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Itinerary

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Tour Itinerary

From the pristine waters and the stalwart fortifications of Tropea, all the way to the smoke gently floating from the volcanoes of the Aeolian Islands - Calabria is a hidden gem for those who stray off Italy's beaten path. Discover this less-visited part of the country before delving into the spectacular sights of bustling Sicily, volcanic valleys of Mt. Etna, timeworn streets of Syracuse, the Baroque wonders of Ragusa and rich anti-mafia history of Palermo. Starring dramatic cliffside villages, clear waters and delicious seafood, this is a chance to experience the highlights of southern Italy.

Countries Visited

Italy

  1. Day 1
    Amalfi Coast
    Buongiorno! Welcome to Italy, where you'll first be greeted by the Amalfi peninsula's rocky coasts, azure seas and whitewashed villages. Our adventure officially kicks off with a Welcome Meeting at 6 pm this evening where you’ll meet your group leader and fellow travellers. If you arrive early, perhaps stroll from one side of Amalfi town to the other and pay a visit to the Cattedrale di Sant'Andrea and the Chiostro del Paradiso, or laze around the beaches at your leisure.
  2. Day 2
    Civita
    This morning you'll travel to Civita by boat, train and private vehicle. It's a tad complex logistically, but well worth the effort to see this gorgeous village built into the rocky hillside. Civita was founded by Albanian refugees in the Middle Ages and the Civitesi are recognised as an ethnic minority by the Italian Government. Their language, arberesh, is a mixture of Italian and Albanian and is only spoken here and in some parts of Sicily. Take a walk around this fascinating village on arrival then perhaps choose to visit a local winery and cheese producer, or just walk in the scenic hills instead.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  3. Day 3
    Pollino National Park / Civita
    After breakfast today, you’ll hike into the beautiful Pollino National Park that surrounds Civita. With sheer cliffs, narrow canyons and a diverse range of wildlife including the peregrine falcon, eagle owl and the recently reintroduced Egyptian vulture, this area is a wildlife lover's paradise. If you'd like to opt out of the hike, you can kick back on the terrace of your guesthouse and enjoy the scenery and hospitality of the locals. The afternoon and evening are at your leisure.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  4. Day 4
    Tropea
    After breakfast this morning, you’ll transfer from Civita to Paola, before taking the train onwards to Tropea. Tropea has a striking sense of timelessness, created by the streets full of faded buildings and the iconic fortifications that line the city’s cliffs. Explore the town as you head out on an orientation walk. You may want to visit the local Norman cathedral, the Duomo, which holds an icon of the town’s celebrated protectress, the Madonna of Romania. There’s also the Museo Diocesano, a tiny museum hiding in the Palazzo Vescovile next to the Duomo, which is full of religious art and wooden statues. If you’d prefer some time by the water, feel free to head to the beach and marvel at the looming structures on the cliffs nearby.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  5. Day 5
    Aeolian Islands / Tropea
    If the weather is fine, take an included boat trip to the Aeolian Islands of Vulcano, Lipari and Stromboli. These islands, affectionately referred to as ‘pearls of the Mediterranean’, attract all manner of adventurers and thrill seekers to their shores due to their natural beauty and volcanic activity. The trip will start with a boat ride to the aptly named Vulcano. Then, land on the isle of Lipari where you’ll have free time to visit the museum, have lunch, go shopping or stroll through the streets. Following Lipari, you’ll pass the isle of Panarea and travel to Stromboli to learn about the famous Sciara del Fuoco (street of fire) before spending free time on the island’s black sandy beaches. Afterwards, return to Tropea where you’ll spend the night.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  6. Day 6
    Reggio Calabria
    Depart from Tropea by train as you travel onward to Reggio Calabria, the gateway to Sicily. The city’s placement in a major earthquake zone has caused much destruction over the years, meaning only few historical sites remain in comparison to the rest of Italy. However, this has resulted in a charming mix of architecture - balanced between the surviving old buildings and the modern structures. Embark on an orientation walk, before visiting the widely renowned National Archaeological Museum of Reggio. This building is arguably the most important tourism destination that the region has to offer, featuring an excellent collection of exhibits from Greek influenced sites across Calabria, including the Bronzi di Riace, two large bronze statues found on the sea floor in the 70's. Later in the evening perhaps hunt down some of the city's spectacular restaurants for grilled swordfish or pasta with cauliflower and broccoli (both are dishes typical to the area) and a glass of local wine, or wander past the city’s panoramic waterfront.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  7. Day 7
    Catania
    Bid farewell to Reggio Calabria and travel by ferry to Messina in Sicily, where you’ll enjoy a Messina - traditional boat ride. You'll experience the thrill of a fishing trip with the locals and learn about the traditions and natural wonders of the Strait of Messina. After your experience, you’ll board a bus to the atmospheric city of Catania. The city has a unique energy to it, an interesting blend of young and old. On one hand, there’s a gritty, attractive bar culture that fuels an exuberant nightlife, full of flavour and laughter. On the other hand, the very core of the city boasts one of the fabled “Late Baroque” towns – the UNESCO World Heritage site, Val di Noto. You’ll get the opportunity to explore both sides of this curious city by walking through its grand piazzas and wide roads. The evening is yours to enjoy, so perhaps get a gelato or a granita to cool off at the end of a busy day of exploration.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  8. Day 8
    Taormina/Catania
    Take a day trip to the charming city of Taormina. Start things off with an orientation walk, where you’ll notice the Greek influence in the architecture. Walk through the back streets, gardens, and perhaps visit the world-famous Greek theatre and the cathedral. The whole afternoon will be at your leisure, so there's plenty of time to explore at your own pace. Have a drink in the Mediterranean sun or dig into some traditional Sicilian pasta before heading back to Catania for your final evening. Perhaps, head out with your newfound travel companions for one final pasta dinner together and toast to the Calabrian adventures you shared.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  9. Day 9
    Catania
    Enjoy a free day in the charming Catania until your 6pm group meeting.
  10. Day 10
    Syracuse
    Today it’s time to come face-to-face with the volcano that towered over you yesterday, we’re taking a day trip to drive up Mt Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano. Drive up the northern flank of the volcano and strap on your walking shoes for an easy walk through the spectacular Valle del Bove (Bull Valley), a valley formed when the original crater of Etna collapsed. This is Etna’s largest valley, where many lava flows can be seen, one on top of the other. At an altitude of approx 2,000 metres, you’ll walk into the centre of an extinct crater and visit a lava cave that can be explored with helmets and torches. Who else can say they’ve walked into the crater of a volcano? Walk among the cold lava streams of Piano Provenzana, a former ski resort that has been destroyed during the last big eruption of 2002. After we’re throughly explored Etna, we’ll hit the road to Syracuse where your leader will take you on an orientation walk through the most interesting parts of the city. The evening is yours to explore, or chill out, as you wish.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  11. Day 11
    Syracuse
    Wake up without an alarm today, you’ve got the day at your leisure to explore Syracuse however you like. Perhaps, wander through the streets and check out the crumbling building facades and balconies supported for centuries by a host of stone lions, tigers, bears, dragons, moors, satyrs, devils, angels, kings, paupers, wenches and cherubs. Perhaps take a boat trip around the island of Ortigia for a scenic view of the walled off cityscape. Or, you may want to participate in an optional visit to the Neapolis Archaeological Site – known as one of the world’s finest. Alternately, we’re sure you could fill your whole day just wandering aimlessly through this fascinating city, stopping by cafes, restaurants and perhaps grabbing a granita in the afternoon.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  12. Day 12
    Noto/Ragusa/Agrigento
    After breakfast today we’re setting our sights for the city of Agrigento. But first, there’s one quick stop along the way that simply can’t be missed – Noto, a small slightly less-known town with limestone buildings that dazzle on a sunlit afternoon. Our next stop is the ‘new’ baroque city of Ragusa that was completely rebuilt after the devastating earthquake of 1693, resulting in two vastly different sides to the same city. After exploring the tangled alleyways and baroque palazzi, travel on to the final destination for today, Agrigento. Arrive late in the afternoon and enjoy some free time. Maybe find the historic center that extends up the Colle di Girgenti hill including Via Atenea and Viale della Vittoria, where there’s a panoramic view over the valley (Valley of the Temples) and the sea for sunset. Plus, be sure to try the famous gelato pecorino in one of the local cafés and patisseries.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  13. Day 13
    Valley of the Temples/Marsala
    You’ll take a step back in time today as you explore the nearby Valley of the Temples. Your local guide will bring this classical Greek site to life as you visit the temples of Hera, Herakles, Zeus and Castor and Pollux. Try to nab a window seat today, along the way you’ll enjoy magnificent views of the sweeping landscape and Mediterranean Sea. After the guided tour in the Valley of the Temples, you’ll head on to Marsala a coastal town in the west of Sicily.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  14. Day 14
    Erice/Palermo
    Today you’ll set your sights on Palermo, but not without a few scenic stops along the way. First up, we’ll explore the beautifully preserved medieval town of Erice (located more than 750 metres above sea level). Despite being handed from one ruling army to the next, there are plenty of beautiful buildings in this town, each showcasing architectural styles from a varied history. Before you get back on the road, be sure to pick yourself up a Genovesi – a traditional Sicilian pastry filled with custard or ricotta cream. With a belly full of sweets, we’re on our way to the capital of Sicily – Palermo. On arrival in Palermo the afternoon is free for you to explore as you wish. You might like to wander the labyrinth of small alleyways, buzzing colourful market squares and winding roads. Or, check out some of the main monuments like the 12th century cathedral in the old heart of the city.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  15. Day 15
    Palermo
    Wake up excited and ready to explore the beautiful city of Palermo. You’ll have the option to visit nearby Monreale this morning, situated in a panoramic position above Palermo with fantastic views over the city and the sea. You’ll get a chance to visit the cathedral here, described as one of the ‘wonders of the medieval world’, and climb to its roof. Alternately, you might like to take a free morning to wander the city at your own will. In the morning, you’ll take part in a walking tour with a local guide where you’ll uncover symbolic places of rebellion and anti-mafia racketeering. Places such as the Teatro Massimo, Cape Market, Piazza della Memoria, Beati Paoli Square and more all have a rich history in civil mobilisation – plus, they are known to serve delicious street food. Dig in! You’ll get a chance to meet shop owners who have had the courage to denounce their extortionists. This evening, perhaps share a bite to eat and toast to the week that was with your group before the adventure comes to an end tomorrow.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  16. Day 16
    Palermo
    Your adventures come to an end today after breakfast. If you’d like to stay and explore more in Palermo we can arrange additional accommodation on request (subject to availability).
    Meals:   Breakfast

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Inclusions

  • Civita - Hike in Pollino National Park
  • Tropea - Aeolian Islands Cruise (Vulcano, Lipari, Stromboli)
  • Reggio Calabria - Archaeological Museum
  • Messina - traditional boat sailing
  • Taormina - Day Trip
  • Mt Etna - Day Trip
  • Siracusa - Leader-led Orientation Walk
  • Noto & Ragusa - Day Trip
  • Agrigento - Guided visit Valley of the Temples
  • Erice - local sweets tasting
  • Palermo - Anti-Mafia Movement Tour

Meals
14 Breakfast(s) Included

Style: Original

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Accommodations

Hotel (13 nights), Guesthouse (2 nights)

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Questions & Answers

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.

Intrepid Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4
Accommodations
3.6
Itinerary
4.2
Professional Staff
4.4
Repeat with Operator
4.1
Value for Money
3.8

Ratings based off 206 reviews about Intrepid Tours - currently showing 9 reviews with comments only

Intrepid is awesome. Our guide was superb. Everything went smoothly!

Our tour guide was wonderful. She was knowledgeable, fun, energetic, and made our week run very smoothly. The trip itself was fantastic! We saw a lot and the islands are absolutely beautiful. Great food, great new friends made on the tour, and would absolutely book with Intrepid again.

Intrepid tour is great company. Will use this company again.

The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.

The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations

Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.

Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.

Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.

Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.

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