Mar 30 to Apr 7, 2016
(Only 8 places left)
Oct 23 to Oct 31, 2016
The Best of Sicily Tour begins in Palermo on the north-west coast of Sicily and concludes nine days later in Catania, diagonally across on Sicily's south-eastern edge. Sicily is likely to be warm and pleasant for both of our scheduled visits. The almond blossom festival actually takes place in Agrigento on the first Sunday in February, so by the end of March we will be well into spring. At the other end of the season, Sicily is the place that stays warmest the longest: you can expect temps in the 70s in October!
In the course of our tour of Sicily, we will make our way south from the medieval cathedrals of Palermo to the spectacular Greek temples of Agrigento, then east to the Spanish Baroque cities of Ragusa and Noto, and finally to Siracusa, one the largest and most important cities of the ancient world. In Agrigento on the south shore of the island, you will see the best preserved Greek temples in the world in a spectacular setting of olive and almond trees against a backdrop of blue sea and sky.
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After basking in the glories of ancient Greece, our Sicily Tour explores the Baroque cities of Ragusa, Modica, and Noto. We'll spend a couple days enjoying the distinctive style of architecture in this part of the island, which results from an earthquake in 1693 that virtually destroyed the region. The rebuilding that took place after the disaster reflects the taste and style of Sicily's 18th century Spanish rulers, and it gives these cities their unique flavor. Italy's most popular writer, Andrea Camilleri, sets many of his novels in this region, and scenes shot in these towns appear often on Italian TV whenever Camilleri's novels are made into TV dramas.
In the closing chapter of our tour of Sicily, we'll be based on the island of Ortigia which is a part of the city of Siracusa. We'll have beautiful sea-view rooms to enhance the feeling one has here of being at the edge of the world. The Greek amphitheaters that we'll see both in Siracusa and in Taormina (just north along the coast) are some of the most evocative ones that have survived from the ancient world.
These are some of the cultural highlights of the Best of Sicily Tour. Before and after our visits to temples and monuments, you'll be eating some of the most delicious food and drinking some of the finest wines in Italy. Fresh fish is plentiful and is prepared in a myriad of delectable ways. Be forewarned that when you return home, you will experience severe cravings for seafood, caponata and canolli that will remain unfulfilled until your next visit here!
As on all our tours, our Best of Sicily Tour balances structured activities with ample free time for you to explore local shopping venues, wander about, or just relax and read.
The hotels we've chosen for this tour are all first-rate, four star properties with ambiance and style, along with cordial, helpful staffs. Transportation will be on comfortable, air-conditioned buses.
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See you in Sicily!
Cost: The land cost of the tour is $3,600 USD per person, based on double occupancy. Cash discount cost is $3,525 USD per person for payment by check or wire transfer. You may make your registration deposit using PayPal and/or your credit card and still be eligible for the cash discount cost if your final balance is paid by check or wire transfer. Single rooms are available for a supplementary charge of $500. Airfare is not included.
Accommodations: 8 nights lodging in elegant, historic hotel properties; (3 nights in Palermo, 2 nights in Ragusa, and 3 nights in Siracusa). All rooms have in-suite baths.
Please note: Many cities in Italy and France have recently implemented tourism taxes on hotel stays in order to "to ensure the quality of tourist, cultural and environmental services in addition to the efficiency of public transports." We are unable to include these taxes in the tour price as the majority of hotels require the tax to be paid in cash upon check- out. The tax is usually 1 euro per hotel star per person per night. (A four star hotel will usually be four euro per person per night).
Meals:All breakfasts, one full-course meal daily, additional meals as scheduled. All meals…after breakfast!…include regional wines. We carefully choose the restaurants based on ambiance and quality of cuisine.
Wine Tastings: Scheduled tastings of various Sicilian wines (including small local producers and famous well known producers).
Transfers: Ground transportation during the tour subsequent to your arrival at the hotel in Palermo. For the departure day, there will be a group shuttle departing Siracusa at 9 AM and going to the Catania airport. If you need to depart at a different time, we can help you book a transfer at an additional cost.
Admissions: Entrance fees for all planned visits to monuments, galleries and museums are included.
Small, Intimate Group: We will be limiting the number of participants to a maximum of 16.
Arrival and Departure: The tour will begin at our hotel in Palermo and end with a transfer to the airport in Catania. If you require transfer services upon arrival or after the tour, transfers can be arranged through our travel partners for an additional fee.
Early Arrival/ Late Stay Options: Depending on hotel availability you may be able to arrive early or stay after the end of the tour. We'll be happy to help you make these arrangements. For trip extensions of 2 nights or less, we provide planning assistance on a complimentary basis. For extensions of 3 nights or more, there is a nominal fee of $100 to assist with trip planning including booking hotels, guides, drivers, etc.
Tour Exclusions: Airfare; airport-to-hotel transfer upon arrival; hotel city tax (usually €2-5 per person, per night; payable onsite).
Experienced Tour Leaders: Unless otherwise stated, the tour escorts will be Pam Mercer and Sam Hilt of Tuscany Tours who have been leading small-group tours in Europe since 1997. We reserve the right to change tour escorts due to the demands of life and our judgement of what is best for each particular tour.
To reserve your place and register for this tour, please click the button just below to jump to the Registration Page:
Please feel free to contact us via email or call us at (800) 634-3460 with any questions you may have about the tour.
Note: This itinerary is subject to change based on availability and opening hours of restaurants, hotels and venues.