WANDERWOMAN® WOMEN-ONLY SMALL GROUP TOUR TO SICILY, ITALY
SICILY: A Delicious Slice of Life!
Women-only small group Sicily Tour: Catania, Syracusa, Noto & Taormina
Discover the famed beauty of Sicily’s Ionian Coast! On this 10-day getaway to the eastern coast of Sicily, you’ll tour archaeological sites dating to the 8th century BC, ornate baroque villages, a city built of lava, and the enchanting seaside resort of Taormina. You’ll explore Mount Etna by jeep and sample products grown in the volcanic soil of its slopes. Dine at some of Sicily’s finest restaurants, visit local markets, learn Sicilian cooking, and enjoy wine tasting at one of Sicily’s best wineries. This active vacation offers a blend of culture, archaeology, art, history, and cuisine.
Dates: 13-22 September 2024. Email us to reserve your spot
Early Booking Discount Price: $5535.00 per person double occupancy*
*For reservations received by 4 April 2024, after this date, add $150 pp
Single Supplement: $1849.00
Solo Travelers: Opt to share and pay no single supplement.
Upgrade Option to sea view room for 4 nights in Taormina starting at $274.00 per person sharing/$530.00 single-subject to availability
Check Kayak.com for great deals on flights to Catania (CTA).
Sicily travel itinerary:
Day 1: Catania
Arrival at Catania–Fontanarossa International Airport (CTA) before 2:30 pm. Transfer to the heart of Catania, a city built of lava, dating back to 729 BCE. Here, we find ancient Roman baths and an amphitheater enclosed by a residential area, beautiful baroque architecture, and the famous Fontana dell’Elefant. Relax and enjoy the view of Mount Etna from the rooftop bar/restaurant of our 4-star hotel before gathering in the evening for a welcome dinner of local specialties and wine. (D)
Day 2: Catania
Today, we will explore this fascinating city on foot with our local guide. Learn about the city’s history from ancient times to modern-day life in the shadow of Mount Etna. Visit the fish market, churches, and the Catania Cathedral dedicated to St Agatha, the patron saint of Catania. Today, St Agatha is also the patron Saint of breast cancer patients. Enjoy a traditional Sicilian-style lunch. (B, L)
Day 3: Ortigia (Siracusa, Syracuse)
After breakfast, transfer by minibus to Ortigia, which is the old section of Siracusa. In Ortigia, the ancient Greeks of the 8th century BCE first built a colony from which grew the city of Siracusa. In Ortygia, our hotel is in the center of the ancient city, surrounded by baroque palaces, ornate churches, ruins of Greek temples, and just a block from Ortigia’s famed Piazza Duomo. That evening, enjoy a sunset cruise for a different view of this city known as the White City. (B, L))
Day 4: Ortigia
The best way to explore the narrow streets of Ortigia is on foot. We’ll begin our day with a visit to the local morning market with colorful produce, fresh fish, and other sights and smells, sampling food along the way. Next, we’ll learn to make some of the delicious foods Sicily is known for. You’ll learn the secrets to making traditional Sicilian cuisine; this fun experience culminates at the table, where we will enjoy the food and company together, drinking wine. Later that afternoon, we’ll be joined by our guide for a look at the city’s ancient past. According to the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo, Ortigia is where Leto gave birth to the goddess Artemis. After her birth, Artemis assisted her mother across the sea to the island of Delos in Greece, where Leto gave birth to Apollo. Discover ancient Greek temples, one dedicated to Apollo, protruding from the earth in the middle of the old city. Another dedicated to the virgin goddess Artemis is hidden beneath a municipal building. Athena’s temple still stands next to the temple of Artemis, but it has been incorporated into a Catholic cathedral honoring the Virgin Mary. Nearby, across the piazza, is the Church of Santa Lucia. It is believed to have been built on the site where Siracusa’s virgin patron saint, Santa Lucia, was martyred. (B, L)
Day 5: Ortigia (Noto, Syracusa)
Today, you can enjoy an excursion to the unspoiled baroque village of Noto. This beautiful town of the Val di Noto is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Due to its ornate architecture, this town is described as a garden of stone. The churches tell an exciting story of women’s role in Sicily’s religion. We’ll stop at a local restaurant for lunch before touring the Siracusa Archaeological Park with its ancient Greek and Roman structures, including a Greek theater that seats 15,000 and the ruins of a Roman amphitheater. (B)
Day 6: Taormina
After breakfast, we will bid farewell to Ortigia and travel north to the enchanting seaside town of Taormina. En route, we will stop for a wine tasting and lunch at a small family-owned winery with beautiful gardens and a 13th-century hunting lodge of Frederick II, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Arrive in Taormina and enjoy welcome refreshments at the hotel’s poolside, with beautiful vistas of the Ionian Riviera and majestic Mount Etna in the distance. That evening, we’ll explore the fascinating history of Taormina on a walking tour with our local guide. Visit the ancient Greek theater built in the 7th century BCE, discover the city’s Arabic history and beautiful medieval architecture, and visit the garden of the pioneering conservationist Florence Trevelyan. Learn about H. D. Lawrence’s self-imposed exile to this seaside paradise where he wrote his controversial novel “Lady Chatterley’s Lover.” (B, L)
Day 7: Taormina
Experience Mount Etna on a full-day 4×4 Jeep Safari with our local expert. Etna is the highest volcano in Europe, towering 10,922 feet above sea level. As we walk on lava flows and, in lava tunnels, and on extinct craters, you’ll learn of the region’s volcanic history and mythology. Pass through charming villages with vineyards on the volcano’s slopes, stopping at a winery for a wine tasting and a lunch of local delicacies made of produce grown in the rich volcanic soil. This will be a fascinating and fun day! (B, L)
Day 8: Taormina
Enjoy an optional walk/hike (or drive) to the village of Castlemola with breathtaking 360-degree views of Mount Etna, Taormina, the bay of Giardini Naxos, and the Strait of Messina. This charming medieval village is perched upon a hill overlooking Taormina, with fewer tourists. Here, you can explore picturesque narrow alleys with cafes, restaurants, and shops with local arts and crafts. (B)
Day 9: Taormina
Enjoy a day to reflect, explore, or visit the famous beaches of Taormina or partake in optional activities. In the evening, we’ll have our farewell dinner at one of Taormina’s best restaurants, owned by two talented sisters, known for gourmet versions of seasonal specialties and a lovely selection of Sicilian wines, which they pair with the food. (B, D)
Day 10: Transfer to Airport
Morning transfer to Catania–Fontanarossa International Airport (CTA) in time for international flights departing at 10:20 am or later. Private transfers can be arranged for other times for an additional cost.
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and only 1.9 miles from mainland Italy at the straights of Messina. Although a part of Italy, it is a world of its own. This fertile island has been a crossroads of civilizations since the 8th century BC when the Greeks arrived to be followed by the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Normans, and others. Thus making Sicily rich in archaeology, architecture, culture, history, and culinary delights; it is an island to be savored. Unlike many other destinations worldwide, Sicily is not overrun by tourism. You will not find crowds and long lines but rather a laid-back atmosphere, impressive architecture, ancient Greek ruins, fabulous food, and natural beauty.
The weather in Sicily during September is cooler than during the hot summers. Average temperatures range from lows in the mid-60s F to highs in the upper 70s F, with mostly sunny skies.
The tour price includes privately guided tours with official tourist board guides of sites included in the itinerary. Also included are all admission fees for sites and meals listed in the itinerary. Our women-only travel groups are NOT motor coach tours, although we use minibusses for locally guided tours included in our itineraries. Transfers are by air-conditioned minibus or jeep. Guided tours of the major attractions and some of the lesser-known treasures of Sicily are included. The best way to experience Sicily’s baroque towns, ancient archaeological sites, local markets, and Mount Etna is on foot – so bring comfortable walking shoes. The pace of the itinerary is leisurely, with ample time for relaxing or exploring more. The tour group size is limited to approximately 10 travelers. A knowledgeable WanderWoman® tour organizer will accompany the group to ensure you a stress-free vacation. So, whether you are a first-time traveler or a seasoned veteran, we invite you to join us on our adventure to Sicily.
GETTING TO SICILY
The group will meet at Catania–Fontanarossa Airport (CTA), just a few miles from the city center, and transfer as a group to our hotel. Although airfare is NOT included, we will gladly help you arrange your flight. Also, we can assist you with any pre or post-tour arrangements in Sicily and beyond. ITA (formerly Alitalia) and Lufthansa offer convenient flights to Catania, Sicily. If flying ITA, you may consider staying a few nights in Rome.
We avoid the typical large group tour-oriented hotels and stay at upscale, smaller historic properties and smaller local-style inns with ambiance. Our hotel in Taormina has a limited number of upgrades to sea-view rooms with Juliet balconies or private sun terraces. The hotels are within walking distance of restaurants, shops, and points of interest, giving you freedom to explore right out the door! All the rooms have private baths, direct-dial telephones, and TVs.
TOUR PRICE: $5535
Please email us to check availability
The price is per person based on double occupancy for reservations received by April 4, 2024; after this date, add $150 per person.
Single supplement: $1849.00
The optional upgrade to a sea view room for 4 nights in Taormina for twins is $274 per person, and single occupancy is $530.
Upgrade to a sea view room with a personal sun terrace for four nights is $420 per person sharing and $798 for single occupancy.
Pre-tour additional nights: $240 pp sharing and $442 single, including breakfast, taxes, and transfer from the airport. Subject to availability
We may be able to arrange for a triple room if three are traveling together.
The price includes accommodation and local transfers by minibus/taxi/shuttle service. It also includes breakfast daily, 2 dinners, including welcome and farewell dinners, and 6 lunches, including 2 wine tastings. Dinner drinks and alcoholic beverages are not included unless specified above. Guided tours as above, admissions fees as per itinerary, gratuities for drivers, suggested activities, restaurant recommendations, and services of WanderWoman® tour director to attend to details.
Call or email Eurynome Journeys to reserve your space for an application form and terms and conditions. Once you confirm you plan to join the tour, we will hold your space for up to TWO weeks, when a $1000 deposit per person is due. If your deposit and paperwork are not received within 2 weeks, your reservation will be canceled. Within 90 days of departure, payment in full is due. Travel insurance should be purchased within 14 days of your first payment.
NOTE: To avoid disappointment, early booking is recommended.
Please email us if you would like to join us.
For a free quote from TRAVEL GUARD insurance, click here.
Travel insurance should be purchased as soon as you pay your non-refundable deposit.
NOTE: This is an active vacation involving walking and climbing stairs and thus requires a certain degree of physical fitness. This tour is NOT suitable for those with limited mobility. All group activities are NON-SMOKING. Eurynome Journeys and its representatives reserve the right to change the itinerary and make substitutions as necessitated by local circumstances or deemed necessary by the tour leader to ensure the safety and comfort of the tour participants.
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