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Sicily in Depth with Malta

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Comfortable
Mt Etna, Sicily
Tour Style: Premium
12 Days from $2,939 per person

Enjoy warm Mediterranean hospitality, as you journey from picture-perfect fishing villages to ancient Greek temples. Witness the rich legacies of the ancient Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans and Ottoman Turks and even uncover a few secrets about the local the Mafia! Taste Sicilian wine, feast on delicious seasonal cuisine and meet passionate locals along the way.

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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. During your private transfer to Catania Airport, appreciate the vistas of Mount Etna one last time. Board your short flight to Malta where on arrival you are met and taken to your hotel to meet your Local Host for Morning Tea. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax and settle into your hotel.  

    meal(s):BB, MT
    hotel:Le Meridien, St. Julians
  10. Today is free to laze by the pool or stroll by Spinola Bay. Perhaps, take a short journey to the capital, Valletta, to spend time browsing the shops or enjoy one of the many other cultural attractions in the area.  

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Le Meridien, St Julians
  11. Venture south to visit the pretty fishing village of Marsaxlokk and wander along its waterfront lined with Luzzus - traditional fishing boats painted in reds, blues and yellows. This peaceful bay was once the site of the first Turkish landing during the great siege of 1565. There is time to browse the local market stalls and perhaps take an Optional Excursion to visit the Blue Grotto, surrounded by turquoise water. It's a cathedral in stone, famous for its crystal clear water with beautiful colors passing through. Return to your hotel and spend the afternoon at leisure.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Le Meridiend, St. Julians
  12. Bid farewell to this exotic island as you transfer to Malta Airport for your onward flight. 

    meal(s):BB
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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
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19 Apr 18 30 Apr 18 checkmark $3,325pp Call 1-877-622-9109
26 Apr 18 7 May 18 checkmark $3,395$3,070pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
3 May 18 14 May 18 $3,395$3,070pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
10 May 18 21 May 18 checkmark $3,395pp Call 1-877-622-9109
17 May 18 28 May 18 checkmark $3,395pp Call 1-877-622-9109
24 May 18 4 Jun 18 checkmark $3,395pp Call 1-877-622-9109
31 May 18 11 Jun 18 $3,395$3,070pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
7 Jun 18 18 Jun 18 checkmark $3,395pp Call 1-877-622-9109
21 Jun 18 2 Jul 18 checkmark $3,425pp Call 1-877-622-9109
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19 Jul 18 30 Jul 18 checkmark $3,475$3,142pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
2 Aug 18 13 Aug 18 $3,495$3,160pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
16 Aug 18 27 Aug 18 checkmark $3,495pp Call 1-877-622-9109
30 Aug 18 10 Sep 18 $3,450$3,119pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
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13 Sep 18 24 Sep 18 checkmark $3,450$3,119pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
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27 Sep 18 8 Oct 18 checkmark $3,395$3,070pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
4 Oct 18 15 Oct 18 $3,395$3,070pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
11 Oct 18 22 Oct 18 $3,395$3,070pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
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1 Nov 18 12 Nov 18 $3,250$2,939pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109

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 $630 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver from $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.

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  • 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

10 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 1 Morning Tea (MT) and 3 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Signature Experiences

Catania

  • During an exploration with your Local Expert see the Duomo, Piazza and the noble buildings of Palazzo Senatorio. 

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.
  • 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. 

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