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Classic Sicily, Etna & Taormina

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To book this holiday please contact our Travel Experts directly on

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Italy's island outpost

Lift the veil on Italy's fascinating southern island outpost, its ancient treasures, natural wonders, sun-kissed beaches and elegant resorts.

This two-centre holiday, featuring excellent, four-star hotels, combines a three-night stay close to the historic resort town of Cefalù, during which you’ll also take in the Sicilian capital Palermo, with four nights beneath the fabled hill-town Taormina. Visit Roman Piazza Armerina, the towering cone of snow-capped Etna and Archimedes’ ancient Syracuse and complete the Sicilian adventure with a memorable day spent cruising amongst the offshore Aeolian Isles.



What does this price include?

  • Seven nights’ carefully chosen dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation at four-star hotels
  • Return flights to Sicily
  • City tours of Palermo, Syracuse and Taormina
  • Visit to Piazza Armerina and Casale’s Roman villa
  • A Mount Etna cable-car ascent
  • A full-day tour to the Aeolian Islands
  • Coach travel and transfers throughout
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager, with specialist local guides where applicable
  • Note, some tours do operate in reverse order staying in Taormina area first before heading to the north of the island - with the same tour inclusions

Your Itinerary

View a full breakdown of your holiday to help you plan your trip

  • Fly to Catania on Sicily’s east coast, meet your tour manager and transfer to your first hotel in the resort of Mazzaforno or Santa Flavia.

    Rest and relax after the journey and have dinner in the hotel.

  • Embark on this morning’s included tour, first calling at the Benedictine monastery at Monreale. Acknowledged as one of Sicily’s greatest architectural glories, this abbey cathedral is a mix of Romanesque, Byzantine and Arab design. Set off a guided walking tour of Palermo, the island capital that has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Founded by the Phoenicians, and later home to Carthaginian, Greek and Norman conquerors, Palermo, once Europe’s richest city, offers a glimpse of the entire history of Southern Italy in one place. Wander the streets of its four quarters, the Quattro Canti, watching the world go by from a seat in one of the city’s countless bars and cafés.

    Return to the hotel later this afternoon, where you can spend some time before dinner by the pool or on the hotel’s private beach.

  • The morning sees you in the nearby coastal city of Cefalù. Dominated by a mighty cathedral, which we visit, and the craggy outcrop of ‘La Rocca’, Cefalù is part fishing port, part holiday resort. The 12th-century cathedral is home to one of the world’s finest Byzantine mosaics, 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’s a good selection of shops, restaurants, and pavement cafés for you to explore and soak up the local atmosphere before you return to the hotel this afternoon.

  • Bidding farewell to Mazzaforno, travel deep into the Sicilian interior, to the medieval town of Piazza Armerina, set high in wooded hills, and close to the Roman villa at Casale, with its well-preserved mosaics, giving an insight into Imperial life. Continue to your second hotel, positioned in the resort of Giardini-Naxos or Letojanni.

    Rest and relax and enjoy dinner in the hotel.  

  • Today’s included tour first heads to the southern slopes of towering Mount Etna. Ascend by cable car to a height of 2,300 metres, to take in impressive views on clear days, and perhaps walk to the base of the volcano’s crater. Taormina is no less stunning, with its marbled squares and flower-decked streets lined with restaurants – perfect spots for lunch. The famous Greco-Roman theatre is cut into the mountainside. Once used for gladiatorial contests, it is now a setting for modern performances that compete for audiences’ attention with the vistas of Etna and the sea.

    After a special day, return to the hotel for dinner.

     

  • On yet another memorable day, go to the north coast port of Milazzo, where you’ll step aboard a ferry for the one-hour crossing to the glorious, volcanic Aeolian Isles, which rise out of the blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

    Arrive on the largest island Lípari, passing Vulcano with its brooding crater, and after docking in Marina Lunga, it is a short transfer to Lípari Town to spend a couple of hours, before returning to the mainland and back to the hotel for dinner.

    (For 2025 departures, the Aeolian Island cruise is optional). 

  • Unearth the treasures of one of Sicily’s most important cities today, as you make the short journey to discover Syracuse. The former centre of the Greek empire, the ancient heart of the city is on Ortigia island, upon which great temples of Apollo and Athena were built.

  • It’s “Arrivederci, Sicilia”, as you leave the hotel and transfer back to the airport for your return flight to the UK, at the end of an incredible exploration of a truly intriguing island.

Dates & Prices

To book this holiday please contact our Travel Experts directly on

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Hotels

Classic Sicily, Etna & Taormina Touring Hotels

You'll be staying in comfortable hotels that are conveniently located for your tour itinerary.

View Hotel

Further Information

  • For 2025, the cruise to the Aeolian Islands is an optional excursion and not an included excursion as per the 2024 itinerary. In the 2025 itinerary, you'll have the option to enjoy a free day or cruise the Aeolian Islands.

  • The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately two hours and 30 minutes and approximately 45 minutes on departure.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    An authentic dining experience in Italy can often be a bit different to the Italian food that international tourists might be used to, but it’s one of the best ways to truly appreciate the finer cultural differences of this tourist hotspot. From simpler, but more frequent, courses to regional dishes, here are some points to note when dining in Italy.  

    The first major difference you’re likely to notice is that the dining experience as a whole is much longer; you’ll enjoy a much more social experience than the average dinner back home with multiple smaller courses spread across a longer period of time. While each meal will be prepared to order, you may notice that dishes are served cooler than you might be used to – Italian dishes are rarely served piping hot to preserve the more delicate flavours of each ingredient and to provide a more enjoyable dining experience. The final thing to bear in mind is that it may be tricky to find Italian classics in the same form as they are at home. For instance, while Spaghetti Carbonara is a staple in historic Rome – and made traditionally using egg yolks rather than cream – you’ll often find it replaced with a wild boar ragù in Tuscany.

  • You will ride to a higher altitude and experience uneven ground when visiting Mount Etna and warmer clothing - a cardigan or jacket - is recommended along with stronger shoes.

  • 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 at your destination if a particular hotel is implementing this charge.

  • Occasionally we may have to change the order of the hotel stays and 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.

     

  • Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.

  • Rules may have changed since you last travelled to European Union countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The following are useful guidelines which will help you prepare for your next adventure. You do require government issued passport to travel.

    Names - It is very important that all passenger names are exactly as per your passport although we do not require middle names.

    Passport - Your passport must meet two requirements to travel to an EU country and to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. It must be: Less than 10 years old on the day you return home (please check the "date of issue") and valid for at least 3 months after the day you return home (please check the "expiry date").

    Visa - You do not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any rolling 180-day period.

    European Travel Information & Authorisation System (ETIAS) - Commencing in late 2023 or 2024, all citizens of the United Kingdom will require a ETIAS electronic form completed prior to their arrival into the EU and Schengen member countries. The cost for this travel authorisation will be €7.00 per person with exceptions for under 18’s and over 70’s. The latest information and further details can be found at www.etias.com.

Why book with us

The smallest details are what matter the most when it comes to your holiday, and we aim to elevate every experience you encounter on each one of our award-winning tours.

Complete financial protection

We offer complete financial protection through our membership of ABTA and our ATOL licence, giving you total peace of mind with regards to your money.

Dedicated tour managers and local guides

Every one of our holidays is escorted by friendly, dedicated tour managers and local guides. It's their local knowledge that will turn your wish-list holidays plans into lifelong memories.

Award-winning service

We've won more than 70 awards during our 40-year history, and best of all, you've voted us winners at the British Travel Awards 11 years in a row.

Available 24/7

Wherever you are in the world, you'll be able to contact us. There are many ways to get in touch, and we promise you'll always be speaking to a human, not a computer.

So much included

The price you pay includes all your travel, accommodation, touring itinerary, tour manager and much more. There's no need to pay for annoying extras you weren't expecting with us either.

Holding your hand

Wherever you choose to go next, our team of experts are on hand to assist you before, during and after your holiday, so you can focus on relaxing and enjoying your experience.

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