TOUR NAME: SDG-Sicily Driver Guide's Showcase nbr 26
TOUR DURATION: 6 nights/7 days (Palermo 3 nights + Taormina 3 nights).
ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE INFORMATION: We also strictly recommend you to purchase your airline/train/ferry tickets with arrival to Palermo and departure from Catania airport/Taormina-Giardini Naxos rail station/Catania or Messina port.
MEALS INCLUDED: 6 breakfast; 1 welcome dinner with set menů; 1 cooking course in a private house with a really Sicilian lunch and beverages; 2 visit to local wineries with wines tasting; 2 snacks in country shops.
MEALS LEGEND: BB (Breakfast) L (Lunch) S (Snack) D (Dinner).
TOUR PROVIDED WITH: Driver Guide. Who is a Driver Guide?.
TOUR CUSTOMIZED FOR A MAXIMUM: 4 Persons.
PRICE AND CONDITIONS AVAILABLE ON REQUEST:
Please be so kind as to specify the style of accommodation you need, this is important for us to customize an appropriate offer.
ITINERARY recommended by SDG-Sicily Driver Guide
Day 1: Palermo
Upon arrival to Palermo airport/port/rail station you will be met by a driver and transferred to your Hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to rest or explore on your own. Tonight we met our driver-guide for a briefing and we gather for a farewell dinner at local trattoria for our first experience with Sicilian Meals. (D)
Day 2: Monreale, Simple Cooking Home Experience & Palermo
After breakfast, our driver-guide will show us where the Arab-Norman art and architecture reached the pinnacle of its glory with the Monreale Duomo, launched in 1174 by William II and represent the scene from the Old and New Testaments all in golden mosaics. Then to Palermo to reach the house of our friend to start a really simple and friendly cooking course. She will teach us one of the really Sicilian recipe such as Involtini alla Siciliana (Sicilian ruled meat) or Fettuccine or Ravioli with fresh tomato sauce. At the end of the cooking course, we will enjoy our scrumptious creations with the perfect compliment—a beautifully paired Sicilian wine. House make Dessert follows accompanied by a typical local Lemoncello (home maked). BUON PRANZO! This afternoon we will visit Palermo with the lovely Piazza Pretoria, Via Maqueda with its “four corners” who converge Palermo at a quartet of baroque palaces left over from the heyday of Spanish rule dates from the 1560 (BB L)
Day 3: Marsala Winery, Erice & Segesta Temple
Following breakfast we will meet our driver-guide. Today we will drive to Marsala, the home of the world-famous Marsala wine. The wine was first popularized in 1770 when an Englishman, John Woodhouse, came ashore from a British ship that had been forced to anchor here during a violent storm. Woodhouse headed for a local tavern, and the rest is history. On arrival we will visit an historical winery and first of all we will have the opportunity to taste the local wines. Than we travel between Marsala and Trapani to the Salt Road, to tour the historic saltpan works, where the ancient tradition of harvesting salt from the sea is still practiced. Later transfer to the medieval city of Erice. From its thrilling mountaintop setting, two sheer cliffs drop 743m (2,438 ft.) to vistas across the plains of Trapani and down the west coast of Sicily. On a clear day, you can even see Cape Bon in Tunisia, but the Sicilian aerie of Erice is often shrouded in mist that only adds to its mystique (or misery, especially in winter, when temperatures can plummet below Sicilian norms and snow is not uncommon). Erice is a lovely place to spend an afternoon wandering the medieval streets, with their baroque balconies and flowering vines. The southwest corner of town contains the Villa Balio gardens, originally laid out in the 19th century. Beyond the gardens, a path winds along the cliff's edge up to Erice's highest point, the Castello di Venere (Venus Castle), today little more than crumbling Norman walls surrounding the sacred site where a temple to Venus once stood. Before returning to Palermo we will make our short stop to Segesta to see a single amazing temple in a lonely field and one of the best-preserved ancient temples in all of Italy. Later back to Palermo (BB)
Day 4: Cefalů and the Nebrodi Park Landscapes
At the end of the breakfast we meet the driver-guide. Today we drive to Cefalů, a charming coastal town with medieval streets and delightful views overlooking a rocky coast—all under the ever-present gaze of the Norman/Arab/Byzantine cathedral, one of the greatest churches in southern Europe. Nestled between the Madonie Mountains and the sea, Cefalů's mountains boast the ruins of a large fortress and an ancient Sicanian-Greek temple. The view from the summit is inspiring. Leaving Cefalů, we will drive along the Tyrrenian coast and enter the Nebrodi Park, known for its immense forests full of majestic trees. We will stop for a snack in a country shop located in the area of Miraglia Forest in the San Fratello region of the park. This afternoon we will pass the lovely Cesarň region of the park and the fantastic Randazzo region at the boundary between the Nebrodi Park and the great Etna Volcano Park. We will then cross the northern slopes of Mount Etna to reach Taormina, the world famous resort town of Sicily, known for its views and atmosphere. On arrival we will say Good-Bye to our driver-guide. (BB S)
Day 5: Mount Etna Volcano in jeeps and Winery
Following breakfast we will meet our jeep-driver and departure to Etna Volcano: we will experience what the Greeks called "the realm of Vulcan (god of fire)" by Jeep, viewing along the way: Mount Fontana (view of Bove Valley), the Thieves Cave (grotta dei ladroni), extinct craters of Sartorius Mounts, and the lava flow from the 2002 eruption. Indulge in a snack at local Winery followed by wine tasting and typical Sicilian dishes. During the afternoon, off-road drive along the Linguaglossa-Castiglione and Alcantara Gorges. Short visit to the Canyon entrance. Later back to the hotel (BB S)
Day 6: Taormina
Today is at our total disposal for an independent visit to the Greek-Roman Theatre, offering a view of rare beauty of the seacoast and Mount Etna. Then time at leisure for a walk to Corso Umberto street, draws a semicircle in the old city and links Porta Catania in the south with Porta Messina in the north. The street is narrow and has a medieval appearance; it is lined with buildings, many of which are quite ancient. (BB)
Day 7: Taormina END
This morning a driver will meet us at hotel for a transfer to Catania airport/port/rail station or to Taormina-Giardini Naxos rail station or to Messina rail station/port. (BB)
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