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  • Departing from?Dublin + 3
  • Travelling to?Italy + 1
  • When?March 2015
  • How long for?7 nights
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Highlights of Sicily incl. Palermo
from Per person

Highlights of Sicily incl. Palermo

  • 7 Night Holiday
  • B&B/HB
View Dates & Prices

Located off the toe of Italy, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Much of the land is hilly and has been cultivated, with charming seaside towns and villages located along the coastline. Sicily is home to Mount Etna which dominates the skyline of Catania.

Sicily's chequered past has resulted in a rich and unique culture.  A vast array of archaeological sites and historic architecture remains, illustrating its intriguing history.  On your busy but rewarding excursion programme, you will see traces of former civilisations including Phoenician settlements, Roman amphitheatres, Greek temples and Aragonese churches.  

Starting in the buzzing city of Palermo, where ancient meets modern in spectacular style, you’ll spend two nights discovering its historic landmarks and cultural heritage before travelling on to the popular resort of Giardini Naxos, site of Sicily’s first Greek colony and your home for the remainder of the holiday. Directly on the Mediterranean and with spectacular views of Mount Etna, it’s the perfect place to relax and unwind.

Coach transfer to and from Belfast (Chichester Street) to Dublin Airport on selected dates. 

 

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
Euro (€)     
Local Time
Ireland/UK Time +1 hour
Passport
A valid passport is required for this holiday. EU citizens do not need a visa, however non-EU citizens should check requirements. 
Airport
Catania airport is located approx. 4 hours from Palermo. Your return transfer from Giardini Naxos to Catania airport will take approx. 1 hour.
Climate

The coastline climate in Sicily offers fresh, hot summers and mild winters.

Food & Drink
When you fancy a snack, try the Arancini, tasty fried rice balls filled with various ingredients, from meat to mozzarella. For bigger appetites, freshly caught seafood is always a good choice, or try a local pasta favourite ; Pasta con le Sarde – made with sardines, fennel, pine nuts, raisins and toasted breadcrumbs in olive oil. Cannoli, a rolled pastry filled with ricotta and candied fruits is a classic Sicilian sweet treat. Accompany your meal with a robust Nero d’Avola or a light Grillo, just some of the excellent wines produced on the island. To finish, enjoy a glass of Marsala, Sicily’s renowned fortified wine.
Average Prices for Region
  • Coffee: €1.20
  • Beer: €3.00
  • Glass of wine: €3.00
  • Light Meal: €9.50
  • Soft Drink: €1.50
  • Bottled Water: €0.50
Packing List
  • Your valid passport
  • Sun cream
  • A continental plug adaptor
  • A small backpack
  • A sun hat
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Camera
Recommended Reading/Viewing

Il Gattopardo (The Leopard) by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

The Sicilian by Mario Puzo

The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri

Cinema Paradiso (film, 1988 ) Dir. Giuseppe Tornatore

Holiday highlights

Taormina

A colourful maze of narrow streets and terraces, teeming with cafés, restaurants and boutiques, Taormina sits atop a steep hill, with panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea and Mount Etna. The remarkable Greco-Roman amphitheatre, set into the hillside, is open to the public to view. A cable car service links the town to the shingle and pebble beaches below, with warm, shallow waters, ideal for swimming and snorkelling.

Mount Etna

Europe's largest volcano and one of the world’s most active, Mount Etna dominates the landscape around Taormina. At over 3.300 metres high, Etna and its slopes have been part of the national park, Parco Naturale dell'Etna, since 1987. With alpine forests and deserts of lava on its upper levels, the volcano’s lower slopes are home to vineyards, orchards and even an 18 hole golf course, Il Picciolo.

Siracusa

Historic Siracusa offers a unique testimony to the development of Mediterranean civilisation over three millennia. The site contains outstanding vestiges dating back to Greek and Roman times, such as the Temple of Athena (5th century BC), a Greek theatre, a Roman amphitheatre, a fort and more. 

Roman Villa in Piazza Armerina 

Located about 3km outside the town of Piazza Armerina, and built in the first quarter of the 4th century. The villa has a most unusual layout and contains the richest, largest and most complex collection of Roman mosaics on the world. 

The Ear of Dionysus (Orecchio di Dionisio)

A limestone cave carved out of the Temenites hill within the Syracuse Archaeological Park. It was christened by the painter Caravaggio, owing to its similarity in shape to the human ear. Legend has it that Dionysus held political prisoners within the cave as the acoustics allowed him to hear their whispered secrets and their tortured screams would be amplified as a warning to others.  

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
Euro (€)     
Local Time
Ireland/UK Time +1 hour
Passport
A valid passport is required for this holiday. EU citizens do not need a visa, however non-EU citizens should check requirements. 
Airport
Catania airport is located approx. 4 hours from Palermo. Your return transfer from Giardini Naxos to Catania airport will take approx. 1 hour.
Climate

The coastline climate in Sicily offers fresh, hot summers and mild winters.

Food & Drink
When you fancy a snack, try the Arancini, tasty fried rice balls filled with various ingredients, from meat to mozzarella. For bigger appetites, freshly caught seafood is always a good choice, or try a local pasta favourite ; Pasta con le Sarde – made with sardines, fennel, pine nuts, raisins and toasted breadcrumbs in olive oil. Cannoli, a rolled pastry filled with ricotta and candied fruits is a classic Sicilian sweet treat. Accompany your meal with a robust Nero d’Avola or a light Grillo, just some of the excellent wines produced on the island. To finish, enjoy a glass of Marsala, Sicily’s renowned fortified wine.
Average Prices for Region
  • Coffee: €1.20
  • Beer: €3.00
  • Glass of wine: €3.00
  • Light Meal: €9.50
  • Soft Drink: €1.50
  • Bottled Water: €0.50
Packing List
  • Your valid passport
  • Sun cream
  • A continental plug adaptor
  • A small backpack
  • A sun hat
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Camera
Recommended Reading/Viewing

Il Gattopardo (The Leopard) by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

The Sicilian by Mario Puzo

The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri

Cinema Paradiso (film, 1988 ) Dir. Giuseppe Tornatore

Trip Itinerary - Day by day

Day 1 - Travel to Sicily

Full Day

Travel to Sicily

Upon arrival in Italy, transfer with guide assistance to Palermo, to enjoy a two night stay in the heart of this vibrant, fascinating city.

Day 2 - Monreale & Palermo

Full Day

Monreale & Palermo

Enjoy a full day excursion to the city of Palermo and nearby Monreale.   Discover the patchwork history created by wave upon wave of invaders, reflected in the varying architectural styles from the Norman Palace to Palermo Cathedral. In the evening you will visit a typical local restaurant for a relaxed group dinner

Day 3 - Piazza Armerina & transfer to Giardini Naxos

Morning

Piazza Armerina

Today, you will visit the lovely inland town of Piazza Armerina, for a visit to the renowned Villa Romana del Casale. This is a World Heritage Site which is a fantastic example of a luxury Roman villa, with stunning examples of Roman mosaics in almost every room.

Afternoon

Transfer to Giardini Naxos

Afternoon transfer to the pretty beachside resort of Giardini Naxos for a relaxing five night stay.

Day 4 - At Leisure

Full Day

At Leisure

Enjoy a day at leisure. Relax and enjoy the superb range of facilities at your hotel, take a stroll along the beach or dip your toes in the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea! Your local guide will be happy to suggest activities to suit your interests.

Day 5 - Etna & Taormina

Full Day

Etna & Taormina

Today's excursion will take you to two of Sicily's most famous attractions.  Enjoy a visit to the slopes of magnificent Mount Etna. At 1900 metres above sea level, the panoramic views over the coast and countryside will take your breath away. Next you will visit the charming coastal town of Taormina, a colourful maze of narrow streets and terraces, where you will enjoy a guided tour of its famous Greek Theatre.

Day 6 - Syracusa

Full Day

Syracusa

Today you will visit the spellbinding city of Syracusa. The historic heart of the city is located on the island of Ortygia, measuring just 1km by 500 metres, but packed with over 2,500 years of history. Sightseeing highlights include the Arethusa Fountain and Cathedral, as well as the city's UNESCO protected archaeological area, with its Greek Theatre, the Latomie and the spectacular Ear of Dionysius.

Day 7 - At Leisure

Full Day

At Leisure

Take a day relax by the bright blue sea at Giardini Naxos, and perhaps make an independent return visit to nearby Taormina. Your guide will be happy to make suggestions of places to see and things to do in the area.

Day 8 - Return Home

Full Day

Return home

Today you will transfer to the airport for your flight home, with guide assistance.

* Please note that the order of your excursions on the itinerary above is provisional and subject to change

Customer reviews

Hotel & accommodation available for this trip

Atahotel Naxos Beach 4

Atahotel Naxos Beach  is an attractive hotel complex in Giardini Naxos, a popular coastal town in eastern Sicily.  It is ideally located for visits to Mount Etna, Taormina and many more of Sicily’s famous sights.  Built over an area of 14 hectares which extend... read more read more read more

Atahotel Naxos Beach  is an attractive hotel complex in Giardini Naxos, a popular coastal town in eastern Sicily.  It is ideally located for visits to Mount Etna, Taormina and many more of Sicily’s famous sights.  Built over an area of 14 hectares which extends to the seashore, the property is set in lush gardens decorated with citrus trees, olive groves and abundant flowers. The resort’s impressive range of leisure options include swimming pools, bars, fitness centre and seasonal entertainments. 

Atahotel Naxos Beach Standard Rooms, each with patio or terrace, are located in the hotel’s gardens, in two storey blocks of 9 – 12 rooms. There are upgrades available to Main Building rooms (supplement applies). 

Hotel address
Atahotel Naxos Beach
Via Recanati, 26
Messina

Giardini Naxos
View available dates for this hotel

Hotel Garibaldi 4

Located in the very centre of Palermo and only a few steps away from the famous Politeama Theatre, Hotel Garibaldi offers the perfect base to explore this lively and intriguing city. In the immediate area, there is a wide choice of shops, cafes and restaurants.  The hotel ha... read more read more read more

Located in the very centre of Palermo and only a few steps away from the famous Politeama Theatre, Hotel Garibaldi offers the perfect base to explore this lively and intriguing city. In the immediate area, there is a wide choice of shops, cafes and restaurants.  The hotel has a modern design and its guest rooms are comfortable and well equipped.

Hotel address
Hotel Garibaldi
Via Emerico Amari 146


Palermo
View available dates for this hotel

* Some hotel facilities may be seasonally operated or under maintenance and therefore unavailable at the time of your stay. Charges may apply for certain facilities.

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Price, taxes, flight times & availability are subject to change. E&OE. Price based on per person, sharing. Single Supplement cost may apply.

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  • Baggage from €40.00
  • Insurance from €12.50
  • Single Supplement from €149.00

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