old Town. This town is a sloping series of narrow streets and pathways leading past stone houses and into historic town squares.

We will have a memorable visit to a restored watermill. You’ll get your hands in a dough making small Foccacias and eat!  After lunch we will drive to the stunning island of Ortigia and check into our hotel

Evening at leisure.

Day 6: Enjoy a Free day in Ortigia (B)

We’ll awaken to the sound of the sea on the island of Ortigia where you will have the option to spend the morning strolling the colorful market. This is an experience unlike any other-a treat for all the senses. The colors of the fresh produce, the aroma of exotic spices, the excited chatter of the shoppers and enticing call of the vendors. Be sure to sample many of the renown street foods offered for sale and you’ll come to understand why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy, and why Sicilians are so passionate about their food-and life!

Enjoy the remainder of the day on your own. Pick up some mementos of Sicily to take home, or simply share a bottle of wine and reflect on your once-in-a-lifetime trip so far.

Day 7: Winery visit, lunch, Taormina (B, L)
One of the most famous sites in Italy is located on the island of Sicily. Mt. Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, with eruptions dating back 3,500 years or more. The volcanic mountain dominates the landscape along north-eastern Sicily and is a sight to behold! Jagged volcanic remains form rock rivers along the sides of the road leading to the fiery cauldrons. Lava caves form all along the hillsides and volcanic rocks are strewn everywhere you look.

Not all the land around Etna is rocks, however. In fact the slopes of the volcano offer extremely fertile black soil and ideal conditions for vineyards. Winemakers may find the soil a difficult one to work, but the end result is quite pleasing. We’ll be fortunate to visit a winery in this region and sample the luscious and unique wines that come from the volcanic soil followed by lunch.

On to Taormina for the afternoon. Stroll in the main street or take in the views before we head back to our hotel in Ortigia Island.

Day 8: Departure
Group transfer to Catania airport at 7:30 am, so plan accordingly!

Arrival Details

  • Airport city:

    Palermo

  • Pick-up Location:

    Airport

  • Pick-up time:

    12:30 pm

Departure details

  • Airport city:

    Catania

  • Drop off location:

    Catania airport

  • Drop off time:

    08:30 am

The program includes:

  • 7 nights’ accommodations (2 nights Cefalu, 2 nights Agrigento, 3 nights Ortigia)
  • Breakfasts
  • 5 lunches including wine
  • 3 dinners including wine
  • Olive oil tasting
  • Cooking class
  • Group transfers
  • Transportation according to the itinerary
  • Sites admission fees

The program does not include

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Private expenses
  • Anything not mentioned in the program

TERMS & CONDITIONS

A deposit of $500.00 per person is required at time of booking to guarantee the space on the tour.
Balance of the full amount is due 90 days prior the first day of the tour.

CANCELLATION

Your deposit is refundable within the first 30 days of your deposit, so long as you have booked more than 180 days before the start date of the tour. If you book within 180 days of the start date of the tour, your deposit is immediately non-refundable. 90 days or less before the start date of the tour, the tour is non – refundable unless we are able to rebook another participant for the date/tour you are booked on.

**** We have adjusted our policies due to covid-19. In the event of a travel ban or such extraordinary event where travel is not possible – You will receive a credit voucher that you can use for booking any Food N’ Wine Vacations trip till 12/31/2022.

Food N wine vacations, Inc reserve the right to re-calculate prices due to currency fluctuations. For full terms and conditions refer to Terms and conditions page.

ACCOMMODATIONS

We’ll stay in the loveliest accommodations. From a charming hotel by the sea to a resplendent family estate set amid verdant hills and vineyards, to exclusive boutique hotels conveniently  located in the center of town, our lodging will delight, providing the perfect place to refresh and renew.

DATES & PRICES

2021

  • May 16 – May 24
  • $ 3450.00
  • Available
  • Sept 19 – Sept 26
  • $ 3450.00
  • Available
  • Oct 3– Oct 10
  • $ 3450.00
  • sold out

Single supplement: $ 600.00

Looking for a Private Group Tour?
We can accommodate private groups year round

VIDEO

We highly suggest purchasing travel insurance to protect your travel investment. Many travel products are non-refundable.

You can get a quote here

Emergencies happen when you least expect it. Travel protection provides coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Medical and Dental, Emergency Assistance and Transportation, Baggage, Baggage Delay, Travel Delay and much more. Plus, we offer our exclusive One Call 24-hour Traveler Assistance Service to help you with emergency situations that arise during your trip.

You may also consider ‘Cancel for no reason’. It may seem costly, but if you are deeply concerned about things like Hurricanes, strikes, Coronavirus outbreak, terror attack and such, you should look into that.

For pre existing condition, it’s important to purchase a policy within 10 days of your deposit.

FAQ about Travel Insurance

You need to fly into Palermo and out of Catania.

we have bulk fares. We recommend comparing them with the on-line published fares.  if you let us know what airport you depart from and your dates  of travel- We can do a flights search and advise you which fares are better at that time.

we provide a complimentary consulting with your pre or post travel plans. Don’t hesitate to ask us.

Option A: You can arrive a day or two earlier to Palermo to explore Palermo.

Option B: You can visit Rome before or after the tour.

Option C: Check our other tours in Italy.

We provide a complimentary consulting with your pre and post travel plans.

Walking pace is like walking around town.

You will be walking in cobblestone streets and some uneven roads.

We try to start the days after 09:00 am.

The itinerary is balanced between activities, sightseeing and leisure time.

here is information about the driving:

Day 1 – Driving from the airport to Cefalu – 1.5 hours.

Day 2 – Driving to cooking class and back. 15 minutes to each direction.

Day 3 – Today we cross the island from north to south via mountains. We make stops along the way. First stop in for a village touring after 45 minutes drive.  Next, Drive an 1.5 hours and stop for lunch in a small village.

Drive to the next hotel (1.5 hours driving)

Day 4 – Drive to visit valley of the temples (30 minutes drive). Next activity in a community in the mountains is about 40 minutes away. In the afternoon back to the hotel. (1 hour driving)

Day 5 – Today we cross the island to the east side. Morning drive to Ragusa. (2 hours) after activity and lunch drive to Ortigia island for the evening. (1.5 driving)

Day 6 – Today is free day, where you can choose to sleep in, shop and relax. The tour guide is available in the morning to give an introduction tour of Ortigia.

Day 7 –  Drive to a winery in Mt. Etna. (1.5 hours). After visit and lunch drive to Taormina. (1 hour driving). After touring Taormina drive back to the hotel. (1.5 hour driving)

What should I wear?

Stay casual and comfortable. Mornings and evening are chilly but during the day it’s warm. Even in full summer, hot days can quickly turn into cool evenings. Be prepared with a light sweater during the summer months, and something a little heavier in spring and fall.

Unless you plan on visiting the Opera in Italy, you won’t need to dress up anywhere you go. If you would like to try to blend in with the locals as much as possible, think “smart casual” or “preppy” for men, and “light and stylish” for women. Italians are very fashion conscious, but not formal.

In the summer months, you will most likely want to wear shorts. Make sure they have good pockets. However, always make sure you also have some long pants

Bring flat shoes, as you will be walking in medieval towns with cobblestone streets or farms with unpaved roads.

If you want to dress up for dinner, dress as if you are having dinner with friends.

How many bags can I bring?

We recommend bringing one medium suitcase and another small bag or trolley.

Please check our packing advice.

Packing

We advise you to pack light. We also recommend planning what you need based on each day of your travels.

You will need the extra space for souvenirs. You may not think about it now, but believe us; you’d want to take home that tasty olive oil, a bottle of wine that you can’t find at home, local specialties, or ceramics.

On that note, the best advice we can give you is “bubble wrap”. Bring bubble wrap with you. It’s cheaper and more convenient to bring it from the U.S and you will probably never leave home without it.

We highly recommend you use packing cubes for efficient packing and to keep things organized. You can search for videos on YouTube to learn more about it.

Do I need a passport?

Yes!

Copy of passport

We strongly suggest that you to make a copy of your passport.

Should I bring my cell phone?

It is a good idea to bring a cell phone. See our tips for communications while on a tour down below.

Do I need converters or transformers?

European power outlets run at 220 volts. You must buy a transformer to avoid shorting out and/or causing permanent damage to your devices. You will need it for cell phones, cameras, tablets, and other US-made electronics.

Tip: If your electronics can be powered by either 120 volt or 220-volt outlets (the device will usually have this listed in the technical specifications in a format like 120/240 volts, meaning the device can be powered from any power outlet around the globe), you will only need a plug adapter. Please note that a plug adapter is not a transformer, and using one with a device not capable of handling 240 volts will cause permanent damage and may even render the device unusable.

Money

We find that a debit/credit card of a credit union bank has low rates for an ATM withdrawal or credit card charges. In addition to credit union banks, here is a list of cards that offer a low or no foreign transaction fee: Capital one no fee hassle card, Chase Sapphire preferred, Chase ink business card, United mileage plus, Barclays arrivals world, Amex platinum card, Capital one venture reward, bank Americard travel reward, Marriott, Southwest, Barclaycard arrival plus, United mileage plus, Citi Hilton honors.

It is also important to let the credit card company or your bank know what country you are traveling to and the exact date

 

Communications

It is recommended to have a cell phone with you, however, if you plan to bring your smart phone, make sure to turn off mobile data right before you board the plane. If the data is not turned off, your mobile provider may charge you hundreds of dollars for using their services outside the U.S. On certain phones, you may be able to disable data roaming (phones that support this feature will most likely have it turned off by default). This will automatically turn off data outside the U.S.

You may want to check with your cell phone provider what data/voice/ text they offer when you travel to Europe. Things are changing for the better. For example, if you have an unlimited plus plan with AT&T you can pay $10 a day and continue using your phone in Europe as if you were at home.

WhatsApp is a free service that lets users message one another seamlessly between mobile and desktop devices.

WhatsApp is known for its enhanced privacy features, like end-to-end encryption, and its free, web-based international calling. Read on to find out how you can leverage the Facebook-owned messaging giant to make free international calls.

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REVIEWS

REVIEWS

Anniversary trip to Sicily

5.0 rating
11 October 2019

When I imagined the tour to Sicily I thought well, looks like a great group tour, but it exceeded our expectations. We visited to places that we would have never find on our own. The visit to the flour mill was so special, the dinners at the olive farm,
The quaint hotel on the island. Sam puts her heart into the tours, and it shows: The quick response, the offer to help, the tour book.
Thank you for creating wonderful memories.

George
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Food N’ Wine Travel Style

Food N’ Wine Vacations™ is all about experiences. Our tours focus on connection to people and places, to their history, landscapes, food and tradition. From driving in beautiful landscapes to tasting regional specialties and wines, and staying in charming private estates.


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Best of Sicily