Join us in Eastern Sicily!

Sicily Tour Highlights

The tastiest Sicilian food and wine • Valley of the Temples • Vibrant Catania • Romantic Oritigia and towns of the Val di Noto • Villa Romana del Casale • Smouldering Mount Etna • Harvest festival

Untold Sicily Tour Overview

Come with us to Eastern Sicily and discover vibrant and exciting towns and landscapes that you’ll keep in your heart forever. Eastern Sicily is a heady combination of history, culture, local tastes, brilliant wine and artisan crafts passed down by generations. And of course, remarkable people.

Our Eastern Sicily itinerary takes you to many of the island’s classic highlights plus, of course, we uncover a myriad of hidden secrets. You’ll experience ancient ruins, magical landscapes and the ultimate in Sicilian hospitality.

Beginning in Catania and the baroque towns of Val di Noto, we’ll learn about their resurgence after the devastating earthquake of 1693.  This area of Sicily is diverse and exciting, so you’ll also discover layers of culture that have endured and evolved of the centuries. Be amazed at artistry and technique required to make the stunning ornate ceramics for which the island is renowned and later walk in the path of ancients and fishermen.

Heading inland you’ll be in awe of the majestic ruins of the Valley of the Temples and intricate mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale. We’ll also explore the prehistoric Sicani hills where time moves slowly and with the rhythm of the seasons. We’re excited to show you the contrasts and rhythm of this land and let it seep into all your senses.

Mount Etna is calling us too. You’ll have the opportunity to get up close with the island’s great nurturer and destroyer before tasting her bounty and how it’s celebrated at a local festival (one of our favorite signature experiences included in Untold Italy tours).

Of course the highlight of any visit to Sicily is the abundant, delicious and seasonally thoughtful food and wine. We’ve made sure you’ll experience the tastiest dishes and matching wines throughout our trip.

Through shared meals and tasting experiences you’ll learn how Sicilians are brilliantly applying modern techniques to ancient traditions and ensuring the sustainability of their environment.

We’re confident that on your departure your glimpse into these aspects of Sicilian culture will have you craving more and wondering why you didn’t visit sooner.

Untold Sicily Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Catania

Our journey starts in Catania at the foot of smouldering Mount Etna. A city of contrasts, this vibrant Baroque metropolis is the perfect introduction to our time in Sicily.

In Catania you’ll find opulent palazzi on one corner and the bustling fish market around another. It’s a place where ancient rituals coexist with modern life.

Check into our hotel, explore the city and in the evening get together with the group for your welcome aperitivo with your hosts Karen La Rosa and Katy Clarke and fellow travelers.

Day 1 Inclusions:

  • Hotel: Luxury 4 Star hotel in the heart of Catania
  • Meals: Evening welcome aperitivo

Day 2: Caltagirone – Home of Sicilian Ceramics

Colorful Caltagirone is festooned in the ceramic tiles for which the town is best known. The artisan origins of the city pre-date Arab occupation, however as we learn about Sicily’s layered past, the Arabs left their mark in the form of glazing techniques used to this day.

We’ll explore the town with our expert archeologist guide, taking note of the impressive 142 steps of the Scalinata di Santa Maria del Monte inlaid with ornate tiles for spectacular effect.

Later, we visit the workshop of a third generation artisan family entrusted with maintaining and restoring Caltigirone’s public ceramic works. You’ll have the opportunity to purchase a piece of the highest quality and craftsmanship here.

Our lunch stop is at one of the town’s favorite cafes known for some of the tastiest antipasti on the island and excellent local wine list.

caltagirone sicily tour

After lunch we make our way to our lovely country house hotel nestled near the Val di Noto coastline. Then it’s time to relax before our welcome dinner of local seasonal dishes and paired local wines in the property’s magical garden courtyard (weather permitting).

Day 2 Inclusions:

  • Tours and activities: Guided walking tour of Caltagirone with expert local guide
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with matching wines
  • Hotel: 4 star luxury country house hotel near Noto

Day 3: Explore Ortigia and vineyard dinner

There’s something about Oritigia that pulls you in. Maybe it’s the labyrinth of streets opening onto elegant piazza or the turquoise sea lapping at the shoreline.

Regardless, it’s a special place where time seems to stand still yet life continues in glorious chaos on this tiny peninsula.

We start our day at the archaeological park in Siracusa where you’ll discover the stories and history behind one of Europe’s largest surviving Greek Theaters, the Ear of Dionysus and later Roman ruins.

Then we cross the bridge over to Ortigia to check out its vibrant produce and fish market before lunch at a fabulous delicatessen where you’ll taste some of the freshest and most delicious salumi and cheeses anywhere in the world.

best sicily tour

Exploring Ortigia’s laneways and seaside vistas is one of life’s ultimate pleasures and there will be plenty of time for that after lunch. You may want to peek inside the ornate Baroque cathedral or indulge in an “only in Sicily” cannolo or granita (Sicilian gelato). We’ll share the best addresses of course!

We bid farewell to Ortigia in the late afternoon and stop for dinner at a winery known for its superb Nero D’Avola vintages. Here we’ll recount the treasures of Ortigia and no doubt vow to return again.

Day 3 Inclusions:

  • Tours and activities: Guided walking tour of Siracusa Archaeological Park and Ortigia with expert local guide
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with matching wines
  • Hotel: 4 star luxury country house hotel near Noto

Day 4: Discover Baroque Noto and Local Cheese

The great earthquake of 1693 completely destroyed the towns of the Val di Noto . First among equals, Noto was completely rebuilt in the exuberant baroque style you see today.

Exploring this delightful town is the main objective of today’s activities but not before discovering the local cheese made from goat’s milk at an organic farm. While goats’ milk cheese contains lactose it is much easier to digest than cow’s milk and is an important part of the south eastern Sicilian diet. We’ll be tasting some of course!

noto sicily tour

Fortified by delicious cheese, we’ll make our way to Noto where our expert local guide will take us on a guided tour of the grand palazzi and beautiful churches of the town.

sicilian cheeses

You’ll have time to explore on your own in Noto. Stop for lunch at your leisure or wander with gelato or almond granita from  iconic Caffè Sicilia (don’t resist, you’ll be talking about this for the longest time).

If you love a bird’s eye view then you won’t want to miss opulent Chiesa Santa Chiara where you’ll find an enchanting view of the baroque interior and sweeping vistas of the city of Noto from the rooftop.

We’ll return to the hotel in the late afternoon to relax and ready ourselves for adventures ahead.

Day 4 Inclusions:

  • Tours and activities: Guided walking tour of Noto with expert local guide and local cheese farm visit
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Hotel: 4 star luxury country house hotel near Noto

Day 5: Villa Romana del Casale and Agrigento

This morning we head inland towards Agrigento, making a stop at magnificent Villa Romana del Casale near Piazza Armerina along the way. If you enjoyed Pompeii and the Roman ruins near Naples then wait until you see this beautiful villa.

Dating from the 4th century AD, Villa Romana Casale is covered in mosaics in what were living and communal areas, and even servants quarters. In fact, this UNESCO site is said to have the best preserved Roman mosaics in the world.

Our archaeologist guide will be on hand to point out the significant pieces and share with you the story of how the depiction of Ancient Roman life, shown in the thousands of square meters of mosaic, was covered and preserved over many centuries.

We’ll discuss our favorite mosaic scenes over a casual lunch in Piazza Armerina before making our way to our hotel. Ideally positioned close to the beach, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the shore at your leisure before returning to the hotel for dinner.

Day 5 Inclusions:

  • Tours and activities: Guided walking tour of Villa Romana del Casale with expert local guide
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with matching wines
  • Hotel: 4 star luxury hotel near the coast of Agrigento

Day 6: Valley of the Temples and Olive Oil experience

Nothing can prepare you for the size and majesty of the Ancient Greek structures at the Valley of the Temple near Agrigento. Built over 2,500 years ago, they’ve stood the test of time and are a wonder to behold.

We visit the archaeological park with our expert guide in the morning so we avoid the heat of the day. Found on a ridge (not a valley) we’ll walk through the park to view the 8 remaining temples of the ancient city of Akragas. The most impressive is the Doric Temple of Concordia.

valley of the temples agrigento sicily tour highlights

Our guide will share the story of the temples that lay relatively dormant for millennia until they were rediscovered in the late 18th century. To this day, archaeological investigations continue, giving us a glimpse into life in Sicily so long ago.

Admiring ancient ruins has a way of making you hungry, so our next stop is a technical olive oil tasting and lunch amongst ancient trees in a beautiful setting.

sicily olive oil tasting

We then visit the town of Raccalmuto, once home to one of Sicily’s most important 20th century writers and political activists, and learn about their influence on modern Sicilian culture.

At the end of the day, our hotel beckons. You’ll have plenty of time to relax and order some dinner if you choose.

Day 6 Inclusions:

  • Tours and activities: Guided walking tour of the Valley of the Temples with expert local guide, olive oil tasting
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Hotel: 4 star luxury hotel near the coast of Agrigento

Day 7: The Ancient Sicani Hills

As we make our way  back to Catania, we’re making a stop in the ancient hills of Sicani. This is quintissential “untold” territory. A place of rugged and breathtaking beauty, it’s where you appreciate Sicilian respect for and pride in their land up close.

This prehistoric area is dotted with charming small towns where time has almost stood still for centuries. Our local guide will introduce us to his town and its people. We will taste produce from the area and talk along the way.

After our tour of the town, we’re heading to the hills, making sure to make way for the passing local traffic – herds of sheep. Here we will meet the Plant Whisperer, a botanist who will share his foraging knowledge and skills and nourish us from nature.

sicily tour sheep

With fresh country air in our lungs and a deeper understanding of the provenance of Sicilian produce, we return to Catania to check into our boutique hotel in Catania. Here we will continue our food discovery journey over dinner prepared with seasonal and slow food principles in mind.

Day 7 Inclusions:

  • Tours and activities: Guided walking tour of Sant’Angelo Muxaro and lunch with the Plant Whisperer
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Hotel: 4 star luxury boutique hotel in Catania

Day 8: Catania Highlights and Mount Etna Wine Tasting

Mornings in Catania and alive with the sounds and colors of the the fish market. We’ll visit this iconic institution of the city (operating since the 900s) after breakfast and soak up the atmosphere as locals purchase the freshest clams, swordfish and tuna for their lunch or dinner.

Vendors advertise their catch of the day with shouts in dialect and wild gesticulations. It’s an assault on the senses and an unmissable experience. Can you even say you’ve been to Sicily if you haven’t experienced the fish market?

catania fish market sicily

So far we’ve resisted the calls of Mount Etna but we now head to her verdant slopes to visit an outstanding winery that is pioneering a renaissance of winemaking in this region. We meet the wine makers and discover the organic and sustainable practices and techniques deployed in creating exciting wines from native grape varieties.

mount etna winery

Of course, wine in Sicily is always enjoyed with a meal. Our lunch today pairs the wine from this property with local and seasonal produce that it was made to compliment. And it’s then you’ll understand the symbiosis and connection between the people, the land, and their food and wine.

In the afternoon we return to Catania to relax or explore the city, excited to return to Etna once more the following day.

Day 8 Inclusions:

  • Tours and activities: Guided walking tour Catania with expert local guide and winery visit
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and wine tasting
  • Hotel: 4 star luxury boutique hotel in Catania

Day 9: Mount Etna craters and local festival

mount etna crater tour

Mount Etna’s extinct craters look like a scene from the planet Mars. We visit this unique landscape after breakfast at the hotel and tread the volcanic soil that has always defined the island of Sicily. Civilizations and invaders have come come and gone from Sicily but Etna remains the great mother of this land.

Our expert local guide takes us safely around the craters and lava flows and explains the topography and volcanic history along the way. Views from this area are breathtaking so it’s definitely a day not to forget your camera.

With an appreciation of why the volcano is both feared and revered, we continue to a local festival that celebrates the connection to the land and the bounty of the soil. Browse the food and produce stalls for snacks or pick up beautifully crafted hand made souvenirs from local vendors, with Sicilian music providing a fitting sound track.

We return to Catania for our farewell dinner. Our chosen restaurant is renowned for its deep respect for and elevation of traditional Sicilian dishes matched effortlessly with hand selected wines. This memorable meal is a fitting end to your time with us in Sicily and one you’ll remember for many months to come.

Day 9 Inclusions:

  • Tours and activities: Guided tour Mount Etna craters and local festival with expert local guide
  • Meals: Breakfast, Wine dinner with sommelier
  • Hotel: 4 star luxury boutique hotel in Catania

Day 10: Arrivederci Sicily

It’s time now to say our farewells. Our trip has given you a glimpse of Sicilian history, culture, food and wine – influenced over 2,500 years by many civilizations who all left their mark. We have no doubt you’ll take a little piece of Sicily home with your in your heart.

Group departure transfers to Catania airport or train station will be arranged for a morning department.

Want to explore Sicily further on your own? Should you want some assistance we are happy to put you in touch with our trusted ground partners and assist with practical advice.

Day 10 Inclusions:

  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Transfer: Group transfers to Catania airport or train station available on request

Accommodation

We’ve hand selected four properties that offer Sicilian style and heritage with modern amenities in beautiful locations. Hospitality and attentive staff are all part of the package at these hotels.

You’ll enjoy a delicious Sicilian style breakfast each morning and have time to take advantage of panoramic terraces and swimming pools (when open for the season) at some properties.

We’ll be busy during the day but your hotel is a haven to relax and unwind and recount your favorite experiences.

Meet Your Host

Karen la Rosa
Tour leader

Karen’s heritage was the spark that lit the flame for passion for Sicily. She is the heart and soul of La RosaWorks, a boutique company that designs, hosts, and arranges customized tours to Sicily. Deeply knowledgeable and curious about the island, she is a bona fide Sicily expert dedicated to helping others create lifelong memories through experiential and tasty travel there.

2022 Package Price

Inclusions

  • Accommodation: 9 nights in charming luxury 4 star accommodation based on double occupancy. Single supplement – $795 payable on first deposit
  • Walking tours: 9 guided tours with local guides / archaeologists
  • Experiences: 2 wine tastings, ceramic workshop, Siracusa archaeological park, Valley of the Temples archaeological site, Villa Romana del Casale villa, olive oil tasting, sensory botanic encounter, Mount Etna craters, local harvest festival, wine dinner with sommelier
  • Meals: 8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 1 aperitivo and 6 dinners as specified in the itinerary, wine with meals.
  • Local transportation: Luxury air-conditioned mini-bus
  • Tips and gratuities: For drivers and guides
  • Group departure transfers 

Exclusions

  • Optional activities not included in the program
  • Hotel city tax – usually €2-3 per person/night
  • Arrival transfers to hotel
  • Meals and drinks not specified in the itinerary
  • Meals if arriving earlier or staying later
  • Travel & Medical Insurance (Recommended)
  • COVID Vaccinations Pre Arrival (Required)
  • Visa (If required)
  • Departure COVID Testing if required. We can help organize.
  • Departure transfers outside group booking

FAQs

Sicily Tour FAQs

Yes. Prices are per person, in US dollars

No, Untold Italy tour prices do not include airfares or ground transportation to the tour departure point. You will need to make your own flight and travel arrangements.

We have strived to make our Sicily tour as all inclusive as possible with no hidden surprises. Included in your tour are:

  • 9 nights in charming luxury 4 star accommodation (based on double occupancy). A single supplement of $USD 795 applies
  • 9 guided walking tours with expert guides, often archaeologists
  • Unique experiences: 2 wine tastings, ceramic workshop, Siracusa archaeological park, Valley of the Temples archaeological site, Villa Romana del Casale villa, olive oil tasting, sensory botanic encounter, Mount Etna craters, local harvest festival, wine dinner with sommelier
  • Meals: 8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 1 aperitivo and 6 dinners as specified in the itinerary, wine and bottled water is included with meals other than breakfast
  • Luxury air-conditioned mini-bus
  • Tips and gratuities for drivers and guides
  • Group departure transfers

Where only 2 meals are included per day, either lunch or dinner is extremely substantial and usually guests prefer a small snack for the other meal. We can recommend excellent restaurants and snack bars at each location should you require them. All meals include wine and bottled water. Should you prefer other beverages, they are not included in the cost of the tour.

Our tour prices do not include your international roundtrip airfare or internal flight to Catania, travel insurance, your arrival transfer to our first hotel, activities not included in the trip itinerary; additional hotel charges such as room service, hotel bar tabs and laundry; and food and beverages not included in our itinerary. Gratuity for your tour leader is also not included.

The $200 hold deposit to secure your place on the tour is fully refundable if we cancel the trip for reasons beyond our control or if we do not meet the minimum number of guests for the trip to go ahead. If we cancel the trip before this time, a full refund of the hold deposit will be issued minus any bank charges. Should you change your mind and decide not to come on the tour, this deposit is non-refundable.

Once your first deposit is due on on booking in early 2022, all payments are non-refundable, and the initial hold deposit will be put towards your final balance. We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance as we are not able to make exceptions to this policy (see our Sicily Tour Terms and Conditions for full details).

You need a moderate level of fitness for this tour as there is a decent amount of walking involved. We will be walking at least 2 hours per day often on cobblestones and in rocky and hilly countryside. A visit to Mount Etna’s volcanic craters is also included in this tour.

Catania, Sicily is the start and end point for our tour. Catania’s international airport Fontanarossa Airport (CTA) is approximately 20 minutes by taxi to central Catania.

Flights depart from Rome and Milan to Catania regularly. The main airlines flying these routes are ITA, Ryanair, WizzAir and Easyjet.

You can expect to pay €30 for your arrival transfer by taxi to our first hotel.

We will provide a packing list outlining suggested clothing and other items to bring with you once your tour is confirmed

Prior to departure we will provide a list of online and written resources to start your immersion in all things Sicilian.

Taormina is undeniably one of the most spectacular towns in Sicily however it’s easily visited and enjoyed on your own. Our tour covers the untold Sicily you would likely never see without joining an expert led experience like the one we have created. We would be happy to help you arrange a visit or stay in Taormina prior to or after the Untold Sicily tour.

No. While we will be enjoying an exceptional standard of food and wine on our tour there is no need to dress formally.

General FAQs

All travelers to Italy must have a valid passport with 6 months remaining until expiry on departure from Italy.

US, Canadian, UK, Australian and New Zealand citizens are currently not required to have a visa for stays in Italy of under 90 days. Citizens of other countries should check with the Italian embassy or consulate for information and requirements relating to their citizenship and residency.

Covid requirements must be checked regularly as they change often. This Italian government site has relevant information and our Italy Travel Planning covid group is the place where travelers meet to discuss the latest requirements.

Because refunds are not available once your first deposit has been made, and we are unable to make exceptions for any reason, including weather, injury/illness, or personal emergencies, we strongly advise all guests to take out comprehensive travel insurance to compensate in case of unexpected cancellations. Insurance should cover you for both travel cancelations, and medical emergencies in the country of your tour.

The unexpected can occur and getting sick in a foreign country is a very daunting experience, we require guests take insurance with international evacuation coverage for all trips. You should book a policy as soon as the trip has been confirmed. We can provide a list of recommended providers on request. We will request your travel and medical insurance details no later than 30 days before departure.

Please see our full terms and conditions for further details.

If the tour has to be postponed based on border closures or restrictions in Italy, a credit for your deposit will be issued to be used for the postponement date of the same trip. If the tour happens as scheduled, but a guest decides not to attend based on any other reason than a country’s border closure, then the regular cancelation policy will be maintained.

If Italy only closes its borders to citizens from certain countries, and the tour goes ahead, the regular cancelation policy will be maintained, and your travel insurance is where you will seek compensation. Please see our full terms and conditions for further details.

Your health is our priority and Italy currently has tight restrictions on unvaccinated people which means they cannot actively take part in the tour. Therefore we require all staff and tour participants to be fully vaccinated for Covid19. Please see our full terms and conditions for further details.

Our tours are focused on food, wine and cultural experiences and have been designed with adults in mind. Please contact us if you would like your older teenagers 16+ to join us tour. Unfortunately we cannot accommodate children younger than 16. Note also that the legal age for drinking alcohol in Italy is 18 years.

Whilst we love our furry friends, we have a strict no pets allowed policy – thanks for understanding.

We’re a new company collaborating with operators with decades of experience and brilliant reviews from repeat customers. You can view more about the companies we work with on our partners page.