PALERMO, CELAFÙ, SIRACUSA, TAORMINA
9 days - 7 nights from NYC
* per person in double occupancy
most US gateways available
Travel Dates: OCT 16 - Oct 24, 2023
9 Days, 7 Nights Accommodation, Sightseeing, Meals & Airfare from NYC. (most US gateways available).
In Sicily, the summer is long and warm weather comes early and leaves late—and the travel experience especially rich: Greeks, Romans, Arabs, along with most every European power in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, left their mark on the island’s culture, art and architecture. Sicily’s cuisine may be regional, but no one can call it provincial. Enjoy amazing local specialties as invaders came and conquered but brought with them cooking styles that richly enhanced the local diet. it’s like eating your way through history where Arabs, Normans, and Spaniards all influenced the culinary treats the island offers. Furthermore, Sicily has produced wines for thousands of years, some born from the unique terroir of Etna, found on the hillsides of the active volcano. If those aren’t excuses enough to add Sicily to your travel list, consider joining us to this enchanted destination.
MAIN PROGRAM INCLUDES:
Round trip airfare from New York, (NYC) airport (most gateways are available upon request). Airline taxes and fuel surcharges are included. (Valid at present time)
• 7 nights in four-star accommodations: 3 nights Palermo; 4 nights Siracusa Hotel taxes and service charges are included.
• Buffet breakfast daily, 4 dinners, 2 lunches including mineral water and wine
• Visit to Oil Mill and Winery
• Sightseeing and guided tours as indicated on itinerary including: Palermo, Piazza Armerina, Taormina, Siracusa, Ragusa
• Entrances as per program
• English speaking local tour manager throughout the tour
• Deluxe touring coach for all transfers, tours, excursions
• Headphones on guided tours
• Baggage handling at hotels, one piece per person
• All local taxes and service charges. City tax
Day 1: OCT 16, 2023 - Departure from the USA. on your overnight flight to Sicily
Day 2: OCT 17, 2023 - Welcome to Palermo!
Upon arrival, proceed through customs and collect your luggage. A Jet Vacations professional guide will personally greet you. Departure for a Panoramic tour of Palermo by deluxe coach before drop off at the hotel. Check in followed by some free time for lunch while the rooms are getting ready. Your Tour Manager will escort you through town, discovering the little shops selling delicious street food. Rest of the day at leisure. Tonight, enjoy a welcome diner with the other group members in a traditional Sicilian restaurant. Overnight in Palermo. (Dinner)
Day 3: OCT 18, 2023 - Palermo /Cefalù.
After our daily breakfast, meet our local guide for a guided tour of Palermo city center. Explore old avenues and Arabic neighborhoods, iconic cathedrals, as well as the Teatro Massimo Palermo’s elegant Opera House (from outside). Your guided tour will include also a visit of the Palatine Chapel located inside the Norman Palace. Continue your visit with your tour manager discovering the picturesque local market featuring colored fruit vegetables and delicious street food. Late in the afternoon, drive to Cefalù which was founded on a hillside facing the sea near Palermo and which offers amazing view on the coast. It retains its medieval appearance with the center of the town located around a Norman cathedral which was built by Roger II in the 12th century. As a leading bishopric, there are many churches and the homes in the town feature interesting architectural detail and the many shops offer an array of local crafts. Discover the beautiful long beach with fine sand right in the town. In the evening, enjoy dinner at local restaurant facing the blue sea. Return to Palermo after dinner. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 4: OCT 19, 2023: Palermo / Erice / Country Lunch & Salt Road / Palermo
After breakfast, set out on a full day excursion, with a first stop to the hilltop town of Erice, a medieval town, built on the top of Monte San Giuliano. It was an ancient settlement, predating the Middle Ages, but little remains from this period. The town features incredible city walls, fine paved streets, stone houses with decorated doorways, and open spaces with churches, all dating from the Middle Ages. Then we proceed to an Oil Mill and Farmhouse, locally called Baglio, Baglio Fontanasalsa, to experience the Sicilian traditions and have a country style lunch with simple and delicious Sicilian products that have passed from generation to generation. Visit the oil mill and learn about the oil production and be greeted by a traditional Sicilian singer and enjoy some folk music and songs before lunch. In the afternoon, drive along saltpans and Sicilian windmills, and marvel at the dazzlingly white mountains shimmering in the sun. These are not snow-capped mountains but hills of salt, creating an unreal scenario of salt flats, which form a sort of immense colored chessboard that ranges from off-green to pink. Visit the salt museum owned by private family producing salt for generations. Enjoy welcome by one of the family member with explanation on how they estracted salt since years. Return to Palermo in the afternoon. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 5: OCT 20, 2023: Palermo/ Winery / Piazza Armerina / Siracusa
After breakfast and check out from your hotel. Depart by private motor coach towards Siracusa who will host us for the rest of the stay. Along the way stop at the Regareali Estate and visit the winery and taste their exquisite wines. Enjoy lunch in the noble villa still used by the family. In the afternoon, stop in Piazza Armerina and visit the Roman Villa Villa del Casale to admire the mosaics a UNESCO heritage site of extraordinary beauty. Arrival in Siracusa, check into your hotel and spend your evening at leisure.
Day 6: OCT 21, 2023: Siracusa
Today after breakfast, set out on a full day tour of Siracusa which was founded by the Greeks from Corinth, and once the most important city in the Western World. In the unique “Parco Archeologico”, marvel at the impressive ruins and the magnificent Greek Theatre. Situated adjacent to a large Roman Coliseum and an ancient quarry, the Theatre is one of the biggest and best preserved in the entire Mediterranean, and it possesses such a remarkable acoustics that Caravaggio called it the “Orecchio de Dionisiso” (the ear of Dionysius). Following lunch on your own, visit the beautiful island of Ortygia. Here, amid the artistic vestiges of over 2500 years of history, you will walk streets once trod by Pindar, Aeschylus, Plato, Cicero and Archimedes. Explore the Piazza Archimede, the legendary Fonte Aretusa (Fountain of Arethusa), and Siracusa’s historically unique Duomo. Your Tour Manager will also escort you to the traditional fish market, a feast for the eyes, one of the most spectacular fish market in Sicily. Evening at leisure. (Breakfast)
Day 7: OCT 22, 2023: Taormina.
After breakfast, board your coach and travel to Taormina. Standing high on Monte Tauro and dominating the two grand sweeping bays below, Taormina is Sicily’s best-known resort and it is a strong contender for the title of most beautiful place on earth! Taormina forms a balcony overlooking the sea, facing Mount Etna. This climactic resort of worldwide reputation has a peaceful atmosphere, beautiful monuments, spectacular views and lovely gardens that invite exploration on foot. Our walking tour of Taormina includes Via Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, located on the site of the Roman Forum, the Palazzo Corvala, the recently unearthed remains of an imperial Roman bath, and the magnificent Teatro Greco, a Roman reconstruction of an earlier Greek theatre. From a distance, you may see Taormina to the right, Mt. Etna directly ahead and the Sicilian coast, the Ionian Sea and Calabria to the left - all in one spectacular sweeping view. In the afternoon we are free to explore the treasures of this extraordinary town on our own. Going back to Siracusa, enjoy a very special and unique Farewell Dinner hosted by a Contessa who will personally welcome the group for a refined dinner in her home. (Breakfast, Dinner).
Day 8: OCT 23, 2023: Free day or Optional Tour: Vendicari Natural Reserve-Marzamemi & Portopalo.
We will visit the natural reserve of Vendicari, one of the most important nature reserves in Sicily, A natural paradise. Visit to the tonnara and the adjacent museum, beautiful description of the “mattanza”, the ancient tuna fishing. Stop for lunch in a charming location by the sea with tasting of local products. We visit a small charming village of Arabic origin: Marzamemi, one of the prettiest seaside fishing villages which until today has been keeping its original colors and shapes. If we follow the road south we will end up at the very southeast corner of Sicily, Portopalo di Capopassero . Capo Passero, on Sicily’s southernmost tip, is one of those outposts of Europe on the border with the Mediterranean and Africa. (Breakfast).
Day 09: OCT 24, 2023: Depart Catania.
After breakfast we depart by private motor coach to the Catania airport for our flight to US. (B) End of our services.
PRE-TOUR TO THE TUSCIA REGION
Day 1: OCT 13, 2023 - Departure from the USA. on your overnight flight to Italy
Day 2: OCT 14, 2023 - Welcome to Italy! Upon arrival, proceed through customs and collect your luggage. A Jet Vacations professional guide will personally greet you. Welcome for your discovery of La Tuscia region. 'La Tuscia' occupies the northern part of Lazio and is the old name for the present-day province of Viterbo, right in between the two prime destinations of Tuscany and Rome. This is the homeland of the great Etruscan civilization. Check in followed by some free time while the rooms are getting ready. Tonight, enjoy a welcome diner with the other group members. Overnight in the Viterbo area. (Dinner)
Day 3: OCT 15, 2023: Bolsena Lake – Civita di Bagnoregio – Montefiascone. Enjoy breakfast at the Hotel. This morning, meet your guide and depart on a full day tour. Start your day visiting Civita di Bagnoregio, a secluded village accessible only by a footbridge built in 1965. Due to its isolation, the gradual erosion of the hill and the surrounding valley is threatening to wipe out the fraction of the so-called "dying city." The urban structure of the entire town is of Etruscan origin, consisting of thistles, while the entire architectural coating is of the medieval and renaissance era. Then proceed to explore lake Bolsena where you will stop for a traditional lunch to try the local gentle “olive oil” on traditional dishes. Transfer to Montefiascone, a city situated on top of a hill on the side of the crater of Lake Bolsena. Walk in the village and enjoy a guided tour of the Roman-Gothic Cathedral of St. Flaviano. Enjoy a wine tasting, in this winery town prior to returning to the Hotel and evening at leisure. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 4: OCT 16, 2023: Caprarola & Villa Lante 16th Century Gardens and Villa. Enjoy breakfast at the Hotel. Experience on today’s tour, some of the most incredible jewels of Italian 16th century architecture. Visit Palazzo Farnese at Caprarola, the incredible wonder of an aristocratic fortified villa/retreat. Then sample some of the best regional recipes at a local farm house. In the afternoon, proceed and visit the Villa Lante in Bagnaia, featuring the incredible 16th century gardens of Villa Lante which are featured among the most significant in all of Italy. The venue, studded with fountains and waterworks, such as the famous stepping cascade which at the time was a status symbol for powerful Italian cardinals. Evening at leisure. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 5: OCT 17, 2023: Tarquinia & flight to Palermo. Breakfast and check out from your hotel. One cannot leave this region without visiting the most important remains of the Etruscan era. Reach the Necropolis of Tarquinia. the Etruscan capital known for its intense cultural life. Visit the amazing Necropolis covering more than 4 km of rough terrain. Thousands of tombs have been discovered here, and the bright colored paintings on the tombs have helped historian to discover secrets of Etruscan life. Enjoy a light lunch before proceeding to Rome airport for your short flight to Palermo to continue with your authentic discovery of Sicily. (Breakfast, Lunch)
POST-TOUR TO MALTA
Day 9: OCT 24, 2023 - Siracusa – Catania - Malta
After breakfast, check out and transfer to the Catania airport for your short flight to Malta. Upon arrival, collect your luggage. A Jet Vacations professional guide will personally greet you and take you to the lively streets of the capital city of Valletta. Our first stop will be the Barracca Gardens which are built on top of the defensive bastions that surround this majestic city. These gardens, built by the Knights of St.John, boast breathtaking views of the Grand Harbour and the fortified Three Cities. Next, go to St John`s Co-Cathedral that brims in riches with its contrasting decorated interior and also holds an impressive display of Baroque art, including the acclaimed Caravaggio painting that is on display in the Oratory of this opulent Cathedral. Then proceed with an interesting walk where we can appreciate the capital`s buildings of historical importance including the Grand Master`s Palace. Reach your Hotel in St. Paul’s Bay. Check in and dinner. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 10: OCT 25, 2023 – Malta Medina – Marsaxlokk.
After Breakfast at Hotel, set out on a truly relaxing excursion in and around the old capital of Malta to discover the Medieval Medina. Walk the streets of this medieval town known as the 'silent city' while your guide unravels its rich history. Discover the secretive narrow winding streets to discover its dwarfed doorways, till you reach the city's bastions from where a stunning almost 360 degrees panoramic view of the island can be seen. The tour continues with a visit to the Dingli cliffs, known as the highest cliffs on the island. From here, you can look out to the island of Filfla.. We then proceed to the serene bay of Marsaxlokk, the main fishing village in Malta. One cannot miss all the “luzzus”, which are the typical Maltese fishing boats, lined across the bay in their traditional colors that complement the ever-popular open-air market that is held daily along the promenade. Evening at leisure (Breakfast)
Day 11: OCT 26, 2023 - Malta at Leisure
After breakfast spend the day at leisure today to relax and enjoy the beautiful beaches. We recommend an excursion by boat to visit the amazing Blue Grotto. (Breakfast)
Day 12: OCT 27, 2023 - Gozo
After breakfast, we depart today for a special excursion, a unique way to see Malta's sister island, the natural and serene island of Gozo. After a mere 20-minute ferry crossing, you set foot on Gozo and you will notice that, although the islands are very similar, you can feel a sense of tranquility and harmony that is hard to match anywhere else. Our day starts at the megalithic temples of Ggantijja, known to be the oldest freestanding temples in the world, followed by the ramparts of the capital Victoria, the fortified City that dominates the island. As we approach sunset, we drive down to Dwejra where we capture the last rays of light as the sun disappears beyond the horizon and the remaining dark blues of the seas turn to an inky black. Ferry back to Malta and enjoy a lovely farewell dinner. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 13: OCT 28, 2023 – Departure Day
After buffet breakfast, depart from the hotel to the airport for the flight back home. (Breakfast)