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The Highlights of Eastern Sicily

This sample 8 day (7 nights) itinerary covers Taormina, Ragusa & Siracusa. The services we provide as part of our comprehensive packages include accommodations, bus and ferry tickets, transfers (airport, port, and bus) and city tours. In addition to the tours included we can arrange a number of excursions based on your own interests. There is also an option to travel between cities by private car or van transfers for an extra fee. All of our tours are custom, and this is just a sample meant to give an idea for what our trips are like, and the opportunities our destinations provide. 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 tour

3 Nights in Taormina

3 Nights in Taormina

4 days 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 over the scenic beaches and the snow-capped Etna volcano. Then take some time for a nice walk among the picturesque medieval streets and go shopping for local handicrafts, which include coral jewels, precious laces, ceramics, sweets and much more.

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 over the scenic beaches and the snow-capped Etna volcano. Then take some time for a nice walk among the picturesque medieval streets and go shopping for local handicrafts, which include coral jewels, precious laces, ceramics, sweets and much more.

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, around a 40 minute drive north.

Taormina at Sunset Small Group Walking Tour

Taormina at Sunset Small Group Walking Tour

Included in your vacation package price.

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

Private Tour of Mount Etna and Lunch at Etna Winery

The Mighty Volcano: Mt. Etna

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

After a short ride you can explore Sicily's iconic symbols: the mighty Etna volcano, the highest volcano in Europe and one of the largest and most active in the world. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is also a park hosting unique flora and fauna, villages and farms, and traditional methods of forestry, bee-keeping, wineries, stonework and carpentry. You'll want to see the “Crateri Silvestri,” small inactive volcanic cones surrounded by ancient lava flows. The view beyond the mountain’s hundreds of subsidiary cones and craters extends across the whole of Sicily, the Aeolian islands and Calabria on the mainland, the toe of the Italian boot. We recommend that you join a tour with an expert local guide and that you do not venture outside of clearly marked paths. Always make sure to ask the hotel and locals in case there are any hazards due to possible volcanic activity in the area.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 7 hours

Day 3

Day 3 - Your Second Full Day in Taormina

Cooking Class with a Local Chef

Included in your vacation package price.

Enjoy a unique experience with an experienced Sicilian chef: you will buy ingredients at the local market and cook delicious dishes with the chef, learning the perfect food and wine pairing. Picking the freshest ingredient is the first step to cook genuine and tasteful Sicilian specialties. That’s why you will visit a local market to learn how to pick the correct fresh ingredients, but only after a typical Sicilian breakfast with granita and briosche in the central Piazza IX Aprile square. After choosing ingredients, get ready to tie your apron and to to cook under the watchful eye of the professional local chef in a typical and traditional restaurant in Taormina, who will offer helpful guidance along the way to successfully create a typical Sicilian menu. You will cook an entire menù (starter, pasta, second dish, and dessert) according to local culinary traditions and techniques that you can use to impress family and friends back home! You will learn also the right wine to pair with the dishes you cooked yourself.


Activity Level : Easy
Duration : 5 hours

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 accommodation and take you the two and a half hours, first between Mt Etna and the sea as you go along then coast and then into the hills and valleys that lead to Ragusa. If you would like to make more of a day of it, after you've booked your tor your local JayWay contact can arrange for a stop along the way. 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 are more your thing then Caltagirone, famed for its hand-painted ceramics, is just a small detour from the route. Upon arriving to Ragusa your driver will leave you at your accommodation in atmospheric Ragusa Ibla.

We also offer the following excursions in Taormina

Snorkeling Group Tour
Moderate4 hours
Taormina Boat Group Tour
Light4 hours
Taormina Boat Group Tour (Transfer Not Included)
Light4 hours
Taormina Private Walking Tour
3 hours

2 Nights in Ragusa

2 Nights in Ragusa

3 days in Ragusa

2 Nights in Ragusa

There are two Ragusas (in addition to it being an old name for Dubrovnik). Ragusa Ibla and Ragusa Superiore. Ragusa Ibla is the one you've seen in pictures and maybe the Montalbano serial. 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 is 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 (in addition to it being an old name for Dubrovnik). Ragusa Ibla and Ragusa Superiore. Ragusa Ibla is the one you've seen in pictures and maybe the Montalbano serial. 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 is 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.

Explore Ragusa Ibla

Ragusa Ibla is a splendid example of an ancient Italian community. Perched atop a scenic cliff facing (relatively) modern Ragusa, Ibla became popular among Italian and international readers as the main location of the adventures of the popular fictional detective "Commissario Montalbano." For art and history lovers, there's a plethora of UNESCO-heritage buildings that are easily accessible, as well as spectacular hikes on the hills nearby. With an excellent selection of restaurants, you'll have plenty of opportunities to taste the best examples of the rich local culinary excellence.

Day 5

Day 5 - Your First Full Day in Ragusa

Ancient, Baroque, and Fascist Architecture Private Tour

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

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

3 days 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 is still a functioning town in its own right with over 3,000 inhabitants. This is where you'll spend much of your time and where you'll stay. Oddly, the city only made it onto the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2005, but 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 is still a functioning town in its own right with over 3,000 inhabitants. This is where you'll spend much of your time and where you'll stay. Oddly, the city only made it onto the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2005, but 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.

Day 7

Day 7 - Your First Full Day in Siracusa

Ortigia & the Archeological Park Private Tour

Ortigia & the Archeological Park Private Tour

Included in your vacation package price.

If you love learning more about history, or you just want to see some interesting, ancient monuments and buildings, this guided tour to Ortigia & the Archeological Park will really amaze you. With a private guide you'll see sights dating back to ancient times, in a curious mix of architectural styles that attests to the rich cultural history here. After touring the area and getting tips for the best museums and restaurants, you'll head back to your accommodation.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 5 hours

Day 8

Day 8 - Departure Day

It's time to depart sensational Sicily. Say a fond "arrivederci" to Siracusa as you head north to Catania airport for your departing flight. The jounrey should take a little under an 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 Private Walking Tour
Light3-4 hours
Ragusa Ibla, Modica, Scicli, Noto Private 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)
Catania Airport Transfer
Taormina at Sunset Small Group Walking Tour
Cooking Class with a Local Chef
Taormina - Ragusa Private Transfer

Ragusa

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

Siracusa

2 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Ortigia & the Archeological Park Private Tour
Catania 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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