Sicily and Malta

Tour Highlights

Join us at the perfect time of year to visit two of the most interesting and historic islands in the Mediterranean.
We begin in Sicily, an incredibly beautiful island filled with art, archaeology, history, delicious cuisine and famous wines. Sicily was a Greek colony, a Roman province, an Arab emirate and a Norman kingdom, so today we can enjoy exploring this eclectic history. With a diversified landscape of orange and lemon orchards, lush forests, ancient olive groves, rugged shorelines and crystal blue waters, there is no other place on earth quite like this Mediterranean gem. In Sicily we will stay at First Class hotels with guestrooms with modern amenities; twin or double beds, climate control, safe, hairdryer, tub or shower, telephone and satellite TV with English channels.

After our stay in Sicily we take a flight to Malta. Blessed with a warm, sunny climate year round, friendly people and 7,000 years of intriguing history, Malta is a wonderful vacation destination.The various nationalities that have occupied Malta over the centuries have blended to result in a fascinating culture. The narrow meandering streets of the towns and villages are crowded with Renaissance cathedrals and Baroque palaces, and the countryside is dotted with some of the oldest known human structures in the world, which is why Malta has often been described as an open-air museum.

In Malta we stay at the First Class Dolmen Hotel (or similar), located right on the promenade overlooking the Bay of St. Paul. The small town of Buggiba is just a few minutes walk from the hotel and offers a variety of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. Features of the hotel include restaurants, bar, casino, comfortable lounges, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, sauna, exercise classes and live music on most nights. The comfortable guestrooms have a seaview and are contemporary in design with two beds, climate control, telephone, satellite TV, mini bar and safe. The private bathroom has a tub, shower and hairdryer.

***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 Palermo, Sicily with a change of planes in Montreal and in Rome.
We arrive in Palermo and transfer to our hotel for a 2-night stay. The balance of the day is at leisure.
Today our city tour of Palermo will show us the Old and New quarters, the Cathedral of Monreale - a stunning architectural treasure, the theatres of Massimo and Politeama and the Capo Market.
Our touring of western Sicily continues as we visit the medieval city of Erice, built an impressive 750 metres above sea level. In the afternoon we visit the ancient seaside town of Marsala, well known for their quality wines. Later we proceed to Mazara Del Vallo for a 2-night stay.
Today we enjoy a full day tour of Mazara Del Vallo. This is one of Italy’s foremost fishing harbours and this region of Sicily boasts one of the most beautiful coastlines in the Mediterranean. Lunch is included at a local winery.
We travel inland to the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, one of the most outstanding examples of Greek architecture, and listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. Lunch is included before we proceed to the eastern side of Sicily for a 2-night stay.
Today we enjoy a full day excursion to the ancient city of Syracuse. Our visit includes the Archaeological Park with its Greek theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre, the island of Ortega and the Spring of Arethusa Fountain.

This morning we have a walking tour of the charming cliff-side town of Taormina.  Then we depart for Catania to visit the historical centre of the city. In the afternoon there will be free time to enjoy one of the many cafes or do some shopping in the Piazza Duomo.  Later we fly to Malta and upon arrival transfer to our hotel situated on the picturesque Bay of St. Paul’s, for a 7-night stay in seaview rooms!

Morning at leisure. In the afternoon we will have a welcome orientation followed by a delightful harbour cruise.
Our city tour of Malta’s capital, Valetta will include the Upper Barracca Gardens, St. John's Cathedral, the Grand Master's Palace and a film viewing of "The Malta Experience". The afternoon is at leisure and you may want to take advantage of the user-friendly, inexpensive public bus system that Malta is known for.
On today’s full day excursion we take the short ferry ride to Malta’s second largest island, Gozo. Here we visit the sites of Calypso's Cave, the Citadel, Gozo Cathedral, Xlendi Bay and the pre-historic temples. Lunch is included while in Gozo.
Morning at leisure. This afternoon our excursion takes us to “Malta's Three Cities” of Senglea, Cospicua and Vittoriosa. In the evening a local historian will give a talk on Malta and its traditions.
Our morning excursion to Mdina, Malta's old capital city, includes a visit to the Cathedral and the catacombs in Rabat. We finish at Ta' Qali Crafts Village where you can admire the local artisans at work and find some souvenirs.
A free day to enjoy a stroll along the harbour, visit St. Julian’s, see the countryside or try your luck at Sliema’s popular casino. This evening will be our Farewell Dinner.
We transfer to the airport for our flight home via Rome.

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