Overview

Catania - 2 nights
Agrigento - 1 night
Palermo - 2 nights
Giardini Naxos / Taormina - 2 nights

TREASURES OF SICILY

From the Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans to the Normans, Byzantium and later kingdoms, visiting Syracuse, Piazza Armerina, Selinunte, Monreale and Mount Etna

Nowhere of comparative size can compare with the historic treasure house that is Sicily. Not only did Greeks and Romans occupy it but they, together with the Normans, Phoenicians and Saracens, bequeathed splendid examples of their civilisations still visible today. The island is a continuation of the chain of the Apennines with the rugged countryside dominated by Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. The Mediterranean vegetation has been influenced by volcanic eruptions, climate and lava to create a unique environment.

Syracuse, founded in 733 BC by Corinthian settlers was once ranked amongst Greek cities only after Athens in importance. here Archimedes enjoyed his ‘Eureka’ moment and invented his scientific innovations. Picturesque Ortigia peninsula is the historic centre with a fine Baroque cathedral (once the Temple of Minerva!) and palazzos, the Temple of Apollo and Aretusa fountain.

In Agrigento, originally Greek Akragas and then Roman Agrigentum, the ‘Valley of the Temples’ dramatically reveals the ancient city and the museum displays remarkable Greek vases, the enormous ‘Telamon’ and the young athlete, Ephebus.

Villa Casale is a Roman villa of the late Imperial period with wonderful mosaics and coastal Selinunte was once a major city of Magna Graecia. Palermo reveals Phoenician, Roman, Arabic and Norman influences, alongside the Gothic of Monreale Cathedral with its Byzantine frescoes.

Picturesque Taormina is spectacularly sited overlooking the coastline and Mount Etna, with narrow atmospheric streets and a fine Greco-Roman theatre. Central hotels in both Baroque Catania and Palermo allow you to sample Sicily’s cuisine.

Key Features

Cultural & Countryside Tour
Jules Verne Sightseeing
7 UNESCO Heritage Sites
Local Guide Throughout
Guaranteed Departure
Group Size: 2 - 28

Special Event

Palazzo Private Visit

In Palermo a private visit to Palazzo Conte Federico in the only surviving tower of the city wall, guided by the count or countess who reveal layers of history dating back to Norman times. Enjoy an aperitif and appetizers in their beautifully decorated home which they have personally restored.

Day 1 Fly from London Gatwick to Catania. Spend two nights at the 4-star Hotel Principe in Catania, a few steps from the main cathedral square.

Day 2 A full-day excursion to ancient Syracuse, founded in 733 BC and once three times the size of Syracuse today, with a castle attributed to Archimedes and Greek and Roman theatres. Visit the historic centre on Ortigia peninsula and the fine Baroque cathedral. (B)

Day 3 Travel inland to Piazza Armerina to visit the Roman Villa del Casale. Continue to Agrigento to explore the 'Valley of the Temples', site of the ancient city. Overnight at the 4-star Hotel Dioscuri on the waterfront. (B)

Day 4 Follow the coast to Selinunte to visit its Greek temples. Continue to Marsala town, for a wine tasting. Two nights at the classic Hotel Excelsior in Palermo. (B)

Day 5 In Palermo, visit the cathedral, Palatine Chapel in the Norman Palace and the churches of La Martorana and San Cataldo. Visit Monreale and its Gothic cathedral with impressive Byzantine mosaics. Palazzo private visit. (B)

Day 6 Travel to Cefalù, a medieval town whose Norman cathedral has exceptional Byzantine mosaics. Continue via Messina to picturesque Taormina, spectacularly situated with narrow atmospheric streets. Two nights at the RG Naxos Hotel in Giardini Naxos (Villa Diodoro in Taormina Oct 16-Mar 26 & Oct 22-Nov 5). (B)

Day 7 Visit Mount Etna, reaching a height of 1,900 metres by coach (extra charge for a 4-wheel drive minibus ride towards the summit). Afternoon visit to Taormina includes the Greco-Roman theatre, Palazzo Corvaia, Odeon and gardens. Sicilian aperitif with appetisers. (B)

Day 8 Transfer to Catania for the return flight to Gatwick. (B)

  • Key
  • B - Breakfast
  • L - Lunch
  • D - Dinner
 

Notes

This is a full itinerary with many visits on foot including some uneven surfaces and inclines.

From Feb - Mar 26 2019 the Agrigento Archaeological Museum will replace Marsala,  travelling direct from Selinunte to Palermo.

2019

Tuesdays
per person in a twin/double room
British Airways from Gatwick
(easyJet from Gatwick Feb-Mar & Oct 22-Nov)

Date Price
May 21 £1345
May 28 £1295
June 4 £1295
June 11 £1295
June 18 £1275
July 2 £1245
August 20 £1245
August 27 £1275
September 3 £1395
September 10 £1395
September 17 £1395
September 24 £1395
October 1 £1345
October 8 £1295
October 15 £1245
October 22 £1195
October 29 £1145
November 5 £1095

Supplements per person

Single Supplement

Single supplement £295 
(Oct 29/Nov £215)

Flight Options

British Airways Club Europe from £125
easyJet from Gatwick - Nil

Extension Options

Extra nights Pre-Tour Catania
Hotel Principe (per night) £65
Single supplement £42
Arrival transfer £32

Extra nights Post-Tour Giardini Naxos
RG Naxos (per night) £90 (Jul-Sep £110)
Single supplement £65 (Jul-Sep £85)
Departure transfer £55

Extra nights Post-Tour Taormina
Villa Diodoro (per night) £65 (Oct £110)
Single supplement £55 (Oct £100)
Departure transfer £55

Independent Arrival

Save £250 
Arrival transfer add £32
Departure transfer add £55

Price Includes
Air travel and taxes, entrance fees, transfers, 7 nights' accommodation, breakfast daily, itinerary as described, services of local guides and representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.

Not Included
Travel insurance, optional excursions, tipping, porterage, any government and local tourist taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.

Notes
An accommodation tax is payable by all guests. Currently €1.50 per person per night (Giardini Naxos), €2.50 (Catania), €3.00 (Agrigento) and €2.00 (Taormina and Palermo).

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Treasures of Sicily

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