Tour difficulty

  • Easy
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3 hours

Sicily Walking Tours: City Tours

Boat Tours of Ortigia


Discovering Ortigia from the Water: A Journey Around the Island

Boat Tours of Ortigia with Your Own Italy offer an exquisite and unique perspective of Syracuse’s ancient island heart, blending captivating history with breathtaking Mediterranean scenery. Ortigia, connected to the mainland by bridges, is a treasure trove of Greek and Baroque heritage, where every turn reveals centuries-old stories set against the backdrop of crystal-clear waters. This personalized boat tour circumnavigates the island, allowing you to experience its beauty from the sea, a viewpoint that captures the essence of Sicily’s coastal allure.

Discovering Ortigia from the Water: A Journey Around the Island

The Eastern Coastline and the Maniace Castle
Your boat tour begins along Ortigia’s eastern coastline, where the imposing Maniace Castle stands guard at the island’s tip. Built by Emperor Frederick II in the 13th century, the castle’s strategic position and architectural beauty make it a highlight of any visit to Ortigia. From the sea, you’ll appreciate the fortress’s imposing structure and its historical significance in defending Syracuse.

The Aretusa Spring and the Jewish Baths
As you glide past the Aretusa Spring, a freshwater source with mythological roots, you’ll hear tales of the nymph Arethusa and her transformation by the goddess Artemis. Nearby, the recently discovered Jewish Ritual Baths (Miqwe) remind visitors of Ortigia’s rich multicultural past, evidence of the island’s diverse inhabitants throughout history.

Baroque Splendor and the Duomo
Ortigia’s western shoreline offers views of the magnificent Baroque architecture that defines much of the island, including the Cathedral of Syracuse (Duomo di Siracusa). Originally a Greek temple dedicated to Athena, the cathedral was transformed into a Christian church, incorporating the ancient temple’s columns into its walls—a fascinating story best appreciated from the vantage point of the sea.

The Marina and Local Life
As your boat navigates around Ortigia, passing by the bustling marina, you’ll observe the daily life of Syracuse’s residents and fishermen. This vibrant maritime community continues the traditions of the Mediterranean, where the sea remains a central part of culture, economy, and cuisine.

Your Own Italy: Tailoring Your Sicilian Sea Adventure
With Your Own Italy, your boat tour of Ortigia is more than just a sightseeing trip—it’s an immersive experience that connects you with the soul of Syracuse from a unique perspective. Whether you’re drawn to the island’s ancient history, baroque artistry, or simply the pleasure of cruising the Mediterranean waters, we ensure your journey around Ortigia is as enchanting as it is memorable.

Embark on Your Ortigia Exploration
Are you ready to experience the beauty and history of Ortigia from the sea? Contact Your Own Italy to plan your personalized boat tour. Discover the charm of Syracuse’s island heart, where the stories of the past meet the timeless allure of the Mediterranean.

What's Included

  • Expert, licensed English-speaking guide
  • Private tour

Tips for Your Ortigia Boat Tour

Sun Protection: The Mediterranean sun can be strong, especially on the water, so sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses are recommended.
Comfortable Seating: Choose a boat with comfortable seating areas to fully enjoy the tour’s duration.
Camera Ready: The views of Ortigia from the sea are stunning, offering unique photo opportunities of the island’s architecture and natural beauty.
Evening Tours: Consider an evening boat tour to experience the magical sunset over the island, when the colors of the sea and sky blend in a breathtaking display.


Is there a dress code I should know about?
There is a dress code for churches and basilicas. Shoulders and knees must be covered; shorts, miniskirts, and sleeveless shirts are not permitted. It is also recommended that you not take large bags or backpacks on tours that include churches as you may not be permitted to enter and storage accommodations are not usually available.
What if there is bad weather?
Our tours operate rain or shine!
Is tipping customary in Italy?
Tipping is indeed customary in Italy ! It is considered a kind gesture and proper etiquette to leave “a little something extra” depending on the level of service you receive. For a private guide it is suggested to leave 15 – 25 euros for a typical 3-hour tour.
What happens after I’ve requested a booking through your website?
Your Own Italy will send a confirmation email within 24 hours of your booking. You will then be invited to make your payment using a link that will be provided.
Can wheelchair users go on this walking tour?
Not all walking tours are fully accessible for wheelchair users or those with walking disabilities. However, if anyone in your group requires special accommodation, please let us know when completing the booking and we will work out suitable alternative routes.
Can tours be modified?
Yes, we will do our best to adjust any tour to accommodate special requests.
How far in advance should I book my walking tour?
Tours should be booked 48 hours in advance. While we cannot guarantee availability if booking occurs in less than 48 hours, we will do our best to accommodate your request.
What are Your Own Italy’s payment terms?
Full payment is due when the tour confirmation email is sent, within 24 hours of your booking. You will be provided with a link to our payment page. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
What is your cancellation policy?
Tours must be canceled by email 24 hours prior to the start of the tour. If cancellation is made in less than this time, Your Own Italy cannot guarantee a full refund.
How do I amend a reservation?
Any changes to existing reservations must be requested by email. All efforts will be made to accommodate changes, but they cannot be guaranteed.
What should I do if I have a larger group than the size suggested on the website?
Your Own Italy is delighted to accommodate large groups. Please specify the number in your party when booking, and every effort will be made to organize a tour within the time limits provided.

Meeting Point

Please specify when booking whether you would prefer to meet your private guide at your accommodations or at a designated point near the highlights of the tour.

Duration Of Tour

Walking Tours last approximately 3 hours unless otherwise specified.
Tour times are average – some groups prefer a more leisurely pace with fewer sites, with your private guide, this is your option.