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Things to do in

Syracuse

Our most recommended things to do in Syracuse

Syracuse: Boat Trip to Ortigia Island with Caves

1. Syracuse: Boat Trip to Ortigia Island with 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.

Siracusa: Ortigia Boat Tour with Marine Grotto

2. 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: Greek Theater and Neapolis Guided Walking Tour

3. Syracuse: Greek Theater and Neapolis Guided Walking Tour

Visit one of the largest Greek theaters in the Mediterranean, the Ear of Dionysus, the Latomie, and the Cordari Cave with a guide. Step back in time as you learn about the history and myths of the Neapolis Archaeological Park. If you choose a tour in Italian, attend the show Il mito di Aretusa. After reaching the entrance of the Neapolis in Syracuse, you will meet our guide waiting for you. You will carry out a short briefing, where the origins of this city will be explained to you and then enter inside the archaeological park of Neapolis. Here it will be possible to visit the Latomie, the ancient stone quarries from which the material for the construction of the city has been extracted for centuries. Formerly places of heavy work and imprisonment, today the Latomie have changed their faces by covering themselves with greenery.  Visiting the latomie you will meet the legendary Ear of Dionysius, known for its typical shape and for its particular acoustics. You will be told the story of the tyrant Dionysius and the legend of this cave. You will continue with the view of the Grotta dei Cordari and then reach the Greek Theater. From the upper terrace you can admire the suggestive Fountain of the Nymphaeum and the wonderful panorama overlooking the large port. After leaving the theater, you will move to the Altar of Hieron II, the largest stone altar built in the Greek world. The last monument you will visit in Neapolis is the Roman Amphitheater. At this monument the guide will show you the Roman phase of the city, the characteristics of the building and the particularities of the gladiatorial games. If you have chosen the option with the theatrical show, stick around after your tour to watch Il mito di Aretusa.

Syracuse: Ortigia Boat Trip with Caves and South Coast

4. Syracuse: Ortigia Boat Trip with Caves and South Coast

Explore the breathtaking Syracuse coastline and navigate around its adjacent Ortigia Island on a fantastic scenic cruise. Come across the most stunning sights as you float along the shore and into the small harbor for a ride through the Ortigia canal. Embark on a fun sightseeing boat trip departing from Ortigia and travel around the whole island as you head toward the iconic sea caves located north of Syracuse. Enter the small port and discover the local marine infrastructure, crossing the canal and passing under bridges. On your way back to the south coast, cross the huge port of Syracuse and take in the combination of natural and man-made scenery before returning to the starting point.

Syracuse: Ortigia Sunset Cruise with Aperitif or Platter

5. Syracuse: Ortigia Sunset Cruise with Aperitif or Platter

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.

Syracuse: Ortygia Walking Tour

6. Syracuse: Ortygia Walking Tour

Embark on a walking tour crossing the picturesque streets of the old part of Syracuse and discovering the traces left by all the different people who governed Sicily. You will meet your guide at the ancient Greek Apollo Temple where you will be given a short introduction to the history of the town. After a short walk, you will reach Cathedral Square and be surprised by the magnificent bright limestone buildings: the town hall, Palazzo Beneventano, the bishop's palace, and St. Lucy's Church, but most of all the Cathedral itself. It is the only church still in use today which many years ago was a pagan temple, and you should not miss the opportunity to visit its interiors (optional visit, admission fee not included). The tour then continues to Aretusa Fountain near the sea. The myth of Aretusa was told by Ovidius and in its clear fresh water grows papyrus which was probably brought here when Archimedes lived in town. The way back leads through the Jewish Quarter to Via Maestranza, the street where the nobility of the town had their pompous homes. On Archimedes Square, the neoclassical Fountain of Diana remembers once more the glorious past of Syracuse. The tour will end at the local fish and fruit market where you can take a breath of local life, colors, and scents.

Syracuse: Ortigia and Neapolis Guided Walking Tour

7. Syracuse: Ortigia and Neapolis Guided Walking Tour

Explore ancient Syracuse on a 3-hour guided tour and learn about early Greek history through architecture and religious practices. The evidence of Syracuse as capital of the Mediterranean is ever-present, and seen in the glory of its Cathedral, the ancient Temple of Athena, the Greek Theater and the Roman Amphitheater. Admire the beauty of the Cathedral of Syracuse, which incorporates the pagan Temple of Athena. Learn about its various architectural styles from your guide. Continue to the Archeological Park to see the Paradise Latomia and the Ear of Dionysos. Enjoy the beautiful views of the Ionian Sea from the Greek Theater.

Siracuse: Guided Velobike Tour

8. Siracuse: Guided Velobike Tour

After being collected from your Siracusa accommodation, your Velo Bike tour around the city will begin. You will be taken to various parts of the city, and as well as the island of Ortigia. Siracusa has a unique ecological system, both inside and outside the city. Aboard your electric bicycle, your driver will introduce you to inside the city's magnificent labyrinth, providing you with the opportunity to find and to photograph the history left by different populations at each stop. The tour also includes explanation of historical places, as well as views of impressive panoramas. At the conclusion of your experience, you have the option to be dropped off at any location of your choosing within the city.

From Syracuse: Mount Etna Guided Morning Hike & Food Tasting

9. From Syracuse: Mount Etna Guided Morning Hike & Food Tasting

Visit the tallest active volcano in Europe on this guided trek. Learn about the UNESCO World Heritage site as you admire the majestic views of the volcano and the surrounding area. Adventure upwards to a higher altitude, or explore the Silvestri Craters. Begin your tour and meet your guide at the rendezvous point. Travel up to an altitude of 2000 meters, where your hike will begin. You can visit the Silvestri Craters or choose the high altitude option. Enjoy the spectacular views of this unique environment. At the end of your hike, don some safety equipment before you explore a lava flow cave. To conclude your tour, stop by a traditional farm for a delicious sampling of local treats.

Syracuse, Ortygia and Noto Full-Day Tour from Catania

10. Syracuse, Ortygia and Noto Full-Day Tour from Catania

Learn the ancient history of Sicily on a full-day sightseeing tour that takes you to the archaeological park of Neapolis where you can visit classical monuments of Greek and Roman Syracuse at your own pace on a self-guided tour. Following a pick-up from your accommodation in Catania, transfer to the ruins of Syracuse, now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During your walk, discover many old Roman streets, as well as monuments such as the Greek Theatre, whose cavea is one of the largest ever built by the ancient Greeks. Near the Greek Theatre, you will see the latomie, including the limestone cave known as the “Ear of Dyonisius,” as well as the Christian Church of San Nicolò ai Cordari. Admire the Amphitheatre of the Roman imperial age, and more. Then, continue to Ortygia Island to experience the historic heart of Syracuse. Located at the park’s eastern end, and separated by a narrow channel, Ortygia is filled with Greek temples, Christian churches, and Arabian streets. Visit the Arethusa fountain and Piazza del Duomo, where the baroque palaces, such as Beneventano del Bosco Palace and Senate Palace are among the most beautiful in Sicily. After lunch (own expense), go to the small town of Noto, noted for its unique style of Sicilian Baroque architecture, and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. Wander the open-air museum and beautiful Corso Vittorio Emanuele to admire the many palaces and churches that, grouped together, are known as the “Stone Garden.”

Frequently asked questions about Syracuse

What are the best day trips and excursions from Syracuse?

The best day trips and excursions from Syracuse are:

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Other Sightseeing Options in Syracuse

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What people are saying about Syracuse

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 875 reviews

It was a great tour, Frederico was motivated and nice and told us a lot about Etna, life around Etna and much more. The cave tour and the tasting at the end were also a highlight and we also bought many products at the end because everything tasted so delicious. Absolute recommendation from us! We were back in Siracusa at 4.30pm and a total of 7 people took the tour which was also very enjoyable!

Our guide, Galina, was extremely knowledgeable, personable, and concerned with the welfare of one of my guests. It was very hot and we did not bring water with us. Warning to all: bring water! Being in the full sun for 2.5 hours was draining. Other than that, Galina provided every detail (including word origins!) as well as the best vantage points for taking photos. Highly recommend!

All was great, good boat, good tour, exactly what was offered and all with a friendly smile and great service.

Great to see Siracusa & Ortigia from the water & to have the opportunity to swim in special places.

Giuseppe was outstanding. Knew everything about Syracuse and Ortigia and was a delight!