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Christmas in Sicily

8 Days from £1,795per
person
Early Booking Offer

Save up to £50pp on selected 2019/20 departures when you book on or before 31/05/2019

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(Tour code: PTX20)

An unforgettable Italian escape

Explore stunning Sicily in winter on a relaxing holiday by rail. Discover Grecian ruins and Italian traditions, explore the charms of Erice and the 'living Nativity' of Custonaci on Christmas Day, and witness the majesty of Mount Etna as we circle the volcano's base on the Circumetnea Train, all during our unforgettable Italian escape.

Highlights
  • Palermo & Monreale
  • Agrigento
  • Custonaci’s live nativity scene
  • Catania
  • Mount Etna
  • Circumetnea train
What’s Included
  • Standard Class Rail
    Journey on the Circumetnea Train
  • 4* Hotel Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
  • Return Scheduled Flights

Christmas in Sicily 2019Tour Details

Print Itinerary
Days 1-2 To Palermo
Flights

London to Taormina

We meet at the airport today, where we board our flight to Catania in Italy. On arrival, we transfer to our hotel in Taormina, the 4-Star Hotel Villa Diodoro. On Day 2 you will have a guided tour of the city before spending the rest of the day at leisure.

Includes:
  • Day 1 - Dinner
  • Day 2: Breakfast
Day 3 Mount Etna
Mount Etna

Mount Etna and the Circumetnea Train

Our excursion today takes us to the indomitable Mount Etna. We approach this spectacular mountain by rail before travelling around the base, enjoying superb views from our carriage, before lunch at a local winery.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 Palermo
Palermo

Arriving in Palermo

Today is Christmas Eve and we head to beautiful Palermo by rail, enjoying the Sicilian sights on our journey. Enjoy some free time in the city for lunch, before we all meet up again to discover Palermo on a guided tour. The capital of Sicily, Palermo is a fascinating place to explore with our guide and we see both its old medieval quarter and the newer district. We then check into our hotel, the 4-Star Eurostars Centrale Palace.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 Erice
Erice

Custonaci’s live Nativity scene on Christmas Day

Today is Christmas Day, and to celebrate, we take a tour of some of Sicily's most famous Christmas displays. Our first stop is Erice, a charming ancient town with medieval walls, perched atop Mount Eryx. Each year in December, the spirit of the season takes over the winding streets and quaint architecture of Erice, transforming the town into a delightful Christmas village, filled with delicate Nativity scenes and a bustling Christmas Market.

During our time here, we take in some of the intricate Nativity scenes dotted around the town, before continuing our Christmas celebrations in Custonaci. Custonaci is famed for its 'living Nativity scene', a popular Italian custom where residents or actors take on the roles of traditional figures found in the Nativity story. Known as 'presepi viventi', these special pageants are often on display for several days over the Christmas period, sometimes featuring hints or allusions to local customs in the props or scenery. Custonaci's presepi viventi, housed in a large cavern, is considered one of the best in Sicily, with over 160 costumed participants creating an immersive Nativity - the perfect way to celebrate Christmas. After time to explore this fascinating scene, we return to our hotel for a delicious Christmas Day dinner.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 Agrigento
Agrigento

The Valley of the Temples on Boxing Day

We continue today, on Boxing Day, to enjoy a visit to Agrigento, one of Sicily's oldest towns. This area is famous for the Valley of the Temples, a collection of magnificent Doric temples built in the 5th century BC. We enjoy a guided tour here and also take some time to visit the Archaeological Museum.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 Monreale
Monreale

Monreale

Our final excursion is to Monreale. This charming hilltop village is home to an astonishing collection of architecture, including its incredible cathedral. After some time here, we return to Palermo to enjoy the afternoon at leisure. The capital of Sicily, Palermo is a fascinating place to explore. Tonight, there is a farewell dinner at our hotel.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 Homeward bound flights
Homeward bound flights

Return to London

Today we bid a fond farewell to Sicily as we board our flight back to London from Palermo Airport.

Includes:
  • Scheduled flights
  • Breakfast

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour features the same excursions, they may not necessarily be in the order listed above.

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.

What’s included

An escorted experience and all travel arrangements

  • The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to finish
  • Scheduled return flights from London to Catania
  • Standard Class rail and coach travel throughout

Comfortable accommodation in your destination

  • 7 nights' hotel accommodation

Delicious meals included

  • 15 meals, including 7 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 5 dinners, including special Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners

Exciting excursions and free time to explore 

  • Guided tour of Palermo
  • Guided tour of Monreale
  • Agrigento & Valley of the Temples
  • Excursion to festive Erice
  • Excursion to Custonaci, to see the 'living Nativity' scene, on Christmas Day
  • Visit to Taormina
  • Free time in Catania
  • Excursion to Mount Etna
  • Journey on the Circumetnea Train

Enhancing your tour

  • Upgrade to a sea view room in Taormina for £75 per person (double occupancy only)

Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.

Helen Laverack
Helen
Lynne Broadley
Lynne
Julie Pacalon
Julie
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