Western Sicily Highlights
A walking tour of Western Sicily
Dates for 2013: April 13, October 28
Level of walking: moderate
Tour operator: Caspin Journeys- UK
Picture the 2000 year old columns of a superbly preserved Doric Greek temple standing at the foot of rugged mountains, bathed in sun and colorfully carpeted with wild flowers. Experience the remote Madonie mountains, encounter seas of wild flowers, visit a hidden cave with Paleolithic and Neolithic paintings, and enjoy picnic feasts among vines and olives. See forty rooms of pictorial mosaic floors in the finest Roman Villa ever to have been discovered. Enter one of the world’s finest Norman Cathedrals and walk along medieval cobbled streets where time seems to have stood still. Dip your toes in the breathtaking blue and emerald green of the Mediterranean Sea; ascend the ever active volcano Mt Etna, a thrill and an education in the evolution of life.
|inclusions, terms and conditions|
|Western Sicily Highlights walking tour: itinerary|
Day 1 Palermo airport – Monreale - Scopello
We meet at approx 14.00 at the Palermo airport and drive to Monreale cathedral to see its 12th Century gilded Byzantine mosaics We then continue westwards to the village of Scopello.
Day 2 Segesta
We visit Greco-Trojan Segesta on the slopes of Monte Barbara and touch the columns of the 4th Century BC Doric Temple. Take a seat in its ancient Theatre and enjoy the magnificent views; then close your eyes and you can almost hear actors’ voices reciting the plays of Escalius. After exploring the archaeological park we follow a high forest trail above a river gorge to reach our picnic feast amongst vineyards. (3hrs/6miles)
Day 3 Lo Zingaro Nature Reserve
We walk in the Zingaro Nature Reserve to enjoy the rugged, Sicilian coastline and learn how locals used to make a living form tuna fishing and basket weaving. If lucky, we may spot a peregrine falcon. High above the coast, admire the colours of the Mediterranean and then enjoy an afternoon gelato or cappucino in a local cafe. (5hrs/10miles)
Day 4 Erice & a walk in the Egadi Islands
From Trapani we take a hydrofoil across the crystal clear sea to Levanzo and walk across farming hinterland to reach the Grotta del Genovese cave. We enter through an enlarged rabbit warren to see a hidden treasure of Paleolithic and Neolithic drawings. After a picnic lunch we continue past Faraglioni rocks with fine views of two more islands of the archipelago, Favignana and Marettimo, returning mid-afternoon to explore the cobbled streets of the charming town of Erice. (3.5hrs/7miles)
Day 5 Walking tour of the acropolis of Selinunte
Selinunte, Europe's largest archaeological park, is a wonderful opportunity to explore an entire ancient Greek city. With two harbours, fortifications and many temples scattered across the excavations, it is set in an almost unequalled location. After a picnic lunch and time to the digest historic and gastronomic delights there is a scenic drive down to Agrigento.
Day 6 Walking tour of Agrigento & Valley of the Temples
We visit the museum of Agrigento with a local guide. Inside is an excellent collection of artefacts, temple decorations, a giant statue from the temple of Zeus, votive offerings and a model of the largest temple in Magna Graecia. We then walk to our picnic lunch through the Valley of the Temples, discussing Greek civilisation and why Pindar described Akragas as 'most beautiful of mortal cities'.
Day 7 Piazza Armerina - Roman Villa Casale - Siracusa
We drive to Piazza Armerina in the heart of Sicily known as 'the bread basket of Rome'. Here we visit the Roman Imperial Villa Casale, one of the finest ever to have been discovered. Forty mosaic floors tell us of the life of the rich roman citizens. A pleasant walk takes us over a hill, past fresh water fountains and enters the medieval town of Piazza Armerina where we stop for a delicious gelato. We end the day in Siracusa on the island of Ortigia.(2.5hrs/5miles)
Day 8 Departure from Catania airport
A taxi will take you to check in for your flight - timing is flexible.