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      We are also running a Northern Sicily program on April 21-27. Both programs run concurrently with our full two-week Sicily program.

      • Hotels: Standard Class

      • 04/27/2024 - 05/04/2024

      • Max Participants: 16

      • 8 Days / 7 Nights

      Overview

      During this week-long tour through Sicily’s southern coast, you’ll take a Sicilian cooking class, visit storied medieval villages and sunny seaside towns, and learn more about Italian history and culture. Visit Southern Sicily, all while earning professional development credit with other educators.

      Southern Sicily itinerary map
      What's Included::
      • Orientation Walks in Syracuse and Palermo
      • Arancini Cooking Class
      • Visit to Ragusa
      • Villa Romana del Casale Visit
      • Valley of the Temples Guided Tour
      • Monreale Cathedral Visit
      • G Adventures Tour Leader throughout
      • 7 breakfasts and 1 lunch – allow $280-365 USD for meals not included
      • Hotels (7 nts)
      • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities by private vehicle and ferry
      What's Not Included::
      • International air travel
      • Incidentals
      • Travel health and cancellation insurance
      • Applicable visas
      • Tips or gratuities
      • Airport taxes
      • Beverages
      • Meals not mentioned in itinerary
      • Optional tours and admissions
      • Airport transfers

      Itinerary Download PDF

      You may arrive in Catania at any time today. There are no planned activities today, so check into our hotel and enjoy the city. We will have a group meeting in the evening around 6:00 p.m. There will be a note at the front desk to let you know the exact time and location of the meeting. The note will also tell you what time to meet in the lobby in the morning if you arrive too late for the meeting. If you miss this meeting, please don't worry; your tour leader will go over everything with you in the morning. If your schedule allows, arrive a day or two early to spend more time in Catania, the second-largest city and an important economic hub in Sicily. It proudly displays its heritage and culture in museums like the Basilica Sant’Agata and the Museo Civici. There are also plenty of opportunities for day trips and outdoor excursions, such as a guided tour of Mount Etna to learn about the legendary history of the ancient volcano from local naturalist guides.

      This morning, we travel to Syracuse, an enchanting city by the Ionian Sea that was once at the center of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. After you arrive, learn how to prepare a delicious snack enjoyed beyond the borders of Sicily: deep-fried arancini, a ball of creamy risotto rice typically filled with a savory cheese or meat filling. Later, explore the old town's baroque piazzas and medieval side streets on an orientation walk with your tour leader. Approximate travel time: 1 hr by private vehicle

      During a free day in Syracuse, opt to uncover the city's ancient past at the Parco Archeologico della Neapoli, home to Syracuse's sprawling Teatro Greco. First constructed in the 5th century BC, today visitors can wander the grounds and imagine what 2nd-century gladiator combats and horse races at the Anfiteatro Romano may have looked like. You may also take a local bus to Noto, about an hour southwest of Syracuse, home to one of Sicily's most beautiful historic centers. Stroll through the Arco di Trionfo to reach Corso Vittorio Emanuele and visit the majestic 18th-century Noto Cathedral.

      This morning, we drive to Ragusa and enjoy some free time to explore the alleyways and the squares of this hilltop city, rich with baroque architecture. Later, we visit the world's most varied collection of Roman mosaics at Villa Romana del Casale, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Piazza Armerina. Dating back to the 4th century and known for their incredibly well-preserved state in situ, or in their original location, the mosaic tiles beautifully depict ancient scenes of hunting, fishing, and athletics. Afterward, continue to Agrigento on Sicily's southwestern coast. Approximate travel time: 5-5.5 hrs by private vehicle (1.75 hrs Syracuse-Ragusa, 1.75 hrs Ragusa-Piazza Armerina, 1.75 hrs Piazza Armerina-Agrigento)

      Visit the Valley of the Temples, where you will learn the history of this magnificent site and explore the ruins of its seven temples nestled on a ridge below Agrigento. Regarded as the best example of ancient Hellenic architecture in Sicily, the archaeological site's oldest structures date back to the 5th century. Explore the ruins of the Temple of Concordia, with its majestic columns, and learn about the site's history from a local guide. While en route to Trapani, stop in Marsala to visit some of Europe's oldest traditional salt marshes, where sea salt is still harvested in the same way it has been for hundreds of years. Approximate travel time: 3-3.5 hrs by private vehicle (2.5 hrs Agrigento-Marsala, 45 mins Marsala-Trapani)

      Spend a full day exploring Trapani on your own, or opt to participate in one of the excursions below. Full-day Egadi Islands excursion (50-75 euros per person): The crystal-clear seas off western Sicily are home to the idyllic Aegadian islands of Favignana and Levanzo. Cruise through the coastal waters and drop anchor in beautiful spots around the islands. Half-day Erice excursion (9 euros per person): Head to the medieval hilltop town of Erice, a walled 12th-century village perched high above the sea. Take a cable car from Trapani's city center to reach Erice and spend a few hours wandering its picturesque streets. Full-day Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro excursion (50-70 euros per person): Visit Sicily's first nature reserve, Zingaro Nature Reserve, located about an hour from Trapani. Perfect for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, you can spend the day hiking on spectacular trails that overlook the Mediterranean Sea.

      On the last full day of our tour, we drive to Monreale to visit the World Heritage-listed Cattedrale di Monreale, considered one of Europe's greatest examples of Norman architecture with a heavy Moorish and Byzantine influence. Continue on to Palermo and admire panoramic views of the Conca d'Oro (Golden Valley) and the Tyrrhennian Sea. Upon arrival, enjoy free time in Palermo or join your tour leader on another orientation walk around the city center's squares and streets. Approximate travel time: 2 hrs by private vehicle (1.5 hrs Trapani-Monreale, 15-30 mins Monreale-Palermo)

      The program ends today, and you can depart Palermo at any time. Want more adventure? Book two or more GEEO trips in the same year and receive a discount! GEEO will give you 10% off of the lesser value program(s) (up to 3 programs). If you don’t see a program that interests you that pairs with this trip, but still would like to extend your time abroad, let us know. We will work with you to find a non-teacher trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Even better, if you are an educator, we can still offer you a discounted price on the trip you choose!

      Details

      Frequently Asked Questions
      Please click here to go to our general FAQ, which has essential information that applies to all of our programs.
      Resources to Learn & Teach about Italy
      Visit our recommended reading page to see the list of books GEEO recommends reading before your program (this is not required reading). We also have lesson plans and Pinterest boards that may be useful for you as you learn about your destination and prepare to bring lessons back to your classroom.
      Terms and Conditions
      It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions page before signing up for this program.
      GEEO Program Confirmation Process
      We require a minimum of 6 participants for most GEEO programs. We officially confirm that a program will run once at least 8 people have signed up, which provides a margin for individual cancellations. Nearly all GEEO programs ultimately meet this enrollment quota, and in the rare event that a program does not meet the minimum requirement and GEEO cancels the program, we will work with you to find a suitable alternative or provide a refund of your deposit if you prefer. We encourage you to sign up for any program that interests you, and we will notify the entire group once 6 people are booked and again once 8 people are booked. We always emphasize the importance of exercising caution when making non-refundable travel arrangements, especially given the unpredictable nature of travel. For example, we typically recommend booking flights with flexible change/cancellation policies.
      Cancellation policy
      All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to travel@geeo.org. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.
      • If you cancel 60 days or more prior to departure, all your program fee payments will be refunded besides your $350 deposit which is kept on file for future use
      • If you cancel between 30 and 59 days prior to departure, you will receive a 50% refund and your deposit is kept on file for future use
      • If you cancel within 30 days of departure, you will receive no refund, but your deposit is kept on file for future use
      Trip Notes
      1. LUGGAGE: In Europe, it is very rare to find elevators in train stations, hotels, or other public places. We use public transport on this trip, which means you will need to carry your luggage from platform to platform, in and out of trains and buses, etc., and also possibly up several flights of stairs. You will also need to be able to stow your luggage safely on trains and buses. It is therefore essential that you pack light and bring luggage which is compact and lightweight, and which you can easily transport. The carrying of your luggage remains your responsibility at all times. We highly recommend traveling with a backpack or duffel bag over any wheeled luggage options.
      2. LOCAL GUIDES: It is important to note that in Europe, all guiding is based around local guides, all of whom are licensed to work only in a particular city. As such, our leaders are able to provide orientation walks that will show you the layout of each town and city, as well as the location of local services such as post offices and laundromats, but are unable to legally share historical facts and figures in public places
      3. ACCOMMODATION: On this trip, you can expect to stay in small family-run hotels or pensions, which will vary a little in standard and facilities: some may not have elevators, air-conditioning, or English-speaking staff, but most importantly all are locally-run, with some traditional character, and in excellent central locations to give you maximum time for exploring the sights. You can expect to find clean, safe, simple accommodation in convenient locations. Note that most accommodations in Europe do not have air conditioning units in rooms. Air conditioning is not routinely installed in European homes and workplaces. However, nearly all hotels will provide a standing or desk fan for your room on hot nights. If you do not already have one in your room, please ask your tour leader to organize one for you with reception.
      Group Leader Description
      All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure's group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
      Fitness Level
      This trip includes light walking and hiking that is suitable for most fitness levels. In the cities, you can split apart from the group to go at your own pace. It is very hot in Italy during the summer, so make sure you stay hydrated.
      Single Travelers
      Half of GEEO’s participants travel by themselves, so please don’t worry if you do not have a travel companion for your trip. Our program fee is for one traveler in double-occupancy accommodation, and GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender if you do not have a travel companion. Most of our programs have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that you can pay to have a room to yourself. You will only incur an additional charge if you specifically request a single room. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please find your program on our extra services page. If you want to room alone, please email travel@geeo.org to request a single room. Please be aware that single-room accommodations in European hotels are often smaller than double-occupancy rooms.
      Joining Instructions
      Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned. Upon arrival to the city on Day 1, or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us, please make your way to the joining hotel. Check-in time will be in the afternoon. Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note at reception from your tour leader. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on Day 1, usually between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., at which you will get a chance to meet your tour leader and other travelers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details! If you miss the Welcome Meeting, your tour leader will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need and with instructions for the next morning. You can take a taxi from Catania airport to your hotel for about €30 EUR. The distance between the hotel and the airport is 4.5 miles, and the ride should take approximately 15 minutes. Alternatively, there is local bus line, AMT bus 457, operated by Alibus. The ticket price for the Alibus line is €4 EUR. Get off at Archi uscita Porto and then walk to the hotel.
      Emergency Contacts
      Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local G Adventures office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible. EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS G Adventures Office London, United Kingdom During Office hours (weekdays, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. local time): +44 20 7243 9870 For absolute emergencies after office hours please contact: +441858378000 If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, and your call will be returned as soon as possible. If you are unable for any reason to contact the G Adventures local office, please call the numbers listed below which will connect you directly with the Sales team who will happily assist you. Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100 Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000 Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000 Calls from Australia: 1300 796 618 Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307 Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
      Packing List
      Please read this article on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and downstairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. As a rule, we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags, which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. No XXL bags, please! A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person. In Italy, shoulders should be covered while visiting churches and cathedrals. Ask your tour leader for more specific advice. Health & Safety
      • N95/KN95 Face masks (at least a few just in case there is an outbreak within your group)
      • Hand sanitizer
      • Quick Covid Test/Antigen Tests (at least 3)
      Suggested Checklist
      • Light windproof/waterproof jacket or umbrella
      • Personal clothing for cool to mild weather – we recommend packing 8 outfits so you only have to do laundry once
      • One set of modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders
      • Sturdy walking or running shoes
      • Sport sandals or flip-flops
      • Bathing suit and towel
      • Daypack
      • Sunblock
      • Sunglasses
      • Sun hat
      • Water bottle
      • Watch or alarm clock
      • Toiletries – Important: Some hotels do not give you soap and shampoo
      • Camera
      • First-aid kit, including lip salve, Aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine, Dramamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, electrolyte powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking
      Optional Checklist
      • Travel pillow
      • Money belt
      • Phone/Tablet for internet – most hotels have WiFi
      • Chargers for electronics as well converters/adapters, if needed
      • AirTags or Tile trackers
      • Packing cubes
      • Earplugs
      • Snacks – packing a few granola bars is a good idea; you can buy snacks when you get there too, so don't go crazy here
      • Ziplock bags
      • Reading/writing material
      • Hand sanitizer/baby wipes
      • Light fleece top
      Document Checklist
      • Passport (with photocopies)
      • Travel insurance (with photocopies)
      • Airline tickets (with photocopies)
      • EUR/USD cash
      • Credit or debit card
      • G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information, and dossier
      • Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
      • GEEO Classroom action plans for your group – this is sent 10-30 days before departure
      Laundry
      Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge, or ask your tour leader where the closest laundromat is. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry, so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
      Passports and Visas
      All visitors to the EU (European Union) and EEC (European Economic Community) countries require a valid passport (with a minimum of 6 months validity). Please see our general FAQ for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double-check the information we provide below by searching here. Americans do not need a visa to travel to Italy. Non-American participants should check with their government to find out if they need a visa.
      Money Exchange
      Italy is part of the Eurozone, and the unit of the currency is the euro (EUR). As currency exchange rates fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com. ATMs are also widely available that distribute the local currency, and this is what we recommend as your primary source of cash while traveling. Please make sure you bring at least $200 USD in cash as emergency money just in case you have trouble with the ATMs or lose your bank card. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee. Visa and MasterCard are useful for cash advances in an emergency situation. Please note that if you are carrying U.S. Dollars, they should be in good condition (i.e., not torn, wrinkled, or marked on in any way) and printed recently.
      Tipping
      It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers such as waiters if you are pleased with the service (€1-2 EUR for snacks or 10% of a meal bill). Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. Also, at the end of each trip, if you felt your G Adventures Tour Leader did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference. As a budgeting guideline, €30-40 EUR per person per week can be used.
      Flights
      We find the best prices for flights are often available 60 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. We advise that you wait until this trip is confirmed before booking non-refundable and non-changeable flights. GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed. Your trip begins in Catania and ends in Palermo. Please double-check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in Catania. You can depart from Palermo at any time on the final day of the trip.
      Plugs and Converters
      There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two to three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your device. Italy uses a European-style two circular prong plug. Their voltage is 220-240 Volts. U.S. outlets are 120V. Most new devices (phones and laptops) can handle the different voltage rates, but some devices only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device to see what voltage range it handles. Most transformer blocks will have an "Input" line that defines their voltage capacity. For example, "Input: 100-240V" means that it will work on voltages from 100V to 240V. If your transformer can't handle the different voltage, you'll need to purchase a voltage converter. You can find world regional voltage converters power packs at various vendors.
      Expectations
      Before you decide on traveling with GEEO, it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.
      • The purpose of the accommodation is to provide a safe, well-located place for you to sleep. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised, but do not expect luxury as we are trying to keep these trips as inexpensive as possible. Sometimes the accommodation is not air-conditioned.
      • The same goes for transportation. We use a mix of transportation that gets our guests from location to location safely. Sometimes you will have full days and nights of transportation as our trips tend to cover a lot of ground. Transportation will often be an adventure in itself.
      • You must be able to carry or roll your luggage easily, so do not over-pack.
      • Many of our programs occur in locations where it is very hot during the day. Please make sure you have thoroughly read the itinerary and can handle the group activities, which sometimes include day hikes with your daypacks.
      • We recommend always carrying snacks with you because sometimes meals can be far apart.
      • Please make sure you understand the role of your tour leader on this trip as they are not the traditional “guide” you may be expecting. While our trips are educational, they aren’t study/lecture trips. We want you to learn through exploring and much of your experience will be based on how active you choose to be in acquiring knowledge and interacting with locals.
      Hopefully, this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
      Itinerary Disclaimer
      While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
      Weather
      April is a great time to visit Sicily. Average daily temperatures in Sicily range between 46-60°F across the island, though evenings will require you to have warmer layers on hand. Palermo has slightly warmer averages (52-66°F), and around Catania, warmer still with even less rain. Dress in layers to counter all kinds of weather and have your sunglasses and umbrella on hand. And while sea temperatures are still a little chilly (61°F/15°C), pack your swimsuit as the days could be sunny and warm enough for a lie out on the beach.

      Costs

      Please keep in mind that this trip offers some free time to pursue activities that interest you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and note these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. The prices below are rough estimates for budgeting your trip.
      Tour Company Fee
      See our price in the top right corner
      Optional Activities
      $50-150 USD
      International Airfare from the United States
      Roughly $600-1,300 USD If you require assistance in booking your international airfare, we would be happy to help you.
      Insurance
      $79-200 USD Please note: It is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance as well.
      Tipping
      We recommend €60-80 EUR for your G Adventures tour leader. Budget another €40-50 for tipping local guides and drivers.
      Meals Not Listed in the Itinerary
      $280-365 USD
      Laundry, Drinks, Phone Calls, etc.
      Make sure you budget for these types of expenses
      Airport Transfers
      $50-100
      Souvenirs
      Variable. At your personal discretion.
      Non-Educator Donation
      $100 USD (Suggested donation) This is only for non-educator guests traveling with an educator on a GEEO trip. Educators and retired educators should not make this donation.

      Optional Activities

      Most optional activities are booked and paid for locally in the local currency. You do not have to decide in advance which activities you would like to sign up for. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please feel free to use them as a guide for budgeting your trip.
      Syracuse
      Parco Archeologico della Neapolis visit: €10 EUR per person Uncover the city's ancient past at the Parco Archeologico della Neapoli, home to Syracuse's sprawling Teatro Greco. First constructed in the 5th century BC, today visitors can wander the grounds and imagine what 2nd-century gladiator combats and horse races at the Anfiteatro Romano may have looked like. Noto visit: €12 EUR per person Take a local bus to Noto, about an hour southwest of Syracuse. Home to one of Sicily's most beautiful historic centers, stroll through the Arco di Trionfo to reach Corso Vittorio Emanuele and visit the majestic 18th-century Noto Cathedral.
      Trapani
      Egadi Islands excursion (full-day): €50-75 EUR per person The crystal-clear seas off western Sicily are home to the idyllic Aegadian islands of Favignana and Levanzo. Cruise through the coastal waters and drop anchor in beautiful spots around the islands. Erice excursion (half-day): €9 EUR per person Head to the medieval hilltop town of Erice, a walled 12th-century village perched high above the sea. Take a cable car from Trapani's city center to reach Erice and spend a few hours wandering its picturesque streets. Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro excursion (full-day): €50-70 EUR per person Visit the Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro, Sicily's first nature reserve located about an hour from Trapani. Perfect for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, spend the day hiking on spectacular trails that overlook the Mediterranean Sea.