Wine Safaris to Sicily
Discover for yourself the wonders of an enchanted island, sampling fine, local cuisine and tasting some truly remarkable wines.
– “To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily, is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything” –
At Unique Wine Safaris we have transformed a lifelong passion for wine and travel, into a fabulous opportunity for you, to take a holiday you’ll always remember with delight.
Since 1984, we have been importing wines from small, family-run vineyards in Sicily, developing local knowledge and building enduring friendships, with some exceptional winemakers.
Our wealth of first-hand experience and understanding of the regional culture and its wines, will give you a tour with a difference, discovering a centuries-old winemaking history, with the chance to taste some remarkable wines.
Reserved only for a few, you’ll be privileged to gain unprecedented, behind-the-scenes access to wine estates, wineries and their production processes.
Surrounded by the crystal waters of the Ionian, Tyrrhenian and Mediterranean Seas, Sicily is a beautiful mixture of sublime orange groves, ornate churches, medieval streets and baroque towns, all dominated by Mount Etna.
Sigmund Freud described it as, ‘The loveliest region of Italy; a stunning orgy of colours, scents and lights…a great delight’—and we can’t argue with that!
It’s a real food and wine heaven, with the Greeks planting the first vines in the 8th century, and the Phoenicians and Romans trading Sicilian wines for many centuries after.
Nowadays, Sicilian wines offer a medley of flavours and represent some of the finest wines in the world.
– After your arrival at Palermo Airport, we travel to the historic town of Terrasini for refreshments. Imagine ancient Greek and Roman sailing ships drifting by, as you sit on the quayside sipping a cup of delicious coffee.
– From Terrasini, we head to the Musa Sea Lodge, a short distance out of Palermo. There’s time to unpack and get ready for a hearty supper and, of course, a glass of wine or two! You’ll be able to savour the view over the Gulf of Castellammare; truly breath-taking!
– After breakfast and a short talk on the exciting itinerary of activities ahead, we drive to the cantina of Ferreri & Bianco in Santa Ninfa. The winery was founded over 50 years ago and is still run by the same family.
– After a light lunch and wine tasting, we’ll visit the Doric Temple of Segesta, perched on a hill west of Palermo, with spectacular views of the rolling green countryside, stretching down to the sea.
– Next, we visit the Sirignano Wine Resort for a tour of their marvellous cantina, dating back to the late 19th century.
The winery is still owned by the family of the Marquis de Gregorio, retaining the wonderful character and craftsmanship of master winemakers of old.
Whilst here, we’ll have a wonderful dinner in their restaurant, matched to their wines, before returning to the hotel.
– After breakfast, it’s a short trip to visit the Azienda Agricola Tonnino, known for its superior quality wines.
Since the 1950’s, they’ve been producing their wines using Indigenous, Sicilian grape varietals, such as Grillo and Nero d’Avola.
Enjoy a guided tour of the vineyard, followed by a light lunch, combined with a presentation and tasting of their wines.
– After that we drive over to Azienda Agricola San Giovanni in Partinico. The Vineyard was established in 1917 and has been passed down through the generations, run now by Leonardo and Daniela Ortoleva. The cantina produces some the highest quality wines on the island.
– We say a fond farewell to Leonardo and his team and venture out to visit the Madonna del Ponte Sanctuary.
Locals believe that the Madonna of the Bridge performs miracles and saves lives of people involved in road accidents. A section of the church is devoted to accident memorabilia – including smashed motorcycle helmets and false limbs. Quite surreal…
– This afternoon we have a treat in store for you.
You will have a cookery lesson and be taught how to cook something very traditional from the island, topped off with spectacular views of the Mediterranean.
We are sure you will be able to impress your friends when you get home and have your next dinner party!
– A lovely breakfast in the warm Sicilian sunshine, before a day of adventure and culture.
– First to Palermo to see the mesmerising Cathedral and the Massimo Theatre – the third largest opera house in Europe. We’ll walk to the beautiful Politeama Square for a leisurely Sicilian lunch.
– Then to Casato Licitra, located deep in the Ragusa countryside. Once an old farm house, this charming hotel is a real oasis of tranquillity, surrounded by olive and almond trees. It’s a leisurely drive and en route, we’ll stop off at Castello di Donnafugata.
– Those among you who have watched the Inspector Montalbano series on TV will recognise the castle as the home of the mafia boss, Balduccio Sinagra! It’s been beautifully restored recently and is a wonderful example of neo-classical and neo-gothic design.
Finally, we head back to Casato Licitra for dinner and the night.
– After Breakfast, we visit the Terre di Giurfo Winery, famous for wines such as Cerasuolo di Vittoria and Nerello Mascalese, which you’ll enjoy sampling during a relaxing lunch by the vines, in the warm Sicilian sun.
– Next on the agenda is the stunning Duomo of San Giorgio in Ragusa with its beautiful Baroque interior, followed by a short visit to the nearby Giardini Iblei, a beautiful garden oasis.
– The activities keep coming, as we take you to Modica for chocolate making and tasting! Enjoy the different regional flavours and perhaps treat yourself to a little chocolate before stopping at the Duomo di San Giorgio in Modica—can you spot the difference between this and the Duomo in Ragusa?
– We return back to the hotel for dinner.
– A lazy breakfast followed by a leisurely drive to Punta Secca to visit Montalbano’s House.
– After a light lunch with a lovely view, we head back to the hotel to relax by the pool and perhaps immerse yourself in a Montalbano novel by Andrea Camilleri, to read about the places you’ve just visited.
– This evening we visit a more traditional vineyard; Azienda Agricola Pettineo. Still a family business, Pettineo has a fascinating philosophy of using bio-diverse techniques to help make beautiful wines. Taste and enjoy, before returning to the hotel for dinner.
– Sadly, it’s the last day, but we still have a few surprises for you. We’ll visit the rather lovely Al Cantara Winery, nestled between the Nebrodi Mountain range and the volcanic slopes of Mt. Etna, relatively new but it already has an excellent reputation for producing high quality wines.
We’ll lunch here with a fabulous view, before a visit to Taormina.
“Were a man to spend only one day in Sicily and ask, “What must one see?” I would answer him without hesitation, “Taormina.” It is only a landscape, but a landscape where you find everything on earth that seems made to seduce the eyes, the mind and the imagination.”
Guy de Maupassant, Sicily
– Our farewell dinner is at the renowned, local Trattoria restaurant ‘Ferro di Cavallo’, highly regarded since 1944 for its typical Palermitana Sicilian food, before being dropped at the airport for your flight home
*We may need to make slight changes to this Itinerary on the fly, taking into consideration weather conditions, time constraints and other variants, but will not distract from the overall tour quality or experience.