Explore Sicily's historic winemaking tradition during this picturesque half-day visit to the wine region near Mt. Etna.
Sicily is Italy's third most important wine and food destination after Tuscany and Piedmont. The distinct flavor of Sicily's wine is due to the volcanic soil from Mt. Etna, the smoldering volcano that rises nearly 11,000 feet above the sea.
Depart the pier with your guide for a brief drive through the small town of Naxos, founded by Greek colonizers in the 8th century BC. You will continue on to Randazzo, located between the Alcantara and Simeto Rivers, and founded in Byzantine times. The remarkably well-preserved Randazzo is the most attractive of Etna's villages, and built entirely of black volcanic stone. Upon arrival, you will visit the main square and Cathedral of Santa Maria Church, first constructed in the early-13th century, and subsequently rebuilt several times.
After a stop at a famous local patisserie in the Cathedral Square for a refreshing pistachio gelato, you will continue on to the Cottanera Estate. Its lands extend from the northern foothills of Mt. Etna at about 2,300 feet above sea level. The site of ancient volcanic eruptions, these lands are now extremely fertile, and continue down as far as the alluvial beds of the Alcantara River. The vineyards of Cottanera extend for 123 acres at 1,640 feet above sea level. You will tour the vineyard and cellar, then have an opportunity to taste their wines, which will be accompanied by some local delicacies.
Following your scenic vineyard tour and tasting, you will re-board the coach for the 75-minute return drive to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves travel over uneven surfaces, with 15 very steep steps to climb and no wheelchair access to the wine cellar; therefore, this tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not considered suitable for those with mobility concerns. If guests would like to purchase wine, we recommend bringing euros, as there are no ATM machines. The drive between Naxos and Randazzo is approximately 75-minutes.