Experience Sicily in all its glory by driving around the island in 2 weeks. Highlights of this tour include Palermo, a cultural melting pot with stunning monuments and vibrant local markets and Taormina, the elegant village famous for its Greek theater and the postcard views. You'll also visit Syracuse and Agrigento, with their archaeological masterpieces, and hike Mt. Etna—Europe's most active volcano.

Highlights

  • Visit the local markets and monuments of charming Palermo
  • Tour Taormina, the elegant village famous for its Greek theater
  • Learn about archaeological masterpieces in Syracuse and Agrigento
  • Walk the craters of Mt Etna, Europe's most active volcano.

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Palermo Palermo
Day 2 Palermo and Monreale Palermo
Day 3 Scopello and the Zingaro Natural Reserve Trapani
Day 4 Levanzo and the Egadi islands Trapani
Day 5 Trapani Trapani
Day 6 The Salt Road Sciacca
Day 7 Agrigento and Piazza Armerina Agrigento
Day 8 Villa Romana del Casale Modica
Day 9 The Sicilian Baroque Syracuse
Day 10 Syracuse Syracuse
Day 11 Riviera dei Ciclopi Taormina
Day 12 Mt. Etna Tour Taormina
Day 13 Cefalù and Palermo Palermo
Day 14 Goodbye Italy!  

Day 1: Arrival in Palermo

Arrive in  Palermo and transfer to your accommodation located in the heart of the city. Take your time for a rest before having your first stroll around this great vibrant city.

Day 2: Palermo and Monreale

In the morning you will meet your guide and enjoy a spectacular food tour around the city. This is a great way to experience Palermo's culture and meet with local people. You will be able to see (and taste!) many of Palermo's street food specialties and experience many of Palermo's artistic and architectural points of interest.  In the afternoon, a private transfer will take you to Monreale where you'll have free time to visit the extraordinary cathedral, considered the greatest example of Norman architecture in the world.

Day 3: Scopello and the Zingaro Natural Reserve

Beach in Scopello

In the morning, pick up your car at the rental car office and drive to Scopello. This is a small but charming seaside village on the southern gate of the Zingaro Nature Reserve, famous for the crystal sea water and the ancient "tonnara", tuna fishery. Enjoy a hike along the Zingaro Natural Reserve, with its characteristic limestone mountains, interspersed by spectacular caves and a coastline dotted with caves and cliffs overlooking the sea. At the end of the day, drive to the Trapani region where you will spend 3 nights in a beautiful wine resort.

Day 4: Levanzo and the Egadi islands

Fishermans boat off the coast of Levanzo
Fishermans boat docked off the island of Levanzo

This morning take a hydrofoil to Levanzo. The smallest of the Egadi islands, Levanzo is a jewel from the past: the “Cave of Genovese” dates back to 11-12 thousand years ago, during the final phase of Palaeolithic.

Primitive human messages etched into the cave, a prehistoric sanctuary where religion and culture took their first steps between graffiti and rock paintings of men and animals, joined in an ancestral link. Engravings, graffiti, and paintings showing deer, cows, horses, fish, and humans: they represent unique archaeological documentation as well as a very suggestive show. Seagulls and Meditteranean countryside will ever present protagonists of your trek.

Take the Hydrofoil back to Trapani and take a  short drive up to Erice, a beautiful medieval town located 750 meters above sea level, with impressive views of the valley and sea below. Then head back to your farmhouse for an overnight stay. 

Day 5: Trapani

View of Castellammare del Golfo town in Trapani

If you plan your visit during Easter you can experience "the Procession of the Mysteries", which represents the most important traditional event of the year for the local community, attracting thousands of visitors, and is one of the oldest continuously running religious events in Europe, having taken place every Good Friday at least since Easter of 1612.  The statues are unique due to their construction techniques. Take your time to enjoy this celebration that involves the whole city.

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Day 6: The Salt Road

Marsala salt pans at sunset
 
You can’t leave the west coast of Sicily without a panoramic drive along the ancient salt pans around Trapani. Windmills, lagoons and piles of harvested salt, neatly covered with terracotta tiles, offer a truly unique landscape. Enjoy a spectacular boat tour around the Stagnone and Mothya island before reaching  Marsala, a city well known for its local wine.  Here you will visit a local cellar, talk with the wine producer and enjoy a wine tasting. Proceed to Sciacca, a tiny fishermen village and check in at your hotel with sea views.  Enjoy your dinner in a typical restaurant and stay overnight in Sciacca.

Day 7: Agrigento and Piazza Armerina

In the morning, take a short drive to the coast reaching Agrigento. Meet with your licensed guide for a guided tour of the amazing archaeological site of the 'Valley of the Temples'. Sicily's most enthralling archaeological site encompasses the ruined ancient city of Akragas, highlighted by the stunningly well-preserved  Temple of Concordia, one of several ridge-top temples that once served as beacons for homecoming sailors. At the end of the tour, proceed to a lovely farmhouse located near Piazza Armerina where you'll have dinner and stay overnight.

Day 8: Villa Romana del Casale

Go on a short drive to Villa Romana del Casale and meet with your guide for a private tour of this incredible site, containing some of the world’s best preserved Roman mosaics. Extremely luxurious and built on a vast scale, Villa Romana del Casale was probably built for a member of ancient Rome’s elite. After the visit, have lunch at the slow food Trattoria " Al Fogher" for a special tasting of Sicilian dishes. After lunch, proceed to Modica, one of the most beautiful baroque jewels in Sicily. Check in at your boutique hotel and where you'll stay overnight.

Day 9: The Sicilian Baroque

In the morning visit two other incredible baroque destinations: Ragusa Ibla and Sicily. Both have an enchanting historical center with breathtaking views over picturesque alleys and stairways. At the end of the visit, drive to a lovely farmhouse a few kilometers from Syracuse where you'll have dinner and stay for the night. 

Day 10: Syracuse

The coastline of Syracuse

This is a day dedicated to exploring the wonderful city of Syracuse that during the Greek Classical Period, was the largest in the ancient world - even bigger than Athens! With a licensed guide, visit the Neapolis Archaeological Park with its famous Greek theatre and walk through the narrow streets of Ortigia Island. In the afternoon, go on a short drive to Noto and visit its stunning Cathedral. Don't leave without a stop at Cafè Sicilia for a typical granita! Then head back to the farmhouse and stay there for the night.

Day 11: Riviera dei Ciclopi

Piazza Duomo in Taormina

In the morning, drive in the direction of Catania. Stop for a visit to the beautiful Ciclopi Riviera, an attractive stretch of coastline north of Catania. The coast owes its name to a Homeric legend according to which the towering black rocks that rise out of the sea – actually great hunks of solidified lava – were thrown by the blinded Cyclops, Polyphemus, in a desperate attempt to stop Odysseus from escaping. Enjoy a visit of the lovely fishermen villages of Acitrezza and Acicastello.

Then, proceed in direction of Taormina. This elegant town offers the perfect combination of history, sea, and nature set on a natural terrace, 200 meters above sea level with a wonderful view of Mount Etna. Enjoy a walk around this chic and beautiful town.  

Day 12: Mt. Etna

The summit of Mt. Etna

Today explore the biggest European active volcano with a scenic trek to reach the Mount Etna Summit! Depending on the weather conditions and volcano activity it’s possible to climb to the summit area of Etna (3350 mt), with a professional volcano guide. This excursion takes 5 hours and includes a cableway and 4WD vehicle till 2900 mt. then a walk up to the central craters at 3350 mt of altitude. The excursion will end in the afternoon and on the way back to Taormina, you can visit a local winery for a lovely wine tasting and aperitivo. 

Day 13: Cefalù and Palermo

View of Cefalú at dusk from the beach

In the morning, take the route to Cefalù and visit this picturesque village, famous for its beautiful cathedral and the nice fishermen harbor. Take your time for a  walk in the city center before proceeding to Palermo. Drop off your car.  Enjoy a final tasty dinner in town before heading to your hotel.

Day 14: Departure

Say goodbye to the turquoise waters of Sicily for now

Today you'll say goodbye to Sicily. Till the next time!

Map

Map of Spectacular Self-Drive Tour Around Sicily - 14 Days
Map of Spectacular Self-Drive Tour Around Sicily - 14 Days