Sicily is the true motherland of Italy, marked by a uniquely welcoming culture and the essence of Italian cuisine. The island offers bustling street life, markets and breathtaking beaches. Let yourself be swept away by the beaches’ aqua waters lined by age-old architecture and Mount Etna in the distance, and you just might not want to leave.
The trip departs Florence from the Florence Santa Maria Novella train station on Thursday evening. Please meet your guide 20 minutes prior to departure. Travel to Sicily is by private luxury coach with A/C, DVD, and toilet. We will make one 45 minute stop. Upon arrival in Sicily, we will immediately check into our accommodation.
Today after breakfast we will be having a walking tour of Catania, ending with an included lunch in the market. We will meet up again in the lobby of the hostel at 2:00 PM and your Bus2alps trip leader will bring you onto a shuttle bus that will take you to the beautiful beach town of Taormina. In Taormina the day will be yours to explore. You can visit its beaches and see the amazing views of Sicily that this town has to offer. At the end of the day your Bus2alps trip leader will bring you onto another shuttle bus that will bring you back to your accommodation in Catania.
Today we will head out for a day on the southern coast of Sicily. We will depart at 9:00 for the town of Siracusa. Siracusa is one of Sicily’s oldest settlements, a beachside town that has been occupied by the Greeks, Ottomans, and Romans. Due to the eclectic mix of its inhabitants, Siracusa boasts some of Italy’s coolest architecture, in addition to a massive main church. In Siracusa we will visit the archaeological site of Neapolis (Entrance is optional and the ticket price is 9.00€), the Papyrus Museum (Museo del Papiro), and then we will head to Ortigia the center of this ancient city.
After the included Sicilian lunch we will head to the town of Noto and take the rest of the day to explore the Sicilian Baroque city with its many palaces and beautiful buildings. We will return to Ostello Del Plebiscito at approximately 19:00. The night in Catania will be yours to explore where you can head out to one of Catania’s Irish pubs that often have live DJ’s on the weekends!
After breakfast, we will depart at 9:00 for Mt. Etna. Mt. Etna is one of the world’s most famous volcanoes. Etna is still active, with its smoldering top being visible from the surrounding areas (don’t worry no major eruption will be occurring). The volcano is a popular hiking spot, providing incredible views of the surrounding coastline. During this tour we will visit the volcanic cave of Cassone, Crateri Silvestri, the statue of Mompilieri Virgin, and walk through the surrounding woods to the famous Valle del Bove. Don’t worry about working up an appetite walking around Mt. Etna all day because the tour also includes a lunch made with traditional Sicilian food! We will return to Catania at approximately 18:30 where you will be free to eat a typical Sicilian dinner at the hostel’s own restaurant or at one of the many recommended restaurants provided by your Bus2alps trip leader.
Check out on Sunday is at 10:30. You will have the whole day until your flight to explore all of the museums, restaurants, and piazzas you may have missed so far.
Transportation to the town of Taormina: This shuttle bus will bring you to the beautiful beach town of Sicily, where you can enjoy the day relaxing on the beach and taking in the beautiful views of Sicily.
Day trip to Mt. Etna: This trip will allow you to explore Mt. Etna with and take in all of the must-see sights of this volcano and its surrounding areas. You will also get to enjoy a lunch prepared with traditional Sicilian foods.
Day trip to Siracusa/Noto: Your Bus2alps trip leader will bring you to these towns in a private bus. This full day excursion will have you visiting the ancient sights of Siracusa and then after enjoying a typical Sicilian lunch, you will be off to see the beautiful architecture of Noto.