Italy's southern island outpost
Discover Sicily with a stay beneath the towering cone of Mount Etna, visiting the volcano's lava-strewn slopes and nearby Taormina's stunning Greek Theatre. See ancient Syracuse and Agrigento, the offshore Aeolian Isles and Palermo, the island's capital, and enjoy a beachside stay close to delightful Cefalu.
Fly to Sicily, meet your Tour Manager and transfer to your hotel for dinner and your first night on the island. Depending on your arrival time, you'll have the chance to explore your surroundings.
Today you'll experience Mount Etna, Europe's highest active volcano, situated in a vast natural park and offering spectacular views, especially on clear days. Taormina is equally stunning, with its Greek Theatre - used by the Romans for gladiatorial contests - competing with peerless views of distant Etna and the sea.
Syracuse was once a vibrant centre of the Ancient World. Temples of Apollo and Athena once stood here, and today the streets of the Old Town, with its harbour, piazza, Cathedral and Archaeological Museum, echo with history. Explore under your own steam, and perhaps enjoy a typical Sicilian lunch, after a short orientation tour.
Today you'll visit medieval Piazza Armerina, set in wooded hills and close to the fascinating Roman villa at Casale. Continue to Agrigento, a vast archaeological area boasting fine Ancient Greek relics, and where magnificent temples are laid out beneath where an acropolis once stood.
Later we'll continue to our second hotel base, close to the attractive resort town of Cefalu.
Relax and enjoy your hotel's wide range of amenities, or join today's optional excursion to Segesta. Here, a remarkable Doric temple dates from the Fourth Century BC. Continue to Erice, a historic mountain town with narrow streets, hidden squares, a Norman gate and a historic castle.
Journey to Milazzo and board the ferry for the one-hour crossing to the volcanic Aeolian Isles, which rise out of the blue waters. You'll call at the largest island, Lipari, passing Vulcano with its brooding crater. Then dock in Marina Lunga and spend a pleasant couple of hours in Lipari Town.
This morning's visit to Palermo will include guided visits and the chance to explore at leisure. Get to know the historic Sicilian capital - founded by the Phoenicians, later home to Carthaginian, Greek and Norman conquerors, and once the richest city in Europe.
Return for an afternoon in Cefalu, a fishing port and welcoming resort where shops, restaurants and cafes line the streets around the 12th-century cathedral. The town is dominated by a towering rocky outcrop, 'la Rocca', and the more energetic might even consider climbing its slopes to the Temple of Diana.
Bid farewell to Sicily, transferring back to Catania for your return flight to the UK.
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.
Combining hotel transfers
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.
Meals in Italy
Since some attractions visited offer free admission to visitors at certain times of year, 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.
These tours take in the extinct craters at Monte Silvestri, at 1800 metres. Should you wish to climb further - to 2,600 metres - by cable-car and off-road vehicle, a supplementary charge is payable locally.
Mount Etna excursions
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, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Some regions of Italy have introduced a room tax of between 1 € and 3 € 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.
Italian hotel room tax
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.
Airport development fees
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.