A 2-week itinerary taking you from Taormina and Etna to the undiscovered island of Pantelleria
From the lofty heights of its glowing volcano to the azure Mediterranean waters that surround it, Sicily is an island like none other. Here, Mount Etna is an ever-present backdrop to island life, famous for bubbling hot springs and an abundance of mineral-rich produce – from world-famous lemons to delicious local wine. With our itinerary, featuring hand-selected boutique hotels, Sicily and its surrounding islands are sure to seduce you.
AT A GLANCE
- 2-week independent itinerary for Sicily based on flying in to and departing from Catania International Airport
- Spend days unravelling rich history dating back 2,500 years, and nights enjoying mountain views from SLH boutique hotels
- Highlights include gazing at monolithic Mount Etna, the inviting waters of Isola Bella, bucolic bliss at a traditional Sicilian farmhouse, and island hopping to Pantelleria
START IN STYLE: TAORMINA
Just an hour’s drive from Catania is a town caught between Mount Etna National Park and the Mediterranean. Elegant Taormina has been graced by many legends since it was founded by the ancient Greeks, from Oscar Wilde to Elizabeth Taylor.
Start your own Sicilian story on the beautiful beach, Isola Bella, with its inlet – the ‘Pearl of the Ionian Sea’. Its pebble shores are easily reached on foot or a short ride by cable car. Dip a toe in the sparkling, protected waters. Or at low tide, stroll over to a tiny tidal island that’s home to lizards and rare plants. Later, step inside the Roman walls of Taormina’s ancient theatre, Teatro Antico, where contemporary performances play out against a timeless Ionian sea backdrop.
Sample seasonal cuisine, Sicilian style – from a rooftop with views across the sea. Luxury hotel Villa Carlotta was built in 1860, and while it’s just a short walk from the town centre, it offers quiet exclusivity. This is especially true if you opt for the two-storey private Tower Suite. Meanwhile, Hotel Villa Ducale‘s serene gardens set the scene for a peaceful retreat. Come nightfall, sip a cocktail on the grand Sicilian villa’s terrace while gazing at Etna. Suggested stay 3-4 nights.
THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES: MOUNT ETNA REGION
Once you’ve taken in its magnificence from afar, get a little closer to the volcano itself with some time spent in Etna National Park. Visit during the summer months to explore woodland hiking trails, hidden caves and the otherworldly scenery of Etna’s rocky summit. And it doesn’t just look good, it tastes good too; Etna’s fertile volcanic soil is abundant with minerals – the secret to Sicily’s unmissable wine.
SETTLE IN FOR THE NIGHT
Continue the volcano theme with a stay in Linguaglossa – a town founded on a lava stream. Villa Neri Resort & Spa pairs contemporary comfort with authentic Sicilian charm. Even the spa treatments celebrate the island setting, with products made from local ingredients such as citrus and sea salt. Then each evening, a culinary journey through Sicily awaits on the terrace by an aromatic olive grove. Suggested stay 3 nights.
ESCAPE TO THE COUNTRY: POLIZZI GENEROSA
Swap volcanoes for the idyllic Sicilian countryside with an in-land trip to Polizzi Generosa, a medieval hilltop town in the rolling hills of the Madonie Natural Park. Dipping into the old buildings of Polizzi Generosa takes you back to Norman Sicily.
UNPACK YOUR SUITCASE
Step back in time with a stay at Susafa, a 200-year-old farmhouse nestled on a family-run estate. To immerse yourself in Sicilian culture, as well as the landscape, Susafa hosts all sorts of inspiring experiences. You can help with the cherry harvest in June, learn the art of fresh ravioli or Sicilian sauces in the kitchen, sample regional wines or take a tour of the gardens. Suggested stay 3-4 nights.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST: PANTELLERIA
For the final stage of your adventure, take a boat across the Straight of Sicily to Pantelleria, where the Tunisian coast is visible on clear days and the land is characterised by volcanic activity. With wild swimming spots and wind-swept shoreline, volcanic Pantelleria is a spectacular outdoor spa.
YOUR ISLAND HIDEAWAY
Housed within porcelain-white dammusi, ancient stone buildings typical of this part of Italy, Sikelia is perfectly in harmony with both its history and lava-strewn landscape. Expect crisp, clean lines and a muted, monochrome palette, high vaulted ceilings and archways, as well as a gorgeous palm-lined pool. Suggested stay 3-4 nights.
With Catania connected internationally, and only an hour’s drive from Taormina, travel to and from Sicily is fuss-free. The ferry to Vulcano is just an hour’s drive from Taormina. Hire a car to explore independently, or speak to our voice reservation team for details about transfers and transport provided by individual hotels
BOOK YOUR BOUTIQUE HOTELS
To book the hotels on this independent itinerary, get in touch with our Voice Reservation Team on 0800 0482 314 (UK) & 1-877-234-7033 (US). You can find a full list of our dedicated toll-free numbers here. We’re ready and waiting to plan luxury adventures 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So whenever inspiration strikes, just get in touch.