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Palermo Outdoor activities

Our most recommended Palermo Outdoor activities

Segesta, Erice and Salt Pans Full-Day Excursion from Palermo

1. Segesta, Erice and Salt Pans Full-Day Excursion from Palermo

This popular 8-hour itinerary takes you to see the most interesting sites of western Sicily. With your guide you’ll visit and explore Segesta, a Greek archaeological site. Travel to Nubia and the Salt Pans in Trapani, and admire the Sicilian coast and natural landscapes en route. You’ll also stop at Erice, a medieval hilltop town. Enjoy spectacular views throughout the day. All of the sites are relatively near Palermo, meaning that you’ll have plenty of time to explore each of them. This itinerary is also known as the Elimians's Road, named for the Elimians who were among the first inhabitants of this part of Sicily.

From Palermo: Villa Romana and Valley of the Temples Trip

2. From Palermo: Villa Romana and Valley of the Temples Trip

Follow in the footsteps of the Greeks and Romans on a day trip where your transport is taken care of for you. Discover some of the finest Roman mosaics in the world at the Villa Romana del Casale. Learn all about the Valley of the Temples archaeological site with a licensed local guide. Meet your driver in central Palermo and be taken straight to Piazza Armerina, where you will explore the Villa Romana del Casale independently. Marvel at the luxurious 4th-century villa, home to an influential Roman family. Take your time to examine its exquisite mosaic flooring. Continue to Agrigento for a guided tour of the magnificent Valley of Temples, built by the Greeks in the 5th century BC. See the ruins of temples, necropolises, houses, streets, and everything else you'd expect to find in an ancient city. Finally, return to the meeting point in Palermo.

Mount Etna and Taormina Full-Day Excursion from Palermo

3. Mount Etna and Taormina Full-Day Excursion from Palermo

Europe’s highest active volcano is studied extensively by scientists and is popular with trekkers and nature lovers as well. Visit Mount Etna and the clifftop village of Taormina on this 11-hour excursion from Palermo. From Crateri Silvestri you’ll take the funicular with a local mountain guide all the way up to 2,500 meters above sea level. From this point you’ll experience unforgettable panoramic views. Just south of Taormina is the nature reserve of Isola Bella, and further south you’ll see the popular seaside resort of Giardini Naxos. Visit the village of Taormina, a 45-minute drive from Mount Etna. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea, the village features an ancient Greek theater, many old churches, antique shops, lively bars and fine restaurants.

Sicily: Etna Volcano & Taormina Tour

4. Sicily: Etna Volcano & Taormina Tour

Discover Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe (3.345 mt), and the town of Taormina that sits on the slopes of Mount Tauro on this guided tour. Enjoy plenty of free time to see the Silvestri Craters, Taormina’s Greek-Roman Theater, and more. Meet with staff and the rest of the group at the meeting point in Palermo, then depart to Etna. Upon arrival, enjoy free time to visit the Silvestri Craters and other sites. Try climbing Mount Etna in two different ways: • Ascend to 2,500 meters: From Funivia dell’Etna, ride a cable car up to 2,500 meters (at Montagnola). Upon arrival at 2,500 meters, you can walk around, hike, or enjoy a drink at the bar overlooking the area. This option has an additional cost to pay on the spot, approximately €30 per person. • Ascend to the top from 2,500 meters up to 2,920 meters: From Montagnola at around 2,500 meters, jump on board the UNI-MOG (mini-coach WD4X4) to reach 2,800 meters with a licensed Etna guide. Then, hike to reach 2,920 meters. This option has an additional cost to be paid on the spot of approximately €60 per person. Afterward, depart for Taormina, a scenic town on the slopes of Mount Tauro (204 m). This stop is not guided, so you are free to explore independently at your own pace. Visit the Greek-Roman Theater and admire the views of Etna and Taormina Bay. Later, head back to Palermo to be dropped off.

Palermo: Norman Palace and Palatine Chapel Tour with Tickets

5. Palermo: Norman Palace and Palatine Chapel Tour with Tickets

With more than 800 years of history, it’s perfect for culture vultures! Of all the incredible attractions in Palermo, the Palazzo dei Normanni is one that you can’t miss off your itinerary. Once the seat of the King of Sicily, it is the oldest royal residence in Europe and you can learn the history of all the dynasties who had their thrones here - as well as visiting a stunning and sublime channel. Palermo is decorated in history and there are few buildings that offer a window into the past quite as clear as the Palazzo dei Normanni. The Palazzo dei Normanni (or the Norman Palace to English speakers). Construction on the palace started in the 9th century when Sicily was under Islamic rule, though it was renovated by the Normans in 1072 when their empire spread across Europe. Now, it’s the home of the Sicilian Regional assembly. You’ll get exclusive entrance into the palace and its gardens Though not as well known as Rome’s Sistine Chapel or Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, the Cappella Palatina (or Palatine Chapel) is one of the most spectacular in all of Italy. The chapel, on the second-floor of the palace, was built in 1140 and gives an insight into the arts, science and philosophy of the dominant Western and Middle Eastern cultures at that time. See traditional Islamic designs, Byzantine mosaics, and golden decorations in one of the best examples of the Arab - Norman - Byzantine style. Not only do your tickets allow you entrance to the palace and chapel, but you can explore the gardens too with your expert guide. And as the tour is 1.5 hours long, there’s enough time for you to appreciate the stunning historic building and then spend the rest of the day wandering through Palermo’s historic centre.

Capuchin Catacombs and Monreale Cathedral Private Tour

6. Capuchin Catacombs and Monreale Cathedral Private Tour

Explore the ghoulish remains of friars and luminaries at Palermo’s Capuchin Catacombs on a 3-hour sightseeing tour. Wander along dank corridors through a vast human library of mummified bodies. Inaugurated in 1599, when Capuchin monks discovered that their catacombs contained a mysterious preservative that could mummify the dead, the goal of the site is to reflect on the fragility of life and consider the pettiness of worldly goods. Some 8,000 bodies of men and women were ultimately buried in the catacombs, including the mummy of friar Silvestro of Gubbio, the first body to be buried in the catacombs. The corpses are divided into categories, such as friars, virgins, and professors, and often recognizable by their decaying clothing. As you walk through the corridors, you will see ghastly bodies that include the mummified corpse of the painter Velazquez. Emerge from the gruesome catacombs and travel to Monreale, 6 miles (10 kilometers) from Palermo. Here you will swap corpses for gold and marble as you visit the 12th-century Arab-Norman Cathedral, one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in the world. End your tour at the Benedictine Cloister, completed at the turn of the 13th century. Wander around the beautiful garden, surrounded by delicate arches and white marble columns.

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What people are saying about Palermo

I booked this tour and a half day tour spur of the moment and so glad I did. This was a great day trip from Palermo. The drivers let us know important things/what to do at each stop. I didn’t know much about any of the stops when booking, especially Erice. Erice turned out to be one of my favorite stops from both of the tours I did. Definitely recommend!

An excellent way to see more of Sicily when on a tight time schedule. There were six people in our mini van thus it was manageable and our guide Marco was able to speak to all of us individually. He is multi-lingual and very knowledgeable. There was plenty of time to see the monuments and there were timely food and comfort stops.

Very nice three places that are difficult or impossible to reach without a car. Price/performance top. You practically book a group taxi and explore the places for yourself for 1-3 hours. Incredibly beautiful and very different places. Great for a full or 3/4 day trip. Very nice and good driver.

Lovely tour with small group of people. Plenty of time to exprore sites on your own, which was my preference sice I dont drive. Adriano (our driver) was great!

Melissa was very interesting, engaging, informative, friendly, considerate.