Call Us
01334 657155
Search Tours [view all]
Tours ~ Tour Details

Sicily - the crossroads of the Mediterranean, 7 Nightsfrom £ 895.00

A melting pot of art, architecture and archaeology, not to mention Europe’s largest active volcano.

Tour Overview

At the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe, the Mediterranean’s largest island is one of the world’s most cosmopolitan civilisations. Accumulated over thirty centuries, the collective legacy of Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Germans, Spanish, Italians and even British is expressed everywhere in a marvellous melting pot of architecture, art, culture and cuisine.

In spring the days are warming, the almond trees blossoming and the many attractions less crowded. We begin in Taormina, which is a microcosm of Sicily’s extraordinary wealth of classical treasures. Our walking tour among the fine medieval buildings, narrow picturesque streets and ornate palazzi is a foretaste to the unforgettable panorama of the Greek Theatre, hewn from the hillside and set before the rocky coastline, glittering Ionian Sea and ever – smouldering Etna.

We cross the island to Agrigento, where we see one of the tour highlights, the “Valley of the Temples”, a stunning series of nine Greek temples with the enormous Temple of Concord one of the best preserved anywhere. The sultry capital, Palermo, is endowed almost to overkill with medieval palaces, Arab cupolas, Baroque churches and bustling souks; while above the city the magnificent cathedral and cloisters at Monreale are a fantastic fusion of monumental western architecture and dazzling Byzantine craftsmanship.

We include an excursion to the highest accessible point of Europe’s largest active volcano, with breathtaking views over the island; and offer an optional trip to Tindari, founded in the Bronze Age and an important Greek, Roman and Christian centre.

There will also be opportunities to relax, and to discover Sicily’s unique, exuberant cuisine. 
Click here to print a brochure
Click here to make an online reservation

Tour Itinerary Back to top of page

Day 1
We depart on our flight from London Airport direct to Catania, on Sicily’s eastern seaboard (regional flight connections and overnight accommodation before or after the tour are available on request). On arrival we are met by our local coach and guide and transfer to our four star hotel overlooking the lovely Bay of Giardini Naxos on the east coast of the island, the Sporting Baia Hotel.  Dinner will be served after our arrival.

Day 2
After a leisurely breakfast we are going to take it easy this morning! Relax in the hotel’s pool or on the adjacent beach before joining our excursion this afternoon to lovely Taormina, about 5 km north. The town is in a wonderful location, idyllically perched high above the sparkling Ionian Sea with towering, snow-capped Mount Etna at its back. We have an easy walking tour of the compact old town with its meandering, medieval streets and tiny passages concealing some great shops and restaurants; pretty, flower-filled squares and ornate buildings. The town’s undoubted highlight is the Greco-Roman amphitheatre, one of Sicily’s largest, which with Etna and the sea in the background forms an everlasting impression of Sicily. We return to the hotel for dinner this evening.

Day 3
Today following breakfast we will venture as far as we can take our coach up the winding roads on Mount Etna, Europe’s highest volcano and greatest natural wonder. Depending on the weather we should reach 2000 metres (7000ft.) where we will see the ‘Silvestri’ craters dating from 1986, and some of the latest lava flows from 2002/2003, in an amazing lunar landscape of black rock and steam. The views across the island are truly breathtaking, but please remember that Etna is a highly active volcano so things may have changed by the time this holiday happens! Lunch will be included in today’s excursion. There will be time to relax in the hotel this evening before dinner.

Day 4
After breakfast today relax in the hotel, take to the streets of Taormina again or alternatively join our optional excursion to Tindari to see the classic Greek/Roman ruins. The remains of the ancient city are superbly situated on the cliffs, with great views across to the Aeolian Islands. You will see the remains of the impressive entrance, the theatre, and much more. There is also a Basilica built in the 1950s to house a wooden statue of the virgin dating back to the 7th Century which has performed some remarkable miracles over the years. Lunch is included in the excursion. We return to the hotel where dinner is served in the evening.

Day 5
This morning after breakfast we leave Taormina for Agrigento on the southern coast of the island. To break the journey across the island we will visit the small town of Aidone in the Erei Mountains, and the Regional Archaeological Museum here, which contains relics from the surrounding area. Following our visit here, we transfer to the nearby village of Pergusa, where lunch has been arranged at a local restaurant (not included).

We then continue to Agrigento and our hotel, the 4-star Della Valle. All rooms have private facilities with hairdryer, air-conditioning/central heating, satellite TV and safebox.
Dinner is served in the evening.

Day 6

Today after breakfast we visit one of the truly spectacular wonders of the ancient world when we travel to the nearby “Valley of the Temples”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the greatest legacies of ancient Greece. There are nine temples altogether and they dominate the landscape for miles giving a view, it is said, fit only for the gods.  The most famous temple, Concordia, is not unlike the great Parthenon in Athens with its Doric columns and it is practically intact, apart from its missing roof - not bad for a building that was constructed around 582 B.C.  We will have a good look around the site and visit the excellent museum. Dinner will be served at the hotel in the evening.

Day 7
Following breakfast we head to the north of the island, travelling through empty lands dotted with little villages, until we arrive at the island’s capital city of Palermo. Having spent much of its history being conquered and re-conquered by various peoples, the city is the eclectic crossroads of Mediterranean and northern European civilisation and at its height during the Norman period was one of the most powerful cities in Europe. As a result of these diverse influences the city has developed a distinct character, with many interesting architectural and historical features.

We visit the Norman Palace, which epitomises Palermo’s heritage of diversity - originally a Punic structure stood on the site, then the Arabs built a castle before the Normans constructed a Romanesque chapel in the 11th century and the stunning Palatine Chapel in the 12th.  The impressive interior of mosaics and high vaulted ceilings recalls the spirit of knights, chivalry and past grandeur.

We tour the city then have time to relax and shop – a wander through La Vucciria, Palermo’s oldest and best street market, is an unforgettable experience - before we head up to the magnificent Cathedral and Benedictine Abbey in the village of Monreale. This is the crowning glory of the Norman epoch - nearly 70,000 square feet of mosaics in gold leaf and coloured glass blaze in the cathedral, and the adjacent abbey’s delightful Norman-Arab cloister, with its outstanding Romanesque sculpture, is reminiscent of the Alhambra. We return to our hotel for dinner.

Day 8
Following breakfast we check out of the hotel. We continue to Catania Airport in time to check in for our flight to London.

What's Included Back to top of page

  • 4 nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the Hotel Sporting Baia, Giardini Naxos and 3 nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the Della Valle, Agrigento (or similar)
  • Return flights between London and Catania.  (Regional flight connections and overnight accommodation before or after the tour available at a supplement)
  • Visits to the Valley of the Temples; the Norman Palace, Palermo and Monreale Cathedral and Cloister; Regional Archaeological Museum, Aidone and Taormina
  • Excursion to Mount Etna, with lunch
  • Services of a Brightwater Holidays representative throughout and local guides as required

Supplements Per Person Back to top of page

  • Single room supplement                £175.00
  • Insurance                                        £38.00 (under 65); £76.00 (65-74); £114.00 (75-90)
  • Optional excursion to Tindari         price to be advised

Departure Points Back to top of page

London
Click here to print a brochure
Click here to make an online reservation

Booking Form

*Lead Passenger Name:
*E-mail Address:
*Phone(day):
*Phone (evening):
*Departure Date:
Number of Passengers:
Preference:
Departure Point (see tour for options - if any)





How did you find us:
Any questions or special requests:
Further Communication: Check if you do not want to receive announcements such as discounted tours.
All images & text © Copyright Brightwater Holidays Ltd 2003-2013
Brightwater Holidays Travel Insurance | Booking Conditions | Cookies and Privacy Policies | Links | Site Map
 
Cookies and Privacy Policies [ X ]

 

Cookies Policy

 

Our website automatically deploys four, sometimes five cookies when you arrive at our website, provided cookies are not blocked by your browser. The first four cookies allow us to track visitor statistics and site usage. The fifth cookie is only set when you come to our site via one of our trusted affiliate partners and tracks affiliate performance.

 

On 27th May 2011, the EC introduced a directive called Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation 2011 which requires the owners of websites to get specific approval from the visitor if cookies are deployed. If you do not wish to have your access to our pages recorded please disable cookies now. By enabling the use of cookies you are agreeing to their use on this website.

 

Privacy Policy

 

Brightwater aims to provide the highest standards of customer service and to maintain these standards we need to collect certain information from you.  In doing so, we are committed to protecting your privacy and adhering to the principles of The Data Protection Act 1998.

 

We would also like to use some of your details so that Brightwater and partners can, from time to time, send you information (by post or e-mail) including offers and updates, that we think may be of interest.  If you do not wish to receive such approaches in the future, please let us know as soon as possible by telephone or letter.

 

When you e-mail us, we may ask for certain information to be able to check this record and answer your questions quickly and accurately.  When you contact us, in any way, we may make a note of this contact if it is relevant to your permanent record.  This allows us to provide a higher level of ongoing customer care.

 

In order to process your booking, we need to collect certain personal details from you.  These will usually include the names and addresses of party members, credit/debit or other payment details and special requirements such as those relating to any disability or medical condition which may affect the holiday arrangements.   We take full responsibility for ensuring that proper security measures are in place to protect your information.  We must pass some information on to the relevant suppliers of your travel arrangements such as airlines, hotels, transport companies etc.  The information may also be provided to security or credit checking companies, public authorities such as customs/immigration if required by them, or as required by law.

 

By using this website you are consenting to this privacy policy.  We may in the future change this policy, and if we do so we will post the amended policy on this website.

 

 

CLOSE WINDOW

Bookmark this Site[ X ]

CLOSE WINDOW

Holiday Protection[ X ]

The air holidays and flights shown are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Our ATOL number is ATOL 4498. ATOL Protection extends primarily to customers who book and pay in the United Kingdom.

CLOSE WINDOW