Wonderful views of the city and harbour can be enjoyed from the hotel rooftop terrace. The service is very friendly and competent. Guests are offered information on various walking tours (featuring aspects of Norman, Gothic and Baroque Palermo). The rooms are simple and clean, and a small bar is available. There is a parking garage about 200 m from the hotel.
Palace of the Normans: In the heart of the historic center of Palermo, the Palace of the Normans dates back to 9th century; today it is the seat of Sicilian Parliament. The palazzo also holds the Cappella Palatina, a gorgeous, gleaming example of some of the world's most beautiful Byzantine mosaics
San Giovanni degli Eremiti: it is a symbol of the city of Palermo. Though its name derives from the time it was a Benedictine abbey, Byzantine, Arab, and Norman influences make San Giovanni degli Eremiti an ideal spot for examining the architectural intersection of the many cultures that influenced the look of Palermo
Palermo Cathedral: it is a building of colossal proportions and varying architectural styles. Marvel at its Moorish, Gothic, and neoclassical exterior, then head inside to view Norman tombs, Greek and Roman sarcophagi, and the jewel-encrusted crown of Catherine of Aragon.
Vucciria Market: from clothing and crafts to produce stands overflowing with Mediterranean delights, the 700-year-old Vucciria Market is a great introduction to the sights, smells, and citizens of Palermo.
The largest of the Aeolian Islands: Lipari Rental car pick-up Type: Fiat Punto Evo 1.2 or similar Pick-up location: Palermo, City/Downtown Via Cefalu Distance: 200 km Travel time: 3:00 h
Cefalù lies along the route. the picturesque port occupies a narrow strip of land between the sea and a towering cliff. The Norman cathedral dating back to the 12th century is one of the city's main sites.
The hotel stands directly on the coast on the west side of the peninsula known as the Western Riviera. The rooms are comfortable and charming, each featuring a scheme based on Sicilian mythology. Thanks to the warm climate in Milazzo, the balconies with beautiful sunset views over the Aolian Islands can be used almost all year around.
The Aeolian Islands: are seven small inhabited Italian islands off the northern shore of Sicily, close to the tip of Italy's toe. The islands are popular as a holiday destination, offering sunshine, beaches and natural beauty.
Lipari: it is the largest and most populated of the Aeolian Islands. The island has the biggest town of the archipelago, also called Lipari; a lively busy place with picturesque streets, an attractive harbour and a historic castle-citadel.
Lipari town: it is a very pleasant place, with pretty streets and lanes perfect for wandering around. There are some elegant historic town-houses as well as plenty of more humble island-dwellings, with balconies bedecked with flowers, washing, onions and peppers. The town has a very cheery atmosphere, and although tourists must get used to touts offering boat trips, the local people in Lipari are all very friendly and welcoming. There are a lot of appealing shops selling souvenirs and good-quality local food and drink; including huge quantities of the local capers and Malvasia wine - both very good items to take home, if your luggage will allow it/li>
The Terme di San Calogero: are thermal springs on Lipari which have been used for thermal baths for thousands of years. Archaeologists think that some of the structures around the springs date back to the Myceneans.
Famous image: Mt. Etna behind Greek amphitheatre To eastern Sicily Side roads: 90 km Travel time: 1:30 h
The most scenic stretch of coast right begins where the motorway turns off towards the interior. We therefore advise taking a detour to the Capo Peloro at the tip of the Strait of Messina. The main attraction in Messina is the Church of the Annunziata dei Catalani. The 12th century cathedral has survived the numerous earthquakes that have rocked the city. You will approach Taormina at the foot of Mount Etna with views of the mainland to your left.
Views of the Mediterranean Sea, Mount Etna and the ancient city of Taormina: the hotel is located below the cliff on which the town of Castelmola is perched. The carefully renovated historical villa was designed to harmonize with the environment, yet it offers all the comfort and conveniences expected of a modern hotel. The facility has large, individually decorated bedrooms, an in-house restaurant and a garden with a swimming pool.
Greek Theater: The theater, built into the hillside, has excellent acoustics and spectacular views of the sea and Mt. Etna
Medieval Quarter: A clocktower gate serves as the starting point for Taormina's picturesque medieval section with its narrow streets and old shops now selling modern clothing, crafts, and souvenirs
Corso Umberto: the lively main street through town, Corso Umberto, is lined with shops and bars. One of the best squares is Piazza IX Aprile with great sea views.
Piazza del Duomo: a Baroque fountain with a centaur, the symbol of Taormina, is at the center of square
Medieval Castle and Madonna della Rocca: The ruins of a medieval castle are in a picturesque position at the top of Monte Tauro where you'll find outstanding views. There's also a sanctuary from 1640, Madonna della Rocca.
Near Taormina - Beaches: below Taormina there are beaches, coves and a peaceful sea perfect for swimming. There are paths between the town and the coast.
Near Taormina - Mount Etna: There are many day tours available to Mount Etna. The scenic Circumetnea Railroad circles Mount Etna and stops at several villages. Mount Etna offers good hiking and skiing.
Detour to Mount Etna Distance: 100 km Travel time: 2:00 h
The motorway runs parallel to the coast past the city of Catania. The short stage allows time for a trip up the active volcano: the ascent by car ends at Rifugio Sapienza. From there, an excursion to the top by cable car and jeep can be booked.
Two sunny floors in a historical palazzo and a top waterfront location are two key factors for this B&B in the Syracuse Old Town. The owners look after the comfort of all guests with a delicious breakfast featuring freshly baked bread and ricotta (lunch and dinner available upon request), and a veranda overlooking the Old Town and the sea.
The Greek Theater: the largest theater in Sicily, was begun in the 6th century BC and held 15,000 spectators
The Roman Amphitheater: one of the largest arenas of its kind, dates from the 3rd century AD
The Castle of Eurialo: was an important Greek military installation built in the 4th century BC
Santa Lucia Church: it incorporated a Greek temple to Athena into its building and added a Baroque facade. It's built on the spot where Santa Lucia, Syracuse's patron saint, was martyred in 304AD. On Santa Lucia Day, December 13, a huge silver statue is paraded from the duomo to the church.
Ortygia Island: has a small but interesting historic center. It's duomo started as a 5th century BC Doric temple and was turned into a church in the 7th century AD. It has a dramatic Baroque facade. On the island you'll find temples, churches, squares, shops, and seaside bars. There's also an aquarium with Mediterranean sea life, fresh water fish, and tropical habitats.
Valley of Temples: enchanted worlds Southern coast of Sicily Distance: 260 km Travel time: 4:30 h
Key sites along the southern coast include Ragusa, the ancient city that seems perched on the side of a cliff, the Villa Romana di Casale, a palace built by a wealthy Roman patrician near the cities of Piazza Armerina and Enna, which is referred to as the "Balcony of Sicily" because of its fabulous view of the southern coast.
The location near the Concordia Temple with a view of a small natural park is incomparable. Although the style of the hotel seems classic from the outside, the furnishings are very modern. The most important feature of every room is the window looking onto the Valley of Temples. The excellent restaurant will serve local food and wine. Guests can refresh in the onsite swimming pool.
Valley of the Temples Archaeological Park: it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It's a large sacred area where monumental Greek temples were erected in the fourth and fifth centuries BC. They are some of the largest and best preserved Greek temples outside of Greece.
The Temple of Herakles: it is the oldest of the temples still standing, dating to around 500BC. It's the first temple you come to when entering the Collina dei Templi section
The Temple of Concord: it is the most intact of the temples. It's better preserved because it was used as a church. Sitting on the hill, it can be seen from a distance and offers good views of the valley below.
Giardino della Kolimbetra: it is an ancient olive and citrus garden
Northern tip of Sicily Distance: 180 km Travel time: 3:30 h
Just past Secca Grande you may want to take a detour into the mountains for a visit to Caltabellotta, one of the oldest villages on the island. The caves at the bottom of the cliff contains signs of prehistoric civilization.
The farm near Erice features elegant rooms overlooking the ivy-covered courtyard, the main house or the orange grove. The olive grove affords views of Erice, the sea and the Aegadian Islands. Guests can even sample products from the farm own winery. Possible activities include hiking, swimming, cycling and day trips to the nearby archaeological sites.
Castello di Venere: in the southeast corner of Erice stands the Norman castle that is now in two parts: Castello di Venere and Castello Pepoli. The castle was built over the impregnable rock in Erice, making its defenses rather secure. It was also built over the ruins of the Temple of Venus Erycina and contains the sacred well from the temple; the castle also has remains of a Phoenician house and a Roman bath.
Chiesa Matrice: the attractive building dates to the fourteenth century, when it was constructed using materials from the ancient Temple of Venus. The church has a surprising and appealing nineteenth-century neo-gothic interior.
Churches: other particularly interesting churches include the attractive Chiesa di San Giuliano, home to a charming painted wood statue of San Giuliano, and the Chiesa di San Martino, a church complex with eighteenth and nineteenth-century paintings, more painted wood sculptures and a crypt.
To the capital Distance: 80 km Travel time: 1:10 h
The first part of the route runs past the Golfo di Castellamare. The west side of the cape between San Vito and Scopello, called Zingaro, is one of the few nature preserves in Sicily. Fantastic hiking paths lead along the coast.
Rental car drop off Drop off location: Palermo, Airport
Upon booking you will receive:
» the names, addresses and telephone numbers of each accommodation » vouchers » detailed directions to each accommodation