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A perfect winter getaway

Savour the delights of two of the Mediterranean’s southern island outposts, both brimming with fascination and interest.

Leave behind the grey and gloom and head south to the warm waters of the Mediterranean, to discover two contrasting islands set in the blue seas between Europe and Africa. Together, Malta – its colourful present-day capital, Valletta, bustling atop its spectacular natural harbour while its predecessor, Mdina, keeps timeless, silent sentinel inland – and Sicily – with its ancient cities, hill towns and smouldering volcano – provide the perfect backdrop for a fascinating tour.

What does this price include?

  • Nine nights’ carefully chosen half-board accommodation at four-star hotels in Qawra, Malta (4 nights) and Giardini Naxos, Sicily (5)
  • Included excursions to Valletta, Mdina and Rabat on Malta
  • Included excursions to Syracuse, Mount Etna, Taormina and Savoca on Sicily
  • Return flights to Malta (returning from Catania, Sicily)
  • A catamaran ride from Malta to Sicily
  • Coach travel and transfers throughout
  • The services of a friendly, experienced tour manager

Your Itinerary

  • Fly into Malta International Airport where your Tour Manager will be waiting to meet you, and transfer to your hotel in the delightful Qawra area of popular St Paul’s Bay. Depending on the time you arrive, you may have time for a stroll along the promenade, looking out to St Paul’s Island on which the Apostle was once shipwrecked, before sitting down to your first dinner at your hotel.

  • The first of your tour’s included excursions explores the island capital, Valletta. You’ll begin with a visit to the award-winning Malta Experience audio-visual presentation, and also take in the Auberge de Castille - former home to the Knights of St John and now the Prime Minister’s office - and the colonnades, fountains and shaded walkways of the lovely Upper Barrakka Gardens, from where the strategic value of the city’s Grand Harbour becomes plainly clear.

  • Rest and relax in the hotel and its surroundings, or perhaps join today’s optional excursion to Malta’s smaller sister isle, Gozo. After the short ferry crossing to quaint Mgarr, you'll spend the day exploring this fascinating place, where the island capital, Victoria, is watched over by its fortified citadel, and the landscape is dotted with prehistoric Neolithic temples and burial mounds and some delightful coastal villages.

  • On today’s full-day excursion you’ll travel inland to Mdina, the ancient, fortified former Maltese capital, to explore its beautiful Silent City of narrow streets and stone-built houses. The tour also includes a visit to the grotto at Rabat, where Bellini’s statue of St Paul depicts the Apostle’s shipwreck on the island.

  • You’ll have an early start, this morning, as you board the fast catamaran for the 90-minute crossing to the Sicilian port of Pozzallo. From here we’ll head a short way up the coast to Syracuse. Once one of the centres of the ancient world and home to the inventor Archimedes.

    The city sits on an island, upon which the city’s great temples of Athena and Apollo once stood, and which still echoes with history and fascination in the intertwined streets of its old town, its harbour and piazza, its Cathedral and Archaeological Museum. You can still see remnants of ancient buildings built into the city’s cathedral or surrounded by tranquil gardens.

    After a short orientation tour you’ll have time explore under your own steam, or perhaps enjoy a typically Sicilian lunch, before our coach carries you further up the Sicilian coast to your second hotel, in Giardini-Naxos.

  • Today you're free to enjoy the delights of Giardini Naxos and its surroundings. Set beneath the lovely hill town of Taormina, looking out over the Ionian Sea, this colourful beachside resort boasts a seafront promenade lined with cafes and restaurants. A low-key archaeological museum and some excavations mark the site of Sicily’s first Greek colony, and a local bus connects the four resorts collectively known as Taormina-Mare with the hill town above. The twinkling lights of the town atop the hill add a special enchantment to the setting, each evening.

  • Surrounded by a vast natural park, Mount Etna is Europe’s highest active volcano, and the views it offers, especially on clear days, are spectacular. Flower-decked Taormina is no less alluring, its Greek Theatre – cut into the mountainside and used by the Romans for gladiatorial contests – competing for the audiences' attention with the astonishing views across the sea and along the coast to Etna.

  • Step into a landscape made famous by one of Hollywood’s most famous films, as you journey to the unspoilt village of Savoca - the location used as Corleone in The Godfather trilogy. Bar Vitelli is still open, and virtually unchanged since Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone visited, and you’ll find cinematic memories everywhere, including St Nicholas Church (setting for Corleone’s wedding to Apollonia) and in nearby Forza D’Agro. Your day will also include the chance to learn about the Sicilian Mafia and the fight against organised crime on the island.

  • Spend the last day of your holiday relaxing in Taormina Mare, or perhaps to join our last optional excursion and discover Agrigento and the Valley of Temples. This vast area was once the great city of Akragas, and it boasts some of the finest and best-preserved Ancient Greek ruins outside of Greece. Described as "the most beautiful city of mortals" Akragas and its magnificent temples were laid out on a ridge on which an acropolis once stood, and from which the wonderful medieval town of Agrigento now surveys the scene.

  • Say goodbye to your Sicilian hosts, today, and board our coach for the transfer to Catania Airport where you’ll catch your flight home.

Prices

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Hotels

Malta and Sicily Touring Hotels

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

View Hotel

Further Information

  • The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately three hours.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Passengers travelling on tours departing after September 2018 will be offered different excursions on Days Four, Six and Seven. Please see the itinerary for further details.
  • 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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