Sicily & Aeolian Islands Escorted Small Group Tour

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At a glance

Staying At: Carefully selected elegant and romantic hotels
Duration: 7 nights
Great for: Nature exploration, hiking, Food and drink
Added benefits: Escorted tours, Site entrances fees
What next: Contact our Travel Specialists on 01694 722193
Just 90 miles from the African coastline, Sicily and the Aeolian Islands boast vast landscapes of lush countryside and crystal blue ocean with plenty of sunshine. These exquisite regions are filled with what seems like a never-ending ‘to-do’ list and are ideal holiday locations for both families and couples alike. Sicily is a unique and great compliment to your Italian discoveries as the island has been influenced by many cavillations, from Greeks to Romans and Arabs, offering a diverse holiday choice. The largest of Italy’s islands, Sicily is a popular holiday destination amongst our gest and we have put together a special two-centre holiday to give you the best of both worlds including the Aeolian islands to your Sicilian discovery. Found just off the famous boot shape of the country, Sicily is a beautiful and historic place to visit. But it is not alone, the Aeolian islands are also a fantastic destination for your Italian holiday.

Bustling with an exciting mix of extraordinary archaeological sites, exquisite eateries and crisp white beaches, they have so much to offer to all its visitors. Sparkling like jewels in the sea, Aeolian islands give an exceptionally warm welcome to its guests with diverse ambience and plenty


Like the island itself Sicilian towns and cities are equally as diverse and unique as each has a special charm and ambience, from the mesmerizing Taormina which will inspire the artist in you with striking coastal views and a magnificent Amphitheatre, to Ragusa with great examples of the Baroque Architecture not to mention the medieval town of Cefalu with charming small-town centre and a magnificent cathedral. One holiday is never enough to discover Sicily and UNESCO-protected Aeolian Islands located on the north coast. Each visit will allow you to discover something different with a true Sicilian hospitality. The island of Vulcano especially is a popular choice for visitors, with a laid-back lifestyle, picture-perfect scenery, volcano hiking opportunities and natural mud springs.

Price Per person sharing a twin/double room £1988

Single Room Supplement £620

Day 1:

Travel to Vulcano

Arrive at London Gatwick Airport and meet your tour manager whom will travel with you. Check-in and proceed to the gate. Arrive at Catania Airport, meet your driver for your transfer to Milazzo for the ferry to Vulcano which will take approx. 50 min.

Transfer to Therasia Resort and Spa and check into your room.

Afternoon at leisure.

18:30     welcome cocktails at the hotel lobby, meet the hotel management.

19:30    Dinner at the hotel excluding beverages. (Set menu)

Day 2:

Salina Island Tour

After breakfast meet with your guide for your Salina Island Tour.

The island tour of Salina by dinghy is the ideal way to enjoy not only the crystal-clear waters but also, the natural cliffs, enchanting bays and small villages made up of small white-washed houses. Leaving the port of Vulcano, coasting the island of Lipari we arrive at the famous “White Beach” characterised by its fine white sand and transparent turquoise sea. We will then enjoy a long swim stopping off the beach of “Papisca”, a famous pumice stone white beach of the island of Lipari. After about one hour, we will head to the island of Salina. Once at the island of Salina, travelling from Santa Marina towards the north, the island reveals its volcanic nature through the wild cliffs of Capo Faro and Torricella. Coasting the impressive valleys ending in volcanic peaks, we eventually reach the headland of Punta Perciato, eroded by the sea and wind. Leaving the headland, we arrive at the crystal-clear bay of Pollara, where the famous film “The Postman” was filmed, where we will take a short snorkeling excursion.

Heading towards the town of Lingua, along the way we will pass Rinella, a picturesque village by the sea. Once at Lingua, we can disembark and explore the delightful town and sample the delicious granita, the iced drink made from local fruits, including delicious figs and also the tasty cunzatu seasoned bread, a local specialty. Enjoy a walk along the seafront dotted with characteristic shops selling local produce, such as the Aeolian capers and Malvasia, visit

the ancient salt mines. Depart at 17.00 for the port of Vulcano, stopping at the Faraglioni of Lipari for a swim.

 

Return to the hotel.

Dinner at the hotel

Day 3:

Morning tour:  Climb the Vulcano

Lunch & afternoon at leisure

The climb to the top and crater circuit of the Fossa cone (391m) is the main highlight of Vulcano and is easily accessible to those who are reasonably fit and prepared and takes a morning or afternoon. It is not a particularly strenuous climb but a bit rocky and ash covered.

The path heads up from Porto di Levante, past a warning sign about the hazards of the volcano! Once at the top a view of the 460m wide crater opens up. The crater is 175m deep and some rock art is visible on the crater floor. Climbing down into the crater is not advised firstly because of poisonous gases that accumulate here and secondly, it's a long way back up over rough and hot ground.

The crater rim steams with fumaroles and Sulphurous fumes and the smell of Sulphur and rotten eggs is on the damp hot breeze. Careful where you sit and put your feet as the ground and fumes can be very hot - scalding! An ash covered slope descends once you have circumnavigated the crater rim. It's like walking on a giant sand dune. Vulcano also has a geothermal open-air mud bath with supposed health-giving properties and the sea has warm water springs when you want to freshen up. Remove any metal jewellery as it will get spoilt. A stick, gaiters an old swimming costume and towel may come in handy.

Walk back to the hotel and rest.

Dinner at the hotel

Day 4:

Full day tour Panarea – Stromboli by night

Departure from Vulcano and direct transfer to Panarea; before docking in S.Pietro’s port you will sail along Baia Calajunco and the small Zimmari’s beach. A two hour stop in Panarea allows passengers to visit the village, have a swim or to have lunch in a local restaurant (optional) or free time to enjoy Panarea.

In about 45 minutes’ walk or by taxi it is possible to reach the small prehistoric village of Capo Milazzese, dated to 1400 BC. In the afternoon departure for Stromboli; during the transfer, you can admire the group of islands in front of Panarea. Before our second stop, visit from the sea to the picturesque village of Ginostra.

After docking in Stromboli Scari’s port, visit the island until sunset, then departure to admire Stromboli exploding by night, in particular, the Sciarra del Fuoco, (“Stream of fire”), where the active lava flows. During the transfer a typical Aeolian dish will be offered on board, with wine, water and bread included.

Return to the hotel.

Dinner at the hotel.

Day 6:

Full Day tour to Syracuse & Ragusa excluding lunch

 

Meet the driver at the hotel and start our tour. Neapolis Archaeological Park in Syracuse will be your first stop. Syracuse, unlike any other city on the island, is unique and characterful with timeless beauty.  The Ancient Greek ruins, lush green surrounding and magnificent Baroque piazzas and glittering sea side, it is a beautiful city but that is not just that, this was the largegest city once in the ancient world, larger than Athens.

 

Walk along the path from the Church of San Nicolò ai Cordari, dating back to the Norman period, lead to the Latomie, through the Roman Amphitheatre, the Altar of Hieron and the Greek Theatre. The Ear of Dionysus, as defined by Caravaggio, is also of great interest.

 

Then you will reach Ortigia, to stroll through the streets of the island and immerse yourself in the history of one of the most powerful cities of Magna Grecia. You will admire the remains of the Temple of Apollo, unearthed by the archaeologist Paolo Orsi in the first half of the twentieth century, and Piazza del Duomo, surrounded by palaces. You will enter the sacred building to discover the columns of what was once the Temple of Athena. Among the highlights of Ortigia there are the Fountain of Arethusa, Castello Maniace and Piazza Archimede with the Fountain of Diana.

 

Once you reach Ragusa Ibla, you will see the lovely Giardini Iblei, some landscaped gardens in the heart of Sicily, and the Church of San Giorgio, a Latin cross church characterised by semi-circular apses.

 

Late return to the hotel. Dinner at leisure

Day 7:

Day at leisure to relax and enjoy the facilities

Optional tour

Mt Etna full day tour: (at a supplement)

 

One-day tour of Mount Etna, the fire mountain called by local people “Mongibello”, a name derived from two words, a Latin word and an Arab word, which both mean “mountain”. This name is the synthesis of the entire history of this area of Sicily, written by different peoples and civilisations. One of the incredible things about Mount Etna, included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, is a cave located on the northern slope of the volcano which is known as “La Grotta del Gelo” since it is the only one on Etna where you can find ice all year round.

Your driver will pick you up at the entrance of your hotel in Taormina and you will be travelling on a comfortable vehicle, while admiring the most picturesque and fascinating places of Sicily, such as the lovely towns of Zafferana Etnea, known for the production of Zagara honey, and Santa Venerina, with its many vineyards.

Then, you will reach Rifugio Sapienza, at an altitude of 1.900 meters. Here you will see an amazing lunar landscape and wild nature and you will have the chance to take amazing pictures.

You will be walking along the edge of the Silvestri Craters, some inactive craters dating back to 1892.

From the viewpoint of the Valle del Bove, a volcanic depression with walls up to 1,000 meters, you will have the chance to admire an incredible landscape dominated by the sea. 

 

Late in the afternoon, you will get back to Taormina.

 

Day 8:

Transfer to the Airport for your flight back to the UK.

Or extend your stay in Taormina or in another hotel in different parts of Sicily for an independent stay.

Departure Date: 23 May and 10 October 2019

Holiday Includes:

  • British Airways flights from London Gatwick
  • 23 kg check-in bag per person
  • Pre-booked seats as a group
  • 4 nights in Therasia Resort and Spa based on HB (3 course set menu excluding beverages)
  • 3 nights La Plage Garden view Bungalows based on B&B
  • Airport Transfers and the ferry tickets from & to Milazzo and transfer to La Plage
  • Escorted tours as per the itinerary excluding lunches
  • Site entrance fees for some the sites
  • Services of a tour manager travelling with the group

British Airways

23-May-2019

London Gatwick         07:10               Aeroporto Di Catania 11:15   BA2594

30-May-2019

Aeroporto Di Catania             12:05   London Gatwick         14:30   BA2595

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