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Journey to the Sun

Combine the relaxed pleasures of a beach holiday with exploration of Italy’s fascinating, sun-kissed southern island outpost.

To holiday in Sicily might be to bathe in some of the Mediterranean’s warmest waters and enjoy some of its best food and wine. Equally, however, it may be to take a passage through time, as you explore a land that was once the centre of the Ancient Greek world, and was temporarily ruled by Roman, Carthaginian, Norman and Spanish conquerors, all of whom have left their marks.

What does this price include?

  • Seven nights' dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation at the four-star Acacia Resort Hotel, near Cefalu
  • Return flights
  • Coach travel and transfers throughout
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager

Your Itinerary

  • Meet your tour manager as you arrive at the airport in Sicily, then transfer to your hotel on the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Depending on the time you arrive, perhaps take a stroll along the sandy beach before dinner is served.

  • Today you're free to rest and relax, either enjoying the hotel's range of amenities or perhaps venturing into nearby Cefalu. This colourful resort town is dominated by the craggy outcrop of La Rocca, and a mighty cathedral that is home to one of the world’s finest Byzantine mosaics. The town is fringed by a long, sandy beach, and 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 around lively Piazza Duomo, in the shadow of the cathedral.

  • Your first included excursion takes you to the Sicilian capital, Palermo, where the island’s heritage is reflected in its buildings – the Cattedrale, the Royal Palazzo dei Normanni, the Archaeological Museum – in the streets of its four historic quarters (the Quattro Canti), and also in its vibrant, cultured inhabitants who believe their city to be the equal of any on the mainland.

    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 enjoy 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 Hera Lacinia, Concordia, Heracles, Zeus and Hephaestus (who the Romans called Vulcan) are laid out along the Valle dei Templi, which is actually a ridge above the nearby medieval town of Agrigento.

    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 so that you can enjoy the hotel, its amenities and its 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. You'll call, first, at the largest island, Lipari, after passing Vulcano with its brooding crater. Spend a pleasant couple of hours in delightful Lipari Town. Wander the colourful streets that spread out beneath the 1,000-year-old castle, or head to a more secluded corner of the island for a dip in pristine azure waters. The energetic might hire bicycles, or 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 still continue, this protected natural reserve is sure to intrigue. You’ll pause for the opportunity to enjoy lunch in stunning, hill-top Castelbuono, which is something of a foodie mecca thanks to its selection of speciality shops and restaurants serving traditional Sicilian fare. And 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 to board your flight home.

Prices

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Hotels

Hotel Acacia, Cefalu

About 10 miles west of Cefalu, at the entrance to Madonie National Park, this very smart, stylish modern hotel boasts beautifully landscaped gardens leading down to a private stretch of beach. A local bus runs from the hotel to the centre of Cefalu three times each day.

Further Information

  • The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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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