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A Grand Tour of Sicily

The complete Sicilian adventure
 
From the historic town of Ragusa to the temples of Agrigento, experience the best of Sicily on this self-guided journey by car (hire car included). Discover Baroque splendour, classical beauty, ever-changing scenery and delicious local cuisine whilst staying at elegant hotels of character.
A Grand Tour of Sicily . 20 nights
A Grand Tour of Sicily . 20 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A touring holiday on Sicily

Everything in Sicily is more. The sea seems bluer, the light clearer, the colours more vivid, and everywhere there is a sense of life being lived to the full. There is freedom, openness and daring – from the rich diversity of the island’s cuisine to the bold, passionate nature of its people. And having been ruled over by the Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Saracens and Normans, the island's multi-layered history further enhances its unique allure. In the east, ancient monuments, Baroque towns and brooding Etna vie for your attention; while farther west, timeless landscapes, spectral temples and a tranquil coast prove every bit as seductive.
This is our ultimate self-guided tour of Sicily – an almost complete circumnavigation by car and a journey to be savoured. It’s also highly flexible, meaning that you can change the number of nights at each hotel, and vary the route between them according to what interests you most. Although our journey runs in an anti-clockwise direction, you can start it from one of two different points, depending on your point of arrival. If flying into Catania, it makes sense to begin with the Baroque riches of Ragusa in the south-east, eventually working your way around to Agrigento. A flight into Palermo, on the other hand, makes Scopello a more logical starting point, meaning you first head down the island’s west coast before continuing all the way round to finish close to Cefalù, back on the north coast.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • Arrival in Ragusa
    Night 1: at Relais Cavalonga (the first of three nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of exploration.
  • Explore Ragusa
    There are several options for your time in Ragusa. After exploring the town itself, drive to nearby Scicli, the Baroque parts of which are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites in recognition of the handsome architecture. Scicli was once an Arab stronghold and later a royal city under Norman rule, and boasts a ruined Arab castle and numerous mansions. It's just a short drive in the other direction to Villa Romana del Casale, close to Piazza Armerina, where the world's finest surviving Roman mosaics can be found.
  • Ragusa to Siracusa: 2hrs by car
    Driving east today, pause to take in the sunlit splendour of Noto’s cathedral, its twirling palaces and graceful squares – perhaps the most harmonious blend of Baroque there is. Stretch your legs in the Vendicari Nature Reserve, where paths meander among beaches and reed beds, before arriving in Siracusa where the Antico Hotel Roma 1880 is your base for three nights. (Pay locally for parking.)
  • Explore Siracusa
    Remembered by Cicero as “the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all”, Siracusa’s superbly preserved Greek theatre and Roman amphitheatre demand attention; while, in the old quarter on Ortigia island, there are peeling palazzi  and narrow streets that host colourful morning markets. Take a short drive to Cava Grande, Sicily’s ‘Grand Canyon’, a wild and romantic gorge where ancient burial chambers lie within limestone cliffs; and where a sharp, 280-metre descent takes you to the deliciously cooling lakes and emerald pools of the River Cassabile.
  • Siracusa to Zafferana Etnea: 1.5hrs by car
    Driving north, divert to the Necropolis di Pantalica, where you can walk past the foundations of a Bronze Age palace and a troglodyte village to discover the extraordinary Anapo Valley. Continuing beyond Catania, you arrive at the Monaci delle Terre Nere in Zafferana Etnea, where the black volcanic earth was tilled by monks to create the extensive vineyards still evident today.
  • Explore from Zafferana Etnea
    We suggest that you spend a day exploring Mount Etna itself by taking a cable car and visiting the volcano's craters on foot with a guide, or as part of a guided jeep tour (pay locally in both cases). On your other day here, you could discover the nearby town of Bronte, famed for its pistachios; or Nicosia with its renowned pasticceria. You could also drive along the coast to Taormina, a fashionable Grand Tour resort. Sitting on one of the original limestone benches in the ancient Greek theatre, gazing over the coast and turquoise sea backed by magisterial Mount Etna, it's hard to dispute Goethe's assertion that “no audience in the world had a better view”.
  • Zafferana Etnea to Santa Anastasia: 2.5hrs by car
    To reach your next destination, you head round the northern flanks of Mount Etna and then along the coast to reach hillside Santa Anastasia, where you spend two nights at the Relais Santa Anastasia.
  • Explore Cefalù from Santa Anastasia
    It might be tempting to spend the day relaxing at the Santa Anastasia. However, Cefalù beckons. Take time to visit the town's best-known landmarks – the Norman cathedral with its early mosaics, and La Rocca, the northernmost spur of the Madonie Mountains. You can even climb to the ruined 13th-century castle which tops La Rocca and affords marvellous views to the Aeolian Islands.
  • Santa Anastasia to Scopello: 2hrs by car
    You continue westwards past the charming capital Palermo to reach your next hotel, the delightful Torre Bennistra in Scopello, which stands beside the sea, close to the Zingaro Nature Reserve.
  • Explore from Scopello
    Spend your time here exploring the reserve itself, widely regarded as one of the island’s most beautiful corners. Take a walk along paths lined with dwarf palms and fragrant shrubs; alongside hills whose grassy sides are awash with wildflowers in springtime; and above a rugged coastline, beyond which towering sea stacks guard secret coves and hidden caves. Take a swim in the transparent turquoise waters, or drive inland to the medieval hill-top town of Salemi, and watch the skies for Bonelli and Golden Eagles as you stroll its maze of cobbled streets.
  • Scopello to Florio: 2hrs by car
    Driving south, pause to bask in the drama of the magnificent 2,500-year old Doric temple of Segesta, emerging like a mirage from a green and tranquil valley, its 36 columns framed by Monte Bernardo and Monte Barbaro. Continue to Florio, where Baglio Donna Franca, a fine agriturismo surrounded by vineyards, is your base for two nights.
  • Explore from Florio
    Visit nearby Marsala, famous for its eponymous fortified wine. It comes in both dry and sweet varieties, the latter pairing nicely with the classic Italian dessert zabaglione, for which it is also a key ingredient. Other options are to admire Trapani’s Baroque architecture; explore wonderful, hill-top Erice; or sail to the small island of Mozia with its Phoenician settlement.
  • Florio to Menfi: 1.5hrs by car
    Continuing south and then east, the wondrous temple of Selinunte entices, its crumbling columns standing like pale spectres against the vast, open sky. Wiped out by marauding Carthaginians in the 5th century BC, this once-thriving Greek city has become Sicily's Pompeii as archaeologists uncover half-eaten meals on tables, and pots waiting by kilns to be fired – all life frozen in the moment of its demise. A little farther east, you arrive at Il Vigneto in Menfi, where you spend the next two nights.
  • Explore from Menfi
    If you wish, you can spend today simply relaxing by the pool. Other options are a stroll to the nearby fishing village of Porto Palo for lunch, or a drive via the scenic interior to Poggioreale. Damaged extensively in the 1968 earthquake that destroyed the neighbouring villages, Poggioreale's inhabitants were rehoused in a new town a few kilometres down the valley, leaving the remains of the original town to stand empty, a ghostly reminder of the force of nature and of yet another twist in Sicily's turbulent tale.
  • Menfi to Agrigento: 1.5hrs by car
    Leaving Menfi, you head east for to spend your final two nights at the delightful Baglio della Luna in the handsome town of Agrigento.
  • Explore the Valley of the Temples
    You are perfectly placed to explore the Valley of the Temples on your final day. The great Greek temples of ancient Akragas, occupying a splendid location on a ridge near the modern town of Agrigento, date back to the 6th and 5th centuries BC and are the finest Doric temples to be found outside of mainland Greece. The wider area, known as the Valley of the Temples, is one of the Mediterranean’s greatest ancient sites – a beautiful rural landscape characterised by century-old olive and almond trees, while the nearby Archaeological Museum is also well worth a visit. All in all, this makes for a fitting end to your discovery of this remarkable land.
 

Accommodation

You enjoy high standards of hospitality, comfort and service at the delightful accommodation featured on your Grand Tour.

Occasionally, due to availability, we may offer an alternative hotel, as shown below. You will be informed of any change to the usual hotel (along with any price implication) prior to us confirming your holiday to you. Wherever you stay, we recommend adding an extra night in Ragusa to give you more time to relax on the beach; to visit the crumbling, gold-coloured, Baroque architecture in Noto; or to see the world-renowned Roman mosaics in the nearby Villa Romana Casale.
 
 

Options to extend or shorten your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter.
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  • 20 nights: 07 April - 30 June 2019 & 24 August - 31 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    7 - 14 April £2595 £1045
    15 - 30 April £2745 £1075
    1 May - 10 June £2895 £1145
    24 August - 22 September £2745 £1075
    23 September - 11 October £2895 £1145
    3rd & 4th person discount -£185 to -£230
    Single traveller supplement £185 to £230

    Includes accommodation, meals, travel between hotels and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus a detailed information pack, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Included travel: 20 days' category B car hire (eg Lancia Ypsilon or similar with manual transmission)

    Driving time to the first hotel: Catania 1h15
    Driving time from the final hotel: Catania 2h

    If you choose to fly via Palermo, we recommend starting in Scopello and finishing in Santa Anastasia.

    Driving time to the first hotel: Palermo 0h45
    Driving time from the final hotel: Palermo 1h30

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Baglio Donna Franca
    Suite: 07 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £20
    Suite: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £20
    Il Vigneto Resort & Restaurant
    Junior suite with balcony: 07 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £22
    Junior suite with balcony: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £22
    Baglio della Luna
    Deluxe 'Torre': 07 Apr - 12 Apr 2019 £28
    Deluxe 'Torre': 13 Apr - 03 May 2019 £36
    Deluxe 'Torre': 04 May - 31 May 2019 £28
    Deluxe 'Torre': 01 Jun - 14 Jun 2019 £36
    Deluxe 'Torre': 15 Jun - 04 Oct 2019 £28
    Deluxe 'Torre': 05 Oct - 31 Oct 2019 £36
    Junior suite: 07 Apr - 12 Apr 2019 £45
    Junior suite: 13 Apr - 03 May 2019 £60
    Junior suite: 04 May - 31 May 2019 £50
    Junior suite: 01 Jun - 14 Jun 2019 £60
    Junior suite: 15 Jun - 02 Aug 2019 £45
    Junior suite: 03 Aug - 04 Oct 2019 £50
    Junior suite: 05 Oct - 31 Oct 2019 £60
    Superior with temple view & balcony: 07 Apr - 12 Apr 2019 £10
    Superior with temple view & balcony: 13 Apr - 14 Jun 2019 £20
    Superior with temple view & balcony: 15 Jun - 02 Aug 2019 £10
    Superior with temple view & balcony: 03 Aug - 31 Oct 2019 £20
    Monaci delle Terre Nere
    Suite: 07 Apr - 31 May 2019 £50
    Suite: 01 Jun - 30 Jun 2019 £60
    Suite: 24 Aug - 30 Sep 2019 £60
    Suite: 01 Oct - 31 Oct 2019 £50

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Prices include an extra day's hire car.
    Torre Bennistra (B&B) Double room Single room
    07 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £90 £135
    01 Sep - 30 Sep 2019 £85 £130
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2019 £72 £120
    Baglio Donna Franca (B&B) Double room Single room
    07 Apr - 19 Apr 2019 £70 £86
    20 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £90 £125
    01 Sep - 17 Sep 2019 £90 £125
    18 Sep - 15 Oct 2019 £85 £120
    16 Oct - 31 Oct 2019 £70 £86
    Il Vigneto Resort & Restaurant (B&B) Double room Single room
    07 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £72 £88
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £68 £84
    Baglio della Luna (B&B) Double room Single room
    07 Apr - 12 Apr 2019 £95 £135
    13 Apr - 03 May 2019 £105 £150
    04 May - 31 May 2019 £125 £185
    01 Jun - 14 Jun 2019 £105 £150
    15 Jun - 12 Jul 2019 £95 £135
    13 Jul - 02 Aug 2019 £105 £150
    03 Aug - 04 Oct 2019 £125 £185
    05 Oct - 31 Oct 2019 £105 £150
    Relais Cavalonga (B&B) Double room Single room
    07 Apr - 30 Apr 2019 £98 £122
    01 May - 30 Jun 2019 £105 £133
    24 Aug - 09 Sep 2019 £105 £133
    10 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £98 £122
    Monaci delle Terre Nere (B&B) Double room Single room
    07 Apr - 31 May 2019 £175 £285
    01 Jun - 30 Jun 2019 £205 £340
    24 Aug - 30 Sep 2019 £205 £340
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2019 £175 £285
    Relais Santa Anastasia (with dinner) Double room Single room
    07 Apr - 19 Apr 2019 £110 £125
    20 Apr - 21 Apr 2019 £140 £155
    22 Apr - 10 May 2019 £110 £125
    11 May - 30 Jun 2019 £125 £140
    24 Aug - 30 Sep 2019 £140 £155
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2019 £125 £140
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Catania, Palermo

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly to an airport not listed here. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Palermo easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Palermo (via Milan Linate) Alitalia 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Palermo easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Palermo British Airways 
    Heathrow - Palermo (via Milan Linate) Alitalia 
    Heathrow - Palermo (via Rome Fiumicino) Alitalia 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Palermo easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Palermo Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Palermo Ryanair 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly to an airport not listed here. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

What is included
  • 20 nights
  • 6 dinners (5 at start/end of season)
    20 breakfasts
  • detailed cultural information
  • category B car hire
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • The information that we send to you 2-3 weeks before your holiday includes practical information about each stage of your journey so that you can travel confidently from one hotel to another, recommendations for places to visit and eat out in each place, plus cultural information about the area. Where applicable, we also provide notes for a self-guided walking tour of most cities, and some large towns. Sample travel pack >
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • Absolutely! We are experts in tailored rail travel. Making use of sleeper trains or stopovers in cities along the route, we can get you from London to virtually anywhere in mainland Europe. We can even make arrangements to Mallorca, Sicily and Norway with a combination of ferries and rail. Please contact Abi to discuss your plans.
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Italy, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • The principal official language is Italian, though some regions have a second official language, such as South Tyrol, where German is widely spoken. The currency is the Euro. Italian time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s been confirmed that flights will continue as normal and that you won’t need a visa to go on holiday (the limit on stays is 90 days). What you will need if there’s no deal is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival (extra months added because you renewed your passport early do not count) and adequate travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illness in case reciprocal health deals are suspended. If you are driving while on holiday, you will probably need an International Driving Permit (plus a Green Card if you are taking your own car to Europe). More information >
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 7/17/2019 11:45:27 PM