Palermo, Agrigento, Piazza Armerina, Syracuse, Valletta, Mosta, Gozo, Mdina
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
The ancient lives, modern wonders, and cultural pleasures of Malta and Sicily surpass all expectation. Your custom-tailored tour of Sicily and Malta immerses you in unparalleled splendor, from ancient Greek temples to medieval fortresses. The protective ramparts of small towns create a fairytale ambiance for you to enjoy. Baroque palaces frame charming cobblestone piazzas. You will experience the luxuries of country estates and the comforts of lavish hotels overlooking the sparkling Mediterranean...
Palermo - Arriving in Spectacular Sicily
The wonders of Palermo encapsulate the rich history and vibrant culture across the island of Sicily. The azure waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea lap at the edges of the city. Fishing boats wade in the marina. Jovial marketplaces fill with colorful produce and fresh seafood. Vendors call out to one another and passersby with conviction in an attempt to call attention to their lush displays. The Mediterranean atmosphere thrives in the eclectic mixture of traditions ranging from Arab markets to Spanish siestas.
The Cathedral displays an unforgettable Norman character, with prominent rounded arches crossing over one another, and curved parapets. A 13th-century mosaic of the Virgin Mary glitters with a gold background adorning the doorway. An Arabic inscription decorates a column in the 14th-century Spanish portico, illuminating the history of the structure having fluctuated between a cathedral and a mosque. Your private transfer meets you at Falcone-Borsellino Airport and escorts you into the heart of the city to your hotel. You can relax in the charming atmosphere of the central courtyard, listening to the trickling water of the ornate fountain.
Palermo - Old Quarters and Alluring Cathedrals
Palm trees line the wide boulevards of the city. The sunlight washes over the Baroque palaces. After breakfast, your private guide meets you at your hotel, ready to escort you on a fabulous tour of Palermo and the nearby town of Monreale. Consider learning more about your Sicily travel companies which strive to perfect your ideal Sicilian adventure. You reach Piazza Vigliena, also known as Quattro Canti, a Baroque square where two main streets intersect. You can hear the jubilant calls from the outdoor market. The aroma of fresh oranges drifts along the streets. The opulent facades of the buildings encircling the piazza are nearly identical.
Fountains filter water into small pools. Statues decorate small niches in the upper tiers of the buildings, framed by pristine columns. Much of the beauty of Palermo and Sicily is captured in a stroll past artifacts and architecture that turn a normal street corner into an open-air museum. The town of Monreale is known for its artistic Norman cathedral, filled with sensational mosaics emboldened by a radiant gold background. The town is quaint and overlooks the valley. The west portal contains 42 square panels depicting scenes from the Bible. The two bronze doors of the main entryway provide foresight to the grandeur of the interior.
Agrigento - Enchantment near Agrigento
Fishermen return from their early morning excursion into the sea with exceptional delights. Vendors pack the fresh seafood at the Vucceria market over ice. Local stalls prepare the food for you, making it the ultimate wilderness-to-table experience with its unique marketplace culture. After breakfast, your private transfer meets you in the hotel lobby. You leave behind the old city, noticing the church and cathedral domes fading behind the modern skyline.
You arrive at your resort-style accommodation near the city of Agrigento, where you will fall in love with the Sicilian countryside. The farmhouse decor offers a tranquil and comfortable atmosphere to relax in. Palm trees and North African plants provide a pleasant aroma encircling the landscape. The quiet pool is refreshing with a view of the distant mountains rolling on the horizon. Native olive trees continue to grow, allowing locals to cultivate the land and produce luxurious extra-virgin olive oil.
Agrigento - Introducing the Ancient World of Sicily
In the morning, the aroma of fresh espresso accompanies breakfast. The quiet breeze sweeps across the olive orchard and shakes the leaves, dropping loose olives onto the rustic earth. After your meal, your guide meets you in the hotel lobby, whisking you away to the edge of a Greek settlement known as the Valley of the Temples. The archeological park sits on the edges of the active city of Agrigento. You can hear the fast-paced movement of the city before you enter into the valley below.
The ancient city of Akragas was one of the largest Greek cities in the Mediterranean around the 5th century BC. The city overtook the terraced levels of the plateau, and numerous temple ruins remain. Your guide leads you to the preserved columns of the Temple of Concordia. The Doric architecture was transformed into a Christian basilica in the 18th century but was originally erected in the 5th century BC. The tapered columns and raised platform give the structure the illusion of greater height. The remaining simplistic design adds to the grandeur of the architecture.
Agrigento - Symbols of Sicily
The aroma of fresh olives is savory. The taste of fresh espresso is rejuvenating. The morning view of the countryside from your window is stimulating. After breakfast, your private transfer meets you at the hotel and escorts you to the stunning preserved Roman villa of Villa del Casale, located on the outskirts of the beautiful town of Piazza Armerina. The villa contains splendid mosaics that encompass a total area of 37,673 square feet, with exceptional depictions of life during the Roman Empire. You continue to the hilltop town of Caltagirone.
Stairways meander up and down the hills between quaint buildings. Ceramic tiles decorate the Scalinata di Santa Maria del Monte, the stairway leading from Piazza Municipio to the church of Santa Maria del Monte. The town is known for its ceramics, which are highlighted on the 142 steps connecting the lower reaches of the town to the upper, older tiers. The tiles are hand painted and add a stunning dimension to the historic streets of the cityscape. On the 24th and 25th of July, during the Feast of St. James, the entire stairway lights up with more than 4,000 oil lamps, for an unforgettable quintessential Sicilian moment.
Valletta - Connecting Syracuse to Malta
Syracuse is an active and vibrant city, connecting contemporary lifestyle with historic architecture. Syracuse was once the largest city in the region, with a population greater than that of even Athens. In the morning, the sunlight washes over the 5th-century BC Greek Theater that continues to rise up the hillside of the Parco Archeologico della Neapolis. There are 61 rows of seats fashioned out of the rock. The entire diameter of the complex stretches 452 feet. It is easy to imagine the plays of Sophocles and Euripides performed in such a magnificent location.
After breakfast, your private transfer escorts you from the stunning city of Syracuse to the active port of Pozzalo where you board the ferry to Malta. The azure Mediterranean water mists into the air around the boat. The wind is fresh and carries a sweet aroma. You reach the grand harbor of Valletta, where your private transfer is waiting to greet you. Large, historic fortifications surround the magnificent port with bastions, defensive towers, and antique cannons. Smaller waterways branch off from the main harbor, allowing yachts and fishing boats to weigh anchor deeper inside the island. Your transfer escorts you to your fabulous hotel offering a remarkable view of the harbor.
Valletta - Visiting Valletta
The Mediterranean laps at the shores of the harbor. The capital city of Valletta glows a gentle gold in the sunlight. The city maintains its 16th-century elegance in its small but radiant stature. UNESCO has described the Valletta as “one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world.” In the morning, the aroma of pastizzi, a savory pastry often stuffed with ricotta, drifts out of local cafes. You are excited to venture out into the city and explore its historic streets. The Grand Master’s Palace is marvelous and stands in Palace Square in the heart of the city.
The exterior shows the edifice’s prowess but not its prestige. When you enter the palace, you find the sumptuousness of a regal lifestyle. The building was the seat of the Maltese parliament until 2015, but the palace remains the official residence of the president. The armory has over 5,000 suits of 16th to 18th-century armor. The breastplate worn by Jean Louis de Nogaret de la Valette is made of steel inlaid with gold. A large frieze depicting the Great Siege of 1565, during which the Knights of Malta fended off an attack by the mighty Ottoman Empire, decorates the Supreme Council Hall. The glory of the 16th-century battle continues to ring proudly around the shores of the island.
Valletta - Untangling the Beauty of Malta
In the morning, light reflects off of the still waters of the harbor. The golden hues of the Valletta return. After breakfast, your guide escorts you from the hotel to the village of Mosta. The dome church rises above the energetic town, sitting atop the level plateau. The celebrated church was erected in the 19th century. The interior shimmers with blue, gold, and white colors around the six-columned portico. The design was modeled after the Pantheon in Rome. The dome stands 200 feet tall and is visible from many areas of the island. There are 16 ceiling windows, allowing the natural light to pour into the nave.
The entire edifice is marvelous, down to the replica bomb positioned to the left of the altar. The monument commemorates the 1942 bombing of the church when 300 parishioners attended mass. The bomb failed to detonate and has since been referred to as the “Miracle of Mosta.” You continue to Mdina, the former ancient capital of Malta. Sensational ramparts continue to surround the city. The medieval walls enclose a labyrinth of narrow streets winding between old sandstone buildings. The sun casts the city in a rosy light. Trees provide shade in the tranquil courtyards. When you enter the citadel, the enchanting atmosphere overtakes you. Stone lions flank the 18th-century main gate, and the elegance of the old world surrounds you.
Valletta - Calypso’s Legendary Isle
In the morning, the coat of arms of Malta is visibly etched into the parapets of buildings and the frames of fountains. The aroma of fresh espresso wafts from street-side cafes. Charming window displays showcase glinting jewelry. After breakfast, you make your way to the harbor and set out for the radiant island of Gozo. The idyllic Mediterranean landmass is home to quaint fishing villages and stoic bays. The area was described in Homer’s Odyssey as the Calypso’s Isle. Verdant hills create a pastoral landscape rolling away from the azure shores.
Goats graze on small farms. Sandy beaches encircle the coastline framing the crystal clear water. The Ggantija Temples were erected in the 4th century BC. The temples are believed to be the oldest freestanding monuments in the world, predating the pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge in southern England. The walls were constructed of stone and reach a height of almost 20 feet in places. Several deities are found in the rear niche. The splendor of the temples is in its size and age, connecting ancient myth, mysterious cultures, and modern curiosity.
Valletta - Memorable Malta and Sensational Sicily
In the morning, you look out to the harbor and see the marvelous blue waters of the Mediterranean. You can’t help but think of the remarkable rock-strewn Bay of San Blas on the island of Gozo. You recall the silky sand glowing alluringly next to the azure waters. Prickly-pear hedges grew out of the terraced fields. The water was so clear that you could see straight to the seafloor. Today you find yourself taking a morning stroll around St. John’s Co-Cathedral. The Baroque art of the interior accentuates the gilded vaults and the polychrome marble floors. Soon your private transfer will meet you at your hotel, ready to escort you to Malta International Airport, but for now, you can bask in the sophisticated décor of the cathedral and enjoy the city one final time.
- Discover the elaborate ancient Greek ruins of magnificent temples on a private tour of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento
- Explore the stunning prehistoric Ggantija Temples on the Maltese island of Gozo
- Stroll along the preserved 15th-century streets of the UNESCO Heritage city of Valletta, the capital of Malta
- View the tremendous Roman mosaics at the preserved ancient estate of Villa del Casale
- Experience the vivacious culture of Palermo’s food markets, filled with vibrant produce, fresh seafood, and exuberant character
- Relish the fairytale ambiance in the historic town of Mdina in Malta, enclosed by medieval ramparts
The treasures of Sicily and Malta transcend history. Your 10-day tour of Sicily and Malta leads you on a cultural discovery through famous cities and ancient artifacts. Prehistoric weapons provide insight into the lives of the first civilizations in Sicily. Fishers traverse the waters in the morning in search of the perfect catch for a seaside city. Ancient temples and Baroque churches pepper the landscape. The beauty of islands is invigorating. You arrive in Palermo, where your private transfer is waiting at the airport to greet you. The city is exciting, filled with Norman and Arab architecture spanning more than 1,000 years.
The following morning, your guide meets you at the hotel ready to take you on the first of many private Sicily tours. Traverse the wide boulevards. See the stunning Medieval and Baroque architecture of the city before exploring the Arab-Norman style of the Monreale Cathedral. The next day takes you to a charming estate in the countryside near Agrigento where you can relax overlooking the vast landscape. Your guide leads you through a detailed tour of the Valley of the Temples to witness divine Greek temples and the splendor of Kolymbetra Garden.
Next, you witness the exuberant mosaics at the Roman estate of Villa del Casale, and traverse the hillside artistic charms of Caltagirone, en route to Syracuse. Your private transfer escorts you to the port of Pozzalo, where you board a ferry to the city of Valletta, the capital of the island Republic of Malta. Your guide greets you in the morning and leads you through the fabulous streets of Valletta on a private tour of the city’s graceful palaces, winding streets, and magnificent harbor.
Enjoy the quaint village of Mosta, and visit the Church of St. Mary. Continue to Malta’s ancient capital city of Mdina to absorb its continuing historical charm. Travel to the island of Gozo with your guide for a private tour of ancient treasures. Visit the Ggantija temples and enjoy the views of island’s natural wonders before returning to Valletta for the evening. On your final day, your private transfer meets you at the hotel. He escorts you to Malta International Airport with plenty of time to catch your flight home.
$2,745 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
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Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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