Traveling to Sicily can be easily done independently. However, if you want to experience the island adding a personal and luxury touch, a travel planner can help a lot in making the best of your days. We have interviewed Vita, Luxury Travel Advisor at Sicily Lifestyle, and we have asked her what a Travel Advisor…

At Sicily Lifestyle, we are a team of Sicily experts. We specialize in crafting exclusive travel itineraries and ensuring our guests get to experience the very best that Sicily has to offer.

We know that as travelers, our clients have their own ideas as to what makes a ‘luxury’ travel. We work with our clients to understand their needs and to tailor our suggestions accordingly.

Knowing the island inside out, we can work closely with you to ensure your experience of Sicily is truly unforgettable. But what really does a Luxury Travel Advisor? What are her/his duties? How can the support given by a luxury travel planner make the difference?

To these and many other questions, we have asked our expert Sicily travel planner, Vita. She tells us what a luxury travel planner really does, and why if you are traveling to Sicily you might want to consider one.

Over to Vita…

What does it mean being a luxury travel advisor?

Traveling has never been so valuable as in these post-pandemic times. People have been waiting so long to be able to travel again and have been dreaming about new adventures.

Being a luxury travel advisor and planner means now more than ever, to give shape to a dream and actually hand the key to doors. Our deep and first-hand knowledge of the destination makes these authentic experiences possible.

What are the duties of a luxury travel advisor?

A local luxury travel advisor must work on two main factors:

  • The knowledge of the destination
  • The knowledge of the client

Every client has a different vision for their trip. The planning starts with understanding from the client as much as as possible about their needs and wishes. This is absolutely essential when it comes to designing a tailor-made itinerary.

Behind a perfectly crafted itinerary, there is a huge work ‘on the ground’ in the territory. We want to know we are supplying our clients with the very best experiences.

This means trying firsthand all the tours and experiences our clients will do, visiting hotels, restaurants, selecting and meeting all the suppliers, guides, drivers, and hosts that will make up our client’s trip.


What are the challenges you meet when planning a luxury trip or tours in Sicily?

Working with third-party travel agents between us and the final client, misunderstandings can be easy to happen. So it is extremely important to have clear communications with all parties.

At Sicily Lifestyle, we pride ourselves on our transparency, and thoroughness for a smooth planning process and a satisfied customer.

Other Challenges in Sicily may arise when clients have a short time and yet they want to [understandably!] visit the whole Island.

Some people think that with Sicily being an Island, it is small and that the most popular destinations are all quite close to one another.

Sicily extends for 25711 km2, distances are quite long and roads are not always greatly connected, so in reality, it’s not usually possible to see everything in one trip.

Knowing the length of the trip is essential in order to understand in which areas to focus, rather than splitting the stay in too many hotels, requiring the client to pack and unpack their luggage every night and spend too much time sitting in a car instead of sightseeing and relaxing.

Cottanera Winery Sicily with Etna in background
Many ‘luxury travellers’ are looking for exclusive food and wine experiences. Photo courtesy of Cottanera Winery

What are the typical “luxury” travelers looking for?

The typical “luxury” travelers in Sicily look for authentic experiences with locals, as well as getting a taste of the culture, and history considering that Sicily hosts seven Unesco World heritage sites. Another key aspect travelers look for in Sicily are amazing nature and food&wine related experiences.


What are the key secrets of a luxury travel advisor?

Creativity, empathy, great knowledge of the destination, and top-notch suppliers are essential to work with a high-end client who is seeking stress-free planning, flexibility before and during the trip, and high-quality service throughout the process.

What are the most requested tours and destinations in Sicily?

Etna, Taormina, the Valley of Temples, and Noto are absolutely a must!

Along with these top sellers, there is Palermo and its noble heritage, its amazing architecture, and the traditional street food made every day in the folkloristic local market.

Lately, we’ve been receiving a lot of requests from clients who want to experience a romantic getaway in the countryside of Noto and Siracusa, where some of the best boutique hotels are located as well as luxury yacht cruises in the Aeolian Islands.

Sunset over Stromboli island
Stromboli: One of the Aeolian Islands, which are among the most requested Sicily experiences

What are the less known places in Sicily that you would, instead, recommend to your clients?

The Island of Pantelleria is still less known compared to the Aeolian Islands, which are not as beaten by tourism as the mainland of Sicily, but yet a popular destination.

Pantelleria is still an unspoiled, virgin land; an ideal place to unwind, relax and discover all it has to offer: nature, great landscapes, and amazing wines and food.

What do you want to know from your potential client in order to craft the perfect itinerary?

We need to know the basic information such as the number of people, if it’s a multi-gen trip, a honeymoon/celebration, length of the journey and an estimated budget.

It is also very important to go deeper in the knowledge of the client, making the right questions in the pre-planning phase in order to craft the most suitable experiences for that specific customer so that expectations are met [and exceeded!].

What are the most memorable tours and experiences you have organized in Sicily? Can you tell us some unique details about them?

The most memorable experience I have organized was for a multi-generational trip with clients who had Sicilian roots.

They asked us to do family heritage research, which lead us to go through tons of documents in the archives of the city hall of a tiny village on the west coast of Sicily.

As it usually happens in Sicily, as soon as the word spread through the village, a lot of people, from the mayor to a cultural/historic association decided to take part in the research and found relatives who were still living in the village.

At that point, we decided to give updates about the research before their trip to Sicily, but we didn’t tell them that on the day of their visit to their ancestor’s village, they would actually meet their relatives for the first time.

You can imagine how emotional this day was for our clients and also for the whole village, who welcomed this American Family as they were part of the community.

Motta Camastra Sicily
“In Sicily, luxury is not something they will see, but more something they will feel…”

What is the most valuable advice you would give to someone that wants to plan a trip to Sicily? 

First of all, to live as a local as much as they can and to leave behind the mainstream idea of ‘luxury’ because in Sicily, luxury is not something they will see, but more something they will feel.

It is not something they will find in fancy things and services, but in the people that will make their stay special, from the driver at the airport to the Sicilian Mamma who will welcome them to her home and treat them like family.

If you had 3 days to experience Sicily, what would your personal itinerary include?

With 3 days available I would focus on the East coast of Sicily.

I would land in Catania and would stay at the Belmond Hotel Timeo in Taormina. On my arrival day I would simply enjoy a guided walk of Taormina and its ancient Greek Theater and then relax at the beach and have a traditional dinner in a tiny family restaurant overlooking the sea.

On my second day I would definitely do a hike on Mt. Etna, or take a helicopter tour, and stop in a winery for lunch and to enjoy great food and taste the Etna Doc wines.

On my last day I would definitely head to the south-east area of Sicily, visit Siracusa and have an easy lunch at the local market, then head to Noto to see its baroque palaces and stop at Caffè Sicilia to meet the best and most well-known pastry chef in Sicily and try his granita made with the delicious Avola Almond!

Vita is our beloved Travel Advisor, she takes care of our clients from the beginning till your last day in Sicily with us. If you have been inspired by Vita’s expertise and knowledge, get in touch with us today and we can start to explore your perfect Sicily itinerary!

Taormina is one of the most popular travel destinations in Sicily. It is close to Mount Etna, is home to some of the best luxury hotels in the island, and is the perfect base for reaching some of the most famous sites on the Eastern Coast. Sicily and Taormina also mean beautiful sea and amazing…

Taormina is a small town yet with plenty of activities. There is much to do when it comes to exploring beautiful beaches and nature reserves, discovering ancient history, eating fantastic food, and getting lost in charming Italian streets and villages.

But surely one of the best activities you can do while in Taormina is take an exclusive boat excursion

Any visitor to Taormina can expect to be stunned by the charming bays that surround Taormina, and the striking turquoise color of the surrounding sea.

For a real taste of La Dolce Vita, we suggest climbing aboard a fabulous boat, where you can spend a day or evening in total relaxation, bobbing gently along the Ionian Sea, exploring caves and drifting far away from the crowds.

A boat tour can also provide the most enjoyable transport from one location to another.

We’ve put together this post so you can find out the best private boat excursions you can book from Taormina and we can help to organise, contact us and talk to our travel advisor and design the best travel itinerary in Sicily. 

If you are looking for other kinds of excursions you can take from Taormina, read our post about the best day tour from Taormina.

Sicily sailing excursion

Taormina boat tour

During this relaxing tour, take a sea voyage to Grotta Azzurra, Capo Taormina, Grotta del Giorno, and the bays of Mazzaro and Mermaids.

At Grotta Azzurra, you will go inside with the boat to explore this cave with stunning light reflections creating a contrasting blue pool against the walls of the ancient cave. This is a really beautiful sight that you will want to capture!

You will also explore the bay of Capo Taormina, an ideal place for a spot of swimming or snorkeling or simply admiring the sea that surrounds you.

The bay of Mazzaro is also not to be missed in this tour. Just north of the famous Isola Bella, it’s a picture perfect location dotted with some iconic and classic hotels such as the Belmond Sant Andrea.

This elegant bay is best appreciated as you slowly approach it from sea. 

Finally, explore the bay of Mermaids. This bay is sheltered and largely undiscovered, but exceptionally charming with fishing boats bobbing, and plenty of sea life to be seen.

For more information about the tour or to book it, contact us.

Friends taking a yacht tour in Taormina

Taormina diving tour

This half-day tour provides the perfect opportunity for those with a bit of diving experience to explore the beautiful bays and seabeds that surround Taormina. 

You will be collected from your hotel in Taormina and transported to the boarding point where you will meet your certified scuba guide who you will spend the 4 hours with.

On the way to the diving point, enjoy a relaxing boat ride and enjoy the scenery of Isola Bella and Grotta Azzurra. When you arrive at the best spot for diving, get kitted out in full scuba gear and receive a briefing from the guide about the various surrounding diving spots.

Then its time to dive under the turquoise blue sea and follow your guide as they show you where to spot the plethora of fish and sea life.

Aside from the creatures, you will have the chance to discover interesting finds such as the Roman ship which shrunk in Taormina’s sea over 2,000 years ago. You can swim up to the remains can and discover them at a depth of 24 metres.

In between dives, climb back on board and enjoy refreshments and take in the picture-perfect surroundings.  

At the end of the day, enjoy a delicious fish dinner with locally sourced ingredients at a typical Italian trattoria, right next to the sea. Bliss!

For more information about the tour or to book it, contact us.

diving tour from Taormina

Isola Bella snorkeling tour

During this fun tour, you have the chance to spend 2.5 hours snorkeling with an experienced crew member, who will help you to discover the vibrant colors and some sea life that exists not so far below the sea.

The activity is combined with a chance to learn about the history of the area and your guide will point out notable traces of archaeology from the Greek/Roman period.

This tour is perfect for snorkel lovers and equally for those who are trying it for the first time.

This kind of snorkeling is a fun and simple activity not requiring any advanced equipment.

You only need flippers, a mask and a snorkel, which will all be provided. It’s a suitable and very fun activity even for children at 6 years+.   

There are only a few simple rules that your guide will talk you through for every stage of the experience so you can be sure your snorkeling in safety.  

After your underwater experience, you will have worked up an appetite and will have earned a delicious trattoria supper with the freshest of ingredients.

For more information about the tour or to book it, contact us.

Snorkeling in Taormina is a fun and adventurous activity for all!

Taormina Fishing boat tour

This charming experience offers you the chance to be a Sicilian fisherman/woman for the day!

Be collected in style from your accommodation in Taormina and head down to the sea where there will be waiting your dedicated fisherman and a traditional Sicilian boat at your full disposal.

Make your way around the splendidly clear waters around Isola Bella, known as the pearl of the Ionian Sea. On our way to the fishing spot you will also discover the beautiful Grotta Azzurra and explore the beautiful bays of Taormina.

Once you reach the local fishing destination, your very own fisherman will teach you what there is to know about preparing the bait and the best method to be sure to catch something.

The fisherman will tell you some tales and tricks of the trade he has learned from the hours he has spent in his fishing boat on these very waters.

After a spot of successful fishing, it’s time to relax and enjoy a swim in the sparkling sea.

Just as you’ve worked up your appetite, you’ll head back to the bay where our chef will prepare for you the freshly caught fish to be enjoyed by the water’s edge.

For more information about the tour or to book it, contact us.

Private Boat Tour Ionian Riviera

The Ionian Riviera is Sicily’s charming coastline between Taormina and Catania.

The best way to explore it is of course with a fabulous private boat tour.

Amongst the surrounding shades of blue, you will have the chance to see the Cyclopean Isles.

These are jolting islands that are quite unique to Sicily due to their volcanic origins, being formed from some of Mount Etna’s first activities.

The largest of these intriguing isles is the Lachea Island, which is a protected nature reserve.

Hear the mythical stories about this small island. According to the myth, the rocks that form the island got there as Polyphemus hurled them against the Ulysses’ ship since they had made him partially blind.

If snorkeling is your thing, the underwater area of Cyclops is an absolute treat.

Just a few meters below the surface you will find some magnificent starfish, seahorses, lobsters, and other species that are superb to see in their natural habitat.
In this full-day boating experience, there will also be plenty of time for relaxing on board and soaking up the sun while enjoying fresh fruit, snacks, and prosecco.

This tour provides the best of both worlds when it comes to relaxation and exploration of Taormina’s’ stunning natural and mystical coast.

For more information about the tour or to book it, contact us.

luxury yacht sicily

Taormina Sailing Sunset Tour

During this tour, try your hand at sailing as you explore the natural rocky wonder of Taormina’s coast.

A professional skipper will show you the ropes and help you to become an amateur sailor in no time!

Leave your worries behind as you navigate your way through the turquoise sea, finding idyllic spots for swimming or even a spot of snorkeling.

During this 4-hour sailing boat tour, there will be plenty of time for a refreshing swim.

Once you’ve dried off in the sun, time for a delicious dinner cooked on board to be enjoyed with a glass of local wine as you say ‘salute!’ to a beautiful day!

For more information about the tour or to book it, contact us.

Best private boat excursions from Taormina

Keeping Taormina as a base you can also enjoy boat excursions to explore surrounding areas, for example, the spectacular Aeolian Islands or nearby Messina can be explored in just a day. Here are some of the best you can book.

Messina & The Swordfish Experience

During this round tour trip from Taormina, you can explore the fascinating area of Messina and some protected areas that are famous for fishing, and Swordfish fishing in particular.

You’ll be collected from your hotel and transported in style for an enjoyable car ride, admiring the Madonna della Lettera as you arrive at the sea of the straits of Messina, which separates Sicily from the rest of Italy.

Meet our trusty fisherman who will be your companion for the day. He will introduce to the special kind of boat that has been used in his family for generations to catch ‘Feluca’ fish.

Swordfish fishing in this area encompasses many traditions, culture and values that have been practiced by families of fisherman in this area for hundreds of years.

Learn about the traditions and methods as you have a go at catching some Swordfish yourself.

After the fishing, head back to the bay where and make your way to a local trattoria where you will have the chance to try the freshest catches of the day and also learn about the cooking and preparation techniques.

The perfect way to spend a day for fish and sea lovers!

For more information about the tour or to book it, contact us.

Private Boat Tour Aeolian Islands (Lipari & Vulcano)

In this full-day boating experience, you will have the opportunity to visit two of the stunning Aeolian Islands; Lipari and Vulcano and experience their contrasting beauty.

Lipari is the largest of the seven Aeolian Islands, it is the only of the islands with a lively town (also named Lipari) including attractions such as a museum and historic castle.

The pale pumice characterizes the island. Until recently, the extraction of this volcanic rock type was one of the island’s biggest industries.

Then enjoy the scenic boat ride as you head to the next island.

At Vulcano, you can bathe in sulfur muds which are known to have therapeutic benefits and experience the island’s unique black sulfur beaches.

Once you’ve explored both these natural treasures, you will have worked up an appetite and will surely be ready for a delicious meal.

Dinner can be enjoyed either on board or at a local trattoria on the island, where you will taste typical foods and specialties.

This tour includes a skipper and hostess service, towels, and snorkeling kit, as well as refreshments including fresh fruits, soft drinks, and prosecco.

For more information about the tour or to book it, contact us.

Lipari town in Sicily
Sunset at Stromboli island

Private Boat Tour Aeolian Islands (Panarea & Stromboli)

In this tour, you will explore two other of the Aeolian Islands: Panarea and Stromboli, each with their unique character.

Panarea is the smallest of the Aeolian group and also the oldest.

Explore the island’s charming Calajunco Bay, a natural swimming pool with crystal clear waters.

Climb back on board to witness the mergence of shades of blue around you and feel the ancient wind in your hair.

Arriving at Stromboli, you will sense the activity of the island – this is the most active of the Aeolian group and is actually one of the world’s most continuously active volcanoes. It has been erupting every 15-20 minutes or so for the past 1,000 years!

Relax on board and enjoy the eruptions of ash and lava as Stromboli puts on a show. 

In this full day boat tour there will be plenty of time for swimming and soaking up the sun while enjoying prosecco, fresh fruits and refreshments. 

Finally, finish the day with a delicious meal cooked on board, or make your way back to the shore for a typical dinner at a local trattoria. 

For more information about the tour or to book it, contact us.

To book any of these boating experiences, or to find out which other exclusive experiences you can do during your stay in Taormina, contact our friendly team and let’s get planning!

Sicily is a big island with plenty of beautiful places to discover. In this post we have selected some of the unconventional private tours in Sicily, departing from Palermo, Taormina, Siracusa, or Agrigento, that will help you to discover Sicily off the beaten track. Explore the best private day tours you can take discovering corners…

Sicily is an island of contrasting landscapes, with each area offering a unique beauty and treasuring its own identity and traditions. While you are traveling or taking a holiday in Sicily, we think it’s important to get a taste of the richness of this land by venturing out and about.

In this post, you will find some of the best private tours in Sicily selected from the many options we offer to travelers that want to enjoy and experience Sicily off the beaten tracks.

We always recommend spending time in Taormina as your base, but there is also much to be said for the areas of Palermo and Agrigento on the West, and Syracuse on the East.

Regardless of which side of the island you base yourself; you can take some fabulous tours to experience the various cultural, historical, and gastronomical wonders of Sicily.

Here at Sicily Lifestyle we are a team of luxury travel planners with a passion for our island.  We specialize in designing the perfect travel itineraries for our clients. We will help you to identify the kind of experience you are looking for. 

Perhaps you want to travel from one city to another and stay in some of the best hotels around the island, or maybe you would prefer to base yourself in one area, such as the wonderful Taormina, and take some of our exclusive day tours and experiences

Regardless of your choice, every detail is planned from end to end, allowing you relax and enjoy your time in Sicily with no stress.

Lets explore some of the best tours that can be taken from the different locations in Sicily. If you like what you hear, get in touch with us and we will make it a reality!

Private day tours from Palermo

Palermo, the capital city of Sicily, is a fabulous place that in many ways encapsulates the spirit of Sicily. 

It’s a place not to be missed by those interested in learning about Sicily’s tumultuous past, admiring the wondrous architecture that displays the array of cultural influences (Arab, Norman, Byzantine, etc.) that Sicily has witnessed over the years.
The post about the best things to do in Palermo will definitely point to some of the unmissable places you should visit in the city. 

But outside of Palermo, in the surrounding areas there are yet more treasures to discover. These are some of the best day tours you can take from the great city of Palermo.

palermo sicily view of the cathedral

Against the stereotypes: through Piana Degli Albanesi, Ficuzza and Corleone

When people think ‘Sicily’, they often think ‘Mafia’, ‘Godfather’ or ‘Cannolo’. 

Some of the stereotypes have perhaps created an unfair representation of Sicily as a harsh and violent land. In present day, it’s far from the truth.

During this tour, we will have a chance to unpick some of these stereotypes.

When it comes to food and desserts, Sicily has a wonderful reputation reaching far and wide. For example, people across the world taste our culinary delights… including our most famous dessert, the Cannoli.

Many people think Cannoli comes from Palermo, but actually, it originates from a small town 30 minutes outside the capital.

During this tour, our experts will take you to the very spot where you will find the absolute finest of Cannoli… in a place called Piana degli Albanesi.

Here you will meet the finest of Cannoli chefs in Sicily who will share their secrets, then give you the chance to make your own Cannoli!

After a Cannoli overload, we will proceed to discover the unexpected yet beautiful landscape nearby Ficuzza Wood. We will arrive at the royal palace Ficuzza, a splendid building that king Ferdinando IV used as a hunting house.

Finally, we will proceed to the town of Corleone, which you may recognize the name from the Godfather films. 

In fact, the scenes were not filmed in this town, find out the main Godfather filming locations you can visit with a tour, despite the characters in the film taking ‘Corleone’ as their family name.

Nonetheless, Corleone has a strong Mafia history and it is the perfect place to unpick the Mafia reputation. 

Our expert here will tell you about the important figures who played a crucial role in helping Sicily to move forward from its troubling Mafia past.

Between two gulfs: Solunto & Bagheria

During this tour you will have the chance to witness the beautiful natural environment of Sicily’s northwestern coast.

We begin in the archaeological park of Solunto

This ancient town was founded in the 4th century BC by the Phoenicians, who kept their influence over the town for around a century. The town became an active port even competing with nearby Palermo.

We will discover Greco-Roman ruins, and other notable architecture such as the houses along the ‘Agora street’ (Via dell’Agora), and enjoy a remarkable view from the old site out across the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Then we will journey on to Bagheria, a historic town, with a reputation for impressive villas and palaces. 

Most of them were built in the 18th century for wealthy landowners. The area was also chosen as the holiday location for aristocrats from Palermo. We will visit the most famous of Bagheria villas, Villa Palagonia, which welcomes us in all its grandeur and typical baroque style.

Don’t be deterred by the snarling faces of the grotesque statues that surround the premises. These figures were built by Francesco Ferdinando II and are what gives the palace its alternative name ‘Villa of Monsters’.

This tour is full of archeological and architectural treasures that give a taste of Sicily off the beaten track.

Entrace of Villa Palagonia in Bagheria

Castelbuono & Cefalù

During this tour we will explore two of the most noteworthy towns close to Palermo.

Castelbuono is a medieval town elevated in the mountains; while Cefalu is a charming seaside town where you can enjoy the atmosphere of the sun soaked streets.

We will start with a walking tour of the medieval town of Cefalu. One of the main attractions in the town centre is the imposing Cathedral of Cefalù

This Arab-Norman architecture gem contains some impressive mosaics including the main mosaic of Christ Pantocrator. You will surely be charmed as we wander around the charming streets and take a break to enjoy a view of the fine sands and sparkling sea.

Next stop on this tour is away from the sea and towards the mountains. In this rural region, you will find native vegetation, traditional craftsmanship and authentic small towns retaining true Sicilian character.

Castelbuono is the most noteworthy town in the region. We will visit the Civic Museum of Castelbuono that contains an exhibition of mostly Italian contemporary art and photography.

View of Cefalú

Cheese and biscuits in the core of the Madonie Natural Park

The mountains of Madonie Natural Park offer some of Sicily’s most unexpected and scenic environments. Come and witness the less-explored side of Sicily, where the medieval villages are tucked away in lush valleys, and enjoy elevated views of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Aeolian islands.

Also in this region you will find some of the highest quality cheeses and local produce in all of Sicily. Let’s spend some time on an organic dairy farm and taste the traditional and flavorful Madonie cheeses.

Then we will head to Castelbuono to discover is cobbled streets and historical buildings. Finally we will visit a traditional bakery in the town, where we will learn how to make some traditional biscuits that have helped this area gain an excellent gastronomical reputation. We won’t leave before tasting some of the local olive oil, produced just metres away, along with delicious homemade bread.

This relaxed tour is full of simple yet delicious Sicilian delights!

Private day tours from Verdura Resort and Agrigento

The area of Agrigento provides an interesting base to explore the West coast of Sicily. The Verdura Resort in particular is an idyllic place to stay.

These are some of the best experiences you can take in the area so that you can explore the best of land and sea not forgetting historical and archaeological treasures.

Exclusive visit of Valley of the Temples

Not to be missed when you find yourself on the west coast of Sicily is the remarkable Valley of the Temples. The archaeological ruins you find here are some of the most important in all the Mediterranean.

The expansive ruins are set in a dry terrain surrounded by century-old olive and almond trees.

An alternative way of experiencing this remarkable sight is during an exclusive night tour, where you will see the ruins lit up, creating a stunning contrast with the night sky. This way you also avoid the crowds and get to appreciate this architectural beauty with stillness, and take in the impressiveness of this construction from an entirely different age.

night tour at the valley of temples in Agrigento

Private Boat Tour of Favignana

Favignana is a tranquil and unspoilt island within easy reach of the Verdura resort and Agrigento.

Favignana is the second largest of the Egadi Islands and is unique thanks to its ‘butterly’ shape. Our private bout tour of this beautiful island will give you a taste of la dolce vita.

We will explore the island’s beautiful bays such as Cala Rossa, Cala Azzurra, Bue Marino, and Cala Cavallo. We will choose a perfect place to settle down for an aperitivo while enjoying the view of endless blues while enjoying refreshments of local wine and produce.

During this tour we will also have the chance to explore the historical and cultural side of the island that is often overlooked.

Selinunte & Mazara del Vallo

This tour starts at the archaeological park of Selinunte

This is the largest archeological park in Europe. It’s a fortified area built by the Greeks and which the Carthaginians largely destroyed. We will discover Doric temples that remain, and enjoy the fabulous landscape of typical Mediterranean terrain framed by the sparkling turquoise sea.

Our expert will then lead us to Mazara del Vallo, a port with a significant history as the largest fishing fleet in Italy. 

Here you can enjoy the salty sea air while tasting the fish cous cous that is typical to this area, while appreciating the Arabian influence simultaneously with the baroque charms.

We won’t leave before visiting the Sant’Egidio church that houses an impressive Greek bronze statue of ‘the dancing Satyr’.

The Belice Valley: Gibellina, Poggioreale and Salemi

The Belice valley is situated between the provinces of Palermo, Trapani and Agrigento. This area has a rocky past, since an earthquake here largely destroyed it in 1968. 

The nearby towns were left in this state for a while, and when they were eventually rebuilt they followed the urban schemes found in England, so they combine elements that are far from the tradition Sicilian style.

A private luxury Mercedes car will be at your disposal for the day and you will drive around the scenic hills surrounded by olive trees and vineyards.

We will explore the hillside towns of Gibellina, Poggioreale and Salemi. These are an interesting set of towns differing largely from one another. 

You will begin with the Cretto di Burri, the largest work of Land Art in the world but also one of the most controversial. 

The Cretto is a shroud in which historical memory is cemented. A very powerful hard and painful place graced by the surrounding nature that continues to live embracing the great and glorious funeral monument.

20 minutes drive from Old Gibellina and the Cretto di Burri you will visit Gibellina Nuova,  the rebuilt city and where you walk and drive between works of art by international artists who came from all over the world to leave a mark animated by the desire to raise a city razed to the ground.

 Discover the ancient streets of Gibellina, contrasting with the new city of Gibellina.

We’ll continue through the countryside to Poggioreale, today a ghost town, where you can still see houses that were destroyed by the earthquake.

In Salemi, the town centre is home to a majestic castle founded by Frederik II the Swabian. You can also see what remains of an ancient church, with a missing roof and damaged columns. It’s as if it has been purposely left just for you to see it!

This tour provides a fascinating insight to how ancient towns were reconstructed after the natural disaster, combined with tranquil countryside views and green hills for which Sicily is not known.

Old Gibellina the Burri's Cretto

Private day tours from Taormina

In our view, its hard to beat Taormina as the best place to base yourself for a luxury holiday or travel experience in Sicily.

Our favorite town has the idyllic combination of luxury beach clubs, unbeatable hotels (such as Belmond Timeo and Four Seasons San Domenico, find out our selection of the best hotels in Taormina).

While you are here, be sure to make the most of it by experiencing these best bit. If you are interested in boat excursions make sure to read our selection of the most popular private boat tours from Taormina.

Exclusive visit of Ancient Theatre in Taormina

The most famous landmark in Taormina is undoubtedly the Ancient Greek Theatre. During this exclusive visit, you will have the entire theatre to yourself so you can appreciate it in all its grandeur, without the crowds.

This is the most spectacular Greek theatre in all of Sicily, made even more special with the view of the sea and of the mighty Mount Etna peering between the grand columns.

The theatre was built in the third century BC and stands in excellent condition. Spend an evening wandering around and being in awe of this impressive Greek construction. They surely knew how to put on a show!

Taormina view of the greek theater

Ape tour of Taormina & Castelmola with aperitivo

What better way to explore Taormina and the neighboring hillside medieval town of Castelmola, than in a fun Sicilian style ape car?

In this tour, your driver will pick you up from your hotel, where you will board the Ape Calessino.

Sit back and relax in the afternoon breeze as you tour the charming streets of Taormina and head uphill to Castelmola, regarded as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.

Once you reach your destination, stop for a refreshing aperitivo in a famous bar that has been visited by a number of celebrities over the years. Finish the evening by saying ‘salute’ with a fabulous view of Mt. Etna.

A sweet symphony: music and pastry tradition in Randazzo

In this tour, you will explore a medieval village named Randazzo, situated between Mt Etna and the Nebrodi mountains.

Here, you will visit the unique workshop of a woodworker and musician, who combined his two passions to create this unique medieval music workshop.

Music and crafts lovers will enjoy observing the 60 antique musical instruments and listening as he tells you about the traditional craftsmanship.

Then, you will discover the area’s pastry tradition during a visit to a local laboratory where they are made.

Finally, you will then learn all about and taste the typical Sicilian granite; a much-loved Siclian refreshment made of the simplest of ingredients: fresh fruit, sugar, and water. The owner will put on a demonstration before allowing you to try all the typical flavours!

Mount Etna private helicopter tour

Feel free as a bird and get prepared to be stunned as you take an exclusive helicopter tour over the epic Mount Etna! This is the largest and most active volcano in Europe as well as a UNESCO heritage site since 2013. What better way to experience it than gliding above it in both style and comfort?

Be greeted by your friendly pilot who will tell you a bit about the aircraft, then climb on board and settle in for a ride to remember!

As you climb the slopes, you will witness the changing landscape of the volcano as you get further from the ground.

Keep your eyes peeled and see for yourself how this volcano meres from citrus trees and vineyards at one level, and cosmic swirls and lava trails at another.

For more details read the post helicopter tour to mount Etna and the post about the best tours to Mount Etna

Etna Erupting seen from helicopter

Alcantara and Etna wine region vintage fiat 500 self-drive tour

Sicily has gained itself an excellent reputation for its wine production, and some of its most famous wines come from the Etna and Alcantara regions.

During this tour you will discover the Alcantara Gorge. This is a unique canyon with its rock formations creating walls for the river to run through. It’s the perfect spot for cooling down on a summer’s day, as the waters are always ultra-cold!

Hop back into your vintage fiat 500 and make your way to the small medieval town of Castiglione di Sicilia. Then drive up to Linguaglossa, taking in the views of this unique landscape along the way.

Arriving at Etna, you will have the chance to meet some of the men and women who have played an important role in putting Sicily on the map for their quality wine production. 

Listen as they tell you all about the unique production methods, what makes the land so fertile, and of course, have the chance to try the wines at the very location they were made.

For a list of our favourite wineries in Sicily read the post Best wineries to visit  in Sicily (a guide for wine and design lovers)

Private day tours from Siracusa

The ancient city of Siracusa was founded by the Greeks around 700BC. It was at one time the most important cities, even rivaling Athens for a while. The entire city is now a UNESCO heritage site.

It is a coastal city surrounded by the splendid Ionian sea, and today is blends the ancient with the modern to create a bustling atmosphere that’s a splendid place to lay your hat for a few days.

While in Siracusa, make the most of the surrounding areas with one of these tours we can customise and make unique for you.

Neapolis and Ortigia private visit

In this tour you will discover the magical Neapolis Archaeological park and have the chance to explore the most complete Greek theatre that exists. Discover the roman colosseum, unique caves and ultimately the impressive ‘Ear of Dionysius’ to experience its fantastic acoustics.

Your private guide will be able to tell you all about the rich and mystical history of the site.

Then discover the gorgeous island of Ortigia, which is the historical centre of Syracuse. We will stop to appreciate the architecture at Piazza Duomo including the beautiful cathedral built in the 7th century. Notice the light stone buildings that seem unique from many other parts of Sicily.

Private tour of the Neapolis in Siracusa

Discovering the Jewish Siracusa

During this tour, discover the best of what Siracusa has to offer while also learning about its rich Jewish history.

Your expert tour guide will lead you through the city’s Jewish quarter including the Giudecca neighborhood, and teach all about the history of the Sicilian Jews who largely made up the population and character of the city for over 1,000 years and made a lasting impact.

During a stroll through Ortigia, we will discover the Mikveh and the ancient city synagogue with its roofless aisles.

Ispica & Cave d’Ispica

This tour comprises a blend of natural, baroque and archaeological highlights.

One of our stops will be the old town of Ispica and the city centre which is now a UNESCO heritage site. This town was rebuilt in a unique baroque style after the earthquake that hugely affected Sicily in 1963. The town offers a tranquil escape as it is a lesser-explored towns, but still has cultural significance which your private tour guide will provide insight to.

Then you will explore the Cave d’Ispica, which are of great archeological interest containing important prehistoric necropolis, caves and catacombs. In the summer it can be a particularly welcome respite from the warm climate, as it can be 10 degrees cooler down there!

Whether you choose to base yourself on the West or the East side of Sicily, as you can see, there is plenty to discover on this island of endless beauty, history and curiosity.

While you may not be able to tick off all these tours in a single trip, our team can help you to create the perfect Sicily travel itinerary for you.

So get in touch with us and get one step closer to discovering Sicily!

Mount Etna can be visited with a day tour from Taormina. If you are wondering how to visit and that would be the best way to reach it in this post you will find 5 different tours to Mount Etna that will let you see and enjoy the famous active Volcano of Sicily. You can…

Mount Etna can be easily reached from Taormina and at approximately 1-hour drive away; it is an exciting and unique excursion that can be taken as a day tour.

The highest and largest volcano of Europe can be seen and experienced in many ways. Adaptable to all kinds of traveler, from the expert trekker to the traveller who prefers a leisurely experience without missing the best of what Sicily has to offer. Etna is also home to excellent wine; a visit to one, or more, wineries is a delight for any wine-lover visiting Sicily.

During our many years as travel planners, we have organized endless visits to Etna. Some of these Etna experiences have been particularly special, and we want to share with you our favorites, and most popular, private tours for luxury travelers. So, if you are wondering how to visit mount Etna with a day tour from Taormina and are looking for a very special experience, we have you covered!

If you are interested in any of our private tours mentioned in this post or want something tailored to your needs, get in touch with our travel planner and start crafting the perfect travel itinerary in Sicily.

Let’s explore the best, most unforgettable ways to experience the mighty Mount Etna!

Etna north tour with jeep and lunch in a Winery

Enjoy an active excursion with just the right amount of exertion! During this experience you will be collected directly from your hotel and transferred in style and comfort to Mount Etna National park (a UNESCO heritage site since 2016).

On arrival, your expert guide will be waiting for you as well as a 4×4 jeep and driver. This is the ideal vehicle to ascend onto the slopes and allow you the most unrestricted access via rocky paths and uneven terrain.

Sit back and enjoy the views as you climb the volcano slopes. The vehicle allows for clear and unobstructed views so that you can witness the changing landscape as you make your way up.

Witness the changing landscape as it merges from orchards of citrus fruits to charming vineyards, and again into forestry and finally to deserted areas of lava and craters.

Learn about the unique composition and qualities of the volcano that makes it the ideal place to host a variety of flora and fauna.

After working up an appetite, jump back on board and be transferred to an intimate Etna winery, where you can enjoy a family-cooked Sicilian lunch using only the most local and quality ingredients and offering a chance to wander among the vines.

For more information and booking the private tour contact us.

Vineyard at Mt. Etna Sicily

Etna trekking tour with BBQ lunch in a family-owned winery

During this active tour, you will have the chance to trek to the immense Valle del Bove and enjoy a BBQ lunch on the slopes of the volcano.

Valle del Bove is one of the features that makes Etna so fascinating. Get up close to a mesmeric example of a caldera: a large depression that remains as the result of a volcanic eruption. Almost as if a huge scoop has been taken out of the surface. This place offers a chance to witness the power of Mother Nature.

In the company of an expert naturalist guide, you will learn about what makes this Etna area particularly fascinating, and enjoy a breathtaking landscape. You will also have full access to a 4×4 jeep throughout the experience, so you can see some views that are unreachable by foot.

Those interested in the history and geographical importance of the volcano will have the chance to learn about the significance of the Valle de Bove in studying the volcanic sequences of Etna and the effect they have had on the landscape.

After a morning of activity, you will surely have lunch on your mind! In this experience, the whole of Etna is your dining table. Enjoy a slow-paced BBQ lunch cooked out in the open. Make the most of your natural surroundings as you tuck into authentic and every day Sicilian foods.

For more information about this tour and bookings contact us.

Mount Etna Bike tour

Mount Etna is a dream for bike lovers. In this experience, we take the logistical hassle out of adventure so you can get your adrenaline fix and enjoy only the thrilling bits!

You will arrive at Mt. Etna by luxury transfer from your hotel. The driver will transport you to the southern slopes of the volcano where the bikes will be waiting along with an expert naturalist guide.

We will begin our ride along the famous mountain track Pista Altomontana. Witness the lava-stone huts and cycle by hardened lava fields where you can imagine the fluorescent lava that once flowed.

On this tour, you have the chance to get up close to the volcanic ash and feel a unique surface under your tyres, all while taking in expansive views of this natural beauty.

It’s a true bucket list experience for bike and nature enthusiasts.

For more information about this tour and bookings contact us.

Mount Etna helicopter tour

Taking a helicopter tour over Mount Etna has to be one of the most luxury experiences that can be had in Sicily.

Sit back as you are transferred in style to the local helipad, where your trusty pilot will be waiting your arrival. Climb aboard the deluxe helicopter and relax as you prepare for take off!

As you climb the slopes of the majestic Mount Etna, you will be able to appreciate the true scale and varied landscape of this special volcano.

With this unforgettable tour, you can choose whether to take the trip in privacy or with the company of an expert Etna guide, who will be able to point out it’s significant characteristics, such as the most recent lava flows and the geographically noteworthy craters.

As you glide over the volcano, you will witness the varied landscape of the Eastern coast of Sicily, with views of the turquoise sea in one direction, and volcanic views in the other.

Feel light as a feather as you drift from one side of the volcano to the next and witness an array of cosmic colours and patterns that are truly out of the ordinary!

When you reach the ground, you will have gained a newfound perspective and understand why so many (us included) regard Sicily as a magical island.

For more information about this tour and bookings contact us.

Mount Etna wine Trail tour with a vintage car

Sicily has well and truly earned its reputation as an Italian region producing top quality wines. And those from the Etna region have to be our favorites from across the island.

The mineral-rich soil that’s found at the base of the volcano, combined with the warm Sicilian climate provides the ideal conditions to produce deliciously earthy, well-rounded wines.

Etna is home to some top-quality wineries that produce wines that have gained an international reputation.

What better way to see them than driving around the small Sicilian villages that are dotted around the Etna region, in an iconic fiat 500 car?

Climb into this charming and classic vintage car and follow your itinerary from one specially selected spot to the next, all while exploring the fertile terrain that surrounds Mt. Etna. With your eyes open, you will see a variety of produce and plants that grow around the volcano.

Driving through the citrus orchards and century-old olive groves of Etna, you will meet the men and women who cultivate this land and have played an important part in putting Sicilian wine on the international map, and of course, tasting the fantastic wines they have produced.

Along the way, you will stop at Alcantara Gorge to visit a 9th Century church, Castiglione di Sicilia, a hilltop town founded by the Greeks, and Linguaglossa, where you will visit a family-owned antique winery with vines of over 80 years old.

For more information about this tour and bookings contact us.

Vintage Fiat 500 Tour

Whichever of our experiences you choose to discover Mount Etna, we will ensure it’s an unforgettable trip.

Whether you are looking for something action-packed, nature-filled, or if you prefer to sit back and enjoy the views in style… get in touch with our team, who can ensure that your trip to Etna will be a highlight of your time here in the magical Sicily.

Sicily has a long history of wine production thanks to its fertile land and warm climate of Southern Italy. But over the past 20 years, Sicily has well and truly earned its place as one of the top Italian regions for wine production.

Sicily is now home to some of the favorite wines of top sommeliers from around the world and Sicilian wineries and vineyards are becoming tourist attractions that discerning travelers do not want to miss.

Italy’s largest island not only produces fantastic wine but also manages to offer a wide variety, from the famous and traditional e.g. Marsala, to the contemporary and experimental wines produced by some of the wineries in this list.

While you can find fantastic wineries across the island, our favorites have to be those produced on Mt. Etna, Europe’s most active volcano that characterizes the unique landscape of Eastern Sicily. We think a visit to one of Mt. Etna’s wineries is one of the most special experiences we offer our guests.

In this list you will find a selection of our favourite wineries in Sicily, all adding something remarkable to the wine culture.

All those mentioned can be visited as part of the special wine and food tour we offer our guests, and can be tailored to suit your interests. Many of those mentioned can also be used for unique events and special occasions.

Let us know what you had in mind! Our team of Sicily experts takes delight in delivering events and experiences to remember.

Whether you are looking to plan a special occasion dinner, a wedding celebration, or a party to remember, holding an event in a Sicilian vineyard can be a highly tailored and memorable experience.

Contact us for detailed information about the events we can plan or custom-made tours and itineraries we can realise for our guests.

La vendemmia (grape harvest)

The grape harvest in Sicily (vendemmia) happens during September and October, and it is one of the most beautiful times of year in Sicily as the vines are full of fruit and ripe for picking. The grapes in Sicily have been ripening throughout the year, soaking up every drop of the Sicilian sun!

Now its time for the next phase: wineries across the island are picking the plump fruits, and depending on the size of the vineyards, this harvesting process can take between a day to a week.

The harvesting dates vary across the island depending on the location and conditions of the vineyard (such as altitude and soil type), but on Etna, it typically takes place in the last 2 weeks of September.

Vineyard at Mt. Etna Sicily

Best wineries to visit in Sicily

Most wine lovers who come to experience the wine of the island will be looking to discover the Etna D.O.C as part of their journey. The D.O.C (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) is a label used to classify and protect Italy’s most important territories.

Being given this label, Etna has been recognized as one of those special areas. The vines that surround the base of the volcano are hardy to say the least!

They are over one hundred years old and have survived hundreds of eruptions, big and small, and endless showering of dust, ash, and even lava.

It’s the earthiness and mineral-rich qualities of the soil here that give Etna wines their uniqueness. Parco dell’Etna is a particularly noteworthy site as it has been a UNESCO site since 2013.

That means the site is given special protections and is managed closely so that the area is able to flourish to its highest potential.

Let’s find out the best wineries in Sicily and ones we like to take our guests for experiencing our local, and world-famous, wine.

Cottanera winery (Mount Etna)

At the realm of the Cottanera winery is Mariangela Cambria, a woman who has worked with the Etna territory and succeeded in producing one of the best wines available and standing out above many competitors in the region.

Women play an integral role in the running of Cottanera; alongside Mariangela there is a team of 25 women who do the manual work and harvest the grape; still a rather rare setup in the largely male-dominated industry of winemaking.

This winery is located on the northern side of Mt. Etna, close by the medieval hilltop town of Castiglione di Sicilia.

Cottanera Winery Sicily with Etna
Courtesy of Cottanera Winery

Tenute di Fessina winery

Upon taking the role as owner of Tenute di Fessina in 2007, Silvia Maestrelli pledged to create “a place of beauty, between earth and spirit”.

The winery develops Etna D.O.C wines and provides hospitality that is an ode to the heritage of their territory.

There are seven rooms on-site, all of which pay homage to the role they once played in the historical use of the land.

For example, you could stay in the Cannedda room which was once used by farmers to deposit the grapes to be crushed.

Now it has been transformed into a charming room of understated elegance, where you can enjoy a special getaway in a vineyard setting with views of mighty Etna.

The vineyards of Tenute di Fessina are poised 675 metres above sea level, with the estate situated in the small town of Rovittello.

During a tour of Fessina, you will discover the seven hectares of mainly Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio grapes, along with a smaller amount of the Carricante and Minella types.

They are found tucked away in an amphitheater that coincidentally provides the ideal hospitality.

Inevitably, at the Tenuta di Fessina, guests are educated about the preservation of the century-old vines, the ancient stones, and the ashes of the volcano that gives the product its earthy and unique qualities.

Tenuta di Fessina Winery
Courtesy of Tenute Fessina Winery

Pietra Dolce winery (Mount Etna)

The Pietra Dolce winery stands out for the eco-friendly approach it has taken to wine production. It is a boutique-sized winery run by brothers Michele and Mario Faro, who are considered experts of the Etna wine region.

The pair have gained a great reputation for their fusion of ancient methods with modern technology for a sustainable approach.

They work with native grapes and pre-Phylloxera vineyards that are around one hundred years old.

The owners pride themselves on remaining true to the essence of the Etna area that they inject into every stage of production and are evident to the taste buds in the final product.

For those whose passion for wine is paired with an affinity for modern architecture and design, an experience at this winery will be particularly appreciated.

Pietra Dolce’s contribution to the Sicily wine scene has been recognized with numerous awards including receiving Gambero Rosso’s “2016 Red Wine of the Year” for its product Vigna Barbagalli. During a special visit to Pietra Dolce, you can taste it right at the source!

Barone di Villagrande winery and wine resort (Mount Etna)

The Villagrande wine resort has a long history, having been cultivating vineyards on Etna since the 18th century. In fact, it is the oldest winery on Etna, and over the years they have sought to perfect their craft.

A visit to the wine resort gives an opportunity to eat in the on-site restaurant where you can sample the wines with accompanying flavours from Etna and discover the most optimal food pairings.

By checking in and staying at the Barone di Villagrande resort, you can spend a night or two surrounded by forests and vineyards, accompanied with views up to Mt. Etna and down towards the bay of Taormina.

This is a chance to truly immerse your senses in the world of Etna wine production.

Sicily grapes ready for harvest

Palmento Costanzo winery (Mount Etna)

Hosted in a renovated building dating back to 1700, the Palmento Costanzo winery is one of the oldest in Sicily.

This is an Etna winery; set in the UNESCO-protected Parco dell’Etna, specifically the small village Contrada Santo Spirito, which itself is worth visiting for its beauty.

Palmento Costanzo prides itself on its offer to bring people together over their passions for wine and the Etna region.

Part of what sets them apart is their dedication to organic practices and manual cultivation methods. An example of its quality products is the Mofete Rosso, a popular red wine made from the native Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio grapes, picked from vines of thirty years old.

A visit to Palmento Costanzo will enable wine-lovers to explore scenic vineyards, learn about the soil and production methods, and of course taste the final products paired with local cheeses and cured meats.

Donnafugata winery

Donnafugata is one of the most famous wineries in Sicily, and has played a big role in carving out the status of Sicily on the international wine scene.

The Donnafugata brand has numerous wineries around Sicily, and it has gained a fashionable reputation.

This winery recently collaborated with Dolce & Gabbana, creating an elegant Sicilian rose wine that represents the elegance that the luxury fashion house and the Donnafugata estate have in common.

Donnafugata owns wineries across multiple territories, namely Marsala, Pantelleria, Etna and Vittoria, each producing its own unique blends and varieties.

A visit to these locations will allow you to gain insight into how conditions and production varies in different corners of Sicily. The experts at the Donnaguata wineries will welcome you and share their knowledge with passion.-

These are just a few of our favourite wineries in Sicily. Whether you are a wine-lover looking to take an exclusive winery tour or to hold an event in a remarkable location, our knowledge of the island means we can suggest just the right place!

Get in touch with our experts and let’s start planning an exclusive experience to remember.

One of the first things couples do when planning a wedding in Sicily is choosing the location. Sicily has plenty of amazing wedding venues to choose from. Whether you are looking for a classic and elegant 5 star hotel or more unique locations, such as small medieval towns or exclusive wineries, Sicily has something to…

Sicily is a timeless and, in our view, an unbeatable choice when it comes to destination wedding locations.

Encapsulating myth, tradition, and history while offering the simple delights of fantastic food, sparkling sun and sea, and incredible views.

Our Island of Sicily is one full of variety, so when it comes to choosing a wedding location, you can be spoilt for choice.

We have compiled our list of the top wedding venues in Sicily so that you can get a taste of what a wedding in Sicily could offer you.

We are the specialists of exclusive and memorable weddings in Sicily. If you are looking for further inspiration or looking to take the next steps, our expert wedding planner is here to make your Sicilian wedding a reality.

Not sure if you need a wedding planner? Read our article about the good reasons for hiring a wedding planner in Sicily and find out!


San Domenico Palace (Taormina), the former Dominican monastery

The San Domenico Palace Hotel, recently overtaken by the Four Seasons, sits in a truly magnificent setting that has attracted guests since ancient times.

A luxury 5-star hotel in an ancient Dominican monastery, it has views over Mount Etna and Taormina Bay on the east coast of Sicily.

Countless famous writers, artists, and composers came here to savor this unique spot at the very tip of Italy.

The hotel features many enviable features that make for a stunning setting for a wedding celebration.

Among them are:

  • The immaculate garden designed by acclaimed Italian architect Marco Bay
  • Two ancient cloisters
  • A stunning infinity pool with one of the best views stretching across the East coast and towards the mighty Etna volcano

A combination of which makes for a truly impressive backdrop.

During its recent renovation, the hotel’s ancient feel has been tied harmoniously with modern features, making this a grand yet enchanting venue for the wedding celebration of dreams.

Contact us if you want to organize your wedding at the San Domenica Palace.

Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo (Taormina), the Grand Tour favourite since 1800

Set in the heart of Taormina, next to the Ancient Greek Theatre, the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo serves up views that have enchanted those in the know for over a century.

The first hotel to be built in the city gazes out across the coast towards Mount Etna and beyond.

Probably the most luxurious hotel in town, with one of Italy’s most dramatic and classic backdrops, this location is chosen time and time again by discerning couples.

Here you and your guests can soak up all the senses of Sicily.

During a wedding at Grand Hotel Timeo, you can enjoy moments of celebration in immaculate gardens, be treated to sensational cuisine and be inspired by the classical beauty that surrounds you.

The hotel’s location close to the centre of Taormina makes it a great choice if you are opting for a church wedding, since you and your guests can take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful town as you go from one venue to the next, surely receiving lots of smiles and attention along the way!

Contact us if you want to organize your wedding at the Grand Hotel Timeo.

Belmond Timeo hotel wedding

Taormina public gardens between lush vegetation and top-notch view

The Taormina public gardens or ‘villa comunale’ are the ideal spot for a wedding celebration in impressive landscaped gardens with spectacular sea views.

The public gardens in Taormina are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike as a place of calm and reflection.

They are appreciated during an evening stroll or ‘passeggiata’ or during the afternoons by those seeking respite from the blazing sun.

This is a nature-filled Mediterranean paradise, yet the collection of lush florals and tropical botanies, combined with old monuments and buildings give this park an oriental feel, making this a peaceful and unique venue for a wedding celebration.

The garden also possesses hints of an English style, since it was conceived by Lady Florence Trevelyan, an English noblewoman who was a cousin of Queen Victoria.

The photo opportunities in the public gardens are second to none, with one of the best views downhill towards the bay and across the expansive and sparking Sicilian sea. So even if you opt for an alternative venue, we recommend spending some moments of your special day in this place of tranquillity.

Contact us if you want to organize your wedding at Taormina public gardens.

Wedding at Taormina Public Gardens

Taormina Greek Theater, between history and romance

For a truly unique wedding location, lucky couples can choose to hold their ceremony in the ancient and spectacular setting of the Taormina Greek Theatre.

One of the most exclusive and special wedding venue in Sicily, a wedding at the Taormina Greek Theatre will be sure to create vivid and lasting memories for both couples and their guests.

Set in a breathtaking location with an unbeatable view of Mount Etna and the beautiful coastline of the Ionian Sea through the ancient Greek-Roman pillars, a ceremony at the theatre is truly a dream-come-true moment.

A wedding in the Taormina Greek Theater is the ultimate privilege and exclusive experience in Sicily, where you will feel as though the whole city is yours!

After the ceremony, make your way to one of these other exclusive places to continue your Sicilian wedding with a romantic dinner and after-dark celebrations.

Contact us if you want to organize your wedding celebration at the Greek Theater.

Luxury wedding Taormina theatre

Castelmola town: celebrate your party in the real Sicilian style

The medieval village of Castelmola, perched high above Taormina, is the perfect location for those looking to celebrate their wedding in true local style and it is also our favorite Sicily wedding venue as it allows us to recreate a proper and real typical Sicilian feast!

Imagine having a charming medieval village all to yourself, set as the stage for a modern yet authentic Sicilian celebration. Then add participation of the local community to this unique setting, joining in the festivities and adding to the joyful atmosphere.

The result is the most memorable party that will exceed your expectations and allow your guests experience the essence and warmth of real Sicily.

If you want to know more about the venue read the post about Castelmola and how it can be used as an event location.

Choosing Castelmola as your venue, our expert wedding planners can arrange a personalized setting and decorations, along with an indulgent feast to suit your tastes; be it seated with guests amongst the medieval walls, or even create your own mini-festival, inviting neighbors old and young to join in the celebration.

Contact us if you want to organize your wedding party in Castelmola Town.

Wedding celebration Castelmola Sicily

Dimora delle Balze (Noto), the luxury baroque of Sicily

Dimora delle Balze is a place of tranquil calm set in the midst of the Noto countryside.

A 19th-century estate with 11 charmingly designed rooms, this special venue was chosen by the Italian power couple Chiara Ferragni and Fedez for their 2018 wedding.

It offers captivating views toward Val di Noto, a stunning rural area that has been granted Unesco heritage status.

Offering couples the chance to create a truly customized event; this venue can be transformed to suit the most particular of tastes. But with its meticulously restored outbuildings and sophisticated courtyards, this place is naturally captivating.

The whole venue is available for exclusive use, so you can make this corner of paradise all yours for a few days.

Imagine celebrating your love story with friends and guests gathered for a special dinner on tables wrapped around a citrus-filled courtyard, and the night culminating with music and dancing around stone columns and alongside the saltwater pool.

Contact us if you want to organize your wedding at Dimora delle Balze.

Sicily beach wedding: Isola Bella (Taormina), celebrate your wedding in the natural marine reserve

When considering where to get married in Sicily, an intimate ceremony on Isola Bella (or the ‘beautiful island’) is certainly an option worth exploring.

The charming private beach clubs (such as Taobeach or Pizzichella) across from the island can be dedicated to the celebrations and decorated to fulfill the creative visions of all couples. Isola Bella is definitely one of the most unique wedding venues if you want to host your party in a protected reserve close to the most distinctive landmark of Taormina and whole Sicily.

Celebrate your love right next to the toing and froing of the waves while dancing the night away. Exclusive hotels surrounding the bay of Taormina are another timeless choice.

We love Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea, Atlantis Bay and Baiamuri.

Otherwise, it is possible to elope on the botanic beauty that is Isola Bella itself. An ideal option if you are looking for a low-key occasion where you can officiate your love with only your nearest and dearest to witness.

With the island’s lush greenery contrasting with its surrounding blue, a ceremony on Isola Bella is another picture-perfect Sicilian wedding location.

Contact us if you want to organize a beach wedding in Taormina.

Bagheria wedding venue: Villa Valguarnera, the baroque estate that has inspired Dolce & Gabbana

Villa Valguarnera in the small town of Bagheria is a stunning example of 18th century Renaissance architecture, with a striking baroque interior.

This special place has the designer credentials to back it up its prestige: Dolce and Gabbana chose it for their fragrance video that was directed by Giuseppe Tornatore and starring Sophia Loren.

The villa is an eclectic and yet elegant aristocratic palace, owned by Princess Vittoria Alliata di Villafranca.

Every room is fit for a Royal’s presence, and with character and detail bursting from the seams; the whole place is a photographer or cinematographer’s dream.

No wonder this venue is widely regarded as the most romantic place to stay (or to celebrate) in the whole of Sicily.

If you are looking for a wedding in a grand and ornamental setting that radiates the romanticism of Sicily, then Villa Valguarnera is surely the right choice.

Another charming option is Villa Tasca: another majestic historical residence with classical gardens and neoclassical architecture.

Contact us if you want to organize your wedding in a private villa in Sicily.

Aeolian Islands wedding venue: get married in front of the erupting volcano of Stromboli

The Aeolian islands are some of the wild treasures of Sicily, dotted around the Northeast side of the main island.

Composed of seven; Lipari, Vulcano, Salina, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi, and Panarea. They represent an extraordinary testimony to the birth and evolution of the volcanic islands.

A wedding on one of the beautiful and remote Aeolian islands is a chance to set your special day surrounded by breathtaking views and crystal clear waters, before setting onto the islands themselves and experiencing the charms of local life, and sitting down to a feast full of the most local produce and delicacies.

Lucky couples will even have the chance to experience volcanic eruptions, especially from the powerful beauty that is Stromboli Island, who provides the most incredible of backdrops, and a sight sure to leave guests speechless as she puts on an amazing show amazing show at night, when the rivers of fire ooze down to the sea.

For a small, intimate occasion, couples can opt for a luxurious yacht wedding: be immersed by the turquoise seas as you say your ‘I do’s’ with a backdrop of mythical islands.

Then sit back and relax with your closest, enjoy the endless blues as you drift from one island to the next.

Contact us if you want to organize your wedding at the Aeolian Islands.

Those are just some ideas but the list is endless. For all your needs regarding an unforgettable wedding in Sicily, contact our team of experts who are here to make your dream come true.

Sicily, the wonderful island combining sea, sun, history, food and culture. Those who are lucky enough to experience it will soon realize there is so much to see and understand about this mystical place. To really get the best taste of Sicily, you should view it through as many lenses as possible.

We have compiled this list of best experiences in Sicily so that you can be assured that your time in Sicily will be the most optimum, and you will return in the knowledge that you have discovered the most significant sights, tasted unmissable dishes, and experienced the best of the best!

The following are 10 of our top travel suggestions if you are looking for exclusive tours for luxury travel in Sicily. If you want to find out more read also the best private day tours from main cities in Sicily.

However, we, as exclusive Sicily travel planners, can make real any travel ideas you have in mind. Get in touch with our experts and start dreaming about your next luxury trip to Sicily.

Mount Etna helicopter tour

Viewing Etna by helicopter is a truly unique experience and one of the most popular luxury tours you can book in Sicily. As you ascend from solid ground and begin to hover, you will feel something shift inside you.

As you leave control and daily worries at the ground, the adrenaline kicks in and you are in the hands of the dependable pilot.

Those who have experienced helicopter travel will tell you about the unique sense of freedom it offers.

The lightness and openness of the aircraft allows you to engage with your surroundings in a way that’s truly extraordinary.

As you gaze down upon the magical and contrasting land of Sicily, you’ll gain a newfound appreciation for the ground we inhabit each and every day.

In the words of the French pilot Philippe Perrin, “It’s only when you’re flying above it that you realise how incredible the Earth really is.” This can also be true of Sicily!

Perhaps you wish to compliment this unique activity with a special dinner or aperitivo, combine the trip with travel to another Sicily destination, or have professional insight with the company of an Etna expert.

Whatever your request, our helicopter tours are completely customisable and your wish is our command and can be combined with other Mount Etna private tours.

View of Etna from Helicopter

Private visit to Palazzo Gangi and lunch at the Princess’  House (Palazzo Alliata di Pietratagliata)

While in Sicily, your experience will not be complete without witnessing the wonders of its grand interiors.

Inside the walls of the palaces and villas, you will be enchanted by stories of Sicily’s varied past, while getting a taste for how wealthy Sicilian aristocrats used to live.

During this experience, you will have a unique chance to visit two ancient noble palaces: Palazzo Gangi and Palazzo Alliata di Pietratagliata, both in the city of Palermo.

Palazzo Gangi

Considered the most sumptuous private residence in Sicily, Palazzo Gangi became almost legendary when Luchino Visconti decided to film the magnificent ballroom scene of “Il Gattopardo” (The Leopard) there in 1963.

Palazzo Alliata di Pietratagliata

Palazzo Alliata di Pietratagliata encompasses five centuries of Sicilian art history with its majestic fortified tower, which was the city’s tallest at the end of the fourth century.

The beautifully maintained interiors are one of the finest examples of Sicilian Rococo architecture. The palace has never changed owner, remaining in the same family for six centuries.

The current owners – Princess Signoretta and her husband – live in the palace and with great passion and meticulous dedication have given back to the palace in which splendor has perpetuated over the centuries.

The princess herself will provide the tour of the palace, and you will then be treated to a delicious lunch in one of its finest rooms.

If you want more information about the visit to these palaces and design a private visit get in touch with our travel advisor.

Private guided visit of the Cathedral of Monreale with live organ music

The Norman Cathedral of Monreale rises above the very fertile valley of ‘’La Conca d’oro’’ (‘’The Golden Shell’’) where the almond, orange and olive trees grow.

You will be enchanted by the gold mosaics of the Cathedral, which cover almost the whole interior of the church.

An exclusive tour will let you capture the beauty of the Cathedral, without having to make your way through the crowd of noisy tourists, which can take away from the beauty of this place.

Entering through the majestic bronze portal, made in 1179 by Barisano from Trani and decorated with figures of saints, you can immediately notice the amazing size of this building, 102 meters long and 40 meters large, entirely covered in golden mosaics which cover an astonishing 6340 square meters surface, the second biggest Byzantine mosaic work in the world (the first one is in Saint Sophia, Istanbul).

Inside, you can look around you and take a deep breath.

You’re experiencing Monreale Cathedral empty: as almost nobody else does, or has ever been able to (aside from the Sicilian kings).

Live organ music creates a truly magical atmosphere: you will feel as though your feet have left the ground and that you have been transported to somewhere heavenly.

If you want more information about the tour or book it get in touch with our travel advisor.

Taormina ancient theatre private visit

One of the most remarkable monuments of Sicily is the Ancient Theatre in Taormina, set in a breathtaking location with an unbeatable view of Mount Etna and the beautiful coastline of the Ionian Sea.

The Greek-Roman theater is made up of:

  • The scene
  • The orchestra
  • The auditorium

The theatre was constructed in the third century BC, using the rock of Mount Tauro as its foundation, and it was designed to seat thousands of spectators at one time.

The theatre shape could allow, at the same time, a perfect listening opportunity from any area of the auditorium.

The perfect time to visit the theatre is in the evening when the gates are closed for other visitors, and you are free to wander and appreciate this treasure from a previous lifetime.

All of the passersby will wonder where you’re going as a custodian unlocks the Theatre’s gate for you and walks you right in.

You will be alone with your guide so you can experience the Ancient Theatre as it should be experienced: in tranquility and peace.

Walking inside the theatre, you will feel immediately humbled by the grandeur and resilience of the place. It is truly an antithesis to modern life.

Our exclusive private tour offers a chance to see the Theatre as it was meant to be seen – imposing, impressive and exquisite – this experience will give you memories to last a lifetime!

Taormina has a lot more to offer. If you are planning your stay here make sure to read also: The best things to do in and around Taormina and The best luxury and boutique hotels in Taormina.

If you want more information about the private visit to the theater and book it get in touch with our travel advisor.

View of ancient theatre Taormina

Wine tasting and dinner at the sunset in the most romantic Sicilian winery

For the most romantic experience in Sicily, you cannot do better than a special candlelit dinner in a winery.

Enjoy an unforgettable evening dining among the rows of Nerello Mascalese Vineyards.

The Nerello Mascalese is considered to be the superior red grape variety of Mt. Etna, with the slopes of Europe’s largest and most active volcano providing the perfect conditions for it to thrive.

What better way to try it than amongst the vines themselves, appreciating it at its best: alongside the most complimentary food pairings.

The sunset, Mt. Etna and the vineyards will be the perfect backdrop for your evening: relax in a candlelit setting, prepared just for you.

The table situated on the fertile soil of the volcano, dressed in with fine tableware provides a picture perfect scene.

Sit down to a dinner in which you will savor traditional yet refined dishes of the Sicilian cuisine paired with Etna DOC wines. It will be truly a ‘pinch-me’ moment for romantics and wine lovers alike!

Find out our favorite wineries in Sicily you can visit with a private wine tour or contact us for planning a customised one.

Yoga at Isola Bella during sunrise

One of the most renowned places in Taormina – Isola Bella – is defined as the Pearl of the Mediterranean by the famous German Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden.

On the ‘beautiful island’ you are surrounded by a vast variety of flora and fauna while surrounded by the unique rocky coast of Taormina.

Thanks to its unique nature and geographical form, the island has been declared a monument of historical and artistic interest and value.

Make your way through rocky, tree-lined paths as you make your way to our designated panoramic terrace, prepared just for you with everything you need for a peaceful, invigorating yoga session.

Practicing mindfulness on this special botanical island is an opportunity to connect with yourself and nature at the same time.

Surrounded by the sounds of the waves, we challenge you to find a more tranquil location.

Our expert yoga teacher will guide you on a journey to become at peace in body and mind.

You will be left truly energized for the day and filled with a sense of gratitude and connection to the incredible surroundings you find yourself in.

View from yoga at Isola Bella

Sail with a private yacht in the Aeolian Islands

The Aeolian Islands are some of Sicily’s greatest treasures.

Made up of 7 secluded lands each tied together by the sparkling Ionian Sea.

They consist of:

  • Lipari
  • Vulcano
  • Salina
  • Panarea
  • Stromboli
  • Filicudi
  • Alicudi

Each with its own character, you will not want to pass up the chance to experience them all.

This group of islands is named for Aeolus, the ancient Greek and Roman god of the winds.

Feel this ancient wind in your hair and enjoy the beautiful volcanic archipelago in the Thyrrenian Sea with its active volcanoes and magnificent views.

Each island has its own unique characteristics.

For example, Panarea is a small but enchanting island, the ideal place for a great photo shoot!

The landscape of Panarea is truly unforgettable, looking around you will realise you are surrounded by a mergence of blues: from turquoise to cobalt.

The island of Stromboli is the most recent of the Aeolian islands to have emerged. Stromboli erupts lava, clouds of gas, and ashes, often oozing down “La Sciara” and creating an impressive scene.

The ultimate way to experience these treasures is of course by private yacht.

Cruise between these magical lands in style and freedom, with the opportunity to adjust your plan accordingly. Eat the freshest ingredients onboard, cooked by renowned local chefs, as you sip Sicilian wine and become at one with the sea that surrounds you.

Imagine sitting back on the comfort of your yacht, witnessing volcanic eruptions, endless sea views, and appreciate the rich flora and fauna of these unique islands.

Stepping onto the land, you can enjoy long lunches in the islands’ typical local restaurants, or embark on a walking tour to find out about the tales and traditions of these archaeological gems.

Have an intimate and exclusive aperitivo at sunset in Noto the baroque city

Noto is a small Sicilian baroque city surrounded by orange, almond and olive trees.

The magnificent churches and palazzi are all built using fine local stone that reflects a splendid golden tint and shines in the sunset light. Prepare to be seriously charmed by this Sicilian treasure of a town.

Enjoy a private guided visit that will culminate at the Church of San Carlo Borromeo, along the main street of Noto. This is one of the most stunning baroque buildings designed by the famous 18th-century architect Rosario Gagliardi.

Making your way up the narrow stairs of the tower-façade, you will reach an amazing terrace to enjoy a spectacular view of Noto at sunset and have an exclusive aperitivo on a private terrace.

Simply sit back and appreciate the chance to be amongst the incredible baroque during the golden hour, a stunning scene that not many have the chance to view in such an elevated and undisturbed setting. With an unrestricted view of the stunning Cathedral, relax as you sip on local wine accompanied with the ideal Sicilian appetizers, and say ‘Salute’ to a dream-like day.

View of Noto Cathedral from terrace

Cooking with Mamma and dinner on a private terrace of Ortigia overlooking the Cathedral

This is an ideal experience for those wanting to have a taste of authentic Sicilian home cooking while enjoying one of the most impressive views in the charming island of Ortigia, the old town of Siracusa.

You will be welcomed with open arms by our Sicilian “mamma”, who will show you how to make the most of the freshest ingredients, using traditional methods and recipes for a delicious Sicilian meal, to be enjoyed while sipping a glass of local wine and enjoying a remarkable cathedral view, high above the crowds.

The first activity of the day is a trip to the market with Mamma, who will guide you through this first important step to cooking a genuine Sicilian meal.

Visit the nearby market to learn how to choose the freshest local ingredients, not having travelled far from the Sicilian land & sea.

Then, arriving at Mamma’s apartment, in one of the most beautiful historical buildings in Piazza Duomo, you will be immediately taken back by the breathtaking view of the Cathedral.

Tie your apron and get cooking as Mamma guides you along the way to successfully create a typical Sicilian menu.

Get stuck in as you learn how to make the most of your fresh ingredients to prepare some delicious recipes. You will have the chance to learn some traditional culinary techniques and will certainly become the envy of your foodie friends back home!

Hear how Mamma has been preparing Sicilian specialties in her kitchen the old-fashioned way for years, and discover a few of her culinary secrets, while learning about some traditions and customs of the Sicilian kitchen.

You’ll be enchanted by the passion of Mamma for this cooking art, which is truly infectious and the result of the deep Sicilian love for food and fresh ingredients.

With your meal ready, imagine yourself sitting comfortably while enjoying a delicious aperitivo.

Let yourself be enchanted by the soft light of the sunset with the busy square at your feet.

Admire the most impressive architectural Baroque wonders of Syracuse from the elegant and charming setting of the exclusive terrace.

view of Siracusa in sicily

Sicilian style Ape and Sicilian cart ride in Catania

The Sicilian Cart is the symbol of folklore and craftsmanship. It represents the desire and pursuit of beauty by the Sicilian people – due to its nature of being a practical transportation vehicle used for work, yet made into a stunning piece of art. If you have the pleasure of seeing one, then its intricate and rich beauty will remain vivid in your mind when you think about Sicily.

Today, the Sicilian cart appears primarily at special events and weddings. It is the perfect addition of Sicilian tradition that brings an authentic presence and is loved by guests young and old. Due to its traditional beauty and interesting history, many visitors to Sicily love to get familiar with the Sicilian cart.

Why not sit back and enjoy being at the centre of attention as you ride through the heart of Catania on board a traditional Sicilian colorful cart. Alternatively, you could discover the secrets of Catania through its beautiful buildings and churches onboard a Sicilian Ape Car decorated by a local artist.

You will have the chance to learn about the history of the Sicilian cart and its traditional uses while appreciating its intricate patterns up close.

Sicilian cart experience Catania

To book any of these experiences, contact our team of Sicily experts and we will be delighted to plan your perfect itinerary of Sicily. We will help you to create lasting memories of this special place that stay with you for a lifetime.