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Christmas in Sicily

5.0 stars(3 reviews)

An unforgettable Italian escape

8 days Sold out

2020 Tour code: PTX21

About the tour

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.


What’s included


Days 1-2 - London and Palermo

We meet at the airport and board our flight to Palermo in Italy. On arrival, we transfer to our hotel, where we stay for the next 4 nights. On Day 2 we discover Palermo on a guided tour. The capital of Sicily, Palermo is a fascinating place to explore and we see both its old medieval quarter and the newer district. Palatine Chapel is included in Palermo. Then in the afternoon continue to Monreale to visit the town and its magnificent cathedral.

  • Day 1 - Dinner
  • Day 2: Breakfast
Day 3 - Agrigento, and the Valley of the Temples

Today we enjoy a visit to Agrigento. This area is famous for the Valley of the Temples, a collection of magnificent Doric temples built in the 5th century. We enjoy a guided tour here and also take some time to visit the Archaeological Museum.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Custonaci’s live Nativity scene on Christmas Day

After a free start to the day we make our way to Trattoria del Sale in the town of Paceco for a wonderful lunch in rustic surroundings, before continuing to Custonaci, 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 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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 5-7 - Taormina and the Circumetnea Train

We head to beautiful Taormina by rail, enjoying the Sicilian sights on our journey. On arrival we check into our hotel, the 4-Star Hotel Villa Diodoro, in the heart of Taormina. On Day 6 we have a guided tour of the city before the rest of your day is free. We transfer to Rifugio di Sapienza, the highest accessible point on Mount Etna, on Day 7 and enjoy free time here. For lunch, we visit a local winery, enjoying a 3-course meal. Later we travel on the Circumetnea Train, which makes its way around the base of Mount Etna, to Randazzo before return to our hotel for our final evening.

  • Day 5 - Breakfast
  • Day 6 - Breakfast
  • Day 7 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mount Etna
Day 8 - Catania and London

Today we bid a fond farewell to Sicily as we board our flight at Catania airport to London Gatwick.

  • Breakfast
Homeward bound flights

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.


Centrale Palace Hotel, Palermo

Centrale Palace Hotel, Palermo

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Hotel Villa Diodoro

Hotel Villa Diodoro, Taormina

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The Circumetnea Train

Enhance your holiday


Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
Flight upgrades
London Hotels


5.0 stars5.0 / 5 · 3 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

Mr L Holland

5 stars

Submitted 18 Apr 2019

Loved the island, decent hotels, lots of activity, easy going companions, an erupting Mount Etna and a tour manager that i know well enough to be confident that things would run smoothly.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr P Hayday

5 stars

Submitted 14 Jan 2018

Well organised from Luton onwards - excellent Tour Managment. Problems during build-up but overcome before tour.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs J Macgregor

5 stars

Submitted 14 Jan 2018

SIcily is such an interested place and the tour took us to some of the well known history spots. The tour manger was so friendly and looked after us all with such energy. Weather was good for Xmas, and will never forget our Xmas lunch after the visit to the valley of temples.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

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Christmas in Sicily

An unforgettable Italian escape


Lynne Broadley
Helen Laverack
Luke Simpson