Sicily

One Week in Sicily Itinerary

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The beautiful island of Sicily sits just off Italy’s southern coast and is home to 5 million inhabitants. Its capital Palermo is a rich, thriving city that has blossomed as a tourist destination since the 1980s. With an impressive cathedral, ornate chapels, and colorful markets, you will never be short of things to see and do. Meanwhile, other areas of the island beckon with verdant landscapes, active volcanoes, ancient archaeological sites, and natural parks. There are beautiful beaches, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and elegant restaurants in which to enjoy fresh, farm-to-fork, authentic Sicilian cuisine. So check out our take on where to stay in Sicily, book a hotel and a couple of tours, and read on to find out the best way to enjoy one week there.

Day 1: Taormina

Taormina, Sicily

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Picturesque Taormina is one of Sicily’s most popular holiday destinations- just read our full Taormina Travel Guide to understand why. Whether you are staying here as a couple or family, or are traveling solo, there’s plenty to see and do. One of the best ways to get to know Taormina is on our Insider Taormina City Tour. You will be introduced to Sicilian culture in all its glory while taking in the magnificent Old Town. Admire lemon trees, charming trattorias, cafes, and gift shops, along with the Greek Theater and impressive Palazzo Corvaja. The tour offers a superb introduction to Taormina, so you can revisit your favorite places again and again!

Evening

If you’re still buzzing from your day of exploration, continue the evening with a fabulous Taormina Food and Wine Tasting Tour. This guided tour begins at 18.30 from a central point in the old city. You’ll take a leisurely stroll to three venues where you’ll sample fresh seafood, prosecco, and white wine. At a traditional Sicilian wine bar, you will be served traditional local cuisine and regional red wines. Finally, head to a delightful patisserie for sweet treats and liqueurs. It’s the perfect way to end a day in Taormina.

Day 2: Taormina & Mount Etna

Mt. Etna in Sicily

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No visit to Sicily would be complete without spending time discovering mighty Mount Etna. Set along the eastern shores, this is the world’s most active volcano and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our Etna Food and Wine Tour from Taormina is the perfect way to see Mount Etna, taking in local culture, food, and wine along the way. Discover family-run wineries whilst sampling cheeses, sun-dried tomatoes, and olive oil bruschetta. Then head to a beautiful farmhouse restaurant to dine on a terrace overlooking vineyards, farmland, and fields filled with flowers. Here, you can sample more wines, plates of fried cheese, pasta dishes, omelets, and traditional liquors from the Etna region. It’s a wonderful tour for food and wine connoisseurs and gives great insight into Sicily’s rich culinary heritage and culture.

Evening

In the evening, relax and listen to live music in Taormina’s piazzas, reminiscing about your day. Take a stroll through the back streets to see how the evening lights highlight the wonderful architecture of the city.

Day 3: Taormina

Beautiful Taormina

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If you have enjoyed sampling Sicilian cuisine and would love to recreate dishes back home, begin your day with a Sicilian Cooking Class or Private Cooking Class with a local. Either experience will get you up close and personal with the local flavors, ingredients, and people of Taormina. Another option for the day is exploring Isola Bella (which literally means “beautiful island”) on this relaxing boat tour. Explore its lush flora and geological forms, soak up the sun on the beaches, and explore the beautiful Blue Cave.

Evening

On your final evening in Taormina, visit your favorite bars or enjoy a romantic terrace dinner overlooking sparkling waters lit by the light of the moon. Then tuck in for the night at one of these fabulous hotels in the area.

Day 4: Palermo

Palermo, Sicily

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Palermo is a compact city, easy to navigate and all the major tourist sites are within walking distance of each other. One highlight is the magnificent Palermo Cathedral. It dominates the skyline, a blend of architectural styles with Norman, Baroque, Gothic, Moorish and Neoclassical influences. If you enjoy art, history, and culture combined, visit The Palatine Chapel, close to Palazzo dei Normanni in the old city. The structure dates to 1132 and boasts some of the best examples of Byzantine architecture inside. Columns and arches glisten with gold, blue and white frescoes creating a master storyboard that showcases the island’s rich history. If you’d prefer to see the Old Town’s highlights with a local expert, the Palermo Old Town Bike Tour is ideal.

In the afternoon venture a few miles outside Palermo to Mondello Beach. It’s a lively area with crystal clear waters, ideal for swimming and snorkeling and it has an interesting lido building that dates to the 1930s stretching along the seafront. Explore it all on two wheels with an expert guide with this Mondello Beach Bike Tour.

Evening

Evenings in Palermo are a delight. You can dine in gourmet farm-to-fork restaurants, visit a local trattoria for scrumptious pasta dishes, or follow energetic fun seekers to a glamorous nightclub and dance till the sun comes up. Read our Palermo Design Guide to learn more about the city’s most aesthetic spots. Turn in for the night at one of the hotels in this curated selection.

Day 5: Palermo

Street food in Palermo, Sicily

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Arise early and head to the markets for a Street Food Tour with a local guide. Explore markets full of stalls packed with cheeses, olives, meat, fish, fruit, and vegetables, while sampling local street food! You’ll taste and learn about the local preparations of arancini, focaccia, fritters, and more. For those wanting to get acquainted with the way a native Palermitani utilizes the great local produce, embark on a cooking class with one. You’ll learn to craft a Sicilian starter, main dish, and dessert one-on-one with a local.

Evening

Spend a night indulging in the fruits of the vine on a Palermo wine tasting tour. You’ll hop between three local wine bars and sample sparkling, white, and red wines perfectly paired with Sicilian snacks, all under the guidance of a local sommelier.

Day 6: Monreale & Cefalù

Cefalù, Sicily

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Today is the perfect chance to explore a bit beyond Palermo in the charming Monreale or Corso Calatafimi. This fun e-bike tour gets you there on two wheels via the road which connects the two, Corso dell’Uscibene. You’ll take in incredible mosaic work in a UNESCO heritage site church, then talk to local mosaicists about their craft. Be sure to try the local baked good, “Pane Cuntazu”, which is a must-try for visitors.

Evening

In the afternoon and evening, drive an hour east to Cefalù, one of the most visited towns in Sicily. Nestled along the seafront, it has an interesting historic center, a beautiful stretch of golden sandy beach, and offers photo opportunities galore. Explore its cobbled streets, browse specialty shops and stop for a cappuccino or glass of wine in a piazza café. Then walk it off by climbing up the La Rocca for incredible views.

Day 7: Agrigento

Agrigento, Sicily

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Around two hours’ drive from Cefalù is Agrigento. One of the most fascinating archaeological sites in Sicily, Agrigento was once one of the most powerful cities of Ancient Greece. The Valley of the Temples stands overlooking the sea, stone columns of the main temple towering above as you wander around imagining life in ancient times. Visit the Garden of Kolymbetra, a delightful location that was once compared to the Garden of Eden. If that piqued your interest, head for the Regional Archaeological Museum to learn more about Agrigento and artifacts discovered in the area.

Evening

When you’ve explored the ancient city, walk into the old town, browsing shops, boutiques and breaking for pecorino ice cream (yes, it’s made from cheese) in a local gelateria.

One Week in Sicily

Wherever you end up in Sicily, there is abundant sea, sun, sights and scrumptious food to be had. Creating your own travel itinerary can be fun, but booking a package tour that combines all the best experiences into one whirlwind adventure will elevate your trip from pleasant to simply extraordinary. The Secrets of Sicily 6-Day Tour Package bases you in beautiful Taormina, combining its highlights, tours of Etna and Isola Bella, and mouthwatering culinary experiences. If you have a couple more days to explore, the Taste of Sicily package is an 8-day adventure that is a sheer delight to the senses. You will venture further off the beaten path to Sicily’s most notable culinary and wine destinations to eat, drink, and learn what makes Sicilian cuisine so unique. You’ll return with unforgettable expertise on Sicilian cuisine, incredible memories, and probably some extra pounds… that were absolutely worth it.

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