If you've just returned from a tour we'd love to hear from you.
My husband and I have just returned from our tour of Sicily ( Manchester 9th to 16th Oct.).It was our first visit to the island and we were not disappointed. This is a lovely tour, our 6th with the company and we have never been disappointed. For us, the outstanding feature has always been the quality of our guides and this was no exception. We are most anxious that you should know how highly we rated Rosario. His love, knowledge and enthusiasm for his island shines through the whole time. He was so caring for the whole party and thoughtful for each and every one of us (48) every step of the way. His stories were accompanied by humour, so that we built up a very happy atmosphere the whole week. It must have helped that he seems to have a good rapport with all the locals, so that any difficulties were quickly ironed out. We are so pleased that you are prepared to employ local guides, as it added to our gaining of a flavour for the island. He was a real joy!
Thank you, another lovely holiday with Riviera.
Review by Gill Scarlett on 21 October 2016
Dear Riviera Travel, I have just returned from your Sicily Tour. It was fabulous. The itinerary was perfect. All the major sites far exceeded my expectations - which were already high before I travelled!!! I am emailing though to compliment your outstanding Tour Manager, Daniela. She is a credit to your company and her organisation, knowledge and attention to detail could not have been better. All arrangements worked perfectly. Any problems that cropped up were dealt with quickly and proactively. She was on duty from breakfast until after dinner. Unfailingly pleasant, helpful and approachable.
She made the holiday an unforgettable experience. Our driver Pippo was equally professional.
So often today people only contact organisations to complain but I wanted you to know that the Sicily Tour was one I will always remember and will recommend to other people without hesitation.
Review by Ruth Else on 21 October 2016
This was a well planned tour with most of the high lights visited.
We were most impressed by the knowledge of our guide Ljilana. We learnt such a lot about places visited and also the culture of Sicily. It was just a pity that the antiquities are so far apart that it meant long coach journeys! The second hotel Baia, did not live up to the standard of the first hotel, Kaos, particularly the dinner menu being repetitive. However both hotels were well appointed with comfortable rooms and beautiful swimming pools.
Review by Ann and John Belcher on 14 October 2016
We have not long returned from a holiday to Sicily with your company and had a wonderful time.
We had an exceptional guide Daniela.
Her attention to us as travellers, her information and stories and general attitude was far above any other guide we have ever had on a holiday with any company.
We also had the most courteous and happy driver Pippo.
People are quick to complain but very rarely praise.
Well done Riviera Travel we will certainly be travelling with you again!
Review by Joan and Peter Lynn on 14 October 2016
Although I have completed the online Reevoo review which I thought was rather broad, I I felt I needed to write in personally to commend our excellent tour guide, Ruth (I’m afraid I don’t know her surname). I would give her a 5* rating - she gave us a lot of info to include history, culture, religion, geography n geology, cuisine, practical tips to include maps of each town or place of interest with relevant notes. She was clearly spoken, charming, polite to all, information delivered in a timely fashion, punctual and had a sense of humour. In many instances went beyond the call of duty. Our group were extremely fortunate to have her as our tour leader and I will be very surprised if she is not in line for a few awards.
The tour did cover a lot of ground, history etc and I did enjoy it - thank you.
Review by Jelina L Rodrigues on 7 October 2016
A wonderful tour of this island taking in most of the important sites. The tour manager, Daniela, did an outstanding job organising the group and we felt completely safe in the hands of our experienced and courteous driver Pippo.
Review by Cooper party (6) on 10 October 2016
I would just like to add a thank you for the excellent service we received from your tour guide & driver on our recent trip to Sicily. This is the second time we have used Riviera & have yet to be disappointed.
Review by Robert Coombes on 27 September 2016
Many thanks. Another great tour with Riviera Travel. All good.
Tour manager, Lylyana is great at her job.
Review by Ralph and Jilly Smith on 27 September 2016
We should like to thank Riviera Travel for having provided us with an excellent week-long holiday in Sicily from the 15th to the 22nd September.
We have used Riviera Travel before, and are pleased to report that our Sicily tour met its customary high standards.
The locations were fascinating; the coach journeys stimulating; the hotels comfortable and friendly. Above all, perhaps, our tour guide, Frances, was wonderful: intelligent, knowledgeable, cultured, kind and patient with an irrepressible sense of humour and an infectious laugh. She is a great asset to your company.
We shall certainly use Riviera Travel again.
Review by Robert and Jackie Atwell on 27 September 2016
My husband and I have just returned from our first tour with Riviera. We wanted to write to you to praise the wonderful trip that we have had, mainly due to Rivera’s gem, the Tour Manager Rosario.
Rosario’s knowledge of all aspects of Sicily, was outstanding, but also his concern for his clients. He made certain that the seats on the coach were comfortable for the individual. For example one gentleman was very tall so Rosario recommended a seat with more leg room, one gentleman was not well, so Rosario helped with locating a doctor and speaking on behalf of this particular gentleman.
Rosario was always ready to answer any questions, making certain we were clear what was happening each day and providing paper maps and diagrams of what we were seeing each trip. His knowledge of the island was amazing, whether it was about the culture, history or suggestions of where to have lunch or what to see on our free time.
We cannot praise him enough for all his hard work his attention to every detail, he is a credit to himself and the company he works for.
The tour was well planned, excellent value and covered the history and beauty of this part of the island. Every day trip brought a special hi light to each guest. We did prefer the Sant Alphio Garden Hotel in Giardini-Naxos to the Kaos Hotel but that is just a personal choice. We will not hesitate to recommend this trip to our family and friends.
Most of the guests on the coach have booked with you on more than one occasion and have enjoyed all your trips, but they all agreed that Rosario was by far the best Tour Manager they had all had.
From the time we booked, speaking to you helpful staff, to being met at Catania airport and departing with Rosario we feel our whole holiday experience was one to remember.
Thank you and well done to all the staff involved.
Review by John and Rita Bryant on 21 September 2016
My wife and I have recently returned from our first holiday with Riviera; it was perfect in every way. We had superb local guides, the site visits were well planned, the coach driver was very good, the hotels ideal, the company charming and the star was Rosario, our tour manager. He ‘made the holiday’ with immense local knowledge, presented in an interesting and engaging way; he made even a coach journey something to look forward to each day. Well done Riviera - will definitely travel with you again and Rosario - what a find you have.
Review by Tony Collett on 16 September 2016
I have just returned from a superb tour of Sicily. My late husband and I had travelled with Riviera on 2 occasions several years ago but this was my first time as a recent ‘solo traveller’. I need not have worried. Kathryn, our tour guide, was excellent making sure I was included at all times and ensured that all the travellers on this tour were well looked after.
I was especially delighted to find that at both hotels used - the Hotel Kaos in Agrigento and the Baia Taormina near to Taormina - I was given a large Double Room with a terrace and a sea view even though I was a single. And all for a very reasonable single supplement.
The tour itself was very extensive visiting many of the main sites of interest on this beautiful island. My personal favourites were the visit to Siracusa and to Mount Etna.
I shall certainly travel again with Riviera and are now looking at 2 possible tours.
Thank you Riviera for a great time.
Review by Patricia on 14 September 2016
We returned on Sunday from the Sicily tour and would like to tell you how wonderful we thought Kathryn the tour guide was.
She was very knowledgeable and managed to put lots of information across in a very interesting way.
Friendly and genuine into the bargain
Review by Janice Kedwards on 14 September 2016
This is a rather belated message to tell you that your Tour Manager Ruth was exceptionally good in all respects. Knowledgable, charming and sensitive to all
our needs and so enthusiastic. I have always thought that the strength of Riviera against other travel companies is in its excellent Tour Managers, who are always so well-organised and have great local knowledge and experience. This was again the case, but more so.
Review by Maureen Finlay on 25 August 2016
We have just returned from our Sicily Tour. It was the first time we have travelled with Riviera and we want to say how much we enjoyed the tour. We were impressed by the accommodation and the arrangements for the various trips.
A special thank you to Daniella our tour manager who was excellent in everything she did.
Review by Mike & Lucik Jenkins on 25 August 2016
My husband and I recently returned from one of your guided tours of Sicily. Our tour manager was Rosario and - WOW! ! What a fantastic tour and what a really nice, genuine, knowledgeable and professional man. Rosario helped to make our holiday special. We packed a lot into our tour and at no time did we feel rushed. We think it was fantastic value for money.
Review by Lyn and John Smith on 25 August 2016
My wife and I would like to record our thanks to your Tour Manager, Rosario, on this tour.
From our experience he is the best we have had. A kind, knowledgeable and courteous person with a great sense of humour.
He particularly made all our coach trips more happy than we have experienced before.
You should be congratulated for having him as a member of your team.
Mr. T. & Mrs. H. Mitchell
Review by Mr. T. & Mrs. H. Mitchell on 25 August 2016
Having just returned from a fabulous tour of Sicily I cannot praise our Tour Manager, Frances, enough. She brought humour, passion and great knowledge to make each day interesting and very enjoyable. Baia Taormina was the perfect hotel with stunning views out to sea. Having very little knowledge of Sicily beforehand I now feel I have learnt so much and found the whole experience fascinating with many ‘wow’ moments. Top experiences were Monreale and Mt Etna but there are so many other contenders. Highly recommended! Thanks to all the local guides who did a magnificent job.
Review by Judith Shanks on 3 July 2016
I have just returned from the Sicily Tour and cannot recommend it highly enough. This was my 5th tour with Riviera but my first as a single traveller. As always, the standard of the hotel accommodation and the food was excellent.
Frances, our Tour Manager was very knowledgeable, helpful, always cheerful with a genuinely warm character. She really did go out of her way to ensure that everyone was looked after. We laughed a lot and her attention to fine detail ensured that many new friendships were forged along the way. The team are fine ambassadors for your company.
Review by Lynda Harris on 3 July 2016
We would just like to say how much we enjoyed our first Riviera Tour. Kathryn our tour manager was first class. The little extras she did certainly made the holiday. We would certainly recommend the Sicily tour and we are looking forward to going on another tour with Riviera.
Review by Kevin & Claire Barber on 21 June 2016
Great holiday - well thought out itinerary and standing atop Mount Etna a truly memorable experience. No complaints at all - even the beds and pillows were great!
Our Tour Manager Daniela was wonderful - always cheerful, always enthusiastic and always available.
Review by Carol Page on 15 June 2016
Just returned from a great tour made even more enjoyable by our guide Daniela. Sicily is a great place and we saw the best of it. The hotels were excellent, friendly and accommodating. The coach comfortable and well driven.
We would recommend this Riviera tour to everyone and would like to visit the island again ourselves. We also found some great places to eat at lunchtimes.
Great company, great visits and all round great time
Review by Jude and Alan Short on 15 June 2016
We have recently returned from Sicily and wish to praise our tour manager Michele. She was warm and humorous, caring and efficient, and overall a lovely lady, very well-suited to her job. We would be very happy to meet her on another Riviera tour.
Review by Keith and Sarah Mutch on 7 June 2016
Would you kindly pass on our thanks to Rosario for being such an excellent guide on our recent holiday in Sicily.
To date your “Sevy” has always been our “bench mark” for Tour Managers having accompanied us on both the “Riviera Clipper” holidays.
Rosario had made a great holiday exceptional. His in-depth knowledge of Sicily both historically and archaeology were outstanding, especially, as he was fluent in idiomatic English. Always available to help be it pointing out the best local trattorias, smoothing the the way with local vendors. Always a word for everyone.
One instance that comes to mind when one of the elderly members of trip became separated from his wife on the way to the coach station in Taormina. The gentleman was obviously upset and anxious but Rosario took control, talked to him into sitting down in the coach before setting out himself to find her, returning shortly with the lost lady.
Such attention to detail needs to be acknowledged.
A credit to your company.
Review by Alan & Anne Grisedale on 7 June 2016
We have just returned from our trip to Sicily and I wanted to let you know that we thoroughly enjoyed our time.
Michele, our guide, was so professional and enthusiastic.It was hard to believe that she was not on her first visit!! She gave plenty of information and history. Was very concerned and caring for everyone’s well being. The itinerary suited us very much and the highlights of the trip were definitely the temples at Agrigento, The Roman villa, Monreale and the cathedral at Ortigia. The hotel in Taormina was a delight. The staff were so friendly and helpful. We loved it.
Review by Diana Roche on 3 June 2016
Just to say we had a wonderful holiday in Sicily and to mention Daniella our rep. She was a fountain of knowledge and went the extra mile to please everybody. She must have worked over and above her hours because she was always available. Great holiday.
Review by Alexander and Cheryl Paterson on 3 June 2016
We have never been on an “escorted tour” before but this one was a pleasant surprise. Rosario was very attentive of his “bambinis” and extremely knowledgeable, not to mention being quite a comedian. The visits were good and the guides very informative. The hotels were very welcoming but found the bed just a bit hard. Both of the hotels offered excellent food so now on a diet. Must not forget our top class driver Pipo, even my husband felt safe, as being an ex HGV driver he does not make a good passenger.
Review by Valerie Reid on 27 May 2016
Have recently returned from a brilliantly organised tour of Sicily - our sixth tour with Riviera Travel. Hotels were great; coach was great; and our guide, Ruth, couldn’t have been more helpful or efficient. Thank you Riviera. I’m sure we’ll be back soon for our seventh trip with you!
Review by Jenni Atkinson on 23 May 2016
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Sicily. Some interesting places to see, & our guide Denise was excellent. (She even arranged for the Excelsior Hotel to put a large bunch of flowers in our room for my wife’s birthday). We thought both the Kaos & Excelsior Hotels were good. The staff in both were friendly & helpful, & the food in both was good, especially as they were mass catering for 50+ people. We endorse previous comments about arranging a tour to Ragusa & Noto to see where ‘Montalbano’ is filmed.
Our 4th Riviera tour, & it will not be the last.
Review by John & Dorothy Powell on 19 May 2016
We have just recently returned from the Sicily Tour which we enjoyed enormously - many thanks to Riviera.
One of the main reasons for our enjoyment was the hard work, enthusiasm and good humour of the Tour Manager Rosario Sulfaro.
He could not do enough to make the holiday a success, everybody enjoyed his sense of humour, appreciated his local knowledge and expertise - there were no “hitches” at all.
Our driver, Pippo Panebianco was also very good - hard working, pleasant and we all felt safe with him.
Review by Arthur and Sylvia Bailey on 19 May 2016
Fab holiday in Sicily. Hotel Kaos was charming. Like a 1930s film set. There was a mimosa tree (something I’ve always wanted to see) in the garden and swifts skimming the swimming pool. I know that some of the group complained about the food but (honestly - Brits abroad) I thought it was OK.
The staff were charming.
The Sant Alphio Garden Hotel - such attention to detail. Spiffier, but I loved the atmosphere and the look of Kaos.
However the indoor pool at Sant Alphio was a bonus. And the patron wandering around making sure that everything was just as it should be - again charming.
But the thing that transformed a nice holiday into something special was the tour manager, Rosario. I can’t praise him too highly. His knowledge of history, local customs and the flora and fauna was a bonus. His care and attention, most reassuring. I know he’s seen many tours over the years but for the week he was with us we were made to feel that our enjoyment of his island home was the most important thing in his life. He even stayed at the airport when we had to queue for a couple of hours at the BA desk.
So please arrange some dates in late March/early April, before it gets too warm. And a tour that takes in the ‘Montalbano’ scenery.
Review by Anna Grimwade on 13 May 2016
I have just returned from Sicily and I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the holiday. I loved Sicily, especially at this time of year, and I was very happy with the tour, the itinerary, the hotels and especially our guide - Rosario Sulfuro. He was a complete delight and could not possibly have done more to make our holiday absolutely wonderful. I don’t think I have ever heard a large group of people so universally forthcoming in their appreciation of someone. If you have a ‘guide of the year’ award, I’d like to nominate him now!
I see from your brochure that you have another tour in Western Sicily and I will seriously consider doing that sometime in the not too distant future - if you had one that covered the Montelbano area and story, that would be even better!
Review by Judi Bastow on 13 May 2016
We have just returned from an excellent trip to Sicily. It was well organised, good value for money and very comprehensive. However the star of the holiday was our guide Rosario whose depth of knowledge, infectious enthusiasm for his country and great sense of humour made the holiday into something very special. Nothing was too much trouble for him and he was so kind and caring towards everyone. He deserves to be recognised for these attributes.
Review by Wendy and Phillip Mears on 9 May 2016
Our tour of Sicily was absolutely marvellous! There were so many wonderful sites, and our guide was superb - very well-informed and amusing, as well as extremely helpful and conscientious. We had a superb time! Thank you. Travelled on 07/06/2012
Review by Kate Winterbottom, Buckinghamshire on 14 July 2012
I would like to offer praise for the recent tour to Sicily I did with your company. Although this involved quite a lot of coach travel the timing was impeccable and sympathetically paced. The places visited were a fantastic choice and the hotels well situated. The local guides were of very high quality inspiring with their knowledge and enthusiasm. The driver was an absolute marvel, taking the sometimes tricky and frustrating conditions with equanimity and good humour. Our tour manager was superb. I cannot speak highly enough of her good humour, patience, local knowledge and efficiency. Well done to Riviera! Travelled on 23/05/2012
Review by Pamela Drinnan, London on 12 June 2012
Just back from Sicily - our second holiday with Riviera Travel. A very interesting tour, well organized by our charming tour manager, comfortable hotels and good company. The amazing historic sites in Sicily are not easy to do in your own car - streets thronging with pedestrians, difficult carparking and hair pin bends - but doing it with Riviera, you get to see all the highlights in a busy week of varied activity and still have time for a daily swim before dinner! Perfect! Travelled on 26/04/2012
Review by Mrs Lindsay , Glasgow on 6 May 2012
Our first tour with Riviera, extremely well planned, organised and executed by our tour guide and driver. A dedicated team that paid their utmost attention to make our tour comfortable, enjoyable and well informed. We look forward to our next Riviera trip. Travelled on 20/10/2011
Review by Lilian & Sam Maman, London on 5 November 2011
Our guide was one of the best we have had on our many travels. He made the holiday one of the most enjoyable ever. Thank you! Travelled on 25/09/2011
Review by Mrs. Eggleton, Lancashire on 5 October 2011
Have just returned from tour of Sicily. Hotels, weather and food first class. Use of local guide made all the difference as his local knowledge, humour and obvious love of his country made the area come alive. Hope to see additional tour of Sicily available in the future. Travelled on 11/09/2011
Review by Jean Haynes on 24 September 2011
Went on a fabulous tour of Sicily on 26 Sept 2010 with three lady friends. Our first Riviera trip but not our last. Our guide, was exceptional, the best we’ve ever had. they were efficient, amusing, made it all so interesting & nothing was too much trouble. Hotels and food were great, the drivers and hotel staff very friendly and helpful. Two of us are going back next year with our husbands! Thank you Riviera. Travelled on 26/09/2010
Review by Mrs Findlay, Worthing on 24 November 2010
We returned last Sunday (31.10.10) from a lovely holiday in Sicily which I would thoroughly recommend to everyone. Our tour guide was exceptional, and is very kind, as was our regular coach driver, whose driving skills are superb. I found the food on the island absolutely delicious - even in the little service station cafes. If only we had such establishments in England! I loved the Sicilian cuisine so much, I bought a recipe book, and can’t wait to try some dishes. The island is really beautiful, and surprised me by being very green. We did have rain, but this in no way detracted from a grand holiday. Travelled on 24/10/2010
Review by Mrs Hazelden, Oxford on 2 November 2010
On Sunday 17th October we flew to Catania for our tour of Sicily. Our guide was fantastic beyond belief,and our coach driver, was incredibly skillful, what a team.All our coach party were lovely people and great company, all the sights were superb, especially Etna, a holiday we will never forget. We are planning to honeymoon next year with Riviera. WELL DONE!. Travelled on 17/10/2010
Review by Mr.Cheek, Chelmsford. on 28 October 2010
We have just returned from our trip to Sicily and have to say that we thoroughly enjoyed it. Both the hotels we stayed at were very good, and the excursions well planned. Additionally what made the holiday was the tour guide. He was knowledgeable, entertaining, helpful and very professional. We were extremely lucky to have him. Thank you Riviera for employing such a good guide. Travelled on 16/09/2010
Review by Mr. & Mrs. Bonnamy, London on 24 September 2010
An excellent week in Sicily with a superb guide and a careful driver. Great hotels, super weather and interesting sights made this, our 3rd Riviera trip a delight. Travelled on 13/05/2010
Review by Chris Haskins, London on 29 June 2010
We had a wonderful week in Sicily. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and our bus driver for the duration of our holiday chauffeured us like royalty. I have no hesitation in thoroughly recommending this tour. There was so much to see and do in the week we were there, the time just flew by. I could easily have spent more time there to absorb it all. Travelled on 07/10/2012
Review by Ray and Angelika Carter on 5 November 2012
Just back from tour of Sicily ( october 28th 2012) fascinating and very interesting . Wonderful tour guide was calm, well informed and full of anecdotes/ information about the whole area and people . She was so attentive and caring to all of us on the trip ..whatever age ..or inclination . She organised an extra visit ..not on itinerary too. Especially loved the 4 nights in Taormina ..hotel super. Thank you for another excellent week ..our 5th with Riviera !! Travelled on 21/10/2012
Review by Fewtrell on 5 November 2012
Amazing holiday. Brilliant hotels (would have preferred more central location but fantastic meals and rooms). Exceptional tour guide and his coach driver. Myself and wife hadn’t done a tour of this kind before (we are in mid-50s). We will be booking again next year and would hope that the guide is as caring, genuine and knowledgeable as the last. He is an asset to Riviera! The trip is so well organised, you don’t have to think of anything except enjoy yourself! We are usually independent travelers, but because of our tour guide and Riviera, will be booking a tour again very soon. Travelled on 23/09/2012
Review by Andrew Barlow on 5 November 2012
What a wonderful tour, starting with our tour guide, she enjoys her job and is a bundle of fun and knowledge, we felt completely at ease with our driver and the staff in both hotels were very pleasant. The food was excellent especially, the tours were hectic but we would not have missed them especially Mount Etna what a place.Riviera planned everything to a tea Sicily was brilliant we would recommend Riviera to any one. Travelled on 07/10/2012
Review by Michael Otley on 5 November 2012
Outstanding holiday. enhanced by excellent courier for whom no request was too much trouble. Arrival at hotel in dark with first view of floodlit temples was exciting start to a series of wonderful visits, Greek temples, 4th century Roman villa mosaics, Norman churches, Byzantine decoration and a magical visit up Etna. Only downside - not old enough to benefit from free entry for over 65’s to all the sites! Superb and enthusiastic guides - very informative. Travelled on 06/10/2012
Review by Margaret Pisarska on 5 November 2012
This is our 6th tour with Riviera….it won’t be our last!! Our excellent guide Elizabeth, who gave us so much help and information, made our holiday so enjoyable from start to finish!! We even saw ETNA erupting…thank you Elizabeth and well done Riviera, we will be back next year!!
Review by Diane Michalska on 15 April 2013
We have just returned from our 8-day holiday in Sicily and have to tell you what a lovely experience it was. The hotel in Agrigento was well situated and the tours of the Valley of the Temples and the cathedral in Monreale were led by excellent guides. The hotel in Giardini Naxos was superb and we had an amazing view of Etna from our balcony. However, the whole week was made very special by our Tour Manager, Ruth, whom we cannot praise highly enough. She set the scene on the coach journeys prior to every outing and her talks were outstanding. She looked after the needs of everyone and nothing was too much trouble. She worked tremendously hard and brought her lovely personality to every minute of the day. Our thanks to her for bringing so much enjoyment to us and all the lovely people with whom we spent the week on this tour.
Review by Jean and John Glogg on 23 April 2013
Excellent tour round the major sites of Sicily, well paced and visiting some wonderful Greek, Roman and Norman buildings. Our guide, Ruth was brilliant in every way. Very friendly and full of information about the island, presented to us with humour and interest. She also took great pains to explain each part of the day’s schedule and gave us lots of ideas for maximising the time. On the final evening we were treated to the magnificent site of Etna erupting , think Ruth might have arranged that spectacle for us too !!
Review by Pat and Mike Green on 25 April 2013
Well, what can I say, my travelling companions were first class (and no, no-one forced me to write this) haha.. from start to finish I can nonestly say that a whole heap of fun was had by all. Our tour manager, Aideen was first class and I miss everyone already. It was my first trip to Sicily but will not be my last, thank you Aideen and to everyone else on the tour, I do hope that we can do it again, oh, yes, wont forget the suitcase next time, well, will try not to anyway. Thank you all. xx
Review by Jenny Westcott on 27 April 2013
This was my second trip with Riviera and in every way it lived up to the very high standard of the first. The tour guide, Aideen, was superb, and tireless in her efforts to ensure everyone’s comfort. We managed to see many of Sicily’s best sites and stayed in two very comfortable hotels.
Review by Agnes Gray on 28 April 2013
Rosario, our tour guide, gets full marks for his organisation, knowledge, patience, charm and, above all, his wit. He is memorable. The Taormina Excelsior Hotel, where we spent 4 nights, has a fabulous postion on the promentory at the edge of the town, literally, 50 metres from the action in the lovely main high street. Fabulous grounds and pool on the cliff top. Stunning views of the coast, the town and the best views of Etna.
Review by David Jones on 9 May 2013
Thank you for an excellent trip. The hotels were good, with friendly and helpful staff; the scenery, weather and sites all exceeding our expectations. We would particularly like to thank our guide, Rosario, for his efficiency, his command of English (including his wit), and his knowledgeability of all aspects of the area. He was also very helpful in working out a schedule for us on our free day in Giardini Naxos, to visit Randazzo by narrow gaulge train. Also particularly good was Marilu, our guide to the cathedral and cloisters at Monreale. She was extremely well informed on the history and mosaics in the cathedral. Angelo, our driver, was very skilled at negotiating the narrow streets of some of the towns, and we felt extremely safe in his hands.
Review by Ann and Denis Bates on 20 May 2013
We were looking for sometime to find a place to celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary, our friends found your advertisement in The Sunday Times. Brilliant choice. Both hotels were very nice and the food excellent. Itinerary - the tours were amazing, we felt we saw the best of the island. Our tour guide Aideen was brilliant, from the moment she greeted us all at the airport until we were back to the airport her enthusiasm for us all to have a great holiday never waned - a shining light for your company.!!!! Thank you Riviera.
Review by Sheila Robin o`Dell on 21 May 2013
What a lovely tour and what a beautiful island. For me, our guide Rosario, a Sicilian, brought the beauty and history of the island alive and kept us entertained all week. Thank you Rosario. The hotel in Giardini Naxos was excellent and well situated and all the tours were interesting and well organised. Thank you Riviera. We would definitely use Riviera again.
Review by Judith beadle on 23 May 2013
Hi This was my first conducted tour - ever - and at 78yrs I had my doubts as to how it would go, My fears were unfounded, our whole tour was FANTASTIC, from start to finish thanks to your guide Rosario. I cannot speak highly enough of this man! All 49 of us were guided with such professionalism, patience, care and good humour. Riviera, hang on to this guy. I’ll be back - as Arnie says - when i can afford our next Riviera trip. Thank you Rasario - untill the next time. Paul.
Review by Elizabeth&Paul; Djerassi on 26 May 2013
We really enjoyed our Sicily trip; our expectations as established Riviera customers were high, but they were surpassed. The weather was excellent, the hotels comfortable, the views, especially in Taormina, spectacular. Special praise is due to our driver, Rosario, who managed to navigate what seemed like impossible archways & bends, and drove with exemplary consideration for passengers. And in particular we were impressed by our tour manager Kathryn. Her knowledge of Italy & Sicily was profound, and backed up by persistent enthusiastic research; her competence in the language was admirable (guides & drivers who talked English to everyone else spoke in Italian to her, which says something), her professionalism and care unfailing and well beyond the call of duty; her personal charm and humour (sardonic comic timing a speciality) made the coach journeys fly past. We will be back.
Review by Malcolm Downie on 28 May 2013
Sicily is an extra special place and there is so much to see and absorb. Thanks to your wonderful rep Ruth, we had a truly lovely time. Her knowledge and enthusiasm enriched our experience of the most wonderful visits. She engaged with all of the locals we met, speaking fluently in Italian and English and she made us all feel like friends rather than customers. Her lively anecdotes and good humour made the coach trips pass very quickly.
Review by Muriel Benson on 29 May 2013
Sicily was lovely, even more so because of Elizabeth our tour manager and Angelo our driver. Angelo is a smooth, calm and polite driver. We all felt safe while he was skilfully meandering the narrow winding roads! I was impressed by Elizabeth who is very knowledgeable in history and archeology. I especially appreciated the fact that she gave us a lot of historical facts on Sicily. She is not only knowledgeable but also very gracious, caring and more than willing to impart information. I would love to go on another tour with Elizabeth. All the local guides were great as well. Marylou from Monreale was particularly excellent. Thank you to all of you!
Both hotels in Agrigento and Giardini Naxos were good and the food was excellent. The research that went into the organization is obvious!
I wholeheartedly recommend this tour, the tour manager, driver and local guides! Coming from the US, I will not hesitate to come back to Rivera for another tour.
Review by Nellie on 1 June 2013
This was an excellent Riviera tour (our third). It was well structured and paced so that we saw Sicily’s cultural highlights but also had time to relax with a coffee and watch the world go by. Our tour manager, Ruth, was wonderful and she really made the holiday special. Her commentaries were not only informative but also lively and individual, and her relaxed, friendly charm belied the hard work she must have put into her research and the smooth operation of our tour. Nothing was too much trouble and she was constantly looking out for our comfort and holiday pleasure. We do hope that we meet with her again on another tour.
Review by Anne and Malcolm Philippe on 3 June 2013
Sicily was superb, the itinerary cleverly chosen, the hotels , food and service as one would want. Our coach driver could not have been better. Our guide, Rosario S. was simply outstanding. He dealt with serious illness, a complete traffic blockage in Palermo with efficiency and care beyond the call of duty. He gave us information, laughter, and the confidence that no matter what The Almighty, Sicily,or a coach full of experienced travellers could throw at him, he would cope, efficiently, and still smiling and with us smiling too.
Take care to keep Rosario, you will never find a better ambassador for Riviera Travel.
Review by D.Davis on 4 June 2013
We recently returned from a wonderful holiday in Sicily. The tour was excellent in every way, and very well organised. Our guide Rosario was extremely helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this interesting and beautiful island.
Review by Wendy & John on 5 June 2013
Following the success of our first Riviera Tour last May to Lake Como, we chose Sicily for this May. Our guide, Denise, was excellent, organising everything well - including the weather. The knowledgeable local guides - Claudio, Marilu, Sabrina and Renato - added that extra ingredient which made our visits special. We enjoyed the comfort of well-chosen hotels, especially the Excelsior Palace, with its commanding views and proximity to the centre of lovely Taormina.
Review by Ian and Janet on 6 June 2013
First time we have travelled with Riviera and it will not be the last, the accommodation at both hotels was excellent, the trips were well organised and our tour guide was excellent making sure everyone in the group was happy with every litle detail of the tour - overall a wonderful holiday
Review by Malcolm Iles on 17 June 2013
Just experienced a fantastic tour of Sicily assisted by fabulous Ruth our guide who is so enthusiastic. Highly recommend this itinerary & will definitely book with Riviera again. Already flicking through the brochure. Great travelling companions - great weather - stunning architecture & ruins - Etna visit is the “icing on the cake.”
Review by L Perrier on 17 June 2013
Our trip to Sicily was very good saw some real wonders. Our guide Ruth was just wonderful, charming, caring always on the lookout for us all, but most of all she was so very well informed and knowledgeable and a great raconteur of great stories which kept us all much amused on the coach journeys thank you so much.
Review by Sally Codrington on 21 June 2013
We have just returned from a glorious week in Sicily. I was surprised that you did not have any feed-back questionnaire at the end of the holiday? So I felt I had to write and say what a very enjoyable and educational tour we found it to be. We had an excellent rep, Susan who was totally professional and shared her love of the Island and people and always went above and beyond her role to ensure everyone enjoyed their holiday. The local guides were very knowledgeable and effusive and certainly their expertise also enhanced the tour. The two hotels we stayed in were a very good standard in lovely locations with friendly and helpful staff. Our coach driver Angelo was a definite asset with his skillful driving on some very hairy roads all carried out in a calm and relaxed manner. Well done Riviera our first but definitely not our last holiday with your company!
Review by Hilda and Kevin Woolridge on 22 June 2013
Just returned home from a wonderful holiday in Sicily with Riviera Travel. Our tour manager Rosario was excellent - a mine of information on all things Sicilian. He gave us quality information on the history of the island on the way to the many sites we visited, blending in advice on how to cope in the heat, funny stories, Italian lessons, tips on how to behave in cafes, and he looked after us all, providing us with maps and information so we could enjoy each visit to the full, all with good humour, patience and courtesy . He is a credit to your company and our thanks to him for making this holiday really special. Rosemary and Bernie xx
Review by Rosemary and Bernie on 23 June 2013
Our recent trip to Sicily was excellent in every way. We were especially lucky to have such a superb Tour Manager - Rosario. He was so informative and good humoured at all times and despite having a wide range of age groups on the tour, was able to keep everyone entertained and engaged throughout. Sicily has such a rich history and Rosario provided endless knowledge and anecdotes throughout. He is a real asset to your company, so efficient and coped admirably. We should also mention our appreciation of other tour guides, in particular Claudio in the magnificent Valley of the Temples and Marilu at Monreale. The second hotel we stayed in, Baia Taormina Grand Palace is beautifully positioned and the food and service were particularly good. A great time was had by all! Many thanks. Paul, Rose, Andrew and Sarah Rogers
Review by Paul, Rose, Andrew & Sarah Rogers on 25 June 2013
We have just returned from a wonderful sunny week in Sicily. We had a truly wonderful tour manager in Rosario whose expert knowledge of the history and culture of the island, along with his witty anecdotes and caring nature made for the perfect holiday experience. We have been on a few similar tours and Rosario is by far the best tour manager we have ever had. Riviera please treasure him!
Review by Allan & Deborah McAllister on 27 June 2013
I have just read the review of our Sicily tour by fellow-participants the McAllisters, and would like to endorse their enthusiastic appraisal, especially regarding the very exceptional quality of the tour guide, Rosario. His polymathic knowledge was engagingly imparted and his effective assistance on behalf of anyone in need was equally impressive. The tour itself was thoughtfully planned in every detail. It covered an extraordinary amount of territory and material in such a short time, while still allowing for relaxing breaks. It got the balance just about right as far as we were concerned. This was our first Riviera Travel holiday but I’m sure it won’t be the last. Indeed, we would go with you to Sicily again if you were to offer a tour focusing on the western side of the island. Thank you very much.
Review by Richard Allen on 28 June 2013
We have just returned from a lovely tour of Sicily, which was made even better by our wonderful tour guide Rosario who’s enthusiasm and knowledge of the history of Sicily was second to none. His wonderful anecdotes and caring attitude really made our holiday. We really appreciated the way he handled the delay at the airport making sure that everyone got checked in without any problem and feel that Rosario is a real asset to your company and hope to see him again soon!!!
Review by Sheila and Roy Haywood on 28 June 2013
Thank you once again for an excellent holiday. The Sicily Tour was well planned and managed by your Tour Manager Daniella, a first class ambassador for your company, and Guiseppi who has to be one of the best coach drivers in the world. This is our fourth tour with Riviera and we will be back. If you will have us. Again a final big thank you to Daniella who went the “extra mile” with every single detail.
Review by Ray & Jennifer Sams on 29 June 2013
This was my first trip with Riviera and I would certainly go on one with your company again. Our guide - Ruth - was the consummate host- always cheerful, patient, calm, thoughtful and professional, seemingly thinking of everything and regaling our group with interesting talks and sometimes very funny stories. We all thought she was excellent.
Review by Peter Hudson on 2 July 2013
Just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our trip to Sicily. Our tour manager was Aideen Higgins who went a long way in making the holiday so fantastic. Her knowledge, organisation and preparation, enthusiasm, helpfulness and general taking care of her clients was just wonderful, as was her sense of humour and fun. I’m sure I don’t really need to tell you what an asset she is to your company. The hotels were excellent, the food delicious, the trips fascinating and we wouldn’t hesitate in booking a Riviera holiday in future.
Review by Georgina Harvey on 3 July 2013
We thoroughly enjoyed our recent tour of Sicily with Riviera Travel, and our Tour Manager, Rosario, made the experience exceptional. The tour is a great introduction to the island with a good mix of excursions - ancient temples, beautiful towns and a trip to Mount Etna. Throughout the stay, Rosario was always there to help. Each day he would provide us with a wealth of information regarding the day’s excursions, often providing useful maps, hints and tips to help us best explore. As a Sicilian, Rosario is able to interface seamlessly at a local level and has an a great knowledge of the Island ranging from details of the antiquities through to which cafes would be best for lunch. Always happy, helpful and going the extra mile to make our stay special, Rosario is a credit to Riviera Travel.
Review by Lee & Shelley StJohn on 30 July 2013
This was our first holiday with Riviera and our first visit to Sicily. We enjoyed it so much we’ve been singing the praises of both since our return. Travelling with a group on a coach was a very comfortable and friendly way of getting to the sights, instead of us driving ourselves, with all the challenges that would have entailed. The 2 centre holiday, especially with Taormina as the second base, very much felt the right choice for us.
Beyond the great scenery and fascinating and varied culture, what made the holiday stand out was how well this was done, with a superb tour manager in Daniella. Everything went so smoothly, but from odd conversations we came to realise that it didn’t just happen that way. Much perceptive thought and work had gone into making it so, first in the planning and then in the day-to-day running. It was all done quietly and efficiently, but also with much warmth and obvious pride in her island that we felt fortunate to be able to share with her. Very well done!
Review by John and Jacqui Clayton on 3 August 2013
We have just returned from the ‘Sicily’ holiday, 1st to 8th September, Gatwick flights. May I compliment Rossario our tour guide, he was very knowledgable, very helpful and spoke excellent english. With thanks
Review by Jacqui and Patrick Wordsworth on 12 September 2013
An excellent tour - well planned and providing us with access to this Island’s wealth of history without the stress of having to find the sites etc ourselves! Lovely hotels, excellent food and great company too. Highly recommend for anyone interested in the history and of course beauty of Sicily.
Review by Jill Shemilt on 15 September 2013
My husband and I returned from our Riviera Holiday to Sicily just yesterday. Our group travelled from Dublin airport on the 4th September until the 11th September. We really enjoyed our trip especially on account of our exceptional guide, Denise. Not only proficient in Italian, she was just so knowledgeable about Sicilian history and culture and if she was not able to respond immediately she was prepared to research an answer for us. I don’t think I have ever been on a tour when the guide waited until we had all gone through the check-in process to ensure that there were no last minute hitches. We can really not praise her more highly. Mention must also be made of the driver, Michele, so pleasant and certainly made us feel very secure negociating the fast Sicilian roads. We are two very satisfied customers. With thanks,
Review by Jamie & Margaret Johnston on 16 September 2013
My wife and I have just returned from our trip to Sicily. It was great in every way. Over many years we have experienced many tour guides with many different tour companies but, without a shadow of a doubt, Rosario is the best. Aside from his relevant knowledge he is clearly dedicated to the care of his customers at all times of the tour. The last time we spoke with him was when he was lifting our luggage onto the check in weighing at the airport!
Review by JACK CLARK on 17 September 2013
My wife and I have just returned from our first Riviera Holiday to Sicily. Our group travelled from Gatwick on the 1st September until the 8th September. It was a wonderful trip particularly on account of our exceptional guide, Susan. Her attention to detail in respect of all our requirements, combined with her knowledge of Sicilian history and culture was extraordinary. Every subject was covered as well as the history of the Mafia, the crops and fruit, wine growing, local delicacies, climate etc. All this together with her many anecdotes added to the total pleasure of the holiday. We cannot praise her too highly - a real treasure. Mention must also be made of our charming driver Angelo, who was a very calm and safe negotiating the difficult Sicilian roads. The highlight food wise was having fresh calamari and local fish cooked on the terrace overlooking the sea, coupled with the incredible range of starters and deserts, at the Baia Taormina hotel. Perhaps the only way to improve the holiday could have been to stay for the first 3 nights in Palermo/ Monreale, rather than Agrigento, where there was much more to see. Flying to Palermo and returning from Catania could have saved time also. Our fellow travellers were also very pleasant which all added to the enjoyment. Many thanks to all at Riviera Travel.
Review by Geoff & Enid Hunt on 22 September 2013
This was the first tour I’ve ever been on and although full on it was great fun and met some wonderful people. It covered all the “must” places in Sicily so a great introduction. Sicily is so beautiful. But without doubt the best bit was our tour manager, Rosario. Being Sicilian he was able to introduce us to the culture and customs of Sicily. He was lots of fun, understands British humour and looked after our every need - always went the extra mile. We couldn’t have had a better guide.
Review by Kath Shawcross on 23 September 2013
We came back through Dublin from your Sicily tour last Wednesday 11th September and I would like to put on record how much we appreciated the tour guide Denise. From the moment we arrived until she saw us safely checked in for our return flight she was superb. We have had many tours around the world and Denise was definitely the best tour guide we have had.
Review by Lesley Bridgett on 23 September 2013
I just thought I must write and praise our guide, Rosario, who was the best guide we have ever had. I went to Sicily last week (8th - 15th September) and he worked so hard. He told us so much on the coach on our way to all the different places and he was entertaining with it as well. His English is excellent and just felt he went that extra mile. Someone asked whether we could take a tour of the opera house in Palermo and the next minute it was all arranged. It really is a full-on tour and I think that as the average age was 60+ he was well aware that some people would be nodding off but his voice was such that it didn’t intrude if you wanted to. And he said he just tries to tell us all what he would like to know on a tour but if we don’t want to listen and go to sleep that’s fine as well. He even told us a list of jokes on one of the trips which were hilarious and taught us a bit of Italian!
Review by Sheila Pegg on 23 September 2013
We’ve just returned from Sicily. We wanted to say what a great tour it was. History was our main motivation and so much was taken in. We must say how super Janet was. Her affinity for and knowledge about Sicily was infectious. She had so much information about not only the history, but the geography, geology, flora/fauna and of course food! She gleans local information along the way and passes it on. Thank you.
Review by David & Rosemary Humphries on 23 September 2013
Just to say we have just returned from a stay in Sicily ( Hotel Kaos and then Excelsior Palace, Taormina) yesterday.
We wish to say how excellent our tour guide Ruth was. She was really charming, a wonderful guide. Nothing was too much trouble and she always went that extra mile, making our holiday a very enjoyable one. Please pass this on to your Directors.
Review by Pauline and Steve Turkentine on 23 September 2013
We have been travelling with Riviera on your Sicily tour with Tour Manager Ruth
Choice of hotels Excellent
Choice of excursions and guides Excellent
Tour Manager Ruth Excellent!
Thank you for an excellent holiday with lovely, well placed hotels, excursions that encapsulated the history and culture of Sicily, and with such a brilliant tour manager Ruth. We really feel we can cross Sicily off our ‘to do’ list and move onto the next destination!
Review by Tony and Helen Carr on 23 September 2013
We returned from a week long guided tour last Sunday (departing on the 8th from Gatwick and returning on 15th Sept) to Sicily. Our tour guide was a man called Rosario and I am writing to give feedback on him. He was without doubt the best tour guide we’ve ever had and we’ve been on many tours previously. He was our tour guide from the moment we arrived at Catania Airport to the moment we departed through check-in a week later and he was marvellous. He was totally dedicated to our whole group - which probably numbered around 50 - and nothing was too much trouble for him. He must have answered more than a thousand questions from us all during that week and he responded every time with a ready smile and a thorough knowledge of whatever was asked. On coach journeys he entertained and made us laugh but also educated us so much about the culture, history, places, architecture and language of Sicily and Italy. When we all said our final goodbyes to Rosario at the airport, I think I’m right in saying that we all felt like we were losing a dear friend. I hope you pass on our appreciation to him as he deserves all our thanks for being such a wonderful guide. The holiday would not have been the same without him. Our thanks also to Riviera Travel for a wonderful holiday and having such a great guide as part of the your staff. Well done!
Review by Mr & Mrs Clague on 23 September 2013
I have just returned from a wonderful week in Sicily during which Rosario (our guide) conveyed his love for his country and his pride in his job in everything he said and did. He was knowledgeable, funny, eloquent and both professional and genuine. He is charming; I think we are all a little smitten!
Review by Laurel on 23 September 2013
We are writing to say how much we enjoyed our tour. This was due in no small part to the tour manager, Rosario. He was excellent and we cannot praise him enough. His professionalism, his knowledge of his subject and his humour made for a most enjoyable tour.
Review by John & Velda Merriman on 24 September 2013
My friends and I have just returned from a very interesting and informative tour of Sicily. Our tour guide was Rosario who was excellent and certainly one of the best guides we have had on a holiday. He was so informative and very passionate about his country, nothing was any trouble to him and he was so helpful. Rosario is a credit to Riviera travel.
Review by Anne Wynn on 24 September 2013
I write to praise our guide Frances who really made the whole trip fun, informative and engaging whilst still taking great care with us to ensure we had the best time in Sicily. Frances has set a very high standard and I will be setting all future escorted breaks against the wonderfully thoughtful programme I enjoyed on this occasion. Many thanks for such a great holiday experience in Sicily!
Review by Son Turner on 26 September 2013
My parents and I have just returned from a stunning tour of Sicily.
Many thanks to our guide for the week, Michelle, who was very informative regards all the fascinating historical sights we visited. She was always on hand to give advice and help which made our holiday run very smoothly. Personal thanks for giving me moral support on the jeep to the summit of Mount Etna!
Review by Mark Mortimer on 28 September 2013
This has been the most fascinating trip with lots of historical sites interpreted for us by very knowledgeable local guides. Daniella, our tour guide, was brilliant. She gave use very clear and precise information, about each day, conveyed her love and pride in her home island, and answered all our questions with charm, knowledge and humour. Guiseppe, our driver, drove a large coach very skilfully through narrow medieval streets, and around tight corners and made our trips very comfortable indeed. Altogether a very enjoyable and fascinating holiday with time for our own exploration and relaxation amongst the sightseeing.
Review by Marian Senior on 29 September 2013
A friend and I have just returned from a week in Sicily. As we have come to expect from Riviera a good week with very interesting visits to Temples, Roman Villas and a trip to Etna. What made this holiday very special was Daniella, our Tour Guide. She is obviously very proud of her island and this was conveyed to us with intelligence and humour. We cannot praise you enough.
Review by Sandra Goulding on 30 September 2013
My wife and I recently returned from a Riviera tour to Sicily.
I wanted to give you feed-back about the tour guide Rosario and the coach driver Angelo.
My wife has been on two tours with Riviera, to Paris and to Barcelona, and commented on the excellence of the tour guides on those trips, but Rosario exceeded my expectations. He is a very pleasant man with a fun sense of humour, and a very caring nature, as evidenced by the way in which he looked after the interests of one of the disabled guests - or bambini as he called us - with a wheel-chair. His knowledge was vast and the background details never boring. The several handouts that he provided were excellent, and although we had no issues to discuss with him, he seemed to be very attentive and concerned with those who did. His laugh and sense of humour will never be forgotten. He really was excellent.
Angelo the coach driver was a quieter personality but his driving inspired confidence and we felt very safe with him. They worked together very well.
Review by Bev Webb on 1 October 2013
We have just returned from a hugely enjoyable tour, and would like to draw your attention to one of the best tour leaders we have ever experienced, Mr Rosario Sulfaro. The man is hugely knowledgeable in a vast number of areas relevant to the tour - history, archaeology, vulcanology etc. - to a fascinating depth far exceeding that of any other leader I have known. He is precise and clear in his instructions regarding the party’s movements and timings. One would expect him to speak English well, but he goes as far as to be familiar with English turns of phrase and idiom, and has a truly English sense of humour. And he showed real care and concern for every member of his party. We are not in the habit of writing letters like this, but you have an outstanding man on your books and we want you to know how much we appreciated him.
Review by Pauline and Andrew MacTavish on 1 October 2013
Now that the tan is fading and the reality of work has kicked in, we still hold many happy memories of our wonderful unique tour of Sicily. Our Tour Guide Rosario made the Coach journeys whiz by with his interesting , funny and knowledgeable commentary. He was so thoughtful and kind and had an infectious laugh, that I think our group will miss ! I do hope he receives the feedback and that you appreciate what an asset he is . Nick & Moira
Review by Nick & Moira on 2 October 2013
Just a short note to tell you how much my group enjoyed their holiday in sicily it was as good as we had hoped and your tour guide Rosario was a top draw man ( we have lots of very good Tour Directors on our many trips to the USA with Taulk Tours ) and I have to say he was up there with the best also your driver Angelo complemented Rosario with his safe carefull driving which was much appreciated since returning home we have told many friends how much we liked the Sicily Tour so we hope that you receive some calls in 2014, we are looking at 3 possible holidays 1) river trip to Switzerland 2) Croatia Tour 3) China Tour, have today requested a brochure so hopefully we may be able to find something that will please everybody in our group Many thanks Albert Bryan
Review by Albert Bryan on 3 October 2013
So much to enjoy, so little to criticise! The weather, the hotels and the food were all very satisfyng, and the whole holiday was brought together most skilfully by the guide Rosario. Amusing, knowledgeable and unfailingly good-natured, he always seemed to have time for everyone, as well as sharing with us his unrequited adoration of the beautiful Marylou at Monreale! Perhaps she will relent one day. The ‘extra miles’ that Rosario was prepared to go, as in organising the visit to Casa Cuseni on the free day, were greatly appreciated
The travelling was always safe and comfortable thanks to the less than normally Italian driving style of Angelo, and his skilful avoidance of his more exuberant compatriots. Lots of good company too, and laughs over a drink and at the dinner table. Many thanks. Shirley & Peter Lind-Jackson
Review by Peter & Shirley Lind-Jackson on 4 October 2013
We recently returned from an excellent trip to Sicily, it was everything I hoped it would be and more. This was helped by our lovely guide Danielle, so knowledgeable and helpful, always with her passengers in mind. This was our first time with Riviera but almost certainly wont be our last. Thank you Riviera, Danielle and Giuseppe our safe and knowledgeable coach driver for a lovely holiday.
Review by Pat Thurling on 5 October 2013
We have just read the review of our delightful travelling companions Shirley and Peter Lind-Jackson and we have very little to add to their glowing comments. As they said, this was such an enjoyable tour and lived up to our expectations. It is possibly our tenth tour with Riviera since 2000 and, as ever, did not disappoint. Where do you find your guides? I think we all fell in love with Rosario whose charm, good humour and knowledge made the holiday for us and our fellow travellers extra special. We were enthralled with Sicily, its sights, scenery and food. The hotels were very comfortable especially the Excelsior Palace in Taormina.
On a constructive note, we found the first part of the itinerary contained too many long coach journeys and wondered if you could configure different tours. For example Palermo, Mon Reale and Agrigenta and other resorts on that side of the island for one tour and perhaps Siracusa, Taormina, Etna and Messina for another tour. Just an idea which we know you will consider.
We have already booked a holiday with you in 2014 and have reserved places on two others.
Review by Marion and Colin Jones on 5 October 2013
We have recently returned from your Sicily Tour (18th to 25th September). We had a very good holiday and thoroughly enjoyed all the wonderful places we visited, as well as staying in two comfortable hotels. We particularly want to say how absolutely exceptional our guide, Daniela Oliva, was; her knowledge of Sicily was impressive, her English faultless, and her charm and helpfulness limitless â€“ she was always available to answer questions, solve any problem or just tell us more about Sicily â€“ but was never intrusive and thoughtfully â€œleft us in peaceâ€ at times on the long coach journeys. Our driver, Giuseppe, was also excellent and drove with skill and consideration for his passengers. Our guide at Monreale, MarilÃ¹ Fichera, was equally good â€“ her specialist knowledge of the Abbey was remarkable and her English perfect. Quite apart from their knowledge, both she and Daniela inspired us with their obvious interest in, and love of, their home country. Congratulations on having found guides who made it such a memorable holiday for us, and the rest of our party â€“ make sure you keep them as part of your team, and please let them know how highly we thought of them.
Review by Helen and Charles Stephens on 8 October 2013
Sicily 22nd -29th September 2013 We had not experienced an organised touring holiday before, and we were apprehensive about whether it was the right type of holiday for us. We need not have worried. We enjoyed good company, hotels and food of a high standard, and wonderful Sicilian countryside, which was a revelation to us. Our driver, Angelo inspired confidence, and we always felt safe in his hands. However what made our holiday so special was our charming, good humoured guide and tour manager Rosario. What a treasure! He is so knowledgeable, and his passion for his beloved Sicily was contagious. Nothing was too much trouble for him. We hope you appreciate him. He is a great asset. We hope these comments are made known to him. Mike and Anne O’Donnell
Review by Mike and Anne O’Donnell on 11 October 2013
My sister and I have just returned from a week’s holiday in Sicily staying in Agrigento and Taormina. We had great weather and the visits were interesting, varied and well led by Michele who was great fun, calm in all situations and very capable. The local guides were very knowledgeable and passionate about their subjects. We had a great time and would thoroughly recommend this trip. It was our first holiday with Riviera and we would certainly use the company again.
Review by Kate Green on 11 October 2013
Our trip to Sicily was excellent. It would have been difficult to see so much of the island travelling independently, even though some of the coach journeys were a little long. The hotels were good. At the Baia Taormina we were upgraded to rooms with spectacular sea views. Our charming tour manager, Daniela, was efficient, knowledgeable and considerate of the welfare of all members of the party. Driver Giuseppe expertly manoeuvred the coach round some pretty tight corners. All in all a great and memorable holiday.
Review by G Perrin on 14 October 2013
We’ve just returned from your Sicily tour. It was quite ‘hard work’ due to the amount crammed into the week but well worth the effort. Special thanks must go to our tour manager Daniela who proved extremely knowledgeable, helpful and cheerful and helped make the tour the success it was. Thanks also to our driver Giuseppe, especially for safely negotiating the miles of road works from the airport in the rain and dark. We’ll be travelling with you again next year.
Review by J Scott on 15 October 2013
We usually prefer to travel independently but decided to try a group tour of Sicily. It was definitely a good way of seeing a whole host of amazing sights in a relatively short period and what a relief to have Germano behind the wheel, contending with the traffic in Palermo during a horrendous storm and coping in general with the somewhat erratic driving of his compatriots.
Despite travelling as a group there was still plenty of opportunity to explore on our own. We also mixed and matched our dinners, sometimes eating with the group at the hotel and sometimes eating out on our own at local restaurants.
We cannot praise Ruth, our tour manager, highly enough. She had tremendous knowledge over a wide range of subjects, great charisma and deserves a medal for looking unfailingly glamorous - tackling cobbled streets in high heels is no mean achievement! She is a great asset to Riviera and we felt very privileged to have had her company for the week.
We know it is impossible to see everything in a week but would have loved to have experienced the Baroque splendour of Noto (a UNESCO World Heritage site) - perhaps something to consider if you are ever looking to extend the tour by a day.
Review by Caroline on 20 October 2013
My wife and I hadn’t been to Sicily before and thought that we would use your tour to obtain a flavour of the island - what a flavour - food, wine scenery, history it had it all!! From boarding the coach (violent thunderstorm on the journey to Agrigento - then wall to wall sun) to our departure we had an excellent time. Rosario our tour manager was exceptional with his knowledge of the island its history and culture combined with his attention to detail to ensure our comfort made it an unforgettable holiday. He is a great asset to your Company with the four specific guides good but Marilu at Monreale and the one (sorry I have forgotten her name) at Morgantina - the Roman mosaics - excelled. Angelo our driver kept us safe and appeared to know ‘short cuts’ when faced with road closure by the Carabinieri to ensure we arrived at our destination on time. Hotels were comfortable with delicious food. On the whole a very enjoyable holiday with great touring companions which we have recounted to all our friends. Just as an extra thought I think the use of local guides certainly adds quality to this tour. Keep them all especially Rosario.
Regards Chris and Alan Hedgecox
Review by alan hedgecox on 23 October 2013
We have recently returned from one of your tours to Sicily and would like to thank and praise Riviera for yet another wonderful holiday. The tour encompassed the main sights of interest whilst serving as a tempting taster for a return journey. Added to which, there are not enough superlatives to describe the expertise and care that was shown by our charming Tour Manager Ruth. She had a comprehensive knowledge of Sicily both ancient and modern and was also prepared to investigate and satisfy any other questions and inquiries that were put. Nothing was too much trouble for her and I hope that we will meet her again on another Riviera Tour
Review by Betsy Thompson on 31 October 2013
We had a wonderful tour around Sicily with Rosario our guide on 29th September 2013. I would like to commend his wonderful considerate nature and sense of humour. It was like being on holiday with a very knowledgeable friend,which is what you want in a tour guide. He was determined to ensure that we had a lovely holiday and treated us as individuals when needed, and as a happy band of travellers at other times. Our experience with a different tour company had not been good, but for health reasons we needed to use a guided tour once again.Thanks to Rosario’s hard work we will definitely use Riviera Travel again and would like to thank him once more for making our holiday so enjoyable and interesting.
Review by P.Furneaux on 31 October 2013
We had a fantastic two centre holiday in Sicily enhanced by the most professional Rosario, our tour manager. He made our holiday complete. The food and accommodation we could recommend. There was a great choice of excursions, again made memorable by our knowledgeable tour manager Rosario. We were carefully lead from one cultural highlight to the next with all the informative historical and cultural explanations. Our driver, Angelo was as per his name, an angel, guiding us safely to all our destinations. Sicily is an amazing island with so much to offer - steeped in history. We will visit Sicily again! Thank you to Riviera travel.
Review by Dave & Sylvie Norris on 1 November 2013
Now a week back from our wonderful trip to Sicily, we wanted to say how much we enjoyed the whole experience. Everything we saw was wonderful so it is hard to pick out highlights, but going up Mt Etna, then seeing the eruption from our room the next morning was amazing. The glittering Monreale Cathedral and the Abbey Cloisters, perfectly guided by Marilu also merit a mention. Little things like a visit to a roadside cafe for pastries recommended by Heston Blumenthal and a trip to Casa Cuzeni made the trip seem extra special and magical. A special thank you to Rosario our tour guide, who was so knowledgeable and helpful throughout our trip. If the new Sicily tour that Rosario outlined to us comes into being, I am pretty sure we will be on it.
Review by Paula and Chris Maughan on 5 November 2013
We just wanted to say that we enjoyed our trip to Sicily with your company, and to say that our guide Michele was excellent - so knowledgeable and so efficient - nothing was too much for her. We had splendid weather, and the itinerary was excellent, as usual. This is our 4th trip with your company , and so far have not been disappointed. Keep up the good work. Hope to book another holiday with you in the near future.
Review by Pam and Richard Stirley. on 7 November 2013
We recently went on a Riviera trip to Sicily from 13/10 to 20/10/13 with a NADFAS group. We had a superb guide called Rosario who looked after us for the week. We just wanted to say he couldn’t have done more to make our holiday any better, and the organisation was excellent. Yours Faithfully, Andrew and Alison Negus
Review by Andrew and Alison Negus on 7 November 2013
Just returned from an excellent tour of Sicily. The hotel Sant Aphia Garden was most enjoyable. I would like to give a special commendation to our Tour Manager, Ruth, who went to great lengths to ensure that we all had a great time. She was efficient, knowledgeable and had good empathy with her “team”, as she called us.
Review by Janice and Steve Starr on 7 November 2013
Just back from a lovely tour of Sicily. Our guide Elisabeth was excellent. Cheerful and helpful all the way and always giving enough time to do everything. The visit was packed with beautiful places to visit, there was no waiting time to get to see anything and the guides were well picked.
Review by Maureen on 12 April 2014
Thank you for an excellent tour of Sicily. The two hotels were good and both provided excellent food for us as vegetarians. We would like to say a particular thank you to your outstanding Tour Manager Aideen Higgins and our driver ‘Pipo’. We always felt safe during the coach trips with the excellent and patient driving. Aideen was extremely capable, efficient and very friendly and kept us amused and informed which helped to create a good atmosphere in the group.
We look forward to undertaking another Riviera holiday next year.
Review by ALISON AND DAVID KOERPER on 21 April 2014
The tour of the beautiful island of Sicily was my first with Riviera and it was wonderful, everything was good the informative local guides, the hotels with a good variety of food, clean accommodation and friendly staff (reading previous reviews I was a bit skeptical about hotels), and coach driver. Our brilliant tour manager Aideen ran everything smoothly and efficiently and made you feel relaxed. A free day in Catania on final day would round off tour as we had a late flight home. I would certainly travel with Riviera again.
Review by Gill on 25 April 2014
Just back from a very enjoyable tour of Sicily and would like to say how wonderful our guide, Ruth, was. She is so hard-working: photocopied maps every day, each one with highlighting of places to see and meet up. Great at giving historical and cultural background while we were on the longer coach journeys, like Agrigento to Palermo. Treasure her!
Best wishes, Arch Tait
Review by Arch Tait on 25 April 2014
This was the first time we had travelled with Riviera and we thoroughly enjoyed the tour of Sicilly. The hotels were excellent and the Tour Manager, Aideen Higgins, was superb. She was always there for us, cheerful and friendly and made the whole holiday a great experience for us. We will travel again with Riviera in the future.
Review by David and Patricia March on 26 April 2014
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our recent escorted tour of Sicily, and we visited some wonderful sites, especially the cathedral at Monreale and the Roman Villa at Piazza Amerina. Rosario, our tour manager, was extremely informative and amusing, he organised the tour efficiently and coped admirably with an emergency when an elderly gentleman fell and injured himself. One minor point, we felt that there had not been sufficient information about how cold it was likely to be on the slopes of Mount Etna, and perhaps you could advise travellers in future that gloves and a scarf would be useful.
Review by Beryl Keating on 4 May 2014
I would like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Sicily this Spring. I went with almost no knowledge of the area but have returned with a real fondness for the place and would not hesitate to return sometime in the future. The tour guide, Daniella, explained everything in perfect English and ensured that everyone in the party got the most out of their holiday. We could all relax, whilst on the coach, as our driver, Angelo, was the safest of drivers.
The food in the hotel in Agrigento was not very exciting but the move to the Hotel Excelsior, in Taormina, eclipsed the mediocre standards there. There were so many “Wow!” factors on the trip - the Temples, the Monreale mosaics, the Roman villa in Piazza Armerina, the Duomo in Ortygia, the Greek Temple in Taormina and the constant view of Etna , along with the view of the beautiful coastline from our hotel in Taormina! Many thanks for a great trip!
Review by Linda Ormerod on 9 May 2014
Thank you for providing my wife and myself with a view of Sicily which exceeded our expectations. All our guides, including our tour guide, enabled us to quickly get into the history and the spirit of the island.
Our first hotel was an excellent choice, imaginative setting and decor, excellent service and food set a standard which would be hard to beat. The second hotel was ideally located for our tours of this part of Sicily. The accommodation was good and overall service was excellent. Unfortunately the food and its provision fell far behind that of the first hotel which set a standard of good mediterranean cuisine. The food and service on our first evening felt like mass catering at its worst. Fortunately after representation to the management of the hotel the service and the food improved. Finally we felt very fortunate to have an outstanding coach driver who provided excellent service and support to all our guides and ensured the overall success of our tour.
Norman and Margaret Philipson
Review by Norman Philipson on 12 May 2014
Recently got back from our wonderful tour of Sicily. Ruth, the tour guide was outstanding and really put herself out for people - the best tour guide we’ve ever had (and we have been with Riviera before). The trips to Monreale, Piazza Armerina and Taormina were spectacular and the guides for all the guided tours were excellent. Both hotels were comfortable although the Sant Alphio Garden near Taormina was by far the best in regards facilities, service and food. I believe it was the first year that the Baia Di Ulisse near Agrigento has been used. It’s location and facilities are very good and rooms were clean and comfortable, but it appeared to be slightly understaffed, perhaps because the season hadn’t fully started, so service, particularly at meal times could have been quicker and more efficient.. However, it didn’t detract from the holiday and I would definitely recommend the tour.
Review by Liz Hendry on 15 May 2014
We had an absolutely excellent holiday and your tour manager - Daniella - was superb. Well done. we would very much like to visit south eastern Sicily - Ragusa, Modica, Noto included - if you should think of organising a tour there
Review by David Parry on 16 May 2014
After a fantastic tour of Sorrento and the Bay of Naples with yourselves…and,notably, the wonderful Adrian!...last May, we opted for Sicily this year. We were not disappointed and had a lovely tour with yet another excellent guide, Lily ,and a marvellous coach driver, Rosario. The hotels and the food were of good quality and the excursions were very informative. Our only complaint was the lack of legroom on the coach…my husband being 6’ 4”. This certainly did not spoil the holiday as we met some lovely people and had a lot of fun. The weather and scenery were fantastic. We would recommend Riviera and fully intend to use you again.
Review by Kay Martin on 18 May 2014
Returned yesterday from a very memorable trip with great guides wherever we went. Our particular guide, Carla, was very knowledgeable, caring and full of fun with a special ability to unite the group. Our driver was outstanding. I never thought I would walk up so many steps in one week—a very active holiday which might be difficult for some and I feel should be mentioned in the holiday information. A holiday full of history and I will certainly be reading about Greek nymphs in the weeks to come! Thank you.
Review by Valerie Douglas on 26 May 2014
This tour was a delight - well planned to include a variety of the best locations on this fascinating island. Tour manager Rosario could not have taken better care of us; his knowledge, enthusiasm and cheerful humour ensuring that we had a great experience. An abundance of Greek and Roman archaeology, combined with more recent history and a wealth of stunning views, were all enhanced by expert and friendly local guides. The Kaos Hotel has a quirky modern design and indifferent food but is well situated for exploring the wonderful Agrigento Valley of the Temples. The Excelsior Palace Hotel in Taormina has comfortable rooms, friendly service and good food and has wonderful views of the Bay of Naxos and Mount Etna. Well done, Riviera!
Review by Mike and Eileen Reynolds on 31 May 2014
Rosario is a brilliant tour guide, informative, passionate, caring and not least funny and entertaining. The Hotel Kaos near Agrigento was ok, food perhaps could be a bit better. The room was comfortable and the hotel facilities are good. The staff were friendly and helpful. The second hotel, Sant’ Alphia Garden in Giardini Naxos is excellent. The spacious room we had (a double) offered plenty of space for our clothes. The food overall was good and the fish… The clean grounds and pool excellent; the flora in May is very colourful. Taormina is a wonderful town with lots to see. The excursions are interesting and the guides very knowledgeable on their particular subjects. If I had one criticism it would be that some of the talks on the excursions were too long.
Review by Richard Packer on 1 June 2014
If this testimonial comes across as ‘over the top’, it is merely a vain attempt to match the excellence of our Tour Guide for our week in Sicily. We have all been with Riviera on two previous occasions - Classical Spain and Berlin/ Dresden where the guides proved to be excellent.
However, the lovely Ruth set the bar at a completely different level - always informative, conscientious, unflappable and humorous - we could not have been in better hands.
We are planning our next trip to Portugal, but we are minded to say that we would return anywhere to Italy provided Ruth was our guide . She is a fantastic ambassadress for Riviera
Review by Ron and Liz Neale, ramsay and Viv Mason on 3 June 2014
We have always enjoyed our Riviera tours. And this one was no exception. Our tour guide was Elizabeth Cross who was good at giving us all the background history, of which there is a lot in that part of the world. Sicily was especially interesting for us English as we were both conquered by the Normans at the same time. Some may have found the journeys rather long but we felt that it enabled us to get a good view of the varied countryside. All the places we visited had their own merit but perhaps the most fascinating building was the Cathedral at Siracusa, having started life as a Greek Temple! Of course there were the wonderful mosaics…..... Etna…..... The Hotels were good, especially the Excelsior Palace, I really felt that Riviera had pushed boat out for us, Those womderful gin & tonics on the terrace…................ Some how we missed thanking Elizabeth properly, please can you pass on our thanks for looking after us so well. Anne & Richard Wood 4 June 2014
Review by Anne & Richard Wood on 4 June 2014
Just returned from a wonderful holiday in Sicily. Our 3rd with Riviera. Our tour guide Elizabeth was excellent knowledgeable and professional. She made the week most enjoyable. The two hotels were both superb and the Excelsior Palace the ideal location for Taormina. All excursions were very interesting with professional guides. A very well organised tour thank you.
Review by Sylvia and Colin Brookes on 4 June 2014
Western Sicilly and Aeolian Islands. We would like to say thank you to our guide Kathryn who made our tour very interesting and cope very well when a client had to go to hospital. Liliana stepped in and was very good. The hotel Le Calette was excellent and lovely situation, so nice and peaceful but walking distance to Cefalu. We found the time in Palermo plenty and would not like any more.
Review by Diana Martin on 9 June 2014
This was our third Riviera trip (novices we know) and once again we were not disappointed. We went for the history and boy, did we get history. All told in a friendly and easy way by our tour manager Elizabeth and the local guides. Angelo, our driver, was brilliant negotiating the narrow twisting roads, particularly from Agrigento to Palermo. The hotels were clean and comfortable and the meals good, apart from the breakfast at Baia di Ulisse which was let down by the fruit juices and the staff who could have been more attentive. The hotel Excelsior Palace was perfectly located for an after dinner stroll along Taormina’s lively street. How amazing to sit on the terrace and see Mt Etna. Wonderful day when we actually went up the mountain. Great group of people on our tour, made the mealtimes most enjoyable and interesting. Our only gripe was with Thomson at Manchester. The check-in took nearly an hour and to finally get there and be told there were no seats for us was a little disconcerting to say the least. After a call to a manager they released the exit row for us. It would be good if Riviera could let us check-in online, we would be willing to pay a small fee for this service.
Review by Lucilla & Alan Lang on 11 June 2014
The holiday exactly as described was very good and made excellent by your Tour Manager Rosario and especially the best ever guide Marilu Fichera photo attached. All guides were good but Marilu was outstanding you are lucky to have them. At my time of life having travelled extensively for work and many holidays I thought Rosario and Marilu were outstanding and made the holiday. Give them our warmest thanks
Review by Peter Nevin. on 12 June 2014
We have just returned from a wonderful holiday in Sicily. We must give our warmest thanks to our Tour Manager Susan who kept us informed the whole week and whom never appeared tired even though lots in our group were flagging towards the end of the week. Angelo our driver is also worthy of praise. We stayed at the Hotel Kaos in Agrigento for three nights and the only fault was that it was out of the town and there was nowhere to have a walk in the evening. Our second hotel was the Hotel Excelsior Palace at Taormina which was excellent. Do upgrade to a room with an Etna view, it is worth every penny, and the town itself is very pretty and lovely to have an evening walk after your evening meal. The tour is very demanding, early mornings and, like another review I read, there are many steps to negotiate during the week. You do need to be fairly fit for this trip but we wouldn’t have missed it and I am sure we will travel with Riviera Travel again in the future, this was our fourth with your company.
Review by Pat Ferrelly on 13 June 2014
Just returned from our tour of Sicily. Our tour Guide was Frances and Driver Angelo. We had a wonderful time and cannot praise both Francis and Angelo enough. Francis was entertaining, funny and thoroughly informed as well as very professional. Often overlooked Angelo was a delight, friendly and a very competent driver. We stayed at the Hotels Kaos and Excelsior Palace. Both were very good indeed and the pool at the Kaos was the biggest I have seen. The Excelsior Palace was beautifully situated and ideal for walks into the the town of Taormina especially after dinner. The view from the pool and bar terrace was stunning. We even witnessed eruptions from Etna on some evenings. The food was very good at both Hotels but probably better at the Excelsior. Also preferred the seating of the tour members around three large tables which promoted conversation and bonding. The tours were very well organised and interesting. The tour guides were very good especially Claudio, Renato, Marie Lou and Sabrina. I would have given up the boat tour at Syracuse in favour of more free time to look around the Town. Our rooms at both Hotels were excellent but glad we booked a sea view at the Excelsior it was worth it. Wonderful Hotel with huge character and stunning position. Quite a number of steps involved at both Hotels but if pools were of little interest then they were not a problem particularly with the help of Hotel staff with luggage. The historical sites, Greek and roman were impressive and some of the cathedrals and churches magnificent. The general scenery of Sicily was a surprise, very green and pleasing to the eye. The final day at Etna was impressive. Glad we went right to the top, a once in a lifetime experience even though we were caught in a humdinger of a thunder storm on the way down. The guide at the top could have been more informative rather than simply there to ensure you got around safely. Would have loved to have been taken to the edge of the live crater whatever the risk !! ( Retired Health & Safety Professional !!)
Will we travel with Riviera again ? Well this is our second tour with them, Paris was the first, the answer is definitely yes. Probably a river cruise next year.
Review by Russell & Patricia Williams on 15 June 2014
We have just returned from a trip with you to Sicily. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip but I have to sing the praises of our tour operator, Ruth. We feel that she went above and beyond the boundaries of her job. A very helpful, kind and knowledgeable young lady. Nothing was too much trouble for her and it certainly made the trip so much more enjoyable.
Review by Janet Taylor on 17 June 2014
I must say we both had a wonderful trip around Sicily with Riviera Travel. Our rep Daniella was brilliant and look after us all very well. All the day trips via coach were well organised and interesting. The driver was also very good. Happy to recommend this trip to anyone. Thanks again
Review by Mr & Mrs Brazier on 23 June 2014
We have just returned from a superb tour of Sicily. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole trip and packed a lot in! Our tour manager - Susan was amazing. Very professional and her knowledge of the history of the island and all her little anecdotes were so interesting. She kept us very well informed re our daily schedules. She made it look so easy, but I am sure it was down to her thorough planning. Our coach driver - Angelo was fantastic, negotiating very narrows windy roads in places with the utmost expertise. Hotel Kaos in Agrigento was very comfortable and staff were so attentive and could not do enough for us. Down side of hotel was that it is out of town. Great swimming pool. Our 2nd hotel - Excelsior Palace was very elegant with wonderful views. It was so nice to be able to wander around the delightful little town of Taormina after dinner. Not convinced that the partial silver service was suitable for a large coach party who wanted a relaxed evening meal. Swimming pool closed at 5.30 which made it impossible for guests returning from enjoyable coach trips to round off the day with a refreshing swim. Well done Riviera once again!
Review by John and Sheila Greene on 23 June 2014
Just returned from a very enjoyable two centre tour of Sicily visiting historical and archaeological sites. It was made more enjoyable by our tour manager called Rosario, who was a Sicilian by birth and very knowledgeable about the area’s history and nature. He brought it all to life and even made our coach journeys fun with his sense of humor keeping us all in good spirits. This Riviera Holiday was very well organised and I would recommend it and look forward to booking another trip with them.
Review by Dorothy Kinder on 23 June 2014
We went to Sicily on your tour commencing Wednesday 14th May with your Tour manager Katrina. We had a wonderful holiday and as previously were impressed by the organisation, Hotels and the Tour in general. However, we felt it was important to record and acknowledge the efforts made by Katrina in handling the two incidents on Tuesday 20th May. She was professional, caring and very supportive both to the two unfortunate members and their partners in our party at their time of need and this was very reassuring to the rest of the party since it could have been one of us. Would you please pass on our thanks to Katrina and wish her less eventful tours in the future,
Review by Bas. & Pam Pickering on 24 June 2014
We have just returned from our holiday in Sicily This was our third holiday with Riviera Travel, the first being Lake Garda and the second Andalucia We had the most wonderful time, the book I took to read in a quiet moment was never opened, there was so much to do and see! Our tour guide,Susan, was an absolute delight, a gem of information and anecdotes, never a dull moment She always did more for us than strictly necessary, thank you Susan! Our driver Angelo was smiling and very helpful, and a very competent driver on those bendy Sicilian roads The Hotels were superb, the food great (put on a kilo!) the scenery stunning We even managed to see an opera in Taormina, with a lovely glass of complimentary prosecco in the intermission Altogether, I would recommend this trip wholeheartedly, thank you Riviera
Review by edwardes ronald and marie-claude on 25 June 2014
My wife and I are Riviera veterans - 8 holidays so far, and one more booked for September - but this is the first time I have been moved to post a testimonial. Our tour manager, Rosario, was the best we have had so far. Everything a tour manager should be: helpful, friendly, chatty, funny, knowledgeable, just brilliant. He is a major asset for the company. Our driver was Angelo, also excellent, as were the local daily guides. Looking forward to Vietnam/Cambodia next!
Review by John Chilton on 25 June 2014
My wife & I would like to endorse the email recently sent to you by our travel companions Mr & Mrs Lewin. Rosario the guide and Rosario the driver were both outstanding each in their own way.
There is little more I can add to what Martin has already said other than to say that without their expertise the vacation would have been good but with them it was exceptional.
Review by Alan W Benjamin on 26 June 2014
We should like to express our appreciation for the wonderful week we spent recently in Sicily with Riviera
The organisation was first class, and we cannot speak too highly of our tour guide Ruth, who had an amazing knowledge of the history of Sicily—- and of Italy in general—- and helped to make our visit particularly interesting. She seemed to have everything at her fingertips and was able to explain it in such a gripping and often entertaining way. She was always friendly,helpful and calm, and appreciative of our group’s response.
We were also hugely impressed by the wonderful local guide at Monreale, Marie-Lou. She was unbelievably knowledgeable, and able to impart the information in such a lively and interesting way. Another excellent guide was Claudio, who took us through the Valley of the Temples at Agrigento.
The two hotels near Agrigento and Toarmina were delightful places to stay, and altogether it was a thoroughly enjoyable and unforgettable week. Our grateful thanks to all concerned.
Review by Jim and Ruth Kendon on 26 June 2014
Have been meaning to write since we returned from wonderful holiday in western Sicily but so much else happening. It was perfectly organised, with just the right amount of sightseeing and leisure time. (Apart from last day in Castelbuono where we could have done with longer (?half to one hour more) to look round and get lunch) Otherwise enough allowance given to appreciate the places visited in our own time. We saw the essential “sights” which were stunning but didn’t get overkill and could absorb them ourselves and get in the spirit of the Sicilian way of life. We came back enchanted, rested and feeling we had a real holiday. Rosario can not be praised enough - such a fount of knowledge, passionate about his country and culture, charming, caring, helpful, patient and very funny. We would love to go on more tours he is leading. It would be wonderful if you could run a trip to the Southern part - Noto, Agrigento, Ragusa? Many thanks for a well thought out tour and especial thanks to the wonderful Rosario who made the holiday so worthwhile and enjoyable.
Review by Cheryl Ayers on 26 June 2014
Having recently returned from Sicily. I would just like to inform you how much Mrs Hilary Johns and myself enjoyed our holiday. Our tour guide Ruth was exceptional and her knowledge, politeness, sense of humour and caring was just wonderful. Ruth certainly made our holiday one of the best ever. Many, many thanks. Look forward to the possibility of joining one of your tours next year. Kind regards.
Review by Elizabeth Young on 27 June 2014
My wife and I have just returned from the Sicily tour. We wanted to let you know how brilliant it was and that our tour manager Susan made it even better. She was approachable, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and really well organised. We just wish we could have her when we go to Spain in September!!
Review by Laurence Smith on 27 June 2014
We have just returned from our first holiday with your company, a tour of Sicily and we had an excellent holiday . The booking arrangements, the paperwork and the efficient, friendly response to our queries were all first class. The flights with Easyjet were fine.
The tour met all our expectations and we saw and experienced all we hoped for from the published itinerary. The specialist guides at the various locations were all excellent.
The two hotels we stayed at were fine. Our favorite was the Hotel Kaos. Whilst the served food was more creative at our second hotel the buffet starters, desserts and breakfast were far better at the Hotel Kaos. We loved the pool area (is there a bigger hotel pool anywhere ??), the bright clean public areas and the staff were very friendly if sometimes eccentric. It was a lovely quirky hotel. The Saint Alphio was a good hotel, more professional but a bit characterless. Very pretty gardens, the rooms in both hotels, thought very different, were very acceptable: the Hotel Kaos probably edged it as the room was brighter and the bathrooms were more modern. The balcony at the Saint Alphio was very nice.
However one of the reasons the holiday was so enjoyable was your local guide, Daniella. She was superb. Well organsied, totally caring and a source of local information delivered with a lovely sense of humour. She is a credit to your company.
We will certainly look at using your company again if a trip we liked caught our imagination. If by any chance you have a river cruising brochure for 2015, we would love to have a copy.
We would have no hesitation recommending your company to friends
Gill and Keith Croxton Booking reference 696791
Review by Keith Croxton on 29 June 2014
A fortnight ago we returned from our holiday in Sicily, having stayed at Agrigento and Giardini Naxos. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and this was in no small way due to the excellent guide we had. Rosario was wonderful - a knowledgeable, cultured, friendly gentleman who really went out of his way to ensure everyone in his group had the best experience possible (even managing to arrange a Mount Etna eruption!). We would be grateful if you could pass on our best wishes and say that we hope to visit his beautiful island again sometime.
Review by Kate and Andy Hannan on 4 July 2014
We felt we should write and tell you what a wonderful holiday we had in Sicily. This was our fourth holiday with Riviera and was made memorable because of our Tour Manager, Kathryn. She did everything possible to make our holiday enjoyable and had a wealth of information about Sicily above and beyond what anyone could expect. She was there early every morning and sorted out any problems that had occurred and stayed until late every evening and you felt very confident about her ability to rise to any challenge that presented itself. We can thoroughly recommend your company with confidence to anyone who asks who we travelled with, and also all four tour managers but Kathryn was without exception outstanding. We look forward to our next holiday with Riviera.
Review by Shelagh & James Henderson on 4 July 2014
Have just returned from this amazing holiday. I cannot complain about anything, hotels and food first class and the balance between history, geography and leisure was good. I think we were lucky as our coach was not full, but the main credit must go to the tour leader whose passion and knowledge about Sicily was second to none. We were lucky that he was actually Sicilian. We would like to come to Sicily again on the other tour that Riviera Travel organise, but think we would be disappointed if we did not get the same guide.
Review by L Rumsey on 4 July 2014
We have recently returned from a wonderful trip to Sicily. Our guide Ruth was exceptional, with her witty stories and caring ways. We have been on several holidays with Riviera now and Ruth is a real credit to your Company. The trips were well organised and interesting, visiting all the major sites on the Island, including a very windy visit to Mount Etna which was fascinating. The hotels were good and our group all got on very well. Well done Riviera!
Review by Mike & Carol Reeves on 5 July 2014
My husband and I were first time travellers with Riviera, and we just wanted to say “Well Done” and “Thank you”. The two hotels we stayed at were both lovely and the food was very good (Kaos Hotel & Saint Alphio Garden Hotel). The excursions were well planned and well timed. Our coach driver was excellent and always on time (Giuseppe Di Bella). As for our tour guide he is a credit to your company (Rosario Sulfaro) he had so much knowledge, was very professional and just the right amount of humour. Please send further info about future tours as we WILL use Riviera Travel again.
Thank you Susan and Alan Birkett
Review by Mrs Susan Birkett on 5 July 2014
This is a superb introduction to Sicily. The two hotels were excellent, good food and beautiful settings. In order to see this wonderful Island it is necessary to spend quite a lot of time in the coach but fortunately our tour guide, Kathyrn, who has 40 years of experience of visiting the Island to draw on, was able to keep us interested throughout the journeys, and the scenery was stunning and varied. We have frequently travelled with a tour guide but I can truthfully say have never been on one with a guide as helpful as Kathyrn who went out of her way to ensure everyone was comfortable and knew exactly what they were doing at all times. At each place we visited we were taken round by local guides who impressed us with their knowledge and enthusiasm for their island. At our age we are at the stage where we rarely want to visit a destination more than once (there is so much of the world still to see!) but on our return home determined to visit Sicily again. We would especially welcome an opportunity to visit the areas where the TV programme ‘Montalbano is filmed.
Review by Fiona Steele on 7 July 2014
I would just like to thank our tour guide Ruth for a wonderful holiday and for going beyond her duties as a tour guide! I had missed the opportunity to purchase some post cards of St. John Paul and St. John 23rd, Ruth told me that the next time she was visiting the place she would get some for me and post on to me…. What a lovely surprise when I opened my post today, there were the postcards and a note from Ruth. Thank you so much Ruth and hope to see you again one day http://websitev6.dev/images/smileys/smile.gif
Review by Anne Scott on 9 July 2014
We have just came back from our first tour with Riviera travel and we are writing to let you know that we have enjoyed it very much. Our guide Rosario was excellent, very knowledgeable, attentive and friendly, we had a very good time. The local guides were very good too, as the two hotels and their location. Looking forward to our next tour
Review by Clara and Merlyn Nickols on 9 July 2014
We very much enjoyed the tour and the wonderful Ruth who went out of way to make sure everyone was happy.
Pleased to recommend the tour.
Review by Ray & Elsa Todd on 24 July 2014
I would like to thank your team for an enjoyable and informative holiday. Our tour manager Denise not only shared her extensive local knowledge but also managed our outings and general arrangements superbly resulting in a relaxed trip I would certainly recommend this holiday to anyone wanting to have a good overview of this fascinating island.
Review by Annabel Mulvany on 25 July 2014
Just returned from fabulous holiday to Sicily and wanted to say what a fantastic tour manager we had in Rosario.We have been on Riviera holidays before with excellent hosts but Rosario definately goes above and beyond the call of duty. Being Sicilian, his knowledge of the country is second to none—there is nothing he doesn’t know! He is so caring and considerate towards his groups and treats everyone as a member of his family—his bambini—as he referred to us ! His English is impeccable and he kept us well informed on our coach journeys as well as providing many laughs! We are seriously considering booking the Western Sicily tour in the near future because we know we will have Rosario again—we probably wouldn’t have thought of it otherwise.You’re very lucky to have him Riviera—keep hold of him—he’s a true Sicilian gem !
Review by David and Susan Gable on 11 September 2014
Just returned from a wonderful week in Sicily visiting Agrigento and Taormina and the many fantastic archaeological Greek and Roman sites. In particular the Roman Villa of Casale with the breath-taking mosaics. Our two hotels, The Kaos and The Baia Taormina were excellent. However, we would like to say how much we appreciated our excellent tour manager, Michelle, who couldn’t have been more helpful and who made everything go smoothly making sure we were all well aware of times and meeting places.
We look forward to further holidays with you.
Review by Mike and Ann Clubley on 13 September 2014
My friend and I have just come back from a fantastic holiday in Sicily . While there was a lot of travelling to see as much of Sicily as you could in a week . Our tour guide Rosario Sulfaro was brilliant at keeping us entertained with history and information of the places we were passing and seeing . Particularly liked the second hotel in Gardin Naxos and in fact wished that could have been our base from which to explore Sicily. I would like to say to Riviera Travel that you have chosen a fantastic tour manager in Rosario. He certainly made the holiday!! He was very helpful to my friend in helping her get a doctor when she needed it and was very caring too! We are definitely wanting to come back and do Western Sicily but only if we get Rosario. It wouldn’t be Sicily without him.
Review by annette barwick on 14 September 2014
We have just returned from a tour of Sicily. I would like to say that our guide Rosario Sulfaro was absolutely brilliant, the best guide we have ever had. Very informative, caring and thoughtful. Many thanks for such a lovely holiday. Well done Riviera Travel Kind regards
Review by Mrs Eileen King on 18 September 2014
A really enjoyable holiday. Well planned and organised with an excellent guide and careful driver. Rosario Sulfaro and driver Giuseppe di Bella were so good. Rosario was efficient, very well informed, tireless and amusing. He made a coach load of senior British citizens into a unit. It meant that we all arrived on time, enjoyed each others’ company, kept up with Rosario, and mixed well. He also added a few extras, outside the itinerary, which we all appreciated. We enjoyed all the tours, although we passed on Etna having been there before. The guides that Riveria organised for the main attractions were all extremely good, particularly Marilu Fichera at Monreale. She really loved her cathedral. The hotels were fine (Kaos and Excelsior Palace). The position of the Excelsior was fantastic, great views of Etna and the ease of access to Taormina town. Food at Excelsior was indifferent on the first night, but Rosario sorted this out for the following evenings. Well done, Riviera, but the best part was our guide, Rosario.
Review by Sue and Rob Godfray on 26 September 2014
Have always wanted to visit Sicily & it did not dissapoint us. The hotels were beautiful in nice settings with good food plus helpful staff. Have never seen such a beautiful swimming pool as was at the 1st hotel in Kaos. In 2nd hotel did not like either choice of main course on the last night so had a specially cooked omlette. Yes it was tiring as was a lot to pack in in one week but well worth it with excellent local guides who really brought to life what they were talking about. It was a pleasure to have Denise as a tour guide again as she is a wonderful tour guide with a sense of humour & very caring. All in all a very enjoyable break thanks to your company & staff.
Review by Caroline Burroughs on 26 September 2014
Just come back from a truly memorable Riviera Tour of Sicily and wanted to say how much we enjoyed ourselves. The tour was impeccably organised, varied and fascinating. We have been on Riviera holidays before but this one was in a league of it’s own, largely because of our excellent tour manager, Rosario. He not only drew out the best of Sicily for us, but also made everyone on the tour feel involved and special. Nothing was too much trouble for him. His outstanding use of English, together with his knowledge of Sicilian history, geology and literature brought our holiday experience to life, while his sense of humour and fun made us laugh a lot and see things through Sicilian eyes. We are thinking of booking the Western Sicily tour in 2015, partly because we want to see more of Sicily but mainly because we know that Rosario will give us an excellent holiday experience.
Review by Jennie and Peter Richmond on 27 September 2014
Thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Sicily. We hadn’t been on an organised tour before but found everything well organised and we were very happy with the hotels we chose - Hotel Kaos and Sant Alphio Garden. Our tour guide Aideen was excellent - very attentive to everyone’s needs and with a great sense of humour which made the whole tour so enjoyable. Will definitely consider booking with Riviera again.
Review by Susan Baker on 28 September 2014
Thoroughly enjoyable trip to Sicily. Fourth trip with Riviera and did not disappoint - Hotel Kaos and Sant Alphio Garden were fine. Our tour guide Aidean Higgins was excellent - well organised, very informative and lightened travel with a great sense of Irish humour.
Review by Margaret & Malcolm Watson on 30 September 2014
I have just returned from the 17th to 24th September Sicily tour and wanted to commend our tour guide. Susan really made the trip special. She was charming, efficient, diplomatic and entertaining. Her diction was clear, she smoothed our way and made us feel we got under the skin of that beautiful island. Our whole experience of travelling with Riviera (for the second time) was straightforward and well planned. We will certainly consider doing it again.
Review by Mary Watts on 2 October 2014
My wife and myself had a holiday to Sicily on the 3/9/14, I am writing to let you know what a wonderful time we had. I also want to say about our courier Ruth who was absolutely amazing, nothing was to much trouble for her, I have disabilities and Ruth was always asking if I was OK, I have never met a courier as caring and as helpful as Ruth, I would also like to mention our driver for the week, who not only was a great driver but was also friendly and courteous, they made a brilliant team. They made a great holiday even better.
Review by Michael and Kathleen Manning. on 2 October 2014
We came home from the Sicily tour on 21 September after a full-on week of sightseeing in which we saw so many interesting places made even more fascinating by our fantastic tour manager Rosario who knew so much about Sicily’s history, geography, botany, economy and much much more. Every day Rosario held our attention with so much information and many stories. Never a dull moment and lots of laughter. Many thanks to you Rosario for sharing your passion for your home and also to our lovely driver Giuseppe who was very much a part of the holiday. Con i migliori auguri!
Review by Jenny & Bill Logan on 4 October 2014
Thank you Riviera and our Tour Manager Julia for a great and fascinating week in Sicily. We saw so much, and the guides at each site were all very informative and passionate about the history of the venues they described to us. Julia gave us the broader picture with her sense of fun and humour, even encouraging us to enjoy the Heston recommended ice creams! The 2 hotels we stayed at were excellent and with wonderful facilities. The visit to Palermo was probably the only disappointment, I don’t think we saw the best of this city due to time constraints and traffic congestion and perhaps this trip needs to be re-considered, but the contrasting Monreale was delightful.
Review by Liz Neal on 5 October 2014
Your travel manager was brilliant - Aideen Higgins. She worked very hard at knowing ALL our names within the first day and then touched base with us all every day. She briefed us on all procedures and times well in advance and made sure we were always in the picture. Her Irish jokes must be legendary and it was a very happy group. We think we are very lucky to have had such a caring person taking us around. GT
Review by Graham and Liz Trasler on 5 October 2014
We have just returned from an excellent trip to Sicily with Riviera Travel. This was our fourth trip with your company and it lived up to our expectations. Of particular note was our tour guide Susan Teisie. She was fantastic. She gave us all the information we required with respect to the visits, but also kept our attention with some personal tales of her stay in Sicily as a young girl. A big thank you to Susan.
Review by findlay on 6 October 2014
Our guide and your representative Michelle was excellent. knowledgeable and what a great sense of humour. I want you to know she is the best and I have met not a few.
Review by audrey heyes on 8 October 2014
My husband and I have just had a very enjoyable tour of Sicily. Our tour Guide Daniela was very good and could not have been more attentive to the needs of all group members. The hotels Kaos and The San Alphio Garden were both very comfortable with lovely swimming pools. The archaeological and historic ruins were stunning! This was our third trip with Riviera and we were not disappointed! Sara and Richard Clayton.
Review by Sara Clayton on 8 October 2014
We recently returned from our tour of Sicily and cannot speak too highly of our guide, Susan. She was extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of Sicilian history and way of life and brought it all to life for us. She was genuinely caring about all the people on our tour and we were very grateful for the concern she showed to my husband whose mobility was impaired during our trip by booking shuttle buses and taxis where appropriate.
Review by Sue Hennell on 9 October 2014
We have just returned from our tour of Sicily. It was a thoroughly enjoyable holiday. The hotels were lovely. The hotel Kaos had beautiful grounds and a huge swimming pool. The Baia Taormina was in a breathtaking position and our room had a balcony overlooking the Ionian Sea. The view was spectacular. The historic sites were fascinating but above all, our guide, Ljiljana was superb. She was highly efficient, so informative, engaging and unfailingly good humoured. Everyone on the tour spoke highly of her. Our driver, Angelo was excellent and inspired confidence on roads that were daunting to navigate! The weather was wonderful, which was an added bonus. All in all a brilliant holiday.
Review by Eileen and Bernard Newman on 17 October 2014
My friend and I really enjoyed our second tour with Riviera. The hotels were very good and of course the architectural sites and towns of Sicily were magnificent. Our tour guide, Elizabeth, was first class - very knowledgeable and enthusiastic; she seems to genuinely love her job. A word also for the excellent driver, Angelo, who negotiated a multitude of motorway works and hairpin bends with great skill. My only quibble but be the half-board basis - much prefer B&B. All in all a very enjoyable trip - would certainly recommend.
Review by Sue Javvi on 20 October 2014
My partner and I have just recently returned from Vietnam and Cambodia and what a fantastic trip it was. Everything was superbly organised and respected by the whole group who travelled. We visited five lovely locations, stayed in some excellent hotels, benefited from some very different but all passionate and knowledgeable tour guides and were well marshalled throughout the tour by Maggie. The only possible way you could improve the tour would be a more central hotel in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) as the one we stayed in was not in the best area. Otherwise the amount of time we spent in each different location was spot on and gave us more than enough time to see all the sights. The tour is full of history and culture and in some places it makes you feel very humble. So thanks Riviera, our second time with you and will not be the last.
Review by Dave Smith on 21 October 2014
Just to say a huge THANK YOU to Susan for a wonderful trip to Sicily, she was a font of knowledge which she imparted to all of us with such charm and graciousness. You are blessed at Riviera Travel to have such a great lady in your employment. Our trip was a wonderful success and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.
Review by Miriam and Flannan Browne on 21 October 2014
We would like to tell you how much we enjoyed our tour to Sicily but in particular to praise our tour manager Rosario Sulfaro. He is a delightful man, extremely knowledgeable on all relevant topics, speaks excellent English even colloquially and has a wonderful sense of humour. He took impeccable care of us all and paid additional attention to those less able. He certainly enhanced our holiday enormously. We have thoughts of going on the Western Sicily tour in the future and wonder if he is ever tour manager there. We are very happy for you to convey our comments to him if appropriate.
Review by Madeleine White on 21 October 2014
Following our great holiday in Sicily we would like to express our appreciation of the efforts of our guide, Elizabeth. She was magnificent throughout and worked so hard to smooth our path. In particular she coped brilliantly with the delay to the start of one day when our coach was trapped by an accident and we started out nearly two hours late. She set about reorganising the schedule and not only did we catch up, but the resultant snack lunch she arranged was a huge success. We first met Elizabeth on our trip to Lake Como a few years ago, and were delighted to see her again. We would appreciate it if you have the opportunity to pass on our thanks and good wishes to her
Review by Tom and Janet Haddon on 22 October 2014
Our first ever tour holiday and what a great experience. We will certainly use Riviera travel again. Not really used to coach travel but soon appreciated not having to do the driving but just sat back and relaxed taking in the views and the first class commentaries from our wonderful guide Ruth. So professional, knowledgeable and always so helpful.. a big THANK YOU RUTH for making our holiday so pleasurable and to Riviera travel… Until the next time…
Review by Barry Parsons on 27 October 2014
My wife and I recently returned from a guided tour of Eastern Sicily - a first with Riviera Travel. Compared to other tours this was one of the top trips we have been on. It was well organized with well planned sights, timing, choice accommodation and a selection of good local guides. One person however stood out from all others; he was our tour manager Mr Rosario Sulfaro whose knowledge and continued presence and attendance made all the difference between a standard tour and a superb one! We wish to take this opportunity to congratulate him.
Review by Simon & Varsenig Haroutunian on 27 October 2014
At the end of September we returned from our 5th Riviera holiday, a tour of Sicily, which was as usual very well planned and varied. However, this trip was made extra special by our wonderful tour manager Rosario Sulfaro. Nothing was too much trouble for him. He was so knowledgeable and passionate about his beautiful country. He had a wonderful sense of humour and that laugh of his will not easily be forgotten. A special thank you to you Rosario.
Review by Chris and Joan Hinde on 28 October 2014
I feel compelled to congratulate you on your choice of all-in courier that you put in charge of our group namely Ruth Yeomans. She not only conducted the tour smoothly and efficiently while delivering an un-scripted commentary on the history of the places we visited and giving individual to me(Peter - disabled) with a walking disability. Thank you riviera travel for a fabulous trip
Review by peter cresswell on 30 October 2014
We have recently returned from our tour of Sicily and wish to thank Riviera for a truly memorable holiday. Our tour guide Daniela was brilliant and brought the history of Sicily to life. The hotels were clean and comfortable with good food, altogether a great package. This is our second holiday with Riviera and we look forward to receiving the 2015 brochure so we can choose our next destination.
Review by Margaret & Colin Clarke on 5 November 2014
Excellent tour. Very well planned. The pacing of daily events was well thought out. At no time did we feel either bored or pressurised. However the best thing about the tour was being escorted around Sicily by Daniela Oliva, a Sicilian native with personal stories about life on the island. Her diction was of exceptional clarity and my husband who has a hearing problem could hear every word. Her courtesy and good humour made it a really enjoyable tour. We cannot express how much we appreciated her care and thoughtfulness throughout the week.
Review by carmel and paddy walshe on 11 November 2014
My husband & I were organised tour holiday “virgins” and were a bit apprehensive about booking our week’s holiday in Sicily with Riviera Travel. We can only say that we came back grinning and with our heads spinning trying to remember all the things we saw/learned over the nearly 1000 km travelled. Before going, I was afraid it would be formulaic and we would be bored—how wrong I was! It was like being back at university, in a really good way. Our tour guide, Rosario Sulfaro was exceptional—a font of knowledge of all things Sicilian; its history, customs, anecdotes, all peppered with his wicked sense of humour. The week was exceptionally well organised, yet felt bespoke, as Rosario would go that extra mile if anyone expressed interest in anything in particular. I certainly would book another tour with Riviera Travel, in particular if Rosario was leading it.
Review by Sarmite & Michael Lawrence on 4 January 2015
We have just returned from Sicily. This was our 4th Riviera trip and we gave some detailed comments to the guide. We would like to put on record our appreciation of our guide Susan. She worked tirelessly to ensure the trip went smoothly and her enthusiasm for the country and the language was infectious. She made the holiday very enjoyable and she never stopped looking after us and providing that extra bit of service that we felt made the holiday. Please pass on our thanks.
Review by Bob and Pam Woodward on 15 April 2015
We have just returned from a tour of Sicily, and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Our guide, Rosario Sulfaro, was excellent, and helped to make the tour even more special. Nothing was too much trouble for him, and he was professional throughout, along with his excellent driver, Guiseppe. We stayed in the Hotel Kaos and the Baia Taormina, and were very happy with both hotels.
Review by Judith & Laurie Rider on 16 April 2015
We have just returned from a most enjoyable tour of Sicily. The weather, scenery, local guides, hotels and fellow travellers all added to the experience but what made the tour exceptional was the tour manager Rosario Sulfaro together with the driver Giuseppe di Bella. The depth of knowledge Rosario was able to share with us was most impressive, together with his obvious love of his home land. Nothing was too much trouble for him. We have been on several Riviera holidays but think this was the best! Thank you to all concerned.
Review by Margaret and Tony Sansom on 16 April 2015
We have just returned from our third trip with Riviera Travel, this time from the classical Sicily Tour. It was a memorable trip not least because of the expertise of our tour manager, Rosario Sulfaro. His wealth of knowledge about the cities and sites we visited was impressive. His rapport with the whole group - of diverse ages, helped to put everyone at their ease - nothing too much trouble and mindful of everyone’s needs. His love for Sicily was obvious and infectious, he was well-read also and recommended books for those who were interested to read. He and our driver, Guiseppe di Bello made the trip interesting, highly enjoyable and certainly memorable. Thank you to them both! We look forward to the new Sicily Tour as soon as we can fit it in.
Review by Geoff and Penny Ayres on 19 April 2015
We’ve just returned from our third Riviera Travel Tour, this time the Sicily Tour. Our Tour Manager, Rosario Sulfaro, made this a most enjoyable and memorable trip. His rapport with the whole group, his extensive knowledge about cities and sites visited and the flora, fauna, traditions etc of his native island impressed us all. Add to this his sense of humour and rapport with our excellent driver, Guiseppe Di Bella, good hotels, weather and company and his obvious love of his home island and you can understand why he made it a memorable tour. Thank you to them both for their expertise! We look forward to the new Sicily tour!
Review by Geoff and Penny Ayres on 21 April 2015
We returned from our first Riviera trip on 15 April 2015 and were very pleased with all aspects. Firstly we would like to reiterate the comments earlier regarding Rosario, the Tour Manager and Giuseppe the Driver. Rosario was probably the best tour manager we have ever had - superb knowledge, caring about clients(he called us his family), and always striving to get the best from the trip for us. Giuseppe was a superb professional negotiating , at times difficult roads, and sharing in Rosario’s sense of humour. We visited some unforgettable places and as we said to fellow travellers it was hard to single out a highlight, there being so many wow moments.
Review by Barry and Carole Underwood on 22 April 2015
Just got back from a fantastic tour of Sicily. The tour was well organised and the hotels were marvelous. I read some reviews complaining about the food of this trip. I had no complain. Food was good. Service was good and staff were friendly. To top it all our tour manager LiILiana was exceptional. Nothing was too much bother for her. She came to the airport on the last day to ensure we all got checked in properly. She even helped some fellow travellers putting suitcases on the conveyance at the check-in desk. We all felt safe with Angelo our coach driver. All in all, a very good trip.
Review by Anita on 22 April 2015
Just got back from Sicily. Just wanted to say we enjoyed the tour very much. However can’t praise Rosario enough. We have been on 6 tours now and he is probably the best all round guide we have come across. So knowledgeable about his country, great sense of humour and couldn’t do enough for us.
Review by Mrs C Layton on 24 April 2015
We have just returned from our third Riviera Travel tour, this time to Sicily. The weather, hotels, sites visited and the company made it a most enjoyable trip. Our Tour Manager, Rosario Sulfaro was a superb guide, his breadth of knowledge impressive and his discreet care for all our needs, excellent, all delivered with touches of humour. His love for his native Sicily was evident and, with our excellent driver, Giuseppe di Bella, Rosario made this a memorable tour. We look forward to taking the new Sicily Tour.
Review by Geoff and Penny Ayres on 24 April 2015
This was our first Rivieria experience and we’d highly recommend it. Our tour guide Lilijana was brilliant - she made sure the schedule ran smoothly and was always on hand to help resolve any minor issues that arose. Her knowledge of Sicily was excellent and her friendly and professional approach made the holiday really special. And special thanks also go to our coach driver Angelo who negotiated the sometimes tricky roads with aplomb. The highlights of the tour for us were probably the gorgeous town of Ortigia, part of Siracusa; and the spectacular mosaics of the Villa Romana de Casale, though the whole tour was a great taster for a return visit to this lovely island. We definitely want to come back to explore the bits of the island we missed.
Review by Graham and Julie Findlay on 24 April 2015
A terrific tour! I can only endorse all the positive comments made already by others on different dates. Our guide was Ruth and we found that she too was exceptional, energetic, caring, always full of good humour and enthusiasm and would be hard to beat. Giuseppe, our driver, entertained us with lots of local anecdotes. They worked very well as a team. The local site guides, Claudio, Mari- Lou (sp?) and Sabrina were also outstanding and enthusiastic. The hotels were welcoming, the service very efficient and the food was good too. Excellent!
Review by Barbara Powell on 24 April 2015
We thoroughly enjoyed our Sicily tour with all its wonderful sights - the Valley of the Temples, Monreale, the Villa Romana del Casale and in particular the trip up Mount Etna in perfect weather. The hotels were terrific, the food very good (especially at the Hotel Kaos at Agrigento - the Sant’Alphio was a bit short on vegetables!), our fellow-travellers very amiable, and all the trips were wonderful, with our excellent driver Giuseppe. But we must single out for special mention our extraordinary tour manager, the delightful Ruth (with all her very sensible shoes!), for whom nothing was too much trouble. We all fell in love with her - and not just the men!
Review by Jean and Arthur Robinson on 25 April 2015
This was a very good trip. For a lone traveler, these organised holidays can be daunting, but the fellow travelers were very thoughtful and welcoming. Our Guide, Ljiljiana, was exceptional. She was very knowledgeable and professional, but thought about our individual needs and looked after us all. She was very hardworking and patient. We were also very lucky with our driver, Angelo. There can’t be many safe and steady drivers in Sicily, but we had one! I failed to do my own research prior to departure, so was surprised at the size of the island, which meant we had to do a fair amount of coach travel each day. Luckily, Ljiljiana built in plenty of comfort stops and kept us entertained and informed with her running commentary. The two hotels were comfortable and the food acceptable. (They succeeded in supplying my requested vegan diet.) This was my first Riviera break, but I doubt it will be my last.
Review by Liz Nicolay on 25 April 2015
Our first visit to Sicily and it captured our hearts - we didn’t want to come home! All thanks to Rosario, our guide whose total professionalism and care for each and every one of us and his deep knowledge and love of his country was very impressive. A brilliant teacher and communicator, there is no doubt in our minds that he is the best holiday guide we have ever had. We loved everything about the trip and we’re already looking forward to the possibility of returning to Western Sicily at some time in the not –too- distant future.
Review by Julia and Lawrence Bee on 26 April 2015
Our first Riviera tour and what a splendid tour we had to the beautiful island of Sicily. Under the excellent leadership of our guide, Rosario, we all got on so well. Rosario’s knowledge and love of his island enhanced the trip. His care and attention to all of us was boundless and delivered with warmth and a terrific sense of humour. Special mention must also be made of our expert driver, Michele, and our informative guides - Claudio, Marilu, Josie and Sabrina. We hope next year to go on the new Western Sicily tour and we know that we can expect the same level of professionalism from everyone.
Review by Tess and Mike Oliver on 27 April 2015
This was our ninth trip with Riviera and certainly one of the most enjoyable. Sicily is a fascinating and beautiful island with remarkable highlights including the Valley of the Temples, the Roman villa at Piazza Armerina, with its incredible mosaics, and Mount Etna. The hotels were very good. But of course on any tour the guide can make all the difference, and Rosario Sulfaro was undoubtedly the best we have ever had. He looked after us every inch of the way and showed an outstanding knowledge of history, archaeology and Greek and Roman mythology, all delivered in an entertaining and humorous way and showing his deep love of his native island. Thanks also to the driver, Michele. We would recommend this tour to anyone who doesn’t mind walking up quite a lot of hills.
Review by Shirley and Mike Holmberg on 28 April 2015
Thoroughly enjoyed the tour, our guide Rosario was very organised and extremely well informed. The drivers were also very good.
Review by Christine Guy on 28 April 2015
The holiday was excellent. It was the first tour of this kind we have had, and it surpassed our expectations. The accommodation was excellent, the places visited stunning, and the information given by the various guides, interesting.
As others have mentioned, the tour guide, Rosario Sulfaro, was extremely good. He was knowledgeable, interesting, efficient, friendly and thoughtful. He really made our holiday.
We are already thinking about our next Riviera tour (perhaps the Western Sicily tour, if Rosario is leading it!).
Review by Russell and Rita Kenny on 1 May 2015
We returned from our holiday on Sunday and I am writing to say how much we enjoyed it. This is our third holiday with you and we have enjoyed every one. As usual, the itinerary was well thought out and covered the most interesting sites. Also our guide, Katherine, was very knowledgeable and looked after us very well without marshaling us. The local guides and our coach driver are also to be praised.
We look forward to our next trip with you.
Review by Jan and Graeme Etherington on 5 May 2015
May I commend the excellence of the guide Rosario and also the driver Angelo on last week’s tour.
Review by Martin Jeeves on 6 May 2015
This was my first escorted tour and I travelled alone. Katherine, our guide was an absolute gem. She made everyone feel welcome and very well looked after as well as being most knowledgeable and charming company. My fellow travelling companions were also great company and good fun. The island is stunning and although the pace a little tiring, we covered magical sites and vistas. I would have loved to have done this over 9 days with a day to spend using the facilities at each Hotel, to even the pace. Thank You for a memorable trip.
Review by Rima Joshi on 6 May 2015
This was my first tour holiday and my friend and I chose it to gain an overview of Sicily, with the intention of returning to the island for future trips, perhaps to “Montalbano” country. We loved it! We saw and learned so much and thought that our driver, Angelo, the guides and Katherine (our extremely knowledgeable tour manager) were excellent. Thanks are due to them all. We also met some lovely fellow guests. The tour was very well organised overall.
Review by Yvonne Mackay on 11 May 2015
Just returned from Sicily and once again Riviera has done a great job. A very informative trip, great accommodation and food, excellent organisation and Daniella an outstanding tour guide. She was very knowledgeable, charming and kept a watchful eye on the group a great group of like minded people. The driver Angelo equally fantastic. Thank you Riviera this was our second trip with Riviera and we will definitely use you again and recommend to our friends.
Review by Nick and Barbara on 13 May 2015
This was our first tour with Riviera Travel and our first trip to Sicily, which surpassed all expectations. We had a really enjoyable time. The itinerary was well put together, the Hotels that we stayed at in Agrigento and Taormina were of a very good standard with good food and service. I must commend our Tour Manager Clara. She was knowledgeable, informative, entertaining and always smiling. Just what you need in a Tour Guide, a definite asset to the Company. We mustn’t leave out our driver Angelo who was patience personified and calm in the face of some very dubious Sicilian drivers. We would have no hesitation in recommending Riviera Travel. Would definitely travel with them again.
Review by Helen & David Mills on 13 May 2015
We had previously travelled independently but were attracted to having it all done for us this time. Although we were a little apprehensive about the tour it exceeded all our expectations on every level. The arrangements and trips were all perfect and the hotels, food and tour guide were fantastic. Our driver Angelo was a safe and caring driver but most of all the success of our tour was due to our outstanding tour guide, Daniella. She put so much time and energy into getting the arrangements right for us and ensuring that everything went smoothly and enjoyably. The information given out by her was very interesting and we all felt we knew a lot more about the history and geography of Sicily and any other questions we had about the Island. The local guides were all excellent too. We were fortunate in our pleasant and like-minded group of fellow travellers and will definitely go on a Riviera tour again.
Review by Gill and Keith on 14 May 2015
We have just returned from a week in Sicily staying at the Blu Hotel Agrigento and Hotel Baia Taormina. The two hotels were quite different from each other but the service was excellent at each. Our Riviera tour was so well planned, the cultural sites we visited were stunning and the local guides excellent. But the outstanding feature of our holiday was our travel guide, Daniella. We were anxious that the many hours spent on the coach during the week would be tedious but she entertained us with interesting information about Sicily past and present. She was always cheerful and charming despite having to deal with a number of problems and she made our holiday the great success that it was.
Review by Roger and Barbara Palmer on 15 May 2015
Just returned from Sicily Tour, enjoyed. Good archaeological sites with excellent guides. Good hotels and wonderful weather. BUT it was our tour guide Daniella who put the icing on the holiday cake. She was just great. A constant provider of information, a superb storyteller and a subtle shepherd keeping her flock under smiling control. Angelo the coach driver was excellent, ferrying us around from destination to destination with that degree of total confidence required by the roadways of the island.
So thank you for making our first group holiday a good one but most of all for providing a beautiful guide par excellence.
Review by Brian & Gillian Wall on 15 May 2015
Wonderful holiday, great itinerary . Daniela outstanding in terms of knowledge, organisation and patience: Delightful personality. Impressed with idea of specialist guides at each site, Hotel at Taormina exceptional - especially chef Mario - enjoyed helping him cook the omelettes !!
Review by Rosemary and Peter Gobbs on 15 May 2015
Excellent tour. The tour guide Rosario was very knowledgeable and passionate about the Island and very professional. We covered much of the island and were kept informed about the history and also advice on what to see and where to eat in our free time also providing us with handouts to help us with the information. As we spent some time on the coach, credit must also be given to our driver Giuseppe Di Bella who’s expert driving would put Lewis Hamilton to shame.
Review by Jillian Winter on 17 May 2015
We have just returned from a wonderful visit to Sicily. The island offered great geographical and historical sights together with fantastic scenery. We stayed at two marvellous hotels, Hotel Kaos in Agrigento and Baia Taormina in Taormina. Both served splendid menus and excellent service. Our tour guide, Daniella, kept us entertained with her thorough local knowledge and stories. Her professionalism and organisation are to be commended, and together with our very competent driver, Rosario, they made a great team. Looking forward to our next trip with Riviera.
Review by Mike and Lindsay Waite on 17 May 2015
To leave the rain and the crowds of Gatwick in the morning and to be sitting in the evening in an orange tree courtyard sipping a fine Sicilian wine was a most pleasurable start to our holiday. Then things simply got better. We were delighted and amazed at the Greek temples and the superb museum of Agrigento. At Monreale the cathedral is astonishing, at once Norman, Byzantine and Arabic. The extent and quality of the mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale were beyond anything we have ever seen. Then there was Taormina, Etna under its cap of snow, Siracusa and the spectacular coastlines of this three-sided island. A stimulation for the brain and a delight for the eyes. Our guide, Ruth, both whetted and fed our appetite for the details of the life and history of Sicily. Her care of us, her patience and her people skills were lovely to experience. The worst bit? Returning to Gatwick! But a wonderful holiday, our first with Riviera, but not surely the last.
Review by Lloyd Harrison on 17 May 2015
Another excellent tour, with great travelling companions . All the places we visited were as described and sometimes more than we envisaged, the mosaics in Monreale Cathedral and at the Roman villa in Piazza Armenira especially. We were treated to a display by Etna, an unexpected extra. We would have liked more time in some places, but you can’t do everything in one week! Thanks to everybody who made our holiday enjoyable. Looking forward to our fifth holiday with Riviera in September.
Review by Joan Clark on 18 May 2015
We thoroughly enjoyed a tremendous tour with your company’s outstanding tour guide Daniella “The Boss”! She and her angel, Angello, drove and instructed us 47 folk around the lovely historic island of Sicily with care and awareness of the need for “comfort breaks” and entertained us with tales of the island and its ancient history. We visited numerous ancient and medieval sites where highly informative and entertaining guides, filled with passionate knowledge and pride, educated us most fully. The Hotels were splendid and all staff extremely helpful and attentive to every needs. The trip was faultless. Thanks for the experience.
Review by David and Nina Fangen on 18 May 2015
We really enjoyed this tour, everything was exactly as described in the brochure. We had an excellent, hard working driver (Giuseppe). The Tour Manager (Rosario) was the best we have ever had, his knowledge of Sicily was second to none; nothing was ever too much trouble and he always went the extra mile to ensure that every single one of his passengers enjoyed their holiday from the moment they arrived to departure at the airport
Rod & Dot Harrison
Review by Harrison on 19 May 2015
Enjoyed the tour to Sicily 03/05/15 -10/05/15. Food and hotels were excellent but the star was tour manager Rosario Sulfaro who brought the tour to life & was extremely helpful to all.He was the best tour manager we have had on any Riviera tour or cruise.He deserves a medal! There was much more coach travel than expected but otherwise a very good holiday.
Review by J.Farthing on 20 May 2015
Just a quick thanks for our excellent tour of Sicily (April 22-29) – the organization and help from the Office was excellent, and we can’t speak highly enough of your Tour Guide, Ruth. She couldn’t do enough to ensure everybody had a great time, her knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, Sicily just shone out. Please pass on to her our warmest thanks for making this a really enjoyable, stress-free break. With every best wish
Review by Dick & Jenny Pike. on 21 May 2015
Excellent tour taking in everything one wishes to see/visit in Sicily. Tour Manager Daniella has to be one of your best. Driver Angello was fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble to either of them and their patience with the large number 47 of us amazing. Organisation and knowledge well up to my previous 4 trips with you. Food at Hotel Baia Taormina was exceptional.
Review by Mrs Christine Glover on 28 May 2015
Wonderful tour of a delightful island of many treasures. The hotels were of a great standard, the sightseeing tremendous and Rosario the Tour Manager is an absolute star who made everyone feel at home. Guiseppe our driver was exceptional too.
Review by John and Mollie Smith on 29 May 2015
Our first time with Riviera and thoroughly enjoyed by both of us. We loved both hotels, Baia de Ulysses and St Alphio Gardens. Denise, our tour guide was extremely patient and knowledgeable and nothing was too much trouble for our driver, Angelo. A packed and varied programme that held our interest and with the added bonus of some free time to relax by the pool. Thank you Riviera.
Review by John and Jacky Ekers on 31 May 2015
We have been on several Riviera tours and this was well up to the high standard we have come to expect. Our guide Elizabeth was excellent. She worked so hard for us and was considerate and caring. She provided so much information that really set the scene for us and made the visits particularly interesting. The stop off points she arranged were all first class with good food and drink and facilities. The tour itself was superb and we felt we really experienced Sicily. The Valley of the Temples, Agrigento, Monreale, so interesting. The Roman Villa at Piazza Armerina was stunning. On to beautiful Taormina which we had seen on our Riviera Royal Clipper trip a couple of years before. Finally Siracusa and Etna. A fabulous tour with two very good hotels although the Excelsior Palace had the best food. Thanks for a memorable holiday.
Review by David and Sylvia Everett on 1 June 2015
Having just returned from your tour to Sicily we would like to say how much we enjoyed it. The guides were very interesting and informative. The tour manager ROSARIO really made the holiday.
Review by d.p.clements on 4 June 2015
We have just returned from a week tour of Sicily and we would like to express our thanks for an excellent trip. In particular we would like to pay tribute to our tour manager Rosario for his professionalism, courtesy, incredible knowledge of all aspects of Sicily and his unfailing sense of humour. He is a credit to Riviera Travel.
Review by Pat Mady & Graham Melville on 5 June 2015
Just returned in the past twenty four hours from a wonderful tour of North Western Sicily. The whole experience was just fantastic with scenery and food that far exceeded expectations, also Katerina the tour guide must be ‘mentioned in dispatches’ as being truly professional, knowledgeable, humorous and a ‘patient’ person. Katerina was the silver lining to our trip. many thanks Gwen and Tony Burgess
Review by Anthony Burgess on 5 June 2015
We have been on several Riviera tours and always been very impressed with the quality of guides, hotels and content of our trips. The Sicily tour lived up to your excellent standards. It was a stimulating week of varied experiences, managed efficiently and courteously by Denise, our guide. The coach travel was amazingly easy, safe and comfortable thanks to Angelo. Congratulations, once again, Riviera.
Review by Jeremy & Monica Walton on 9 June 2015
I have just returned from your Sicily tour which was wonderful in itself, but what made it really special were the services of the coach driver and the tour manager. The driver was unfailingly pleasant, friendly and helpful but above all steady, safe and patient under all circumstances. Rosario the tour manager was superb at all times-courteous, friendly, helpful, amusing, enthusiastic and SO knowledgeable, particularly so by virtue of being local to the area. He always had time for everyone, even when he had to repeat information/instructions for those who weren’t listening, and had several situations to deal with which he did so efficiently and discreetly. I have nothing but praise for him, he was outstandingly efficient and anticipated the smallest detail in arrangements to ensure things went smoothly. He was a joy to be with.
Review by Elisabeth Lonsdale. on 16 June 2015
Just returned from a wonderful tour of Sicily. The tour manager, ROSARIO was exceptional. His knowledge of Sicily and organisation of the whole trip was second to none. He is a credit to Riviera Travel. The tour was most interesting and varied and there was time to relax by the swimming pools at both hotels. I might also add that the flight services were excellent.
Review by Lynn Brookfield on 22 June 2015
An excellent tour, very well organised. We first stayed at the Kaos Hotel at Agrigento which was excellent and served very good food; they did however charge for WiFi after the first 6 hours connection. Our second hotel, the Baia Taormina Hotel, was equally good and the WiFi connection was free of charge. The food was also excellent but with slightly less choice. Our tour manager Lilijana was brilliant. Her comments were very informative, timely, and enlivened with humour. Vital information such as meeting times and places etc. were strategically repeated. Lilijana’s contribution to the enjoyment of the tour was enormous and our coach driver Giuseppe also contributed greatly to the tour with his punctuality, skill, and constant supply of cold water. Thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable time: we are now planning our next Riviera holiday.
Review by Rosalie and John Jones on 25 June 2015
We very much enjoyed our recent tour of Sicily. It was our second tour with Riviera and, although different in content, was well up to the standard of the Lake Maggiore tour. The hotels were very good and the food was excellent. Sicily is a big island and on some days the drives were quite long but the coach was comfortable and Angelo, our driver, handled it very skilfully and was always cheerful and helpful. The sights and the local guides were well chosen and always interesting. But what really made the tour so enjoyable was Rosario, our tour manager. He was so friendly and always helpful and, being a Sicilian, had a vast fund of knowledge of the island and of the sights we were to visit. Even on the longer drives he could always keep us interested in the passing countryside and had a great fund of reminiscences. We also like Riviera’s practice that the tour manager stays in the same hotel and, within reason, is available with information and advice.
Review by David and Sheila Cocquerel on 25 June 2015
We returned yesterday from an exceptionally well organised and interesting eight days in Sicily. Our Tour Guide, Liz, was extremely knowledgeable about the island’s history which she conveyed during the journeys to the sites we visited. Her manner is warm and she is super-efficient, almost answering most of our queries before we even aired them. An incredibly helpful and ever present force in whom the group had complete confidence.
We would also wish to mention the amazing driving skills of Saro, who negotiated the tight, hairpin bends of Taormina and the many fast but narrow roads of many of the towns and villages visited. Again, we had complete confidence in his ability which made for totally relaxed and enjoyable journeys. We would certainly recommend this holiday and would certainly hope to travel with Riviera again although this was not our first experience. We have always enjoyed the tours we have booked in the past.
Review by DOUG AND MARY HARDY on 29 June 2015
An excellent tour which we would heartily recommend. Sicily has tons to see and do, as well as having the usual excellent Italian hospitality, food and wine. Booking with Riviera meant we could sit back and be escorted to the highlights without the need for too much research and preparation beforehand. Our guide Daniella was an absolute delight from start to the end. She went to a lot of trouble preparing detailed info and maps for each location we visited. Daniella had a treasure trove of knowledge of Sicily and its lore and tales; she kept us all spellbound with her delightful stories. Driver Angelo too deserves a mention. People in the group quickly made friends with each other and a real sense of camaraderie was quickly established. The two hotels we stayed at were both fine, though the Giardini Naxos hotel, Sant Alphio, was especially nice. We actually arranged our own little side-trip from Naxos to Savoca, to check out Godfather movie-locations and I would recommend this too if you’re a movie-lover and can squeeze it in. We felt we got a really meaty taste of Sicily by making this trip and would like to thank Riviera and particularly Daniella for making it so successful.
Review by David & Denise Menashy on 30 June 2015
Just returned from a wonderful guided trip to Sicily in the capable hands of Denise. Denise was very knowledgable and kept us to our time table without hassle. We visited stunning archaeological sites, were advised the best places to eat and stayed at two lovely hotels. At Agrigento, Hotel Kaos has a pool to die for. Swallows swooped down to drink from the water. A great experience.
Review by Anne Dixon on 1 July 2015
We have just returned from a tour of Sicily with tour manager Frances. The tour was all that we expected. Two nice hotels, great sites to visit and a very well worked itinerary. The coach driver Pepo was one of (if not) the best drivers I have travelled with and a perfect gentleman to boot. The tour manager Frances was the best that I have ever been with, her enthusiasm, professionalism and knowledge made this one of the best tours we have been on. The only point that I think would have made this tour better (my opinion only) is a slight change of itinerary. On the trip to Monreale instead of doing the Church then Monastery if we had visited the Monastery then Church when the guide left us we could have then spent our free time in the Church. This is not meant as a criticism just a suggestion.
Review by colin cowell on 1 July 2015
Just got back from Sicily, which was a pure delight. There was a real sense of historical depth to the place and all the monuments we saw were amazingly preserved and spectacularly beautiful, as was Etna - the trip to the top really is not to be missed. The tour was beautifully managed and the balance between guided visits and free time was perfect. Full marks go to our tour guide, Frances, who was at all times cheerful, friendly, immensely helpful and a great person to have on your side when things started to go wrong (you should have seen her tackling the Easyjet staff at the airport coming home!), and to our driver Pipo, a real gentleman, who navigated our enormous coach round some spectacular hairpin bends with great aplomb and immense skill. I will remember this for a very long time
Planning my next trip with Riviera now!
Review by Celia Daniels on 2 July 2015
An excellent tour, very well organised. We first stayed at the Kaos Hotel at Agrigento which was excellent and served very good food. Our second hotel, the Baia Taormina Hotel, was equally good . The food was also excellent but buffet style I preferred the silver service at the Kaos. Our tour manager Frances was brilliant. Her comments were very informative, timely, and often humourous. Vital information such as meeting times and places etc. were often repeated. Frances’s contribution to the enjoyment of the tour was enormous and our coach driver Pepou (apologies for any misspelling!) also contributed greatly to the tour with his punctuality, skill, and constant supply of cold water. Thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable time.
Review by Janice Storey on 2 July 2015
I have just returned from the Sicilly tour to Agrigento and Taormina. It was a lovely holiday (my third with Riviera). The island was fascinating with varied landscapes. I enjoyed the journeys from place to place, as we saw such changes of landscape, some fascinating towns, stacked like Lego blocks on steep hillsides, and some panoramic views. We also felt very safe on narrow, twisting roads, in the capable hands of Pepo, our skillful, charming and kind driver. I was happy with both hotels - The Kaos and The Bahia Taormina - and was glad that my friend and I had paid for single occupancy of double rooms. In Taormina we had a spectacular sea view, which was much appreciated and enjoyed.(So often single travellers are given pokey little rooms at the back!) staff at both hotels were courteous and helpful. A small criticism at the Kaos, was that service at meals was rather idiosyncratic, with lots of upping and downing for teas and coffees, then milk on another table etc. and vegetarians at our table felt they were given very little choice. We were also seated in a rather confined area and seen as a group rather than as individuals. However, the glorious pool went a long way to making up for any small niggles! The content of the tour was varied and very interesting. I felt that we got a thorough and insightful picture into the interesting and varied culture and history of Sicily. We had a wonderful tour guide in Frances, who was with us at all times. From the moment she met us at Catania to the moment she left us there a week later, she was solicitous and involved, always patient, always available, ready to resolve any problem. She was so good humoured and funny and entertained us on long journeys with facts, figures, anecdotes and stories, enhanced by her personal, in-depth knowledge of the country and the people. As a traveller with several health problems, I particularly appreciated her concern for my needs and attempts to find alternatives for me on the more demanding trips. I must also thank my fellow-travellers for their patience and kindness towards me. The holiday was greatly enhanced by the lovely people with whom we shared the holiday. It was also lovely to be there during the ‘wedding season’, and to observe some of the wedding customs of the island. Finally, thanks to you all at Riviera , for making the whole process of booking etc so simple and straightforward, and for your efficiency, politeness and friendliness in all of my dealings with you.
Review by Sue Bromley on 5 July 2015
We’ve been back from Sicily a week and already we’re looking forward to our next Riviera holiday! Can’t fault this tour; the hotels were wonderful, everything ran like clockwork and our tour manager, Liz, was exceptional - knowledgeable, friendly and very well organised. Thanks for a brilliant holiday. This was our second time with Riviera and we will certainly be booking with you again soon.
Review by Michael and Penny Jones on 9 July 2015
I have just returned from a wonderful tour of Sicily and am buzzing with enthusiasm for Riviera, our excellent tour manager Elizabeth and Sicily.
It was five star all the way. Everything was as described in the brochure and better.
We stayed in Kaos initially.(Yes, as Trip advisor said many times, the food lets it down but otherwise clean and with a wonderful pool), and then Excelsior. What a treat that was, from its location, to the service and staff and meals. Elizabeth said it was good and it was and more. Our guided visits were more like University lectures at times. The quality of the guides knowledge was exceptional and imbued me with even more of an interest and enthusiasm for all the culture and history that Sicily has to offer.
Finally ,and certainly not least, there was Elizabeth. Riviera, you are so very fortunate to have such a wonderfully dedicated Tour manager working with you. Nothing was too much trouble and we felt safe and cared for at all times as she takes her responsibility and accountability so seriously, a commendable trait and one that you rarely come across in a regular package holiday. She made the trip special for us with her knowledge of the country, her constant enthusiasm for everything we were about to see, which was infectious and inspirational and her anecdotes along the way. She is an asset to your company . I would thoroughly recommend Riviera and look forward to travelling with you again.
Review by Jann tryon on 11 September 2015
My wife & I have just returned from one of your holidays to Sicily
We enjoyed the trip, albeit the temperature was very hot. The sites we visited were most interesting.
We feel that we must advise you of the excellent service your courier provided. Her name was Michelle. She was terrific in her knowledge of the Island but especially the manner she treated the people on the trip was great. I have a problem with my leg and have to use a walking stick. Michelle went out of her way,above and beyond the expected call of duty. I wish to thank her through you for all the help she gave me.
Michelle is the best courier we have had.
Review by e.g. John Smith, Manchester on 11 September 2015
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Sicily last week and the choice of hotels was good - although the weather could have been kinder on some days.
However, the main reason for writing is to let you know how impressed we were by Ruth Yeoman your excellent Tour Manager.
Not only was she helpful, friendly and always elegant but she had a lovely voice and her depth and breath of knowledge about Sicily and its history and places was quite astonishing.
We think that she is a tremendous asset to Riviera and wish her and you every success in future
Also, the one main driver we had, who’s name was Faro, was excellent too.
Review by V & B Keeble-Watson on 16 September 2015
Just to say how much we enjoyed the Sicily Tour. It was extremely well organised and we were very pleased with every aspect, although the Excelsior Hotel was a little dear for drinks! Sicily is so unspoilt compared to the rest of the country. We really want to return. Your driver, Gusseppi and your tour guide, Elizabeth were excellent. Well done!
Review by Peter and Glynis Tryon on 18 September 2015
We have just returned from an 8 day tour of Sicily. What a wonderful island with friendly people, spectacular sites and diverse scenery from Mount Etna to the beaches. A delight every day that we were there. We enjoyed the two hotels that we stayed at Agrigento and Giardini Naxos and the hotel staff were always very helpful. A special mention however should go to Julia, our Tour Manager, Rosario, our coach driver and the local guides that we had at Agrigento, Palermo and Piazza Armerina. Julia, as she told us “knows her chickens” and kept us to time but also gave us plenty of time to explore on our own. Our admiration for Italian drivers was greatly increased as Rosario negotiated the traffic and the road problems. The local guides were obviously enthusiastic about their subjects and keen to ensure that we saw all the sites. All in all we had a very enjoyable trip and a trouble free trip all due to the Team at Riviera.
Review by Christine and Philip Coley on 20 September 2015
We were on the trip which stayed in the Kaos Hotel in Agregento and Baio Taiormina Hotel in Taiormina ... Weather was very hot and the pools were very welcome….Our Tour guide Michelle was exceptional, very knowledgable about the sites and possesses brilliant organisational skills….we elected not to go on the Tour to Ortega and Siracusa and rested by the pool…..Riviera Tours are exceptional value and this was out 4th trip with them…
Review by Phillip Cook on 21 September 2015
What a wonderful experience this tour was, made even better by our tour guide, Ruth. Always upbeat and extremely helpful, nothing was too much trouble for her. Our hotels were very good, especially the Baia Toarmina. We will remember this trip for all the right reasons for a long time.
Review by Susan Hubble on 23 September 2015
This was our third trip with Riviera and won’t be our last thanks to our best tour guide ever, Ruth. She had the most fantastic knowledge of the history of the island and nothing was ever too much trouble for her. She always looked after everyone in the group. We stayed at the Dioscuri and the Baia Taormina and weren’t disappointed with either of them. We particularly enjoyed the trips to Piazza Armerina, Monreale and Mount Etna. Ruth made sure everything ran smoothly and Angelo our driver made sure we got there and back safely. Thank you Riviera for a lovely holiday.
Review by Anthony and Barbara Smith on 23 September 2015
My husband and I have thoroughly enjoyed this tour. I would especially like to thank Daniela, our tour manager, who worked very hard to make sure that every one was looked after and that she made each day and each excursion as pleasant and interesting as possible. She had a very good rapport with both the people on the tour and the people whose hospitality we were lucky enough to have. The tour coach driver, Giuseppe, was also very professional and pleasant.
Review by Penelope Grice on 26 September 2015
My husband Giuseppe and I thoroughly enjoyed this tour. Our guide Daniella was excellent, always giving 110% and our driver Giuseppe was fantastic, warm and friendly too, a great team they made!!! The Kaos Hotel, Agrigento and the San Alphio at Giardini Naxos were both excellent, food, rooms, pools and ambience. We made new friends and learnt so much interesting history but Daniella made the holiday experience special. It was very, very hot but that could not be regulated by Riviera, we will definitely use Riviera again.
Review by Elizabeth Lorusso on 28 September 2015
Our tour manager deserves special praise as she was superb (she was called Ruth) and her maps and pre destination information were excellent. I think the only time i missed something is when i didn’t plan what to do properly myself.
Review by Franklyn Young on 30 September 2015
Thanks to a charismatic guide, we enjoyed a perfectly organised tour of some of the best Sicilian sights. The group gelled very quickly, due to Rosario’s thorough knowledge and passion for all aspects of Sicilian culture, delivered with clarity and humour. The well chosen hotels (Kaos in Agrigento and Excelsior Palace in Taormina) made us feel at home. Overall it was a very happy week worthy of every praise and recommendation.
Review by Cecile Bradwell on 1 October 2015
My wife and I have just returned from a most enjoyable holiday in Sicily led by our tour manager Liz. Liz was most knowledgeable about the island and her calm efficiency in keeping us all together and on time helped the trip go so smoothly. Our first hotel the Dioscuri Bay Palace was conveniently placed for The Valley of the Temples and the room was fine but the food was only satisfactory. Our second hotel the Bia Taormina was, by contrast, very good with comfortable rooms overlooking the sea and an excellent choice at meal times. The visits were all a wonderful experience and the addition of head sets was such a help especially at sites where there were many visitors. In all, a most enjoyable time on Sicily ,our sincere thanks to Liz and we will use Riviera Travel again.
Review by Bourne on 2 October 2015
Sorry this is so late but domestic difficulties had to be attended to on my return from a fantastic week in Sicily. My sister and I had a wonderful trip, good hotels in Agrigento and Giardia Naxos, lovely fellow guests and interesting trips to some of Sicily’s amazing antiquities. My favourite was the Roman Villa. The magic ingredient to our stay in Sicily was Daniella our brilliant tour guide who was so informative and well organised and ensured that everything went well. She was ably assisted by Guiseppe our driver who was always able to cope with whatever arose and was cheerful and helpful. They were a wonderful team. It was unusually hot during our week in Sicily but we still had a great time.
Review by Kate Mann on 2 October 2015
We had a wonderful time on this tour-in no small part this was due to our tour manager, Rosario. He was incredibly well-informed on all aspects of the trip but was also extremely attentive to everyone’s needs/wishes. He created a very welcoming atmosphere in the group. We felt the tour was extremely well-organised and we enjoyed both hotels-the Excelsior Palace in Taormina was wonderfully located with some excellent facilities.
Review by Elizabeth Foster on 5 October 2015
Just returned from this tour which was made more memorable by the service and care provided by our guide, Ruth Frances. She was knowledgeable, amusing and above all caring. The service she provided was always thoughtful and timely. She arranged seating on the coach to meet my needs and organised taxis to reduce the walking distances at different venues. Her preparations for each day were faultless - clear maps with descriptions and directions. She is an exemplar of the best of customer service on tour. Thank you - a holiday that has provided me with very many precious memories.
Review by Janet Sturgess on 6 October 2015
A great experience made even more so by our excellent guide, Daniela. She was particularly skilful in arranging the weather to our advantage during a fairly unsettled week! We felt very safe in her hands and those of our drivers. The headsets provided for some visits were most helpful as were the specialist guides. Thanks Daniela
Review by Ted Boodell on 9 October 2015
We really enjoyed our tour of Sicily from 23rd September although you failed to organise us good weather!!
Our Tour Manager, Rosario, was exceptional and a real asset to your company. He was so knowledgable and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble for him.
The local guides - Claudio, Marielu, and Josey were also very good and their English was superb. They made their subjects interesting and informative.
Another gold star for Riviera Travel
Review by Margaret Golightly on 12 October 2015
We have just returned from the Sicily Tour (booked in the name of Roberts) which was a joy to anyone interested in history. The reason I am writing is about our tour guide Rosario. He was the best guide I have ever had the pleasure to meet. He was professional, knowledgeable, funny and a joy to be with. A local guide really does make a big difference. But above all that he was caring of his group. I am disabled and at times struggled a bit but he went out of his way to make sure I was OK. I hadn’t realised how uneven and hilly it is in Sicily and without his consideration I’m not sure I would have coped as well as I did. We did of course thank him in the appropriate manner but I wanted to let you know what a gem you have in him.
Review by Fran Watson on 12 October 2015
My husband and I have recently returned from the tour of Sicily [23rd -30th Sept]. We have enjoyed a few of your European tours before and have always been impressed by the knowledge of the tour guides and the local guides. However our guide, Rosario on this trip topped them all. His knowledge and passion for his country made us all feel like part of a Sicilian family. He was very well organized and looked after everyone so well. He took special care of an elderly gentleman travelling alone. Most of the conversations during the evening meals were about other trips taken with Riviera and planning where people were going next! Rosario as certainly a great ambassador, not only for his country but also for Riviera travel. We too are planning our next tour. Many thanks
Review by Janet and Roy Robertson on 12 October 2015
We returned from Sicily ten days ago after what we can describe as a wonderful and enjoyable holiday. The sites we saw were most interesting , our favourites being the Roman Villa near Piazza Armerina and our full day in Siracusa. The weather by and large was pleasant and warm, although our day to the summit of Etna was curtailed by heavy rain& mist . Our accommodation, the Baia D’Ulisse- nr Agrigento and the Sant Alphio Garden at Giardino Naxos was very good. The staff were always smartly dressed and very attentive. Food at both hotels was generally very appetising,
Our Tour Guide - Ljiljana and driver - Angelo were both likable people, very good and professional in their own spheres. Ljiljana and the local site guides presented their fountains of knowledge in very informative, entertaining and sometimes amusing ways.
This has been our fourth holiday with Riviera. All being well we shall look forward to a fifth and further adventure somewhere in the not too distant future.
Review by Edward & Margaret Lockett. on 12 October 2015
This was our first Riviera tour having suffered an awful tour in 2014 with another well known tour operator, if it could go wrong, it did. We were a little concerned not knowing what to expect with our first booking with Riviera but….....this was one of our best holidays, an excellent company who packaged excellent hotels with everything you could wish for and a very attentive tour courier who cared very much about her charge. If your reading this and have not traveled yet with Riviera, don’t worry as you will be using a company second to none. Thank you Riviera for an excellent week and we will most certainly look forward to travelling with your company again.
Review by Mr.Mrs A. Florence on 12 October 2015
Sicily was our 3rd Riviera tour and one which will be remembered particularly for the expert knowledge and friendly guidance of our tour manager, Ruth. Her detailed and amusing commentaries on all things historical, geographical and cultural, together with planners, maps and visuals, supported our understanding or the region each day.
Whilst we preferred the eastern side of the island for its location and visits to Taormina and Ortigia, the western side blessed us with the Valley of the Temples and Monreale Cathedral. Centrally the Villa at Piazza Armerina en route between hotels provided an extraordinary insight through mosaics into Roman living.
Our 2nd hotel Sant Alphio Garden in Giardini-Naxos, overlooking the Ionian Sea and under the watchful eye of Mount Etna, was a beautiful and appropriate venue to complete a most enjoyable tour.
Review by Michael and Tanya Woodman on 13 October 2015
This is my third tour with Rivera. I cannot praise the tour director Gabrelia and our driver Giuseppe enough. The tour was well organised and really enjoyable. The hotels were of a high standard and the itinerary was well balanced. If you are thinking of booking this holiday do in confidence.
Review by Louise Cockfield on 26 October 2015
Thank you for another memorable holiday, packed with stimulating trips to a wide variety of fascinating sites. It’s impossible to pick out a favourite; they were all so good. Binding the whole experience together was the care of our tour manager, Daniella. At every turn there was evidence of thorough preparation, easing our way through the practical challenges of travelling around and getting us into places without tedious waiting. But also, she helped to increase our appreciation of what we saw through her lively and well-informed commentary and useful maps. Her readiness to give extra support and encouragement when needed was clearly demonstrated. Our driver, Giuseppe, performed with great skill and patience.
Review by Tony and Valerie Burnham on 28 October 2015
We have to say it was all well organised, with everything going pretty much without a hitch. Sicily was all we’d expected and much more the history, culture, geography, people, places, food, etc., etc. The hotels in Agrigento and Taormina, although quite different, were excellent. However, our guide for the trip, Liz, was what really made the trip - she was absolutely splendid and never put a foot wrong. From arrival to departure she expertly yet unobtrusively ensured that everyone was properly looked after. Her fluent Italian, appreciation of Sicilian dialect and easy manner with drivers, specialist guides, officials, hotel staff, stall holders, waiters, et al ensured that all encounters were correctly and easily handled. Her historical, mythological, cultural and local knowledge seemed inexhaustible, and her willingness to chat about all incidental things Italian and Sicilian was very much appreciated. Lovely though Sicily was, the trip wouldn’t have been anything like as good without Liz. You have a real professional star there.
Review by Gina and Robert Moore on 28 October 2015
This was our 4th Riviera holiday and, as usual, we were not disappointed. It was well planned and covered as many of the important venues as could be fitted into the week. We cannot speak too highly of our guide, Rosario, who was very knowledgeable, listenable to, and good fun. He went out of his way to sort out times of trains round Mount Etna for us, though it turned out that we couldn’t do that, owing to a landslip which blocked the motorway, and thus we couldn’t leave the hotel until midday - which problem he coped with admirably! Both hotels were good, though the one at Agrigento proved difficult for those of the group with a mobility problem. We would suggest that handrails to stairs should quickly be fitted, and a lift. In the meantime perhaps disabled people should be accommodated on the ground floor.
Review by Carol Head, Hove on 3 November 2015
We would like to take this opportunity to tell you how much we enjoyed our recent trip to Sicily with Riviera Travel. (4th -11th October). It lived up to its expectations and was as described in their brochure.
A special mention must be made of our tour guide, Ruth, who was exceptional. We have made a few trips with Riviera and their tour guides have always been great but Ruth was amazing. She was always completely “unflappable”, dealing with any queries or problems efficiently, and with kindness. Her knowledge of the area was incredible, more so because she never once had to refer to any piece of paper for information. How she has retained all that knowledge in her head is unbelievable and was always enthusiastic about the topic she was telling us about, even though she must have said it all a number of times before. If there is an award for Tour Guide of the Year she must be at the top of the list.
Review by Ruth Le Breton & Sandra Jackson on 3 November 2015
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Sicily with Riviera Travel. We particularly appreciated and commend our Tour Leader, Rosario. He was informative, entertaining and in every way an outstanding example of a Tour leader.
Review by Janet Cummins on 3 November 2015
Our Tour of Sicily was another super holiday provided by Riviera Travel. The organisation, itinerary and hotels were all commendable and we got an excellent flavour of this beautiful part of the world. The holiday was made particularly enjoyable by the services provided by our Tour Guide, Gabriella, who I cannot praise highly enough. Her efficiency, knowledge and attention to detail were first class, but, above all she carried out her tasks with an infectious and slightly mischievous sense of humour. The effect of this was to generate warmth and conviviality amongst our large group, this being most beneficial to the ultimate success of the tour.
Review by Ted & Sue Watson on 8 November 2015
Our trip to Sicily was a delight. Riviera Travel was well-organised and seemed to strike the right balance between taking us to many of the highlights, whilst still leaving us enough leisure time. We had no idea Sicily had such a diverse heritage and our wonderful guide, Stephania, brought it all alive in such an interesting way. Her warmth and sense of humour were as welcome as her extensive background knowledge of the island. She even battled through a very heavy cold, almost losing her voice, but never her commitment. A final tribute should go to our reliable and fearless driver, Angelo. We’re happy to use Riviera Travel again!
Review by Diana Owen on 8 November 2015
Guiseppe was an excellent driver. He was calm and steady and drove the coach up roads which many of us would not tackle in a small car. He was especially good on one day when the weather was appalling with floods and mud slides on the roads. We felt very safe with him.
Daniela was a lovely tour guide. She was extremely knowledgeable about the history of Sicily. Her language skills were excellent and she had a good sense of humour. She was very caring and considerate with everybody, especially with the less able members of the group and kept an eye on them in a discrete way. She looked after us all throughout the holiday. She is a real asset to Riviera Travel and deserves a gold star!