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Explore Eastern Sicily & Malta

Eastern Sicily packs in some serious highlights, with antiquities dating back to the ancient Greeks and some UNESCO listed baroque towns that are like architectural poetry. After landing at Catania you'll be transferred to seaside gem Taormina. A place that has been popular with the rich & famous since for over a century. From there you'll head inland to Ragusa Ibla, one of several baroque towns of south-eastern Sicily. Your final Sicilian stop will be in Siracusa, famous for its pairing of a Greek theater and Roman amphitheater. You'll be staying in delightful Ortigia, a small island connected to the Sicilian mainland by two road bridge packed with more Sicilian baroque delights. From Siracusa a puddle-jump of a flight will take you to Valletta, Malta's capital. You'll find Malta's variety and mix of cultures an interesting change after Sicily.

One of our team in the region will be available to you during and leading up to the trip to answer any questions and arrange local services. You will receive access to your Guest Page, with its information on the best these destinations have to offer, including things to see and do, and other inside tips from restaurant recommendations to tipping advice. Upon arrival we will provide you with a local cell phone that you can use to contact our employee (who you will meet in person) throughout your trip. In all of our destinations, we offer a variety of memorable 3-5 accommodation options, including boutique hotels, charming B&Bs, and spacious apartments. With our firsthand experience, we can ensure they are all clean, comfortable, and centrally located, with local ambience.
Route for Taormina, Ragusa, Siracusa, Valletta tour

3 Nights in Taormina

3 Nights in Taormina

3 Nights in Taormina

Taormina is the most famous destination in Sicily, hosting actors and actresses in an atmosphere of glamor, luxury, and seaside relaxation. We recommend visiting the fascinating Greek theater, nestled in a splendid location with spectacular views of scenic beaches and the snow-capped volcanic Mt. Etna. Then take time for a walk among the picturesque medieval streets and go shopping for local handicrafts, which include coral, lace, ceramics, and sweets.

Taormina is the most famous destination in Sicily, hosting actors and actresses in an atmosphere of glamor, luxury, and seaside relaxation. We recommend visiting the fascinating Greek theater, nestled in a splendid location with spectacular views of scenic beaches and the snow-capped volcanic Mt. Etna. Then take time for a walk among the picturesque medieval streets and go shopping for local handicrafts, which include coral, lace, ceramics, and sweets.

Day 1

Day 1 - Arrival in Taormina

Upon arrival at Catania Fontanarossa Airport, your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall to take you directly to Taormina, a 40 minute drive.

Taormina at Sunset Small Group Walking Tour

Admire Taormina in a whole new light with a small group sunset walking tour. You'll experience the unique relaxed atmosphere of the most famous Sicilian resort on this 2.5-hour walking tour, strolling down its magic medieval streets lit with romantic lights. Enjoy the charming scents of citrus and fresh seafood in the air, beautiful sounds of music played on the vivid streets, hear from your guide about the history and culture of Taormina and Sicily itself, and see the important sights. You will end your sunset tour on the terrace of one of the best restaurants in the very heart of Taormina with distinctive view of smoking Etna and illuminated Ionian coastline. You will be offered a glass of Aperol Spritz or wine of your choice, accompanied with light appetizers. 


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 2.5 hours

Day 2

Day 2 - Your First Full Day in Taormina

Taormina Private Walking Tour

Included in your vacation package price.

Taormina is considered the pearl of the Mediterranean Sea: spectacularly perched on the side of a mountain, rich in history, art, culture and tradition, it is an unmissable sight in every Italian journey. Inhabited by the Siculi even before the Greeks arrived in 734 BC, it enjoyed great prosperity under the Romans and became a popular stop on the "Grand Tour" taken by European elites. On this three-hour private guided tour, you will enjoy Taormina's most important historic and artistic treasures and views.


Duration : 3 hours

Arancini Cooking Class

Enjoy arancini, but wish you could prepare them yourself, especially once you're back home? Join this cooking class in the heart of Taormina and find out how to make these amazing and delicious stuffed rice balls that have been breaded and deep-fried. The owner of a local bakery will show you around a market, teaching you how to choose the best ingredients. Returning to their place, you'll learn how to make the original Arancino Siciliano, with a filling of your choice.


Activity Level : Easy
Duration : 2.5 hours

Day 3

Day 3 - Your Second Full Day in Taormina

Private Tour of Mount Etna and Lunch at Etna Winery

Included in your vacation package price.

During this private tour by comfortable air-conditioned car, you will visit Mt. Etna - the highest active volcano in Europe, and one of the best wineries on its prosperous slopes. This tour includes visiting a local honey farm for a tasting, and a visit to a cave traditionally held to be home to Cyclops. While this tour includes the upper reaches of Etna accessible by cable car, we can include an ascent to 3,000 meters with an alpine guide. After visiting Mt. Etna, your guide will chauffeur you to an excellent local winery. There, the owner will welcome you with a glass of cool white grillo, and take you on a tour. You'll see the vines and cellars as the owner explains how his family has made wine here for generations. Then you will sit on a beautiful terrace with an amazing panoramic view of the Mediterranean, and have a traditionally delicious and hearty lunch of locally produced cheeses, salami, prosciutto, homemade sausages, couscous, mushrooms, vegetables, fresh bread, olives, and homemade olive oil. A professional sommelier will offer you 5 glasses of Sicilian Etna DOC red and white wines.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 7 hours

Pubs and Plays

Suggestion to explore on your own

If you're looking for one bar to spend the night in, we recommend the Daiquiri Lounge bar. This beautiful bar is right on the main square. You can come here for the aperitivo (usually from 6 PM on) and enjoy sunset views, or relax with wine and cocktails after dinner. If you're not keen on sitting in a bar and drinking, check the program for the Ancient Theater. This is one of the most famous theaters in Italy, ad offers concerns and plays in the yes, original ancient theater, stone benches and all, providing a memorable atmosphere.

Day 4

Day 4 - Traveling to Ragusa by Private Transfer

Today you'll be saying "a dopo" to Taormina and leaving the coast behind, to explore inland Sicily. A driver will pick you up from your accommodations and drive you for two and a half hours, first between Mt Etna and the sea as you go along the coast, and then into the hills and valleys that lead to Ragusa. If you would like to make more of a day of it, your local JayWay contact can arrange for a stop along the way, for an extra fee. If you're into street food, an early start and a stop (maybe even for a guided tour) at the bustling central market of Catania is a must. Should decorative arts be more your thing, then Caltagirone, famed for its hand-painted ceramics, is just a small detour. Upon arriving at Ragusa, your driver will leave you at your accommodations in atmospheric Ragusa Ibla.

We also offer the following excursions in Taormina

Etna Countryside Food and Wine Group Tour
Light6 hours
Etna and Alcantara Group Tour
Moderate8 hours
Taormina Street Food Walking Group Tour
Light2.5 hours

2 Nights in Ragusa

2 Nights in Ragusa

2 Nights in Ragusa

There are two Ragusas (three if you count Dubrovnik, once also known by that name). Ragusa Ibla and Ragusa Superiore. Ragusa Ibla is the one you've seen in pictures and maybe the Inspector Montalbano books and TV series. Before the 1693 Sicily earthquake, the town of Ragusa was located on the site of the current Ragusa Superiore. After that was destroyed, a new town was built on the slightly lower neighboring hill, in the late Baroque style fashionable at the time. This is the town known as Ragusa Ibla. It's one of eight towns that make up the "Late Baroque Towns of the Noto Valley" UNESCO World Heritage listing. Fast forward to modern day, when a new town was built on the ruins of the original, and this is Ragusa Superiore, where most locals live. The rabbit warren of narrow streets and alleyways of Ibla is in stark contrast to those of Superiore. Superiore is a great place to avail yourself of all the conveniences of a modern town, as well as some excellent restaurants where you'll be the only foreigner, it doesn't have the same magic that Ragusa Ibla enjoys.

There are two Ragusas (three if you count Dubrovnik, once also known by that name). Ragusa Ibla and Ragusa Superiore. Ragusa Ibla is the one you've seen in pictures and maybe the Inspector Montalbano books and TV series. Before the 1693 Sicily earthquake, the town of Ragusa was located on the site of the current Ragusa Superiore. After that was destroyed, a new town was built on the slightly lower neighboring hill, in the late Baroque style fashionable at the time. This is the town known as Ragusa Ibla. It's one of eight towns that make up the "Late Baroque Towns of the Noto Valley" UNESCO World Heritage listing. Fast forward to modern day, when a new town was built on the ruins of the original, and this is Ragusa Superiore, where most locals live. The rabbit warren of narrow streets and alleyways of Ibla is in stark contrast to those of Superiore. Superiore is a great place to avail yourself of all the conveniences of a modern town, as well as some excellent restaurants where you'll be the only foreigner, it doesn't have the same magic that Ragusa Ibla enjoys.

Day 4

Day 4 - Arrival in Ragusa

Your driver will bring you as close as possible to your accommodation located in the historic center of Ragusa Ibla.

An Aperitivo in Ragusa

Suggestion to explore on your own

Ragusa is a relatively small town, but has a lot to offer. If you're planning to visit the town like a tourist but enjoy it like a local, then the best activity in the evenings (right before dinner) is a typical aperitivo (generally enjoyed after 6 PM). The best place for an aperitivo is definitely “C’est la Vie,” right on the main square, in the pedestrian area.

Day 5

Day 5 - Your First Full Day in Ragusa

Explore Ragusa Ibla

Included in your vacation package price.

Ancient Ragusa's strange history is remains visible despite the 1693 earthquake that left the city in ruins. Peer past the Baroque buildings put down amidst the city's ruins, and you can still find traces of its Roman, Byzantine, Arab, and Norman rulers. The Baroque buildings may have brought the town its UNESCO World Heritage listing, but with this tour you'll also see the 20th century buildings designed by fascist architects when Upper and Lower Ragusa were united into one provincial capital in 1926. You'll witness the different steps in the development of Ragusa, from its upper reaches to its ancient pre-Roman center.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 4 hours

Aperitivo on a Boat

Please ask your travel advisor for the cost to add this to your package

Ragusa is a small city but with a lot to offer. If you have visited everything and are looking for a fun activity, we highly suggest to take a boat trip and maybe pair it with an aperitivo or a wine tasting!


Activity Level : Easy
Duration : 4 hours

Day 6

Day 6 - Traveling to Siracusa by Private Transfer

Today it's time to head to Siracusa, an artistic gem. Along the way you'll stop at the splendid UNESCO-listed baroque cities of Noto and Modica. The drive itself takes a little over 1.5 hours, plus several hours for the stops.

We also offer the following excursions in Ragusa

Ragusa Ibla, Modica, and Noto Private Day Trip
Light8-9 Hours
Ragusa Ibla, Modica, and Noto Private Day Trip (for Clients With Rented Car)
Light8 hours
Siracusa Private Tour
Light7 hours
Trekking from Upper Ragusa to Ibla Private Tour
Moderate4 hours

2 Nights in Siracusa

2 Nights in Siracusa

2 Nights in Siracusa

With a history stretching back 27 centuries, there's a lot to see and do both in and around Siracusa (also known as Syracuse). While the main, relatively modern, town of Siracusa itself isn't so impressive, the tiny island of Ortigia, occupying less than half a square mile, is the real thing. It's still a functioning town in its own right, with over 3,000 inhabitants, but is also UNESCO-listed. This is where you'll spend much of your time and where you'll stay. The Greeks found plenty to like when they set up home in what they first called Neapolis (new city), and by the 5th century BC it rivaled Athens itself in population. Although it is the hometown of Archimedes (who built extraordinary machines to defend the city from Roman besiegers) and the location of several ancient Greek ruins (and some Roman ones too), many come here to admire the Baroque architecture you'll find around the town. Like many places in Sicily, at the crossroads of so many empires and dominions, there are traces to be found of each of the civilizations that passed through Siracusa.

With a history stretching back 27 centuries, there's a lot to see and do both in and around Siracusa (also known as Syracuse). While the main, relatively modern, town of Siracusa itself isn't so impressive, the tiny island of Ortigia, occupying less than half a square mile, is the real thing. It's still a functioning town in its own right, with over 3,000 inhabitants, but is also UNESCO-listed. This is where you'll spend much of your time and where you'll stay. The Greeks found plenty to like when they set up home in what they first called Neapolis (new city), and by the 5th century BC it rivaled Athens itself in population. Although it is the hometown of Archimedes (who built extraordinary machines to defend the city from Roman besiegers) and the location of several ancient Greek ruins (and some Roman ones too), many come here to admire the Baroque architecture you'll find around the town. Like many places in Sicily, at the crossroads of so many empires and dominions, there are traces to be found of each of the civilizations that passed through Siracusa.

Day 6

Day 6 - Arrival in Siracusa

Your driver will bring you as close as possible to your accommodation located in the historic center of Siracusa, on the splendid island of Ortigia.

An Evening in Siracusa

Suggestion to explore on your own

If you don't know where to spend your evenings in Siracusa, rather than just walking around in the same streets everyday, follow our suggestions for wine bars and areas where you can enjoy your evening. Via Cavour offers restaurants, wine bars, and pubs with courtyards (which are great in summer). Piazzetta San Rocco is full of pubs and bars with music (often live) until late. If you are by the sea or want to enjoy an evening walk on the beach, there are different resorts that organize parties, concerts and live music nights, especially Fontane Bianche and Arenella.

Day 7

Day 7 - Your First Full Day in Siracusa

Ortigia Private Walking Tour

Included in your vacation package price.

This walking tour with an expert local guide will show you the most fascinating areas in the city and teach you more about the history and culture here. From cathedrals to the best cafes, your guide will show you everything. You'll even learn about the city's most famous son, the inventor Archimedes. Your guide is friendly and knowledgeable and will answer all your questions. You'll be picked up from your accommodation and dropped off there at the end of the tour.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 3 hours

Siracusa Cooking Class Group Tour

You're in for a delicious day with this excursion. You'll discover tasty traditional Sicilian recipes with an expert cook, starting from the exploration of the lively and colorful food market and finishing with a social meal of the goodies you've prepared. The whole experience lasts about 5 hours and will give you a new point of view on Sicilian gastronomy and hospitality.


Activity Level : Easy
Duration : 4-5 hours

Day 8

Day 8 - Traveling to Valletta by Airplane

It's time to visit the fascinating island of Malta. Although ferries are available, the journey time and cost aren't in their favor. The best way to get there is to take a short direct flight from Catania Airport. We will arrange for a driver to pick you up from your accommodation in Siracusa and transfer you to Catania Airport for your departing flight. We included the direct flight to Malta which should take about one hour.

We also offer the following excursions in Siracusa

Etna Volcano and Taormina Private Tour
Moderate8-9 hours
Noto, Tellaro and Marzamemi Private Tour
Light7-8 Hours
Ortigia & the Archeological Park Private Tour
Light5 hours
Ragusa Ibla, Modica, Scicli, Noto Private Tour
Light8 hours

3 Nights in Valletta

3 Nights in Valletta

3 Nights in Valletta

Valletta is easily the smallest capital city on our map, yet somehow it packs a lot into a small space (just over a fifth of a square mile). Built under the authority of Grand Master Jean de la Valette, the leader of the Order of St John, on a neat grid plan, the medieval fortress origins of the city surround you completely. Within this small area you’l find most of the departments of government, churches, squares, shopping streets, military museums and a lot of restaurants. That military history is everywhere and watching a cannon being fired from the saluting battery at midday and 4 PM is a must. Malta's proximity to the coast of North Africa should give you a clue about the weather. Even in winter the temperatures are comfortably in the 60s. Valletta is a year-round destination, unlike many places in nearby Sicily you won’t find restaurants and attractions closed in off-season. There is no off-season as such. However locals advise against spending too much time there in the hottest months of the year, July and August, opting for the sea air of St Julian or spending time on Gozo, the sparsely populated smaller island to the north.

Valletta is easily the smallest capital city on our map, yet somehow it packs a lot into a small space (just over a fifth of a square mile). Built under the authority of Grand Master Jean de la Valette, the leader of the Order of St John, on a neat grid plan, the medieval fortress origins of the city surround you completely. Within this small area you’l find most of the departments of government, churches, squares, shopping streets, military museums and a lot of restaurants. That military history is everywhere and watching a cannon being fired from the saluting battery at midday and 4 PM is a must. Malta's proximity to the coast of North Africa should give you a clue about the weather. Even in winter the temperatures are comfortably in the 60s. Valletta is a year-round destination, unlike many places in nearby Sicily you won’t find restaurants and attractions closed in off-season. There is no off-season as such. However locals advise against spending too much time there in the hottest months of the year, July and August, opting for the sea air of St Julian or spending time on Gozo, the sparsely populated smaller island to the north.

Day 8

Day 8 - Arrival in Valletta

Upon arrival to Valletta airport, our driver will meet you and drive you to your centrally located accommodation.

Valletta Private Walking Tour

Included in your vacation package price.

This in-depth walking tour focuses on Valletta's top sights, starting from the baroque heart of the city centre and venturing into its beautiful outskirts. Along the way, you'll hear local anecdotes, ad learn where to eat, swim, and take advantage of the sun. This tour is jam-packed with exciting information about Valletta's 500-year-old history, and fun-filled with anecdotes told by locals. There is no better way to get to know Valletta than through this informative tour of the hidden gems of the city and its surroundings.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 3 hours

Day 9

Day 9 - Your First Full Day in Valletta

Gozo Private Hiking Tour

Included in your vacation package price.

Explore Gozo on foot, discovering hidden sights, and learning about the island's history and wildlife. Beautiful is never far on the island. As you hike, you'll visit stunning viewpoints and take in hills, salt pans, terraced fields, cliffs, blue waters, grottos, and other places that can only be visited by foot. A private driver will pick you up from your accommodation and will bring you, ferry included, to the island of Gozo, where you will meet your tour guide for your 2 hours hike. At the end of the tour you can spend some free time in Gozo, have lunch and walk around a bit or do some shopping or you can head straight back to Valletta, in both cases, our private driver will bring you back to your accommodation.


Activity Level : Moderate
Duration : 5 hours

Mdina Private Walking Tour

With a 4000 year storyline, Mdina, the old Capital City of Malta is rich in historical events and intriguing anecdotes. The City was the host of prominent personalities such as the Apostle Paul, it survived invasions, earthquakes and also witnessed the rise and fall of various invaders like the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Turks, Knights, French, British and much more.

People referred to it in various ways throughout the years from “Città Notabile” to the “Silent City”. Through this walking tour, they will help you explore the wiggly roads of Mdina, hidden behind its imposing walls.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 2 hours

Day 10

Day 10 - Your Second Full Day in Valletta

Crystal and Blue Lagoons and Comino Group Boat Tour

Included in your vacation package price.

Discover Malta’s smaller island, Comino, on this full-day boat tour from Valletta. Cruise along the rugged coastline to reach the Crystal and Blue lagoons with their turquoise waters and see a shipwreck on this relaxing tour. From the open sea, you will experience Malta from a truly unique and beautiful vantage point. Cruise close to the coast whilst witnessing Malta’s magnificent naturally formed coastline, including its enormous cliffs, rocky nooks, and crannies. You will pass the tiny Island of St. Paul’s, viewing the statue of the apostle St. Paul as it rises high into the sky. You'll visit the Blue Lagoon and Crystal Lagoon, with their sparking waters, and dramatic cliffs and caves. Witness the unbelievably clear water, perfect conditions for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Take a plunge into its crystal clear waters from one of three waterslides, or jump from the top deck if you dare.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 6 hours

Day 11

Day 11 - Departure Day

Today our driver will pick you up form your accommodation in Valetta and transfer you to Malta Luqa Airport in plenty of time for your departing flight.

We also offer the following excursions in Valletta

Full Day Gozo Jeep Safari Group Tour
Light8 hours

What's Included

Here are all the services provided as part of your complete vacation package. See what every JayWay trip includes.
Please let us know if you'd like to upgrade any transfers or add any additional tours or excursions to your itinerary.

Taormina

3 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Taormina - Catania Airport Transfer
Taormina Private Walking Tour
Private Tour of Mount Etna and Lunch at Etna Winery
Taormina - Ragusa Private Transfer

Ragusa

2 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Ancient, Baroque, and Fascist Architecture Private Tour
Ragusa - Siracusa Private Transfer with stops in Modica and Noto

Siracusa

2 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Ortigia Private Walking Tour
Siracusa - Catania Airport Transfer
Catania - Valletta Flight

Valletta

3 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Valletta Airport Transfer
Valletta Private Walking Tour
Gozo Private Hiking Tour
Valletta - Gozo Private Transfer (Required for Gozo Private Hiking Tour)
Gozo - Valletta Private Transfer (Required for Gozo Private Hiking Tour)
Crystal and Blue Lagoons and Comino Group Boat Tour
Valletta Airport Transfer
The package excludes:

  • Flights to and from Europe.
  • Tips for Tour Guides, Drivers and Local Reps.
  • Meals (other than breakfast if included in room rate and meals listed as included in food tours and excursions, unless explicitly stated otherwise).
  • Parking fees for your Rental Car (if you are booking one with us) unless otherwise indicated. Some hotels provide free parking facilities.
  • Travel Insurance. See the insurance link on our website

Benefits of Traveling with JayWay

A JayWay vacation is more than the sum of its parts. Our team work tirelessly to ensure your experience is memorable for all the right reasons. Your trip is personalized to maximize your enjoyment. You're taken care of every step of the way.

A Travel Advisor who speaks your language
We will make sure that all your requirements and interests are taken into account in preparing your itinerary.
A totally tailored itinerary for your vacation
Your trip is customized for you by  an experienced trip planner and an expert on the region.
A choice of hand-picked hotels and excursions
We've personally inspected and tested all the hotels and local tour providers we work with to ensure quality.
Detailed pre-trip preparation to make the most of every day
Your Europe-based Tour Manager will be in touch by email and phone a month before you arrive to finalize timings.
On-trip Concierge Service to smooth out any bumps in the road
Our local staff are at your service throughout your journey via the local prepaid cellphone which we provide.
Personalized Guest Page to make sure you're not missing out
Packed with detailed information and recommendations curated by locals on the best things to do, see and eat.

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