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Western Sicily, Palermo & the Aeolian Islands

8 days from only £959pp

Experience more with so much included

  • Guided tour of the hill-top village Erice, with its incredible churches and monasteries, plus a visit the Grotta Mangiapane cave dwelling in undiscovered Trapani
  • Visit to Segesta Archaeological site, a perfectly preserved ancient Greek temple and theatre
  • Visit Marsala renowned for its outstanding dessert wine, touring a winery with tastings
  • Guided tour of Palermo, gorgeously medieval and baroque, plus its stunning Norman Palace
  • Learn about the ancient craft of salt panning at a family-run museum
  • Short orientation walk of charming Cefalù - one of Sicily’s most attractive coastal villages
  • Spend a full day touring Lipari and the Aeolian Islands, accessed by boat
  • Scenic drive through the mountainous Madonie National Park to the town of Castelbuono
  • Services of our experienced tour manager
  • Seven nights’ in conveniently located four-star accommodation, including all local taxes, with breakfast and four dinners
  • Return travel from the UK and transfers to and from your hotel included

Selected departures up to October 2019 & April to October 2020

8.3 out of 10  
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At a Glance
7 nights in 4-star accommodation
Return flights & transfers
Programme of daily tours & visits
Daily breakfast & 4 dinners
Expert tour manager
Checked Luggage
 

Overview

For so long overlooked in favour of the glittering cities of northern Italy, Sicily is gaining in popularity as a hidden corner of Europe with a unique heritage, unspoilt scenery, delightful people and exceptional food and wine. Yet much of Sicily remains unexplored – particularly its western regions, far from the shadow of iconic Mount Etna just across from Italy’s ‘toe’. For discerning travellers, though, venturing to Western Sicily brings great rewards. In many ways, this part of the island feels more African than European – the Carthaginians and Moors ruled here, as well as the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Normans, Spanish and eventually the Italians. All have left a rich cultural legacy, which has been preserved by a mild, dry climate and a lack of large-scale development. 

Architecturally, the cities, towns and villages are revelations. There are stunning cathedrals in Monreale and Cefalù, while Palermo’s Norman Palace and Segesta’s amazingly preserved Greek temple are unforgettable. A variety of influences are written into the very fabric of the buildings, from almost souk-like markets and church spires displaying classic Moorish arches and calligraphy to religious structures featuring Norman gold-leaf mosaics and Byzantine inscriptions.  

Contrasting with these ornate masterpieces are the discoveries made in the 19th century at Grotta Mangiapane – simple cave dwellings dating back perhaps as far as 20,000 years. There are also the natural habitat of the Madonie Regional Natural Park, a great place to see Sicily’s dramatic, untamed landscapes and home to many species, including rare birds and big cats. Off the coast of Sicily are the beautiful Aeolian Islands, which rose from the Tyrrhenian Sea as a result of volcanic activity. We visit the largest of them, Lipari, with its captivating waterfront and acclaimed museum, which gathers together artefacts from all over the area to tell the story of this spectacularly beautiful archipelago. 

The food here is a revelation, too. There are classic Mediterranean staples, such as the ripest fruit and vegetables and fresh seafood, but you’ll also notice couscous on the menu, a sure sign of Sicily’s position at Europe’s southernmost edge. The island is also renowned for its wines and one of its most famous comes from the far west – Marsala, the fortified dessert wine aged in barrels that’s a delight to sip and, according to some, even better used for cooking. We visit a producer in the village of Marsala for a tasting, just one of the many delights of this fascinating tour. 

Your Itinerary

Price Includes

The price of this holiday is based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement. The price includes return flights, seven nights’ accommodation with breakfast and four dinners, all local taxes and transfers, all tours as mentioned, entrances to the Norman Palace, Pellegrino wine Cantina and Salt Museum and the services of a Riviera Travel tour manager.

Useful Information

Transfer Times

All transfer times listed here are approximate, and dependent on traffic. If you have a question regarding transfer times please don't hesitate to contact us

Arrival airport First hotel location Transfer time Final hotel location Departure airport  Transfer time
Palermo Airport Trapani 1 hr 15 mins Cefalú Palermo Airport 1 hr 30 mins

Mobility

We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitabilty of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to call us to discuss these concerns. General information on mobility in connection with our tours can be found here.

Fact File

  • Currency: Euro
  • Deposit: £100 per person
  • Flight time: Approx. 2 hrs 50 mins
  • Language: Italian
  • Time zone: GMT+1
  • Country: Italy

Weather in the Aeolian Islands

Occasionally bad weather prevents travel to the Aeolian Islands for safety reasons, however we will endeavour to reschedule this visit to an alternative day. If this is not possible a refund of £20 per person will be made on your return.

Hotel Information

  • The use of air-conditioning in hotels in Italy is at the hotel’s discretion and is normally restricted to the summer months (mid-May to mid-September), depending on the temperature.
  • Where hotels feature a swimming pool, it will be open during the summer months depending on weather conditions.
  • Whilst we do our best to ensure an exceptional experience, the views from the sea view rooms may at times be partially obstructed.


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