Western Sicily – A patchwork of knowledge, flavours and enchanting views

  • 8 Days
  • Sicily
  • Cultural, Etnographic

Description

What is Sicily? Such a various island is not easy to be defined: incredible archaeological sites, dramatic landscapes, a still active volcano, beatiful and secluded beaches stretching along a clear blue sea. These are just few aspects of a land that offers to curious travellers also one the finest cuisine in Italy, genuine local meetings, fascinating little “borghi” hidden inside the mountains. All the reasons why travellers from all over the world wonder about a journey to Italy are gathered here in one breathtaking dream named Sicily.

 

What to Expect

In this journey we explore the Western side of Sicily. Among Cefalù, Segesta, Trapani and Palermo we will discover the great variety of archaeologicat sites, dramatic landscapes, stunning beaches and, moreover, the genuine local cuisine. In this complex island, nature and human kind interwine together, such as in the small villages hidden in the Madonie Mountains. An extraordinary place where few people live, way out of the world.
A perfect synergy between man and nature is preserved also in Segesta, where an ancient temple in the purest Doric style and a theatre stands on the top of the mountain.
Later, Selinunte represents one of the most ancient archaeological sites in Sicily, dating back to 650 BC.
Sicily is also sea and crystal clear water, that we will join in Egadi islands and in Mozia.
The great and genuine local cuisine is scattered all over Sicily, but we will make a stop specially in Marsala, famous for its fine liquorish wine. These are just few of the outstanding gems of Sicily, we will discorver much more day by day.

This itinerary can be combined with Eastern Sicily – A volcanic pattern of stories and archaeology

  • Etnography
  • Nature
  • Cultural heritage
  • Local food

Itinerary

Day 1 - Palermo- Cefalù • Arrival

Arrival in Palermo airport and transfer to the hotel in Cefalù area.

Cefalu at the north coast of Sicily at twilight

Day 2 - Cefalù- Madonie Regional Natural Park- Cefalù • The hidden Madonie Mountains (40 km)

Today, after breakfast, we start the exploration of the small villages hidden in the Madonie Mountains. This will be a day at a slow pace, typical of the villages of Sicily, where time does not exist and where the real attraction is the people who have decided to live in these extraordinary places. We will walk through the characteristic alleys of the small village of the Madonie Mountains with visits to historical and evocative places, meetings with the locals, itinerant tastings of typical products and local excellences and the visit of the flowered courtyards. We will also enjoy a walking lunch with inspiring meetings and tastings in the streets. Then we will also visit to one of the most beautiful villages in Sicily: Geraci Siculo.

Day 3 - Cefalù- Segesta- Trapani • A leap back in time (160 km)

After breakfast, we move to Segesta. Along with present-day Erice, Segesta was one of the chief settlements of the Elimi, a people of uncertain origins. Of the ancient town only a few traces remain: the ruins of a number of square towers and of a gate from the old fortifications. Miraculously intact, on the other hand, is the temple, a hexastyle peripteros in the purest Doric style and the theatre, which dates to roughly the middle of the 3rd c.B.C. It stands right in the top of the mountain (400m), overlooking the urban setting. Then we will visit Erice, situated on Mount San Giuliano (751m). Erice is a magnificent medieval village, which has survived intact to the present day. With its cobblestone streets and its remarkable urban layout, it met the requirements of a population that lived on a limited amount of land.
Famous sites are the Matrice Church with its isolated campanile, which was erected in 1314, and the Castle of Venus, which was built on an ancient temple dedicated to the Venus of Erice. The cosy town is also famous for its delicious almond cookies which we will taste. At the end of the day, we move to our hotel for the overnight.

Day 4 - Trapani- Aegadian Islands- Trapani • Enchanting sea views (60 km)

After breakfast, transfer to the harbour of Trapani for a relaxing mini cruise to the Egadi Islands. The most important and well-known of the Egadi islands is Favignana, where they still practice the “Mattanza”, a traditional kind of tuna fishing which takes place during the months of June and July. The island has some wonderful tufa quarries overlooking the sea at Cala Rossa where the bottom of the sea is covered with small, bright pebbles which reflect the light and create an amazing effect. The island owes its name to the Favonio wind. The only inhabited center is at Cala Principale, a bay where is located also the port. The paved alleys, the picturesque square of Madrice with the outdoor cafes and the charm of an old port make Favignana a delightful place to visit. After lunch, we weigh anchor and proceed to Levanzo. Levanzo, wild and nearly untouched, is the smallest of the Egadi, with the smallest number of inhabitants and the almost total absence of vehicles. The population concentrates in a lovely village on the southern coast of the island, a bay called Cala Dogana. This landing is the only one but is unforgettable, though protected only from the winds between the West and the North. After the visit we return to the hotel for the overnight.

2 Photographers take the photo on Salt field in Twilight time.

Day 5 - Trapani- Mozia- Trapani • Discovering local culture (50 km)

Breakfast at the hotel. Then we start to visit Mozia. Founded by the Carthaginians at the end of the 8th c.B.C. on the island of San Pantaleo, the city of Mozia, given its ideal location, close to Africa and an obligatory point of passage along the main trade routes to Spain, Sardinia and central Italy soon housed one of the most prosperous Punic colonies in the Mediterranean Sea. You can see the ancient fortifications, the harbour, the Tophet (an open-air-sanctuary) and a small museum. After the visit, we move back to Marsala. Marsala’s fame is tied to the fine liquorish wine by the same name. The success of Marsala wine was a product of the initiative of British entrepreneurs who came here at the end of the 18th c. We will visit one of the most famous wineries and taste some of the best wines. Famous sites are the cathedral, dedicated to St. Thomas of Canterbury, the tapestry museum and the archaeological museum with its jewel, a Punic ship (the only example in the world of a “liburna”, a agile warship roughly 35m in length). At the end of the day we travel back to our hotel.

Day 6 - Trapani- Mazara del Vallo- Selinunte- Palermo • From Phoenicians to Greeks (170 km)

After breaksfast, we start our day with the visit of Mazara del Vallo. The town was founded by the Phoenicians, it was an important port in ancient times and is still a one of the most important fishing town. The harbour has the largest fishing vessel fleet of Italy. Mazara del Vallo is also the home of the Dancing Satyr. At the end of the visits, we move to Selinunte, one of the most ancient archeological site of Sicily. It was an ancient Greek colony, founded in 650 B.C., and it is divided in four zones: the acropolis, with its public and religious buildings; the ancient city with the ruins of various homes; the eastern temples, which give us some idea of the wealth and importance of this Greek settlement in the 6th c.B.C. and the Sanctuary of Malophoros, dedicated to Demeter, the goddess of fertility and harvest.
Temple G is the second largest Greek temple in Sicily, after the Temple of Olympian Zeus at Agrigento. At the end of the day, we travel to Palermo to reach our hotel for the overnight.

Day 7 - Palermo- Monreale- Palermo • Sicilian capital (20 km)

On this day we start after breakfast with the visit of Palermo, the capital of Sicily. The setting is beautiful and the city, a mix of European and Oriental, is without equal despite reduced circumstances. The architecture, ranging in style from Arabic to Norman, Baroque and Art Nouveau, is without comparison in Sicily. Here we will enjoy a walking tour to discover the street food delicacies of the city. We will walk through the historic squares and street markets of the city centre. Bakeries, street vendors and old inns keep the secrets of the delicious street food of Palermo. After the walking tour, we will move to Monreale to visit the famous Cathedral and Cloister with its fascinating mosaics. At the end of the day, we move back to our hotel for the overnight.

Cathedral of Monreale, Sicily, Italy

Day 8 - Palermo • Departure

According to the flights, transfer to the airport.

Price Includes

  • Transfers from/to airport
  • 7 overnight in BB treatment
  • Private minibus (20 seats) with driver for the entire tour
  • Welcome dinner on day 1
  • Tasting on day 2
  • Almond biscuits tasting on day 3
  • Boat tickets to Aegadian Islands and Mozia
  • Sunset-Aperitiv on day 5
  • Street food tour in Palermo (including street food samples, seasonal desserts and 2 drinks)
  • Tourist tax
  • Tour leader from 6 pax
  • Road tools, fuel and parking fees

Price Excludes

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • All the meals not specified in the program
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses
  • Everything not specified in "the quote includes"
  • Entrance fees

FAQ

When can I travel ?

From April to October. 

How much does it cost ?

On request – quotations from 2 to 12 pax.

For further information on the price or a tailor-made quotation please contact us at info@out-of-italy.com. 

How's the climate ?

Best time to visit Sicily is between late spring and autumn, with some hot months in July and August.

Are meals included ?

The quote includes 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch/tasting, 1 dinner, 1 wine tasting, 1 chocolate tasting, 1 “Granita” tasting.

Which transportation will be used ?

We travel by minibus.

For logistics or technical reasons, the itinerary can be run with some amendments on the sequence of the visits and excursions.

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