The Pearls of the Mediterranean – Sicily & Malta

Agrigento, Catania, Cefalù, Erice, Marsala, Mdina, Monreale, Mount Etna, Palermo, Piazza Armerina, Ragusa, Siracusa, Taormina, Trapani, Valletta
12 Days, 11 Nights

Day 1, Saturday – Catania, Sicily

Arrive in Catania, Sicily and make your way on own to the Hotel Il Principe. Enjoy a welcome drink and dinner this evening. (D)

Day 2, Sunday – Catania – Siracusa – Modica (visit of a chocolate factory) Ragusa 

Drive to Syracuse to visit the marvelous archaeological area then continue to the island of Ortigia, where you will see the magnificent Cathedral and the Fountain of Arethusa. Travel to Modica, a baroque town part of UNESCO Heritage Sites in Italy: visit a real chocolate factory, where it will be possible to create, with your hands, own bar of Chocolate to bring with you. Accommodation and dinner at Poggio del Sole Resort. Optional: visit by night of the ancient city Ragusa ‘Ibla’, cradle of Sicilian baroque (supplement on the spot; the excursion will take place with a minimum of participants). Overnight. (BD)

Day 3, Monday – Ragusa – Piazza Armerina – Agrigento

Drive to Piazza Armerina to marvel at the Villa Romana del Casale’s rich mosaics, depicting mythological themes and hunting scenes. Eat lunch in a local restaurant before driving to Agrigento. Visit the Valley of the Temples including the Temple of Juno, Concord and Heracles. Accommodation and dinner at hotel Dioscuri Bay Palace. Overnight. (BLD)

Day 4, Tuesday – Agrigento – Palermo – Monreale

Travel to Palermo, the Capital of Sicily and visit Monreale: the Cathedral and the Benedictine Cloister. You will have the chance to taste Palermo’s street food, one of the most renowned all over the world, while wandering around its historical center. In the afternoon, visit the historical center of Palermo: the Cathedral and Palazzo Mirto a noble residence located in the ancient Arabic quarter of Kalsa.  Accommodation, dinner and overnight at Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa. (BD)

Day 5, Wednesday – Palermo –  Erice – Marsala – Salt Route (Trapani area) – Palermo

Depart to the medieval village of Erice placed on the top of a hill overlooking the city of Trapani and the Egadi Islands. Continue to Marsala, a city on the western coast famous for its production of sweet Sicilian wine. Stop at a prestigious winery for a guided tour of the historic Wine Cellars + tasting of wines with local food pairings. Down to Trapani area for a panoramic tour of the salt windmills and basins, which are still in use. Return to Palermo. Dinner on your own. Overnight in your Hotel. (B)

Day 6, Thursday – Palermo – Cefalù – Nebrodi Park – Taormina

Drive to Cefalu’ to admire its well-preserved Arab-Norman Cathedral. Enjoy a walk to the city center and down main street to visit the medieval wash-house built in the rock. Drive through the Nebrodi Park and enjoy lunch in the Miraglia Forest. Continue to Cesarò and Randazzo to visit the north part of Mount Etna. Continue to Taormina, ‘the Pearl of the Ionian Sea’. Accommodation, dinner and overnight at Hotel Villa Diodoro, located near historic center of Taormina. (BLD)

Day 7, Friday – Taormina – Mt. Etna (Optional) – Taormina

Weather permitting, you can join an optional morning excursion to Mount Etna, Europe’s highest active volcano. You will reach a height of 5900 ft. and enjoy a fantastic panorama over the Ionian Sea (supplement on the spot; the excursion will take place with a minimum of participants). Lunch on your own. Afternoon in Taormina: enjoy time at leisure for shopping or walking through the tiny streets. Possibility to visit the Roman – Greek theater on your own. Return to the your hotel. Dinner and overnight.

Day 8, Saturday – Taormina – Catania – Malta

Breakfast in Hotel. At the appointed time, transfer from Taormina to Catania airport. Flight to Valletta, Capital of Malta, delightful Mediterranean island. Transfer to Hotel Dolmen Resort located in St Paul’s Bay or similar 4 stars. Arrival in Hotel and accommodation. Dinner and overnight. (BD)

Day 9, Sunday – Malta, “Marsalokk Market & The Blue Grotto” (extended half day excursion)

The idyllic fishing village of Marsaxlokk with its colorful luzzus and unique character make the unrivaled setting for the local market. Continue the tour with a visit to the Blue Grotto (weather permitting – boat price not included) and the nearby caves. Explore one of Malta’s preserved village: the main square, the hub of the village with its parish church and band club. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Dinner in your hotel. (BD)

Day 10, Monday – Malta, Valletta + Malta Experience (half day excursion)

Enjoy a morning tour of Valletta – Malta’s heritage-rich capital. Highlights include the Upper Barracca Gardens and St John’s Cathedral, home to a splendid Caravaggio painting as well as an intriguing Museum. Going down Republic Street you will walk past the Grandmaster’s Palace before watching the Malta Experience, an audiovisual show where Malta history throughout the centuries is brought back to life. Spend the rest of the day exploring at your leisure. Dinner in your hotel. (BD)  Please note: from April to June and in October, the excursion ‘Valletta + Malta experience’ will take place in the afternoon.

Day 11, Tuesday – Malta, Mdina (full day excursion)

Today’s excursion takes us to the central part of Malta, dominated by the medieval fortified city of Mdina, Malta’s former capital city. The narrow streets, dating back to medieval times, lead to the imposing bastions. Leaving Mdina through Greeks’ Gate, we stop at the early Christian catacombs in Rabat before proceeding to the cliffs at Dingli. After lunch we will visit the San Anton botanical gardens situated near the Presidential Palace, which you will be able to admire from outside. We shall also spend time at the crafts centre at Ta’ Qali. At the end of the tour, allow us to astound you with Mosta’s majestic dome, one of Europe’s largest. (BLD)

Day 12, Wednesday – Malta

The tour ends after breakfast with a transfer to the port or the airport of Valletta. (B)

Package includes:

  • Accommodation in 4-star Hotels
  • Welcome cocktail
  • 10 Dinners, 3 Lunches, 11 Breakfasts
  • Visit of a chocolate factory in Modica
  • Street Food in Palermo
  • Visit of a winery, wine tasting & light lunch in Marsala
  • Transportation De Luxe motorcoach or minivan with driver/guide for groups with less than 8 pax
  • English speaking Tour Escort
  • Local guides where necessary
  • Whispers Kit (in Sicily)
  • Porterage at hotels in Sicily
  • Transfer Taormina Hotel/Catania Port
  • Flight Catania/Valletta in Economy class. The ticket includes, in addition to the passenger, 1 piece of luggage max 44 lbs per person and a hand luggage max 22 lbs
  • Regular sightseeing with multilingual local guides in Malta (days 9-11) – English Guaranteed
  • Transfer Airport Malta/Hotel Malta/Airport or Port Malta
  • Entrance fees to Neapolis + Dome in Siracusa; Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina; Valley of Temples in Agrigento; Palazzo Mirto in Palermo; Cloister + Dome in Monreale

Package DOES NOT include:

  • Airfare not already mentioned above
  • Transfer in
  • City tax to be paid directly to the hotel
  • Beverages
  • Extra luggage
  • Anything that is not mentioned in the above ‘Package includes’

For organizational reasons the itinerary may change or be inverted without notice.

Tours depart:
April…11…18

May…02…09…16…23…30
June…06…13…20
July…04…11…18
August…22…29
September…05…12…19…26
October…03…10…17