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Insight Vacations Sicily in Depth (Summer 2017) (E934)

9 Days from Catania to Valletta Print
Tour Style: Regional Trip
Europe & Britain 2017/18
Visits: Italy

Experience the unique legacy of the Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Saracens, Normans, crusading Knights of St. John, the Bourbons, Ottoman Turks and even the Mafia!

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Taormina: Visit the courtyard of Palazzo Corvaja. Stroll along Corso Umberto to Piazza IX Aprile.
  • Cefalu: See the Cathedral and walk down to the medieval stone fountain in the old fishermen's quarter.
  • Palermo: See Teatro Massimo, Quattro Canti Square, Fontana Pretoria and Palermo Cathedral.
  • Erice: Explore the quiet alleys of this ancient walled town - it's like stepping into the middle ages.
  • Trapani Salt Marshes: Stop at one of the restored windmills and learn about the ancient process of salt extraction.
  • Ragusa: See the famous Baroque buildings and churches.
  • Syracuse: Explore the ancient streets and delightful squares of Ortygia.

AUTHENTIc REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • 7 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Highlight Lunches (HL), 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 three-course table d’hôte Dinner (DW), 1 Dine-Around (DA) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • Palermo: There is an array of restaurants and cuisines to choose from on your Dine-Around evening.
  • Erice: At a local farm, sample the olive oil produced on the island with a tasting of Sicilian wine and a light lunch.
  • Taormina: Enjoy a Celebration Dinner with wine, reflecting some of Sicily's top culinary heritage.

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Syracuse: Walk through the Paradise Quarry gardens, listen to the acoustics in the mysterious Ear of Dionysius and visit the Greek amphitheatre.
  • Agrigento: Crowning a ridge at the Valley of the Temples are the magnificent remains of the Greek colony Akragas. Join your Local Expert for a walk to the Temples of Juno, Concorde and Hercules, some of the best preserved Greek temples in the world.
  • 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.
  • Taormina: Set on a cliff, open to the sky, take your seats in the ancient Greek theatre and enjoy the view through the crumbling arches to snowy Mount Etna with a Local Expert.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Taormina: Enjoy traditional Mediterranean hospitality on the rocky coast of the Ionian Sea at the Hilton Giardini Naxos.

ADDITIONAL FIVE STAR SERVICES

  • An expert Insight Tour Director, at the pinnacle of their career, will guide you on your journey. Serving as your 'travelling concierge', this skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'.
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It's business class comfort.
  • A personal radio headset gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
  • Baggage handling everywhere, with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi.
  • Insight Flourishes - from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Included airport transfers at scheduled times on arrival and departure days.

Insight Vacations Tour Itinerary

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.

Available Room Types: Single, Twin, TwinShare, Triple

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Insight Tour Dates


Guaranteed Departure  indicates Guaranteed Departure
*Air(USA) DepartsInsight RetailRequest Quote
Guaranteed Departure 08/31/2017 $2,075.00
Guaranteed Departure 09/14/2017 $2,150.00
Guaranteed Departure 10/12/2017 $2,050.00
Guaranteed Departure 10/19/2017 $2,050.00
Guaranteed Departure 10/26/2017 $2,050.00
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