The old Arabian Nights’ fabulous tells
revive in Palermo castles’ magic spells.

From the time of the Arabs (931-1072), Palermo has always been one of the most important cities in Sicily. This importance is shown by the castles build in those magic years...

For this guided itinerary we will pick you up from your hotel or b&b with one of our vehicles: with a minimum of 3 people the vehicle is a luxury Mercedes-Benz 4x4 or a comfortable 8-seat minivan! The Castello a Mare, our first castle, is an ancient fortress that guarded the entrance of the port of Palermo. Built by the Arabs in the 9th century, during history it has been repeatedly restored and enlarged to adapt it to the different use by the following city governments.

Along the way to the Maredolce Castle we stop by the Church of San Giovanni dei Lebbrosi, the first church built by the Normans on the ruins of an Arab castle they had destroyed during their siege to Palermo in 1072.

The next castle is the Maredolce Castle, not properly a castle but one of king Roger II’s palaces, part of a fortified citadel which included thermal baths and a fishing pond. The king modified a palace which had been inhabited by an Arab emir in the 10th century.

The last castle of this tour is one the most beautiful edifice of ancient times in Palermo: the Castle of Zisa. The construction began in the 12th century by Arab craftsmen for king William I of Sicily, and completed by his son William II. The edifice was conceived as summer residence for the Norman kings, part of the large hunting resort known as Genoardo (from an Arabic word meaning literally ‘Paradise on Earth’). The Zisa is clearly inspired by the Moorish architecture, and its name derives from the Arab term al-Azīz, meaning ‘dear’ or ‘splendid. Some rooms house Islamic art pieces, tools, and artifacts from the Mediterranean area. The most notable room is the central hall, with a mosaic decoration; once it had a fountain too, from which the water flowed outside.

Why touring with Palermo Walks? We have been awarded the patronages of the Sicilian Parliament and of the City of Palermo, we provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee, our vehicles are checked every month, you can always talk to one of our managers. Our style is based on storytelling, our unique way of sharing with you the history and stories of people, art, culture, food, traditions. Book your tour now to enjoy the best of Sicily!



  • 10:00 Hotel or b&b pick-up by car or minivan
  • 10:30 Castello a Mare
  • 11:30 Church of San Giovanni dei Lebbrosi (outside)
  • 12:00 Maredolce Castle (outside)
  • 13:00 Lunch (not included)
  • 14:30 Castle of Zisa
  • 17:30 Hotel or b&b drop-off
  • Booking Box

    Your experience starting from €79,00
    Number of People:
  • Options

    • Internet connection: €10 per person.
    • Customisation: if you prefer a shorter or a longer tour, to add or remove some points of interest, and/or if you require different hours, please contact us.
    • For a guide speaking a language different from English or Italian, please contact us.
    • For luxury services please contact us.
    • For special needs please contact us: convertible car seats for babies and foldable wheelchairs may be rented at €15 each.
    • For a tour leader service (cheaper than the guide service, only general information is provided) or a driver service (the cheapest option, good for those who don't need information about the sites), please contact us.
  • Specifications

    • Frequency: Mondays-Saturdays (except Christmas Day and New Year's Day).
    • Departure: 10:00 from your hotel or b&b in Palermo's city centre. The time may slightly vary according to the total number of participants, so it will be confirmed via email; if your hotel or b&b is outside Palermo's city centre please contact us.
    • Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes.
    • Number of participants: 1-8, for more people please contact us.
    • Type of tour: open (people from different groups may join in), though limited to 8 people in total; for a private tour please contact us.
    • Location: Palermo.
    • Modality: by car or minivan.
    • Dress code: none.
    • Contribution: 1 person €149, 2 people €99 per person, 3-5 people €89 per person, 6-8 people €69 per person.
    • What is included: hotel or b&b pick-up and drop-off by car or minivan, guide speaking English and Italian.
    • Entry tickets: not included.

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