Many parts of Catania are a hive with activity, and none more so than its renowned fish market. Stroll through the bustle and chaos, stopping by some local street vendors for a fresh and tasty snack.. Experience the mighty Mt Etna up close and personal on a private tour to its summit area. You’ll travel by cable car and 4×4 Unimog, plus have the chance to head deep into a lava cave!. Join two sisters on their traditional felucca boat as you learn about a more traditional way of swordfish fishing in Messina. Part of a fish cooperative, these women will provide all the nautical know-how.. Take the train to the ancient town of Siracusa (Syracuse) and stroll the historic streets with your leader. You’ll also have the chance to see the cavea of Siracusa’s Greek Theatre in all its open-air splendour.
Experience the splendour of Sicily’s East Coast on a six-day Intrepid adventure covering its hotspots. Sip granitas overlooking the beaches of Taormina, climb high above the Ionian Sea on a private Mt Etna tour, travel by train to the ancient alleys of Siracusa (Syracuse) and be enlightened by a traditional way of swordfishing from two sisters in Messina. Basing yourself in Catania, and with a great balance struck between inclusions and free time, your Sicilian adventure covers all the important bits, at a pace that suits you. Sicily is laidback Italy – a match made in heaven, and the best combination while on holiday.
Breakfast Included: 5 Lunches Included: 2 Dinner Included:
Benvenuto! Welcome to the atmospheric and lively city of Catania, on Sicily’s southeast coast. With no activities planned for today, you’re free to arrive at any time. Keep in mind that there’s a welcome meeting at 6 pm where you’ll meet your leader and fellow travellers joining you on this adventure. Until then, perhaps go out and explore the wide roads and grand piazzas of the city. If you do have time, one of the fabled ‘Late Baroque’ towns – World Heritage-listed site Val di Noto – is definitely worth a visit. After your all-important briefing, why not get a group of you together and head to a trattoria in town – your leader will know of some delicious eateries.
Get exploring in Catania this morning with a guided city tour. You’ll pass some of the highlights of the city, and stop by the bustling fish market for a fresh snack to keep you going. Getting your bearings in a city like this is super important from the outset, so you’ll know where’s where, and what’s what. That’s lucky – because the rest of the day is yours to explore. You might want to retrace your steps or take up some of the recommendations your local guide mentioned on what to do around town. Better yet, you try some Sicilian food favourites as your stroll the city. Caponata, granita and cannoli all originated from here, so be sure to taste these and other local specialties.
Mt Etna / Catania
See that thing looming on the horizon to your northwest? That’s Mt Etna, and you’re going to get up close and personal with Europe’s largest active volcano today. Your group will reach up to 3000 metres above sea level as you climb to the summit area by cable car and a special 4x4 Unimog vehicle. Fingers crossed for a clear day, because from here – the ‘Torre del Filosofo’ area – you can often see the wondrous blue of the Ionian Sea. Take a short hike to one of the hot and smoking craters of Mt Etna, then return for a traditional Sicilian lunch nearby. Your private tour guide will explain to you the geology and history of the volcano, as well as equip you all with helmets and flashlights as you head deep into a volcano lava cave! After an exciting day exploring Sicily’s most famous natural feature, head back to Catania for a night at leisure.
Siracusa / Catania
This morning, board a regional train to Siracusa (Syracuse), where you’ll have the day to explore the streets of this ancient city. On arrival, join your group leader for an orientation walk around the Old Town, passing crumbling facades, secret courtyards and a whole host of mythical stone creatures. During the day, you’ll also have the chance to visit Siracusa’s Greek Theatre – part of the Neopolis Archaeological Site. Stroll through the open-air cavea (auditorium), and admire all the ancient Roman-era architecture. Depending on how much time you’ve got free, perhaps book in on a boat trip around the island of Ortigia for another angle to view the walled-off cityscape. In the afternoon, board your private vehicle and return with your leader and travel crew to Catania.
Ganzirri / Taormina / Catania
Yesterday, you headed south along the Sicilian coast. Today, it’s time to head north! Transfer to Ganzirri – a fishing village closest to the Italian mainland – for a unique fishing experience. You’ll meet with two sisters who have founded a sustainable fish cooperative, and they will show you the ropes on a traditional way of catching the giants of the sea. Join them on their fishing boat and head out for a spot of coastal fishing. It’s definitely not the usual way to throw out a line, but is an ideal activity to learn the local trade and see some of the coastline along the way. Back on shore enjoy a delicious seafood lunch prepared by your hosts - it doesn’t get more fresh than that! Afterwards, continue to the popular coastal holiday spot of Taormina. Start things off with an orientation walk – noticing the Greek-inspired architecture – then forge your own path with some free time, perhaps visiting the Greek theatre and cathedral, or simply lazing on the beach. Maybe have a celebratory drink in the Mediterranean sun, or enjoy a plate of Sicilian pasta with your travel pals, before returning to Catania for the night.
With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave your accommodation in Catania any time after breakfast. That doesn’t mean your adventure has to come to an end! If you would like to spend more time in Sicily, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).