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 54 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 - LAND ONLY
from Catania to Catania
2018
8 Days

Departs every Saturday from March 31, to October 27, 2018

CATANIA / SIRACUSA / NOTO / ETNA / TAORMINA /
CEFALU / PALERMO / MONREALE / MARSALA /
MARSALA SALT ROAD / SELINUNTE / AGRIGENTO /
PIAZZA ARMERINA / RAGUSA / CATANIA

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

Day 1 – Saturday     Catania
WELCOME TO SICILY !!!
After you arrive, clear customs and pick up your luggage you will be met by our representative.  That person will be holding a sign you’re your name on it.  From the airport you will be transferred to your hotel in charming Catania.

Meet with your tour-leader; dinner and overnight in hotel.
     Overnight HOTEL II PRINCIPE, Catania

Day 2 - Sunday     Catania / Siracusa / Noto /Catania
After breakfast in hotel depart to visit Siracusa, the most beautiful and greatest Greek colony in Sicily and World Heritage Site.  The visit will start with the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, with its Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre, the Latomie of Paradise and the Ear of Dionysius.

Continue visiting the splendid Ortigia, a small island which is the historical centre of Siracusa. In Ortigia you will admire the beautiful Cathedral which dominates the square with its authoritative presence. The present façade is a powerful Sicilian-Baroque composition but it gives no hint that this building was once a Doric temple.

From Piazza Duomo you will reach a wide terrace on the waterfront surrounding the famous Arethusa’s Fountain, one of the most famous fresh-water sources of the Greek world.

Free time for lunch.

Departure to Noto, the capital of Sicilian baroque, famous for its fine buildings of the early eighteenth century and declared Unesco World Heritage Site. Inspired by Baroque ideals of “open city”, Noto is a rare masterpiece and a clear example of theatrical tastes in 18th century architecture whose local limestone has been burnt gold by the sun.

Noto’s Baroque is in fact a game of elegant curves, floral weaves, perspective views palaces and gardens, capitals and ornaments that adorn the facades of churches and monasteries. Visit Palazzo Nicolaci Villadorata, beautiful noble residence in Baroque style and once the residence of Don Giacomo Nicolaci, a patron of the arts.

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

Day 3 - Monday     Catania / Etna / Taormina /Catania
This morning visit Etna the highest (over 10,990 feet) volcano in Europe and one of the largest and most active in the world, nowadays Unesco World Heritage Site. Its regional park protects 59.000 hectares of unique geology, flora and fauna, villages and farms, and traditional methods of forestry, bee-keeping, wine manufacture, stonework and carpentry.

Reach the “Crateri Silvestri”, small volcanic cones now inactive, surrounded by ancient lava flows. The view beyond the mountain’s hundreds of subsidiary cones and craters, can extend across the whole of Sicily, the Aeolian islands and Calabria. The spectacle is unique.

Later visit a company of beekeeping: visit of the honey extraction lab, tasting of homemade honey and typical products of the area.

Proceed to Taormina, a charming town renowned for its magnificent position above the sea commanding a celebrated view of Etna.

Lunch in a typical restaurant where you will assist to a show-cooking lesson for some typical Sicilian cuisine dishes.

In the afternoon visit Taormina’s fascinating Greek theatre, and have free time for a nice walk among the picturesque medieval typical narrow streets and go shopping and looking around the local handicraft (coral jewels, precious laces, ceramics, sweets and much more).

The day will end with an overview of the beautiful Riviera dei Ciclopi. Back to our hotel in Catania for dinner and overnight.

     Overnight HOTEL II PRINCIPE, Catania

Day 4 - Tuesday     Catania / Cefalu’ / Palermo
Today visit historical centre of Catania stated Unesco World Heritage Site, with its original baroque style and its unique streets built with black lava stone. The colour scheme of the city-centre building in fact is black and dark grey, relieved with white limestone details around the doors and windows. The result is extremely elegant. The city still preserves ruins of the Imperial Roman period despite having been rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693.

Catania was the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily under the Aragonese dynasty. The walking tour will start across the “pescheria” (the ancient fish market) to reach the scenic Duomo square with its magnificent Cathedral and the famous “Liotru” statue, and antique lava-stone elephant, symbol of the city.

Not far from here reach the University Square and have a walk along the splendid baroque Via dei Crociferi, the most representative 18th century street in Catania, where you will admire the famous S. Benedict Monastery, Unesco World Heritage Site. Continue walking along the precious historical city centre.

Free time for lunch.

Transfer to Cefalù, a charming medieval town situated at the northern coast of Sicily. Visit its stunning Norman Dome and have free time to stroll through the town or to visit the famous and well-known Mandralisca Museum.

Proceed to Palermo for overnight. Dinner at the hotel or in a restaurant nearby.
     Overnight MERCURE EXCELSIOR HOTEL, Palermo

Day 5 – Wednesday     Palermo / Monreale / Marsala
After breakfast in the hotel, the morning will be spent visiting the capital of Sicily Palermo.  It is 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, an 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 Byzantine, Muslim and Latin workers.

 Continuing our walk to admire the debated fountain in Pretoria Square, situated in the ancient Kalsa area and adorned with XVI century sculptures. Along the visiting day stop for a food surprise in the famous Antica Focacceria San Francesco.

Free time for lunch.

Later 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 6 – Thursday     Marsala /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 Salines 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 5th 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 BAY PALACE, Agrigento

Day 7 – Friday     Agrigento / Piazza Armerina / Ragusa / Catania
Today proceed on to reach Piazza Armerina where you will see 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. 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.

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, well known thanks to the Commissario Montalbano television series, hosts more than 50 churches and many baroque architectural treasures. We’ll conclude the visiting day with a tasting of local products.

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

Day 8 – Saturday     Catania / Departure
Breakfast in hotel.

Transfer to the airport for departure.

INCLUSIVE FEATURES
- All transfers
- Multilingual motor coach sightseeing as per itinerary
- All 4 star hotels (or similar) as per itinerary
- Breakfast and dinner daily, 1 lunch
- All taxes and service charges

Tasting of Sicilian typical products:
     Etna: visit of a beekeeping honey company, honey tasting; 
     Taormina: Sicilian lunch and show-cooking;
     Catania: tasting of Sicilian “granita brioche”;
     Palermo: tasting of local street food;
    Marsala: Visit of wine cellar and tasting;
    Ragusa: tasting of local cheese

 

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

* Not included extra entrance fees approximately $90.00

COST PER PERSON – LAND ONLY
based on double occupancy
Travel agent from    $ 1250.00 (US)
Companion from      $ 1350.00 (US)

Extensions and upgrades are available

 

 

 

 

 

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