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Kayaking Sicily

Season(s)
May and October
Length
9 days
Level
Easy-Intermediate
Airport
Catania CTA
75000

Highlights

Sicily

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and without a doubt the most historically eventful. Rugged and beautiful, it is an island of wildflower strewn meadows, sun drenched bays and moonscape-like highlands. Bounded by the clear, warm waters of the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas Sicily holds the ancient ruins of 12 civilizations and the tallest active volcano in Europe.
Ionian Sea through the arches of the Greek theater in Taormina, Sicily

Kayak Odyssey

In Sicily we’ll paddle in the Ionian waters of Odysseus, Homer’s epic hero, kayak into picture-perfect villages, along fortress walls of ancient cities and land in sandy coves as we explore Sicily’s legendary eastern coast. With carefully curated paddling routes from the islands of the Cyclops to magnificent Ortigia to storied Capo Passero to Taormina’s exquisite Isola Bella this is a true kayak odyssey.
Paddler and Capo Passero Lighthouse

The Bounty of Sicily

Ashore we’ll immerse ourselves in the natural beauty as well as the cultural and historical highlights of Sicily exploring ancient cities and volcanic heights. Sicilian cuisine some of the best in the world earning the Island the nickname “God’s Kitchen” and the fertile slopes of Mount Etna produce an exceptional range of DOP products including; lemons, blood oranges, tomatoes, olives, olive oil, artichokes and pistachios as well as robust selection of DOC wines.
Wine tasting appetizers Gambino Winery, Mt Etna, Sicily

Amo la Sicilia

Sicily is a feast for the senses and we’ll do it in the style that we’ve brought to all of our Italian trips, one that combines memorable kayaking routes with an insider’s view of culture, cuisine and “La Dolce Vita”. As always, we’ve handpicked accommodations, dining experiences and wine tastings that hit just the right note. Join us in Sicily next October for the latest chapter in our love affair with the natural and cultural splendors of Italy.
Fontana dell'Amenano at the Catania Fish Market

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival in Catania

Your guides will meet you in the lobby of our hotel in central Catania. After introductions and brief orientation we will head to a local restaurant for some fine Sicilian food and a further discussion of the trip details.
Overnight: Hotel Manganelli Palace
Meals: Dinner
Day 2

Catania Fish Market, Giardini Naxos to Taormina and Mt. Etna

After breakfast at the hotel we'll venture out for a short walk to Catania's famous morning fish market. Opening in the very early morning, activity at the market is at its peak between 9 and 10 a.m. After the market we’ll drive northward and launch our kayaks from the beach at Giardini Naxos where Greek Trireme galleys were landed over 2500 years ago. Paddling through the clear water toward Isola Bella the mass of Mount Etna is very much present above us and ancient Taormina beckons from a hilltop ahead. After landing and lunch we’ll take the funicular up to Taormina. Founded by Greeks, the town has a reputation for elegance and has been popular destination for visitors since the 19th century. The Teatro Antico di Taormina, an ancient Greco-Roman theatre, provides one of the most memorable settings and views anywhere. After descending we set off northward towards imposing Mount Etna. Arriving at our agriturismo on the mountain’s north slope, there will be time to enjoy the view and relax before a true farm-to-table dinner accompanied by local wines.
Overnight: Il Borgo di Alcantara
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 3

Mount Etna Exploration and Wine Tasting

After breakfast, our Etna mountain guides will arrive with Land Rovers and we’ll start an amazing tour of the mountain involving some light hiking and spectacular views. Winding through a stark landscape defined by both old and very recent lava flows, we’ll be able to reflect on what would entice someone to live on the side of an active volcano. One answer will be apparent when we arrive at the tasting room and restaurant of Gambino Vini, for wine tasting and lunch at the vineyard. After arriving back at the agriturismo, there will be an ample respite before another Sicilian farm-to-table dinner.
Overnight: Il Borgo di Alcantara
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 4

Cyclops Islands and Aci Castello

Descending back to sea level we'll drive to Aci Castello and paddle the Cyclops islands that figure in Greek mythology and Homer’s “Odyssey”. The largest of of the islands is topped by an 11th-century Norman castle built on the ruins of a 7th-century Byzantine fortification. After taking out, we'll drive to our B&B near Syracuse. Dinner tonight is in a charming restaurant in old Syracuse.
Overnight: Villa Sunset
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 5

Ortigia and Syracuse

Launching at a sandy river mouth we’ll paddle to old Syracuse and the fortified island of Ortigia. Founded by the Greeks, Syracuse was once a city state to rival Athens. Kayaking along the city wall, we’ll have chance to stop at a beach, explore the warren of narrow streets, have lunch and sample a refreshing almond granita before carrying on around the city. The snows of Mount Etna and the sugarcane introduced by the Arabs gave rise to the Sicilian taste for things icy and sweet. After a full day in and around Syracuse, we’ll drive to our hotel located near Noto and settle in before another spectacular Sicilian dinner.
Overnight: La Corte del Sole Lido di Noto
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 6

Marzamemi to Capo Passero, Noto

Starting at Marzamemi, one of the most beautiful coastal towns in all Italy, we’ll set course south along the shore toward Capo Passero and the town of Portopalo. Broad sandy beaches will give us the opportunity to stop for lunch and a swim along the way. After returning to the hotel, there will be time to relax before a sunset walk in the Sicilian Baroque masterpiece that is Noto, perhaps a glass of the local DOC Nero d'Avola and then dinner in a family-run trattoria.
Overnight: La Corte del Sole Lido di Noto
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 7

Punta Ciriga and Marzamemi

Today we'll have a shorter, but nevertheless memorable, paddle to the golden sand beaches, rock formations and caves of Punta Ciriga. The area provides some great opportunities for exploration and relaxation and is regarded as one of the best "secret" beaches in Sicily. After a stop at the hotel in the late afternoon, we'll head back to Marzamemi and take time to wander this town, which was founded by the Arabs in the 10th century, before a dinner of the freshest seafood served at the water's edge.
Overnight: La Corte del Sole Lido di Noto
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 8

The Baroque Route: Ragusa and Modica

After a sumptuous breakfast at La Corte del Sole, we’ll drive “The Baroque Route” from Noto to Modica and on to Ragusa. All three towns, and much of Catania for that matter, were all rebuilt in Sicilian Baroque style after a devastating earthquake in 1693. After exploring the towns’ winding streets, we’ll have a lunch in an outdoor restaurant. After a full day, we’ll drive to our hotel in Catania and get ready for a celebratory final Sicilian dinner followed by a walk in lively Piazza Bellini in front of Teatro Massimo Bellini, Catania’s opera house.
Overnight: Hotel Manganelli Palace
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 9

Morning in Catania - Departure

Breakfast, perhaps a morning walk and it's time go. The hotel will be happy to arrange transport to the airport. Arrivederci!
Overnight:
Meals: Breakfast

Accommodations

Manganelli Palace, Catania

Il Borgo di Alcantara, Mount Etna

Agriturismo Website

Villa Sunset, Syracuse

B&B Website:  http://www.villasunset.it

Hotel La Corte del Sole, Noto

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At this time we do not offer any extensions for this trip but please feel free to call us about added travel options at 1-800-677-0877. We have spent a lot of time in and around the destinations we offer and are more than happy to share our experience.

Dates & Availability

Dates
Trip Length
Price
Availability
Notes
5/16/21 - 5/24/21
5/16/21 5/24/21 9 days
4980
Available
Available
10/10/2021 - 1018/21
10/10/2021 1018/21 9 days
4980
Available
Available
NOTE: Trips showing as 'Available' have at least 4 places open. All prices are $USD unless otherwise stated.

What Is Included

  • All accommodations as specified in Itinerary
  • All meals as specified in Itinerary
  • Ground transportation and attraction entry fees
  • Expedition sea kayaks and equipment including PFDs
  • Safety equipment including medical kit, radios, and cell phones
  • Luggage transfers

What Is Not Included

  • Airfares
  • Airport transfers
  • Single Supplement if applicable ($850)
  • Meals other than specified in the trip itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages and items of a personal nature
  • Tipping of guides
  • Insurance of any kind (we strongly suggest that you purchase travel insurance that covers medical and evacuation as well as cancellations for medical reasons)
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Total Deposit: $ 75000 USD
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