LOW DEPOSITS - JUST £49 PER PERSON!
Italy's southern island outpost
OFFER ENDS 31st JULY*
Discover Sicily on a holiday during which you'll 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 and upon arrival meet you Tour Manager and make the transfer to the hotel. Dependent upon your arrival time, familiarise yourself with your surroundings and enjoy dinner in the hotel.
The first of the included tours takes in fabled Mount Etna and the stunning resort town of Taormina. Situated in a vast natural park, Etna is Europe's highest active volcano, and the views, especially on clear days, are spectacular, the usually blue sky contrasting with the volcano's famous snow-capped peak. Taormina is no less stunning, its Greek Theatre - cut into the mountainside and used by the Romans for gladiatorial contests, and now home to modern performances - competing for the audiences' attention with the peerless views of distant Etna and the sea.
The treasures of one of Sicily's most enthralling historic cities are unearthed today, as you make the short journey to discover the once impregnable city of Syracuse. Former centre of the Greek empire, the city sits on an offshore island upon which great temples - of Apollo and Athena - were built, and which today, in the intertwined streets of the Old Town, with its harbour and piazza, its great Cathedral and Archaeological Museum, echoes with history and fascination.
Enjoy a short orientation tour, then spend a fascinating time in exploration - or perhaps enjoying a typically Sicilian lunch - under your own steam.
Bidding farewell to Acireale, you'll journey to the medieval town of Piazza Armerina, set in wooded hills, and close to which the Roman villa at Casale gives a fascinating insight into Imperial life, before you continue on to fabled Agrigento, a vast archaeological area boasting some of the finest and best preserved Ancient Greek relics outside of Greece itself. The magnificent temples of Juno, Lacinia, Concord, Hercules, Zeus and Vulcan are laid out along the Valle dei Templi beneath a ridge upon which an acropolis once stood, and where medieval Agrigento now surveys the scene. From here, you'll continue on to the second hotel base, close to the attractive resort town of Cefalu.
Rest and relax in the hotel, enjoying its wide range of amenities, or join today's optional excursion, calling first at Segesta, where, high on a hill, sits the remarkable Doric temple, dating from the 4th-century BC, and the last relic of a settlement pre-dating it by some 800 years.
Continuing west, you'll arrive next in Erice, an historic mountain town whose narrow streets and hidden squares resonate with a sense of times past. It's easy to lose oneself in the maze, which stretches from the Norman gate to the ancient castle, built on the site of a magnificent temple.
On our included tour today, you'll journey to the north coast port of Milazzo, where you'll board the ferry for the one-hour crossing to the glorious, volcanic Aeolian Isles, which rise out of the blue waters. You'll make landfall on the largest island Lipari, passing Vulcano with its brooding crater, and after docking in Marina Lunga, it's a short transfer to Lipari Town to spend a pleasant couple of hours.
Enjoy this morning's included visit to Palermo, the colourful, frenetic island capital that has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Founded by the Phoenicians, and later home to Carthaginian, Greek and Norman conquerors, the city, once the richest in Europe, offers a glimpse of the entire history of Southern Italy in one place. Some five miles west, Monreale's Benedictine monastery is one of Sicily's greatest glories, its Norman abbey cathedral a fascinating mix of Romanesque, Byzantine and Arab design. The morning will include a mix of guided visits and the chance to explore at leisure, before you return to spend the afternoon in Cefalu.
Dominated by a mighty cathedral and the craggy outcrop of 'La Rocca', Cefalu is part fishing port, part warm and welcoming holiday resort. The cathedral, dating from 1131, is home to one of the finest Byzantine mosaics in the world, and the surrounding maze of medieval cobbled streets is a delight to wander through. The more energetic might even consider a climb to the Temple of Diana, on the slopes of La Rocca. The town
boasts a superb beach of fine sand, and there is a good selection of shops, restaurants and pavement cafes.
It's "Arrivederci, Sicilia" as today you bid farewell to the hotel and transfer back to the airport and the return flight to the UK, at the end of a wonderful exploration of a truly fascinating island.
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.
*Low deposit of £49 per person applies to new bookings made between 21st June and 31st July 2017 (inclusive) only. This offer only applies to selected air-inclusive holidays. This offer is subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time.