Grade

Moderate

Dedicated to

Only for Travel Agents

Tour Type

Multi Day Tour

Accomodation

Hotels Included

2020 SICILY FAM TRIP
March 8, 2020 – March 16, 2020
8 nights/9 days


ROUTE

Land:   Palermo airport (PMO – Falcone Borsellino International Airport), West Side
Leave: Catania airport (CTA – Fontanarossa International Airport), East Side

Palermo (2 nights) Agrigento Area (1 night) Taormina (2 nights) Syracuse (3 nights)

 

8th March (Sunday) Italy > Landing in Palermo (PMO)
9th March (Monday) Palermo Street Food Walking Tour with snacks and Monreale AM
10th March (Tuesday) Palermo > Erice and Segesta with lunch in a Farmhouse-Olive oil producer> Agrigento area
11th March (Wednesday) Agrigento area and Piazza Armerina > Taormina
12th March (Thursday) Etna Jeep ride
13th March (Friday) Taormina > Ragusa and Modica > Siracusa
14th March (Saturday) Half day Siracusa
15th March (Sunday) Counstryside Experience from Siracusa
16th March (Monday) Syracusa > Leaving from Catania (CTA)


RATE IS PER PERSON, land only:
Travel Agent:                        Eur 1.290 in double/twin sharing room
Travel Agent:                        Eur 1.790 in single room

Travel Agent Companion:   Eur 1.450 in double/twin sharing room


FEATURED PROPERTIES USED:
For this tour we include selected first class/deluxe hotels:

  • Palermo: Quintocanto Hotel & Spa
  • Agrigento Area: Alba Palace Hotel (Favara)
  • Taormina: NH Collection Taormina
  • Syracusa: Ortea Palace Hotel

City Taxes:
The offer does not include city taxes which have to be paid directly to the hotel during check out.

AIRPORT TRANSFERS: NOT INCLUDED
Arrival Airport transfer in Palermo: available at Eur 50 one way per car, max 1 hour waiting time
Departure Transfer from Siracusa: available at Eur 75 one way per car to Catania airport

  • Category
  • Days
    9
  • Nights
    8
  • Dedicated to
    Only for Travel Agents
  • Tour Type
    Multi Day Tour
  • Accomodation
    Hotels Included
Day 1
March 8 (Sunday) Palermo airport (PMO)/town
Private Vehicle and Italian Speaking Driver Disposal: no

Welcome to the warm, beautiful and pleasant island of Sicily! Upon arrival at Palermo Falcone-Borsellino Airport (PMO| Your Arrival by TBA) please proceed through Passport Control and collect your luggage inside the customs area. Then independent transfer in town.

H 7PM Meet and Greet with Tour of Sicily, Welcome Drink and Snacks (S)
Day 2
March 9 (Monday) Palermo and Monreale
Private vehicle and Italian Speaking Driver Disposal: half day from h 8.30AM
Palermo and Monreale, English Speaking Local Guide included half day from h 8.30AM

Breakfast at hotel.
Today a short drive takes us to Monreale, to see where Arab-Norman art and architecture reached its pinnacle in the Duomo (Admission fee: included), launched in 1174 by William II. It represents scenes from the Old and New Testaments all in golden mosaics. The story of how this splendid cathedral came into being starts when the Arabs took control of Palermo in 831. They transformed the cathedral into a mosque and banished the Bishop of Palermo from town. Not wishing to venture too far from his beloved cathedral, the Bishop settled in a small village in the hills overlooking Palermo, the site of modern-day Monreale. There, he built a modest church to keep the flame of local Christian worship alive. Some 240 year later, in 1072, the Normans drove the Arabs from Sicily, establishing Palermo as their capital and re-consecrating the Cathedral. In 1174, in an act of piety, thanksgiving and commemoration of the exiled Bishop, King William II ordered the construction of a new church in Monreale, dedicated to the Virgin Mary (one of the mosaics depicts King William II presenting the church to the Madonna). On its completion in 1182, Pope Lucius III elevated the splendid church to the status of metropolitan Cathedral. Enlightened, tolerant and appreciative of many aspects of North African and middle-eastern culture and art, William II employed the very best Arabic and Byzantine (as well as Norman) craftsmen to work on the cathedral. The result is a fabulous and fascinating fusion of architectural styles, artistic traditions and religious symbolism.

Later we drive back to Palermo to experience the Open Air Markets a place overflowing with beautiful fresh fish, and local vegetables and cheeses.  Originating from the era when Sicily was occupied by the moors, this 1000 year old market has run much in the same manner for centuries.  It has strong Arab influences, resembling an eastern souk, and these influences are also evident in the merchandise itself.  Next to mounds of ricotta and caciocavallo cheeses, barrels of olives and fat slabs of swordfish sit saffron and other spices, as well as sacks of beans and gorgeous indigenous fruits and local vegetables.  Here you will have the opportunity to taste a typical palermitano dish, such as the famous Panelle (a thin paste of crushed ceci/garbanzo beans rolled into sheets, fried and served in pizza-like slices). Snacks at the Open-Air Market.

This afternoon is at leisure. (BB S)
Day 3
March 10 (Tuesday) Palermo>Erice, Farmhouse-Olive Oil producer and Segesta>Agrigento area
Private vehicle and Italian Speaking Driver Disposal: full day from h 8.30AM
English Speaking Tour Escort included full day from h 8.30AM


Breakfast at hotel.
Today departure for Erice uptown, which was an important religious site associated with the goddess Venus. Wander through its ancient streets and visit some of the famous homemade pastry shops—world-famous for marzipan candies and other delicacies like almond and pistachio pastries. Towering over the west of Sicily at 751m above sea level and often covered in its own personal cloud, Erice is a wonderfully preserved Mediaeval town offering the most breathtaking views and a palpable sense of history. Originally an Elymian city (the Elymians were around before the Greeks ever set foot in Sicily) Erice, or Eryx as it was first called, was a town of no little importance and renown and is said to have attracted the likes Hercules and Aeneas. Like so many Sicilian towns, it passed from one invader to another as all the usual suspects came and went, leaving their architectural calling cards and their cultural footprints. The name changed from Eryx, to Erice to Gebel Hamed and Monte San Giuliano but its essential character remained, obstinately repelling any attempt to change its real identity.

Amongst the most visited sites are the two castles, Pepoli Castle and Venus Castle. The former was built by the Arabs while the latter was a Norman construction with imposing towers that derived its name from the fact that it was built on the site of the ancient Temple of Venus, allegedly founded by Aeneas.

Then to a Farmhouse-Olive Oil producer for our lunch.

This afternoon onto Segesta one of the major cities of the Elymian people, one of the three indigenous peoples of Sicily. Segesta’s ancient Greek temple can make a valid claim to being the best preserved in the world, and its amphitheatre boasts a hilltop position on Mount Barbaro second to none. The archeological site, about seventy kilometers southwest of Palermo, reflects the presence of several ancient civilizations, beginning with the elusive Elymians. While the magnificent Doric temple, though (strictly speaking) never completed – as the roof was never added and the pillars never fluted – is impressive, it is just the highlight of a large archeological park. Today we visit the Temple (Admission fee: included)

We continue to Agrigento area. Tonight, dinner & showcooking in a local house! (BB L D)
Day 4
March 11 (Wednesday) Agrigento and Piazza Armerina > Taormina
Private vehicle and Italian Speaking Driver Disposal: full day from h 8.30AM
English Speaking Tour Escort included full day from h 8.30AM
Agrigento, English Speaking Local Guide included to visit the Valley of the Temples
Piazza Armerina, English Speaking Local Guide included to visit the Roman Villa

Breakfast at hotel.

Today we enjoy the finest of all ancient Greek sites—the complete Doric Temples (Admission fee: included), one of Sicily’s most famous historical attractions. This is one of the most outstanding examples of Greater Greece art and architecture and is one of the main attractions of Sicily as well as a national monument of Italy. The area was included in the UNESCO Heritage Site list in 1997. Founded as a Greek colony in the 6th century B.C., Agrigento became one of the leading cities in the Mediterranean world. Its supremacy and pride are demonstrated by the remains of the magnificent Doric temples that dominate the ancient town, much of which still lies intact under today’s fields and orchards. This splendid archaeological park consists of eight temples (and various other remains) built between about 510 BC and 430 BC: the Temple of Hera, the Temple of Concordia, the Temple of Heracles, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Temple of Castor and Pollux, the Temple of Hephaestos, the Temple of Demeter, and the Temple of Asclepius (the God of Medicine). Apart from this latter, which is to be found on the banks of the Akragas river, all are situated in the same area on rocky crests south of modern day Agrigento (not really in a Valley at all!).

Then we travel to Piazza Armerina situated deep in the Sicilian hinterland, at 721 metres above sea level, one of Sicily’s most frequented tourist spots.

This afternoon we visit the famous Villa Romana del Casale (Admission fee: included). Built in the middle of the 4th Century AD as a hunting lodge by a Roman patrician (it is not known for sure who the owner was) the Villa is home to some of the best preserved and extensive examples of Roman mosaics spread over around 3500mt. The villa is one of the most luxurious of its kind. It is especially noteworthy for the richness and quality of the mosaics which decorate almost every room; they are the finest mosaics in situ anywhere in the Roman world. These extraordinarily vivid mosaics, probably produced by North African artisans, deal with numerous subjects, ranging from Homeric escapades and mythological scenes to portrayals of daily life, including the famous tableau of girls exercising in their “bikinis”.

We then continue to Taormina.  (BB)
Day 5
March 12 (Thursday) Private Etna by WD4X4 Land Rover and winery
Private Jeep WD4X4 Land Rover and English speaking driver disposal: full day
Dress Code: use sturdy shoes and wind jacket

Breakfast at hotel.
Today meet the off-road’s driver and transfer to Etna Volcano. We will enjoy a lovely Jeep experience through Etna area: Mount Fontana (view of Bove Valley), the Thieves Cave (grotta dei ladroni), lava flow from 2002 eruption. Light lunch will be served in a local winery-farmhouse to taste the genuine food of this area (local wine included). During afternoon get back at hotel driving through the Alcantara Valley with its famous Gorges. (BB L)
Day 6
March 13 (Friday) Taormina > Ragusa and Modica > Siracusa
Private vehicle and Italian speaking driver disposal: full day from h 8.30AM
English Speaking Tour Escort included full day from h 8.30AM

Breakfast at hotel.
Today departure for Ragusa. The city is situated in the Iblean mountains and, along with Ragusa, it is part of the UNESCO Heritage Sites in Sicily. The main economy of the area revolves around dairy cheese & agricultural products like olives, carobs, legumes, and grains. Upon arrival we walk through the historical town of Ragusa Ibla highlights the wide array of Baroque architecture in Sicily, including several stunning palaces and churches.

This afternoon a short drive takes us to Modica a small village famous for the chocolate. Modica’s chocolate is one of the most famous products of the Ragusa area. It is still made the same way the ancient Aztecs made chocolate in Mexico and its tradition dates back to the 16th century. The technique was brought over by the Spaniards who in turn learned about it in what is now Mexico.

Later we return to Syracuse. (BB)
Day 7
March 14 (Saturday) Syracusa
Private vehicle and Italian Speaking Driver Disposal: no
English Speaking Tour Escort included half day from h 9AM
T
axi service to/from the Archaeological Park

Breakfast at hotel.
Today we visit Syracuse. Our first stop in at the Archaeological Park (Admission fee: included) highlights of which are the Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre and the Paradise Quarry. The resulting park contains some of the most extraordinary monuments that classical antiquity has left us and, given their degree of interest and importance, has few equals elsewhere in Italy. Even a quick stay in Syracuse must include a visit to this archaeological site. Then stroll through the streets of Ortygia Island, the heart of the city center, to visit the Dome (Admission fee: included). This delightful pedestrian square is home to the wonderful Cathedral built on the site of an ancient Temple of Athena as can clearly be seen from the original Doric columns that were incorporated into the building’s main structure. Also on this square is the beautifully symmetrical Baroque Palazzo Beneventano and the church of Santa Lucia, the town’s patron saint. Later to the colourful daily Street Market, which sells a fantastic array of fruit, vegetables, fish and meat.

The balance of the day is at leisure. (BB)
Day 8
March 15 (Sunday) Countryside experience from Siracusa
Private vehicle and Italian speaking driver disposal: full day from h 8.30AM
English Speaking Tour Escort included full day from h 8.30AM

Breakfast at hotel.
Today’s experience will be a complete surprise! Be ready to experience typical Sicilian countryside. (BB)
Day 9
March 16 (Monday) Syracusa/Catania airport



Private Vehicle and Italian Speaking Driver Disposal: no

Breakfast at hotel.
Today independent departure for Fontanarossa Catania airport (CTA). Arrivederci! (BB)

Legend Used:






BB Breakfast L Light Lunch S Snack D Dinner TBA To Be Advised

Half Day and Full Day: 
Half day is around 3 to 4 hours. Full day is around 7 hours.


Included
  • Admission fees as per itinerary
  • Daily breakfast buffet
  • English speaking Tour Director/Driver (as per program)
  • Hotel accommodation as per program
  • Licensed Local Guide as per program
  • Meal as per Description
  • Vehicle/coach with air conditioning  - no toilet
  • Visit as per itinerary
Not Included
  • Airport transfers
  • Beverage and meal not specified
  • City taxes
  • Fee for luggage handling fee at hotel
  • Gratuities and tips
  • Intercontinental/Local Flights
  • Optional Excursions
  • Personal expenses and extra drinks
  • Travel Insurance
Contact us for price information

Fam Trip requested:

Type of Room requested:

LOOK AT ALL THE FAM TRIP TOURS WE OFFER

2019:

Sicily Fam Trip: 3 - 11 November 2019

Amalfi Coast Fam Trip: 10 - 15 November 2019

Sicily & Amalfi Coast Fam Trip: 3 - 15 November 2019


2020:


Sicily Fam Trip: 8 - 16 March 2020

 

These tours are ONLY for travel agents and companions.

Click on the tour for more details or inquire us filling the specific Fam Trip Booking Form.

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