Sicily Food Adventure

8 days
from
£1,299
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4.5 / 5 from 20 reviews >
Leisurely
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Trip code: 
ADY
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
6–18
Min age:
16

Enjoy world famous Sicilian food while visiting the 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

  • Wander through colourful markets and try Palermo's unique street food
  • Enjoy a hands-on cookery class with a local chef in Trapani
  • Sample a variety of local specialities during the included produce and wine tastings
  • Visit unique heritage sights and Baroque cities, including Agrigento and Syracuse

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 



  • Countries visited: Italy

What's included

  • All accommodation
  • All breakfasts, 2 wine tastings, 1 cookery class and 5 food tastings/lunches included.
  • 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)
  • Transport by private air-conditioned minibus throughout the trip
  • Special guided tours in main UNESCO sights and cities

What's not included

  • Travel insurance 
  • Single accommodation 
  • Visa or vaccinations
  • City taxes (approx. €10-15)
Call for general departures:
074 340 4587
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

As much as possible, we try to use accommodations that are locally owned or at least employs local staff and uses local produce. This ensures that our visit has a positive effect on employment levels and economy in the region.  Being on a trip that is primarily focusing on food, there are plenty of opportunities for clients to support local enterprises from their visits to street food vendors, local cafes and restaurants through the recommendation of our local guides.

In the Coastal town of Trapani, there is a hands-on cookery course with a local chef where clients get the opportunity to learn more about the interesting culinary fusions with the help of traditional regional recipes. When in Marsala, clients get to enjoy some of the best wines from the region and support local production. We also visit a family run farm in the countryside near Ragusa, to witness a cheese making demonstration and tour around the farm.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

 

Itinerary

Palermo
to
Taormina
  • Day 1

    Start Palermo.

    This tour starts in Sicily's regional capital, Palermo. 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 may vary depending on the season and usually 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, the local guide will reveal some of the secrets of Sicilian street cuisine and explain the history of the city, while pointing out notable monuments and historic streets such as Piazza San Domenico, Vucciria, Quattro Canti. In the afternoon we visit Monreale, where we enjoy a visit to its extraordinary Duomo, 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 to olive farm for olive oil and produce tasting; transfer to Agrigento for a guided tour of the Valley of the Temples.

    In the morning we leave Marsala and transfer to a traditional organic olive farm, run by the Centonze family, owner of the estate since 1953. We will learn of the cultivation and production methods and sample some of the world's finest olive oil accompanied by local produce. 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 rural farm for cheese tasting; on to UNESCO Baroque town of Noto before reaching Syracuse; free time.

    We start our day with a transfer to a family-run farm in the countryside near Ragusa, a province where cheese making traditions are stonger than anywhere else in Sicily. After a cheese making demonstration and a tour around the farm we will sample some delicous cheese, including the famous ricotta, hand-made by the proud owners. Later, we transfer to the other Baroque gem of the Noto Valley, the town of Noto itself. After a relaxing stroll through what is considered one of Sicily's most beautiful historic centres, we have the opportunity to enjoy another 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 (1 to 2 hours walking depending on time, 5 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

    End Taormina.

    This tour ends in Taormina in the morning of day 8.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 2 wine tastings, 1 cookery class and 5 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).  Please note that due to traffic restrictions in place in a lot of the historic centres visited you may have to carry your suitcase over cobbled pavements, although the bus will be leaving you as close as possible to your hotel. When this is not possible, portarage service will be provided and it has been included in the cost of the trip. Please also be aware that sometimes hotels don't have a lift. 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 1 hour 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.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as not suitable for full wheelchair users, but it may be suitable for other persons of reduced mobility. Please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
074 340 4587
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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 Mediterraneo or Hotel Posta, Palermo

Hotel Carmine, Marsala 

Hotel Dioscuri, Agrigento 

Hotel dell'Orologio, Ragusa Ibla 

Piccolo Hotel Casa Mia or Hotel Aretusa, Siracusa

Hotel Isabella or Villa Esperia, Taormina 

Call for general departures:
074 340 4587
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed May 2019
    Christine Meusz

    Lots to see and lots of food

    This is a busy week with a lot crammed in to a short space of time. As you would expect, a lot of the scheduled activities are food and drink related but there's also some sightseeing. After two nights in Palermo, you transfer to a different hotel every night so there's little in the way of down time but you certainly get a flavour of Sicilian life and culture - and, of course, food! The hotels were a bit of a mixed bag - some better than others but all of them were adequate for one night - we particularly liked the Hotel Carmine in Marsala.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the (optional) walk at the top of Mt Etna with stunning views. And, although I wouldn't describe it as inspirational, we really enjoyed the cookery lesson - and eating the results!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rosario was friendly, helpful and knowledgable, ensuring everyone got the best out of the trip. As the only vegetarian/pescatarian on the trip, he had made sure that the organisers of the scheduled food tastings and activities (such as the cookery lesson) were prepared with suitable options for me.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light - there are lots of opportunities to purchase food and drink to take home so you'll need room in your suitcase.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is quite a hectic, whistle-stop tour which could easily occupy ten days at a more leisurely pace. If we'd had the time available it would have been good to stay on for a few days relaxing at the end.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    David Gartside

    An enjoyable week with lots to see, do and taste!

    We chose the trip after seeing an advert in the Guardian and decided that it sounded fun - mixing food and drink experiences with archaeology, history and geography. We weren't disappointed. Though we don't normally go for group holidays, this trip worked well. The opportunity to share food and drink tastings with the group added a dimension that would have been missing if we had been on our own. Rosario, our guide, and Maurizio, our driver, both worked dilgently to ensure we really enjoyed the trip - getting us to everywhere we needed to be without fuss or bother, and handling queries and minor problems with unfailing patience and good humour. In a relatively short time, we saw a good cross-section of the island, and came back with happy memories and a much stronger 'mental image' of Sicily. Thanks to all concerned who made this work.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to choose....! The cathedral at Monreale (Palermo) with seemingly every surface covered with mosaics was amazing. Similarly the temples at Valle dei Templi near Agrigento. Ragusa Ibla was a fascinating hilltop village which repaid careful exploration. The trip up Etna was well worthwhile - the snow and gale-force winds a stark contrast to conditions at sea-level. On the food side of things the market visits in Palermo and Ortigia, and the olive farm were memorable, though in fairness to all the other locations, we were warmly welcomed and treated as honoured guests by owners and staff.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rosario worked hard throughout the trip to make sure we got the most out of it , without being pushy or bossy. He quickly gained the confidence of the group, answered a myriad of questions (on a wide variety of topics) with enthusiasm and insight, and routinely gave us sufficient information about the next few hours' activities without overloading us with minutiae. As appropriate, he organised local restaurants for evening meals and was a good person to have around to help navigate menus, clarify issues etc. He seemed to cope well with the occasional personal issues that arose, treating the person with the issue with respect, while not overlooking the needs of the wider group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip is described as 'leisurely' and in terms of physical effort that is probably about right if you choose to take a laid-back approach. However, the days were long and action-packed (not complaining) and the various stops offered lots to see and do - so in practice you could be on the go for big chunks of time. Warm clothes (layers best) and decent walking shoes / boots essential for the Etna excursion. Several people commented that they wish they'd brought a decent map to keep track of our progress. I had the TCI:Touring Club Italiano 1:200 000 Sicily with me, that was more than adequate. Available locally or from Stanford's in London ~ £10.00

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotels were the usual eclectic mix - some with great character: eg Hotel Carmine in Marsala, Hotel dell'Orologio in Ragusa Ibla; some with a good location eg Hotel Villa Esperia on the coast road in Mazarro (close to, but away from the tourist throng of Taormina) . Some people were unimpressed with the Hotel Posta in Palermo, but we were fine with it. The Jolly Aretusa Palace (what a name!) in Syracuse was OK but not brilliant - no idea whether there are better alternatives. The booby prize goes to the Hotel Dioscuri in Agrigento/Santa Leone. On paper and from the outside it looks fine - seaside location, generous plot etc, but the reality disappoints. The room was fine but the walls terribly thin and hence neighbour noise an issue. The hotel handles a lot of tour groups (I do realise the irony of this comment) and struggles to cope - especially at breakfast where service was overwhelmed and finding things became farcical.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Gordon Frankland

    A Very Mixed Bag

    Our first experience of Sicily so chose this holiday. It gave us a mixture of culture, Greek, Roman as well as modern. A variety of food and drink experiences as well as exploration of the countryside. The small group and an excellent leader made for very good holiday travel.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Going to the top of Mount Etna in unseasonal snowy weather.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rosario was very well informed and caring. He conveyed his love of the area to the group. He obviously had made many contacts which enabled us as a group to participate with local people.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Not really a relaxing week. Be prepared for a variety of activities from early morning until evening.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A positive experience for our first time with Exodus
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Peter Day

    Sicily Food and Culture Trip

    A great balance of food and culture - all of the highlights covered, and no food specialities left untasted. The itinerary was a perfect blend of food and culture, and the itinerary itself was perfect - nothing could really be improved upon.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Roman villa mosaics

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rosario was excellent. He looked after every detail of the trip, was always available to assist with any question or problem that arose. Incredibly enthusiastic, and a native Sicilian, he acted as our entree to Sicily.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    While classified as level 1, there was a great deal of walking on some days - up and down stairs in most locations, and while detail is provided under "Is this trip for you?", the word "leisurely" is a little misleading, and it would be worth reclassifying the trip to at least a 2! That said, in many places, there were options to do more or less strenuous activities. e.g. at Mount Etna, there were three grades of activity possible. While nothing more could have been included within the 8 days of the tour, travellers may consider adding two-three days on their own to visit Cefalu (including a trip to one or more of the Aeolian Islands) which is easily accessible by train from Palermo. The other locations visited relied on in-depth local knowledge, and some of the attractions are only accessible by private transport, so it would be impossible or impractical to visit most of the places we went to if you did your own thing in Sicily.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The tour is at least as much about culture as it is about food, and while this is detailed in the trip notes, it might be worth reflecting this in the title of the trip.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    katherine ruch

    a lovely trip

    I travelled with my husband and we have both enjoyed our trip. our guide Titsiana was excellent, being informative, friendly, accommodating and anxious to ensure we all enjoyed our trip. Timings of all pick ups and activities was perfect. Activities including wine tasting, cheese making, cookery and olive oil tastings were all enjoyable and very well organised.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    trip to mount Etna was fabulous although quite expensive at 130 euros for a couple. Also the cookery and cheese making were excellent.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    group leader w as excellent. very friendly and welcoming. enthusiastic, courteous and anxious to ensure our trip ran to plan and was enjoyable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    two of the hotels were of a poorer quality. The hotel Poste in Palmero was a bit shabby but not too bad. The worst hotel was the Jolly ... Palace Hotel for the last night. This was very shabby with stained and chipped furnishing, rusting air vent in bathroom, dirty walls and no air conditioning. This hotel should not be used as it spoils the quality of the trip as a whole. no need to bring a thick coat for Mount Etna as you can hire a thick coat for 4 euros at the ticket office. If you don't want to do four flights just to get to Sicily and back, book your own flights.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Please take the last hotel off your list. It is anything but a Palace Hotel! very enjoyable trip. If I had known that this trip involved changing at Rome on the outward journey and Milan on the return I would not have booked it. It took 10 and a half hours to reach Palmero due to waiting for flights, delayed flights and having to change gates.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    SANDRA MATLACK

    Lovely experience

    This trip was an excellent experience blending history and tourist sites with food experiences. The itinerary is well done. We were a small group of 7, and got along well, and our guide Tiziano was energetic and good natured, and attentive to everyone's needs. He was very organized and everything went off as planned. He was also personally helpful to me on 2 occasions, with forgotten eyeglasses and arranging individual transport to the airport. I really enjoyed all the tasting/eating experiences, including olive oil, cheese farm, wine tastings, cooking class, street food tour in Palermo, and group dinners. We moved a lot, staying one night in most places, but that was enough to see everything, and get a feel for the towns. The travelling distances were not very long between towns, so we had plenty of walk around time. My only criticism would be of the choice of the Siracusa hotel, which could be greatly improved, even if it meant charging a bit more for the trip. The rest of the hotels ranged from decent to lovely. Would definitely travel with Exodus again. Great value.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The church in Monreale with the breathtaking mosaics. Also the Greek temples in Agrigento.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    our guide Tiziano was energetic and good natured, and attentive to everyone's needs. He was very organized and everything went off as planned. He was also personally helpful to me on 2 occasions, with forgotten eyeglasses and arranging individual transport to the airport.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go a day earlier- but not on a Sunday like I did- and try to see the mosaics in the Palatine chapel in Palermo. Also taxis are very expensive in Sicily to/ from the airports, so if you do your own transport, be aware of this. You need to be pretty fit to do the Mt Etna excursion to the top, as air is thin and walking is precarious on the lava. Our guide did an easy walk at the bottom for those who did not want to go up.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip is an excellent value, and well planned for 8 days. Includes all the highlights of Sicily and very nice food experiences. Also enough free time to walk around and eat extra food! Have been all over Italy and the food here is some of the best.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Gary Thomas

    Sicily

    The Sicily group tour was excellent. Very well planned and organised.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The great mixture of activities.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Very well organised, thoughtful and friendly.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Julia Hadden

    Excellent trip!

    The tour was well organised and interesting. The group dynamics worked well and we were given the opportunity to experience many aspects of Sicily including the delicious food, fascinating history, fantastic archaeology and beautiful scenery.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I was blown away by the mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale and the tastings of various marsala wines was fun!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rosario was one of the best group leaders we have met and we have met many over the years. He was a mine of information, his English was perfect and he made sure that we all had a wonderful holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The distances in Sicily were far greater than I appreciated so it takes longer than expected to get from place to place and the weather can be chilly, particularly on Mount Etna.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you for arranging such a successful trip.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Liz Mulgrew

    A brilliant mix of foodie and cultural delights

    This trip is a wonderful mixture of food and culture, with Etna thrown in for good measure! From sampling spleen sandwiches (yes, really) on the Palermo street food tour to a Marsala wine tasting and eating ricotta, still warm, that we had watched being made just minutes before, all the gastronomic experiences were enjoyable and delicious (even the spleen wasn't that horrendous). The cultural highlights for me were the amazing mosaics at the Villa del Casale and the Duomo and cloisters at Monreale, whilst experiencing Etna in the snow was simply stunning. Our guide, Rosario, was brilliant, and our group, made up of mostly couples and with around 30 years from oldest to youngest, bonded really well - as one of the three singles, and one of the youngest, I never felt isolated.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely the cable car/4WD/guided crater tour at Mount Etna. The combination of snow with lava showing through just made the scenario so beautiful, and we were lucky that the clouds parted and it was a beautiful sunny day. Awe-inspiring.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rosario was so lovely - he guided us with a gentle touch so that we felt like adults and not a school group, yet somehow we were always ready to go when needed! His passion for Sicily and delight in showing us everything just shone through and his attention to detail in organising our activities was amazing. He had time for all of us as individuals and regularly checked that we were happy. Superb!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you go in April (and, I'm guessing, October) make sure you have plenty of layers, including a waterproof one, so that you can add/take away as needed. Our temperatures, in early April, ranged from really quite warm (I got slightly sunburnt one day) to -2 at the top of Etna! You probably won't have time for a swim at any of the hotels, as generally you do get to them quite late (and I think only one or two of them had pools anyway). Don't bother taking much reading matter - apart from airports you won't have time to read! There is a fair bit of walking around to be done, so make sure you have good shoes. Make sure you can cope with your suitcase as you do have to move it around a bit, although there's usually someone around to help. And make sure you have plenty of space in your case - you will bring back plenty of foodie souvenirs, if our group is anything to go by!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotels we stayed in were a real mixture in terms of standard; for me, there were two I would happily book to stay in again (Hotel Carmine in Marsala - which we all agreed was the best one - and Villa Esperia in Mazzaro, for Taormina). The others were much more variable in quality, a lot of which often depended on which room you had ( my worst two were fine for others in the group). But you are never more than 2 nights in any one place anyway, and mostly only one, so it really doesn't matter that much. One negative point was having to change flights - Rome on the way out and Milan on the way back (where it was quite a scramble to get to the second flight). Our guide was amazed we weren't on direct ones as he said he hasn't flown indirectly for about 15 years! My only other comment was that a week wasn't quite long enough! It would have been great to have a bit more time at some of the places we visited (an extra half an hour or hour would have made all the difference at times) and in 10 days we could have gone all the way round the island.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Harriet van Pelt

    Lovely mix of food, wine and culture

    Lovley holiday. Great overview of many different towns visiting lots of cultural sites. Amazing food and wine, with great tours and tastings. You'll never be hungry or thirsty ;) on this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Going up mount Etna, an optional extra but well worth it! Going to buy lunch in the local market was a great experience and visiting the different producers was very interesting. The Etna wine tasting with food pairings was really fun. There were so many great bits, it's hard to pick only one!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rosario was very good! Got us from a-b, fed and watered us. He was very knowledgeable about the local areas and answered any questions or querys with the patience of a saint! What more could you ask for :)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a larger suitcase or sacrificial clothes! There was so many things we wanted to bring home. Nothing too unwieldly though, as there was a few short walks to some of the hotels with some uneven surfaces.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotels were okay, did the job for a night's stay, some were better than others. One night did result in a supermarket supper due to the closure of the hotels restaurant but tbh we were so full from lunch didn't miss it and the bar was still open.

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]

Private Adventures 

Not found the date you’re looking for? We can organise this itinerary as a Private Adventure – just click on the tab above the list of dates and prices, let us know your preferred dates of travel and how many people are travelling, and we’ll do the rest!

Call us on 074 340 4587