Italy's island outpost
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, the offshore Aeolian Isles and Palermo, the island's capital, and enjoy a beachside stay close to delightful Santa Flavia.
WHAT DOES THE PRICE INCLUDE?
Day One: Fly from the UK to Sicily
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.
Day Two: Included Mount Etna tour
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.
Day Three: Included Syracuse city tour
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.
Day Four: Included Aeolian Island cruise
You’ll check out of your first hotel this morning, and 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.
Returning to the mainland in the afternoon we'll continue to our second hotel base, close to the attractive town of Santa Flavia.
Day Five: Day at leisure
Rest and relax in and around your hotel, today. Head to the private beach, or take a short taxi ride into the centre of Santa Flavia, where the ruins of ancient Soluntum and a number of unpretentious fish restaurants serving the daily catch, are among the attractions.
Day Six: Included Palermo guided tour
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.
You’ll return to your hotel later this afternoon.
Day Seven: Optional Segesta day trip
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.
Day Eight: Fly back to the UK
Bid farewell to Sicily, transferring back to Catania at the end of a delightful holiday to Sicily.
Departures in 2018 follow a slightly different itinerary that includes a visit to Agrigento on Day Four, the optional excursion to Segesta on Day Five, the Aeolian Island Cruise on Day Six and the day in Palermo on Day Seven. The hotels used will be in Acireale and Cefalu, rather than Acireale and Santa Flavia.
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.
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.
Mount Etna excursions
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.
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.
Italian hotel room tax
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.
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.
Foreign Office Travel Advice
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.