Day 1 Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).
Day 2 Welcome to Sicily
On arrival at Catania Airport, transfers leave for your hotel at 10:00, 12:30 & 15:30. Relax and settle in to your hotel, located by the sea. After time to relax in your hotel, join your Tour Director for an orientation of this bustling port town. See the magnicient Duomo and Piazza and the elegant noble buildings of the Palazzo Senatorio. Later, enjoy a Welcome Reception with dinner and wine.
Day 3 Ancient Syracuse en route to Ragusa
Sightseeing with a Local Expert takes you to the Syracuse's Paradise Quarry and its unusual ‘Ear of Dionysius' - a grotto in the shape of an earlobe with an unusual echo. Next door stands the superb Greek theatre, carved out of solid rock, one of the largest of the ancient world. There is also time to explore the atmospheric Old City, a maze of narrow streets lined with palaces, sprawling over the island of Ortygia. It was here that the famous geometrician Archimedes ran naked through the streets, crying ‘Eureka!' Continue around the southeastern corner of Sicily to Ragusa.
Day 4 Explore the Valley of the Temples & on to Palermo
Journey along the southern coast of the island, past the oil producing town of Gela to Agrigento. Join a Local Expert to explore the Valley of the Temples, Sicily's finest Greek sanctuary. Especially impressive is the massive Temple of Concordia and the clifftop Temple of Juno overlooking the sea. Continue to the Sicilian capital of Palermo.
Day 5 Palermo & the Golden Age of the Normans
In the morning there is the option to explore the bustling Ballaro market crammed in the narrow alleys of the Old Town, before a Local Expert shows you the highlights of the city. Pass through the baroque Quattro Canti Square and glimpse the beauties of the 'Fountain of Shame'. Visit Palermo Cathedral, with a mixture of styles, having been altered many times over the years. In Monreale, visit the finely decorated cathedral - its magnificent gold mosaics are a masterpiece of Arab-Norman art. Return to Palermo and enjoy a free afternoon exploring the city futher. In the evening, for your dining pleasure, you are offered a selection of local restaurants, each with their own ambience and cuisine.
Day 6 Exploring Erice
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, wind your way up to the charming hilltop walled town of Erice. Walk through the labyrinth of quiet alleyways, past medieval churches and enjoy sea views from the gardens next to the Castle of Venus! At a farm near Trapani, sample some of the freshest olive oil produced on the island and savour a tasting of Sicilian wine, followed by a light lunch of delicious local produce. Back in Palermo the evening is free.
Day 7 Cefalu & the Taormina Riviera
After breakfast, drive to the quaint fishing town of Cefalu. The town's imposing cathedral was erected to fulfil a vow made by the Norman King Roger II. Stroll down to the medieval stone fountain and seek out the Gothic arch of the Porta Marina for a picture perfect view of the little harbour. Maybe try the restaurants down by the beach before continuing on, past the toe of Italy to the Taormina Riviera.
Day 8 Taormina & the Dawn Coast of Europe
(Relaxed Start) Your hotel faces east, so early risers may experience what D.H. Lawrence christened the ‘dawn coast of Europe'. After breakfast, perhaps take an optional drive through the vineyards to Mount Etna, Europe's largest active volcano plus a stop in Savoca, a typical hill village, chosen for the filming of The Godfather. Later, transfer to the old town of Taormina that clings to the side of Mount Tauro, overlooking the Ionian Sea and the snowy peak of Mt. Etna. Join a Local Expert for a visit to the Greek theatre, graced with the most spectacular of backdrops. Stroll on to the tiny courtyard of the Palazzo Corvaja, Taormina's grandest building. In the evening, rejoice with your friends at a finalé Celebration Dinner, complete with wine.
Day 9 Depart Catania
Take your final glimpse of Mount Etna on your morning departure transfer to Catania Airport arriving at 06:30 and 08:15. Those taking the Easy Pace Malta extension will be transferred to the airport for your included flight.