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Sicily Walking Tour

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4.8/5
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Sicily Walking Tour

  • Location: Italy
  • Duration: 8 Days/7 Nights
  • Departing from: Catania on Saturday, Day 1
  • Tour finishes: Siracusa or Catania airport, Saturday morning Day 8
  • Departures 2017: May 6 & 20, Sept. 23, Oct. 7 & 21, plus private departures.
  • Price 2017: Euro €2,900 per person based on double occupancy and minimum group size of three. Single Supplement Euro €300.
  • Departures 2018: April 21, May 5 & 19, Sept. 22, Oct. 6 & 20, plus private departures.
  • Price 2018: Euro €2,950 per person based on double occupancy and minimum group size of three. Single Supplement Euro €300.

Sicily is one of the most fascinating and beautiful islands in the world. Our guided walking tour takes you to Sicily’s east coast, famous for its rich history, scenic coastline, and rugged landscapes. We have a variety of walks through charming villages and towns, into hidden gorges, and along high ridge-top paths, and our first day features a walk on the slopes of Mount Etna with a professional vulcanologist. We mix town with country, giving you the opportunity to relax at quiet villas plus explore bustling Taormina, the UNESCO world heritage town of Noto, and lovely Baroque Siracusa. Of course Sicily’s cuisine plays a starring role. We’ve spent many selfless hours researching this part of the tour! We know all of the best places to find Sicily’s renowned pastries and amazing crushed-ice granitas. Our tour beings you Sicily’s wonderful cuisine and and sun-drenched wines with plenty of walking along the way.
(Luggage is transferred by van. 1 night Catania, 2 nights Linguaglossa, 2 nights Noto, 2 nights Siracusa, all in 4-star hotels.)

Sicily Walking Tour itinerary

Day 1 – Saturday – Arrival Catania

Check into your pre-booked hotel, the Katane Palace Hotel or Hotel Il Principe in the heart of old Catania. Our hotel is a five-minute walk from the central pedestrian area that is lined with beautiful Baroque buildings and full of cafes, restaurants and shops. Independent dinner in Catania. Hotel included. Dinner not included.

Day 2 – Sunday – Pick-up Catania, hiking Mount Etna

Meet at 9:00 for 1-hour transfer to explore Mount Etna, Europe’s largest volcano. It is 3,400 meters (11,155 feet) high, with a perimeter of 250 km (155 mi.), making it the third largest crater in the world. We meet up with vulcanologist Giuseppe, who is passionate about volcanoes and Etna is his deity. We hike on lava flows, craters, vents, and lava tubes and learn about the many fascinating aspects of Etna. This afternoon we transfer to Linguaglossa andcheck into our hotel for the next two nights: the 4-star Shalai Resort, a lovingly restored noble villa with a spa. Linguaglossa is the gateway to the Etna DOC wine growing area, and the surrounding hillsides are steeply terraced with dry stone walls. Many vineyards are abandoned, but still more have been restored after considerable investment and are now producing excellent wines using indigenous and imported grape varietals. In the evening we visit a nearby winery to learn about the special characteristics of the region’s volcanic wines, and then enjoy a lovely dinner where local dishes are paired with the wines. Overnight Linguaglossa. Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner and hotel included.

Day 3 – Monday – Big Views

Today's walk follows a high ridge road before dropping gently back down into the valley. The views are spectacular, with the colossal presence of Mount Etna to the right and the shimmering Mediterranean sea to the left, with the hilltop towns of Toarmina and Castelmola in the foreground. We are joined today by local celebrity Gaetano (EVERYONE knows him) who regales us with stories of how life used to be in the region. He leads us to a very rustic producer of ricotta cheese where we enjoy a uniquely delicious lunch with fresh, warm ricotta right out of the cauldron, accompanied by delicious local specialties and Gaetano’s excellent Nerello Mascalese wine. Our route winds through olive groves, orchards, vineyards and then follows a stream bed to return to Linguaglossa. In the afternoon we have a short transfer to the spectacular Alcantara Gorges where you can ejoy a refreshing swim. In the afternoon we can take you on an optional walk following the now abandoned rail line through rugged countryside. Or, relax at the hotel spa before dinner at a lovely local restaurant. Overnight Linguaglossa. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and hotel included.

Day 4 – Tuesday – Taormina

A short transfer takes us to Taormina this morning, which we reach via a short ride on a cable car. We have a rewarding hike along the breathtaking “Via dei Saraceni,” which since prehistoric times has connected Taormina to the neighboring village of Castelmola. The view takes in the mainland of Italy to the East, and Toarmina and Mount Etna to the West. Stop for a coffee break in Castelmola and then walk down to Taormina via its castle. We will lead you to our favorite gelateria to enjoy one of Sicily’s greatest pleasures, a pistachio or almond “granita.” You’ll have free time to have lunch and explore Taormina’s main shopping streets, evocative alleyways, and Greek theater. We leave bustling Taormina and head for our next little haven, the Baroque town of Noto. We stay in a renovated noble house now transformed into the lovely Hotel Porta Reale. You have free time to explore Noto, a UNESCO World Heritage site for its spectacular Sicilian Baroque architecture. Dinner tonight is at one of our favourite restaurants in Sicily, the Crocifisso, whose signature dish is a sesame and pistachio encrusted tuna steak. Yum! Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.

Day 5 – Wednesday – Hiking Noto region

This morning we transfer to Noto Antica, where the town of Noto once stood before it was destroyed by a powerful earthquake in 1693. We hike down into an impressive canyon which is dotted with the ruins of ancient water mills and tanneries built by the Arabs during their 250-year occupation of the area in the 8th–10th centuries. We continue to a beautiful family-run "masseria" where we have a light but very refined lunch. Return to Noto and explore the streets as the setting sun bathes the honey-coloured tufa stone in a golden light. Tonight is a "free night" so you are free to choose where you wish to dine. Overnight Noto. Breakfast and hotel included. Dinner not included.

Day 6 – Thursday – Vendicari

Today we head towards the sea and enter the Vendicari Natural Reserve for coastal walk to the evocative ruins of a 17th century “tonnara” (seasonal tuna-fishing village ) that was active until 1944. We end our walk with a lunch at a lovely "agriturismo," then we transfer to historic Syracusa. Our hotel is in the old part of town, situated on the tiny island of Ortigia, with captivating Baroque neighborhoods, squares, and seaside promenade. We have an afternoon guided visit which will span 3,000 years of Ortigia’s history. The charming 4-star Royal Maniace Hotel or Hotel Henry's House is our home for the next two nights. Overnight Siracusa. Breakfast, dinner and hotel included. 

Day 7 – Friday - Discovering ancient Ortigia

Start the day by experiencing Siracusa’s bustling farmer's market. Then we transfer to the Anapo Valley to explore the fascinating Pantalica, a prehistoric and paleo-Christian settlement (13th-8th centuries BCE) with a remarkable ‘beehive’ necropolis made up of over 5,000 rock tombs scattered along the cliff face. Our final dinner together is at one of the nicest restaurants in town. Overnight Siracusa. Hotel, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 8 – Saturday – Departure

We offer a morning transfer to Catania airport to correspond with flights departing after 10:00 am. If you prefer to leave later, there are frequent buses to the airport or you can take a taxi. There are also frequent buses to Palermo.  Breakfast and transfer included.

Useful links

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Italy has more sites in the list than any other country!

Activity rating: 3 out of 5 = Moderate: Rolling to hilly terrain with frequent climbs and descents, often over rocky terrain. Daily activity between 3-5 hours, mostly in the morning but sometimes also in the afternoon. Max distance 12 kms; some days are much shorter (5 km) but entail sustained climbs.

Trip Cost includes: All accommodations (7 nights in 4-star hotels); 7 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 5 dinners; all luggage transfers from pick up on Sunday to trip end at Catania airport; bilingual Customwalks guide(s) to accompany the tour and lead you on the walks; Vulcanologist guide on Etna, guided walking visit of Ortigia with licensed city guide, all park entrances, all transfers as noted in the itinerary.

Booking: e-mail us at info@customwalks.com to receive a booking contract (or use the 'Contact Us' link at the top of this page), or click on the 'Book Now' button to the right.

Insurance: We highly recommend the purchase of Trip Insurance. We recommend “Travel Guard” to our North American clients, just click on the logo below. Australian, New Zealander, and British travelers, please consult your insurance brokers.

[travel Guard insurance]

travel Guard insurance

Getting There: Independent arrival in Catania.

Air: The closest airport to the beginning and end of the trip is Catania, which in high season is well connected to the major airline hubs in Italy and the rest of Europe. For the most current information, go to the airline’s website (in English), and click on “Flight information > Airlines” for a list of airlines that fly there. Also see also our "Transport Info" page (in the menu heading "Info") for specific airport information and a list of smaller airlines you can consult for flights.

Train: There are trains to Sicily from the Italian mainland, but it's not fast. The train from Rome, for example, will take you around 10 hours.

Getting away at the end of the trip: The trip ends on Saturday morning in Siracusa with a van transfer to the Catania airport, usually timed for 10 a.m. flights. You may want to stay an extra day in Siracusa since our day-and-a-half there are quite busy and many people wish they had more time. If you can't take an extra day, at least try and get a flight mid-day so you have a few hours to explore on Saturday morning. It's easy to get a bus or taxi to the Catania airport.

If you should book a trip with us you will receive detailed information about how to get to the start of your trip. Please e-mail us with any specific travel questions.

4.77/5
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4.77 out of 5
Ratings based on 8 Verified Reviews

Average ratings
4.6
Guides
4.9
Quality of itinerary
4.6
Food quality & variety
4.9
Value for money
4.9
Right amount of activity
4.8
Overall satisfaction

Reviews
5
by Mini Lane from UK, Brighton
Posted Mar 02, 2015

A lovely holiday full of a lot of yummy food and a nice amount of picturesque walking. For me the cherry on top of the holiday would have to be when guide Claudia took us to her favourite restaurant where I had THE best chocolate orange fondant cake I have ever had in my life... and believe me I've had my fair share of chocolate fondants. Overall a great holiday where we met some lovely people.

5
by K from Ottawa
Posted Feb 18, 2015

This was my first trip with Custom Walks and it was fantastic - exceeding all my expectations. Brett and Claudia were excellent guides. They not only ensured that you had an intimate experience of the beauty of Sicily - but the unique adventures and discoveries made the experience unforgettable. I loved discovering unexplored gem of Siracusa. Grazie molto

4.8
by S Lane from Crawley, UK
Posted Feb 09, 2015

There was a really nice mix of walks on this tour- our exploration of Mount Etna, a ridge walk, the steps up from Taormina to Castelmola, the canyon walk at Old Noto, a coastal walk, a guided tour of Ortigia and still free time to explore by ourselves. Brett and Claudia were brilliant guides and offered optional extra walks for anyone who wanted more activity. The places we stayed and ate at were all up to the usual Customwalks high standard. Very good tour.

4.6
by MK from Sydney
Posted Feb 05, 2015

We are experienced, independent, extremely flexible, easy-going travelers who enjoy a well constructed tour that takes into account our love of walking, camaraderie, exploring and of course food and wine as this all put together well enables us to get a real feel for a place. This trip lived up to all. The places visited were interesting, accommodation was varied and comfortable, the walks just of the right length and always picturesque, and not just walking for the sake of walking and the food and wine were great. The guides understood our needs and sought to always ensure that we were always satisfied and happy. Satisfied and happy travelers make for a great trip which this certainly was.

4.5
by J.E. from Sydney, Australia
Posted Feb 04, 2015

This itinerary was custom designed for our group of walking friends who all had a lot of fun. The guides were very knowledgeable and our accomodation and food was all of a very high standard. We have no hesitation in recommending this company and we are all going on another tour with them this year.

4.1
by T Woodall from Atlanta, Georgia USA
Posted Feb 03, 2015

Sicily like so many Customwalk tour is full of variety and wonderful experiences. This is a land based tour with a bit more challenges getting from one location to the next, but overall very enjoyable and interesting.

5
by K Cassini from Montreal, Canada
Posted Feb 01, 2015

A wonderfully thought out tour of the fascinating Island of Sicily. Brett and his team have the ability to take their clients on the truly unbeaten path and you never feel as though you're among the herd of tourists. Just the right amount of walking in beautiful vistas, visiting families for intimate local experiences, and of course, experiencing the delicious local cuisine is always high on the priority list!! A wonderfully memorable trip!!

5
by lbell from South Miami
Posted Jan 30, 2015

Totally fabulous and beautiful and fun, with many new and varied experiences. Go!



A lovely holiday full of a lot of yummy food and a nice amount of picturesque walking. For me the cherry on top of the holiday would have to be when guide Claudia took us to her favourite restaurant where I had THE best chocolate orange fondant cake I have ever had in my life... and believe me I've had my fair share of chocolate fondants. Overall a great holiday where we met some lovely people.
by Mini Lane from UK, Brighton

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