Hiking in Sicily

Coastal and Mountain Hikes, Greek and Roman Ruins

Overview

With a 3,000-year-old mix of Mediterranean cultures revealed in epic Roman temples and cathedrals with Norman-Arab mosaics, Sicily is an inspiring island. Even the cuisine combines savory Greek, Spanish, and Arab influences! We hike cliff trails above the sea, into a wild canyon filled with Neolithic tombs, on a secret path to a medieval citadel, and on the slopes of fiery Mt. Etna, the highest volcano in Europe. Incredible World Heritage Sites are on this insider’s journey, and Sicily’s glorious food (think catch-of-the-day fish and indulgent desserts!) is a delight every day, as are our expert Trip Leaders who love to share their captivating island home.

Itinerary at a Glance

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

A rocky path brings us up to the impressive 5th century Elymian temple at Segesta, and we’ll circle the limestone peak of Monte Cofano on spectacular trails above the sea, with overnights in the hill town of Erice. After a hike through vineyards to a family farm for lunch, we’ll visit Monreale’s 12th century cathedral to see its golden Byzantine mosaics. Seaside Cefalú is our base for a hike in the Madonie Mountains, where Sicily’s deeply rustic culture thrives.

Hotel Elimo
Erice, Italy
Days 1 to 2 (2 nights)
La Plumeria Hotel
Cefalú, Italy
Days 3 to 4 (2 nights)
Days 5-6
Villa Romana del Casale / Morgantina

At Villa Romana, once a private Roman estate, we’ll view intact mosaics that depict Roman life in the 3rd century AD. At our pastoral agriturismo, we can hike in the hills, relax by the pool, or visit Morgantina, a hidden gem where excavations have revealed a Greek theatre. One night we’ll have a fun cooking class with our chef.

Agriturismo Il Drago
Aidone, Italy
Days 5 to 6 (2 nights)
Days 7-8
Pantàlica Gorge / Siracusa

We hike among Neolithic tombs in the wild Pantàlica Gorge, then head to ancient Siracusa to walk the narrow lanes of World Heritage-listed Ortigia Island, with its Baroque public squares and Doric temples. The striking Doric temple of Athena, now Siracusa’s cathedral, was built in the 5th century BC.

Grand Hotel Ortigia
Siracusa, Italy
Days 7 to 8 (2 nights)
Henry’s House Hotel
Siracusa, Italy
Days 7 to 8 (2 nights)
Days 9-11
Taormina / Mt. Etna

Writers from Goethe to Hemingway have been drawn to the gorgeous hill town of Taormina. We’ll visit the Roman theater, then head up to 9,500 feet on Mt. Etna for a hike below the crater. Depart on Day 11 via Catania.

Ashbee Hotel
Taormina, Italy
Days 9 to 10 (2 nights)
Hotel Monte Tauro
Taormina, Italy
Days 9 to 10 (2 nights)

Highlights

Highlights

Hike spectacular seaside trails, explore medieval Erice, discover seaside Cefalú
Visit Siracusa’s Ortigia Island, with its Greek, Roman, and Baroque heritage
Hike in the Pantàlica Gorge, view the stunning mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale
Explore Taormina, hike on snow-capped Mount Etna
Enjoy Sicily’s fresh-caught seafood, tapestry of cuisines, and indulgent desserts

Details

Length: 11 days
Cost From: $6195  
Arrive: Palermo, Italy
Depart: Catania, Italy
Lodging: 10 nights small inns and hotels
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 4 dinners as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures, Archaeology
Trip Level:

A mix of moderate walks and hikes, some steep trails, 2-4 hours a day, 1 optional day-hike at 9,500 feet (Mt. Etna), van support, team of up to 3 Trip Leaders