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Extend your tour with a 3 night extension in the quaint beach resort of Giardini Naxos, a resort of Taormina. Whether you lounge upon the beachfront, sample authentic dishes within a pizzeria, admire 15th century paintings in Chiesa di Santa Maria Raccomandata or venture into Taormina's nearby hilltop town for a spot of boutique shopping, this extension is the perfect way to end your Sicilian adventure.
Depart London on your scheduled flight to Catania, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel for a welcome dinner.
Following breakfast, the day will begin with a drive to the legendary Mount Etna, ascending the winding road through lava fields to reach the highest point by coach. Once there you'll have the option (payable locally) to take a thrilling journey higher up the volcano in a 4x4 vehicle accompanied by a local expert, alternatively enjoy a light trek up the volcano. In the afternoon the tour will continue to the quaint hilltop town of Taormina, once a firm favourite with the likes of Oscar Wilde and D.H. Lawrence. Exploring the main sites by foot, you'll visit Piazza Vittorio Emanuele and the medieval 10th century Palazzo Corvaja, a carefully-preserved palace with characteristic black lava and white limestone inlays. One of Taormina's highlights is a visit to the magnificent Teatro Greco, a 3rd century BC amphitheatre whose incredible acoustics mean that even a stage-whisper can be heard in the back row.
Depart your hotel in the morning to visit the beautiful ancient Greek city of Syracuse, the birthplace of mathematician Archimedes, who famously discovered the principles of displacement and ran through the city shouting 'eureka'. After some time exploring the main streets, continue on to Ortygia, a small island joined to Syracuse by two bridges whose old-fashioned charm still resound in its archaeological treasures. You'll be left with some free time to find a spot for lunch before returning to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Alternatively, choose the optional tour of Noto (at a fee), declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its impressive array of Baroque buildings with miraculously preserved frescoed walls and ornate carvings.
After breakfast the tour continues to the magnificent country mansion of Villa Romana del Casale. This fascinating ancient abode dating back to the 4th century BC houses some of the world's most impressive Roman mosaics, including pastel-coloured frescoes and beautiful depictions of animal hunting scenes. Later today arrive in Agrigento in time for dinner.
Depart in the morning for a guided walking tour of the incredible Greek remains in the Valley of the Temples. This splendid archaeological park consists of 5th century BC temples, most notably the Concordia which is reminiscent of the Parthenon in Athens. Visible from miles around, these UNESCO recognised relics are true wonders of the ancient world. There will be some free time for lunch before a fascinating tour on foot of the historical old town including Via Atenea, a charming strip lined with trattorias, boutiques and palazzos concealed within the winding streets. The evening will be spent in Palermo where you will be staying for the next three nights.
Today's full-day excursion takes you to Sicily's UNESCO recognised capital city, Palermo - a melting pot of architectural influences, from the magnificent Arab-Norman Cathedral to the Palatine Chapel covered with Byzantine mosaics glistening with marble and gold. We've included a guided tour of this stunning chapel found on the ground floor of the Palazzo Reale, originally built for Arab rulers and their harems in the 9th century and restored by the conquering Normans in 1140. Enjoy some free time for lunch, perusing the many outdoor market stalls and sampling local specialities such as arrancine, rice balls stuffed with melting cheese or succulent pane con milza, a veal spleen sandwich. Later today you have the chance to take an optional excursion (at a fee) to the town of Monreale and its cathedral, famed for its glorious golden mosaics and two striking Romaneque bronze doors, of which just a handful remain throughout Europe. Perched on the hilltop of this pretty town, those who have the energy to climb the steps to the roof will appreciate a beautiful panoramic view of Palermo and the surrounding countryside stretching to the sea.
After a busy week, today is at leisure to do as you please for your last day in Sicily. There's still plenty more to see in Palermo and those wanting to seek out gifts and souvenirs to take home should head to La Vucciria, Palermo's most famous market situated in the centro storico and side streets around Piazza san Domenico, then wander onto the Ballaro', Palermo's oldest Arabic market specialising in local food and clothing. The Church of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio found behind the City Hall is certainly worth discovering, with a magnificent bell tower serving as an apogee of Norman-Arab architecture. In the evening choose from one of the many friendly trattorias specialising in Sicilian dishes such as a colourful antipasti with grilled prawns and octopus in fresh olive oil, before retiring to your hotel for your final evening.
This morning, you will be transferred to the airport in Catania for your return flight back to the UK.
A visa is not required for your trip to Italy. Further advice should be sought from the applicable tourist authority for other nationalities and for general queries. We strongly advise you check your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy for the most up-to-date guidelines regarding passport validity.
You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Holidays is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices:
|Age in Years||Up to 64||65 - 74||75 - 85|
|Up to 10 days cover||£21||£42||£62|
|Up to 17 days cover||£27||£48||£68|
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Your flight to Catania Airport is with British Airways (BA), departing from London Gatwick, North Terminal. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage plus 1 item of hand luggage not exceeding in size and 1 personal item such as a handbag, briefcase or laptop case. Weight restrictions will be finalized on e-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at Check-in. Check-in should be at least 3 hours before departure. Please note that all flight times are subject to change. Final flight details will be confirmed on your e-ticket and final documentation which will be sent to you approximately 10 days before departure.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves moderate days of walking on uneven paths and small hills, and getting on and off coaches. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
The minimum number of passengers on your tour will be 20, and the maximum number of passengers will be 35. If in the unlikely event your tour does not reach the minimum passenger numbers then you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
This is an escorted tour, meaning the you will have the services of an English speaking guide during each excursion ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.
The currency in Sicily is the Euro (EUR). We recommend that you exchange you currency before you leave the UK, however cash machines are available in all the major cities to withdraw money in the local currency.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any dinners where these are not mentioned on your itinerary and personal purchases, such as souvenirs, extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £200-£300 per person should be sufficient for the duration of your tour. Please also bear in mind that there will be several shopping opportunities throughout your tour. Tipping is at your discretion, however we would recommend approximately EUR3.00 per person per day. Tips are accepted in the local currency, however it is asked that if you do not tip in the local currency that you only pay with notes, as coins cannot be exchanged.
|Depart UK||Arrive UK||Extension Price||Tour Price||Total Price||Book Now|
|Caesar Palace Hotel|
|28 Mar 2017||07 Apr 2017||£289pp||£799pp||£1088pp||Please call for availability|
|25 Apr 2017||05 May 2017||£289pp||£899pp||£1188pp||Please call for availability|
|13 Jun 2017||23 Jun 2017||£349pp||£995pp||£1344pp||Book Now|
|19 Sep 2017||29 Sep 2017||£429pp||£1095pp||£1524pp||Please call for availability|
|10 Oct 2017||20 Oct 2017||£429pp||£995pp||£1424pp||Please call for availability|
|28 Mar 2017||07 Apr 2017||£259pp||£799pp||£1058pp||Please call for availability|
|25 Apr 2017||05 May 2017||£259pp||£899pp||£1158pp||Please call for availability|
|13 Jun 2017||23 Jun 2017||£279pp||£995pp||£1274pp||Book Now|
|19 Sep 2017||29 Sep 2017||£309pp||£1095pp||£1404pp||Please call for availability|
|10 Oct 2017||20 Oct 2017||£309pp||£995pp||£1304pp||Please call for availability|
Single rooms available at no supplement.
Private tours are available, however the exact itinerary is subject to change. Please contact our reservations team for a quotation.
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