A Sicilian Odyssey 2023

Tauck
By Tauck
4.4 . Great
87%
Travel Style: N/A
Physical Level: All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. Moderate
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Comfort (4*)
10 days
From: $ 7,490 $ 749 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Discover cultural footprints forever present... Over the centuries
  • the island of Sicily was colonized by the Greeks
  • Romans
  • Byzantines
  • Muslims
  • Normans and assorted others before becoming part of Spain
  • then the Bourbon Kingdom
  • and finally part of Italy. And today... Vestiges of the ancient Greeks and Romans entice in Agrigento and Taormina... the presence of the Normans lingers in Palermo... a distinctive style of Sicilian architecture began in the Baroque Valley centuries ago and flourishes today... Byzantine and Arab art mingle with Italian influences... taste impressive wines from grapes grown in volcanic soil... all for a taste of the authentic Sicily.  Join us for an odyssey through time as you discover a history book of experiences
  • authentically engaging and always enlightening
  • as you become a part of Sicily's extended family.

Short Description

Explore Sicily's past and present – layer by layer – encountering Greek theatres, Roman villas, Byzantine art, Norman cathedrals, Moorish markets and more... abounding with multicultural traditions and archaeological treasures, and rich with unique cuisine and wine.

Style Small group tour
Array
Itinerary Focus N/A
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Comfort (4*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions N/A
Start City Catania, Sicily
End City Taormina

Theme

Cultural

Destinations

Italy

Attractions & Cities Visited

N/A

Activities & Interests

Culture

N/A
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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Catania / Siracusa

Tour begins: 6:00 PM. A transfer is included from Catania – Fontanarossa Airport to the Grand Hotel Ortigia, a century-old landmark hotel ideally located in the historic heart of Siracusa on the island of Ortigia. Join us for a welcome reception and dinner at the hotel tonight.

MEALS : D

LODGING : Grand Hotel Ortigia

PORTOFCALL : Siracusa, Italy

Day 2 Mythical Siracusa

Walk in the footsteps of ancient Greek explorers who settled on this historic island in 734 BC, building a city of archaeological splendors, economic prosperity and political power that rivaled Athens as the most important city in the world until it fell to the Romans in 212 BC. Your locally guided walking tour today reveals some of its treasured Greek and Roman sites as you explore Neapolis Archaeological Park, including the 16,000-seat Greek Theatre (Teatro Greco), the Ear of Dionysius (Orecchio de Dioniso), and the 3rd-century Roman amphitheater. Back in Ortigia, visit the Theatre of Apollo and the Baroque Duomo. Lunch today is a noble affair when you dine at the family palazzo of the Barone Pietro di Beneventano, and taste wines from the family vineyard. Free time this afternoon offers you an opportunity to see more of the city or walk back to the hotel with your Tauck Director, where the remainder of the day is at leisure.

MEALS : B, L

LODGING : Grand Hotel Ortigia

PORTOFCALL : Siracusa, Italy

Day 3 Baroque gems of Noto and Ragusa Ibla

Drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Noto this morning where a walking tour along the elegant Corso Vittorio Emmanuele promenade showcases the city's Baroque buildings, golden-hued palazzi and churches among them, rebuilt after a devastating 17th-century earthquake. View from the outside the Basilica di San Salvatore and the Duomo di Noto as well as the ornate Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, before exploring on your own. A tour of a local herb farm later this afternoon introduces you to the freshly picked aromatic spices that add true regional flavor to today's family-style tasting lunch. This afternoon, drive to the lovely Baroque town of Ragusa Ibla, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A local guide introduces you to the town on a guided walking tour of its ancient labyrinthine lanes, the main Piazza and historic sites. You'll get a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of the Arezzo, the "noble" family of Ragusa Ibla; visit the century-old Circolo del Conversazione the original "Gentlemen's Club" of the day, and Il Piccolo – the private, small family theatre of the Arezzo family who have lived in their 19th-century palazzo for more than 200 years. Dinner this evening is at your hotel.

MEALS : B, D

LODGING : Eremo Delia Giubiliana

Day 4 Mosaic magic at a Roman villa

This morning, travel to the nearby town of Piazza Armerina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been called an "art city," woven into the fabric of Sicily. The mosaics you will see here are considered among the most beautiful and best preserved of their kind anywhere in the world. Your artful discoveries begin when you step inside the Roman Villa del Casale, dating back to 320 to 350 BC when it was built for a Roman official back in the day. Look down at the floors as you tour the villa; the mosaics, both figurative and geometric, cover the surfaces measuring some 37,674 square feet, telling eloquent tales of Homeric poems and myths, nature and scenes from aristocratic life. You will also discover mosaic murals on the walls and columns, and statues and coins that pay further homage to the glory days of the Roman Empire. Head back to your hotel late afternoon and enjoy some time to explore as you please; your hotel enjoys a spectacular view of the Valley of the Temples. Following lunch at a local agriturismo, return to Ragusa Ibla for a very special dinner this evening in the wine cellar located in the medieval crypt underneath an old church, featuring 400 labels of the best Sicilian and international wines.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Eremo Delia Giubiliana

PORTOFCALL : Ragusa, Italy

Day 5 Explore the Greek temples of Agrigento & afternoon at the resort

This morning, depart for a visit to Agrigento and the amazing Greek temples. The Valley of the Temples at Agrigento, dating back to 581 BC, must have been the favorite neighborhood of the gods if the number of temples there is any indication – the site is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Built on a hillside facing the sea, explore temples honoring deities the likes of Zeus, Hercules, Concord, Pollux and Castor with a local guide in this amazing archaeological site. Visit the temples of Zeus, Concord and Hercules, the Temple of Juno and more. Return to the resort mid-afternoon; the remainder of the day is free to enjoy the resort's amenities as you please. 

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Verdura Resort

Day 6 Morning at leisure and on to Palermo

The morning is free to spend as you please. After lunch, travel to your Palermo hotel for a two-night stay. This evening, join the son of a baroness for an exclusive private dinner and tour of his family's art collection in their historic city-center villa, designed by Ernesto Basile, the architect of Teatro Massimo.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Grand Hotel et des Palmes

PORTOFCALL : Palermo, Italy

Day 7 Life in Palermo, Past and Present

Start your day with a guided visit to the Palazzo dei Normanni, the seat of the kings of Sicily during the reign of the Normans and the main seat of power for Sicilian rulers for centuries. A UNESCO World Heritage Site together with the Palatine Chapel in the heart of the palace, the palazzo dates back to the 9th century and boasts multicultural touches that were added later. These include the spectacular mosaics of precious stones, many glittering in gold, you will see in the royal apartments and chapel, which also features inlaid carved marble floors and a painted wooden ceiling. A walking tour of historic Palermo is followed by lunch at a local restaurant and a guided visit to Teatro Massimo, the largest opera house in Italy and the setting where the final scenes of the movie, Godfather Part III, were filmed. The remainder of the day is free to spend as you please.

MEALS : B, L

LODGING : Grand Hotel et des Palmes

PORTOFCALL : Palermo, Italy

Day 8 A cathedral, mountain vistas and Taormina

Journey to Cefalù for a guided tour of its Norman cathedral, considered one of the jewels in Sicily's Norman-Arab crown that includes the magnificent cathedral of Monreale and Palermo's Palatine Chapel. View its soaring twin pyramid towers outside and elaborate Byzantine mosaics inside before driving into the Madonie Mountains. Then, it's on to Taormina this afternoon on a scenic drive that offers picturesque views of the Aeolian Islands dotting the seascapes. Arrive at your hotel late afternoon and enjoy an evening at leisure.

MEALS : B

LODGING : Grand Hotel Timeo

PORTOFCALL : Taormina, Italy

Day 9 Taormina & an optional adventure to Mt. Etna

A guided walking tour of Taormina this morning takes you up hilly lanes to the Teatro Greco built in 3 BC by the Greeks and remodeled by the Romans. The views from here are worth the climb! Enjoy time to explore the sights on your own for the remainder of the day. If you wish to experience an active adventure today, join us for a 4x4 Range Rover adventure up Mount Etna for a hike on its moon-like lava surfaces. Following free time in Taormina, join us for a farewell reception and dinner tonight at the hotel.

MEALS : B, D

LODGING : Grand Hotel Timeo

PORTOFCALL : Taormina, Italy

Day 10 Journey home

Tour ends: Taormina. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo to Catania – Fontanarossa Airport (a 45-60 minute drive). Allow a minimum of three hours for flight check-in at the airport.

MEALS : B

PORTOFCALL : Taormina, Italy

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 7,490
Price Per Day: $ 749 per day
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateDouble StandardSingle StandardDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Apr-14-2023Apr-24-2023$ 7,490$ 9,049 Reserve
Apr-24-2023May-04-2023$ 7,490$ 9,049 Reserve
Apr-28-2023May-08-2023$ 7,790$ 9,507 Reserve
May-05-2023May-15-2023$ 7,990$ 9,761 Reserve
May-08-2023May-18-2023$ 7,990$ 9,761 Reserve
May-15-2023May-25-2023$ 7,990$ 9,761 Reserve
May-19-2023May-29-2023$ 7,990$ 9,761 Reserve
May-22-2023Jun-01-2023$ 7,990$ 9,761 Reserve
May-26-2023Jun-05-2023$ 7,990$ 9,761 Reserve
Jun-02-2023Jun-12-2023$ 7,990$ 9,761 Reserve
Jun-05-2023Jun-15-2023$ 7,990$ 9,761 Reserve
Jun-09-2023Jun-19-2023$ 7,790$ 9,507 Reserve
Sep-04-2023Sep-14-2023$ 7,990$ 9,761 Reserve
Sep-15-2023Sep-25-2023$ 7,990$ 9,761 Reserve
Sep-20-2023Sep-30-2023$ 7,990$ 9,761 Reserve
Sep-22-2023Oct-02-2023$ 7,990$ 9,761 Reserve
Sep-25-2023Oct-05-2023$ 7,990$ 9,761 Reserve
Oct-02-2023Oct-12-2023$ 7,990$ 9,761 Reserve
Oct-06-2023Oct-16-2023$ 7,990$ 9,761 Reserve
Oct-13-2023Oct-23-2023$ 7,990$ 9,761 Reserve
Oct-16-2023Oct-26-2023$ 7,990$ 9,761 Reserve
Oct-23-2023Nov-02-2023$ 7,790$ 9,507 Reserve
Oct-27-2023Nov-06-2023$ 7,490$ 9,049 Reserve
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Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Tauck.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

23 Tauck Travel Reviews & Ratings

87%
4.4 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 16
Great 4
Average 0
Disappointing 2
Terrible 1
Value
4.3
Guide
4.5
Activities
4.5
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.4

A Sicilian Odyssey 2023

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Company Reviews

Tauck/Aon terrible travel insurance

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Tauck partners with Aon for travel insurance. We bought this insurance through Tauck specifically to cover us in case of a positive for test for Covid and could not go on the cruise. Three days before the trip, one of us tested positive with very mild symptoms. We contacted Tauck and they agreed to refund 1/2 of the tour cost and the insurance would pay for the other half. When we called the insurance they said they required a PCF test. The test was taken and came back positive. Two months later they denied the claim because we didn’t go to a doctor. That was not necessary or practical. We had proof of Covid. Tauck is not willing to help. This was the insurance they recommended and sold to customers. We have now read many reviews of terrible service from Aon. Why is Tauck a partner to this company and not willing to help their clients? BEWARE. Terrible customer service.
Read more

Nice trip but not if you are a loyal Tauck Customer like myself

2.0
Details
Value2.0
Guide2.0
Activities4.0
Lodging2.0
Transportation5.0
Meals2.0
This was my 16th Tauck Tour. I was assigned a room with a "mountain" view only to be obstructed by lawn chairs, pool covers, large plants and buildings. It was a 1st floor room. I complained to tour director who said everyone got the same (NOT TRUE). I called Tauck 800 number on Sept 3 to request a call back from Customer Service. It took them until September 8 for a call back. The person on the phone was rude, non caring and (I'm paraphrasing) and told me just because you have taken 16 tours doesn't mean you deserve a better view that a first time customer. He went on to imply Tauck doesn't respect loyalty and wants to impress first time travelers. I ended the call and wrote an email to a good person at Tauck who was very helpful in the and requested this go to the top. I included pictures of my view and one dead fly because there were flies in the room and I guess Tauck thinks that makes the room special? I'm not done with them yet. Consider my treatment by this Customer Care agent before spending the big bucks to travel with Tauck.
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Great if you like 5-star hotels and lots of food

4.0
Details
Value3.0
Guide3.0
Activities3.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The tour covered most of Switzerland, with one day in Italy, which could have been eliminated. If you want to see the country from a bus or train, and you desire luxury hotels and gourmet food, then this is the tour for you. If you want to have a closer connection to the local people, and walk a bit in the mountains, or even hear the cowbells up close, then don't take this trip. While the trip was nice, I felt a disconnect from the local people and the country itself. We were always separated in a private train car, or on a private tour. I came home not really knowing what it's like to live there, other than it's very expensive.
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Pay for a 4 star trip and get 2 star food

2.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide5.0
Activities4.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals1.0
My husband and I took the Treasures of the Mediterranean tour two weeks ago. The food off the ship was very good. The food on the ship was subpar (2 stars out of 4 stars). We ended up ordering French Fries at the beginning of each meal so we would at least have something to eat. I called Tauck and voiced my concerns. They offered us a $250 voucher each for another trip. I hardly think the food portion on the yacht was $250. Why would I go on another Tauck trip when my first one, which was our retirement celebration due to the poor food. The majority of the people on the trip were dissatisfied with the food and their reviews reflected it.
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Still Spellbound by the Grandeur of Alaska

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Focused on the amazing wildness of Alaska without worrying about the mundane details. Expert, low-key tour director made everything look easy. Excursions enhanced appreciation for the history, terrain, wildlife, peoples, boom and bust cycles that make Alaska so unique. Clear view of Denali, great weather, days 'at sea' with binoculars in hand!

Most Memorable Moment:
Flightseeing, Tundra Wilderness tour (clear Denali, rare wolf sighting and grizzlies in distance), crossing Prince William Sound (sea-otters, orcas, stellar sea-lions, and more), Hubbard Glacier calving, Glacier Bay entire day, Whale Watching out of Juneau, and bald eagles everywhere!
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Australia/New Zealand - Ultimate Experience

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Travel Date: March 2018
We were excited to have experienced 20 days of everything these 2 countries had to offer. We felt we didn't miss anything. Tauck knows how to provide you with the ultimate activities that any seasoned traveler walks away with and says WOW - truly an experience of a lifetime. Our tour Director Gary was an added plus.

Most Memorable Moment:
Too many to name, all planned activities were outstanding. We particularly enjoyed everything Queenstown had to offer. Probably the most impressive thing about the whole trip was that we got off each of our 6 private flights directly onto an awaiting bus and never during the 3 weeks did we touch our luggage.
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Details

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Trip ID#:

tauck-SY2023

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