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Tour Description

  • 15 days
  • selfguided
  • tour

This self-drive itinerary has been designed to provide a unique experience, traveling to some of the most diverse areas Italy, let alone Sicily has to offer. The route will take you to Syracuse, home to the ancient Greek ruins, through to the enchanting inland city of Ragusa, then it's on to the coastal town of Taormina and a stay on the captivating island of Vulcano. All this and more will be spread across a 14 night duration allowing you time and freedom to explore at your own pace.

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At a glance
  • Ideal for those interested in Baroque architecture.
  • Hop between two fairly undiscovered Aeolian Islands
  • Climb the active Mount Etna
  • Enjoy the freedom of having a hire car

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: UK - Syracuse

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Map of Day 1: UK - Syracuse

Your Sicilian self-drive adventure will commence soon after you touch down at Catania airport, located just to the north of Syracuse. Pick up your pre-arranged car from the Hertz depot and take to the road. The next three nights will be spent absorbing the culture and exploring the remarkable landmarks that are all part of a bygone era of Syracuse's history.

Days 2 & 3: Syracuse

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Points of Interest

Map of Days 2 & 3: Syracuse

Syracuse is surrounded by architectural beauty which is indicative to its UNESCO World Heritage status. The preservation of this city is the driving force for the return of discerning travellers wanting a ‘real’ taste of authentic Sicilian history, and what better way to start your first full day, than to get out and head to some of the more celebrated attractions. The Greek Theatre and Roman Amphitheatre are among many of the archaeological treasures you should seek to discover, but perhaps the golden crown on the Sicilian head is the small island of Ortigia. Emblazoned with baroque palaces and churches, this little gem is the perfect place to spend your days, wandering the tight-knit lanes and admiring the peaceful and simple local way of life. 

Day 4: Syracuse - Ragusa

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Map of Day 4: Syracuse - Ragusa

Trade one Baroque city for another, as you travel in a Westerly direction towards the hilltop city of Ragusa. Spend the remainder of the day finding your bearings and be sure to remember your map, for the streets act as a labyrinth, intertwining their way beautifully throughout the core of the city.

Days 5 & 6: Ragusa

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Map of Days 5 & 6: Ragusa

Ease your way into the morning with a frothy cappuccino or whatever your preference and then, we recommend exploring the sights while the air is still cool and the streets removed of people. The next few hours will most likely be spent meandering the sun-drenched piazzas and seeking a quaint trattoria on Ragusa’s main central square, the Piazza Duomo, or for those in-the-know, you may want to follow in the footsteps of Inspector Montalbano (a popular television series based in the city of Ragusa). Just south of Ragusa lies the picturesque medieval town of Modica. Built in the valleys of the Monte Iblei, Modica is renowned for its numerous baroque cathedrals and its rich history in the manufacturing of chocolate and cheese, which can be sampled around near enough every street corner.  

Using your car hire, take a day trip to Noto, another famous city in the Val di Noto region. While in the area, take up the opportunity to stroll along the illustrious Corso Vittorio Emanuele, visiting the iconic Cathedral of Noto, set amongst a great number of many architectural achievements. After several days of sightseeing, treat your weary limbs to a break by resting up on the shores of the Lido di Noto, before heading back to Ragusa for a delicious traditional dinner.

Day 7: Ragusa - Taormina

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Map of Day 7: Ragusa - Taormina

Time now to reluctantly leave the fascinating baroque region of Sicily and travel northeast to the more popular resort town of Taormina, where you will spend the next 3 nights.

Days 8 & 9: Taormina

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Points of Interest

Map of Days 8 & 9: Taormina

Taormina is the bustling hub of Sicily, unashamedly touristy and easily likened to that of a busy metropolis. The beauty that lies within the town, however, is one that’s different to any other area. While away your days visiting the spectacular ancient Greek theatre or people watching from one of many endearing, antiquated eateries or just admiring the stunning landscape. Don’t leave Taormina without conquering the imposing crater of Mount Etna or swimming in the Alcantara Gorge, both of which can be combined in a prearranged excursion.

Day 10: Taormina - Vulcano

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Map of Day 10: Taormina - Vulcano

The penultimate part of your journey requires you to leave your car behind and be transported by private transfer to Milazzo, where you will board a ferry to the island of Vulcano. Once you arrive, you will be taken to your luxury hotel – the Therasia Resort Sea & Spa, an elegant property in a prime location overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

Days 11 & 13: Vulcano

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Map of Days 11 & 13: Vulcano

This Aeolian island is full of little gems. From the malodorous (but therapeutic) mud baths to the obsidian like beaches at Porto di Ponente, the island has much to keep you occupied. Perhaps the more obvious attraction is the Fossa di Vulcano (Gran Cratere) that states its dominance with an unceasing smoke cloud curling out from its centre; climbing the crater is worthwhile as the views from the top are unparalleled. Island hopping across the archipelago is a must, with the stand out option being Lipari. This is an island of contrast, with one side acting as a busy core transportation network for the whole of the Aeolian Islands, and the other side revealing a more typical Mediterranean landscape. The large terrace offering a panoramic sea view at the hotel is the perfect place to spend your last evening on Vulcano, perhaps indulging in a cocktail or a romantic meal at the Michelin star restaurant.

Day 14: Vulcano - Catania

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Map of Day 14: Vulcano - Catania

End your tour with a night in the atmospheric port city of Catania. Described more as chaotic as elegant, this unique city is intriguing none-the-less, with its quirky cool bars lining the streets and a whole host of baroque piazzas occupying the city’s centre; Catania is a positively charged part of Sicily and will leave you coming away more content than disappointed that your trip is coming to an end.

Day 15: Catania - UK

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Map of Day 15: Catania - UK

Pack your bags and prepare to wave goodbye to your Sicilian adventure as you board your flight back to the UK.

Extend Your Stay

Take in more of the destination or relax in a spa at the end of your trip by adding few extra nights stay in one of these hand picked hotels.

Call to discuss and book your tour 01293 762410 *

Flight Information

Flights from the UK to Sicily arrive into Palermo (PMO), Catania (CTA) or Comiso (CIY) airports. Flights to Palermo are available from London Gatwick and London Stansted and take approximately 2 hours 50 minutes, while flights to Catania depart from Birmingham, London Gatwick, London Luton and Manchester and take approximately 3 hours. Flights to Comiso depart from London Stansted and take approximately 3 hours 15 minutes.