Sicily - Jewel of the Mediterranean
10 days from £1,649 per person
Sicily is home to a unique mix of culture borne of years of foreign domination. From the Phoenicians to the Bourbons, each has left an architectural stamp on the island - culminating in a jumble of historic sites in Palermo, Monreale and utterly charming Syracuse. As we circle the island, we’ll also seek out some of Sicily’s other treasures, including the Valley of the Temples, and postcard-pretty Taormina. We’ll sip wine produced on the slopes of Mount Etna and taste chocolate and biscuits.
Your holiday includes:
17 excursions and visits
- Guided tours of Ortigia (including boat trip), Palermo, Selinunte, Valley of the Temples, the Roman villa at Piazza Armerina, and Taormina
- Visits of Noto, Ragusa, Enna, Cefalù, Monreale, and Mount Etna
- Chocolate tasting in Modica; tasting at Maria Grammatico’s bakery in Erice; lunch at the private Geracello estate; wine tasting and lunch at Cantina Murgo on Mount Etna
- 9 nights in hotels (accommodation as specified or similar)
- International flights. Prices are based on return flights with British Airways or easyJet from London Gatwick. Supplements may apply from other airports
- 18 meals: 9 breakfasts (days 2-10) 2 lunches (days 7 and 9) 7 dinners (days 1, 3-4 and 6-9)
- Portable audio headset system on excursions
- Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service
- Titan tour manager
- Travel in destination by coach
UK - Catania - Syracuse
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Catania. On arrival we drive to Syracuse, where we’ll stay for three nights. Rich in Ancient Greek history, Syracuse has a timeless beauty surrounded by sparkling blue waters.
Grand Hotel Villa Politi, Syracuse (4-star)
We’ll take a walking tour of Ortigia, a small island joined to Syracuse by a bridge since the 16th century. It’s a joy to explore the narrow medieval lanes and baroque piazzas here. We’ll hop onto a harbour cruise and enjoy Ortigia from the sea. The afternoon is free to explore, or take an optional guided visit to the nearby archaeological site, to explore the Greek theatre, stone quarries, fragrant lemon orchard and Roman amphitheatre.
Noto - Ragusa - Modica
We make our way to the lovely baroque towns of Noto, Ragusa, and Modica - rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 1693. Wander along Noto’s elegant Corso Vittorio Emanuele, with honey-stoned palazzi and churches. Walk straight onto the real-life set of the TV series ‘Inspector Montalbano’, filmed in and around enchanting Ragusa. We’ll conclude with a tasting of divine Modica artisan chocolate, made using an ancient Aztec method.
Enna - Cefalù - Santa Flavia, Palermo
Hilltop medieval Enna provides stunning views across the hills and valleys and we’ll have some free time to explore. We also spend some time in the pretty beach town of Cefalù on our way to the Palermo area. Wander its narrow lanes, or perhaps treat yourself to a gelato to enjoy by the sandy beach. We arrive in Santa Flavia later, close to Palermo.
Dominia Zagarella Sicily (4-star) or Hotel Tonnara di Trabia (4-star), Santa Flavia, Palermo
Palermo - Monreale
We visit Palermo for a guided tour of this bustling city. We’ll then travel to Monreale to visit the magnificent cathedral, famed for its multi-coloured marble paintings and mosaics.
Erice - Selinunte - Agrigento
Our first stop today is Erice and Maria Grammatico’s bakery, to try her famous pasticcini (soft almond biscuits) - we’ll wash them down with a glass of liqueur. We then continue, passing Trapani’s ancient salt pans, before Selinunte for a guided tour of this fascinating Greek archaeological site. In the evening we check into our hotel in Agrigento.
Hotel Baia di Ulisse, Agrigento (4-star)
Valley of the Temples - Piazza Armerina - Giardini Naxos
We start our day with one of the highlights - a guided visit of the nearby Valle dei Templi, a collection of classic Greek temples scattered across a valley of almond trees. We stop at the private estate of Geracello, where local produce is used for a delicious lunch. Then we’ll head east to Piazza Armerina, for a guided tour of the Roman villa reveals an incredible floor mosaic. We then continue to Giardini Naxos, a lovely coastal resort.
Sant Alphio Garden Hotel & Spa, Giardini Naxos (4-star)
Our walking tour shows us the sights of the cliffside town of Taormina. You have the rest of the afternoon free.
This morning we take a drive to the slopes of Etna. After a short walk, there’ll be free time to explore this fascinating area at your own pace. Be sure to bring a camera - on a clear day, the views from here are spectacular. Later, we visit Cantina Murgo winery for a tasting of delicious Sicilian wine and a hearty lunch of regional products.
Day 10 Giardini Naxos - Catania - UK
We transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.
Important information about your destinationPlease note: • A room tax of between €1-5 per person per night (subject to change), is payable directly to the hotel on check-out. • 2020 departures follow an amended itinerary staying in Catania instead of Syracuse, with slightly differing excursions - please call for details. • Why not experience Sicily at Easter? Following a similar itinerary, on day 4 you’ll stay in Enna and watch from a balcony as the Good Friday procession passes - the brotherhoods carrying the statue of Holy Mary and the Dead Christ. There’ll also be an evening visit to Ortigia’s sepulchres and an Easter lunch in Palermo. Please search online for Easter in Sicily - the Jewel of the Mediterranean, tour reference ISZ.
Europe’s largest and most active volcano, Mount Etna, has a recorded history of eruptions dating back to 1500BC. Constant low level emissions mean that explosive eruptions endangering the 25% of the island’s population that live on its slopes are infrequent and, thanks to its fascination for travellers and its richly fertile volcanic soil, this 3km-high icon is Sicily’s single biggest source of income. An excursion to Etna reveals an enthralling geological story and stunning views.
The Valley of the Temples
Recognised with UNESCO World Heritage status in 1998, Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples is a globally signifi cant archaeological site. Here are collected the ruins of the great temples of ancient Akragas, one of the leading cities of Magna Graecia during the so-called ‘Golden Age’ of Ancient Greece and lauded by the lyric poet Pindar as the “most beautiful of mortal cities” - amongst them the temples of Hera, Heracles (Hercules), Zeus, Castor and Pollux. The romantically ruined temples and their picturesque setting have inspired countless generations of artists and writers from Virgil to Goethe, Alexander Dumas to E M Forste.
Fly From Your Local Airport
International flights from regional airports are available* or choose a free connecting flight to London, with home transfers all included.
Please call 0800 988 5823 for more information.
*Subject to flight schedules and availability.