Fly to Sicily, meet your tour manager and transfer to the hotel on the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Dependent upon your arrival time, perhaps take a stroll along the beach before dinner is served.
Today is free for you to rest and relax at leisure, either enjoying the hotel’s range of amenities, or perhaps venturing into nearby Cefalu. This colourful city is dominated by the craggy outcrop of La Rocca, and a mighty cathedral, which is home to one of the world’s finest Byzantine mosaics.. The surrounding maze of medieval cobbled streets is a delight to wander through.
Consider climbing to the Temple of Diana, on the slopes of La Rocca, then rewarding yourself with lunch or an ice cream in one of the many restaurants and pavement cafes in lively Piazza Duomo.
The first included tour takes in the Sicilian capital, Palermo, where the island’s heritage is reflected by its vibrant, cultured inhabitants and its buildings; the Cathedral, the Royal Palazzo dei Normanni, the Archaeological Museum – and the streets of its four historic quarters (the Quattro Canti).
After a fascinating morning and perhaps the chance for lunch in the city, spend the afternoon exploring Monreale’s great Benedictine monastery and Norman cathedral, with its extraordinary mosaics. Don’t miss the ornate cloisters, or the chance to savour the wonderful view of the capital from this exquisite hill town. You’ll return to the hotel for dinner.
Journey back in time as you explore 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.
This afternoon, heading inland, you’ll call at the medieval town of Piazza Armerina, set in wooded hills, close to the Roman villa at Casale, which offers a fascinating insight into Imperial life.
Return to the hotel in time for dinner.
Today is another left free for you to enjoy the hotel, its amenities and surroundings, including the beach itself.
On today’s included tour, you’ll journey to the Ionian port of Milazzo to board the ferry for the one-hour crossing to the volcanic Aeolian Isles, which rise out of the blue waters. Make landfall on the largest island, Lipari, passing Vulcano with its brooding crater, and spend a pleasant couple of hours in delightful Lipari Town, set beneath its 1,000-year-old castle. Wander the colourful streets, or head to a remoter corner of the island for a dip in pristine azure waters. The energetic might hire bicycles, the brave a scooter, while the more relaxed might just enjoy an ice cream in the sun. Return to the mainland this evening at the end of an especially enjoyable day.
Enjoy a last day soaking up the atmosphere of the hotel and its surroundings, or join an optional excursion that will see you head inland from Cefalu, into the rugged Madonie Mountains. Home to wildcats and wolves, as well as over 2,500 colourful plant species, and where age-old agrarian practices including sheep farming and olive-growing are continued, this protected natural reserve is sure to intrigue. You’ll pause for the opportunity to enjoy lunch in stunning hill-top Castelbuono, which with its selection of speciality shops and restaurants serving traditional Sicilian fare, is something of a foodie mecca. You’ll return to the hotel this afternoon to enjoy a last evening and a farewell dinner.
Bid “Arrivederci” to your Sicilian hosts, and transfer to the airport for the return flight to the UK.