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Southern Italy & Sicily

Valley of the Temples, Sicily
11 Days from $2,123 per person

Slow down to the languid pace of the south – hot winds, and even hotter locals both signs that you've arrived in a part of Italy that marches to its own tune. 

See the fiery splendors of Sicily revealed beneath the shadow of Italy's largest volcano, Mount Etna, where you will enjoy local wine tasting under the warm Sicilian sun.

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Tour Pace: Comfortable
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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Welcome to Rome, the Eternal City. Relax after your journey or explore on your own. Meet your Travel Director and fellow travelers this evening for a Welcome Reception. Enjoy an orientation drive through the city to see St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, an independent state with some of the world's most extraordinary art and antiquities, and other sights – a perfect introduction to this beautiful city, the center of which has been proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its ruins, imposing monuments, statues and fountains.
    meal(s):WR
    hotel:Executive Style
  3. From Rome, visit the Commonwealth War Cemetery to commemorate those who died in the huge battle here at the end of WWII, and view the Benedictine Abbey at Cassino, which was originally founded by Saint Benedict in the 6th century, making it one of Europe's oldest monasteries and a recognised center of arts and culture. Next stop at the fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pompeii. Your Local Specialist takes you on a walking tour of the excavations buried for centuries under a layer of volcanic ash when Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. See such sites as the Ampthitheatre, dating back to 80BC, and the Gymnasium which used to have a pool in the middle. You'll also see the Temple of Apollo and the impressive Basilica. Arrive later at your hotel in Sorrento.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Johanna Park
  4. Gain a Cultural Insight during a demonstration of the art of inlaid wood at a workshop in Sorrento. Take a ferry to the Isle of Capri, the isle of Sirens according to Greek mythology, and continue to Capri town by funicular railway. See the famous Piazzetta during your guided walking tour with a Local Specialist and spend some time people watching at one of the local cafés.
    meal(s):BB
  5. Drive south via Salerno and through Calabria. Take the ferry across the straits of Messina to the rugged and historic island of Sicily and to the beachside resort town of Giardini Naxos near Taormina. This evening, enjoy dinner at your hotel.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Sant Alphio Garden
  6. Your Local Specialist takes you on a walking tour of Taormina on the slopes of Monte Tauro overlooking the sea. Visit the Greek theater and the sub-tropical terraced gardens. Stroll along the elegant Corso Umberto with a ‘gelsi' or ‘gelato' and on to the Piazza for splendid panoramic views across the bay. Spend free time shopping for souvenirs and handmade lace on the Corso.
    meal(s):BB
  7. Enjoy a full day to do as you please in this beautiful resort town. Shop, relax or see the sights of your choice. Whatever you decide, your Travel Director will be on hand to help you get the most out of your day. Tonight savor a delicious Be My Guest dinner at a beautiful Sicilian winery and restaurant overlooking Mount Etna.
    meal(s):BB, BG
  8. Enjoy views of Enna on the way to Agrigento, where your Local Specialist takes you to visit the Valley of the Temples - the finest Greek sanctuary in Sicily. See the splendid Temple of Concord and the Temple of Juno overlooking the sea.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Dioscuri Bay Palace
  9. Travel to Erice and explore this famous hilltop medieval town in western Sicily with its cobbled streets, Norman Castles and stunning views of the sea, salt pans and wooded hillsides. Perhaps take a walk to the ruins of the famed Venus Castle with its Balio Gardens. Before arriving in Palermo, the Sicilian capital, visit the chic seaside resort of Mondello, a small seaside resort with a beautiful beach, popular with the elite Palermitans.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Grand Hotel Garibaldi
  10. Meet your Local Specialist this morning for a sightseeing tour of Palermo. See The Opera House of Palermo and the Cathedral. Travel to the town of Monreale for views of La Conca d'Oro and explore the magnificent 12th century Norman Cathedral. Later join your companions and celebrate with a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.
    meal(s):BB, FD
  11. Say ‘arrivederci' to Sicily and your newfound friends at the end of a memorable vacation. Transfers are available. Conditions apply.
    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.

Add air to your reservation

Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • 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
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals

Meal Summary

9 nights, 9 hot buffet breakfasts, 4 dinners, On-trip transport.

Included Highlights

Be My Guest

  • Visit Maria Marano's wine farm at the foot of Mount Etna for a walking tour through the estate and cellars, and enjoy home-made appetizers accompanied by local wine

Cultural Insight

  • Witness the exquisite craft of inlaid wood at a workshop in Sorrento

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Pompeii, Capri, Taormina, Agrigento, Palermo

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Pompeii, Capri, Taormina, Agrigento, Palermo
  • Visit the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Cassino, the excavations at Pompeii, the impressive ruins of the ancient Greek Theater at Taormina, the Temples of Concord and Juno at Agrigento, the medieval town of Erice, the Norman Cathedral at Monreale, the fishing village of Mondello
  • Cruise to the Isle of Capri
  • View St Peter's Basilica in Rome, the Benedictine Abbey at Monte Cassino, the fortress town of Enna, Palermo Cathedral

Optional Add-Ons

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.

Palermo

Sferracavallo With Lunch Or Dinner

Adult Price: € 60

Join us for a drive to the coast of Sicily, where we’ll arrive at the quaint fishing village of Sferracavallo. You’ll have the chance to sample a delicious fishermen’s feast, accompanied by wine and soft drinks.

A Visit to Cefalu

Adult Price: € 36

Take a drive along the blue coastal highway to the quaint medieval village of Cefalu. You'll have the chance to stroll from the long golden beaches into the winding Arab streets with your Local Specialist.

Colours and Traditions of Palermo

Adult Price: € 30

A panoramic drive through verdant forest with spectacular views over the city of Palermo brings us to the summit of Mt. Pellegrino. Here we visit the grotto of Santa Rosalia, Palermo's patron saint. Later, with a Local Specialist, we explore and sample Palermitano street food at one of the most famous and colourful markets with its stalls of olives and spices. A wonderful opportunity to enjoy picturesque Sicilian everyday life.

Sorrento

Neapolitan Dinner and Dance

Adult Price: € 61

Join us for an evening of Neapolitan specialities at one of our favourite family-run restaurants. While you’re wined and dined, enjoy a cultural experience performed by local artists who'll take centre stage and demonstrate the famous Tarantella dance.

Sorrento Farmhouse Dinner

Adult Price: € 49

A scenic drive takes you through the Sorrentino countryside to an 18th century Olive Oil mill. You’ll enjoy a guided visit of the gardens, mill and wine cellar, followed by a simple meal of traditional pizza and wine. And there'll also be the chance to see how mozzarella and pizza are made.

Experience The Isle Of Capri

Adult Price: € 41

Experience Capri's spectacular cliffs, famous turquoise waters and white grotto the best way: by boat. In Capri town, enjoy a lemon granita, a specialty of the island. Or if the weather doesn't allow, we'll take you on a tour of the island to Anacapri, and a visit to Villa San Michele.

Amalfi Coast and Positano

Adult Price: € 43

Come with us for a drive along the famous Amalfi Coast. You’ll have a chance to visit the exclusive artists’ paradise of Positano, which is magnificently positioned on the Mediterranean coast.

This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.

Taormina

Mt Etna, Savoca And The Godfather

Adult Price: € 56

Discover rustic village life with your Local Specialist as we visit Savoca, the Sicilian setting for 'The Godfather'. Enjoy the stunning views before a visit to Vitelli's bar, featured in the film and famous for 'granita di limone'. Later, you’ll journey up Mt Etna, one of the most intriguing volcanoes in the world.

Syracuse - The Wonder Of Ancient Sicily

Adult Price: € 50

With your Local Specialist, you’ll visit the most fascinating town in Sicily, once the capital of Magna Graecia, including the beautiful island of Ortygia. Entrance to the archaeological site of Syracuse is included.

Dinner in Castelmola, the Most Dramatically Located Village in Sicily

Adult Price: € 68

Climb by minibus to the heights of Castelmola, above Taormina, to enjoy the best views of this magical part of Sicily. You'll enjoy wandering the cobbled streets with interesting shops and cafes. Then, dine in a restaurant that has the best view in Sicily, with wine included.

Sicilian Dinner and Entertainment

Adult Price: € 64

A fantastic Sicilian evening, you’ll enjoy a delicious dinner of Southern Italian specialities, with musical entertainment.

Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount AvailabilityPrice
29 Mar 17 8 Apr 17 checkmark $2,295$2,123pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,295 $2,123 pp
26 Apr 17 6 May 17 checkmark $2,350$2,174pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,350 $2,174 pp
3 May 17 13 May 17 checkmark $2,395$2,215pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,395 $2,215 pp
17 May 17 27 May 17 checkmark $2,395pp
$2,395 pp
24 May 17 3 Jun 17 checkmark $2,395$2,215pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,395 $2,215 pp
31 May 17 10 Jun 17 checkmark $2,395pp
$2,395 pp
14 Jun 17 24 Jun 17 checkmark $2,395$2,215pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,395 $2,215 pp
28 Jun 17 8 Jul 17 checkmark $2,350$2,174pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,350 $2,174 pp
5 Jul 17 15 Jul 17 checkmark $2,350$2,174pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,350 $2,174 pp
12 Jul 17 22 Jul 17 checkmark $2,350$2,174pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,350 $2,174 pp
19 Jul 17 29 Jul 17 checkmark $2,350pp
$2,350 pp
2 Aug 17 12 Aug 17 checkmark $2,375$2,197pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,375 $2,197 pp
16 Aug 17 26 Aug 17 checkmark $2,375$2,197pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,375 $2,197 pp
23 Aug 17 2 Sep 17 checkmark $2,375$2,197pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,375 $2,197 pp
6 Sep 17 16 Sep 17 checkmark $2,395$2,215pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,395 $2,215 pp
13 Sep 17 23 Sep 17 checkmark $2,395$2,215pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,395 $2,215 pp
20 Sep 17 30 Sep 17 checkmark $2,395$2,215pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,395 $2,215 pp
27 Sep 17 7 Oct 17 checkmark $2,395$2,215pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,395 $2,215 pp
27 Sep 17 7 Oct 17 checkmark $2,395$2,215pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,395 $2,215 pp
4 Oct 17 14 Oct 17 checkmark $2,350$2,174pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,350 $2,174 pp
18 Oct 17 28 Oct 17 checkmark $2,350$2,174pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,350 $2,174 pp

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 $450 p.p.

Triple Discount: $70 p.p.

Guaranteed Room Share is not available on this trip.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $71 per person.

Airport transfers: On arrival at Rome Fiumicino Airport transfers will operate at 9:30 am, 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Palermo Airport at 8:00 am.

Cruise Connection: This trip starts or ends in a popular cruise port, so you can combine a cruise with a more in-depth guided vacation in Europe.

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.

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.

  • 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. In fact, each of the country’s 20 regions has its own distinctive cuisine.  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.  Wine is usually served with the meal, accompanied by mineral water. Tap water is safe to drink, but not always tasty. We recommend you buy bottled mineral water. ‘Acqua non potabile’ means the water is not safe to drink.  Find out about some local specialties to try in Italy’s top destinations below.

    Throughout Southern Italy, you can enjoy a variety of fresh and dried pasta with tomato sauce, vegetables marinated in olive oil, seafood, limoncello (lemon liqueur), and  a selection of delicious desserts. In Rome, you can try humble pasta dishes such as carbonara, amatriciana, aglio e olio (garlic and olive oil) and cacio e peppe (pecorino cheese and pepper). Other foods to try include pizza, a variety fried foods called fritti  that come stuffed with everything from salted cod to zucchini flours, and and a selection of cheeses including the popular pecorino Romano. You’ll also find traditional desserts such as Rome’s crostata di ricotta, Italy’s version of cheesecake, deep-fried zeppole rolled in sugar, as well as Sicily’s famous cannoli.

  • In Italy, the weather changes very quickly, with temperatures varying from morning to night. 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. 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.

Reviews

Saturday, October 8, 2016
Southern Italy & Sicily
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : very organized and well planed
Vacation : Best Vac ever Loved it
Friday, May 13, 2016
Southern Italy & Sicily
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The young man that booked my trip was very kind and explained everything. I told him up front that this was my first trip ever and he explained everything in detail for me. It would have been nice to have completed the travel with a taxi to the Palermo airport, but we did not have that. We were able to connect with other travelers and we booked our own taxi and shared in the cost. Other travel members had their transportation already taken care of.
Vacation : The tour was just GREAT! The director was so informative and could answer all our questions. I personally didn't realize that this tour was 38 miles of walking and my knees and legs took a hit for that. I wish we could have had more time to just sit beside the pool and relax - that never happened.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Welcome home! Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. We're sorry that the flight you chose out of Palermo left too early for the included airport transfer and that you had some trouble with the amount of walking involved in this trip. We do try to make sure that our guests are aware of the amount of walking required. Our brochure and booking information does state that guests need to be in good physical condition and able to walk 1-3 miles a day unassisted. We apologize if this was not made clear when you booked with us, but it sounds like you did enjoy the trip overall.

Grand European Travel
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Southern Italy & Sicily
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Booked the tour through European Travel, but the tour was actually done by Trafalgar
Vacation : I saw so many things that I had not seen before and they were wonderful. Chris Daley, the tour director was so-o-o knowledgeable and a truly good guide. Only comment that was not good was that our last hotel was changed at the last minute for one that was old, uncomfortable and extremely noisy.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We're very sorry to hear about the last minute hotel change. It is rare when that happens but on occasion we will have to make a change on short notice based on the hotel occupancy or commitments we were not advised of. We're glad to see that you enjoyed the trip despite this small glitch at the end. Thank you for taking the time to write.

Grand European Travel
Thursday, May 19, 2016

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