Italy Sicilian Fantasy

Dive into the new year with a travel experience touring the highlights of Sicily. Visit Palermo, Taormina, Agrigento, Siracusa, Catania, and Cefalu. Travel from port city to medieval towns visiting ornate cathedrals. Enjoy lunch in a farmhouse and indulge in traditional Sicilian products such as panettone and artisan liquors such as Rosolio. Visit archaeological sites in Siracusa and enjoy an excursion to Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. Make your way through Catania, Agrigento and back to Palermo touring temples and dining at local restaurants.

ESCORTED VACATION – Guaranteed departures escorted in English, Spanish & Italian. All local visits and guiding in English. Scheduled departures - 8-day/7-night tour visiting Palermo, Cefalu, Catania, Siracusa, Noto, Mount Etna, Taormina, Piazza Armerina, Agrigento, Selinunte, Erice & Monreale. Includes accommodation at first class hotels with breakfast & dinner daily, 4 lunches, arrival & departure transfers, touring by modern air-conditioned motor coach, and guided sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary.

Includes

  • Transfers per itinerary
  • Hotels per itinerary or similar
  • Meals per itinerary; (B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner
  • Sightseeing per itinerary
  • Porterage; one luggage per person
  • ASTA TOP Tour operator travel funds protection program
  • Touring by modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Professional tour director throughout the tour

Excludes

  • Personal expenses
  • Optional tours
  • Customary tips and gratuities
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
  • Local city taxes
  • Drinks during meals
  • Flights

Daily Itinerary

Day

1

Palermo – Arrival

Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Tonight, enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner at the hotel. (Your arrival transfer is included only if you arrive on the actual day the tour commences. For customers arriving earlier an individual transfer can be organized at an additional cost. Night supplements will be charged for early morning/late evening transfers.) (D)

Day

2

Palermo – Monreale – Palermo

After breakfast, depart for Monreale to admire the cathedral with its splendid 12th century mosaics and the cloister of the Benedictines abbey with its Moorish architecture. Continue with a visit of the capital of Sicily, Palermo, including the cathedral, the Palace of the Normans and its superb Palatina Chapel. Enjoy a panoramic tour of the historical center. After lunch at the hotel, enjoy an afternoon at leisure or consider joining an optional excursion to Monte Pellegrino, the most famous mountain in Palermo. Tonight, enjoy New Year's Eve dinner with music and entertainment at the hotel. (B,L,D)

Day

3

Palermo – Cefalu – Catania

After breakfast, depart for Cefalú, a charming coastal town, home to a breathtaking Norman Cathedral, famous for its Mosaic of Christ Pantocractor, a stunning Byzantine mosaic that is considered one of the most important pieces of religious artwork in Sicily. Take a stroll down the main street and reach the cathedral and the medieval wash-house built in the rock. You will have time at leisure to relax and have lunch on your own. Proceed to Catania, the town known for its original Baroque style and its streets built with black lava stone from Mount Etna. Enjoy a walking tour and see Via Etnea, the Baroque street Via Crociferi, Piazza Duomo with the cathedral and the Liotru Statue, symbol of the city, and the Roman Amphitheater. (B,D)

Day

4

Catania – Siracusa – Noto – Catania

After breakfast, depart for Siracusa and visit the most beautiful Greek colony of Sicily. You will visit the archaeological area including the famous Latomie of the Paradise, the Greek Theater and the Dyonisios “Ear”. Continue to the island of Ortigia, the small Baroque old city center of Siracusa and admire the cathedral, the legendary Fontana Arethusa and the Temple of Apollo. Enjoy some free time to wander around Ortigia, full of shops and cafes. In the afternoon, proceed to Noto, one of the most beautiful cities in Sicily renowned for the harmony and unity of its Baroque style and today declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Return to Catania for dinner and overnight. (B,D)

Day

5

Catania – Mount Etna – Taormina – Catania

After breakfast, if the weather permits, take an excursion to Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. After crossing a fascinating landscape, ascend to 5,400 feet to visit the Sylvester Craters where you can enjoy a spectacular panorama over the Ionian Sea. Stop at the village of Zafferana Etnea to visit a honey production area and enjoy a honey tasting. Continue to Taormina, a charming city called "the pearl of the Ionian Sea", founded in 400 BC and beautifully located overlooking the sea and the peak of Mount Etna. After lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy time at leisure to shop for handmade lace, coral jewels, ceramics, home-made sweets and preserves on “Corso Umberto”, or simply walk through the tiny streets. You may want to visit the fascinating Roman - Greek Theater on your own. Return to Catania for dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)

Day

6

Catania – Piazza Armerina – Agrigento

After breakfast, depart for Piazza Armerina and visit the worldwide known Villa Romana del Casale - the richest, largest and most complex collection of late Roman mosaics in the world and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Continue to Agrigento. In the afternoon, visit the magnificent Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a guided tour of the valley including the Temples of Concord, Juno and Heracles that represent the most beautiful examples of Greek Civilization in Sicily. (B,L,D)

Day

7

Agrigento – Selinunte – Erice – Palermo

After breakfast, depart for the Archaeological Park of Selinunte, the largest in the Mediterranean area with impressive Temples and an Acropolis. Stop at a local farmhouse famous for olive oil production. Enjoy a tasting and lunch. Continue to Erice, a medieval town full of myth, history and art, located on the summit of Monte San Giuliano. Walk through its winding lanes, inner courtyards and cobbled streets. Proceed to Palermo. (B,L,D)

Day

8

Palermo – Return

You will be transferred to the Palermo airport for your return flight home. (Your departure transfer is included only if you depart on the actual day the tour concludes. For customers departing later an individual transfer can be organized at an additional cost. Night supplements will be charged for early morning/late evening transfers.) (B)