As a group of 4, we love adventure. More than that, we love to travel! That’s why we asked Sicily Activities to create the perfect balance of adventure with exploration of the island of Sicily…and they knocked it out of the park!
We started with the most famous thing to do on Sicily, visit Mount Etna! In true Sicily Activities fashion, they tailored our entire trip to our interests and we started with a cycling adventure! After being picked up by our private active guide and driver, Ivano, we headed to the volcano and had a 2-hour bike ride while learning about the geology of the volcano. Afterwards, we earned ourselves a delightful meal at the olive farmhouse, Casa Merlino. Mauro shared the secrets of making olive oil and then we enjoyed an amazing meal among the olive trees.
After a leisurely morning savoring our breakfast in hotel Villa Paradiso, we were picked up at 10am for our next adventure. After a quick 30-minute drive, we arrived at the stunning Gorges of Alcantara. This was a dream landscape! We trekked and swam along for about 800 meters before we jumped in at the Venus pool and body-rafted down the river.
That was so much fun and got our adrenaline flowing, so our next stop was perfect for a chill afternoon. We headed to Cottanera Winery for a wine tasting and lunch. There could not have been a better place to stop considering the view of the vineyard and Mount Etna while we sipped on wines created from 30,000-year-old volcanic soil.
The highlight of our shorter day was kayaking from Giardini Naxos in Naxos Bay and paddling around Cape Taormina to the Marine Park to see the Blue Lagoon. It’s a great workout while being peaceful and awe-inspiring at the same time. Our guide took such good care of us while we were out there, he even brought fruit and water to snack on throughout the 2-hour excursion.
A trek was just what we needed after kayaking yesterday. We trekked through the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Pantalica Nature Reserve. There’s not much I can say except, “wow!”. This nature reserve houses the Necropolis of Pantalica which is the oldest burial site known to exist in Europe! You can see the many burial chambers cut out from the sheer rock face. It’s absolutely incredible, you have to see it to believe it!
Not every day of our experience was filled with intense activity. It was nice to have some days to visit the towns and explore among the locals. Today, we took a 2-hour walking tour of Ortigia, Syracuse’s old town. We love to witness nature and history, and this gave us a chance to be in the here and now with everyone else. From the Apollo Temple to Via Cavour and the Archimede Fountain to the Duomo Square, there is stunning beauty around every corner. Point the camera and take a picture — it’s bound to be perfect. Then we hopped on bikes and followed our guide to nearby Parco Archeologico Neapolis where we saw a Greek theatre and a Roman amphitheatre. This island has so much incredible history!
For our last full day in Sicily, we headed from hotel Roma in Syracuse to Palermo while making plenty of stops of highlights and adventure along the way. There are so many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sicily, and it’s impossible to ignore them. We stopped at Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina and Temple Valley in Agrigento for guided tours on foot.
Our final adventures were on two wheels. We took a bike tour through the charming back streets and beautiful squares of Palermo, where we cycled past the aristocratic palaces and cloisters that stand in the heart of the city. Needing more speed, we swapped the bikes for Vespas and went cruising down the breathtaking coastline along Palermo.
Our trip was a great combination of outdoor activities in stunning landscapes and experiencing the unique culture in Sicilian cities. Having Sicily Activities create this itinerary for us was the best idea we had…after deciding to go to Sicily!