The Island of Sicily
May - October 2015
Mediterranean island jewel
Join us on one of the Mediterranean's most fascinating and beautiful islands for the chance to holiday in charming hotels and enjoy warm waters, fine dining, Sicilian hospitality and - on optional excursions - explore beguiling sights, such as the stunning hill-top town of Taormina, the ancient treasures of Agrigento and snow-capped Etna.
Tour Highlights And Inclusions
- Return flights from your chosen airport to Sicily
- Seven nights' half-board or bed and breakfast accommodation in one of our carefully chosen hotels
- Return airport-to-hotel transfers
- The services of a friendly, experienced Tour Manager
Single rooms are available for a supplement
Set between the toe of Italy and Africa, Sicily has been influenced by many cultures. It's also a place of breathtaking natural beauty. Picturesque resorts and beaches dot the coast, while, inland, quaint hill-towns cling to volcanic slopes, and a wealth of ancient monuments awaits discovery.
Forty-five minutes from the Sicilian capital Palermo, and boasting a superb, sandy beach, Cefalu is part fishing port and part welcoming resort. Shops, restaurants and cafes line the streets surrounding the 12th-century cathedral, and the town is dominated by a towering rocky outcrop, 'la Rocca'.
This collection of intimate resorts sits along the bay beneath famous Taormina, the labyrinth of alleys, flower-decked terraces and romantic squares a short bus or cable-car ride away. Each resort has its own charms and offers a seafront promenade backed by shops, bars, pizzarie and gelaterie.
During your stay, you can choose to join a selection of great-value excursions to many places of interest.
Palermo (Day Three from Cefalu Hotels)
This half-day excursion takes us to Sicily's stunning capital, which reveals its varied heritage both in its buildings - the Cattedrale, the Royal Palazzo dei Normanni and the Archaeological Museum - and in its vibrant, cultured inhabitants.
Agrigento (Day Three from Taormina Mare Hotels, Day Seven from Cefalu Hotels)
Journey to the Valley of Temples to see some of the finest Ancient Greek relics in the Mediterranean. The magnificent temples of Hera Lacinia, Concordia, Heracles, Olympian Zeus, the Dioscuri and Hephaistos are laid out along a ridge above the medieval town of Agrigento.
Mount Etna (Day Four from Taormina Mare Hotels)
Join us for a 'circular navigation' of Europe's most famous active volcano, with its strange, scarred landscape of solidified lava and ancient craters.
Etna and Taormina (Day Five from Cefalu Hotels)
Join us to explore the moon-like, pockmarked landscape of Europe's highest active volcano. The day also includes a visit to exquisite Taormina, with its squares and flower-decked terraces, and the stupendous Teatro Greco.
Taormina (Day Five from Taormina Mare Hotels)
The proximity of these resorts to spectacular Taormina affords the opportunity for a half-day exploration of the exquisite town. Built on the slopes of Monte Tauro, the town's medieval palazzi, flower-strewn piazzi and monumental Teatro Greco will be brought thrillingly to life by our guide.
Syracuse (Day Seven from Taormina Mare Hotels)
This ancient city was a vital link between mainland Greece and the Greek colonies of the western Mediterranean. Temples of Apollo and Athena were built on its island, and today the streets of the Old Town, with its harbour, Cattedrale and Archaeological Museum, still echo with history.
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from Catania Airport is approximately one hour to Taormina Mare and two hours and 15 minutes to Cefalu. From Palermo Airport, the transfer time is approximately one hour to Cefalu and four hours to Taormina Mare.
Combining hotel transfers
We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
Meals in Italy
Guests on half-board arrangements will be served a three-course evening meal, and can expect a first course of traditional pasta or soup, a main meat or fish course accompanied by one or two types of vegetable, and a simple dessert of fruit, cake or Italian ice cream. Breakfasts will usually consist of bread rolls, jam, cereal, ham, cheese, fruit juice, tea and coffee. Menus will vary from hotel to hotel, but choice will be more limited than in a normal restaurant. In some instances, individual guests who have booked with the hotel independently may be offered a different menu from those who are staying at the hotel as part of a package tour.
Mount Etna excursions
These tours take in the extinct craters at Monte Silvestri, at 1,800 metres. Should you wish to climb further - to 2,600 metres - by cable car and off-road vehicle, a supplementary charge is payable locally.
Since certain attractions visited offer free admission to visitors aged under 18 and over 65, we do not include entrance fees. These will be payable locally where applicable. This applies to excursions that are included in the price of your holiday and to excursions booked as optional extras.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair or electric scooter, please let us know as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Italian hotel room tax
Some regions of Italy have introduced a room tax of between 1 EURO and 3 EURO per person per night, payable directly by the guest to the hotel on check-out. You will be advised by your tour manager in resort if a particular hotel is implementing this charge.
Airport development fees
An Airport Development Fee has been introduced at a few UK Airports. You will be required to pay this charge at the following airports prior to checking in for your flight: Blackpool, Durham Tees Valley, Newquay and Norwich. The amount varies from airport to airport, but it is generally between £5 and £10 per person. Please visit the airport's website for further information.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
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