Luxury Tour Sicily & Aeolian Islands
True luxury travel in Sicily is characterized by its iconic Mediterranean lifestyle, with all its historical riches, entirely unique culture, timeless culinary flavors, and awe-inspiring natural beauty, on the largest island in the region. From Greek temples, to Byzantine facades, to Roman arches, to Norman churches and Baroque palaces, this enchanting island harbors a complex history of 11 different civilizations leaving their mark throughout the 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in Sicily. On one of the most culturally preserved islands of the Mediterranean, bask in Sicily’s family-driven traditions and warm hospitality, bike through its quaint villages and coastal towns, swim in the serene turquoise waters of the Aeolian Islands, and hike through ancient trails that reveal breathtaking views.
No journey through Sicily is complete without experiencing its culinary delights, which have lured foodies from all corners of the world. The island’s food is as rich as its history, with its locally produced cheeses, artisanal seafood delicacies, strong agricultural heritage producing olives and capers, and its recent wine revolution producing fresh and mineral-rich wine.
In addition to its historical treasures, Sicily offers varied dramatic landscapes allowing a number of exciting adventures for nature lovers. With a top expert guide, bike through lush valleys fringed with vibrant wild flowers and fields of golden wheat swaying in the coastal wind, boat through crystal clear waters to the Aeolian Islands, and hike up a live volcano for panoramic views of the tangerine sun meeting the azure sea in the horizon.
Please note: this private tour to Sicily is an example, as all of our luxury journeys are custom-made.
Palermo (1 night)
Flight arrival from mainland Italy into Palermo in the afternoon. You will be greeted by your personal guide and taken by private transfer to your hotel located on the outskirts of the city where you can relax at leisure. Alternatively, you will have the option to go on a walking tour near your hotel. Palermo is Sicily’s capital and is most known for its distinct atmosphere. Its strategic position in the middle of the Mediterranean brought a variety of invaders including the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Saracen Arabs, the Normans, the Swabians, the French, and the Spanish Bourbons just to name the most influential. The result of this quilted history is evident today in the vast range of architectural styles, and the intriguing fusion of ingredients used in many local dishes. In the evening, we will take you the city’s best restaurant for a great traditional meal.
Agrigento (2 nights)
Visit the village of Monreale and, later, a private estate for lunch before arriving to your hotel in Agrigento in the evening. While in Monreale you will see the famous Norman cathedral, well-known for its Norman architecture and for the vast Byzantine-style frescoes which cover the interior. Later, continue to the Regaleali Estate in the heart of the Sicilian countryside where you will have a delicious traditional lunch prepared for you. The estate is a restored 18th century farm villa built by Sicilian aristocracy and contains almost 1,000 acres of vineyards. The area is characterized by intense greenery that stretches over several hundred acres through the Sicilian interior between Palermo and Caltanissetta to the Sclafani Bagni hills. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to explore the hillsides of the property and the surrounding area. Continue to Villa Athena where you can rest at leisure.
The following day, you will visit UNESCO Valley of the Temples, which is conveniently located in front of your hotel. This splendid archaeological park consists of eight Greek temples built between 510 BC and 430 BC. Here you can find the Temple of Hera, the Temple of Concordia, the Temple of Heracles, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Temple of Castor and Pollux, the Temple of Hephaestos, the Temple of Demeter, and the Temple of Asclepius. In the afternoon, visit the Scala dei Turchi, a dazzling white rocky cliff that meets the sea, rising 50 meters above sea level. Its gleaming color is eye-catching enough, but what makes it all the more remarkable is that it looks like a staircase carved by man, even though its shape is entirely natural. It was formed by marl, a sedimentary rock with a characteristic white color. It lies between two sandy beaches where you can swim, and is accessed through a limestone rock formation in the shape of a staircase, hence the name.
Vizzini (2 nights)
In the morning, take a private transfer to the Val di Noto (the Noto Valley, also known as the Baroque Valley) where you will be staying at an enchanting castle that has been restored to surpass its former glory days. The Val di Noto has eight gorgeous late-Baroque cities and was granted the status of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. These cities existed during the Medieval Age, but were rebuilt in the Baroque stylistic model after the catastrophic earthquake of 1693. Before arriving to your estate, stop in the nearby village of Vizzini, a village rich in architectural heritage and most known for being home to 32 churches. The village also served as the inspiration for many novels by Sicily’s most prized writer, Giovanni Verga. Enjoy exclusive access to one of these churches and the Osteria (or tavern) where Giovanni Verga wrote most of his novels.
The following morning, meet your dedicated biking team and depart the property on a 22 mile bike tour in the heart of the Baroque Valley in Sicily. First, head through the rolling hills of Val di Noto to the charming village of Mineo, a place where one can experience the true flavor of Sicilian life. As you peddle through the valley, observe the surrounding hills dotted with orange groves and blanketed with wheat fields. Following Mineo, get back on your bikes and head uphill to the village of Caltagirone, a UNESCO world heritage site known for its Baroque architecture and thousand-year ceramic-making tradition. Here you are greeted by your personal expert guide and taken to eat at a local trattoria for a delicious seafood antipasto before a brief walking tour. Afterwards, your host will pack up your bikes and take you on a private drive through the winding hills of Val di Noto to the village of Grammichele, located at the feet of the Hyblaean Mountains. In Grammichele, your personal expert guide will show you the main square of the town, a true architectural highlight, and later take you for coffee at the Circolo Giovani Operai.
Taormina (2 nights)
In the morning depart by private transfer for the beautiful Baroque city of Noto where you will see the city on foot. In 1693, Noto was completely destroyed by an earthquake and was rebuilt from scratch on a new site, about 6 miles from the old center. Later, you will head to Ortygia Island in Siracusa (or Syracuse) where you will take a walking tour with your personal expert guide and learn about Siracusa and Ortygia’s deep history, known for its varying architectural styles which encompass Greek and Roman remains, medieval Norman and Baroque buildings. In Ortygia, enjoy a private cooking demonstration by Chef Fiora Piccione in her personal apartment. Chef Fiora will treat you to an authentic Sicilian experience with a family feel as you watch her prepare your meal and talk about the cooking process. We suggest trying the salted stuffed sardines, mouthwatering Pasta alla Vongole, and sweet Sicilian cannoli! Continue to your luxury hotel in Taormina where you can relax at leisure. In the evening, have the opportunity to see a show at the Greek Theatre, one of the oldest theatres in the world. Built in the 3rd century BC, the theatre was remodeled by the Romans and later destroyed by the Moors and is a testament to Sicilian resilience.
The next day, you will head to Mount Etna for a beautiful hike to the Silvestri craters on the north side of the volcano (approx. 3 hr hike). Mount Etna is one of the world's most active and highest volcanoes in Europe. The cone of the crater rises to 11,000 ft above sea level and has been designated a “Decade Volcano” by the United Nations and added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2013. Your hike will begin near the Rifugio Sapienza on the north side of the mountain where the two extinguished Silvestri craters that appeared after an eruption in 1892 are located. Ascend to the observatory with a view of 9,000 ft high. Later, enjoy a delicious lunch on a nearby vineyard, which includes a wine tasting and tour. The mineral rich soil surrounding the Etna volcano produces some of the Italy’s most unique and tasty varieties. Etna's wine producers are experimenting with vineyard sites further and further up the volcano's slopes, to gauge the effects of the richer, blacker soils and increased altitude. Some might say this is tempting fate, but the cachet of owning high-altitude vineyards is growing, and early results from these vines show promise. Return to your hotel to relax at leisure and later explore the city’s highlights with your expert guide on foot, including the Villa Comunale Gardens.
Salina Island (3 nights)
In the morning, take a private helicopter to Salina Island, one of the seven Aeolian Islands in the far south of Italy, where you will explore the volcanic landscape through breath-taking hikes and peaceful boating around the area. On your first afternoon, visit the village of Pollara, made famous by the movie Il Postino where you can watch the sun set over the horizon. You will be captivated by Salina’s raw scenic beauty with dramatic volcanic cliffs plunging into the sea, sleepy villages amidst verdant mountains, colorful fishing boats on pebbly beaches, hills covered in wild capers, and vines heavy with grapes for sweet malvasia wine.
During your stay in Salina, you will have the opportunity to explore its natural scenery and hike to the top of the extinct stratovolcano, Monte Fossa delle Felci, the highest point on Salina Island. Starting in Pizzo Capo, you will witness varying types of vegetation that develop into ever-green forests that are reminiscent of the Alps with ferns, poplars, chestnut trees and other typical Mediterranean flora and fauna. Witness sky-high views of the entire region and notice the color of the water change from a lighter to darker blue as it meets the crystal clear sky.
On one of your days you will go boating to the nearby island of Panarea where you will have access to secret swimming spots on the way, and visit the volcano of Stromboli Island, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. There you will hike the rugged landscape, ascend the volcano and watch it erupt with all its elemental power at sunset. The volcano is covered in lush, green vegetation and provides some of the best views in the world as the sky blends in with the water at the horizon.
On your last day, you will take a private helicopter to Catania Airport in time for your flight back home.
- If desired, add extra biking days while in the Baroque Valley by adding nights in a luxury countryside lodge just outside the city of Noto. See the charming town of Palazzolo Acreide and later bike to the sea-side town of Marzememi for delicious seafood and amazing views.
- Spend time in Corsica, one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean Sea with its intense blue waters, alpine deep greens, high mountain range, and dramatic rock formations. While there, (coma) experience exciting outdoor adventures, beautiful drives through breathtaking scenery, and yachting on calm waters to enjoy the sun and the Mediterranean Sea.
- Valley of the Temples
- The Baroque Valley (Vizzini, Caltagirone, Grammichele, Siracusa, & Noto)
- The Aeolian Islands (Salina, Panarea, and Stromboli)
- Mt. Etna Volcano
- Private boating
- Meet locals in different remote villages with your private guide
- Personal cooking class with famed Chef Fabrizia Lanza
- Private tour of a Vizzini church closed to the public
- Exclusive access to Giovanni Verga’s Osteria – a centuries old bar where the writer wrote his most famous novels
- Private granita tasting with world-famous Pastry Chef Corrado Asseza
- Enjoy a private boating trip to Panarea Island, and on the way visit secret swimming spots that are only accessible by boat
- Exclusive access to the “Old Route Trail” on the Stromboli Volcano
- Gourmet picnics in spectacular natural outdoor settings
- Private helicopter services
- And much more...
- Best Time to Go
- Recommended Stay
- Price Reference
(11 Days, Private party of 2)
- Price Reference
(11 Days, Private party of 4)
- Price Reference
(11 Days, Private party of 6)
- May > June
September > October
- 9 - 11 Days
- Starting at $21,500
- Starting at $15,000
- Starting at $13,000
Note: Prices will vary based on the specifics of your itinerary and the number of passengers in your party.
What is included on your luxury tour to Sicily:
- Luxury accommodations at
- Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa (Palermo)
- Villa Athena (Agrigento)
- Castello Camemi (Vizzini)
- Grand Hotel Timeo (Taormina)
- Capofaro Hotel (Salina Island)
- Private helicopter services to and from the Aeolian Islands
- Services of Blue Parallel hosts and private specialized guides throughout the journey
- All special events, private guided tours, private excursions, private outdoor activities, entrance fees
- Continual monitoring of your journey by a Blue Parallel team composed of a personal travel expert in our offices, and a personal host in each destination. In addition, a "behind the scenes" logistical expert is staffed on each trip in order to monitor every step of the journey. The team is on call 24-hours a day during a trip
- All transportation
- Some meals
- A Blue Parallel customized travel kit that you will receive prior to departure