FAM Trips available

Tours Specialists is a leading small deluxe tour operator. Most of our business is repeat business from travel agents all over the United States and Canada. Celebrating 55 years in business.

800-223-7552 or 727-784-8588

Trips available to Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Sicily, Spain,  Tunisia, Turkey, and UAE

SICILY / MALTA - LAND ONLY
2019
11 Days

Also available Sicily 5, 8, or 9 days
Malta 8 days
Sicily or Malta in combination with other Mediterranean countries

TUESDAY departures
From March 26 to November 12, 2019

You will be traveling with regular passengers but paying travel agent rates

 

PALERMO / MONREALE / MARSALA / MARSALA SALT ROAD / SELINUNTE / AGRIGENTO / PIAZZA ARMERINA / RAGUSA / CATANIA / MALTA / GOZO

Day 1 Tuesday     Palermo    WELCOME TO SICILY !!!
Arrive Palermo

After you arrive you will go through customs and pick up your luggage.  Our representative will be there to greet you.  They will be holding a sign with your name on it.  You will be transferred to your hotel in the charming city of Palermo.

Meet with your tour-leader; dinner and overnight in hotel.
     Overnight  HOTEL FEDERICO, Palermo

Day 2 Wednesday      Palermo / Monreale / Marsala
After breakfast in hotel, the morning will be spent visiting the capital of Sicily Palermo, one of the richest towns in the island for its history and art. Palermo stands on a bay at the foot of Mt Pellegrino, a headland described by

Goethe as the loveliest he had ever seen. While the Baroque predominates, there is a profusion of different architectural styles reflecting the city’s multicultural past, including an elegant opera house.

Visit the wonderful Arab-Norman Cathedral, the astonishing Martorana Church and the amazing Cappella Palatina, mirable example from an historical and an artistic point of view, of how different cultures, religions and way of thinking apparently incompatible can coexist. Ruggero II in fact employed both Bizantyne, Muslim and Latin workers. 

Continue walking to admire the debated fountain in Pretoria Square, situated in the ancient Kalsa area and adorned with XVI century sculptures. 

Along the visiting day have a stop for a food surprise in the famous Antica Focacceria San Francesco. 

Free time for lunch. 

Afternoon proceed to Monreale to visit its huge Norman Cathedral, proclaimed the Eighth Wonder of the World, and its splendid Cloister in Arab-Norman style: admirable masterpiece of art, sculpture, and semi-precious stones marquetry.

 In the afternoon continue to Marsala in whose port Garibaldi landed in 1860. Visit of a prestigious wine cellar and wine tasting. 

Dinner and overnight in hotel.
     Overnight HOTEL STELLA d’ITALIA, Marsala

 Day 3 Thursday      Marsala Salt Road / Selinunte / Agrigento
This morning the tour will continue along the charming and well-known Salt Road: the west coast of Sicily with many salt marshes, which have given rise to one of the oldest salt-extracting industries in the world.   Between Trapani and Marsala they are now protected, in part because of the interesting bird life, and also as important sites of industrial archaeology. 

On the way you will see the nice Island of Mothia (situated at the centre of a large lagoon in Marsala, known today as Stagnone, and the famous Salt Pans and windmills. 

Departure to Selinunte to visit the largest Archaeological Park in whole Mediterranean and World Heritage Site.  Surrounded by a splendid landscape near the African Sea, walk among the rests of the ancient Greek city. 

Free time for lunch. 

Transfer to Agrigento and visit of the Valley of the Temples stated World Heritage Site, where among hundreds of almond trees, the rests of the ancient Akragas rise. It was defined by Pyndar “the most beautiful city of mortals”. Once one of the most prosperous of the ancient Greek cities on the island, Agrigento presents a remarkable series of Doric Temples of the 5 th century. You will see the “Temple of Hera”, the “Temple of Concordia” and the “Temple of Heracles”. 

Accommodation in hotel, dinner and overnight
     Overnight HOTEL DIOSCURI, Agrigento

Day 4 Friday     Piazza Armerina / Ragusa (hotel In Catania)
Morning departure to reach Piazza Armerina where you will admire the splendid polychrome mosaics of the famous Villa Romana del Casale, World Heritage Site.  The complex, which has some of the most extensive and most beautiful Roman mosaics known, is a World Heritage Site. This majestic villa, belonged to a member of the Roman Senatorial aristocracy, hosts prestigious mosaics representing mythological and historical episodes and scenes of hunting and entertainments

Free time for lunch.

Afternoon departure to Ragusa Ibla and visit of its historical centre cradle of Sicilian baroque, with its Cathedral, situated in the beautiful square of the Dome and the “giardino Ibleo”. Used as a location of the extremely popular Police Inspector Montalbano Tv series, it is today stated among the 44 Italian World Heritage Sites. This little precious ancient city, hosts more than 50 churches and many baroque architectural treasures. 

Finish the visiting day with a tasting of local products. 

Proceed to Catania for dinner and overnight in hotel.
     Overnight PRINCIPE HOTEL, Catania

 Day 5 Saturday     Catania / Malta
Breakfast in hotel and transfer to airport.
Depart Catania

Arrive Malta       
WELCOME TO MALTA !!!
You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
     Overnight PRELUNA HOTEL, Sliema                

 Day 6 Sunday     Marsaxlokk Market and Blue Grotto
The idyllic fishing village of Marsaxlokk with its colorful luzzus and unique character make the unrivaled setting for the local market.  This is the perfect place to spend a Sunday morning, where you can rub your shoulders with the locals as your browse through the various stalls. 

We continue our tour with a visit to the Blue Grotto (weather permitting – boat price not included) and the nearby caves.  Admire the whole expanse of the blue Mediterranean and the islet of Filfla. 

Later our guide will help you explore one of Malta’s unspoiled villages.  From the main square, the hub of the village with its parish church and band club, you will be led through a maze of narrow streets that all have a story to be told.        Overnight PRELUNA HOTEL, Sliema  

Day 7 Monday     Valletta and  the Malta Experience 
After breakfast your guided tour through the vibrant streets of Valletta will allow you to discover the beauty and charm of the fortified city built by the Knights in 1566.  The Order of St John rules over the islands for 268 years and left a unique cultural legacy of which Valletta is the prime example.  

 First enjoy a breathtaking view of the Grand Harbour from the upper Barrakka gardens.  Then we visit St John’s co-cathedral, including the Caravaggio masterpieces in the Oratory, the Flemish tapestries and the church museum. The co-cathedral houses one of the most beautiful marble inlaid floors in the world.     

Going down Republic street you will walk past the Grand Master’s Palace and the recently restored St George’s Square before watching the Malta Experience, an audiovisual show where Malta’s history through the centuries is brought back to life.
          Overnight  PRELUNA HOTEL, Sliema

Day 8 Tuesday     Mdina
Full day including lunch. 

Today’s excursion takes you to the central part of Malta denominated by the medieval fortified city of Mdina, Malta’s former capital city.  The narrow winding streets, dating back to medieval times, lead to the imposing bastions, commanding a magnificent panorama of the island. On the way there, you will discover different styles of architecture, including Siculo-Norman palaces and other baroque buildings of great historical importance.  Time stands still in this “Silent City which is a film-maker’s paradise.  

Leaving Mdina through Greek’s Gate, stop at the early Christian catacombs in Rabat before proceeding to the cliffs at Dingli.

After lunch, you will visit the San Anton botanical gardens situated near the Presidential Palace which you will be able to admire from outside.  You will 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, that is one of Europe’s largest.
        Overnight  PRELUNA HOTEL, Sliema

Day 9 Wednesday     Three Cities and the optional afternoon Harbor cruise
Discover the Grand Harbour area opposite Valetta known as the Three cities – Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea where the Knights of St John first settled in 1530. 

Driving past Cospicua reach Vittoriosa for a walking tour through the narrow streets in the shade of the historic buildings, including the first auberges of the various languages of the Order. 

At the Vittoriosa waterfront, you will take a typical harbor boat (dghajsa) for a tour of the colorful harbor creeks.  From the Senglea garden, situated at the tip of the peninsula, enjoy a stunning 360 degrees view of the Grand Harbour including the impressive Fort Sant Angelo from where Grand Master La Valette led the defense of the island during the Great Siege of 1565.

Afternoon Harbor cruise tour. 
On this boat trip you will discover the beauty of Valletta’s two natural harbours; Marsamxett and the Grand Harbour.  Both have played a vital role in Malta’s history.

Seen from the sea, Valletta appears in all its grandeur, providing photographers with the best opportunity for original pictures. After the cruise you will have time to stroll along Sliema’s main shopping area, where you can also relax in one of the many cafés.  Return to Sliema at 6.00 pm.
          Overnight  PRELUNA HOTEL, Sliema

Day 10 Thursday     Gozo
Full day including lunch

After a twenty-minute ferry crossing you will reach Mgarr harbour which immediately sets the pace to Gozo’s unique atmosphere. 

Your guide will lead you around the Megalithic temples of Ggantija, the oldest free-standing monuments in the world, pre-dating the Pyramids of Egypt.  This will be followed by visits to the medieval citadel in Victoria, and the fjord-like bay at Xlendi.

Gozo is well known for its crafts, particularly handmade lace and knitted garments.  Visitors cannot fail to be impressed by the island’s lush countryside, its serene atmosphere and how different it is from the larger island of Malta. 
       Overnight  PRELUNA HOTEL, Sliema

Day 11 Friday      Malta/USA
After breakfast transfer to airport

INCLUSIVE FEATURES
- All transfers
- in Sicily multilingual sightseeing on modern and comfortable motor coach bus for the whole tour
- in Malta sightseeing by multilingual motor coach day trips
- All 4 stars hotels as per itinerary (or similar)
- Sicily breakfast daily, 4 dinners;  Malta breakfast daily, 2 lunches
- Tastings of Sicilian products
- All taxes and service charges
- Air fare from Catania to Malta


THE RATES DO NOT INCLUDE:
- entrance fees at monuments/museums (approximately 50 euros)
- city taxes (where compulsory) paid directly to hotels

 NOTE:
you will be traveling with regular passengers, but paying travel agent rates

COST PER PERSON
Based on double occupancy - low season
Travel agent                   from   $2000.00  
Spouse / Companion  from $2100.00

Upgrade in Malta from standard room to sea view with balcony available

EXTENSIONS are available  

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