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Story Land & Sea®

Discovering the Best of Sicily

To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything. —  Goethe

Our small-group tour of Italy presents a unique approach to discovering the best Sicily has to offer.

11-day itinerary through the Sicilian landscape featuring Palermo, Agrigento, Ragusa, Syracuse (Siracusa), Catania, Taormina and more

This tour is the perfect balance of inclusions and free time in magical Sicily.

If you've never been to Sicily, then you're in for a real treat. If you have previously visited, then you already know you want to go back and see more. Sitting at the tip of the boot of Italy, Sicily is a place like no other on Earth. The mild Mediterranean climate and the nostalgia are things that must be experienced in person...words cannot describe.

The island is filled with wonders from the old world and panoramas not-to-be-missed, to the world-famous volcano, Mount Etna, to exotic beaches, old ruins, and sweeping vineyards and farmlands. Sicily is truly a special destination, and is sure to delight. Come see it with us!

 

  • Sicily and Mt Etna
  • Noto, Sicily
  • Taormina, Sicily
  • Valley of the Temples
  • Sicilian Culinary Experience
Transatlantic Flight Departure Day

Day 1: Depart North America on Transatlantic flights. The flight is not included.

Can we help you with your Airfare? Yes, we can arrange your air travel from the Story Land & Sea® air service department. We'll work with you to get the absolutely lowest fare available based on your travel preferences. We utilize both our own air department and online agencies to find the best rate. At the end of your Sicilian adventure, you should set your flight to return from Catania.

Remember, airfare is a completely separate arrangement from your land tour. It is your responsibility to arrive at the point of tour origination (Palermo) on time regardless of whether Story Land & Sea® has arranged your air.

  We very much encourage you to consider purchasing a Travel Protection policy.




Arrive Palermo, Sicily
Palermo, Italy

 


Day 2: Arrive Palermo Airport (PMO)

WELCOME TO THE MAGICAL SICILY TOUR

food icon   Included Dining: Welcome Dinner
star icon   Exclusive: Palermo Classic Perspective

One of Story Land & Sea®'s most popular True Small-Group® Italy tour vacations commences at 3:00PM at our featured Hotel. Located in the heart of Palermo is our deluxe hotel, where your Tour Captain meets you for the Included Orientation Walking Tour.

INCLUDED ORIENTATION WALKING TOUR: Join your Tour Captain Host for a Welcome Orientation Walk in Palermo. Find out where the major landmarks are located in relation to our hotel, the best ATM machines for Euro and exchange rates, and other helpful information for your stay in Palermo.

Walking Level: Light, Leisurely Pace; Volume: Light

Story Land & Sea® Exclusive: Tonight, join in a Story Land & Sea® original experience with our Reception & Welcome from the Tour Captain from one of our classic perspectives ~ unique vantage point to survey Palermo in the company of your fellow travelers.

Your Small Group Tour Vacation to Italy is underway! After our reception, we'll walk to our Welcome Dinner in Palermo, where you'll taste the finest cuisine and wine varietals from the region of Sicily.

INCLUDED PALERMO WELCOME DINNER TONIGHT: Join your Tour Captain for a Welcome Dinner in Palermo. Experience what can only be described as a tour of the best cuisine and vino from the region of Sicilia.

About the Story Way® of Dining
Our approach to dining is truly unique: We've collected our favorites dishes from the incredible restaurants we visit for each included dinner. No buffets here! Your Tour Captain is there to make sure your dining experience goes smoothly and will help you interpret any menu item. For the five total included dinners, your Tour Captain will select a variety of appetizers, featuring regional cuisine, and will select your vino for the evening ~ a variety of red and white wine from the region you're traveling ~ and yes, "the wine flows."

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Palermo and Monreale

Day 3: Region: Sicilia

food icon   Included Dining: Breakfast


Palermo, the capital of Sicily, is an architectural delight and gateway to an "undiscovered" part of Italy. In Palermo, you will visit the 9th Century Plazzo Reale, with its beautiful Palatine Chapel.

Before our tour concludes, you will be driven up into the Sicilian hills to visit the quaint and ancient town, Monreale. Your visit here will focus on a tour of the magnificent 12th Century Cathedral. This Cathedral has one of the largest and most beautiful displays of mosaic artwork in the world.

Following our tour, you will be returned to your beautiful, historic hotel in the heart of Palermo.

Dining through the Journey
Daily full American breakfasts are included throughout your journey. We feature select Story Land & Sea® Exclusive Wine Tasting events and several dinners also included. Enjoy Story Land & Sea®'s approach to dining with free-style ordering and premium beverages included. No set menus. No hotel buffets for dinner.

Optional Dinner
Enjoy an optional dinner tonight: Join your Tour Captain or explore on your own.

 
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Temple of Segesta and Erice
Segesta Temple

Day 4: Segesta

food icon   Included Culinary Experience: Enjoy a special Scicilian Culinary Experience

This morning we drive about an hour to visit what is arguably "the best preserved Greek temple in the world" --- Segesta.

This large, magnificent Doric temple looks as if it were built just yesterday! Built before 430 B.C., the temple is about 200 feet long and 85 feet wide, with a total of 36 impressive Doric columns. Your guide will provide you all the fascinating history of this incredible well-preserved temple.

Next, we travel to the spectacular town of Erice, a spectacular, medieval city, with cobblestone streets and castles, located 2,400 feet high above sea level, in one of the most picturesque settings you can imagine. Erice overlooks the city of Trapani and the Aegadian Islands --- providing sweeping, spectacular, panoramic views from all around.

We shall make a visit to the Antique Convent Pastry Shop, in via Guarnotti, one of the most renowned Sicilian bakeries. There enjoy a taste of the fine Erician pastries first created within the convent walls, and as a special treat, sample some of the typical almond dough desserts filled with candied lemon. Afterwards, a guided walk through the quaint, narrow, cobblestone streets in this picturesque town, perched high above the Sea, with panoramic vistas everywhere.

After our guided tour of Erice, you will enjoy lunch on your own at one of the restaurants offering a breath-taking, panoramic view of the beautiful, blue Sea and the surrounding islands.

Story Exclusive: We return to Palermo by mid-afternoon to freshen up before heading to our Palermo culinary experience.

Don't like cooking? Sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of Sicilian vino, while dinner is prepared for you, all from the perspective of a beautiful villa with stunning views.

Optional Dinner
Enjoy an optional dinner tonight: Join your Tour Captain or explore on your own.

 
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Agrigento & the Sea
Valley of the Temples


Day 5: Agrigento

food icon   Included Dining: Breakfast (Deluxe & Classic), Dinner with Tour Captain (Deluxe Only)
star icon   Exclusives: Unique Perspectives Experience


We depart Palermo and drive two hours south to Agrigento, a city on the southern coast of Sicily, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

Here at Agrigento you will take a guided tour of one of Sicily's most famous, historical sites --- the "Valley of the Temples" --- a "masterpiece" that stands testament to Greek art in Sicily. This archaeological park consists of not one, but eight temples (along with other remains), built between about 510 B.C. and 430 B.C. 

Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure.

Story Way® Dining: Enjoy a welcome dinner in Agrigento this evening. Classic Budget guests: consider upgrading to include all five (5) dinners. Inquire.

 
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Piazza Armerina & Ragusa

Day 6: Ragusa

food icon   Included Dining: Breakfast
star icon   Exclusives: Admission and tour of Villa Romana del Casale and a Ragusano Cheese Tasting Experience


This morning we're bound for Piazza Armerina. We shall tour the famous Villa Romana del Casale, built during the 4th Century. This villa contains the richest, largest, and most complex collection of Roman mosaics in the world. In addition, this Villa is one of UNESCO's World Heritage sites. The precious and beautiful mosaics in this Villa constitute some of the best conserved anywhere in the world today.

About Ragusa
Ragusa has caused many a visitor's jaw to drop as they first set eyes on the the city's lower regions. Essentially Baroque, the Ragusa you will see today dates almost entirely from 1693. The town is part of the UNESCO Heritage site and is breath-taking.

Story Exclusive: Enjoy a stop at a local cheese shoppe for a tasting.

 
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Siracusa (Syracuse)
Siracusa (Syracuse), Italy

Day 7

food icon   Included Dining: Breakfast
Welcome Dinner with Tour Captain


We are bound for the ancient city of Siracusa (Syracuse). Siracusa is well known for its rich Greek history --- culture, amphitheaters, architecture, and birthplace of the famous mathematician and engineer, Archimedes.

We begin our experience with a guided tour of the historic heart of Siracusa, the island of Ortigia. After the tour, enjoy time for lunch, exploring at your leisure.

Then we continue with our exploration of Siracusa. This 2,700-year-old city is right next to the Ionian Sea. Cicero once described Siracusa as "the greatest Greek city and most beautiful of them all." The Bible mentions that Paul, the apostle, stayed here in Siracusa. In 2005, the entire city of Siracusa was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Our sightseeing immersion includes the most-famous sites at the Neapolis Archaeological Zone in Siracusa, the historic section of Siracusa, including a visit to the 16,000 seat Greek Theatre, the Ear of Dionysius, and the Roman Amphitheatre.

Following our guided tour of Siracusa, we shall continue on to Catania for a wonderful two-night stay.

Story Way® Dining: Enjoy a welcome dinner tonight. Classic Budget guests: consider upgrading to include all five (5) dinners. Inquire.

 
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Catania

 

Day 8: Catania

food icon   Included Dining: Breakfast
star icon   Exclusives: Sicilian Culinary School

We begin today with an included breakfast. Today's highlight is a walking tour of Catania. We begin our tour with a visit to the world-famous Catania Fish Market, which is as old as the ancient city itself. You'll never forget watching workers unload their catches onto tables full of ice --- octopuses, buckets full of snails and tiny clams, beautiful arrangements of eels and rays, and almost every other form of sea life imaginable!

From the fish market, we'll walk to Piazza Duomo, the town's historical center. We will view the unique Elephant Fountain and the Cathedral, with the Chapel of Sant'Agata, containing the saint's treasures. City Hall and Plazzo degli Elefanti are also in this square.

Castel Ursino
From Piazza Duomo we will walk to the mighty Castel Ursino built in the 13th century to protect the city. It is the only medieval building to survive the great earthquake and volcanic eruption of 1693. Originally built on a promontory overlooking the sea, today it sits at a greater distance from the sea due to the earthquake and lava flow from Mt. Etna. Throughout the centuries it has been used as a royal residence as well as a prison.

Lunch venues abound in the many piazze . . . enjoy!

Following lunch, Story Land & Sea® is proud to offer you a another unique experience, which will be one of the real "highlights" of your vacation in Sicily. We have made special arrangements for you to visit a unique Sicilian Cooking School at a 400-year-old villa/estate (built in 1609). What makes this estate especially unique is that it has been in the same family for 8 generations. Yes, you will have the opportunity to indulge in the memorable meal, which you will create and prepare. This experience is always a highlight, and will be one which you will remember for many years to come!

Story Exclusive: Sicilian Culinary School at a 400-year-old estate.
Don't like cooking? Sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of Sicilian vino, while dinner is prepared for you, all from the perspective of a beautiful villa with stunning views.

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Taormina ~ Sicily's Most Beautiful
Mount Etna

Day 9: Mount Etna

food icon   Included Dining: Breakfast

Truly Discovering the friend, Mount Etna
Following our included breakfast, we shall meet our expert guide and depart for an incredible journey to the top of beautiful Mount Etna. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Ionian Sea, as we climb higher and higher into a stunning, otherworldly landscape. A walking tour around Etna's craters is sure to be one of the highlights of your tour. This much loved mountain is an integral part of daily life for those who live in its shadows. Mongibello, the beautiful mountain, is viewed as a benevolent, ever-present friend and giver of life and good things (grapes, wine, crops, pistachios), and they downplay the destructive force Etna can become at times.

Story Land & Sea® Exclusive: Winery Tasting on the Slopes of Mount Etna

We continue on and make our way to what is arguably Sicily's most beautiful city – Taormina.

The site of the old town is about 800 feet above the sea, while a very steep, almost isolated rock, crowned by a Saracen castle, rises 500 feet higher above the Ionian Sea. The vistas from Taormina are breathtaking! Portions of the ancient wall may be traced at intervals all around the brow of the hill. By far, the most remarkable site remaining at Taormina is the "Ancient Theatre," which is one of the most famous ruins in Sicily---on account of its remarkable preservation and its beautiful location. This theatre here is the second largest of its kind in Sicily - after that in Syracuse. It is frequently used for operatic and theatrical performances and for concerts.

We then arrive at our luxurious hotel in Taormina, our home for the next two evenings. After arrival and check-in, the tour captain will give you an orientation of this town on the way to an optional dinner.

Optional Dinner
Enjoy an optional dinner with the Tour Captain, or explore on your own.

 
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Taormina at Leisure

Day 10: Taormina

food icon   Included Dining: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner

With gorgeous vistas everywhere, it is difficult to not "fall in love" with the magical beauty and ambiance of Taormina.

To allow you to absorb the beauty of this place, we have provided you a full "free day" to explore Taormina and the surrounding area on your own. You will enjoy strolling the picturesque streets, spending time shopping in the many shops in Taormina, or just enjoying the sights and sounds in one of the city's parks. Taormina offers one of the most breathtaking, panoramic settings in the world --- with incredible views out across the Ionian Sea, as well as the "picture-perfect" view of Mount Etna.

This area of Sicily is also popular for its nearby beaches (accessible via an aerial tramway). You may wish to take a short ride via taxi or public bus to the popular seaside resort of Giardini Naxos. Tours of the Capo Sant' Andrea grottos are also available.

Taormina View, Sicily, Italy

 

Included Farewell Dinner: Enjoy a special time together with your new friends as you reminisce about your adventure through Sicily and dream of your next story of travel. Classic Budget guests: consider upgrading to include all five (5) dinners. Inquire.

 
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Arrivederci Sicily!

Day 11

food icon   Included Dining: Breakfast (if your flight is not too early!)

Optional Transfer to Catania Airport. Inquire with reservations. After your included breakfast, you will be taken to Catania, where you will be dropped off at the Catania Airport for your return flight(s).

***Tour Ends***

Call today to place your reservation at 1 (877) 865-6711.

 
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Heart of City Hotels mean your experience is like none other in the travel industry.

There is a difference between centrally-located hotels and Story Land & Sea®'s Heart-of-City hotels. No taxis or shuttles required when you're in the historical heart of the cities and villages.

Our small group Italy tour hotels feature historical architecture with all the amenities you'd come to expect. The properties are located in the heart of the cities, towns and villages.

Remember, availability in tour hotels may be affected based on seasonal demand. Alternate hotel properties of equal quality will be used when the following hotels are not available.

 

Palermo Hotels - 3 Nights

Agrigento Hotel - 1 Night

Ragusa Hotel - 1 Night



Catania Hotel - 2 Nights



Taormina Hotel - 2 Nights




True Small Group Touring through Sicily.

Our true small-group tour to Sicily with our Deluxe or Classic Budget hotel package. Enjoy walking the hearts of the cities and towns of Sicily's treasures.

Deluxe Tours

Our Deluxe True Small Group Italy Tour Features:

4- and 5-Star Deluxe Hotels & our Villa hotel in Tuscany: located in the very Heart of the Cities and Towns.

The Deluxe Tour Features:
~ Hotels feature world-class amenities, larger rooms and lobbies
~ Private bathrooms with showers and some baths
~ Air-Conditioned Guest Rooms
~ Full, Hot Daily Breakfast
~ True Heart of City Location
~ Professional Local Guides
~ Walking the Hearts of Cities & Towns
~ Special Access
~ Story Land & Sea® Exclusives
~ Your professional, fully trained Tour Captain or Story Local Host® is with you throughout the tour.

Published Rate: Payable by Credit Card or Check. See pricing tab above.
Single Supplement: $1,149

Our Heart of City Hotels
There is a difference between centrally located hotels and Story Land & Sea®'s Heart of City Hotels - compare with mainstream companies and you'll see we mean what we say. Our deluxe hotels feature large rooms, private bathrooms, air conditioning, and all the amenities of modern luxury properties.

Our Deluxe Dining Plan:
5 Dinners Included. Our Tour Captains will invite you to join them to unique restaurants each night, even when dinner is optional.

Travel Protection is not included. Story Land and Sea recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travelex plans include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more. Click here to get a quote and purchase on their website. Remember, you are responsible to arrive at the point of tour origination. If you are delayed, your vacation may be at risk. You can cancel your vacation with a 100% refund up to 90 days prior to departure. Within 90 days you will begin receiving penalties per the terms of the Tour Application, should you have to cancel.

Gratuities Included: Story Land & Sea® provides gratuities for your Local City Tour Guides, Tour Drivers, Restaurant and Hotel Staff. Customary gratuities for your Tour Captain are not included, and should be extended on a voluntary, individual basis.

Airfare is not included. Airfare arrangements made by Story Land & Sea® is a completely separate booking from your land vacation.

That's it ~ everything else, excluding personal item purchases, is included.

Classic Tours

Our Classic Budget True Small Group Italy Tour Features:

Superior Tourist or Classic Budget Hotels & Villa hotel located in the Heart of the Cities and Towns.

The Classic Budget Tour Features:
~ Hotels feature private bathrooms with showers, typical European-sized rooms, small lobbies
~ Air-Conditioned Guest Rooms
~ Daily Continental Breakfast
~ Within seconds of Deluxe Hotels
~ Professional Local Guides
~ Walking the Hearts of Cities & Towns
~ Special Access
~ Story Land & Sea® Exclusives
~ Your professional, fully trained Tour Captain or Story Local Host® is with you throughout the tour.

Published Rate: Payable by Credit Card or Check. See pricing tab above.
Single Supplement: $849

Exploration & Immersion: Same great sightseeing with our professional guides and, yes, you go inside.

Classic Budget Dinner Plan:
One (1) Welcome Dinner Included in Palermo. Our Tour Captains will invite you to join them to unique restaurants each night, even when dinner is optional.

Classic Budget Hotel Rooms: Superior Tourist Hotel rooms are small, but safe, and located in the hearts of the towns and villages. Private bathrooms (typically small, European-style lodging with some bathrooms featuring only a shower) with included breakfast.

About the Classic Breakfast: Classic Superior Tourist Hotel breakfasts include a standard Italian experience, with most offering coffee, juice and pastries.

Gratuities Included: Story Land & Sea® provides gratuities for your Local City Tour Guides, Tour Drivers, Restaurant and Hotel Staff. Customary gratuities for your Tour Captain are not included, and should be extended on a voluntary, individual basis.

Airfare is not included. Airfare arrangements made by Story Land & Sea® is a completely separate booking from your land vacation.


What's Included in Your Small Group Tour?


What's Included in this Small Group Tour of Sicily?

We've tried to include everything on our Guaranteed Departures ~
However, make note of the following:

  • Optional AnyTime Arrival Experience into Palermo: Includes Meet & Greet by Story Land & Sea® Tours' Representative Host, Shuttle from Airport to hotel and all gratuities. Regular Rate: $69/person, 2 Guest Minimum.
  • Departure Transfer: Taormina to Catania: $79 per person, Taormina Hotel to Catania Airport, minimum two (2) guests.
  • Breakfast is included daily
  • Lunch is not included - Our Tour Captains and Guides will offer great, affordable suggestions for delicious lunches every day.
  • Five (5) dinners are included with the Deluxe and one (1) dinner is included with the Classic ~ our Tour Captains will invite you to join them to unique restaurants each night, however.
  • We Stay in the Very Heart of Cities & Towns.
  • Airfare is not included.
  • Travel Protection is not included. Story Land and Sea recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travelex plans include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more. Click here to get a quote and purchase on their website. Remember, you are responsible to arrive at the point of tour origination. If you are delayed for any reason, your vacation may be at risk, even if Story Land & Sea® made your airfare arrangements. Airfare is a completely separate booking from your land vacation. You can cancel your vacation with a 100% refund up to 90 days prior to departure. Within 90 days, you will begin receiving penalties per the terms of the Tour Application, should you have to cancel.
  • Gratuities Included: Story Land & Sea® includes gratuities for Local Tour Guides, Drivers, Hotel and Restaurant Staff included.
  • Customary gratuities for your Tour Captain are not included, and should be extended on a voluntary, individual basis.

That's it ~ everything else, excluding personal item purchases, is included. Read on below for all of the inclusions to this tour through the Best of Sicily.

Something for everyone…Whether you’re a “first-timer” to Sicily or have visited many times, we invite you to join us for this exciting tour program. For one set price, you’ll be staying in first-class accommodations in each city, and have the experience of local, English-speaking tour guides. You’ll have a chance to visit all the major, “must-see” sites, plus enough free time on your own to visit the places that really matter to you…or, you can simply enjoy that time relishing your first taste of Sicily - it’s entirely up to you. Also included are in-depth tours in each city, group transportation in an air-conditioned motor coach, admission and entrance fees for each stop on our tours, breakfast each morning, and five all-inclusive dinners with regional wines.

And if you have been to Sicily before and maybe want something a little different, you have the opportunity of choosing to go as a “first-timer” (there are many sites you could see a hundred times and still find something new!), or adding on whichever tours and attractions are to your liking and interest, essentially building your own trip (simply call us at 1 (877) 865-6711 for a custom quote).


 

Best of Sicily Tour
Deluxe Tours from $5,179

Classic Tours from $4,179



2017 Small Group Tour Prices

Enjoy small group touring from 6 to 16 guests.
Guaranteed departures with official Story Tour Captain® or Story Local Host® for groups of 5 or less. Inquire for your departure.

Published Date Tour
Size
Deluxe
Price
Classic Budget
Departures in April-May 2017
Apr 5, 19
Max 16 Guests $5,179 $4,179
May 10, 24
Max 16 Guests $5,379 $4,379
Departures in June-July 2017
June 7, 21
Max 16 Guests $5,379 $4,379
July 12, 26
Max 16 Guests $5,379 $4,379
Departures in Sep-Oct 2017
Sep 12, 20, 27
Max 16 Guests $5,379 $4,379
Oct 10, 24
Max 16 Guests $5,379 $4,379

 
2018 Small Group Tour Prices

Enjoy small group touring from 6 to 16 guests.
Guaranteed departures with official Story Tour Captain® or Story Local Host® for groups of 5 or less. Inquire for your departure.

Published Date Tour
Size
Deluxe
Price
Classic Budget
Price
Departures in April-May 2018
Apr 5, 19
Max 16 Guests $5,179 $4,179
May 10, 24
Max 16 Guests $5,379 $4,379
Departures in June-July 2018
June 7, 21
Max 16 Guests $5,379 $4,379
July 12, 26
Max 16 Guests $5,379 $4,379
Departures in Sep-Oct 2018
Sep 12, 20, 27
Max 16 Guests $5,379 $4,379
Oct 10, 24
Max 16 Guests $5,379 $4,379

Get Started: Ask a Question, Schedule a Call, Request a Trip Quote, or Have us Craft Your Trip

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