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Italy's island outpost

Join us for a two-centre holiday that reveals the treasures of Italy’s southern island outpost, and its stunning natural wonders.

Combine a three-night stay beneath the towering, snow-capped cone of Mount Etna with a four-night beachside stay close to Sicily’s historic capital, Palermo. Set foot on Etna’s lava-strewn slopes and explore nearby hilltop Taormina. Spend a memorable day cruising through the Aeolian Islands and another in the heart of colourful Palermo. A visit to Archimedes' ancient Syracuse and the opportunity, on an
optional excursion, to visit both Segesta’s remarkable Doric Temple and mountain-top Erice, complete your holiday.

What does this price include?

  • Seven nights' dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation at four-star hotels in Acireale (3 nights) and near Santa Flavia (4)
  • Return flights to Sicily
  • Comfortable coach travel and transfers
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager

Your Itinerary

  • Fly to Catania or Palermo, meet your tour manager and transfer to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you may have the chance to familiarise yourself with your surroundings before enjoying dinner at the hotel.

  • Your first included tour takes you up to Mount Etna and the stunning hill town of Taormina. Situated in a vast natural park, Etna is Europe’s highest active volcano, and the sight of it, especially on clear days, is spectacular - the usually blue sky contrasting with the dark mass of the volcano’s triangular peak.

    Taormina is no less stunning, with its Greek Theatre – cut into the mountainside, used by the Romans for gladiatorial contests and still home to modern performances – competing with the peerless views of distant Etna and the sea for your attention.

  • Unearth the treasures of one of Sicily’s most enthralling historic cities, today, as you make the short journey to the once impregnable city of Syracuse. Once a vibrant centre of the Ancient World, the city sits on an island just off the Sicilian shoreline upon which great temples of Apollo and Athena once stood. Today, the intertwined streets of the Old Town, with its harbour and piazza, great cathedral and Archaeological Museum, echo with history.

    Enjoy a short orientation tour, then spend a fascinating few hours exploring – or perhaps enjoying a typically Sicilian lunch – under your own steam.

  • Bidding farewell to Acireale, this morning, 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 call at the largest island, Lipari, passing Vulcano with its brooding crater, before docking in Marina Lunga. From here it’s a short transfer to Lipari Town where you'll spend a pleasant couple of hours before returning to the mainland to continue to your second hotel, close to the typically Sicilian town of Santa Flavia.

  • Rest and relax in hotel, today, enjoying its wide range of amenities. Alternatively, 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.

  • This morning’s included visit to Palermo will reveal the colourful, energetic island capital. The land here has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and the city itself was founded by the Phoenicians. Over the centuries it has been home to Carthaginian, Greek and Norman conquerors, was once the richest city in Europe, and still offers a glimpse of the entire history of Southern Italy in one place.

    Wander the streets of Palermo's four historic quarters (the Quattro Canti) and perhaps watch the lively local world go by from a seat in one of the city’s bars and cafes. 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 designs that you'll see before returning to the hotel later this afternoon.

  • Make the most of your last full day at the hotel, or join today’s optional excursion on which you'll call, first, at Segesta. Here, high on a hill, sits the remarkable Doric temple dating from the Fourth Century BC - the last relic of a settlement that actually predated it by some 800 years.

    Continuing west, you’ll arrive in Erice, a historic mountain town whose narrow streets and hidden squares resonate with a sense of times past. Lose yourself in its maze-like heart, which stretches from the Norman gate to the town's ancient castle, which was built on the site of a magnificent temple, before returning to the hotel for a last evening.

  • Say "Arrivederci, Sicilia", today, as you bid farewell to your hotel and return to the airport to catch your flight home at the end of a wonderful exploration of a fascinating island.

Prices

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Hotels

Etna, Taormina and Classic Sicily Touring Hotels

You will be staying in a series of comfortable hotels that are conveniently located for your tour itinerary.

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Further Information

  • 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.
  • 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, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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