Our most recommended things to do in Island of Ortigia

Syracuse: Boat Trip of Ortigia Island and Sea Caves

1. Syracuse: Boat Trip of Ortigia Island and Sea Caves

Immerse yourself in Ortigia, the historical heart of Syracuse as on this guided boat tour. Enjoy listening as your skipper tells you about geological formations and step back in time with stories and information regarding the area's rich history. Board a comfortable boat and embark on your water adventure. Glide from the bridges of Ortigia and will enter the "big port" of Syracuse where you can gaze out of the the stunning Alfeo Promenade of Ortigia. Sail outside the port to circumnavigate the entire island. Follow the coast north of Syracuse to see some naturally-formed sea caves. Cruise into the "small port" and navigate inside the Ortigia canal that divides the island from the city. Have the chance to stop and take a dip in the turquoise waters with views of the shore. Pass under the bridges to return to the starting point of the tour.

Syracuse: Ortigia Sunset Cruise with Aperitif

2. Syracuse: Ortigia Sunset Cruise with Aperitif

Discover the caves and coves of Ortigia Island and admire a spectacular sunset on a sunset cruise. Savor prosecco with a tasting platter showcasing the best of local restaurant produce during your boat tour. Begin the cruise by sailing toward the exit from the small port and heading toward the north coast. Here, meet the Capuchin cove and the first Capuchin cave before passing in front of the dolphin-shaped rock. Next, enter the Coral Caves and marvel at the walls of soft red coral in each cave. Continue to the Grotta Dell’Amore, where the local partner will take photos you can collect at the end of the tour. After, enter the largest cave on the Syracusan coast, the Grotta delle Stalattiti. See the impressive variety and play of colors formed inside the cave, as well as the strange shapes created naturally by the force of the waves and humidity. Then, tuck into the onboard platter and uncork a delicious prosecco as you begin to return to Ortigia Island. On the way, stop for a swim in crystal-clear waters near Maniace Castle. Hop back on the boat and wait for the sunset to arrive as you listen to the onboard music, played throughout the cruise. After admiring the sunset, conclude the tour by passing under the Umbertino Bridge.

Siracusa: Ortigia Boat Tour with Marine Grotto

3. Siracusa: Ortigia Boat Tour with Marine Grotto

Embark on a boat tour of Ortigia with this tour from Siracusa. View the historic center of Siracusa from the water. Travel along the coast to admire Maniace castle and several sea caves. Push off from Siracusa and pass under the Umbertino bridge. Take in sweeping views of the entire port. Go by the luxurious yachts at Foro Italico, and catch a glimpse of a cathedral dome. Observe the legendary Arethusa fountain. Exit the port and see the immense Maniace castle. Head out to the northern coast of Syracuse. Have some fresh fruit and juice as you travel to a spot where you can get out and have a 10 minute swim. Enter Capuchin cave, Coral cave, a stalactite cave, and the heart-shaped Cave of Love. Snap souvenir photos with the heart behind you.

Syracuse: Boat Trip with Lunch, Wine, and Swimming Stops

4. Syracuse: Boat Trip with Lunch, Wine, and Swimming Stops

The next excursion will allow you to spend a half day in total relax admiring the entire sea itinerary of our wonderful city. First we will visit the north side of Siracusa wich is known by the presence of the sea caves and by the peculiar rocks that remind different animals shape and then we move to the natural reserve of Plemmirio with its renowned gulf of Pillirina. Afterwards we'll sail around Ortigia island admiring its historic part wich includes the ex borboun prison, the Viliena fort, the spanish walls, the Maniace castle, the Levante waterfront, the Alfeo waterfront , the Aretusa spring and the immense Big Harbour of Siracusa. During the tour you will have cold soft drinks and seasonal fruit. Moreover our staff will provide to delight you with a big typical starter and a lunch or a dinner cooked up directly on board. This experience includes also more stops for swimming during the exploration of those places where we sail and a guide.

Siracusa: Ortygia Island Boat Tour with Grotto Visit

5. Siracusa: Ortygia Island Boat Tour with Grotto Visit

Meet your skipper at the convenient meeting point. A boat ride around Ortigia is one of the best ways to visit this beautiful place: between the sound of the wind and the intoxicating smell of the sea you will discover one of the jewels of the Sicilian tourist panorama. Admiring Ortigia by boat will allow you to admire some of its most significant monuments and historic buildings: the Venetian Palace, the Umberto I Bridge and the Small Port, the former Bourbon Prison, the Spanish walls and the Lungomare di Levante, the Viliena Fortress, the Maniace Castle and the Fonte Aretusa. Continue with the exploration of the sea grottos (the Capuchin Latomie, the Ear of Dionysius, the Heart-Shaped Lovers', and the Holy Spirit grottos) on the north side of Syracuse, entering the caves and admiring stalactites, stalagmites, and coral formations up close. This excursion in Ortygia will also offer you the opportunity, in non-adverse weather conditions, to take a short stop for a dip, where the water is a deep blue.

Syracuse: Island of Ortigia Boat Trip and Sea Caves

6. Syracuse: Island of Ortigia Boat Trip and Sea Caves

An unique and relaxing tour, rich in history, monuments, sea caves and nature. A beautiful and fantastic experience, advisable to photograph the beautiful landscapes and sunsets. Starting from the "Umbertino" bridge, continuing from the small port of "S. Lucia" we head towards the sea caves and the heart-shaped cave (Syracuse side). After that you go on along the "Alfeo" seafront on the island of Ortigia, where you will admire the Maniace Castle and the "Fonte Aretusa" , where you can take a short stop to get a bath and photograph the beautiful panorama it offers us. At the end of the tour you will see "Porta Marina".

Catania: Syracuse, Ortigia, and Noto Tour with Brunch

7. Catania: Syracuse, Ortigia, and Noto Tour with Brunch

After being picked up from your accommodation in Catania, visit the magnificent Neapolis in Syracuse. Declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2005, this famous archaeological park houses a Greek theatre. With the help of a guide sheet, admire the impressive ruins of this stunning site. After visiting Syracuse, journey to the lovely peninsula of Ortigia. Starting from the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, enjoy a gentle stroll to reach the spectacular white cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception. Take in this idyllic cathedral, before stopping off at the Fountain of Arethusa, a legendary freshwater spring. For lunch, you have the option to enjoy a rich brunch made of typical Sicilian products, with water and red wine. Or, if you prefer, you will have 1-hour of free time to have lunch in one of the amazing restaurants in the alleys of the city. Upon reaching Noto, you will explore this jewel of Sicilian Baroque architecture, which is often considered to be an open-air museum. Admire the extraordinary architecture of its many palaces, churches, and stairways. After an exhilarating day, sit back and relax as you are taken back to your hotel in the comfort of a luxurious vehicle. 

Siracusa: Street Food Guided Walking Tour

8. Siracusa: Street Food Guided Walking Tour

An itinerant meal lasting about three hours to discover the many nuances that the street food of the most beautiful of the ancient Greek colonies has to offer: these include arancini (fried rice balls), impanate (breaded breadcrumbs), the fried cone of fish caught the same day, and the inevitable Sicilian granita or cannolo in one of the city's most popular places. If you want to discover all the secrets and curiosities of Syracuse's gastronomic tradition, join our street food tour and become a true expert on Syracuse cuisine! Here's a list of the possible tastings: - Arancini: world-famous Arancini consist of a ball of rice stuffed with a variety of ingredients (meat, cooked ham, spinach, pistachios, aubergines and more) and then fried in the traditional way. - Fried fish cone a delicious cone filled with various kinds of fried fish, caught that day! - Impanate: The Sicilian impanata (mpanata in dialect) is an artisanal bakery product typical of Sicily, a kind of tasty oval-shaped, golden-coloured calzone that can be stuffed with tomato sauce, vegetables, meat, cheese, potatoes and sausage, shrimp and black olives: it is a delicacy with decidedly strong flavours! - Local products: tour of the ancient market in Syracuse including a tasting of paninetti with locally produced cheeses and cured meats. - Sicilian granita: perfect for relaxing and cooling down on a hot summer afternoon. It is served in a glass and is ideal to end a rich meal on a high note. Fresh fruit, sugar and ice are the necessary ingredients - simple, but incredibly tasty! - Sicilian Cannoli: the wafer, traditionally moulded around a hot metal bar, is filled with a sweet and creamy preparation made with ricotta cheese, candied fruit, crunchy pistachios or dark chocolate chips. An explosion of taste and colour! You can find the recipe here. - Tasting of typical local liqueurs

Walking tour of Ortigia: the stage of history

9. Walking tour of Ortigia: the stage of history

Your guide is ready to accompany you to discover the beauty that hides in the alleyways of Ortigia. The gathering is 15 minutes prior to departure in Via Malta 8. From there to Piazza Archimede, strolling through the streets of the historic centre and discovering marvellous details carved into the stone of a mantelpiece or an entrance portal, one has the feeling of being told the stories of local tradition as well as the myths and legends that have made Ortigia famous throughout the world. Arriving at Piazza Duomo, we visit the magnificent Cathedral of Syracuse, a thousand-year-old home of the divine, which incorporates the ancient Doric temple dedicated to Athena. The historical dimension in its fullest expression, fascinating dwellings set between period furnishings and frescoed vaults, resulting in a little-known jewel that represents the city's identity. At the Arethusa fountain, we listen to the famous myth of Arethusa and Alphaeus while our gaze travels further until we catch sight of the tip of Ortigia, dominated by the massive Maniace Castle reflected in the waters of the Porto Piccolo.

Syracuse: Pillirina, Ortigia and sea caves tour by boat

10. Syracuse: Pillirina, Ortigia and sea caves tour by boat

The boat tour departs from our embarkation point at the entrance to the island of Ortigia where our staff will welcome you. Once you board the boat you will be free to move around during the tour choosing whether to stay in the sun or take advantage of the shade provided by the awning . On board you will always find fresh water and safety systems for all participants. You will be the one to choose what kind of experience you have, the captain will be happy to explain the history and all the information about the places you will visit or you can enjoy the trip by listening to music and letting the scenery do the talking. You can admire the island of Ortigia in its entirety, see the Maniace Castle, the Arethusa spring, and the city from the sea. Along the Syracuse coast you can have fun unearthing the hidden shapes behind the most famous rocks, go inside sea caves and observe the color variations within them. In the marine protected area of Plemmirio you will experience the unspoiled open sea, full of picturesque coves including the most famous, the Pillirina. While stopping for swimming and snorkeling you can give vent to your curiosity and enjoyment by swimming among the fish. If you forget your mask? Don't worry on the boat you will always find some spare masks. Live the experience, it will be two hours you won't forget!

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What people are saying about Island of Ortigia

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 9 reviews

It was great, you could see a lot and the shore line of the city is beautiful. The guide was great, he told a lot of interesting facts and could answer all questions, he is very knowledgeable. His English is great (the best I encountered so far in Sicily).

We didn't get a reminder about the tour the day before as you usually do, we arrived at the wrong time and moved on disappointed, that they didn't know us as they did two days before on the tour in Catania. Very disappointing. Hope we get a refund!

Nando was very helpful, courteous and was an excellent guide. We got to understand Sicily better because of his explanations and knowledge.

Stephen was great! Fun boat ride and tour of the caves and around ortigia. Would definitely recommend

Overall nice trup across several beautiful cities.