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We meet at our designated pick up point and transfer by coach to Manchester Airport for our direct scheduled flight to Catania. On arrival in Sicily we are met by our tour manager who will accompany us throughout our tour. We transfer in our executive coach to the 4* Hotel Baia Taormina in Forza d'Agrò for a three night stay on a half board basis.
The morning is at leisure in our hotel, or you may choose to join our optional scenic excursion to Mount Etna, the highest volcano in Europe. Our guided tour of Taormina this afternoon takes in sights such as the Santa Maria del Gesià Convent, the Palazzo Corvaia, the Duomo and the 4th century BC Greek amphitheatre.
This morning, we enjoy a guided tour of Siracusa, the most important and powerful Greek city from the 5th to the 3rd centuries BC and home to the Temple of Apollo, Sicily’s earliest Doric temple. The Parco Archeologico features the Teatro Romano, the Altar of Hieron II and the spectacular Teatro Greco. Our guided tour also takes in the catacombs of San Giovanni Evangelista, dating back to 315-360 AD. After our guided tour we enjoy an included lunch at a working farmhouse in Siracusa.
We check out of our hotel and travel inland towards Agrigento. We have a guided tour of some of the finest surviving mosaics from Roman antiquity at Piazza Armerina and the Villa Romana del Casale. Depicting scenes from daily life, such as farming and hunting, the mosaics are as remarkable for their anthropological value as for their artistry. We then continue on to Agrigento and the 4* Hotel Della Valle where we stay one night on a half board basis.
This morning we visit the Valley of Temples near Agrigento, one of the most impressive complexes of ancient Greek temples outside Greece. Our local guide shows us around the Doric temples dating from the 5th century BC, straddling a low ridge with nine of the ten original temples still visible and some still beautifully preserved. Before continuing to Palermo, we enjoy an included lunch at a carefully selected local restaurant. On arrival in Palermo we check in at the 4* Best Western Ai Cavalieri Hotel for a three night stay on a bed and breakfast basis.
We travel along the coast to Cefalù, a charming medieval seaside town. During our guided tour on arrival we visit the splendid cathedral built in the 12th century during Sicily's Norman era. Begun in 1131 by Roger II, the Duomo was intended as the principal religious seat in Sicily. Though it failed to fulfil this function, the building’s magnificence has never been eclipsed. The rest of the day is at leisure in Cefalù, and on an individual basis you may choose to visit the Museo Mandralisca, home to a fine ‘Portrait of a Man’ by Antonello da Messina, and an interesting collection of coins, ceramics and vases.
After an early start, we enjoy a guided tour at Segesta, with its massive unfinished Doric temple on a remote hillside. We then continue to Erice. Poised on a crag overlooking the sea, this is a delightful medieval town with stunning views. Here we visit the 14th century Duomo, home to a ‘Madonna and Child’ attributed to either Francesco Laurana or Domenico Gagini.
This morning we have a guided tour of Palermo, a beautiful city whose architecture ranges from Arabic to Norman in style. The tour takes in such sights as the 12th century La Martorano, the awe inspiring Palatine Chapel and the Church of San Cataldo. In the afternoon we visit with our guide the magnificent Cathedral at Monreale, one of the great sites of Norman Sicily, adorned with glittering Sicilian and Byzantine mosaics. We continue to Palermo Airport for our direct scheduled flight to Stansted, and onwards coach travel back to our original pick up point.
NB: Please note we reserve the right to alter the above itinerary if required for operational reasons. Given the historic nature of the places visited, a certain degree of walking will be involved, and this holiday may not be suitable for those with mobility problems. Flight details may be subject to change. Price based on twin share. Minimum numbers required. Normal booking conditions apply. This holiday and the flights are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Tailored Travel's ATOL number is 5605.
4* hotels throughout
Four dinners & two lunches included
A full programme of included excursions & guided tours
All entrance fees included
Direct scheduled flights to Sicily
Return UK airport coach transfers included
Tour manager throughout
Executive coach throughout
Audio headsets on Days 2 to 7 included
Taormina – guided tour
Siracusa – guided tour
Piazza Armerina & Villa Romana del Casale – guided tour
Valley of Temples – guided tour
Cefalù – guided tour
Segesta – guided tour
Erice & its Duomo
Palermo – guided tour
We stay three nights at the 4* Hotel Baia Taormina in Forza d'Agrò (www.baiataormina.com), around 10km from Taormina. We then stay one night at the 4* Hotel Della Valle (www.hoteldellavalle.ag.it) in Agrigento, before spending the final three nights at the 4* Best Western Ai Cavalieri Hotel at Palermo (www.aicavalierihotel.it). Rooms at all hotels are en-suite and feature television and telephone. Dinners are included on the first four evenings of our tour, whilst the final three nights in Palermo are on a bed and breakfast basis.
Single room supplement £120
Local accommodation tax to be paid directly to the hotels (approximately €2 per person per night)
Optional excursion on Day 2
Optional excursion to Mount Etna