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Isola Bella, Taormina, Sicily

Best of Sicily

8-day tailor-made self-drive from £795 pp incl. flights

Free car hire on this itinerary


Short description

Let pretty drives and iconic hotels afford you the chance to explore Sicily’s widely varied highlights


  • Uncover Sicily’s diverse heritage, from Greek wonders to medieval severity
  • Stay in some of the island’s finest hotels, private beaches included
  • Explore with backcountry and coastal drives
  • Watch the sun set over Mt. Etna from a Greek amphitheatre
  • Stay right among the millennia-old Valley of the Temples

In Brief

  • 1 Night Palermo
  • 2 Nights Agrigento
  • 2 Nights Cefalù
  • 2 Nights Taormina


Recommended for:
Beach | Food & wine | History & culture | Self-drive

From ancient cities and medieval villages to white sands and olive groves, this comprehensive road trip gives you the flexibility to explore Sicily’s richly varied delights. While the likes of its capital Palermo and mountaintop Taormina feature everything from remarkable cathedrals to Arab-Norman spectacles, there’s also Agrigento’s millennia-old temple wonders and Cefalù’s beaches, as golden as its fishermen’s houses. You’ll link it all with stays in iconic hotels and drives that bring you between spectacular coastal scenery and pretty backcountry routes.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1

Begin your holiday with complimentary airport lounge indulgence before your flight out to Palermo. From its Byzantine mosaics and Arabesque domes to its frescoed basilicas and Gothic palaces, Sicily's effervescent capital wears its diverse history on its sleeve. No other European city has hosted such a wide variety of civilisations. In between, there's a buzzing restaurant scene, a wealth of the art galleries and the small matter of Italy's largest opera house. On arrival, you'll pick up your hire car at the airport to drive to your central accommodation. Choose between a pair of 19th-century Art Nouveau gems, with the Deluxe option particularly impressive for its historic frescoes and sea views.

Stay: Grand Hotel et Des Palmes (Superior) or Grand Hotel Villa Igiea (Deluxe)

Days 2-3

Make the drive south, through the rolling Sicilian countryside, before weaving along the coast to your home for the next two nights – a converted 18th-century villa just 200m from the temples of Agrigento. Indeed, you'll have the Temple of Concordia right on your doorstep, a true masterpiece of Doric art dating back to the fifth century BC. However, it's just one of the stars of the Valley of Temples. This priceless series of golden-stone eponyms is strung out along a ridge line, host to gorgeous views out over the sea. Together, it's the largest collection of early Greek architecture outside of the homeland. 

Stay: Hotel Villa Athena, Agrigento (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Days 4-5

Swap coasts, back through Sicily's vineyard-dotted interior, to arrive at tiny Cefalù. Combining some of Sicily's finest beaches, all white sands and blue waters, with perhaps its greatest examples of Arab-Norman architecture, this medieval jewel is a true highlight. Wander its cobbled streets past honey-coloured buildings to discover a beautifully mosaicked 12th-century cathedral, charming squares and superb seafood restaurants that serve up the day's catch. Our Superior option here comes with a private beach, while the Deluxe alternative offers further Mediterranean charms, its traditional whitewash set among pretty clifftop gardens.

Stay: Alberi de Paradiso (Superior) or Hotel Le Calette (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Days 6-7

Today's gorgeous coastal drive will bring you past secluded coves and yet more of those sandy beaches to Taormina in the island's northeast. Even 23 centuries ago it was famed for its beauty, with its ancient Greek amphitheatre commanding spectacular views out over to snow-capped Mt. Etna and the island's golden beach curves. It's a sight shared with the San Domenico Palace Hotel, built as a Dominican monastery in 1430 and now one of Italy's most romantic establishments. The Villa Sant'Andrea also excites with a private beach, infinity swimming pool and luxuriously marbled rooms. However, you'll want to explore Taormina's varied past, evidenced in its medieval cathedral-fortress, English gardens and Gothic palaces.

Stay: San Domenico Palace Hotel (Superior) or Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Day 8

Continue down the coast to Catania, dropping off your hire car at the airport to make your flight home.

Meals: B



Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Superior Deluxe

8-day tailor-made self-drive from £795 incl. flights


Low Season

from £795 pp. incl. flights

High Season

from £1,205 pp. incl. flights

Valid for travel: April to October 2017

Package includes:

  • Complimentary UK airport lounge access
  • Return flights between the UK and Palermo and back from Catania
  • 8 days car hire
  • 7 nights accommodation in a mix of 4* and 5* hotels on a B & B basis

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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