Erice
Archaeology

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From Palermo: Erice, Salt Pans, and Segesta Day Trip

1. From Palermo: Erice, Salt Pans, and Segesta Day Trip

Discover the history of Sicily from the Greeks to the Middle Ages with this day trip to Erice, the salt pans of Trapani, and Segesta. After pickup from selected locations in Palermo, drive to western Sicily to reach Erice. The ancient Elymian people founded this medieval town, once an important religious site associated with the goddess Venus. Continue to Trapani where the ancient tradition of harvesting salt from the sea is still practiced. In the afternoon, head to Segesta, another city founded by the Elymians. Visit the 5th-century Doric temple built on a hilltop just outside the ancient city. Admire the astonishing views, before returning to Palermo.

Erice: Cathedral of Erice & Old Town Private Walking Tour

2. Erice: Cathedral of Erice & Old Town Private Walking Tour

The guided tour of Erice will lead you to a village of timeless charm, built on Mount Erice, between alleys and architectural jewels that preserve the history of the peoples who have inhabited it over the centuries. It starts from Porta (gate) Trapani, one of the oldest gates of the city and its historic center, and arrives at the Cathedral of the Assumption. Commissioned by Frederick III of Aragon in the 1300s, as a thank you to the town, it is a typical example of Gothic architecture in Sicily and was originally enriched with mosaics destroyed due to the collapse of the roof. Inside, the church is covered with a white stucco lace in the style of the time. Next to the Cathedral with the facade enriched by an elegant rose window and a portico that give a unique and monumental aspect, stands the tower of King Federico, or the bell tower built on the ruins of an ancient military watchtower and always wanted by the king of Aragon. Our tour continues to discover the historic center, with its picturesque cobbled alleys, ceramic shops and historic pastry shops where you can taste the typical sweets of the area such as almond pastries and Genovesi, the most typical dessert of Erice , which consists of a delicious milk cream wrapped in a delicate shortcrust pastry. Walking through the village we can admire the Cyclopean walls, so called because the Phoenicians, for their construction, used very robust workers from a nearby population: the Cyclops. The ancient walls, made up of huge boulders on which you can still see the engravings of some letters of the Phoenician alphabet, were erected to protect the population from enemy attacks. The walk will also allow us to explore the English-style Balio Gardens built at the end of the 19th century by Count Pepoli, which surround the area where the suggestive Castle of Venus is located. The guided tour ends by exploring the remains of the fortress with panoramic terraces overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, Trapani and the Egadi Islands, an enchanting view from the highest point of the village. From the castle, built near an ancient temple of the goddess Venus, you can also admire some watchtowers including the most beautiful Art Nouveau-style Torretta Pepoli.

From Palermo: Segesta, Erice, & Olive Oil Farm Bus Tour

3. From Palermo: Segesta, Erice, & Olive Oil Farm Bus Tour

Discover Sicily through its production of wine, salt, and olive oil on this bus tour from Palermo. Taste some local products at a winery, visit the ruins of Segesta, and explore an olive oil farm. Departing from a central location in Palermo, you will drive up Mount Eryx to Erice, a spectacular hill town with a web of atmospheric streets. An important religious site, it soon became associated with the goddess Venus. Wander through its tangle of ancient streets and visit some of the cake shops, world-famous for their marzipan candies and delicacies such as almond and pistachio pastry. You will want to sample some of the goods and buy a few to eat as you journey. See the unique landscape up close as you drive along the Salt Way Road on your way to visit an olive oil farm. In the afternoon, you'll continue your exploration of the Elymians with a visit to Segesta, one of their most important cities until Vandals destroyed it hundreds of years ago. The ruins that remain include a well-preserved Doric temple and a lovely amphitheater. The setting, in rolling countryside and with views stretching down to the sea, is spectacular.   Finally, you'll return to Palermo.

Sicily: 7-Day Sicilian Culture and Art Tour

4. Sicily: 7-Day Sicilian Culture and Art Tour

Day 1 After getting picked up at Catania Airport, enjoy a welcome aperitif in the company of your local guide in Catania. Afterward, enjoy a walking tour of the city during which you will see iconic landmarks such as the Duomo Square, The cathedral fi Saint Agatha, Roman Amphitheatre, and Bellini Park. Day 2 Start your day with a light trek on Europe's most active volcano, Mount Etna. After your trek, re-energize with a traditional Italian lunch at a family-run restaurant. You will also be able to sample some local wines from the Etna region. After lunch, enjoy some free time to explore the town of Taormina at your own pace before heading up to Castelmola, where you can sample the region's famous almond wine served with delicious biscuits. Finish the day by watching the breathtaking sunset in the village of Savoca, one of Italy's prettiest villages and the setting for the Godfather movie. Day 3 Today, enjoy a guided tour of the city of Syracuse, including a visit to the island of Ortigia. Here, admire landmarks such as the Cathedral of Saint Lucy, Caravaggio, Archimedes Square, and the Fountain of Aretusa. Afterward, move onto Neapolis Archaeological Park where you can admire the Latomie del Paradiso, Greek Theatre, Roman Amphitheatre, and  The Ear of Dionysius. Stop for lunch in the town of Noto, a baroque-style town with elegant churches and sprawling palaces. In the afternoon, enjoy a chocolate-making masterclass in the oldest chocolate factory in Sicily before heading to the picture-perfect town of Ragusa Ibla, where you will spend the night. Day 4 Start your day at the Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina, where one of the largest and richest collections of Roman mosaics in the world awaits you. Afterward, head to the Valley of Temples, where you will discover one of the greatest examples of Greater Greece's art and architecture. Enjoy some free time to explore this sprawling temple complex, with 7 ancient Greek temples. Day 5 In the morning, head to the coastal town of Marsala to sample the town's namesake wine. Learn how to differentiate this unique fortified wine by its amber color and unique scent. In the afternoon, head to the Trapani Salt Museum. Here, learn more about salt production methods in the area and admire a unique landscape dotted with over 100 mills, some of which are still in function. Finish the day with a stroll around the medieval town of Erice, a historic and charming town located in the Sicilian hills. Day 6 Today, you will be visiting the towns of Palermo and Monreale, both of which are famous for their Byzantine-style mosaics. In Palermo, visit the 12th-century cathedral and immerse yourself in the city's vibrant history and culture. In Monreale, admire the fine mosaics in the town's great Norman cathedral. Afterward, take in panoramic views of the surrounding valley, filled with orange, olive and almond trees. Day 7 Spend your last day in Sicily at the seaside town of Cefalu. Spend a few hours getting lost in a maze of tiny streets and ice-cream shops before heading Castelbuono, a picturesque village hidden in the Madonie Mountains. Get dropped off back at the airport at the end of your trip.

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What people are saying about Erice

Great tour

Pick up was on time. Driver was superb and tour guide was well organised. Erice was very pretty town with stunning views. The lunch on the olive farm was excellent and delicious. Segeste archaeological park was interesting with lovely views.

It was a great day out with a small group of three. Segesta and Erice were both interesting and historical sites. The salt pans held little interest for me, but that was quite a small part of the day

Wonderful, perfect day. Marco was charming and knowledgable.

Everything went perfectly. Our guide, Marco, was an excellent driver and well informed about Palermo and the other destinations. We had a lovely day with him. I would recommend this excursion highly.

Pleasant excursion to discover the archaeological site of Segeste and the beautiful town of Erice with a very good guide with exemplary conduct

Perfect tour to get an overview of the highlights of Northwest Sicily. Federico is a very nice guide who responds to the wishes of his guests.