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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 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

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

Etna and Alcantara Group Tour

Etna and Alcantara Group Tour

Included in your vacation package price.

If you want to hike Mt. Etna, this is the tour for you. Early in the morning, a 4x4 will take you to Mt. Etna, where you'll proceed on a 5 kilometer hike with an experienced guide. At the end, you'll climb atop a crater created by a volcanic eruption. You'll then head into a forest, to find what lies below the volcano's hard surface. In an underground adventure, you'll venture deep into the mountain to discover its innermost secrets, visiting a cave carved by a lava flow. After a break for lunch, you'll visit the scenic Alcantara Valley, with its columnar basalt, before heading home.


Activity Level : Moderate
Duration : 8 hours

Day 3

Day 3 - Your Second Full Day in Taormina

Arancini Group Cooking Class

Arancino Cooking Class

Are you tired of eating Arancini all over Sicily and having no idea how to prepare them? Join this cooking class in the heart of Taormina and find out how to make these amazing and delicious treats.

The owner will meet you at their place and will show you around the market, where you will learn how to choose the best ingredients. Then back to the bakery where you will, finally, have everything ready to learn how to prepare Your Majesty, the Arancino Siciliano, the only and original one, with ragù or a different version, with the filling you decide.


Activity Level : Easy
Duration : 2.5 hours

Swim and Dive Around Isola Bella

Suggestion to explore on your own

The local beach in front of Isola Bella is a great spot for a relaxing afternoon and a sunset cocktail in one of the upmarket hotels with privileged access to the tiny beach. You can also try some easy diving around the local bay near the blue cave and the sunken Roman columns, which is ideal for beginners. We recommend the local Dive Nike.

Swim and Dive Around Isola Bella

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
Private Tour of Mount Etna and Lunch at Etna Winery
Light7 hours
Taormina Private Walking Tour
3 hours
Taormina Street Food Walking Group Tour
Light2.5 hours

2 Nights in Ragusa

2 Nights in Ragusa

3 days 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.

The Paradise Beaches of the Vindicari Natural Reserve

Suggestion to explore on your own

After a few days of exploring the artistic and historic treasures of this corner of Sicily, we recommend enjoying some relaxation on the area's splendid beaches. You will need a rental car or a driver since the best locations are known only to locals, who usually bring along what they need for a day on the beach, including towels, drinking water, and snacks. One of the best spots, with Caribbean-like sand and crystal waters, is San Lorenzo beach. Nestled in the splendid Vindicari natural reserve and visited seasonally by pink flamingos, this seven-kilometer beach will give you a castaway feeling.

Day 5

Day 5 - Your First Full Day in Ragusa

Ancient, Baroque, and Fascist Architecture Private Tour

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.

Siracusa By Private Transfer with Stops in Modica and Noto
We also offer the following excursions in Ragusa

Half Day Private Sailing Tour Along Marina di Ragusa Coast
Easy4 hours
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

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'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.

A Journey to the Origin of Writing

Suggestion to explore on your own

The unique micro-climate of Ortigia allows the natural growth and production of papyrus, the natural material used since the beginning of mankind until modern paper was introduced. A few high-quality craftsmen still create this unique material which can be purchased in Galleria Bellomo. For a comprehensive journey through this magic material we recommend visiting the museum.

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

The Colors and Flavors of Sicilian Cuisine

Suggested activities for an additional cost, depending on your choice

If you like Sicily's tasty and colorful cuisine, we recommend a morning walk in a lively local street food market, where you can sample the best breakfast options in town. We recommend Aromi di Sicilia for all the fresh local ingredients! They have their own organic farm nearby, where you can try unique fresh pink pepper and candied ginger. For a fun, comprehensive introduction to local cooking techniques, we recommend joining a cooking class. We're also happy to offer a food and wine-centric walking tour of Siracusa.

Siracusa Cooking Class Group Tour

Siracusa Cooking Class Group Tour

Suggested activities for an additional cost, depending on your choice

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

Siracusa Food and Wine Walking Group Tour

Siracusa Food and Wine Walking Group Tour

Suggested activities for an additional cost, depending on your choice

Taste your way through Syracuse with a 2.5-hour small-group food and wine tour. You'll taste fresh-cooked fish, typical Sicilian appetizers, Siracusan specialities, homemade local pastries, and fragrant local wines and liquors. This tour begins at 6:30pm and is available daily, so you can easily explore the secrets of ancient Siracusa, down to authentic family tavernas hidden in the side streets of Ortigia.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 3 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 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
Etna and Alcantara Group Tour
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 & 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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