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Spirit of Sicily Overview
- 2014-01-01 - 2014-12-31
Travel to Italy’s hidden treasure and experience the spirit of Sicily.
Lose yourself on the Mediterranean’s biggest island. Home to beautiful architecture and idyllic coastal towns, Sicily is a unique slice of Italian culture. Heat up by hiking around Italy’s largest active volcano before wandering the medieval castles of Monreale, or relax on the beach and sink into a food coma from Italy’s finest cuisine. At the end of the day, there is little more to do than bathe in the afternoon sun, crunch on cannoli and ponder why you have never visited this Italian treasure before.
What's included in this trip
Spirit of Sicily SummaryAdd to Shortlist
Venture into Sicily’s capital on a treasure hunt. Hunt for ancient churches and castles that are hidden in a labyrinth of small alleyways, buzzing market squares and winding roads. This is also the Italian Mafia’s playground; make sure to keep an eye out.
Explore a lavish Norman cathedral famed as a ‘wonder of the medieval world’ in Monreale before enjoying a picnic lunch with a panoramic view of Palermo. Hike around the oldest nature reserve in Sicily and take a refreshing afternoon dip in the Mediterranean. Finish the day in the picturesque village of Scopello with an aperitivo drink.
Drink by the seaside at the northern Sicilian treasure Cefalu. Explore grand castles and ancient old cities by foot before visiting the old Greek city of Tyndaris. Stroll the remote coast that overlooks spectacular emerald lakes and bizarre sandbanks. Settle into the appealing small town of Montalbano and watch the sun set behind the Eolian Islands.
Wander the spiralling streets of Montalbano Elicona to the top of a 13th-century castle. Then discover the natural beauty of the greenery-drenched forest Malabotta before a curious stroll around the ‘Sicilian Stonehenge’, an ancient megalithic site.
Pull in at the hilltop town of Castelmola and experience Taormina’s varied landscape from above. Sight active volcanos, dramatic cliff faces, perfectly preserved medieval towns and stretches of aqua blue ocean before walking down to Taormina on a panoramic trail. Laze in the sunshine, or stroll to the beach and admire the shores of Isola Bella, a small and precious island that is also a protected nature reserve.
Come face-to-face with Europe’s largest active volcano, Mt Etna. Explore the strange lava formations and caves dotted around this fiery beast and perhaps dive into one of the many natural ‘swimming pools’. Heat up near the belly of the beast and see where lava still bursts through the earth’s surface and learn about the catastrophes that this enormous monster has caused in recent years. If eruption is on the cards, a specialist guide will take you to a safe observation point to witness the natural fireworks. Finish off your day with a relaxed glass of red wine from one of the renowned wineries around the area before settling in to sleep at the highest hotel on the Etna.
Journey to the prehistoric Anapo Valley, one of Sicily’s most intriguing places. Wander through the ancient burial sites, known as the necropolis of Pantalica, to see the Prince’s Palace. Swim in a small lake after a picnic lunch, then head to the scenic town of Ragusa. Take a moonlit stroll through the baroque streets of this quaint township and take in the European architecture.
Try a chocolate (or eight) in Modica, a town famed for its 400-year-old chocolate recipe, and then work off the calories wandering around Vendicari Nature Reserve. Bus to Syracuse, an lovely old town on the sea and mosey around its historical centre before exploring the town’s Greek theatre, Roman amphitheater and beautifully balanced Palazzo Beneventano.
Continue exploring the old heart of Syracuse by foot, bike or boat. Hang out in the central piazzas with an espresso while admiring the baroque-style architecture. Stop by the local farmers market if the season is right and pick up ingredients for a picnic lunch, or just wander the limestone paved streets with a strawberry granita in hand.
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