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  • Italy: Splendors of Sicily
Overview

Discover the Historic Hilltops & Coastal Trails of Sicily with Boundless Journeys

For hundreds of years, the Dolomites have been home to the Ladin people, who trace their heritage back to the Romans. On this magical Italy hiking tour, you’ll walk across three of the Ladin valleys — Val Gardena, Alta Badia, and Cortina d’Ampezzo — and through some of the Dolomites’ most spectacular scenery.

Along the way, you’ll experience the mountainous wonders of the Dolomites as you hike through wild Alpine meadows, deciduous and evergreen forests, and lunar-like terrain in the shadow of soaring peaks and dramatic walls. This rugged mountain landscape alternates with the refined South Tyrolean towns of Ortesei and Corvara and the Venetian village of Cortina d’Ampezzo. The Dolomites’ extensive network of rifugi, owned both privately and by the Italian Alpine Club, will fuel hikers with delicious, authentic food!

As you enjoy these mountains, be sure to enjoy the Ladin people and the cuisine and crafts of this unique tri-cultural region. We find fanciful, intricate woodcraft and meet local artisans as we journey through the valleys. The Ladin language — a Rhaeto-Romance language also referred to as neo-Latin — is officially recognized as a minority language in parts of the Dolomites. In the valleys where we are traveling, most signage is written in Italian, German, and Ladin. You may even learn to speak some Ladin yourself!

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What Our Guests Have To Say About This Tour

I'd do it again!

★★★★★
5 5 1
As a sixty-eight year old well-travelled fellow, I was simply overwhelmed by how remarkably well-thought-out our trip to Sicily was. The sights, walks, accommodations and meals were excellent; and, our two guides added greatly to our enjoyment. I'd do it again!

Fantastico!

★★★★★
5 5 1
What more is there to say, this trip can only be described in one word . . . fantastico!

Our guide was the best

★★★★★
5 5 1
Everything from start to finish was absolutely amazing, and our guide was the best guide anyone could have. He is not only an incredible and knowledgeable guide, but also an erudite and intellectual, a great and caring human being, and a fun person to be around. Every day we looked forward to spending time with him.

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Itinerary &
Accommodations

Itinerary & Accommodations

Day 1

Archeological Park of Segesta; Transfer to Erice

  • Activity Overview: Walking along country roads and trails
  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Activity Length: 3 hours (approximately 4 miles)

Our journey unfolds in the Archeological Park of Segesta. While its magnificent Doric temple is impressive, it is just one of the many highlights of this large outdoor museum. The semicircular theater, from which a vast and scenic panorama can be seen to the north, boasts a hilltop position on Mount Barbaro second to none.

After taking in this spectacular site of antiquity, we continue to the mountaintop city of Erice, where a cable car brings us the final stretch into town. We enjoy a late day walk along the cobblestone streets, and perhaps allow the aromas of neighborhood pastry shops entice us inside.

A short transfer brings us to our resort, where we we enjoy dinner together and toast to our week ahead.

Accommodations
Venere di Erice Resort

Venere di Erice Resort
Erice, Italy

The 4-star Venere di Erice Resort is located on the slopes of Monte Erice, with a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Bonagia. This boutique hotel offers a panoramic terrace, outdoor pool, solarium, spa, and a seaview restaurant where you can taste Sicilian delights.

Day 2

Monte Cofano Nature Reserve

  • Activity Overview: Walking along country roads and trails
  • Activity Level: Easy to moderate
  • Activity Length: 4-5 hours (approximately 6 miles)

Today's excursion brings us to the Monte Cofano Nature Reserve, offering miles of pristine coastline set against steep mountains. Our walk immerses us in one of Italy's most beautiful coastal areas, now protected from future development. Here, classic Mediterranean vegetation flourishes in a profusion of yellow broom, rosemary, and capers above a turquoise sea. We explore the coastline on foot, and weather permitting, take a swim in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

After our invigorating hike along the coast, we stop for lunch, and perhaps a refreshing granita (Italian slush), before continuing to our boutique hotel in Menfi. Here, we are enchanted by unparalleled Sicilian gastronomy for our evening meal.

Accommodations
Casa Miregia

Casa Miregia
Menfi, Italy

Casa Miregia offers Sicilian hospitality and complete relaxation amid olive trees, vineyards, and an onsite garden. Relax by the pool, or simply take in the tranquil oasis of this rural property located only 10 minutes from the coast.

Day 3

Caltabellotta

  • Activity Overview: Walking along country roads and trails
  • Activity Level: Easy to moderate
  • Activity Length: 3-4 hours (approximately 5.5 miles)

This morning we proceed to Caltabellotta, one of the oldest hilltop villages in Sicily. Its uniquely prominent position on Mount Kratas has made it a significant and strategic place for more than 2,000 years. Fought over, dominated, and destroyed over the years, Caltabellotta has always managed to regenerate itself. Here we enjoy a 5-6 mile walk with spectacular views of the sea and mountains.

After our walk, we join a Sicilian chef for a demonstrative cooking class using seasonal ingredients. We dine on the exquisite meal created, complimented by regional wines.

Accommodations
Casa Miregia

Casa Miregia
Menfi, Italy

Casa Miregia offers Sicilian hospitality and complete relaxation amid olive trees, vineyards, and an onsite garden. Relax by the pool, or simply take in the tranquil oasis of this rural property located only 10 minutes from the coast.

Day 4

Valley of the Temples

  • Activity Overview: Walking tour
  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Activity Length: 3-4 hours

This morning we set out for Syracuse, on the southeastern coast of Sicily. Along the way, we stop in Agrigento to visit the Valley of the Temples, one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. A local guide will regale us with tales of early Greek civilization in Sicily, and we'll tour the picturesque landscape marked by olive trees, almond groves, and temples — including the well-preserved Temple of Concordia, and the ruins of the ancient city of Akragas.

Late in the afternoon we arrive in Modica where we have a chance to settle in at our accommodations and enjoy the evening at our leisure.

Accommodations
San Giorgio Modica Hotel

San Giorgio Modica Hotel
Modica, Italy

The San Giorgio Hotel is a charming boutique accommodation nestled in the heart of Modica, Italy. Its prime location offers easy access to the town’s historic sites, local attractions, and authentic Sicilian culture.

Day 5

Ragusa and Modica

  • Activity Overview: Walking
  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Activity Length: 2-3 hours (approximately 4 miles)

Today we discover the beautiful baroque cities of Ragusa and Modica. We begin the day with a walk through Cava Santa Domenica Park. Our trail meanders through small terraces, streams, waterfalls, ancient quarries, caves, and kilns used to reduce stone to lime. The environment is truly suggestive. All around are lush walnut, fig, almond, olive and carob trees. Our hike ends in the lovely city of Ragusa, where we have time to explore and enjoy lunch with local cheeses.

In the afternoon, back in Modica, we visit an ancient chocolate factory. The flavors of the Ragusa cheese we tasted earlier will melt with the sweetness of the renowned Modica chocolate.

This evening we dine together in town.

Accommodations
San Giorgio Modica Hotel

San Giorgio Modica Hotel
Modica, Italy

The San Giorgio Hotel is a charming boutique accommodation nestled in the heart of Modica, Italy. Its prime location offers easy access to the town’s historic sites, local attractions, and authentic Sicilian culture.

Day 6

Syracuse and Taormina

  • Activity Overview: Walking tour
  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Activity Length: 3 hours

We begin today with a private cultural tour of Syracuse, which was the largest city of the ancient world during the Greek Classical Period — surpassing even Athens and Corinth at the time! We'll visit the Neapolis Archaeological Park and its famous Greek theater, explore the chic neighborhood of Ortigia, and learn about the significant role the city played as one of the early major powers in the Mediterranean.

Early in the afternoon, we transfer to Taormina. This elegant small town has some of the most spectacular views in the world - its Greek and Roman origins, medieval streets, and magnificent position overlooking the Ionian Sea have made it a favorite destination for centuries.

Accommodations
Hotel Villa Diodoro

Hotel Villa Diodoro
Taormina, Italy

Hotel Villa Diodoro features a hillside position and an outdoor pool with panoramic sea views, a 5-minute walk from the historical center of Taormina. Its elegant restaurant serves Sicilian and international dishes.

Day 7

Mount Etna

  • Activity Overview: Walking along country roads and trails
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Activity Length: 4-6 hours (approximately 8 miles)

Today we drive through graceful, dusky towns built of black lava stone to the lower slopes of Mt. Etna, the powerful volcano that the locals have learned to love despite its many spectacular eruptions. Our hike takes us across lava fields from the 1983 eruption, and through pine forests and shady chestnut groves. We ascend on lava ash, which can make for challenging footing, but the volcanic landscape is breathtaking. At the highest point of our hike, we have views down into a huge lava-covered valley, with Etna's main crater visible above us.

This evening we toast to our week in Sicily with a farewell dinner in Taormina, enjoying, one last time, the flavors of a region we have come to revere.

Accommodations
Hotel Villa Diodoro

Hotel Villa Diodoro
Taormina, Italy

Hotel Villa Diodoro features a hillside position and an outdoor pool with panoramic sea views, a 5-minute walk from the historical center of Taormina. Its elegant restaurant serves Sicilian and international dishes.

Day 8

Departure

Today we say ciao to this spectacular island and return home with stories of ancient times, astonishing scenery, and fine Italian wine. A transfer is provided to the airport in Catania after breakfast.

Please note that this is a typical itinerary, and actual activities may vary due to weather conditions, local events, and to allow serendipity to play a hand in your experience. Accommodations are as outlined in the itinerary, although we reserve the right to change these or the order visited should the need arise.

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Dates &
Prices

Dates And Prices

2024
Trip Length

8 Days

Trip Dates

Sep 22-29, 2024

2024 Land Cost

From $5,295 Per Person


Single Supplement

First two reserved:$195

Additional:$695

See single supplement policy below.

2025
Trip Length

8 Days

Trip Dates

May 10-17, 2025

Sep 14-21, 2025

2025 Land Cost

$5,295 Per Person


Single Supplement

First two reserved:$195

Additional:$695

See single supplement policy below.

2025 PRICING GUARANTEE

2025 pricing is not yet set. Until it is, 2024 pricing will be honored for 2025 dates, up to a 5% increase.

MAKE IT PRIVATE IN 2024

10+ Guests: $5,295 per person

9 or Fewer: from $5,795 per person

Make it Private price is based on Land Cost only, and a guarantee of the specified number of guests in double occupancy. For groups smaller than the numbers shown, or those requiring single occupancy, we reserve the right to adjust the per person price. Additionally, some trips have minimum group sizes. Please call 1-800-941-8010 for details.

What's Included

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: Accommodations are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability.

Single Supplement for Scheduled Group Departures. If you reserve at least 120 days prior to departure, you may be eligible for a reduced or free single supplement. This is generally limited to the first one or two solo travelers to reserve, and the reduction is outlined in the pricing for each trip. Free or reduced single supplements are not combinable with other offers or promotions.

If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will try to match you with a roommate of the same gender. If you reserve at least 120 days ahead and request a roommate but one is not available, you will receive a $500 reduction from the standard single supplement (unless otherwise noted in the detailed itinerary for your specific trip).

Single Supplement for Custom Tours. Custom Tour prices are generally based on two or more participants; therefore, single supplements for “solo” Custom Tours will vary and are available upon request.

What To
Expect

What To Expect

Physical Activity

Boundless Journeys' trips are designed for energetic and flexible individuals who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Italy: Splendors of Sicily is rated 2+, easy to moderate, on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the most strenuous). It features walks of varying length and difficulty that average 3-6 hours per day.

Meeting Point

Palermo, Italy at 9:00 a.m.

Departure Point

Catania, Italy; after breakfast.

Traveling To and From

Most Convenient Airport:
Palermo, Sicily, Italy (airport code PMO) for the tour meeting point; and Catania, Sicily, Italy (airport code CTA) for the tour departure point. You should plan your flight itinerary to fly into Palermo (PMO), and out of Catania (CTA).

Meeting Time and Place:
Your guide(s) will meet you on Day 1 of your tour after breakfast at 9:00 a.m. in the lobby of the Centrale Palace Hotel in Palermo. Please be checked of your hotel and ready for a day of walking.

Departure Time and Place:
Your guide(s) will provide transportation to the Catania airport (airport code CTA) by 9:00 a.m. on the final day of the tour. Please schedule your flights accordingly, and do not plan your departure time prior to 11:00 a.m. unless you plan on making your own arrangements to the airport. If you have an earlier flight, we will be happy to assist you with arrangements at your own expense.

Weather

The climate is typically Mediterranean, with hot summers, and short, mild winters. The weather in late spring and early fall is usually very pleasant, with daytime temperatures that range from low 60s to upper 80s, and the 50s and 60s at night. While these months are not in Italy's "rainy season" there can be cool breezes or showers at any time. Please come prepared to walk rain or shine. We will always walk unless weather conditions make it dangerous to do so.

You may obtain more detailed weather information on www.weatherbase.com.

Sicily

May

High: 72
Low: 61

September

High: 81
Low: 72

When to Go

Sicily has a pleasant sunny climate and the spring and fall months tend to be the best times to visit, avoiding the very hot summer months and peak tourist season. Mountainous areas can be surprisingly cool, especially in the evening. A swim in the sea is possible from April to October, with water temperatures increasing throughout the summer months.

Cuisine

Sicilian cuisine is built upon influences from Turkey, Greece, and the Middle East. This blend lends a slightly spicy base to many dishes. While fresh fish and seafood specialties are the most common, you will also find rabbit, game, and other dishes when in season. Delicacies such as fish-stuffed ravioli served with prawn sauce, chicken or veal marsala, seafood stews, fish gnocchi with sun-dried tomatoes, or shrimp flan with red wine sauce are but a few of the regional specialties you might enjoy.

Because the Italian kitchen serves only fresh local ingredients, menu choices are limited at dinners to ensure prompt and efficient service for our groups. As a general rule, Europeans tend to eat at or after 8 p.m. Dinner is served in several courses starting with an antipasto (appetizer) and followed by a primi (usually pasta or risotto), a secondo (a meat or fish dish), and dessert. Dinners can last up to two hours. Breakfast, served at the hotel, is typically buffet style including bread, jams and butter, pastries, juices, and yogurt. Eggs, cheese, cold cuts, and fruit may sometimes be available. Lunches vary from pasta and salad at simple country trattorias, to picnics, to panini sandwiches at cafés.

Two dinners are not included in your trip cost, as we believe that venturing out on your own is an important part of discovering a new culture and cuisine. Your guide will be happy to make recommendations. Vegetarians can easily be accommodated.

Guides

Featured Guides

About Our Guides

With a Boundless Journeys guide, your experience is that of friend and local adventurer. We believe strongly in working with local guides, experts in the areas to which we travel, and they hold the keys to unlocking the hidden delights of your chosen destination. Although you will never know they are at work—the mark of a truly great leader—our guides make magical things happen and add a dimension to your trip that you could not experience on your own. Over the years we have forged bonds with some of the best guides in the world, and we typically work with a small team of guides in each region. You will be informed of the guide for your trip one month prior to your departure.

From $5,295 / person* *airfare not included
8 Days
Reserve This Tour
  • Departure Dates: Sep 22-29, 2024
    May 10-17, 2025
    Sep 14-21, 2025
Extend This Tour Complement this tour with other journeys

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Activity Level 2+ Easy to Moderate

Easy to moderate walking and hiking, 3-6 hours per day.

Read about our Activity Levels
  • Group Size: 4-16 Guests

Make it Your Own!

This trip can be your own adventure by taking over one of our scheduled dates, or we can request a fresh one.

Prefer a Custom Tour?

Questions?

Our dedicated team of travel experts are here to help.

1-800-941-8010

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