Duration : 8 Hours
Our private shore excursion to Siracusa & Catania is an adventure into two of Sicily’s oldest, most beautiful and most interesting cities. This tour features some of the most important Greek ruins outside of Greece.
Features of this day trip to Siracusa & Catania:
Syracuse (Siracusa in Italian), founded in the 8th Century BC by Greek settlers, became the most important city of Magna Graecia after growing so powerful and affluent as to rival Athens after only a few centuries. The mathematician Archimedes was born in Siracusa, and Cicero proclaimed it “The greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all.”
Of all the cities in Sicily, Syracuse remains the most enduring and vibrant synthesis of the island’s multifaceted past, that of the ancient Greeks featuring most prominently. If you love ancient history, you may not know where to begin! There are tons of remains from Greek civilization, with the gigantic Greek theatre from the 5th Century BC is the main draw in the Neapolis Archeological site.
The island of Ortigia, the heart of Syracuse, is a pleasant place to stroll, whether down narrow Medieval lanes or on the seaside promenade. There are many points of interest to explore.
In beautiful Piazza Duomo the Baroque prevails but the mix of historic influences can be seen in the cathedral, which was built over a former temple to Athena.
At the tip of the island is Castello Maniace, a fortress from the 13th Century.
Greek mythology is still alive and well at Fonte Arethusa, where the nymph for whom the fountain is named was turned into a fresh water spring by the Goddess Artemis in order to escape the pursuit of the river god Alpheus.
For a Sicilian sensory-fest, there is the farmer’s market, a place buzzing with colours and smells and life.
Read more about Syracuse and its other points of interest.
From beaches, mountains and the shimmering sea to art, architecture, folk tradition and fantastic food it seems there’s nothing the island of Sicily doesn’t offer. And if there’s one city that captures it all, it’s Catania.
As is so typical in this part of Sicily, Catania has fallen under the rule of just about every sort imaginable over the millennia. Founded by the Greeks in 729 BC, Catania flourished thanks to trade for several centuries. Under Roman rule things really took off, with lots of building going on, in their typical fashion. Catania lost importance under Byzantine and Arab rule, came to prominence again under Norman rule, only to be rocked by earthquakes, plague, and volcanic eruptions in more recent centuries.
Thankfully, the university established in the 15th Century (one of the oldest in Europe) put Catania on the upswing once more. Not even destruction by flowing lava has been able to keep Catania down: the volcanic material was in turn used to rebuild, giving Catania it’s nickname of “The Black City”.
The modern city delights its visitors with beautiful churches and squares. You will visit Piazza del Duomo with the splendid Cathedral of Saint Agata, the city's patron saint, a masterpiece of Baroque and Norman architecture that incorporates ancient columns taken from the Roman amphitheater. The ruins of the giant amphitheater, second only in size to the Colosseum, will fascinate lovers of ancient history and architecture, as will Castello Ursino.
And no visit to Catania would be complete without a visit to the fish market, with its colorful atmosphere, particular fragrances, and shouting fishmongers.
1. Is this tour private?
The tour is private just for your party, however, if you wish to join a tour and alleviate costs, please check with us our shared guaranteed excursion options.
2. Is the driver also a guide?
Our English-speaking drivers are NOT licensed guides. In order to provide you with the best-in-class service, our English-speaking driving guides have been trained to offer our clients a nice overview with information regarding the major highlights avoiding the expensive charges of hiring a private guide. Due to strict Italian laws & regulations that protect officially licensed guides, our driving guides can comment and explain the sights only from inside the vehicle but are not allowed to do so once they are outside the vehicle. They are regularly licensed instead to chauffeur the public. We highly recommend that you never book with any touring company that does not make this clear.
3. Does the driver go with us inside the monuments?
No, only a licensed guide is authorized to accompany you during the visit of sights. Our driver will drop you off close to the sights but will stay with the vehicle for the duration of your visit.
4. Does this tour include lunch and admission fees to sites?
No tickets or lunch are included in the rate. Please contact our office for pricing and reservations.
5. Does it include a guide?
No guide is included either. Please contact our office for pricing and reservations.
6. What is the duration of the tour?
The duration of the tour is 7/9 hours, including pickup and drop off at the ship.
7. Is the itinerary flexible?
Our itineraries are completely flexible, and we will be happy to operate any changes to the original itinerary (within reason). Please contact our office with all the requests you may have so that we can better organize your day.
8. Do you guarantee the return to the ship on time?
In almost 30 years of business, we have never missed the ship that is why we have organized all itineraries to guarantee your return on time.
9. Is gratuity included in the price?
Tips are never included in our quotes. We think that a tip shouldn’t be included in the rate otherwise it would be a tax!!! Once in Italy do not feel as though you have to tip everyone because someone told you to. Tip only if you really liked the service. Tips are generally: 10% not bad 15 % great 20 % best tour in my life. Please report any abuse.
There will be a full charge for bookings canceled with less than 72-hour notice for any service required. In this case, a full charge will be made on your credit card. If you miss your flight or if your airline decides to cancel the flight due to bad weather or if your flight is directed to another airport on arrival, please advise us on time (as soon as you know) or a full charge will be made.
Please give us enough time so we can accept other reservations and allocate them to our chauffeurs. If the ship does not make it to the pier for bad weather, you will not be considered responsible so NO CHARGE will be made to your credit card. A full charge will be made for a no-show-up.
Only pre-purchased skip-the-line tickets (if requested) are not refundable under the circumstance and will be charged to your card.
Transfer Services activated.