Greek and Roman Ruins, Coastal and Mountain Hikes

Overview

Sicily is a sun-drenched world all its own, with a fascinating 3,000-year-old history and flourishing traditional culture. On this captivating island, you’ll hike coastal trails above a turquoise sea, explore ancient Greek ruins in Siracusa and Taormina, and head into Sicily’s wild inland mountains, a pastoral world of tiny farms and villages. Our adventures include a breathtaking hike on Mt. Etna, the rock tombs of the Pantalica Gorge, and the phenomenal mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale. Along the way, you’ll feast on fragrant cuisine infused with a tangy mélange of flavors—wonderful frutti di mare, arancini, caponata. This is Sicily!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-4
Palermo / Segesta / Zingaro Nature Reserve / Monreale / Cefalú

Our exploration of Segesta’s stunning Greek temple is followed by a cove-to-cove hike above isolated beaches at Zingaro Nature Reserve. After a hike through vineyards and fruit orchards, we visit Monreale’s 12th century cathedral, one of Europe’s medieval treasures, to see its dazzling Greek and Byzantine mosaics. From the seaside town of Cefalú, we head to the Madonie Mountains, where Sicily’s deeply rustic culture still thrives, for a hike through oak, maple, and holly woodlands.

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Days 5-8
Piazza Armerina / Pantalica Gorge / Siracusa

View the extraordinary mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale, then enjoy a cooking class and wine tasting at a local winery. A hike in the Pantalica Gorge reveals thousands of rock-hewn Neolithic tombs adorning the canyon walls, and in Siracusa, we explore breathtaking Greek and Roman ruins on foot.

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Days 9-11
Mt. Etna / Taormina

Our hike on Mt. Etna leads across extraordinary lava landscapes, and in Taormina, perched high above two sweeping bays, we explore the town’s palazzi-lined streets and 3rd century BC Greek amphitheater, still in use today for concerts. Depart on Day 11.

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Highlights

Highlights

Hike the spectacular coastal trails of Zingaro Nature Reserve, the mountain gorge of Pantalica, and on fiery Mt. Etna
Explore Neolithic rock tombs, the gilded mosaics of Monreale, Norman cathedrals, the Greek temple of Segesta
Discover seaside Cefalú, the ancient amphitheater of picturesque Taormina, amazing mosaics of Villa Romana del Casale, a World Heritage Site
Delight in Sicily’s unique cuisine, fresh from the land and sea
Overnights in fine hotels and a charming agriturismo

Details

Length: 11 days
Cost From: $5395  
Arrive: Palermo, Italy
Depart: Catania, Italy
Lodging: 10 nights small inns and hotels
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 4 dinners
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

A mix of moderate walks and hikes, some steep trails, 2-4 hours a day, altitudes up to 10,000 feet, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day’s hike)