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Chat & Tour

Great tours every week!
Twice weekly day tours from central Palermo for: Monreale, Cefalù, Segesta, Erice and other jewels of western Sicily. No need to drive or get around by train or bus. Just join one of our Great Sicily Tours!

Palermo's destination guide.
The definitive travel guide for Palermo and northwestern Sicily. Sights, hotels, restaurants, shopping, tours. Come See Palermo at SeePalermo.Com.

© 2012 Best of Sicily. Unauthorized use is illegal and prohibited.

(Please note that various tours offered by other companies use the name "Best of Sicily.")

Shore Excursions in Palermo, Italy.
Picture this: Your Mediterranean cruise has a scheduled day call at Palermo, the largest city of Sicily and a jewel of cosmopolitan medieval culture. You arrive fairly early, around 8 in the morning, and disembark around 9, right after breakfast, in a port on the edge of a busy city dominated by a peak that faintly resembles the Rock of Gibralter. You have most of the day to see what "the world's most Places to see in Palermo...conquered city" --once a royal capital from whence Germany and Jerusalem were ruled from afar-- has to offer.

Even so, 7 hours doesn't seem like enough time, unless you see everything in a hurry. Glancing around, you notice that the large port seems crowded and chaotic. Hundreds of people are milling around. Large buses, each seating 50 passengers, are lined up just off the pier, where tour guides are describing what seem to be different half-day tours of the same places. (These are the "group tours" organized by the cruise ship line and reserved earlier at about 45 euros.) Meanwhile, zealous taxi drivers aggressively hawk their services. (How much they would overcharge you is anyone's guess!) The atmosphere is noisy and even a bit confusing. Attractive women in their thirties (they vaguely remind you of flight attendants) are trying to herd passengers onto the buses.

Surveying this eclectic scene has only taken a minute, for you now spot the placard with your name written on it in bright green letters. You and your companions easily make your way over to Giuseppe ("Joe"), who warmly greets you in fluent English as he opens a door of the new car which will whisk you away from the port toward the Palatine Chapel, Norman Palace, Monreale Abbey and other sights, and of course a delightful lunch. (Your personalized itinerary was finalized weeks before your arrival but still allows plenty of flexibility.)

You already feel familiar and confident with Giuseppe, and you have no doubt that he'll navigate city traffic faster than the tour buses. As you leave the port you have the distinct impression that other passengers are staring at you and your friends in envious amazement, as though you were VIPs. Well, today you are...

VIP Service
Something a little different - more personalized service, lunch in an exceptional restaurant, a chance to get closer to the "real" Palermo (or Segesta or Cefalù). A private tour. That's what we provide. It's a customized service planned just for your group, whether there are two of you or ten.

Don't leave a great day to chance
Sicily has fascinating sights and great food, but finding it sometimes takes a little extra effort. At first glance, Palermo looks like any other European Mediterranean city. But first impressions are sometimes deceptive. This is a unique place where the Arab, Byzantine and northern European worlds came together for almost four centuries, leaving their mark on architecture, art, religion and even the local cuisine. Discovering all of this in 5 or 6 hours requires a little planning. Unlike most of the services provided by the cruise lines, our day tours are also available for other nearby localities, such as Segesta and Cefalù (see below).

Leaving the crowd behind
Some of the sights in Palermo may be the same ones visited by the bus tours, but the experience is different, permitting a more leisurely pace. It begins with your own itinerary. We won't presume that you're already familiar with Palermo. Our most popular excursion is described here. For something exceptionally different, think about our Noble Palermo excursion.

Morning: Early pick-up at the port. Transfer to Monreale Abbey, built in the 12th century, famous for its Byzantine mosaics (with an optional visit to the Arab-style cloister). Then you'll visit the Palatine Chapel, in Palermo's Norman Palace, and the nearby cathedral.

Lunch: Our restaurant suggestions are as delightful for atmosphere as for their food and wine. (The cost of lunch is not included in the excursion price.)

Afternoon: Tour of the Martorana Church, a 12th century Norman-Arab structure, and Piazza Pretoria, built around a large Baroque fountain, followed by a visit to other local attractions (such as one of the local street markets). Return to port.

Other Full-Day Shore Excursion Ideas:
Getting around western Sicily. Excursions from Palermo. Cefalù - Take a trip up the coast (about 50 minutes) to this seaside town of charming winding streets dominated by a medieval Norman-era cathedral and the ruins of a hilltop fortress.
Segesta - Visit the archeological site of ancient "Egesta" (about 60 minutes away) to see the world's best-preserved ancient Greek temple and a classical amphitheatre overlooking a scenic valley. Stop at Erice, a hilltop medieval town near the coast.
Palermo - As described above.
Noble Palermo - History comes to life. Visit the aristocratic homes of Palermo.
Regular-Scheduled Weekly Tours from Palermo - In addition to the personalized tours and excursions described here, we also offer twice-weekly regularly scheduled day tours - the perfect thing if you're coming to Palermo and want to join a tour to Monreale, Cefalù, Segesta or Erice without having to rent a car or deal with bus and train schedules. Some of these tours include experiences like wine tastings. Read about these convenient tours at Great Sicily Tours. We're the only firm in western Sicily that offers such frequent tours of this kind.

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. Prices do not include lunch.) Use our Currency Converter to see how much a euro is worth. Prices for Noble Palermo are indicated on a separate page.

Number of Participants

Price per Person (euros)




private automobile with driver/guide



private automobile with driver/guide



4-6 seat minivan with driver/guide



4-6 seat minivan with driver/guide



4-6 seat minivan with driver/guide



8 seat minivan with driver/guide



8 seat minivan with driver/guide



16 seat minicoach with driver and guide

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

Reservations: To reserve contact us at tours@bestofsicily.com indicating "Palermo 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 longer tours of Sicily. We also offer shore excursions from Messina and Catania.

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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