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The ancient bronze statues at Valley of the Temples in Agrigento
Caption: The ancient bronze statues at Valley of the Temples in Agrigento
Caption: The colourful streets of Taormina
Caption: Mount Etna rises high behind Catania on Sicily's eastern shores
Caption: Monreale's Cathedral is famous for its golden interior design
Caption: The Teatro Greco in Taormina, with Mt Etna in the distance
Caption: The Statue of the Fallen Icarus lies in front of the Temple of Concord in The Valley of the Temples
Caption: Catania's historic centre
Caption: Sicily is famous for its brightly coloured pottery
Caption: Palermo's exquisite cathedral
Caption: The Valley of the Temples at night

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Journey Snapshot

Activity level: Level 2 Requires moderate physical activity. You need to be able to participate in physical activities such as longer walking tours, walking over uneven terrain, climbing steps and be comfortable with some periods of standing. Not suitable if you have limited mobility or require a wheelchair/mobility scooter.
Destination: Scenic Sicily - Extension to Enticing Northern Italy
Duration: 7 day / 6 nights
Flight information: Please arrange your flights to arrive into Milan Malpensa Airport [MXP] for Day 1 of the Enticing Northern Italy Tour and to depart from Palermo Airport [PMO] on Day 17 (Day 7 of the tour extension)
Pickup location: Rome Hotel

Overview

Choose your own departure date for your group

The Italian island of Sicily is one of the jewels of the Mediterranean. Extend your stay in Italy and discover Sicily's unique history, culture and flavours on this fantastic tour extension.

Sicily, the ball to Italy's boot, offers an ecclectic mix of history art and culture that have shaped this fascinating volcanic Mediterranean island. From the Ancient Romans and Greeks, as well as Byzantine, Moorish and European rule, we'll discover temples, mosaics and bustling markets that give Sicily its unique flavour. 

The striking Mount Etna dominates the landscape of the eastern edge of the island and from our base in the seaside town of Taormina, we explore the region. Making our way west to Palermo, the island's capital, we discover ancient mosaics, some of the best preserved temples in the world, glistening golden cathedrals and gorgeous countryisde. And in our final stop, Palermo, we delve into Sicilian life, full of colour, flavour and noise as we wander the streets of the bustling town and its lively markets, opulent palaces and grand theatres. A fanatastic way to round off your time in Italy. 

Itinerary

Itinerary summary: DAY 1 - Benvenuti in Sicilia
DAY 2 - Taormina & Mighty Mount Etna
DAY 3 - The Magical Mosaics of Villa Romana Del Casale
DAY 4 - The Valley of the Temples & Monreale's Golden Cathedral
DAY 5 - Discovering Palermo
DAY 6 - The Bustling Markets of Palermo
DAY 7 - Arrivederci Sicilia
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Full Itinerary

DAY 1 - Benvenuti in Sicilia

Say goodbye to Rome as we make our way to the airport for our flight to Sicily.

Upon arrival at Catania Airport, you will be met and drive north, along the coast, to the world famous hill-top resort of Taormina. After checking-in to our hotel and some time to relax, tonight we will enjoy a welcome drink and get-together, followed by dinner in a local restaurant/trattoria.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Taormina 

DAY 2 - Taormina & Mighty Mount Etna

This morning we will visit Taormina's greatest tourist attraction, the Teatro Greco, a Greco-Roman theatre built into the rocky hillside. Although generally known as the 'Greek' Theatre, Taormina's historic open-air theatre owes much of its present appearance to the Romans. Designed with an unsurpassable backdrop of blue sea, coastline, distant smoking Etna, and inland mountains, we will wander around the theatre complex, the stage and backstage areas, as well see panoramic views from the curving rows of seats.

After some free time to get some lunch, we will depart by coach for a guided excursion to Mount Etna which is among Europe’s tallest, and the world’s most active, volcanoes. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013, the volcano has shaped Sicilian history and continues to impact life on the island today. We will ascend the volcano by coach to Piazzale Rifugio Sapienza, some 6,200ft above sea level. For those who wish to ascend further to around 8,200ft there is the option of a cable-car/funicular, payable direct.**

Back at the hotel, the evening is at leisure.

(**The cable-car/funicular does not take you as far as the crater of Mt Etna, which is further uphill)

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: Taormina 
Optional extras: Cable-car/Funicular - please ask for details 

DAY 3 - The Magical Mosaics of Villa Romana Del Casale

We depart after breakfast towards Agrigento, one of Sicily's finest ancient cities. On the way we will stop at Piazza Armerina, a pretty and historic town nestled in the heart of Sicily. Whilst here, we will visit the truly astonishing classical mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale, an important UNESCO World Heritage Site, due to it containing the most complex and largest collection of Roman mosaics in the world - there are 3,535 square metres of them!

Afterwards, we continue to our hotel in Agrigento. Once checked-in, we'll rejoin for dinner together this evening in a local restaurant.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Agrigento 

DAY 4 - The Valley of the Temples & Monreale's Golden Cathedral

We depart after breakfast for a guided tour of the Valley of the Temples, Sicily's most enthralling archaeological site. A magnificent collection of seven ancient Greek temples from the 6th and 5th centuries BC, the most well-preserved of them is the Temple of Concordia. This striking temple is arguably the best-preserved in the world outside the Hephaistion in Athens.

From here we will head north to Monreale, a historic hill-town just outside Palermo, a picturesque place most famous for the fine mosaics in the town's great cathedral. Monreale's Norman cathedral and cloisters are frequently cited as the island's greatest Norman buildings. The upper part of the cathedral's interior is completely covered in gleaming gold mosaics and on our tour of the cathedral, you'll get to appreicate the more than 6,000 square metres of mosaic that adorns its walls.

Later, we continue to Palermo, the island's capital city and to our hotel for the next 3 nights. The evening is at leisure in Palermo.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: Palermo 

DAY 5 - Discovering Palermo

This morning we will head out to discover the historic city of Palermo. Nestled on the west of the island, it is the island of Sicily's capital and most populous city - the 5th most in Italy!

First up is the Teatro Massimo, Sicily's premier opera/concert theatre. With its stunning interiors and detailed exterior, it lives up to its name - the biggest theatre - as it is indeed the biggest in Italy, and one of the largest in Europe. Renowned for its excellent acoustics, it holds over 1,300 seats. A guided visit and backstage tour will reveal the famous theatre's splendour and secrets. 

Then we will visit the Palazzo dei Normanni (Royal Palace) and the Cappella Palatina. Home to Sicily's regional parliament, this venerable palace dates back to the 9th century. However, it owes its current look, and name, to a major Norman makeover, during which spectacular mosaics were added to its royal apartments and magnificent chapel, the Cappella Palatina. Visits to the apartments take in the mosaic-lined Sala dei Venti, and Sala di Ruggero II, the 12th-century bedroom of King Ruggero II.

The rest of the day and evening is at leisure for you to discover Palermo at your own pace.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: Palermo 

DAY 6 - The Bustling Markets of Palermo

This morning we have a treat in store - a guided visit and tour of one of Palermo's historic open-air markets. A Palermitan street market is a cacophony of sights, sounds and scents and the tradition dates from the 9th century Saracen rule of the island, which explains their striking similarity to Arab souqs. They are a great place to soak up some local atmosphere even if you don't actually buy anything, but you'll have to know where to find them, hidden as they are from the main streets - that's why we recommend you tag along on this tour.

Tonight we will enjoy dinner together in a local restaurant, our last night on the island.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Palermo 

DAY 7 - Arrivederci Sicilia

Today we will sadly say goodbye to Sicily. After breakfast, you will be transferred to Palermo Airport for your onward flights home

Included meals: Breakfast  

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More information

What's includedWhat's not includedImportant information

What's included

  • ATOL Protection (UK Travellers only)
  • International return flights from London Heathrow Airport [LHR] to Milan Malpensa Airport [MXP] for start of Enticing Northern Italy Tour and returning from Palermo Airport [PMO] at end of tour extension (UK Travellers only)
    • Regional UK airport departures may be available - please ask at the time of booking. Supplements may apply
    • US/International travellers - international flights are not included, please arrange your own international flights
  • One way transfer from Rome hotel - Rome Fiumicino Airport
  • One way flight: Rome Fiumicino Airport [FCO] - Catania Airport [CTA]
  • Accomodation as detailed in the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • All transfers/touring and excursions in air-conditioned deluxe motor vehicles including necessary ZTL permits
  • All entrances, English-speaking guides and visits as indicated in the programme
  • Porterage at all hotels (1 piece per person)
  • Tourist taxes
  • Services of a Big Journey Company Tour Director throughout

What's not included

  • Airport transfers outside of the journey dates
  • Additional food and beverage unless otherwise included in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal Travel & Medical Insurance
  • Optional excursions/entrances
  • Gratuities 
  • Any COVID tests or related entry & exit requirements

Important information

  • Please let The Big Journey Company know prior to travelling if you have any medical needs or take any medication that we need to be made aware of to ensure that you have a safe and pleasant tour.
  • Check in is after 2pm and check out is before 11am unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
  • Cancellation 90 – 0 days prior to departure cancellation fee is 100%. It is your responsibility to ensure the correct travel insurance in place to protect you against the need to cancel your holiday. Deposits are non-refundable and final payments are due 14 weeks prior to departure.
  • Further terms and conditions apply and will be provided upon request or at the time of booking. The Big Journey Company reserves the right to withdraw any offer prior to accepting a reservation request. This does not affect your statutory rights. This offer is subject to availability and space is limited.

More time away?

Choose a tour extension to extend your trip.

We have found the following tours that are perfectly placed to add on before or after your trip. Tours shown here will be available to add at the time of booking.

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The big journey promise

The big journey company was set up with one goal in mind, to share our passion for inspirational cultures, destinations and experiences. Over the last 10 years we have had the privilege to escort thousands of travellers on awe inspiring and sometimes life changing journeys. Our promise to every guest who joins us is that we will do everything possible to make sure your journey not only exceeds expectations but delivers at least one moment of true amazement.

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Holiday tours are operated by The Big Journey Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered office: Marron Bank, Branthwaite, Cumbria, CA14 4SZ. Registered number: 6532140. The Big Journey Company Limited is a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and holds an Air Travel Organiser’s License number T7282.

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