Sicily Food Adventure Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group
Destinations:
Italy
Programmes:
Culture
Trip Code:
ADY
Activity Level: Leisurely
Leisurely

You are healthy, enjoy the outdoors and want a relaxing trip. No experience is required.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

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!

At a Glance

  • 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 



Trip 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

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.

Group

An Exodus local leader will be on hand throughout the week to help with your orientation and to make sure everything runs smoothly. However, due to Italian legislation, tour leaders are not allowed to guide groups in some cities, museums and churches. Local licenced guides will accompany the group in Agrigento, Villa del Casale/Piazza Armerina. You will be free to sightsee with the tour leader or at your own pace in all the other towns.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
6
Max group size:
18

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Palermo
End City:
Taormina

Land Only Itinerary

  • 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

Accommodation

3 and 4-star hotels

Villa Favorita, Marsala

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 

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Single supplement from £260.00

Food & Transport

Eating & 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.

Transportation

We use a private air-conditioned minibus for all transfers and excursions allowing us to enjoy comfortable, flexible and stress-free journeys.

Weather & Seasonality

When to go

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.

Weather Information

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.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 8 days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of EasyJet or Alitalia (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 8 days starting in Palermo and ending in Taormina

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Palermo in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight - please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

If you are planning to travel from Palermo airport to the city centre independently, we recommend booking the bus service operated by Prestia e Comande (http://www.prestiaecomande.it/), which runs every 30 minutes. The approximate journey time to Palermo city centre is 50 minutes and the price is €6.30 one way. The shuttle bus stops in Piazza Ruggero Settimo, also called Piazza Politeama, named after the theatre. The Hotel Politeama is walking distance from the bus stop. If your start hotel is Hotel Posta, the bus stop will be Via Roma, 265 (after Politeama). The hotel Posta is only a 5 mins walk from this stop.
Alternatively, if you prefer to travel in more comfort, Exodus can arrange a private pick up transfer on arrival. Please contact us prior to departure for a quote and to book this service.

Location start:
Palermo
Location end:
Taormina

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Comfortable walking shoes, small daypack for camera, guidebook, sun cream, hat, sunglasses, waterproofs For the walking excursion on Mt Etna you will need: long trousers, closed walking shoes with sturdy sole. Water bottle: while mineral water is available in restaurants and shops, it's safe to drink the tap water in hotels, so remember to bring refillable water bottles and keep hydrated during the day.

At time of writing the standard weight limit for hold baggage on the recommended international carrier for this trip is 20kg. We recommend packing only one piece of checked baggage. As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline'swebsite for the latest information prior to your departure.

Optional Equipment

Swimming costume

Reading List

Robert Andrews and Jules Brown (2008), Sicily: The Rough Guide
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (1958), The Leopard
Giovanni Verga (1881), I Malavoglia

Practical Information

Passport

Italy

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Certain European nationalities may be able to travel within Europe on their national identity card. Check carefully with the relevant authorities if you intend to do this.

Visa

Italy

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Vaccination

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your Post Office. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance.

Local Time

Italy's Timezone:
Europe/Rome CET (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

Italy's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins.

Money

Italy's Currency

The national currency of Italy is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 1.2 to the UK£ and 0.9 to the US$.

Exchange rates are correct at the time of publication.

 

ATM Availability

ATMs are available in all major towns. Credit cards are accepted in large supermarkets and at the hotels in Palermo and in Taormina.

Extra Expenses and Spending Money

For the meals not included, allow €8‐15 for lunch and €20‐30 for dinner. The exact amount spent depends entirely on the type of restaurant visited and the menu chosen.

LOCAL TAXES: many Italian cities have recently introduced a tourist tax for non‐residents. The local administration is in charge of the tax, which will be collected by the accommodation provider at check‐in or check‐out. This fee varies depending on the hotel category, the season and number of days of stay. It is usually between 1 and 4 euros per person per night. For this trip, please allow approx. €15 for the week.

Optional Excursions 

Greek Theatre in Taormina (including cable car): €12

Tipping

Our local staff are paid well and fairly for their work with Exodus. Most of our clients wish to give a tip to their guides in appreciation of their help and friendliness. This, of course, is in no way compulsory and depends on the service received. For this trip we recommend to budget approx. €15-20 per person for the leader.

Responsible Tourism

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… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.