Sicily Food Adventure

8 days
from
£1,379
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Traveller ratings
4.3 / 5 from 4 reviews >
Leisurely
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Trip code: 
ADY
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Food & Drink
Min age:
16
Group size:
6–18

Enjoy world famous Sicilian food while discovering the region's best heritage sites

From cannoli to arancini, Sicilian food is world famous, but on this tour prepare to be overwhelmed at how varied and diverse Sicily’s cuisine really is! The various civilisations that have occupied the island over millennia have not only left an unparalleled cultural heritage, but a culinary history that sets Sicily aside from mainland Italy. Sample Palermo’s fragrant street food in its vibrant markets, practice hands-on cooking with local chefs in Trapani, sip the finest wines in Marsala and Etna and indulge in mouth-watering gelatos whilst relaxing in sun-kissed Baroque piazzas. Let food lead the way in this captivating journey through culinary and cultural highlights!

Highlights

  • Discover one of Italy's best gastronomic regions
  • Learn of and taste authentic Sicilian specialities
  • Visit unique heritage sights and Baroque cities

Key information

  • 7 nights 3 and 4-star hotels with en suite facilities
  • 8 days land only / flight inclusive
  • Group normally 6‐18, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by air-conditioned private minibus 



What's included

  • All accommodation
  • All breakfasts and 1 wine tasting
  • London flights (if booking incl. flights)
  • Airport transfers (if booking group flights or alternative flights arriving before or at the same time as the group)
  • Special guided tours in main UNESCO sights and cities

What's not included

  • Travel insurance 
  • Single accommodation 
  • Visa or vaccinations
  • City taxes
Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Palermo
to
Taormina
  • Day 1

    Fly to Palermo.

    Fly to Palermo airport and transfer to the start hotel in the city centre. This busy port city situated on the north-western coast of the island encloses some very interesting and often overlooked attractions. There is some fine architecture to be admired, as well as good museums, palazzi and churches. It is the city's food scene, colourful local markets and long established food shops, however, that give the city a very original and eccentric character worth discovering.

  • Day 2

    Explore Palermo, the famous Ballaro' market and indulge in the city's fabulous street food; afternoon visit Monreale and its Duomo.

    We start our week with a special guided foodie tour through the historic centre of Palermo, ranked amongst the best cities in the world for street food. During our walk we wander through carts and kiosks of street vendors, colourful markets and local bakeries whilst trying some of the best local specialities. These include arancini (fried rice balls stuffed with meat sauce and cheese), panelle (fried chick peas pancake), and sfincione (Palermo’s traditional pizza) - all absolutely delicious. As we walk, our guide will reveal some of the secrets of Sicilian street cuisine and explain the history of the city, while pointing out notable monuments including Quattro Canti, Pretoria Square, the Cathedral and Marina Square. In the afternoon we visit Monreale, where we enjoy a guided visit to its extraordinary cathedral, considered the greatest example of Norman architecture in the world. Overnight in Palermo.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 3

    Transfer to Trapani; hands on cookery class with a local chef; continue to Marsala and sample the town's world famous wines.

    In the morning we transfer to our next destination, the coastal town of Trapani. The local gastronomy in this part of Sicily is strongly influenced by the Arabs, who occupied the area for many centuries until the Normans took over. A hands-on cookery course with a local chef will give us the opportunity to learn more about the interesting culinary fusions, while practising (and tasting!) traditional regional recipes. In the afternoon we head to the southern town of Marsala, internationally famous for its finest fortified wines. A wine tasting will be offered after a tour of one of the best local wineries. Overnight in Marsala.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 4

    Morning visit the picturesque fishing village of Sciacca; transfer to Agrigento for a guided tour of the Valley of the Temples.

    In the morning we leave Marsala and transfer to the southern fishing port of Sciacca. The fishing fleet in this small village is amongst the largest in Italy; if we are lucky, we might even have the opportunity to catch some of the fishing boats returning to the port, a real spectacle of local traditions worth seeing. There will be some free time to enjoy a walk through this authentic Sicilian town, before enjoying lunch in one of the best local fish and seafood restaurant recommended by our guide. In the afternoon we transfer to the iconic sight of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. A guided tour will allow us to discover and learn of the history of this splendid archaeological park, which consists of eight temples (and various other remains) built between about 510 BC and 430 BC. Overnight in Agrigento.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    To Piazza Armerina; guided tour of the famous Villa Romana del Casale followed by a delicious produce tasting; afternoon visit the charming town of Ragusa Ibla.

    Today's destination is Piazza Armerina, home of world famous Villa Romana del Casale. Built in the 4th Century AD as a hunting lodge by a Roman patrician, the villa is home to some of the best preserved Roman mosaics spread over around 3500 square meters. After a guided tour of this extraordinary UNESCO sight, we enjoy a delicious produce tasting of local sicilian delicacies. In the afternoon we transfer to the Baroque gem of Ragusa, without doubt one of the most beautiful cities in Sicily and Italy. The town is part of the Val di Noto UNESCO Heritage site and 18 of its buildings are protected by UNESCO patronage. After a short orentiation walk we will have time to enjoy a relaxing and well deserved aperitivo (word for the traditional Italian pre-dinner drinks and snacks) in one of the town's elegant piazzas. Overnight in Ragusa.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 6

    Transfer to Modica; visit a famous famous chocolate factory; stop in the UNESCO Baroque town of Noto before reaching Syracuse; free time.

    We start our day with a visit to Modica. The chocolate made in this fascinating Baroque town is one of the most famous products of the Ragusa area, discovered by the Aztecs in Mexico and brought to Sicily by the Spanish during the 15th and 16th centuries. Still produced following the original recipe, the chocolate is made straight from cacao beans, without added cocoa butter or soy lecithin. Traditional flavours include vanilla and cinnamon, although hot chilli pepper is a locals' favourite! Luckily, we will have the chance to sample it during our visit of the town's main chocolate factory and shop. Later, we transfer to the other Baroque gem of the Noto Valley, the town of Noto itself. After a relaxing stroll, we have the opportunity to enjoy a staple of Sicilian cuisine: the famous 'granita' (thin flakes of ice flavored with fresh fruit or nuts and sugared) accompanied by the traditional 'brioche' (a soft and fragrant sweet delicacy). We end our day in Syracuse, the most powerful city-state in the Greek world and briefly capital of the Byzantine Empire.The late afternoon can be spent free wandering around the narrow streets of Ortigia, the island where the city was founded, or simply relaxing and soaking up the cosy atmosphere in the historic centre while enjoying a glass of superb local wine!

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Drive to the Etna region for an excellent wine and produce tasting; free afternoon in Taormina.

    After breakfast we have the opportunity to stroll through the historic food market of Ortigia. Held every morning except Sunday, this market is everything one expects an Italian market to be: there is always a lot of shouting and wonderful smells and colours. It sells authentic regional produce ranging from fish, cheese, spices, vegetables and sweets - this is without doubt the perfect opportunity to buy your favourite products to take back home! We then transfer to the northern region of Etna for a short walk around the highest most active volcano in Europe (2 hours walking, 6 km maximum). At lunch time we enjoy a delicious wine and produce tasting in one of the famous wine cellars of the area. We conclude our trip in the beautiful Taormina, a chic resort town spectacularly perched on the side of a mountain. The remainder of the day is free to explore the town's picture-perfect alleys, and perhaps take an optional visit to its amazing ancient Greek theatre. In the evening our leader will recommend an excellent local restaurant where to enjoy a celebratory farewell dinner.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 8

    Transfer to Catania; fly to London.

    This tour ends in Taormina in the morning of day 8. Depending on the group flight departure time, there might be some free time to explore the town's centre and picturesque alleys, or perhaps to do some shopping in the many lovely artisan boutiques. Transfer to Catania airport and fly to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast

Essential Info

Visas

Italy

No visa required for British passport holders.
Please note in Italy it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times.

Vaccinations

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 2 wine tastings, 1 cookery class and 4 food tastings/lunches included.

Sicilian cuisine is a melting pot of all the different cultures that have occupied the island, from the Arabs to the Normans. The island itself is incredibly fertile, enjoying a perfect climate which is ideal for the cultivation of fresh produce such as olives, oranges, lemons, eggplants, tomatoes, pistachios, almonds, grapes, and more—not to mention all of the seafood, tuna and swordfish fished right off the coast. The result? A cuisine that’s fresh, varied, and absolutely delicious! Sicilian wines are also superb and known to be strong and syrupy, like Marsala and Moscato. These are some of the regional specialities we recommend to try during this trip:

Caponata: a tasty salad made with eggplant (aubergines), olives, capers and celery, makes a great appetizer.
Sfincione: a local form of pizza made with tomatoes, onions and (sometimes) anchovies. Prepared on a thick bread and more likely found in a bakery than in a pizzeria.
Pane e pannelle: A favorite street food of Palermo, panelle—or chickpea fritters—are served between bread, like a sandwich.
Arancine: fried rice balls stuffed with meat or cheese.
Pani ca meusa: The name of this street food means, literally bread with spleen! But don’t let that scare you. It is delicious speciality of Palermo!
Cannoli: tubular crusts with creamy ricotta (made from sheep's milk) and sugar filling. A must!
Cassata: a rich, sugary cake filled with the same delicious filling.
Pasta alla Norma: it’s made with fried eggplant, tomatoes, basil, and salted ricotta.
Pasta with pistacchios pesto.
Pasta con le sarde: Sardines are popular in Sicily, so it’s common to see them as a topping for pasta. One common variety is bucatini with sardines, fennel, saffron, pine nuts, and raisins.
Frutta martorana: Other places call this 'marzipan' but here in Sicily, the almond paste is molded into little (incredibly realistic) fruits—hence fruits of Martora, or frutta martorana.
Cassata siciliana: A sponge cake is soaked in liqueur, its slices layered with sweetened ricotta, and the whole thing covered in almond paste, then icing. It is also studded with candied fruits and other goodies.
Granita: The perfect summer refreshment, granita, originally from Sicily, can now be found all over Italy. It’s just ground ice with sugar and fresh fruit, simple but truly delicious.
Involtini di Pesce Spada: Little rolls of thinly sliced swordfish are stuffed with pine nuts, raisins, bread crumbs, anchovy filets, orange juice and lemon juice, eggs and grated pecorino.
Tonno e Spada Affumicata: Smoked tuna and swordfish shaved paper thin, and layered on a plate. These can be accented with shaved fennel and oranges, or olives and sun-dried tomatoes, or can be served with just a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and some good crusty bread.

Weather

Sicily has a good all year round climate, with plenty of sunshine and warm/hot temperatures. The summer departures ought to have daily hot sunshine and temperatures can reach 30 to 35 degrees. The earlier and later departures are likely to be cooler with a slightly higher chance of rain. In late summer there is the possibility of heavy thunderstorms, but these are usually short-lived.

Is this trip for you?

Grade: 1 (Leisurely) This is a very relaxing week where you can enjoy excellent regional gastronomy while visiting the most beautiful and important heritage sights and towns of Sicily. All the transfers will be by private air conditioned vehicle. Due to the distance covered during the week some of the drives are quite long but should never exceed 4 hrs (including stops). Sicily can also be very hot, possibly high 30s in the summer months from June to September. The excursion on Mt Etna is on foot and we walk for up to 2 hours on hilly terrain of old dried lava, rocky ash and sand. The walking isn't too strenuous and will be done at a leisurely pace. The overall Activity Level for this trip is 1 (Leisurely) meaning that it is suitable for all people who are in good health and fitness.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.

Accommodation

3 and 4-star hotels

On this trip we use 6 different comfortable 3 and 4-star hotels. Some of them have been chosen for their warm hospitality and typically Sicilian character and others for their convenient location. They are often located in proximity of the historic centres we visit so that we can easily explore the towns in the evenings or during our free time. All rooms have en suite facilities and some hotels have a pool and WiFi.

List of hotels normally used:

Hotel Politeama, Palermo

Hotel Villa Favorita, Marsala 

Hotel Dioscuri, Agrigento 

Hotel dell'Orologio, Ragusa Ibla 

Hotel Mastrarua, Siracusa

Hotel Bay Palace, Taormina 

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed July 2017
    Wendy Fittock

    Immerse yourself in Sicily!

    Sicily is a fascinating treasure trove of history and beauty. This trip allows you to experience the Sicilian way of life using food as a lure to explore its villages, towns and landscape as you move from one side of the island to the other.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The mixture of architecture which display Sicily's history through its Roman, Byzantine, Arab (etc, etc) periods, but now sit harmoniously together - is truly inspiring. Also, the endless mosaics at Piazza Armerina which taught me (both visually & by the enthusiastic local guide!), more about Roman way of life and their amazing feats, than any book or tv documentary ever did! I'm not usually enamoured by "old ruins", but the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento is a sight to behold! Mount Etna - I hadn't expected it's lush rich vegetation and then the contrast of the stark black ash landscape on areas affected by historic lava flow.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Vincenzo was extremely knowledgeable and his passion for his home land was infectious. He hit the balance just right in telling us about wherever we were visiting that day, without feeling that you were ever getting "information overload". Always cheerful and polite ... the whole week's itinerary was run efficiently and (it would appear) effortlessly. Given we were changing hotels most nights (which had so far put me off doing this trip), we seemed to blend magically from one resort to the next in a very relaxed manner - ready for the next day's adventure! Also a "shout out" to Salvatore who drove our bus for the week - kind and courteous - who even stopped the bus en route in order to pick some fruits from the trees for our enjoyment!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip not only gives you a Food Adventure, it also gives you a taster of Sicily's many beautiful villages/towns. Though our visit was transient, there's a whole list of places I'd like to revisit .... Noto, Ortigia, Trapani ... where do I stop? There's art and courtyards hidden throughout the land - you need to keep a keen eye out, or you'll miss something!
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Martha Chapman

    Sicily Food Tour

    A wonderful introduction to this enormous island, combining the must-see sites (Etna etc.) with wine, cheese, chocolate, gelato and other tastings. A lot of movement with 6 different hotels.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The stunning church at Monreale. Our local guide in Palermo/Monreale, Marina, was exceptional, so knowledgeable and so much fun. And the visits to the markets.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very kind and well meaning but inexperienced and her English not good enough for such a tour. (At one point there was almost a mutiny, which was averted when a Spanish-speaking Norwegian group member intervened and conversed with her in Spanish which she was more comfortable with than English.) This was my fourth Exodus tour in Italy and I'd have to say the guide was definitely the low point/biggest disappointment of the trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It would be nice if Exodus could include the room taxes, after paying so much for a tour it does seem very "cheap" that we must pay a Euro or two at every hotel. Some dinner suggestions at each stop as we were sometimes "dumped" in a hotel either on the edge of town or not visibly close to any restaurants. Also a farewell dinner inclusion would be nice.
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Tim Fearn

    Sicily Food Adventure

    I went on the trip from the Exodus office to ensure the first departure ran smoothly and to make suggestions for future departures. There will be a few minor changes for future trips, but overall, I felt it was a good introduction to Sicily combined with great opportunities to sample the local cuisine. The balance between historical sights and food tasting was perfect, with a decent amount of free time to relax so you didn't feel rushed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were lots, but real highlights for me were: eating fresh seafood overlooking the harbour in Sciacca, an incredible meal in a restaurant under the church in Ragusa, amazing food tasting in the boutique hotel at Piazza Armerina after seeing the Roman mosaics, wandering through the market in Siracusa checking out all the fresh produce, and plenty of cheap but excellent local wine!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabio is a nice guy and obviously loves his island, although he did sometimes lack the authority needed in a tour leader, perhaps because this was the first time the trip had run and he was not so familiar with the itinerary. His knowledge of Sicily was excellent, especially the geology and geography.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you go on this trip, be prepared to eat lots! There was so much good food on offer that you'd never go hungry, and you'll never eat the same thing twice. Try as many of the local specialities as possible, and make sure you have plenty of space on your memory card because there's so much to take pictures of, whether it's the beautiful old towns, the market stalls or the dishes that arrive in front of you at the restaurants.Also, try to relax and adjust to the Sicilian way of life - service in restaurants can be slow and seemingly disorganised, especially in the west of the island which receives less visitors, and drinks are usually served at the same time as the food, not before the meal.
  • Reviewed May 2016
    Ruth Wingerin

    Sicily food adventure

    This was a lovely introduction to Sicily and the itinerary was well designed and covered lots of food highlights as well as interesting historical sights

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Looking at the mosaic floors of a 2000 year old Roman villa, exploring the amphitheater in Taormina and tasting home made Sicilian delicacies at a funky Art hotel in Modica

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The leader was very pleasant and conscientious but he did not understand the English of the group very well and was not great at communicating. He also had a hard time asserting himself with some group members who had some issues with fellow travelers so the group dynamic was testy at times!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This was the first time this trip was run and despite minor issues it was really enjoyable. Don't hesitate to go! Sicily is a wonderful destination

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 0208 772 3936