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Island of Ortigia

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Island of Ortigia: Our most recommended tours and activities

Siracusa: Ortigia Boat Tour with Marine Grotto

1. 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 to Ortigia Island with Caves

2. Syracuse: Boat Trip to Ortigia Island with Caves

We will start from the bridges of Ortigia we will enter the "big port" of Syracuse and the beautiful alfeo promenade of Ortigia. Then we will go outside the port to circumnavigate the island and admire the monuments located along the coast. Follow along the coast north of Syracuse to go and see the beautiful sea caves. Then we will return from the "small port" to navigate inside the Ortigia canal that divides the island from the city and we will pass under the bridges to return to the starting point. The visit is guided and there is a historical and geographical explanation. It is also possible to stop for a swim.

Syracuse: Ortigia Sunset Cruise with Aperitif or Platter

3. 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: 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: Ortygia Walking Tour

5. 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.

Siracusa: Ortygia Island Boat Tour with Cave Visit

6. Siracusa: Ortygia Island Boat Tour with Cave 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. You will continue with the exploration of the sea caves 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.

From Catania: Syracuse, Ortygia, and Noto Tour

7. From Catania: Syracuse, Ortygia, and Noto Tour

Enjoy three beautiful places in Sicily with this full-day tour from Catania. Listen to historical facts and facinating anecdotes with your audio guide as you stop at the Neapolis Archaeological Park, Ortygia, and Noto.  Meet your driver in Duomo square in the center of Catania and sit back and relax in the comfortable van on the drive to the Neapolis Archaeological Park in Syracuse. Purchase tickets to the park to admire the magnificent Greek theater, Roman Amphitheater, and stone quarries. Continue to the ancient fortified island of Ortygia. Spend some time wandering the streets to discover the mythical Fountain of Arethusa, Piazza Duomo, the fortress walls, and stunning Baroque churches and palaces. Finally, drive to the town of Noto where you can discover the Sicilian capital of Baroque architecture. Have some free time to see sights like the Fountain of Hercules, and noble palaces like Palazzo Astuto and Palazzo Trigona Cannicarao. Return to the meeting point in Catania.

Syracuse: Ortigia Island Boat Trip with Marine Grottoes

8. Syracuse: Ortigia Island Boat Trip with Marine Grottoes

See the natural beauty and old-world wonders of Ortigia Island from the water on this private boat tour from Syracuse. See a heart-shaped sea cave and the Arethusa fountain, the rock of the two brothers. The maniace castel and the beautiful coves where we will stop for a swim and snorkel. on board we will offer you a bottle of pdo sicilan prosecco on request we can also add some appetizers of typical Sicilian products All with good music We with for you on board you will not regret it

Syracuse: Ortigia Island Guided Walking Tour

9. Syracuse: Ortigia Island Guided Walking Tour

Immerse yourself in the history of Syracuse on this guided walking tour of the island of Ortigia. Uncover how major Mediterranean civilizations have left their mark in this unique area as you pass by elegant buildings, sculptures, fountains, and grand squares. Meet your guide near the Ponte Umbertino, the stone bridge that connects Syracuse to the island of Ortigia. Follow your guide as they effortlessly navigate through a maze of narrow streets until you reach the 6th century ruins of the Apollo Temple. Contime to Piazza Archimede to admire a classical fountain that depicts the mythical goddess Diana. Pass through charming shops and alley restaurants as you make your way through downtown Ortigia. Finally reach the Piazza Duomo which opens out into a wide space that is surrounded by breathtaking Baroque architecture. End your walk here, were you can take some time to admire the Cathedral of Syracuse which was built atop a Temple to Athena. 

From Catania: Syracuse and Noto Culture and History Tour

10. From Catania: Syracuse and Noto Culture and History Tour

Discover two of the most beautiful cities in Sicily on this guided history and culture tour of Syracuse and Noto. Syracuse is a UNESCO World Heritage Site while Noto is considered the most beautiful city of Sicilian Baroque. See Neapolis Archaeological Park, Ortigia, and more. Meet your guides who will lead to the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, an area rich in archaeological finds belonging to several periods of Syracusan history. Later, continue on the island of Ortigia, the historic center of Syracuse. Walk through alleys that are over 2000 years old and full of history. See the spectacular cathedral. Then, head to the historic center of Noto that's called the stone garden due to the architectural beauty of its palaces. See why this place is considered to have some of the most beautiful examples of Sicilian Baroque. After experiencing Syracuse and Noto, get transferred back to your pickup location.

Other Sightseeing Options in Island of Ortigia

Want to discover all there is to do in Island of Ortigia? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Island of Ortigia

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 9 reviews

This was one of our favorite experiences during our time in Ortigia - we went on the earliest outing times possible (9:30am) which helped stave off the heat and the more crowded outings. The captain took us to a couple spots we could swim off the boat, showed us some really cool caves and told us highlights about the various buildings and structures along the coastline and city's edge. It was very cool to see Ortigia and Siracusa from the boat - totally different perspective. The water was amazingly clear and a great temperature, and we also enjoyed fresh fruit and some Prosecco. Would recommend this in a heartbeat!

Nice variety, beautiful views, a nice tour around Ortygia, nice swim, delicious with fruit and prosecco in abundance Steven was a good guide and gave us a nice afternoon The boat was certainly not too full and was covered

It was a great experience. We had a good time, we had a good time also because there were only 8 of us on the boat. The guide, Gaetano, was super nice and efficient. Experience to try absolutely.

Awesome trip! Everything was as described, superb view, drinks and fruits on board. A guide at the top!

Super nice tour, very friendly agency staff. He recommended the tour to a thousand.