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Shore excursions from Messina and Catania, Italy. Visit Mount Etna and Taormina.
Your Personalized Adventure: There are only a few places that can make you feel close to nature, where you can almost touch the heavens yet sense the life of the earth itself beneath Views of Mount Etna.your feet at the same moment. Mount Etna is one of those places...

Your Mediterranean cruise has a scheduled day call at Messina or Catania, but the real attractions in this region are Taormina, a medieval hilltop town built around ancient ruins overlooking the Ionian Sea, and Mount Etna, Europe's largest active volcano. Both are well worth visiting (and with careful scheduling it's easily possible to see both in the same day), but Etna is a living natural wonder.

Your cruise's itinerary offers nothing else quite like it. Not only is Etna the focus of Greek myths and almost three thousand years of recorded activity, it is a 3,000 metre (10,000 foot) volcanic mountain peak unlike anything in Greece, Tunisia, Spain, France, Egypt, Turkey or any other fascinating land touching the Mediterranean. As interesting as your cruise (or your stay in Taormina) may be, a trek to Etna's summit is more than sightseeing; it's an adventure you'll never forget. But even if ascending volcanic mountains is not your thing, we have some great excursion ideas for you.

A number of firms offer excursions in eastern Sicily. Ours are a bit different because they're personalized, with special attention to detail. We offer a choice of three basic options: Etna-by-jeep, Etna with Taormina, and a Sicilian cooking demonstration on a working farm in the Etna region.

Our competitors may occasionally beat us on pricing but never on service. If you choose us, your driver will arrive on time at the port to pick you up. Your itinerary will have been planned in advance so no chances are taken, and you'll have enough time to reach some of the highest parts of Etna by jeep and still enjoy lunch in Taormina, or visit the mountain's lower slopes and participate in a cooking class and lunch in a rural setting. In other words, by choosing a Best of Sicily excursion (organized by Chat & Tour's Tradizione Turismo), you can expect real service from a real travel agent, not a "package" put together by a couple of guys who happen to own a car or two, or a chaotic "mass market" bus tour promoted by a cruise line. It's less expensive than paying a taxi driver, and much easier than renting a car and driving yourself through chaotic Sicilian urban traffic.

VIP Service
Something a little different --more personalized service, a cooking class, a chance to get closer to the magical spirit of northeastern Sicily, where the Peloritan and Nebrodi mountains seem to echo with the voices of Vulcanus, Ulysses, Aeoleus and the feared Cyclops. It's a specialized service planned to the preferences and needs of small groups. Etna is Sicily's hottest destination --literally-- so when it's especially active (it's almost always smoldering at least a little) we may not be able to take you too close to the summit. Incidentally, this type of "strato" volcano has multiple vents instead of a large single cone. The summit is constantly changing form. Etna has been known to engulf entire towns in lava flows.

Don't leave a great day to chance
Sicily has fascinating sights and great food, but getting to it sometimes takes a little extra effort. Discovering all of this in 5 or 6 hours requires a little planning. That's what we do. And we'll let you in on a little secret: Etna is more than a volcano. It's Europe's mystic mountain.

Leaving the crowd behind
"It's lonely at the top" --especially when you've left the crowd behind and ascended Etna on your own. Some of the sights you see with us may be the same ones visited by the bus tours. By planning your own excursion the experience is a little different, Getting around northeastern 
Sicily. Excursions from Messina and Catania.permitting a more leisurely pace. It begins with your own itinerary. We won't presume that you're already familiar with Etna and Taormina, so here are our three most popular excursions:

We offer three excursions with departures from either Messina or Catania:
Etna & Taormina Excursion
Etna Jeep Excursion
Sicilian Cookery Class

Etna & Taormina Excursion
A completely private, independent excursion for your group.

8:30 - Pick up at Messina or Catania.
10:00 - Arrival at Sapienza Lodge (see map at right) with time at leisure to ascend higher by cableway (price not included).
12:00 - Departure for Taormina.
1:00 - Arrival at Taormina and time at leisure (lunch not included; see our restaurant suggestions).
3:00 - Departure for Messina or Catania.
4:00 - Arrival at Messina or Catania.

Price: Excursions are priced based on the number of participants. (Please note that we do not "mix" participants; all participants belong to a single group.) Use our Currency Converter to see how much a euro is worth.

Number of Participants

Price per Person (euros)

Transportation

2

€175.00

private automobile with driver/guide

3

€116.50

private automobile with driver/guide

4

€98.50

4-6 seat minivan with driver/guide

5

€79.00

4-6 seat minivan with driver/guide

6

€73.50

4-6 seat minivan with driver/guide

7

€63.00

8 seat minivan with driver/guide

8

€55.00

8 seat minivan with driver/guide

Yes, we plan excursions for larger groups. Contact us for a quote or to reserve.

Reservations: To reserve contact us at tours@bestofsicily.com indicating "Etna excursion" in the subject line, or by phone at +39 091 626 9685, or fax 39 091 380 9900. From the United States or Canada you may also contact us at 312-239-0420. (Please remember that there's a six-hour time difference between Central European Time here in Italy and American Eastern Time in Toronto and New York.)

This tour is organized by Chat & Tour (Tradizione Turismo), Via Gen. Sirtori 25, 90145 Palermo, Italy. Visit our general tours page for information on 7-day tours of Sicily and shore excursions from Palermo.

Terms & Conditions: This day tour is offered by Chat & Tour of Palermo, Italy. Price includes all applicable taxes. Prepayment may be effected by credit card or bank wire transfer at least three (3) weeks prior to the tour date. In the event of cancellation by the purchaser within eight (8) days of departure a refund will be issued less a 25% cancellation fee and any incidental bank or credit card service fees. The tour price reflects a standardized rate available directly from the company organizing the tour.

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Etna Jeep Excursion
Group transportation to Castiglione di Sicilia (see our map above), with independent, private transportation by jeep to the summit regions of the mountain. Each jeep accomodates up to six.

8:30 - Pick up at Taormina.
10:00 - Arrival at high altitude for transfer to 4X4 jeeps for travel in higher regions.
12:30 - Arrival at farm for lunch (included) featuring starters, pasta course, salad, dessert, wine.
2:30 - Departure for Taormina.
4:00 - Arrival at Taormina. Because this excursion departs from Taormina it may not be possible to plan it with all cruise ship arrivals at Catania or Messina; transfer to Taormina from one of these ports may be necessary.

Price: Excursions are priced based on the number of participants. Use our Currency Converter to see how much a euro is worth.

Number of Participants

Price per Person (euros)

Transportation to Castiglione

2

€235.00

private automobile with driver/guide

3

€175.00

private automobile with driver/guide

4

€140.00

4-6 seat minivan with driver/guide

5

€125.00

4-6 seat minivan with driver/guide

6

€120.00

4-6 seat minivan with driver/guide

Yes, we plan excursions for larger groups. Contact us for a quote or to reserve.

Reservations: To reserve contact us at tours@bestofsicily.com indicating "Etna jeep" in the subject line, or by phone at +39 091 626 9685, or fax 39 091 380 9900. From the United States or Canada you may also contact us at 312-239-0420. (Please remember that there's a six-hour time difference between Central European Time here in Italy and American Eastern Time in Toronto and New York.)

This tour is organized by Chat & Tour (Tradizione Turismo), Via Autonomia Siciliana 23, 90143 Palermo, Italy. Visit our general tours page for information on 7-day tours of Sicily and shore excursions from Palermo.

Terms & Conditions: This day tour is offered by Chat & Tour of Palermo, Italy. Price includes all applicable taxes. Prepayment may be effected by credit card or bank wire transfer at least three (3) weeks prior to the tour date. In the event of cancellation by the purchaser within eight (8) days of departure a refund will be issued less a 25% cancellation fee and any incidental bank or credit card service fees. The tour price reflects a standardized rate available directly from the company organizing the tour.

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Sicilian Cooking Class
The maximum group size is about ten. As only one cooking session can be held per day in the time permitted, occasionally two or three small traveling parties may be combined to reach this number.

8:30 - Pick up from Messina, Catania or Taormina.
10:15 - Arrival at farm near Castiglione (see map above) on slopes of Mt. Etna, meet Signora Rosa and begin cooking demonstration (appetizers and 1 or 2 main courses).
12:30 - Lunch (includes courses prepared during lesson).
2:30 - Departure for Messina or Catania.
4:00 - Arrival at Messina, Catania or Taormina.

Price: Excursions are priced based on the number of participants. Use our Currency Converter to see how much a euro is worth.

Number of Participants

Price per Person (euros)

Transportation

2

€240.00

private automobile with driver/guide

3

€181.50

private automobile with driver/guide

4

€164.00

4-6 seat minivan with driver/guide

5

€144.00

4-6 seat minivan with driver/guide

6

€138.50

4-6 seat minivan with driver/guide

Yes, we plan excursions for larger groups. Contact us for a quote or to reserve.

Reservations: To reserve contact us at tours@bestofsicily.com indicating "Etna cooking" in the subject line, or by phone at +39 091 626 9685, or fax 39 091 380 9900. From the United States or Canada you may also contact us at 312-239-0420. (Please remember that there's a six-hour time difference between Central European Time here in Italy and American Eastern Time in Toronto and New York.)

This tour is organized by Chat & Tour (Tradizione Turismo), Via Autonomia Siciliana 23, 90143 Palermo, Italy. Visit our general tours page for information on 7-day tours of Sicily and shore excursions from Palermo.

Terms & Conditions: This day tour is offered by Chat & Tour of Palermo, Italy. Price includes all applicable taxes. Prepayment may be effected by credit card or bank wire transfer at least three (3) weeks prior to the tour date. In the event of cancellation by the purchaser within eight (8) days of departure a refund will be issued less a 25% cancellation fee and any incidental bank or credit card service fees. The tour price reflects a standardized rate available directly from the company organizing the tour.

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