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Sicily and The Aeolian Islands

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4.5 stars(4 reviews)
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Small Group

Historic towns, natural wonders and rich Italian culture await.

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
8 days From £1,595 per person

2022 Tour code: PSJ22

About the tour

Uncover the charms of Sicily and the Aeolian Islands, discovering historic towns, natural wonders, and rich Italian culture. Visit one of the world's most active volcanoes, discover historic architecture, and enjoy a taste of Italy as we sample Sicilian wines and local street food.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – London and Palermo

We meet at the airport in London, where we board our flight to Sicily. Arriving in Palermo, we transfer to the heart of the city and check into our hotel for the next two nights. Sicily's capital, Palermo is a treasure trove of rich history, art and culture, as well as fantastic food. Sicily itself is known for its connections to the arts, thanks largely to its stunning landscapes and incredible historic heritage.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - Palermo and Palazzo Conte Federico 

We explore historic Palermo, seeing the 'Quattro Cante', or Four Songs, a Baroque square with a fountain on each corner, as well as the Palatine Chapel and Palermo's Cathedral. We continue to Capo Market to sample some of Palermo's best street food, arancino - fried rice balls crammed with tasty fillings. After time for lunch, we continue to Monreale to visit the cathedral, with its mosaics and multi-coloured marble. This evening, we visit the Palazzo Conte Federico for a drinks reception with one of Palermo's oldest families, discovering a historic home that lies behind a nondescript door in the heart of the city.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 3 – The Aeolian Islands and Lipari

Leaving Palermo by train, we travel along the coast, a scenic journey that takes us along the cliffs overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. Arriving in the port town of Milazzo, we board a ferry to the stunning Aeolian Islands. A volcanic archipelago rising from cobalt waters, these seven UNESCO-protected islands are a piece of paradise just waiting to be explored. We arrive in Lipari and make the short walk to our hotel, where we spend two nights. This evening, we enjoy dinner in a local restaurant, owned for over 100 years by the Bernardi family.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 – Panarea and Stromboli

After a free morning in Lipari, we sail to Panarea, possibly the most elegant of the Aeolian Islands. After some time to explore, we continue to Stromboli, one of the world's most active volcanoes. The volcano is fringed by a black sand beach and is thought to have been erupting almost continually for at least 2000 years, providing an incredible, natural pyrotechnics show. We land on Stromboli and enjoy dinner in a local restaurant, as well as time to wander through the town. We return to the boat to witness the eruptions by night, the most spectacular time to see the incredible fiery outbursts.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 – Taormina

We sail back to the mainland port of Milazzo and transfer to Messina. Here, we join the train for a journey southward to Taormina-Giardini station, an Art-Deco building featured in The Godfather films. We transfer to our seaside base in Taormina Bay, linked to the Old Town by cable car, where we spend three nights. This afternoon, we learn about Taormina's rich ancient history on a guided walk. We see the fascinating Greek Theatre and pause to taste one of the town's most delicious treats, Canolo, a crisp pastry filled with sweet ricotta cheese.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Taormina

Enjoy a day to explore Taormina. You could enjoy a relaxed day at the hotel, perhaps lounging around the hotel pool or drinking in the stunning views from the hotel terrace. If you'd like to stretch your legs, you could take a stroll through the delightful winding lanes and myriad of shops in Taormina. A great option is to pay a visit Bam Bar, a local institution, for a 'granita', a refreshing sorbet usually served with brioche bread.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Mount Etna

We visit Mount Etna, one of Sicily's iconic sights. Arriving at the highest point accessible by road, you have free time, during which you might like to walk to the Silvestre Craters or journey further by cable car or 4x4. We continue to Adrano to join the Circumetnea Railway, viewing the volcano from a different angle. The unique soils of Mount Etna mean the slopes are an excellent place to grow grapes for wine, which we discover as we visit the Frank Cornelissen Winery this afternoon. We take a tour of the winery and enjoy a tasting of the different wines.

Includes
  • Day 7 - Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Return to London

Bidding farewell to Sicily, we transfer to the airport for our flight to London.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Hotel Tritone, Lipari

Hotel Tritone, Lipari

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Palazzo Sitano

Palazzo Sitano, Palermo

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Hotel Villa Esperia, Taormina Bay

Hotel Villa Esperia, Taormina Bay

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Train

The Circumetnea Train

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
Flight upgrades
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.5 stars4.5 / 5 · 4 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (2)
  2. 4 stars
    (2)
  3. 3 stars
    (0)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Lucille Ralph

5 stars

Submitted 21/Oct

A great introduction to Sicily and her Islands. Walking tour of Palermo was good even in the rain. The hotel in Lipari was excellent and Vulcana made for an interesting visit. You could smell the sulfur! Unfortunately we couldn’t go to Stromboli because of the stormy seas. Taormina was beautiful with the dramatic back drop of Etna. Only negative was that we didn’t have time to see more. Salvatore our coach driver was excellent and our tour manager Tim outstanding .

Collected by Trustpilot

CG

4 stars

Submitted 21/Oct

It was a brilliant week, especially Mt Etna and Taormina. The history of the island with its many invaders. Great food as well. Negative is landing at Catania and driving for 3 hours to Palermo late at night.

Collected by Trustpilot

Horsfield

5 stars

Submitted 18 Oct 2019

We had a really good holiday and saw some very interesting places, with an excellent guide and and very good group who all got on well together.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs J Balchin

4 stars

Submitted 12 Oct 2019

Too many churches, not enough free time.Ancient Sicily should surely include Agricento temples.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Europe by Rail 2022

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Sicily and The Aeolian Islands

Historic towns, natural wonders and rich Italian culture await.

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