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Sicily in Depth (Summer 2020)

Sicily in Depth (Summer 2020)


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Overview

Dates & Prices

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Itinerary

Countries Visited

Italy

Tour Itinerary

Enjoy warm Mediterranean hospitality, as you journey from picture-perfect fishing villages to ancient Greek temples. Witness the rich legacies of the ancient Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans and Ottoman Turks and even uncover a few secrets about the local Mafia. Taste Sicilian wine, feast on delicious seasonal cuisine and meet passionate locals along the way.

Day 1 - Welcome to Sicily.
On arrival at Catania airport, transfers leave for your hotel at 10:00, 12:30 and 15:30. Relax and settle in before meeting your Travel Director at 17:30, for a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.(Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: Il Principe Hotel, Catania.
Meals: Dinner with Wine

Day 2 - Ancient Syracuse.
Sightseeing with your Local Expert takes you to Syracuse’s Paradise Quarry with its unusual Ear of Dionysius, an ear-shaped grotto with an unusual echo. Continue to the superb Greek theatre, carved out of solid rock, one of the largest of the ancient world. There is 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.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Mediterraneo Palace, Ragusa.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 - Explore the Valley of the Temples and 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. Your travels continue to the Sicilian capital of Palermo.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: Best Western Ai Cavalieri Hotel, Palermo.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 4 - Palermo & the Golden Age of the Normans.
Your Local Expert shows you the highlights of part of the old the city. Next, Visit Palermo Cathedral which has been altered may times over the years and observe its unique blend of architectural styles. In Monreale, visit the finely-decorated cathedral and see its magnificent gold mosaics, a masterpiece of Arab-Norman art. Return to Palermo and enjoy a free afternoon exploring the rest of the city. For your dining pleasure, you are offered a selection of local restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening, each with their own ambience and cuisine.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: Best Western Ai Cavalieri Hotel, Palermo.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 5 - Exploring Erice.
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 at your leisure.(Breakfast / Lunch with Wine)
Accommodation: Best Western Ai Cavalieri Hotel, Palermo.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 6 - Cefalu and the Taormina Riviera.
Travel 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.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: RG Naxos Hotel, Taormina Riviera.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 7 - Taormina and the Dawn Coast of Europe.
Your hotel faces east, so early risers may experience why D.H. Lawrence christened this 'The Dawn Coast of Europe.' After breakfast, perhaps take an Optional Experience through the vineyards to Mount Etna, Europe's largest volcano. Travel to the old town of Taormina, which clings to the side of Mount Tauro overlooking the Ionian Sea and the peak of Mount Etna. With your Local Expert, visit the Greek theatre set on a cliff and open to the sky. Take a moment to sit in this ancient theatre and absorb the view through the crumbling arches to Mount Etna. Stroll on to the tiny courtyard of the Palazzo Corvaja, Taormina’s grandest building and further along the elegant Corso Umberto, the Piazza IX Aprile offers panoramic views. At a local restaurant, rejoice with your new-found friends over your Celebration Dinner of delicious, freshly prepared Farm-to-Table cuisine, accompanied with exquisite Italian wines.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: RG Naxos Hotel, Taormina Riviera.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 8 - Depart Catania.
Appreciate the vistas of Mount Etna one last time on your departure transfer to Catania Airport. Transfers arrive at the airport at 06:30 and 08:30.(Breakfast)
Meals: Breakfast

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Inclusions

Authentic Dining

  • Palermo: Choose between a variety of restaurants and cuisines on your Dine-Around evening.
  • St Julian's: Enjoy a Welcome Dinner with your fellow travellers at your luxury hotel in St Julians. This Radisson Blu resort is famous for its delicious Mediterranean flavours.
  • Trapani: At a local farm, meet the owner and sample the olive oil his family produces. Afterward, enjoy a light lunch paired with Sicilian wines.
  • Taormina Riviera: Enjoy a Celebration Dinner with wine, reflecting some of Sicily’s top culinary heritage.
  • Dining Summary: 7 Breakfasts (B) 1 Lunch with Wine (LW) and 4 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Catania: During an exploration with your Travel Director see the Duomo, Piazza and the noble buildings of Palazzo Senatorio.
  • Syracuse: Walk through the gardens of Paradise Quarry, listen to the acoustics in the mysterious Ear of Dionysius and visit the Greek theatre.
  • Syracuse: Explore the ancient streets and delightful squares of in the Old City of Ortygia.
  • Ragusa: During your orientation with your Travel Director see the famous Baroque buildings and churches.
  • Agrigento: A Local Expert will lead you through the magnificent remains of the Greek colony in the Valley in the Temples. See the massive Temple of Concord and clifftop Temple of Juno.
  • Monreale: The sombre exterior of the cathedral at Monreale gives away few clues to the riches inside. Step into a world where the walls glitter with 12th century mosaics, the best of their kind in the world.
  • Palermo: Discover the Sicilian capital with your Local Expert. See Pretoria Square and the 16th century fountain. View the composite architectural styles of the Palermo Cathedral and visit the Cathedral of Monreale.
  • Erice: Led by your Travel Director, explore the quiet alleys of this ancient walled town, as if you've stepped into the Middle Ages. See the medieval churches and marvel at the sea views from the gardens of the Castle of Venus.
  • Cefalu: Your Travel Director will show you the cathedral, built to fulfil a vow. Walk to the medieval stone fountain in the old fishermen’s quarter, find the Gothic arch of the Porta Marina and see the harbour.
  • Taormina Riviera: Should you awake early, you may see why this is known as 'The Dawn Coast of Europe.'
  • Taormina Riviera: Visit the ancient Greek Ampitheatre with your Local Expert. Set on a cliff, open to the sky, take your seats and enjoy the view through the crumbling arches to snowy Mount Etna.
  • Taormina Riviera: During your orientation with your Travel Director, visit the courtyard of Palazzo Corvaja, seat of the first Sicilian parliament, and stroll along Corso Umberto to Piazza IX Aprile.

Included Insight Services

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

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Questions & Answers

Question: what is the activity level?

Walking tours are usually included and may include uneven surfaces and going up/down stairs. More active activities may be offered as an optional.

Question: How many people usually go on an Insight tour?

The average tour size for Insight is 36 passengers.

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4
Accommodations
3.7
Itinerary
4.3
Professional Staff
4.4
Repeat with Operator
3.9
Value for Money
3.9

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Ratings based off 40 reviews - currently showing 7 reviews with comments only

The hotels and food in Sicily were not good. The tour dinners were mediocre. when we dined out on our own the food was good. The hotel in Toarmina was far from the town and the rooms were moldy and old. Insight should spend another day in Taormina in the a center of town. The itinerary was good and we got to see a lot. The wine was good. Our tour director was nice but was not very upbeat and knowledgeable about the areas we visited. The people on the tour were older - mostly in their 60s and up. I would have preferred a mixture of ages. The hotel in Malta was very nice. The staff in the bar and restaurants do not know how to accommodate guests well. The service was slow and the bills were always inaccurate.

I was very happy with my booking. Donna was very helpful and I look forward to booking my next vacation with her soon.

The only upset is with United Air Ways, we did not get a connection with them from LA to Milan. so they moved us to Lithusian Air...it was ok but we arrived too late for our connection in Milan and the airline would"t refund our money and then charged us more for the flight to Catania..;.ugh...we also lost a full day in milan, which was a disappointment because I wanted to see the Pia and the main cathedral...one of the planned highlights of my trip....the rest was wonderful...My hotel in Malta was very far away from all the main highlights of Malta...I did enjoy Cozu...thanks

Wonderful, wonderful, could not have asked for a better trip. Everything went perfectly. Accomodations were above what I expected. thank you

Insight had a lot of little touches that made the experience very peasant. Our tour director was excellent.


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