Sicily

2-Centre Holiday

Tour Highlights

The beautiful island of Sicily is the largest in the Mediterranean and proudly unique from the rest of Italy.
It is rich in culture, customs and tradition as evident in the local art, music, cuisine, architecture and language. It is also one of the most naturally scenic places in Italy with a coastline of pristine sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs and rocky shores with crystal-clear azure waters, while inland is characterized by rolling hills, fruit and olive orchards, ancient villages and archaeological treasures.

We begin with 7 nights on the western side of the island in Mazara del Vallo, famous as one of Italy’s foremost fishing harbours. Mazara is a diverse, multi-ethnic city where people live in harmony and are known for their warm hospitality. The area has seen a myriad of rulers (including Arabs and Normans) which is apparent in the great variety of architectural styles. Our sightseeing here will include the historic centre of Mazara del Vallo, Segesta - one of the best preserved and most beautiful Greek temples, the picturesque hilltop town of Erice, the island of Mozia with its salt marshes, windmills and vineyards, Arab-flavoured Monreale with its ancient murals, the old town and market of Palermo with fantastic views of Mount Pellegrina.

We then travel to the eastern side of the island for a 6-night stay in the elegant cliff-top resort town of Taormina. En route we visit The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento - one of the most important archaeological sites in Sicily. Our sightseeing in this area will include the lovely resort town of Giardini Naxos (which stretches out along the Ionian Sea), the bustling city of Catania, ancient Syracuse and the typical Sicilian towns where the famous trilogy “The Godfather” was filmed! Our tour will also include a sampling of local wines and regional specialties.

In Mazara del Vallo we stay at the Mahara Hotel, within walking distance of the city centre. The hotel offers a full service spa and guest rooms feature French balconies with garden views. Our hotel in Taormina is the beautiful Villa Diodoro, situated on the cliff with views of Mt. Etna and the Bay of Naxos. The hotel is within walking distance of the historic centre and the spacious guestrooms are garden view.

***Those participating in any of our tours to Europe must be able to walk fairly long distances and climb stairs easily.

Tentative Itinerary

We depart for Sicily, with a change of planes in Rome.
We arrive in Palermo and transfer to our hotel for a 2-night stay.

We travel to the hill top town of Monreale, renowned for its Arab-flavoured Cathedral covered in mosaics dating back as far as 1194 AD.  We then visit the city of Palermo, including the Duomo (Cathedral) and the old town to see the Capo market selling fresh food and artisan products.

Today begins with a visit of Segesta, one of the best preserved and most beautiful Greek archaeological sites. We then enjoy some time in the historical town of Erice, located on top of a mountain 750 meters above sea level and overlooking the city of Trapani. Our included lunch will feature typical Sicilian fare.  We then continue to Mazara Del Vallo for a 4-night stay.

This morning we enjoy a guided visit of the historical centre of town, to see the many Moorish and Norman churches and the beautiful cathedral.  We will visit the Museum of the Dancing Satyr to see the famous bronze statue dragged from the sea by a local fisherman and take a stroll in the Kasbah. The afternoon is at leisure.

A day at leisure to relax at the hotel or explore the area at your own pace.
Today we enjoy a boat ride to the island of Mozia to visit what was once an ancient Phoenician city. We will see the original landscape of the salt marshes, windmills and vineyards. We then see the historic center of Marsala and enjoy lunch at a winery, including a tasting.  

 Today we travel to the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, considered one of the world’s largest archaeological parks and one of the most impressive complexes of ancient Greek buildings outside of Greece. A light lunch will be included at a local restaurant before we continue to our hotel in Taormina.
This morning we begin with a walking tour of the charming cliff-side town of Taormina, followed by some free time to enjoy the spectacular views, elegant gardens, posh cafes and shops of this old-world resort town. We then enjoy a drive along the seafront of Giardini Naxos with some time for a stroll along the boardwalk.

Today we tour Catania, with its historical centre and famous fish market. We will have some free time in the main square, the lovely Piazza Duomo and main shopping street before we return to our hotel via a scenic drive along the Riviera of the Cyclops - a legendary stretch of coast north of Catania.

 We visit the unspoiled and typical Sicilian hilltop towns of Savoca and Forza D’Agroas as seen in Francis Ford Coppola's famous Godfather Trilogy! We will enjoy lunch at a local pizzeria before we return to our hotel for an afternoon at leisure.

A full day tour to the ancient city of Syracuse on the island of Ortigia.  We will visit the archaeological zone to see the Roman Amphitheatre and the Spring of Arethusa Fountain. There will be some free time to enjoy the historical centre.

A day at leisure to enjoy the lovely cliff-top town of Taormina or perhaps take an optional tour to famous Mt. Etna.  This evening is our Farewell Dinner.

We transfer to the airport for our flight home via Rome.

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