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Sicily in Depth

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Tour Pace: Comfortable
Ragusa, Sicily
Tour Style: Premium
9 Days from $2,115 per person

Experience the unique legacy of the Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Saracens, Normans, crusading Knights of St. John, the Bourbons, Ottoman Turks and even the Mafia!

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. On arrival at Catania Airport, transfers leave for your hotel at 10:00, 12:30 & 15:30. Relax and settle in to your hotel, located by the sea. After time to relax in your hotel, meet your Tour Director for an orientation of this bustling port town. See the magnificent Duomo and Piazza and the elegant noble buildings of the Palazzo Senatorio. Join your Travel Director at a local restaurant and get to know your fellow traveling companions during your Welcome Dinner.

    meal(s):DW
    hotel:Il Principe Hotel, Catania.
  3. Sightseeing with a Local Expert takes you to the Syracuse's Paradise Quarry and its unusual Ear of Dionysius, an ear-shaped grotto with an unusual echo. Continue to the superb Greek theater, carved out of solid rock, one of the largest of the ancient world. There is also time to explore the atmospheric Old City, a maze of narrow streets lined with palaces, sprawling over the island of Ortygia. It was here that the famous geometrician Archimedes ran naked through the streets, crying ‘Eureka!' Continue around the southeastern corner of Sicily to Ragusa.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Mediterraneo Palace, Ragusa.
  4. Journey along the southern coast of the island, past the oil producing town of Gela to Agrigento. Join a Local Expert to explore the Valley of the Temples, Sicily's finest Greek sanctuary. Especially impressive is the massive Temple of Concordia and the clifftop Temple of Juno overlooking the sea. Continue to the Sicilian capital of Palermo.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Best Western Ai Cavalieri, Palermo (3 nights).
  5. Your Local Expert shows you the highlights of the city. Pass through the Baroque Quattro Canti and admire the beauties of the Fountain of Shame. Visit Palermo Cathedral which has been altered may times over the years and observe its unique blend of architectural styles. In Monreale, visit the finely-decorated cathedral and see its magnificent gold mosaics, a masterpiece of Arab-Norman art. Return to Palermo and enjoy a free afternoon exploring the rest of the city. For your dining pleasure, you are offered a selection of local restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening, each with their own ambiance and cuisine.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Best Western Ai Cavalieri, Palermo.
  6. Wind your way up to the charming hilltop walled town of Erice. Walk through the labyrinth of quiet alleyways, past medieval churches and enjoy sea views from the gardens next to the Castle of Venus! At a farm in Trapani, sample some of the freshest olive oil produced on the island and savor a tasting of Sicilian wine, followed by a light lunch of delicious local produce. Back in Palermo the evening is leisure.

    meal(s):BB, LW
    hotel:Best Western Ai Cavalieri, Palermo.
  7. After breakfast, drive to the quaint fishing town of Cefalu. The town's imposing cathedral was erected to fulfil a vow made by the Norman King Roger II. Stroll down to the medieval stone fountain and seek out the Gothic arch of the Porta Marina for a picture perfect view of the little harbor. Maybe try the restaurants down by the beach before continuing on to the Taormina Riviera?

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Hilton Giardini Naxos, Taormina Riviera.
  8. Your hotel faces east, so early risers may experience why D.H. Lawrence christened this 'The Dawn Coast of Europe.' After breakfast, perhaps take an Optional Experience through the vineyards to Mount Etna, Europe's largest volcano. The excursion includes a stop in the typical hillside village of Savoca, chosen for the filming of The Godfather. Travel to the old town of Taormina, which clings to the side of Mount Tauro overlooking the Ionian Sea and the snowy peak of Mount Etna. With your Local Expert, visit the Greek theater set on a cliff and open to the sky. Take a moment to sit in this ancient theater and absorb the view through the crumbling arches to snowy Mount Etna. Stroll on to the tiny courtyard of the Palazzo Corvaja, Taormina's grandest building and further along the elegant Corso Umberto, the Piazza IX Aprile offers panoramic views. At a local restaurant, rejoice with your new-found friends over your Celebration Dinner of delicious, freshly-prepared Farm-to-Table cuisine, accompanied with exquisite Italian wines.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Hilton Giardini Naxos, Taormina Riviera.
  9. Take your final glimpse of Mount Etna on your morning departure transfer to Catania Airport arriving at 06:30 and 08:30. 

    meal(s):BB
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30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.
  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
19 Apr 18 27 Apr 18 checkmark $2,350pp Request Quote Book Now
26 Apr 18 4 May 18 checkmark $2,350$2,115pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
3 May 18 11 May 18 checkmark $2,350$2,115pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
10 May 18 18 May 18 checkmark $2,350pp Call 1-877-622-9109
17 May 18 25 May 18 checkmark $2,350pp Call 1-877-622-9109
24 May 18 1 Jun 18 checkmark $2,350pp Call 1-877-622-9109
31 May 18 8 Jun 18 checkmark $2,350$2,115pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
7 Jun 18 15 Jun 18 checkmark $2,350pp Call 1-877-622-9109
21 Jun 18 29 Jun 18 checkmark $2,350pp Call 1-877-622-9109
5 Jul 18 13 Jul 18 $2,395$2,156pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
19 Jul 18 27 Jul 18 checkmark $2,395$2,156pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
2 Aug 18 10 Aug 18 $2,395$2,156pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
16 Aug 18 24 Aug 18 checkmark $2,395pp Call 1-877-622-9109
30 Aug 18 7 Sep 18 $2,395$2,156pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
6 Sep 18 14 Sep 18 checkmark $2,425$2,183pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
13 Sep 18 21 Sep 18 checkmark $2,425$2,183pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
20 Sep 18 28 Sep 18 $2,425$2,183pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
27 Sep 18 5 Oct 18 checkmark $2,350$2,115pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
4 Oct 18 12 Oct 18 $2,350$2,115pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
11 Oct 18 19 Oct 18 $2,350$2,115pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
18 Oct 18 26 Oct 18 $2,350$2,115pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
25 Oct 18 2 Nov 18 $2,350$2,115pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
1 Nov 18 9 Nov 18 $2,350$2,115pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $550 p.p.

Triple Room Discount is $50 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $92 per person.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options

Included Quality Dining

7 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 1 Lunch with Wine (LW) and 4 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Signature Experiences

Syracuse:

  • Walk through the Paradise Quarry gardens, listen to the acoustics in the mysterious Ear of Dionysius and visit the Greek amphitheater.

Agrigento:

  • Crowning a ridge at the Valley of the Temples are the magnificent remains of the Greek colony Akragas. Join your Local Expert for a walk to the Temples of Juno, Concorde and Hercules, some of the best preserved Greek temples in the world.

Monreale:

  • The sombre exterior of the cathedral at Monreale gives away few clues to the riches inside. Step into a world where the walls glitter with 12th century mosaics, the best of their kind in the world.

Palermo:

  • Discover the Sicilian capital with your Local Expert. See Teatro Massimo, the Quattro Canti Square and the Fountain of Shame.
    View the composite architectural styles of the Palermo Cathedral and visit the Palatine Chapel, showcasing some of the finest examples of
    Norman art.

Taormina: 

  • Explore this fascinating place with your Local Expert. Visit the Greek Theater, see Palazzo Corvaja and wander Corso
    Umberto to admire the views from Piazza IX Aprile.

Reviews

Friday, October 20, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Their presentation of each location we visited was wonderful. The meals presented by them were good. Personally I would prefer an all inclusive type of package, makes traveling and planning easier. I would recommend them to others.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for your review. We're glad you enjoyed your trip to Sicily! If you are looking for an all-inclusive package, be sure to check out our boutique river cruises - they are a wonderful and relaxing way to explore Europe. 
Friday, October 20, 2017
Vacation : It truly met my expectations.
Saturday, September 30, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Knowledgeable agents, responded promptly to email inquiries.
Vacation : Hotels were average. Tour director efficient but not very personable. Local guides were very good. Itinerary enjoyable. Coach and driver excellent. There was a bathroom on the coach but use was highly discouraged. More time at Mt. Etna was needed. More of the optional experiences that we purchased should have been included.
Friday, August 18, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : I thought the service was good. I had an issue with United Airlines. Their flight out of Newark was late to leave and though they had a partnership with Luftansa, they claimed that they cpuld not re book the connecting flight to Catania. Your office assisted to re book the flight. I would avoid booking on United if possible as they were so unhelpful.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thanks for taking the time to write. Sorry to hear that you had some issues with your flights, but we're glad we were able to take care of the problem for you.  That's one of the many benefits of booking your entire package with GET!
Friday, August 18, 2017
Vacation : Though the trip was called Sicily in depth, it is impossible to see Sicily in depth in 6 days. There is 3000 years of history and 6-7 major influences. There is so much more history that we did not see.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We agree! Sicily is a fascinating destination. We hope you'll come back and see more of it with us in the future!
Friday, August 18, 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : I thoroughly enjoyed my trip. Lorena and the local experts were excellent.
Vacation : It was excellent. Lorena and the local experts were great.
  • U.S. citizens traveling to Italy must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering Italy.

  • The currency in Italy is the Euro (€). While it’s a good idea to bring some euros for when you first arrive in Italy, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate when you arrive in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in Italy. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local cuisine. While pizza and pasta are national favorites, few travelers understand just how varied Italy’s cuisine actually is. On your guided vacation, you’ll have the opportunity to sample a delicious array of cheeses, cured meats, seafood, rice dishes, breads, and marinated vegetables. And be sure to try Sicily’s decadent desserts, including the famous cannoli and cassata cake.

    Lunch (pranzo) is traditionally the most substantial meal of the day. A full meal consists of antipasto (starter), a primo piatto (pasta, rice or soup), a secondo piatto (meat or fish) with a side, or contorno (vegetable or salad), then fruit.  Finish with espresso and maybe a splash of liqueur. 

  • Sicily enjoys a moderate Mediterranean climate. We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. F For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • At bars and restaurants, tipping is less common or generous as in the U.S. When dining out, it’s appropriate, although not required, to leave an extra euro or two for your waiter.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions. 

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Taormina

Mt Etna & The Godfather

Adult Price: € 56.00

Join a local expert to experience the unhurried pace of life in this rustic village chosen by Frances Ford Coppola for scenes in his movie “The Godfather”. Amid stunning mountain views, visit the charming wedding church and Bar Vitelli, where Al Pacino fell in love (famous for its ice cold granita di limone!) Then continue to Mt. Etna, Europe's largest active volcano. Ascend through the lush fertile foothills to the craters and barren lunar landscapes nearer the top. The views over the eastern Sicilian coast and Ionian Sea are spectacular.

Dinner in the Clouds

Adult Price: € 68.00

With one of the most incredible rides of your lives, you will arrive high above the sea, a world apart from the areas that tourists tread. You'll arrive in your terraced authentic local restaurant for a truly educational meal of delicious regional specialties, with accompanying local wines.

Palermo

Dinner in Palermo

Adult Price: € 60.00

We'll dine al fresco tonight in one of the narrow alleys of La Cala, the ancient port of Palermo. Adjacent to the sixteenth-century walls of the Royal Foundry and away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Sicilian dining is one of life's true pleasures! We'll indulge in great food made from the freshest ingredients, accompanied by the island's delicious wines.

Hidden Palermo

Adult Price: € 46.00

Walk the ancient streets of the historical centre and learn, through the eyes of a local, how the Palermitani live. You’ll discover hidden treasures of this fascinating city that most visitors don't get to see, like a private visit to the palace of the family of the Counts of Palermo, whom we’ll meet and who will share their amazing experiences with us. This unique tour also includes a drink and light snacks.

Ragusa

Dinner In Ragusa

Adult Price: € 61.00

Indulge in the varied and complex flavours of Sicily, at this evening's dinner. Sicillian shores are washed by three different seas, so fish is a must (meat alternative available). The large greenhouses around Ragusa also produce a wide range of fruit and vegetables to enjoy. Arabian settlers brought sugar with them and now the island's dolci are considered among the best in Italy. Of course any Italian meal wouldn't be complete without the wonderful local wine. Buon Appetito!

Guided Tour Of Ragusa Ibla

Adult Price: € 25.00

Join a local expert to explore the jumble of churches, houses, old squares and civic palazzi that make up Ragusa Ibla. Devastated by the earthquake of 1693, this part of town was rebuilt along the lines of the old medieval layout. With most of the nobility and wealthier citizens choosing to live in the new upper town, the fortunes of Ibla waned. Now you can step back three hundred years into the past, where every turn of the winding streets and stairways comes with the promise of another fantastic discovery.

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