Hiking in Sicily

Coastal and Mountain Hikes, Greek and Roman Ruins

Overview

Sicily is an inspiring island with a 3,000-year-old blend of Mediterranean cultures evident in epic Roman temples and cathedrals with Norman-Arab mosaics. Even the cuisine is laced with Greek, Spanish, and Arab influences! We hike cliff trails above the sea, into a wild canyon filled with Neolithic tombs, on a secret path to a medieval citadel, and even on the slopes of fiery Mt. Etna, the highest volcano in Europe. Incredible World Heritage Sites are on our journey, including the elaborate Villa Romana del Casale and magnificent Greek and Roman ruins at Siracusa. Sicily’s glorious food (think catch-of-the-day fish, couscous, and indulgent desserts) is a delight every day, as are our expert Trip Leaders who love to share their captivating island home.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-4
Palermo / Segesta / Erice / Coastal Hike / Monreale / Cefalú

A rocky path brings us up to the impressive Greek theater at remote Segesta, and we’ll circle the limestone peak of Monte Cofano on spectacular trails above the cerulean sea, with overnights in the hill town of Erice. After a hike through vineyards to a family farm for lunch, we’ll visit Monreale’s 12th century cathedral to see its golden Byzantine mosaics. Seaside Cefalú is our base for a hike in the Madonie Mountains, where Sicily’s deeply rustic culture thrives.

Hotel Elimo
Erice, Italy
Days 1 to 2 (2 nights)
La Plumeria Hotel
Cefalú, Italy
Days 3 to 4 (2 nights)
Days 5-8
Villa Romana del Casale / Pantàlica Gorge / Siracusa

At monumental Villa Romana, we see mosaics that vividly depict details of Roman life in the 3rd century AD, and hike among the Neolithic tombs of the wild Pantàlica Gorge. We’ll take a cooking class, then head to Siracusa to walk the narrow lanes of World Heritage-listed Ortigia Island, with its Baroque public squares and Doric temples. The striking Doric temple of Athena, now Siracusa’s cathedral, was built in the 5th century BC.

Agriturismo Il Drago
Aidone, Italy
Days 5 to 6 (2 nights)
Grand Hotel Ortigia
Siracusa, Italy
Days 7 to 8 (2 nights)
Algila Ortigia Charme Hotel
Siracusa, Italy
Days 7 to 8 (2 nights)
Henry’s House Hotel
Siracusa, Italy
Days 7 to 8 (2 nights)
Days 9-11
Mt. Etna / Taormina

Writers from Goethe to Ernest Hemingway have been drawn to the gorgeous hill town of Taormina. We’ll stroll the lively streets, visit the famous Roman theater, then take the cable car and a 4WD vehicle up to 9,500 feet for a hike below Etna’s crater. Depart on Day 11 via Catania.

Hotel Monte Tauro
Taormina, Italy
Days 9 to 10 (2 nights)
Ashbee Hotel
Taormina, Italy
Days 9 to 10 (2 nights)
Grand Hotel Miramare
Taormina, Italy
Days 9 to 10 (2 nights)

Highlights

Highlights

Hike spectacular seaside trails, explore medieval Erice, discover seaside Cefalú
Visit Siracusa’s Ortigia Island, with its Greek, Roman, and Baroque heritage
Hike in the Pantàlica Gorge, view the stunning mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale
Explore Taormina, hike on snow-capped Mt. Etna
Enjoy Sicily’s fresh-caught seafood, tapestry of cuisines, and tempting desserts

Details

Length: 11 days
Cost From: $5695  
Arrive: Palermo, Italy
Depart: Catania, Italy
Lodging: 10 nights small inns and hotels
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 4 dinners as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures, Archaeology
Trip Level:

A mix of moderate walks and hikes, some steep trails, 2-4 hours a day, 1 optional day hike at 9,500 feet (Mt. Etna), van support, team of up to 3 Trip Leaders