Sicily Self-Drive

  • Tours & Multi-centres in Italy

Get the full Sicilian experience on this week-long self-drive, around the Mediterranean’s largest island. Sicily's been shaped by lots of different cultures throughout history: Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Spanish and Arab to name a few. They've influenced the people and places you’ll see on your road-trip, form the art and architecture to the delicious food. There's lot's to see so we've planned a driving route, accommodation and an itinerary that will help you make the most of your time on the island.

This holiday is also available starting from Palermo airport, please call to book.

Tour highlights | Itinerary | Your holiday includes | Hotels| Departure dates

2022 Departures on sale now!

From £819 per person

Tour highlights

  • Discover Sicily's unique culture on this week-long self-drive
  • Start in Syracuse and explore the baroque towns of the south east
  • Visit the Valley of the Temples
  • Explore Palermo and its markets - known for the island's best street food
  • Take time to relax in the seaside town of Cefalu
  • Discover Mount Etna and visit in Toarmina
  • You'll be given suggestions of where to visit and a number to call any time, should you need assistance

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Itinerary

Day 1: UK to Sicily

Arrive at Catania Airport and collect your hire car. You'll begin your trip in Syracuse - so drive south towards Ionian coast. The town's famous for its Archeological park where you can see the impressive Roman Ampitheatre. A short stroll across the bridge to the island peninsula of Ortyga and you’ll find cobbled streets, beautiful baroque architecture and lots of lovely shops, cafe's, bars and restaurants.

Distances: Catania airport to Syracuse area 70km (1 hour)

Meals included: (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 2:Syracuse to Ragusa

South Eastern Sicily’s towns of Noto, Modica and Ragusa Ibla have some of the islands most beautiful architecture. An earthquake struck in 1693, devastating many of the towns in this region, but after they were rebuilt in the ornate Baroque style that you’ll see today. So spend your first full day exploring the streets that tell the story's of these towns - look out for the Duomo's which have some of the best examples of Sicilian Baroque architecture. 

Distances: Syracuse area to Noto 35km (40 mins); Noto to Modica 40km (45 mins); Modica to Ragusa Ilba 15km (25 mins); Ragusa Ilba to Ragusa area 5km (15 mins)

Meals included: Breakfast, (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 3: Ragusa to Mazara

The island has so much history - today dive into some of it while you explore the ancient sights. First, Agrigento and the UNESCO World Heritage Site that covers the ancient city of Akragas. Make your way through the Valley of the Temples to see the beacons of the former city - some date back to the 6thCentury BC. In the afternoon drive further east stopping at coastal towns along the way. The ancient fishing town of Sciacca, pronounced 'shack-a', is slightly off the tourist trail - so you can get a feel for authentic Sicilian everyday life. The old town's dotted with beautiful churches and ancient palazzos that you can visit. Selinunte's another significant archaeological site, in fact the largest in Europe. Here you’ll see the ancient acropolis and the ruins of the temples of one of the most eminent cities of Magna Graecia. Finally, visit Cave di Cusa, an ancient Greek quarry, just outside Campobello di Mazara. It's where the golden stone, used to construct the temples of Selinunte were hewn.

Distances: Ragusa area to Agrigento 140km (2 hours 30 mins); Agrigento to Sciacca 65km (1 hour); Sciacca to Selinunte 35km (35 mins); Selinunte to Campobello di Mazara 15km (25 mins); Campobello di Mazara to Mazara area 15km (20 mins)

Meals included: Breakfast, (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 4:Mazara to Palermo

This morning, continue to the far West of Sicily and stop in the town of Marsala. It's famous for its excellent fortified wine, rich history and beautiful beaches - so there's a lot to explore. The hilltop town of Erice is an interesting medieval town, with spectacular views. Take a wander through the historic lanes, giving yourself time to pop into the famous Pasticceria Maria Grammatico for a sweet treat (payable locally). On your way to your hotel in the Palermo area, visit the striking Doric temple of Segesta.

Distances: Mazara area to Marsala 45km (50 mins); Marsala to Erice 50km (1 hour); Erice to Segesta 45km (45 min); Segesta to Plaermo area 80km (1 hour 10 mins)

Meals included: Breakfast, (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 5: Palermo Area

Start your day in Palermo, the island's capital. Get amongst the hustle and bustle of the central Ballarò street market, with its vibrant colours and aromatic smells. You might hear the vendors speaking in local dialect – enticing you to try some of the local street food. As you make your way through the city you'll see the melting pot of influences that have shaped it. From Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Norman and later on main land Italy, you’ll see it all in the archetecture. Take a break from the busy city. Head for the golden sands of Mondello, a former fishing village, fashionable seaside retreat for aristocracy - so you'll notice the ornate villas that lead up to the beach. In the late afternoon/early evening make your way up to Monreale. The Norman cathedral with its ornate Byzantine mosaics, is it's big draw. 

Distances: Plaermo area to Palermo centre 1km; Palermo to Mondello 13km (30 mins); Mondello to Monreale 20km (35 mins); Monreale to Palermo area 15km (40 mins) 

Meals included: Breakfast, (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 6:Palermo to Taormina

Begin meandering your way along Sicily’s northern coastline to beach town ofCefalù. Wander through the cobbled streets of the old town, where you'll find the cathedral, small shops and cafes. We loved popping into one of the wine bars here, for a lunchtime for a glass of local red. Your next port of call is Piazza Armerina, where you can visit the elaborate Roman Villa del Casale, home to one of the richest collections of Roman mosaics in the world. Before reaching the Taormina area, stop off at Caltagirone. Vibrant ceramic tiles cover almost all of the buildings in the colourful town and carefully crafted goods line the pavement - it's a great spot to pick up an authentic Sicilian souvenir.

Distances: Plaermo area to Cefalù 65km (1 hour); Cefalù to Piazza Armerina 135km (2 hours); Piazza Armerina to Caltagirone 35km (40 mins); Caltagirone to Taormina area 130km (1 hour 50 mins)

Meals included: Breakfast, (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 7: Taormina Area

The beautiful natural wonder that is Mount Etna dominates Sicily’s east coast. Start your drive up through vineyards and as you get closer to the summit the scenery chnages into an lunar-like landscape of rich black lava. You can get even closer to the summit by taking the cable car or if you’re feeling energetic you can walk to the dormant craters. Once you’re at the top, you'll have the best views. After, make your way down to the ancient port city of Catania. Today the city seamlessly merges the old and the new, from ancient palazzo to contemporary art galleries, you’ll have plenty to feast your eyes on. Finally drive back to the beautifulTaormina, on the hillside above the sea. Take a stroll along the buzzing main street, Corso Umberto and check out the ancient Greek amphitheatre. 

Distances: Taormina area to Mount Etna 60km (1 hour 20 mins); Mount Etna to Catania 35km (1 hour); Catania to Taormina area 55km (1 hour)

Meals included: Breakfast, (Dinner if choosing half board)

Day 8: Sicily to UK

Make your way back Catania Airport to return your hire car and catch your flight home.

Distances: Taormina area to Catania airport 75km (1 hour)

Meals included: Breakfast

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Your holiday includes

  • Car hire with unlimited mileage
  • 7 nights 4* accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis (half board available for a supplement)
  • Detailed suggested itineraries and information

Your holiday excludes:

  • Any extras, drinks and personal expenses
  • Parking costs (where applicable) 
  • Entrance to museums and archaeological sites
  • Tourist Tax

Please note that the distances between destinations are estimates and may vary. 

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Hotels

★★★★ Principe di Fitalia, Syracuse area (1 night)

★★★★ Mediterraneo Palace, Ragusa area (1 night)

★★★★ Mahara, Mazara area (1 night)

★★★★ Porta Felice OR Palazzo Sitano, Palermo area (2 nights)

★★★★ Villa Sonia, Taormina area (2 nights)

Please note that these hotels are subject to availability at the time of booking. If they are not available, they'll be changed to hotels of a similar standard and location. Not all hotels have a swimming pool. 

Departure dates

  • Flexible daily departures

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This accommodation is not available to be booked online, please call our Reservations Team on 01483 791111 to book or for further information

Due to the constantly changing nature of the COVID-19 crisis, we may need to change or withdraw at short notice some advertised accommodation facilities and resort services to help keep everyone safe.

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