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Timeless Sicily

Timeless Sicily

Situated just off the "toe" of Italy's boot - one of the few places in Europe that can genuinely be called unspoiled

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Situated just off the "toe" of Italy's boot - one of the few places in Europe that can genuinely be called unspoiled

Italy is often referred to as the crown of the Mediterranean, which must make Sicily its brightest jewel. The largest of all Mediterranean islands, situated just off the “toe” of Italy’s boot, it is one of the few places in Europe that can be genuinely called unspoiled. Its varied scenery is truly breathtaking, with rugged mountains, rich meadows, citrus and olive groves, pine forests and a spectacularly indented coastline where amber volcanic rocks plunge into a turquoise sea. A crossroads of civilization for centuries, the magnificent relics of them all are remarkably well preserved.  Notably different from the rest of Italy with the Sicilian language still in use and the wonderful food being influenced by the proximity of the African coast, you can not mistake the traditional warm Italian welcome however.

Tuesday 1st

Very early morning departure from Dorset via Eurotunnel crossing to Calais and onwards to Saarbrucken for overnight stay.

D

Wednesday 2nd

Continue through Switzerland and over the Alps to Genova on the Italian coast. We have booked a meal in a restaurant before embarkation on the ferry which sails at 23:00. Overnight cruise ferry crossing (19½ hrs) with cabin included - it's a mini Med-cruise!

B, D

Thursday 3rd

Arrive Palermo on Sicily at 18:30 where we are welcomed by our local guide who will accompany us for the entire duration of our time on Sicily. Make the short drive to our hotel at Castellammare del Golfo where dinner awaits. 2 night stay at Hotel Cerri.

D

Friday 4th

Today we discover the seaside resort of Trapani with a guided walk through the beautiful old town to see the Church of the Holy Souls in Purgatory and then to visit the Cathedral. Later see the incredible landscapes of the salt flats with wonderful panoramic views of the shallow bay, before heading up the hairpin bends to the hilltop village of Erice, located at 750m. Surrounded by mighty medieval walls you can wander through narrow cobbled lanes that contain the cake shops the town is famous for! Return to Castellammare del Golfo for some free time to explore the handsome curved harbour.

B, D

Saturday 5th

Make our way to the town of Marsala - clues to its illustrious past can still be seen today. We shall enjoy a guided tour of a wine cellar and sample the local Marsala wines. Continue to the port of Mazara del Vallo which has a distinctly African feel - many Tunisians live here. View the most important sights - the Cathedral, Edigio Church and the baroque palaces on the Piazza della Repubblica, before ending up at the fishing port. Later this afternoon drive through vineyards and passing hilltop villages to Agrigento. 1 night stay at Hotel Baia di Ulisse Beach - right on the dunes overlooking the sea.

B, D

Sunday 6th

We can not miss Agrigento's archaeological area and old town - a UNESCO World Heritage site of magnificent temples, described as "The most beautiful city created by mortal man". You can not fail to be struck by the play of light on the mighty monuments with the Mediterranean backdrop. We shall continue inland and climb to Caltagirone, known locally as "The Queen of the mountains" renowned for its pottery works. Here the main sights are the Cathedral of San Guilliano and the mighty 142 steps of the Santa Maria del Monte. We shall visit a pottery to see the unique techniques they use in Caltagirone. Drive down from the hills with sensational views to Noto in the south of the island. Stay for 2 nights at Hotel Villa Favorita in a rural location surrounded by olive and citrus groves.

B, D

Monday 7th

Visit the baroque town of Ragusa - an earthquake back in 1693 resulted in the town having to be rebuilt and the nobility competed for most decorative facades, which can still be admired today. Even more delights await in the town of Noto itself, which also arose from the ruins of the same earthquake - arguably now Sicily's most impressive baroque city. It has a remarkable and gorgeous old city stuffed full of Sicilian Baroque architecture - a highlight of any visit to the island.

B, D

Tuesday 8th

Today's exciting excursion takes us to Syracuse and the Ortigia peninsula on which the old town is located. Practically a fortress island sitting on cliffs behind defensive walls and surrounded by the sea - it contains such treasures as the Fountain of Arethusa, the 13th century Castle, the Duomo (now a cathedral that started life as the Temple of Athena), a regional Art Museum and sunny Piazzas to sit and take coffee. Visit the Neapolis archaeological excavations where a guide will show you the ancient amphitheatre and the famous cave known as the Ear of Dionysus. From Syracuse we drive north along the East coast to the attractive seaside resort of Giardini Naxos. A cheery place with superb views of the hills and a long beachfront. 2 nights at Hotel Arathena Rocks which overlooks the Ionian sea.

B, D

Wednesday 9th

We visit Mount Etna, Europe's highest active volcano at 3323 metres. Our coach will drive up to 1900 metres we can make a short walk to the Silvestri craters. Here we can join the cable car up to 2500 metres for stunning views across the island. In the afternoon we call at Taormina and see its famous amphitheatre. A popular and fashionable seaside resort on the East coast - it has many expensive restaurants, but you don't have to spend a fortune to enjoy the views from this attractive if touristy little town.

B, D

Thursday 10th

Making a scenic coastal drive along the North of the island back to the capital Palermo. Stunning palaces are juxtaposed with typical Southern Italian street scenes - our guide will show us around. We shall also be shown the Monreale Cathedral, built by the Normans in the mountains above the city - a celebration of their victory over Islam. Dinner is taken in a local restaurant in Palermo, after which we bid our guide a fond farewell, before embarking the ferry for 23:00 sailing to Genova (19½ hrs) with cabin included.

B, D

Friday 11th

After a restful day at sea arrive Genova, Italy at 18:30. Overnight in a hotel nearby.

D

Saturday 12th

Across the Alps to Saarbrucken area for a final overnight hotel.

B, D

Sunday 13th

Homewards across France to Calais and via Eurotunnel crossing to arrive back in Dorset late that evening.

B

B=Breakfast, D=Dinner

Your Accommodation

Hotels are all high quality 3 or 4 star rated and offer all the expected facilities including private bathroom. More details of individual venues are given below. Meals are half board at all hotels which includes a buffet breakfast and a set menu 3 course evening dinner. Porterage in and out of each hotel is available at each hotel if you need that assistance – payable in cash on the spot (2-3 Euros per case). The nights of 2nd and 10th October are spent on-board the Genoa – Palermo ferry with a bed (not bunk) in a 2 berth inside cabin with shower, toilet, air-con and hairdryer. No meals included on the ferry but a variety of food outlets are available to suit every taste.

 

Saarbrucken/Dijon area overnight stays - Nights of 1st & 12th October

Good quality 3 star rated hotels (Novotel/Mercure or similar) providing private bathroom.

Will be named before departure.

 

Genoa-Palermo Ferry - Nights of 2nd & 10th October

Operated by Grand Navi Veloci - crossing time 19 and a half hours.  An inside air-conditioned cabin (without a porthole) which provides two low level beds (rather than bunks) a private en-suite shower room, toilet and hairdryer.  There is an A la Carte restaurant, a more informal self service restaurant, a snack bar serving sandwiches, snacks, fruit and ice cream. There are lounges and open sun decks in which to relax, a cinema, casino, cocktail bar and an onboard shopping centre.

 

Hotel Cerri, Castellammare del Golfo - Nights of 3rd & 4th October

A three star eco-friendly hotel providing modern air-conditioned bedrooms with elegant furnishings. A private bathroom is equipped with shower, toilet, bidet, hairdryer and complimentary toiletries. The room offers a minibar, safe, telephone, wake up alarm, digital television, heating, soundproofing and desk. There is a lift to all floors and free wifi is available throughout. The restaurant offers sea-views from its terrace while you enjoy tradional Sicilain cuisine.

 

Hotel Baia di Ulisse Beach, Agrigento - Night of 5th October

A stunning 4 star hotel with direct access to a private beach through a pine forest - also offering a sunny terrace overlooking the sea. Bedrooms are furnished with simplicity and elegance, all with balcony, private bathroom, air-conditioning, minibar phone and cable TV. Wifi is available in the public areas. Offering sea-views and an  al-fresco terrace the restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine. There is a lift.

 

Hotel Villa Favorita, Noto Region - Nights of 6th & 7th October

A 4 star venue based on an 18th century villa and still run by descendants of the original founding family. The charm of the original buidling has been maintained by a sensitive restoration using original architectural principles under the guidelines of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage. The bedrooms are comfortable and air-conditioned and have private bathroom/toilet, hairdryer, fridge, safe, telephone, television and wifi connection.  The restuarant is spacious and keeps its menu faithfuly to Sicilain traditions using many products produced on its own estate, including superb wines, olive oils and fresh fruit.  There is an outdoor pool set in the beautiful surrounding gardens. A lift serves the upper floors, there is a bar, lounge area and sun terrace with loungers.

 

Hotel Arathena Rocks, Giardini Naxos - Nights of 8th & 9th October

Another superb 4 star venue, situated right on the sea and just 5 minutes walk from the beach in a quiet residential area.  Bedrooms are air-conditioned and provide private bathroom with shower and toilet, hairdryer and free toiletries, there is a fridge , television, alarm clock and desk. The lounge and bar provide areas of relaxation where you can connect to the free wifi. There is an outdoor pool with sun loungers and umbrellas. Breakfast is usally served out on the terrace while typical Sicilan meals are provided in the restaurant.

 

Genova area overnight stay - Night of 11th October

Good quality 3 star rated hotel (Novotel/Mercure or similar) providing private bathroom.

Will be named before departure.

 

 

TOUR PRICE: £ 1675.00 Per Person

 

Price Includes: All coach travel, Return Eurotunnel crossings, 10 nights hotel accommodation with half board meals, 2 x overnight ferry crossings with cabin: Genova/Palermo and return,  Dinner in Genova restaurant, Local guide services on Sicily, Entry to Purgatory church, Wine tasting in Marsala, Entry to Valle dei Templi in Agrigento with local guide, Entry to Neapolis archaeological, Entry to Taormina amphitheatre, Walking tour of Palermo & Monreale, Entry to Monreale cathedral, Entry to Palermo Norman Palace, Dinner in Palermo restaurant, VAT

 

Single room/cabin supplement: £270.00

Single room availability is directly linked with single cabin availability.  It is not permitted to book twin/double hotel rooms with single cabin occupancy.

Travel Insurance Premium: £53.00

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

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Name Address Contact Details
Beaminster Area Convenient local point in Beaminster to be advised
Blandford Area Convenient local point in Blandford to be advised
Bournemouth Area Convenient point in Bournemouth to be advised
Branksome Area Convenient point in Branksome to be advised
Bridport Area Convenient local point in Bridport to be advised
Britannia Inn Britannia Inn, Fortuneswell, Portland
Charlestown The Alexandra Inn, Chickerell Road, Charlestown
Chickerell Bluebird Garage, Chickerell Road
Corfe Castle Convenient point in Corfe Castle to be advised
Courtlands Portland, Courtlands bus stop
Dorchester Top O'Town Car Park (by cafe), Dorchester
Easton Easton Square, Portland
Ferndown Area Convenient local point in Ferndown to be advised
Foords Corner Foords Corner bus stop, Wyke Regis
Jestys Avenue Bus stop end of Jestys Avenue on Littlemoor Road
Littlemead Broadwey, Littlemead bus stop (Swan Inn)
Lodmoor Hill Lodmoor Hill Bus Stop (near Post Office)
Lyme Regis Convenient local point in Lyme Regis to be advised
Lyndale bus stop Wyke Regis, Lyndale Bus Stop
Nottington Broadwey, Nottington Corner bus stop
Other Points in Dorset Phone us to discuss a convenient pick up.
Poole Area Convenient local point in Poole to be advised
Poundbury QMSE Poundbury Queen Mother Square
(Coach heading into Dorchester)
Radipole Spa Hotel bus stop, Radipole
Redlands Redlands, Opposite Garage
Ringwood Area Convenient local point in Ringwood to be advised
Rodwell Rodwell Traffic Lights, Rodwell Rd/Rodwell Ave
Sgt Bunn St Bunn Bakery, Lanehouse Rocks Road
Sherborne Area Convenient local point in Sherborne to be advised
Southwell Portland, Southwell, Opposite Eight Kings Inn
St Edmunds Church St Edmunds Church, Lanehouse Rocks Road
St Johns Church Weymouth, St Johns Church, outside Dentist
St Nicholas Church St Nicholas Church, Buxton Road, Weymouth
Sturminster Newton Area Convenient point in Stur. Newton to be advised
Swanage Area Convenient local point in Swanage to be advised
To be advised To be advised - Approx. 2 weeks before travel
Upton Area Convenient local point in Upton to be advised
Value House Value House Car Park
Victoria Square Victoria Square bus stop, Portland
Wareham Area Convenient local point in Wareham to be advised
Westwey Road Westwey Rd, Magistrates Court, Weymouth
Weymouth Bluebird Weymouth, Outside Bluebird Office,
K1 bus stop
Wimborne Area Convenient local point in Wimborne to be advised
Wool Area Convenient local point in Wool to be advised
Wyke Smuggler Smugglers Inn, Wyke Regis
Yeovil Area Convenient local point in Yeovil to be advised
From Price Book Now Call Back Telephone Favourites
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