Celebrate Christmas exploring the Sicilian city of Palermo and its surrounding beauty. Admire historic towns, remarkable monuments and glorious culture, all of which are accentuated even more by festive decorations, twinkling lights and the joyful atmosphere present this time of year. This holiday visits Monreale, a historic town decorated with fine mosaics and an iconic 12th century cathedral; Palermo itself - Sicily’s glorious capital renowned for both ancient and modern architecture; and Segesta, a remarkable ancient Greek temple. A highlight will likely be a tasting of Sicily’s mouthwatering festive treat, torrone, before being viewing traditional nativity scenes in the heart of the beautiful village of Custonaci.
5 nights in hotel (accommodation as specified or similar)
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your journey to London Heathrow Airport for a scheduled Alitalia flight to Palermo via Rome. On arrival we will be transferred to the Grand Hotel Federico II (4T), where we will be welcomed with a refreshing drink and time to settle in before dinner this evening.
Day 2 Monreale - Palermo
Today we visit beautiful Monreale, a historic town located just outside of Palermo. We enjoy a guided walking tour through the remarkable streets admiring the fine mosaics and beautiful architectural structures until we arrive at the town’s masterpiece, the Cathedral of Monreale. The medieval structure was begun in the 12th century by King William II of Sicily and having since been developed over the years the structure now boasts Gothic, Norman and Catalan architectural styles. The glorious interior hosts rich décor, magnificent golden mosaics stretching over 68,220 square feet of wall and its Romanesque bronze doors engraved with biblical scenes. The grand cathedral also hosts an outstanding collection of Middle Age and Renaissance art including vestments and silverware, all kept securely in the treasury. This afternoon, we return to Sicily’s beautiful capital, Palermo, for a guided visit of the highlights. Dinner is included at the hotel this evening.
Day 3 Christmas Eve - Palermo
Spend this morning on a guided walking tour of Palermo, Sicily’s cultural capital blending both the ancient and modern world together. Stroll through the streets taking in old and new as Gothic palaces and historic buildings with Byzantine mosaics stand side by side with modern, local markets. You will also visit one of the city’s traditional, bustling markets selling foods, clothes and crafts; and while here you can gain an insight into the recipes used to create traditional foods. Roaming the colourful market is also a great place to connect with the people of Palermo. The afternoon is at leisure, you can either explore this fascinating town some more or head back to the hotel to relax, where we enjoy a gala dinner this evening with drinks included.
Day 4 Christmas Day - Palermo
Christmas Day begins with a morning at leisure. Later, we continue our festive celebrations with a mouthwatering, typical Sicilian Christmas lunch at a local restaurant - which we will reach by tuk-tuk. This afternoon is at leisure to enjoy at the hotel or you might want to walk off your Christmas lunch with a stroll around the pretty surrounding area.
Day 5 Boxing Day - Segesta - Erice - Custonaci
Celebrate Boxing Day with a delightful excursion to the beautiful, ancient Greek temple of Segesta and the wonderful medieval town of Erice. In the festive, crisp air you can discover Segesta, located on beautiful Mount Barbaro - the structure was originally founded by the Elymian in the 5th century, and throughout its time has been ruled and occupied by the Greeks and Romans. The impressive site is one of the best preserved, even though it has never been formally completed and remains without a roof. You will also spend time exploring the ancient town of Erice to enjoy the Christmas festivities - take in the breathtaking views of Sicily’s west coast and admire the enchanted town walls and beautiful castle. Before the day is complete, we visit a local bakery to indulge in some of Sicily’s traditional festive foods including delicious cookies and the mouthwatering sweet treat named torrone. To finish a perfect Boxing Day, we visit a live nativity scene in the village of Custonaci, a long and important tradition held in the unusual, prehistoric Mangiapane cave.
Day 6 Palermo - London
After breakfast, we transfer to Palermo Airport for a scheduled Alitalia flight to London Heathrow Airport. On arrival you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.