Greek and Roman Ruins, Coastal and Mountain Hikes

Overview

In Sicily, a sun-drenched island with a 3,000-year-old blend of Mediterranean cultures, we set out on wonderful mountain and coastal hikes, following panoramic trails above the turquoise sea, heading into wild inland mountains that are a pastoral world of tiny farms and villages, and hiking the lava landscapes of mighty Mt. Etna. The medieval citadel of Erice, the rock tombs of the Pantàlica Gorge, Ortigia’s fabulous Greek and Roman ruins, and dreamy Taormina are all on our journey, illuminated by our expert Trip Leaders. Along the way, we’ll feast on Sicily’s renowned cuisine, from spicy seafood couscous to panelle, and taste delicious local wines.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-4
Palermo / Segesta / Erice / Coastal Hike / Monreale / Cefalù

From Palermo, we explore the iconic Greek temple at Segesta, the medieval citadel of Erice, and hike along the coast at Monte Cofano nature reserve, with lunch at a private home overlooking the bay. After a hike through vineyards in Sicily’s main wine district, we visit Monreale’s mighty 12th century cathedral and seaside Cefalù, location for the classic movie Cinema Paradiso. Our hikes in the traditional Madonie Mountains reveal Sicily’s deeply rustic culture.

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Days 5-8
Piazza Armerina / Pantàlica Gorge / Siracusa

We view the extraordinary Roman-African mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale, then enjoy wine tasting and a cooking class at our agriturismo (we’ll savor the results at dinner). Our hike in the Pantàlica Gorge reveals thousands of Neolithic tombs, and on Siracusa’s World Heritage-listed Ortigia Island, we walk the narrow streets amid Catalan-Gothic palazzi, Baroque public squares, and Doric temples.

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Days 9-11
Mt. Etna / Taormina

On Mt. Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe, a ride by cable car and jeep brings us to 9,500 feet for our hike across an extraordinary lava landscapes. Our final overnights are in unforgettable Taormina, with the stunning backdrop of snow-capped Mt. Etna. Depart on Day 11 via Catania.

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Highlights

Highlights

Experience the wonder of Mt. Etna’s lavascapes
Explore Neolithic rock tombs, the gilded mosaics of Monreale, Norman cathedrals, and the stunning Greek temple at Segesta
Enjoy seaside Cefalù, gorgeous Taormina, with its Roman theater, and the mosaics of Villa Romana del Casale, a World Heritage Site
Savor Sicily’s unique cuisine, with its Arab influences and catch-of-the-day fish
Overnights in fine hotels and a charming agriturismo

Details

Length: 11 days
Cost From: $5795  
Arrive: Palermo, Italy
Depart: Catania, Italy
Lodging: 10 nights small inns and hotels
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 4 dinners (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures, Archaeology
Trip Level:

A mix of moderate walks and hikes, some steep trails, 2-5 hours a day, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day’s hike)