Sicily history tour, Italy

“Our only cultural tour that does a full circuit of Sicily, travelling in a small group for 9 days around amphitheatres, cathedrals, Greek city ruins and a lot of wonderful restaurants. ”

Highlights

Catania | Mt. Etna | Siracusa | Neapolis Archaelological Park | Noto | Ragusa Ibla | Agrigento's Valley of the Temples | Selinunte | Erice | Zingaro Nature Reserve | Monreale Cathedral | Cefalu' |Taormina

Description of Sicily history tour, Italy

Tours of Sicily are ideal for any responsible travellers wishing to be elevated to a higher plane with the entire circumference of the island covered to allow history buffs and nature lovers to really get to grips with one of Italy's most fascinating cultural crossroads.

This nine day tour of Sicily is pretty much all encompassing with the coastline offering a wealth of archaeological and cultural treasures alongside fabulous ocean scenes and traditional coastal communities.

From the Phoenicians and Greeks to the Romans, Arabian and Norman influences, this Sicily tour enables travellers to uncover the island's back story through first-hand experiences with the sites of Siracusa, Agrigento and Selinunte combining with smouldering Mount Etna to great effect.

Italians love their food and Sicily tours reveal that this island is absolutely no exception so expect to sample a lip-smacking arrangement of seasonal fare and regional delicacies alongside some classic Sicilian red wines and bulbous bright yellow lemons, fit to burst.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

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12 Sep 2020
£1499
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Our top tip:
Bring hiking boots so you don’t miss out on the Etna climb. And always have swimgear in your backpack.
Trip type:
Small group, max.16p eople, min. age 16.
Activity level:
Leisurely.
Accomm:
3-4* hotels.
Included:
Flights from London, accommodation, all breakfasts, wine tasting, all transport, tour leader, entrance fees.
Meals:
Only breakfasts included. Allow €8-15 lunch, €20-30 dinner.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome. Surcharge for own room.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Activity:
We try to operate on a ‘leave no trace’ basis, which involves being vigilant with proper disposal of waste and being sure to leave any flora, fauna and historical sites undamaged. By using local drivers for transfers, local restaurants and small shops, we make daily contributions to the economy and the community. Using local guides also has the mutual benefit of creating employment opportunities in the region, whilst clients have the advantage of in-depth expertise of the country. By visiting a number of archaeological sites, baroque temples, honey coloured towns and areas of natural beauty, we generate funds which support the maintenance of these important historical and natural places.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Accommodation and Meals:
We spend the week using comfortable, locally owned hotels. All accommodation is locally staffed and sometimes family run, which has a positive effect on employment levels and economy in the region. Most lodgings are located in proximity to the UNESCO historic sites we visit, which reduces further the need for carbon producing transfer vehicles on the trip. Sicilians are very proud of their local produce and so where meals are provided, fresh, locally sourced ingredients are used as much as possible- which benefits suppliers in the area. Free mealtimes are a valuable chance to explore the wide variety of cafes and restaurants on our route, serving tasty and authentic dishes. If there is time, guides can also direct clients to the daily market in Syracuse, which sells seasonal fruit and vegetables, fresh fish and regional cheeses, sausages and preserves.

Local Craft and Culture:
Cuisine is a huge part of Sicilian culture and so we include frequent stops at locally owned businesses to introduce traditionally crafted produce and customary specialties. For example, At Mount Etna, we arrange a wine and cheese tasting in one of the famous wine cellars of the area. Made at local vineyards, we can sample a range of wines, including the famous Sicilian desert wine, Marsala. Locally crafted cheeses including ricotta and pecorino are also prominent. By purchasing these products and other handmade items (paintings, ceramics, embroidery), we help to sustain traditional methods of craftsmanship.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

Climate

11 Reviews of Sicily history tour, Italy

3.5 out of 5 stars
SHOW
3
4
3
0
1

Reviewed on 09 Jul 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Visiting the historic sites, the scenery and the food.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


1) If you like a coffee/tea in your hotel room, take your own equipment and supplies as tea making facilities are not provided.
2) Make sure your shoes have plenty of grip - there are many stone surfaces that are very slippery.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


A refillable drink container was provided, which was good.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Very highly. The itinerary was well paced with a good balance of structured and unstructured activities. Ornella, the guide, was extremely competent, thoroughly organised and good fun to be with. Santo, the driver, was very conscious of the road rules and of our safety.

Reviewed on 27 May 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


So many memorable things - the Greek temples, Roman mosaics, Palermo's street markets and Byzantine churches - swimming, sunshine etc etc. Amazing food.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for a fairly hectic schedule and variable accommodation. Fitness and good footwear advisable!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. We had a great local tour leader and driver and ate out at local restaurants every night.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent, although the schedule could be improved in one or two areas and one or two of the hotels were quite basic.

Reviewed on 21 May 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


a) The walking trail at Mt Etna b) The various temples at Agrigento

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be aware of the rough ground underfoot and carry appropriate footwear.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Can't say.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent

Reviewed on 12 Apr 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


All of it

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Warm clothes to go to Etna

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Fantastic apart from the accommodation. The accommodation was a letter down.

Reviewed on 24 Apr 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Unfortunately the most memorable part was the awfulness of our guide. On the
positive side, Sicily is very beautiful if a little run down. Reminded me a lot of the Balkans

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be organised with luggage. Very much on the move and mostly staying in one place each night.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Not hugely.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Too much really for the allocated time

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Eva,
Firstly, thank you for your comments.
You should have received direct correspondence from us related to your concerns about the leader on your trip. We have explained what went wrong and how on this occasion the leader fell far below our normal high standards. This is not the norm and the leader in question is receiving further training before leading a trip again. We apologise that the leader did not represent our company in the way you or we were anticipating and for the disappointment you felt as a result. Whilst we are aware that we cannot change your experience, we do hope you feel that we have taken the appropriate action to ensure that this situation does not recur and that we have taken your feedback seriously.
We do hope that this explanation provides an adequate response to your review and offers you reassurance that we are continuously working on ensuring our trips are operated at our normal high standard.

Reviewed on 19 May 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The locations of the temples at Agrigento and Selinunte were truly spectacular. Entering the Cathedral at Monreale made everyone go "wow!"

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


When visiting Etna make sure you have adequate warm/ waterproof clothing.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?




4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


This was an extremely comprehensive tour of Sicily. Though the tour was busy the earliest start time was 8.30 so you did feel that the morning was not too much of a rush. Our guide gave us free time in most locations and this gave us
time as individuals to explore the areas that we were particularly interested in. We had the choice to eat separately or with the group and we did both.

Reviewed on 22 Jun 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Archaeological sites

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take your swimmers

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Very much exceeded our expectations. Good value for money.

Reviewed on 16 Apr 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Walking in the Zingaro Reserve, making our way to Erice and back down Valderice.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Learn a bit of Italian, especially for food items - makes it just that bit easier
and more enjoyable! (Makes the locals happy too).

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Definitely benefited the locals economy-wise!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent.

Reviewed on 06 Jul 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Getting to see most of the Greek temples in Sicily, standing in some, on fallen blocks, massive

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


with this group?
The guides were totally unknowledge-able, utterly ignorant the tour leader knew the geography: that's it, that's all

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Well, we spent a few Euro's! Whether the locals got any? moot.
As to the latter 2: not really

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Very good itinerary, but now I will get some books from the Library.

Reviewed on 06 Apr 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The scenery is stunning. Our favourite day was walking on the coast in the Zingaro Nature Reserve. The tour of Agrigento was absolutely excellent all because of our guide, Giovanna who told us so much, so succinctly and in an interesting fashion.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go for it! Some long days but interesting sightseeing.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We used local hotels, local guides and local shops so we hope it benefitted Sicilians. Our guide was dedicated to improving the environment and educating children about how to care for wildlife and nature.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A very good introduction to Sicily.

Reviewed on 02 Jun 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


It was an overview of Sicily which we thought was well paced. Very good guide,
(Salvo) enthusiastic about his country and very knowledgeable.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for a busy schedule, but one that is perfectly manageable.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The guide was conservation minded. I am not sure how you could have involved
local people more. It is not a developing country where home stays are more
common. Is there any 'agritourism' venue in Sicily which could accommodate a
group of 10+?

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent. In terms of short 'adventure' holidays it was one of the best we have
been on.

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