A Shore Excursion is a short trip that gives you the opportunity to sightsee the best highlights reachable from your port of call.
The true determinant of a Sicilian Trip today is the quality of your travel experience, which is why we have compiled a fantastic range of services specifically designed to ensure your trip fulfils all your dreams.
Our shore excursions are perfectly designed for those who enjoy traveling in a private-form and not with other tourists and offer the convenience of a fixed package price.
We provide private tours from all ports in Sicily (Palermo, Catania, Messina, Taormina-Giardini Naxos, Siracusa, Trapani and Agrigento) with car, van, small size vehicle or coach based on the number of people you are, using professional tour escort or driver-guide (based on number of people).
These tours generally include a very nice schedule of touring and sightseeing and are often the most cost-effective.
Furthermore, with us, you will enjoy the real Highlights of Sicily.
A private tour is the best solution to visit all the locations you prefer in the limited time you have at disposal. Our professional driver-guide (or tour escort) will give adequate time at all stops and will accommodate your special requests when possible, to assure that your experience in Sicily is both memorable and enjoyable.
You will be driven around our amazing island while the driver-guide will provide basic historical information.
We suggest the best highlights reachable from your port of call. You can choose a tour focused on historical sites, landscape, food & wine, archaeology or a mix of these. Some tours are full scheduled, others let you more free time for strolling around, shopping or relax.
Our staff is at your disposal to plan your personalized itinerary. If you would like to visit a particular location, we will be pleased to customize your trip.
Every cruise has a different time schedule. Most of cruises let you the time for a full day excursion (around 7-8 hours), others only for an half day excursion (around 4 hours). A full day trip is the best solution because gives you the opportunity to visit more than one location or to reach sites not too far from your port of call. Based on your cruise schedule our staff will meet you around 30 minutes after cruise docks and will take you back within one hour before cruise departure.
Our tours offer the convenience of a fixed package price, based on the real number of your group. The best solution is to book a private van for 6-7 people: the perfect mix for a very small size group and a lower cost. We do not collect people in the same excursion, but you can share the same van with your friends or other cruisers. Coffee, Breakfast and Ice-cream
Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea in his thousand-year old history Sicily has always been considered of large interest for strategical and trading reasons.
Except short periods of independence, Sicily was controlled by great powers: Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Goths, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Spanish, Bourbons to mention only the main peoples who set themselves in the island.
Each people influenced Sicilian culture, architecture, language and habits and this is the reason that makes Sicily an unbelievably unique place! Nowadays walking in the island streets you can feel this multicultural mix and admire Byzantines buildings close to Baroque churches, followed by open air market in Arab style.
Even food has been influenced by different cultures and you have the chance to taste typical sweets and street food, such as cannoli with ricotta cream, marzipan candies, almond and pistachio pastries, panelle (a thin paste of crushed ceci/garbanzo beans rolled into sheets, fried and served in pizza-like slices) and sfincione (a special pizza topped with tomatoes, onions, a few anchovies and grated caciocavallo cheese, seasoned with a dash of oregano).
Sicily is also famous as olive oil and wine producer and there are a lot of farmhouses and wineries to visit that offer the possibility of a tasting or a lunch or light-lunch: mixed local product such as cheese, salumi, olives, local bread combined with tasting of olive oil and wine.
Even though Sicily is very famous for his crystalline sea, landscape is various.
Often people imagine Sicily as a little island, but from west side to east side there are 300 km and more than 150 km from North coast to South coast.
The middle of Sicily is characterized by hills and mountains up to 1.800-1.900 meters, while in the east coast (close to Catania and Taormina) Mount Etna overlooks a wide area.
Etna is the highest and most active volcano in Europe (it is high around 3.300 meters but it is possible to ascent only up to 2.920 meters) and its natural park is rich in sounds, perfumes, and colors.
In Sicily there a lot of typical villages that you would like to visit, but some locations are absolutely unmissable!
Palermo is the capital of Sicily and is located on the North-West coast of the island. Founded in 734 BC by the Phoenician, this town is rich of churches, palaces and museums and is the perfect example of the mix of cultures that have taken place over the centuries: Arab, Byzantine, Norman and Baroque architectures characterize the main monuments of Palermo (Norman Palace, Palatine Chapel, St. John of the Hermit, Zisa Castle, Church of the Jesus, Pretoria Fountain, Four Corners, ect.) and many times different architectural styles melt together, such as in the Cathedral. Palermo is very famous for its gastronomy, above all for pastries and street food.
Monreale is a little town overlooking Palermo and the "Conca d'Oro" and located only few minutes by car out of the capital. It is renowned for the wonderful Arab-Norman Dome, launched in 1174 by William II, that represents the scenes from the Old and New Testaments all in golden mosaics.
Segesta is one of the major cities of the ancient indigenous Elymian people. The unfinished and well preserved Doric temple, late 5th century BC, is built on a hilltop just outside of the ancient city and has a commanding view of the surrounding area.
Erice is a medieval town which was an important religious site associated with the goddess Venus. It is recommended wandering through its ancient streets and visiting some of the famous homemade pastry shops, world-famous for marzipan candies and other delicacies like almond and pistachio pastries.
Agrigento is located on a plateau overlooking Sicily's southern coast. According to legend, the town was founded by Daedalus and his son Icarus after they had fled from Crete “by air”. Historically, however, its origins date back to 582 B.C. when it was founded by Rhodian-cretan colonist from the neighbouring Gela who named their city Akragas after the nearby river of that name. Agrigento was a city of artists and illustrious personages, amongst whom the philosopher Empedocles. Pindar defines it as “the most beautiful of mortal cities” and, in fact, in the Vth century B.C., those famous temples, whose beauty we still admire today, were built. Temples Valley is a Unesco World Heritage site and covers the Temple of Hera, the Temple of Concordia, the Temple of Hercules and the Temple of Zeus. The Temple of Concord is almost in the centre of the ridge of temples, conspicuous for its nobility and integrity, and has defied the centuries. It is, in fact, the best preserved example of Doric art in Italy.
Siracusa is located in the southeastern coast of Sicily and was built on an ancient Greek settlement founded by Corinthians in 734 BC. Siracusa was a center of Greek, Byzantine and Judaic civilization and these three cultures are still evident today in Ortygia. The island of Ortygia is the older residential quarter, characterized by a labyrinth of charming ancient and medieval streets and famous, among many other things, for the freshwater Spring of Arethusa and the Cathedral. The Neapolis Archaeological Park belongs to the Unesco heritage and highlights the Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre and the Paradise Quarry.
Taormina is a hill-village with a glossy sheen of glamour. It is characterized by terraces overlooking the coast, medieval streets and tiny passages. Walking in this street indulge you in the Taormina atmosphere. The attractive principal thoroughfare, Corso Umberto is pedestrian and ideal for strolling and window-shopping. Picturesque lanes above and below the Corso are interesting to explore, while if you want to stretch your legs further there are attractive walks up into the hills, or down to the sea. Given its compact size, Taormina has a huge range of bars, cafes and restaurants where you can relax while admiring the views. A drink at the tables of Caffè Wunderbar (or similar) in Piazza IX Aprile may set you back a few euros, but you’ll be basking where Tennessee Williams and Elizabeth Taylor basked before you. On a wonderful position overlooking the coast and Mount Etna stands the famed Greek-Roman Theatre, built in the third century BC, and expanded by the Romans.
Mount Etna is an important Sicilian highlights and it is an active volcano located on the east cost of Sicily that overlooks a wide area. Etna is the highest and most active volcano in Europe and its natural park is rich in sounds, perfumes, and colors. This mount reaches a height of approximately 3,326m (10,910 ft) above sea level and covers an area of 1190 sq km (460 sq miles), which the base circumference of about 140km. The ancient Greeks believed it to be the home of Vulcan, the god of fire and to them, Mount Etna erupting merely meant Vulcan was forging weapons for Mars, the god of war. Mount Etna does not represent a great attraction exclusively for the presence of its eruptions, but it’s also a wonderful natural park with evocative landscapes. The fertile volcanic soil supports extensive agriculture. Vineyards and orchards spread across the lower slopes of the mountain. As you climb higher, the lowlands evolve into dense woods sheltering a surprisingly large number of animal species, until you are left at the third tier of the mountain, a spartan wasteland of historic lava flows and volcanic ash. Dotted with snow most of the year, some of the lava is dated at 300,000 years old.
Piazza Armerina is a little town renowned for the Roman Villa of Casale, one of the most beautiful villas of the Roman ever built (330-360 AD), with 60 rooms and 3500 square meters of floor mosaics. The mosaics discovered here are celebrated among scholars of antiquity. Depicting scenes from daily life, such as hunting, the mosaics are as remarkable for their sociological value as for their artistry. One of these, showing women clad in two-piece swimsuits exercising with barbells, could well describe a scene typical of the twentieth century.