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Home > Italy > Itineraries > The White Lotus Inspired Sicily

The White Lotus-Inspired Sicily


April to October


10 days


Taormina - Mount Etna - Noto - Palermo - Erice


This 10-day itinerary, inspired by Season Two of the television series The White Lotus, lets you experience everything Sicily has to offer. Between the history, culture, amazing sites and food, you will be completely immersed in Sicilian culture, while still having plenty of time to relax.

Itinerary in Detail

    Day 1: Taormina

    Sicily has been welcoming seafaring wanderers since the trials of Odysseus were first sung in Homer’s Odyssey. The island has been a melting pot of Mediterranean cultures: first Greek and Roman, then Arab and Norman, and finally French, Spanish, and Italian. The evidence lies in the temples of Agrigento and Syracuse, the Monreale Cathedral near Palermo, and the theatre at Taormina. Sicily presents an old-world charm that has long since left the mainland. Nothing can beat the feeling of enjoying a sundowner on a warm Taormina evening with the Mediterranean stretched out below you, with Mount Etna as a backdrop. Upon arrival at Catania airport, you will be welcomed to Italy by your local guide as you exit customs and transferred to your hotel.

    Hotel: Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo

    Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo

    Day 2: Taormina - Castelmola di Sicilia - Castello degli Schiavi - Taormina

    Perched atop a cliff, Taormina appears to float above the azure waters of the Bay of Naxos. The air in Sicily’s most glamorous spot is perfumed with orange and lemon blossoms, the narrow streets filled with local colors and flavors. Today, you explore this little corner of paradise as you stroll through the main street, Corso Umberto. Visit the Greek Theatre, whose unparalleled position offers spectacular views of Mount Etna and the surrounding landscape. Later, continue to the medieval village of Castelmola di Sicilia, founded on a crag high above Taormina. Castelmola retains its medieval character, offering the perfect chance to enjoy the local almond wine. Castello degli Schiavi is next on the agenda. It has been in the limelight recently as the setting for The White Lotus. Show creator Mike White chose this location for the Di Grassos’ tour of their ancestral village. Director Francis Ford Coppola also preferred this area for scenes in The Godfather.

    Hotel: Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo

    Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo

    Day 3: Taormina - Mount Etna - Taormina

    This morning while skies are clearest, you head into the fertile lava flow of Europe’s largest active volcano. Your route takes you along the winding roads that pass through Etna wine country. Mount Etna dominates much of the landscape and nature of eastern Sicily and from various lookout points, it’s possible to survey much of the fertile volcanic lowlands covered in almond trees, olive groves, citrus plantations and rolling vineyards. After ascending to 3,000 feet by road, you travel by cable car into the heart of the black, lunar landscape, an otherworldly departure from the lush subtropical vegetation of Taormina. Enjoy lunch with wine tasting at Planeta winery (upon availability). Special note: Dress in layers for this full-day tour, as it can be quite cool at higher altitudes. Choose stable footwear, as well as clothing that is easily cleaned of the black volcanic soil.

    Hotel: Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo

    Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo

    Day 4: Taormina

    Taormina is one of the most spectacular cities in Sicily, but its crowds and heat can be daunting. Take a break with this half-day adventure on a private luxury yacht in the Bay of Taormina to admire highlights like Isola Bella and the bays of Spisone and Mazzarò.

    Hotel: Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo

    Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo

    Day 5: Taormina - Noto

    Today, you make the private transfer to Noto. Nestled between olive groves and vineyards, Il San Corrado di Noto is the first boutique resort of its kind in Val di Noto, Sicily's renowned UNESCO World Heritage destination. Once an ancient masseria owned by Prince Nicolaci, it has been converted into an idyllic, all-suite retreat. Located just outside Noto, featuring suites and pool villas, the new hotel offers an abundance of space and privacy, paired with discreet service and a focus on heritage and wellbeing. The resort operates a private beach club in the summer months, which is located a short drive from the property. Guests will enjoy two signature restaurants, Casa Pasta and Principe di Belludia.

    Hotel: Il San Corrado di Noto

    Il San Corrado di Noto aerial view

    Il San Corrado di Noto pool view

    Il San Corrado di Noto suite deck

    Il San Corrado di Noto beach access

    Day 6: Noto

    Explore the architectural treasures of Sicily today, as you discover the stunning architecture of Noto. This UNESCO World Heritage site, referred to as the Capital of the Baroque for its architecture, was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1693, then rebuilt in Baroque style. Spend the afternoon relaxing by the fabulous hotel pool.

    Hotel: Il San Corrado di Noto

    Il San Corrado di Noto aerial view

    Il San Corrado di Noto pool view

    Il San Corrado di Noto suite deck

    Il San Corrado di Noto beach access

    Day 7: Noto - Palermo

    After check-out this morning, you make the drive to the city of Palermo on Sicily’s north coast. Restored at the end of the 19th century by famous architect Ernesto Basile, the Art Nouveau style Grand Hotel Villa Igiea Palermo still retains its frescoes, original furniture and décor with a modern twist. Each of the elegant rooms of this Rocco Forte hotel is decorated with hardwood floors and luxury marble bathrooms. You can enjoy gourmet food at Cuvée du jour or head to Donna Franca Florio for Mediterranean food that can be served on the beautiful terrace overlooking the sea during the spring and summer months.

    Hotel: Hotel Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte Hotel

    Hotel Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte Hotel

    Hotel Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte Hotel

    Hotel Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte Hotel rear lake view

    Day 8: Palermo

    Depart from your hotel early this morning for a full-day tour. Enjoy the best of the Ballarò market before exploring Palermo itself. Wander through the bustling market and stop for a typical Sicilian snack of lo scaccio – a mix of pumpkin seeds, dried chickpeas and assorted nuts. Your guide will then lead you through the heart of old Palermo, Pretoria Square (also called Piazza della Vergogna) to see the Palermo Duomo and La Martorana, which is decorated with beautiful Byzantine mosaics. Alternatively, you can visit the magnificent Baroque church of Casa Professa.

    Hotel: Hotel Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte Hotel

    Hotel Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte Hotel

    Hotel Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte Hotel

    Hotel Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte Hotel rear lake view

    Day 9: Palermo - Erice - Palermo

    Immerse yourself in the rugged beauty and culture of northwest Sicily during a full-day excursion. You begin with a visit to Segesta, one of the finest surviving Doric temples in Sicily, then take a scenic drive up to the hill town of Erice, which offers some of Sicily’s most impressive views overlooks the Trapani coast and the Egadi Islands. Erice is well known for its almond pastries, the most famous of which are made by Maria Grammatico, whose life story is recounted in the biography “Bitter Almonds.” You enjoy a visit to the Grammatico Pasticceria where, depending on Maria’s schedule, you are treated to a pastry-making demonstration (subject to availability), followed by a sampling of these local sweets. The town itself has a perfectly preserved medieval character, revealing stone houses, numerous churches and squares, and old city walls.

    Hotel: Hotel Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte Hotel

    Hotel Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte Hotel

    Hotel Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte Hotel

    Hotel Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte Hotel rear lake view

    Day 10: Palermo

    Today, you will be transferred to Palermo airport for your return flight home.

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