The Active Gourmet Travel

Sicily - Daily schedule

Sign up for 30 April to 17 May 2018

NZ$8950 twin share


Come to Sicily with The Active Gourmet Travel – you'll be so glad you did!

Day 1

To Mondello (near Palermo). Stay in a beachfront hotel and enjoy an introductory Sicilian feast.

Day 2

Visit Palermo’s markets and secret alleyways guided by a local. Then back to Mondello to soak up the sun and sea.

Day 3

Transfer to Scopello via Monreale. In coastal Castellamare, enjoy the first of our famed picnics, then tonight, before dinner at the hotel, there will be a surprise tasting session.

Day 4

Head to Lo Zingaro National Park and walk the coastal track through spring flowers. Alternatively, inspect the coastal grottoes from a high-speed boat! Later, a picnic beside sparkling coves before returning to lounge by the pool, or to gobble gelato in town. Choose your own dinner spot in Scopello.

Day 5

Transfer to Erice via San Vito Lo Capo, self-proclaimed world capital of fish couscous. Explore Erice, a mountaintop town reputedly first settled by Greek gods. The tiny cobbled streets harbour quality shops and fine medieval buildings. Tonight a tutored tasting of the wines of West Sicily with local food treats.

Day 6

Choices today: head over to the island of Favignana, once centre of a huge tuna fishing operation, perhaps hire a scooter to explore the island where wild capers grow, or visit the slat pans and the town of Masala. Return to Erice by funicular. 

Day 7

Off to the south coast at Marinella via sea of vines. Dinner tonight at the resort.

Day 8

This morning, a cooking session at the resort, using local produce. Lunch – you've made it! In the afternoon, relax on the beach. Dinner tonight at one of the best restaurants on the south coast.

Day 9

A tutored tasting at the best-known local winery and an optional trip to the nearby Selinunte Temples and a walk in the reserve.

Day 10

Transfer to the art deco city of Modica, to explore its magnificent building and its cheese making and chocolate production. On the way stop at Donnafugata Castle. Choose your own spot to dine tonight.

Day 11

In the Modica area enjoy the Baroque architecture. A special visit top a loca dairy farm to see production and ageing of the famed Ragusan cheese.

Day 12

Transfer to Siracusa where you will be staying in a hotel a stone’s throw from the water. En route, visit the site of the Allies landing in Sicily, and lunch at a fisherman's cottage before visiting the beautiful old former tuna settlement of Marzamemi.

Day 13

To the very colourful Ortigia market before a day free to explore the Greek and Roman monuments, the modern shops or to take a boat trip around the coast. Dinner tonight will be created at a local cooking school from produce bought at the market.

Day 14

Spend the morning in Baroque Noto hunting down the island’s best gelato and admiring the rapid rebuilding programme undertaken so skilfully after the long-ago earthquake. Afternoon at leisure. Pre-dinner aperitivi before overlooking the sea.

Day 15

Explore the rugged slopes of Mt Etna, by four-wheel drive, ski-lift, and on foot. Pause in Catania before heading to Linguaglossa, a small typical Sicilian town on the northern slopes on Mt Etna. Later you will have a tutored tasting of the wines of the Etna region before dinner.

Day 16

A day to soak up the Etna region – walk on the slopes, mountain bike, visit reputed wineries, or see the beautiful Alcantara Gorge. Later, a cooking school conducted in a famous local manor-house, followed by dinner in the house accompanied by wines from the count and countessa’s carefully-stocked cellar.

Day 17

A free day out in the glorious hilltop town of Taormina. Descend by funicular to the beach to enjoy a wine before heading back for our arrivederci dinner at a historic villa with a Michelin star.

Day 18

Pass through unruly fields of pistachios around the town of Bronte as you head to Catania airport and the rest of your travels.

Tour Dates & Cost

Sign up for 30 April–17 May 2018!

NZ$8950 pp twin share. A single supplement applies (if you have an individual room).

Included in the cost of the 18-day tour:

  • Daily support vehicle to carry your luggage, plus any purchases you make in the markets and antique shops can easily be transferred.
  • Option to drive your own rental vehicle (surcharge applies).
  • Quality accommodation in properties of character, with private facilities. We stay two to three nights on average in each place, using the base to explore the environs.
  • An experienced facilitator with knowledge of the attractions, the people, and the history of the area plus local guides.
  • All breakfasts, including exquisite homemade preserves.
  • Twelve gourmet dinners featuring the best of regional specialties, eight lunches including spectacular picnics — not forgetting the special arrivederci feast on our final night. Several times you’ll get the chance to follow-your-own-nose for midday and evening meals.
  • Four tutored wine tastings, four themed cooking sessions conducted by Sicilian cooks.
  • Rest days and independent exploration possible – we supply detailed maps which allow a choice of routes.
  • Literature, including a detailed itinerary, clothing guide, reading guide, use of large-scale maps of the area, and general advice on travelling in Europe.
  • Daily briefing and guidance.
  • A sense of adventure compulsory!


  • Castle and museum entry fees – you choose!
  • Gratuities and drinks.
  • Golf club hire and green fees, where applicable.
  • Visas and passports, as necessary.
  • Mandatory travel insurance.
  • Personal items, eg, laundry, telephone, internet charges.
  • Flights and transfer to Mondella at start of the tour.

Footnote: The organiser reserves the right to change any details in this outline, should this prove necessary.

Contact Gail for more information on the Sicily Cooks and Friends Tour.

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