Boutique small group travel to Sicily and Malta:
the Jewels of the Mediterranean
Maximum Group Size of 10. NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
Fully escorted 17 days boutique small group travel tour
20th May to 6th June 2018
Situated just 50 miles apart Sicily and the Islands of Malta sit at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Sea. Our boutique small group travel tour to Sicily and Malta will ensure you enjoy the very best of these two unforgettable destinations.
“Sicily is an island lying outside time, where past events endure in an external present, a beach on which the tides of successive civilizations have heaped in disorder their assorted treasure.”
Vincent Cronin, The Golden Honeycomb
The largest of the Mediterranean islands and nature seems to have endowed all its wonders to this land. Blessed with mountains, hills and above all the sea, its incredible colours, its crystal-clear waters and, of course, the towering volcano of Mt Etna. In 2018 its capital, Palermo, has been named the Cultural Capital of Italy. What better time to visit.
Malta, celebrating 7,000 years of settlement. Prehistoric temples, fossil-studded cliffs, glittering hidden coves, and a history of remarkable intensity. The spectacular capital, Valletta, will literally take your breath away with its beauty.
Boutique small group travel to Sicily and Malta
Highlights and Inclusions:
- 4 star accommodation with 4 nights in Palermo; 4 nights in Ortigia,Syracuse; 2 nights in Taormina; 6 nights in Valletta
- Fully escorted
- 16 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 8 dinners
- Private visits to Palazzos, villas and vineyards
- Cocktails with the Contessa at Palazzo Conte Federico
- Lunch in Michelin Star Restaurant
- Tour of UNESCO World Heritage towns of Modica, Noto and Ragusa Ibla
- Visit to Mt Etna
- Private tour to the ‘Godfather’ villa hosted by its owner, the Baron di Santa Lucia
- Visit ancient Greek and Roman Theatres
- Transfer by air between Catania and Valletta
- Tour of the Grand Master’s Palace
- Visit to Rabat and the Silent City of Mdina
- Sailing around the three main islands of Malta
- 4 WD tour of the island of Gozo
- Visit to the Hal Safflieni Hypogeum
- Entry fees for all scheduled visits and all tips and gratuities
“Sicilians build things like they will live forever and eat like they will die tomorrow.”
A city that was at the centre of the ancient world still exhibits a pot pourri of exotic influences with a discovery to be made around every corner. An exciting city with its souk style markets and baroque churches and palaces. Palermo has been named the Cultural Capital of Italy in 2018
Boutique small group travel to Sicily and Malta:
Itinerary: Day 1 - 11
Days 1-5 Palermo
Accommodation: Massimo Plaza Hotel
Day 1: Private transfer from the airport to our hotel. Early evening visit to one of Palermo’s grandest private palaces, the Palazzo Conte Federico, hosted for pre-dinner drinks by the Contessa followed by a casual group dinner. D
Day 2: Morning walking tour of Palermo including the Arab-Norman architecture of the city dating from the early 10th Century when Palermo was at the peak of its importance. Late morning transfer to the town of Monreale for lunch at one of its top rated restaurants followed by a tour of the magnificent Norman cathedral that towers over the valley and surrounding countryside. This evening is at leisure. BL
Day 3: Today we travel to Erice, a timeless town of Greek origin, perched upon a mountainside enclosed by strange triangular walls, perhaps the most evocatively picturesque town in Sicily. On the way we will stop for lunch and wine tasting at Feudo Disisa an estate lying on the gentle sloping hills with extensive views across the valley and vineyard.
We’ll save dessert for afternoon tea in Erice where we’ll enjoy the fabulous almond cakes made entirely by hand in strict accordance with ancient recipes passed on by the nuns of a cloistered Franciscan order. BL
Day 4: Morning visit to beautiful Cefalù offering a rare combination of Sicliy’s finest beaches side-by-side with one of its greatest Arab-Norman architectural masterpieces. The squares, streets and churches of this medieval town are so postcard-pretty it’s no wonder director Giuseppe Tornatore chose to set parts of his much-loved film Cinema Paradiso here. Group dinner in one of Palermo’s finest restaurants. BD
Day 5: We’ll travel to the centre of Sicily to visit the famous cooking school of Tasca Lanza where we will enjoy preparing our own lunch using the freshest ingredients from the fabulous kitchen garden. This afternoon we will travel on to Agrigento for an overnight stay at Hotel Baglio della Luna
Days 6-9 Ortigia, Syracuse
Accommodation: Algilà Ortigia Charme Hotel
Ortigia with its medieval lanes forms the historic centre of Syracuse. A few steps away from our hotel you’ll find the remains of the Temple of Apollo. Cross one of the three bridges to the largest ancient Greek Theater in the world. Not to be missed is the daily food market perfect for planning a picnic lunch.
Day 6: After visiting the Valley of the Temples and en-route to Syracuse we’ll stop to explore the amazing mosaics in the Villa del Casale. The Villa which was built early in the 4th Century is home to some of the best preserved and extensive examples of Roman mosaics. BL
Day 7: This morning we’ll explore the renowned Greek Theatre where Plato orated to his disciples and the tomb of the great mathematician and scientist Archimedes lies. The rest of the day is at leisure to fully explore Ortigia, its food market, many museums, monuments, cafes and restaurants.B
Day 8: Day tour to Modica, another UNESCO World Heritage Listed site with a visit to a small and unique chocolate factory. The same family had been creating chocolate according to ancient Aztec recipes for many generations. From Modica we’ll head to the magnificent baroque town of Ragusa Ibla for lunch in a Michelin starred restaurant. There will be time to enjoy the town and its gardens before returning to our hotel.BL
Day 9: Today we’re heading inland to the spectacular Baroque and UNESCO World Heritage Listed hill town of Noto. After a walking tour you’ll have some time to explore the town and visit the home of the best granita in all of Sicily. Group dinner at one of Ortigia’s finest restaurants.. BD
Day 10-13 Taormina
Accommodation: Hotel Villa Diodoro
Perched on a hill overlooking the Ionian Sea and within a 30 minute drive to Mt Etna this legendary resort town will take your breath away. With its famous Greek Theatre, spectacular views over Homer’s ‘wine dark sea’, magnificent garden, great shopping and restaurants.
Day 10: After checking out of our hotel it’s the turn of one of the real scenic jewels of Sicily, Taormina. . A short detour to visit the walled villa, where many scenes from Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘The Godfather’ films were shot. Late afternoon visit to the Greek theatre followed by cocktails with an awe-inspiring view and dinner. BD
Day 11: It can be seen from all over Sicily and today we’re going to get up close and personal with the famous Mt Etna, Europe’s tallest and most active volcano. BL
Day 12: A day at leisure to wander Taormina’s fabulous shopping street, stop for a leisurely lunch or just sit in the beautiful park and wonder at the view. An early evening check-out from the hotel and transfer to the airport for a late evening flight to Malta. We’ll stop for dinner en-route in Catania. BD
Day 13-17 Valletta, Malta
Accommodation: Grand Hotel Excelsior
The walled city of Valletta was built by the Knights of St John in 1500 relative latecomers to an island that’s been inhabited for over 7,000 years. Not to be missed are the Caravaggio’s including the masterpiece ‘The Beheading of Saint John’ in St John’s Co-Cathedral. The island has been described as an open-air museum with the surrounding countryside dotted with the oldest known human structures in the world.
Day 13: This morning we’ll explore the treasures of Valletta with free time this afternoon to get to know this stunning city which will inspire you with its beauty, history and culture. Group dinner. BD
Day 14: Today we’ll visit the Hypogeum. Exploring this underground burial site, carved out into the rock more than 5000 years ago will be a truly remarkable experience.
For a complete change of pace we’ll spend the rest of the day gently sailing around three of the stunning islands which make up the archipelago of Malta enjoying a picnic lunch on board.BL
Day 15: We saw the island of Gozo on our sailing expedition and today it’s time to explore it from the land There is evidence of historic immigration and rule by the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Sicilians, French and British, among others. It’s known for its Neolithic Ġgantija Temple ruins, rural hiking paths and beaches. We’ll travel by 4WD away from the tourist crowds and discover the exquisite beauty of this small island. BL
Day 16: Enjoy a free day today to explore more of the main island – catch a local bus or ferry or just relax around the hotel pool. This afternoon we’ll be heading inland to explore the village of Rabat, known for its quiet rural character and natural beauty. Next door to Rabat we’ll find Mdina, once the capital of Malta until 1530 and known as the Silent City. Some may recognize its main entrance which featured in the popular TV series, Game of Thrones. Other scenes were filmed around the main island and Gozo. Our farewell dinner will be in a very fine restaurant in Mdina.BD
Day 17: Transfer to airport for flights to Australia.
Boutique small group travel tour to Sicily and Malta(Per Person)
- Land costs only
- No Single Supplement