Southern Italy- Tropea (Calabria) Sicily, Matera
August 22 - September 4
Day 1- Land at LeMezia Terme Airport- 1 hour Transfer to Tropea Calabria. Check into hotel, relax, Group Dinner this evening.
Day 2- Lounge on the Beach- The Tropea beaches look like they were made to impress. The glittering waters with gentle waves make the ocean great for swimming and smooth, white-sand beaches are ideal for lounging around, making a picture-perfect day. You can take your pick of free public beaches or spend a little extra and go to a private beach where you can rent loungers, umbrellas, and other beach gear for a small fee. The temperature stays on the warmer side, so you can hit the beach most of the year. Evening, stroll the city streets of Tropea and Take in a stunning sunset on one of the cliffs overlooking the sea.
Tropea is known for its cliffside shops and architecture - it is a town built on cliffs. So while you can admire the beaches and water below, you can also gaze at the beautiful sunsets in the distance. The dramatic cliffs provide the perfect backdrop for the gorgeous sunsets. If you’re not so keen on swinging your legs at the edge of a cliff, you can lounge on the terrace of one of the many cafes that are situated on the west side cliffs.
Day 3-Full day cruise- A boat trip to discover one of the most beautiful stretches of sea in Calabria with clear blue water, a sandy and sometimes rocky seabed; with numerous fish and aquatic plants that have chosen this part of the sea as their natural habitat, the Costa degli Dei. A picturesque landscape between beaches and coves accessible only by boat, we will serve a large aperitif, lunch will consist of a pasta with fish and fresh fruit. The Blue Ocean motorboat is equipped with separate toilets for men and women, a bar and a well-equipped kitchen, sun loungers and stern ladders that allow you to go up or down for swimming in the sea.
Day 4-Short morning trip to admire the Benedectine Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell’Isola. The Santa Maria dell'Isola is an iconic structure in Tropea. Renovated in 1905 after an earthquake, the church still maintains its original ~vibe~ (even though we don’t know the original construction date - we do know it was some time between the 6th and 9th-century). But this church looks like it just rose out of the cliff, it’s just so seamlessly integrated into it. Be sure to not only stop and gaze up at this magnificent structure but also take the time to venture to the top and take a look inside.
Afternoon- Free to Relax on the Beach or take a stroll through the city streets of Tropea.
Day 5- Depart Tropea and head for the Ferry to Sicily. A short drive and we will arrive in the area of Taormina where we will stay for 6 nights.
This day we will check-in, relax and enjoy the scenery. Group dinner this evening.
Days 6 & 7-Taormina- Perched on a cliff at 200 meters high, Taormina offers an incredible view of the sea and the Etna volcano. Today we can stroll The Corso Umberto. THE main street that crosses the whole center of Taormina. Flanked on both sides by a succession of luxury boutiques, clothes, jewelry, and souvenirs, it makes you understand why Taormina’s nickname is “the Sicilian Saint Tropez”. On our way we will find the Piazza IX Aprile, one of the best viewpoint in Taormina, with a huge panoramic terrace overlooking the bay below and the Etna. It is the perfect place to take beautiful photos, especially at sunset.
Enjoy its typical atmosphere with musicians, acrobats and painters. There are so many more things to see and do in Taormina, visit the Greek Theatre, the most famous monument in Taormina, stroll the coastline of Isola Bella, You can’t miss it, it’s the little island at the bottom of Taormina, the one you can see on every postcards! This cove is simply stunning, with its pebble beach and crystal clear waters. On the spot, there are many activities available to you: snorkeling, diving, boat ride, jet ski rental or simply relaxing. Time must be set aside to relax and enjoy the beaches and sip Spritz cocktails and “enjoy the Sicilian Dolci Vita!”
Day 8- Mt. Etna Winery Tour and Lunch- We cannot tame an active volcano but we can ascend its slopes in between belches and blasts, (possibly as it is currently known to be active), Here on the coast of Sicily, at altitudes of nearly 11,000 feet, an ever-increasing number of winemakers have been experimenting with native Nerello grapes in black volcanic soil, making wines that draw comparisons toBarolo, Barbaresco, and Burgundy. We will spend the day touring and tasting the native Sicilian varieties and enjoying lunch.
Day 9- Day Cruise to the Aolian Islands- The Aeolian Islands are very chic and are the summer destination for some of Italy's most stylish visitors. We will make your way to nearby Milazzo where regular boats leave for the islands. There we will enjoy a day on Lipari or perhaps a boat trip around Stromboli - a live and active volcano!
Day 10- Visit Palermo/Monrele/Cefalu-If desired, today we can tour the northern section at the top of the island. With summers that last from April to October and mild winters, Palermo is a year-round destination. Early spring and late summer are possibly the best for fewer visitors with warm, but not hot temperatures. The city is known for its rich history, multi-cultural influences, architecture and most amazingly, its gastronomy- Nothing like the “street” food in Palermo! So much to see and do in Palermo, a few hours will barely scratch the surface of what Palermo has to offer!
According to an old Sicilian proverb, whoever visits Palermo without visiting Monreale arrives a donkey and leaves an ass. The reason: this humble hillside town claims one of Sicily's greatest cultural treasures, the World Heritage–listed Cattedrale di Monreale. It is one of the greatest examples of Norman architecture in Europe, and its mosaic-encrusted interiors are pure medieval majesty. Architectural wonders aside, the town also offers commanding views over Palermo, the Conca d'Oro (Golden Valley) and the Tyrrhennian Sea. Together, they make a side trip to Monreale – 7km southwest of central Palermo – practically non-negotiable.
We must find time in this day to fit in a visit to Cefalù. Cefalù has a fantastic cathedral, charming streets, a beautiful beach and a fun atmosphere. It is one of Sicily's top summer destinations.
Day 11-Depart Sicily Ferry to Mainland-Reggio-Calabria 4 Hour drive to Matera
Day 12-Matera- Matera is located in a remote corner of southern Italy in the small region Basilicata. It’s not the easiest place to reach which is why it has managed to remain relatively unknown, especially to foreign tourists, although since it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 visitor numbers are slowly growing. In Matera you’ll spend a lot of time in caves. You may sleep in a cave, eat in a cave, drink an aperitivo in a cave, and even view modern sculpture in a cave. The ancient neighbourhoods, known as sassi, are a series of grottoes carved out of limestone, teetering on the edge of a ravine.
It’s one of the most unique and spectacular places to be visited in Italy or anywhere in the world.
It still has an undiscovered air as you wander the ancient sassi you will marvel that Matera wasn’t on everyone’s “must visit” list
Day 13-Depart Matera for Hotel near LeMezia Terme Airport
*All tour Itineraries are subject to change based on group size, availability and group preference.