Hidden Treasures Tour of Sicily & Malta

8 days Escorted group

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Hidden Treasures Tour of Sicily & Malta – 8 days

Discover the hidden secrets of the charming Sicily & Malta with this comprehensive tour starting in Palermo and ending in Valletta which will take you through its picturesque villages, well-preserved archaeological sites and splendid scenery, inclusive of local delicacies. Good value for money in a group of 30 people and 4* accommodation…

Day 1 – PALERMO (hotel in Palermo)
Arrive independently to the hotel in the charming city of Palermo (optional private transfer on request). In the evening you will meet our tour-leader and your travel companions and enjoy a welcome dinner. Overnight in hotel.

Day 2 – MONREALE – PALERMO (hotel in Palermo)
After breakfast in hotel, the morning will be spent visiting Monreale, its huge Norman Cathedral, proclaimed the Eighth Wonder of the World, and its splendid Cloister in Arab-Norman style: admirable masterpiece of art, sculpture, and semi-precious stones marquetry! Later we will discover the stunning Palermo, one of the richest towns in the Island for its history and art. Palermo stands on a bay at the foot of Mt Pellegrino, a headland described by Goethe as the loveliest he had ever seen. While the Baroque predominates, there is a profusion of different architectural styles reflecting the city’s multicultural past: Punic walls, Art Nouveau villas, noble residences, XVIIth century squares, including an elegant opera house. We will visit the wonderful Arab-Norman Cathedral, the astonishing Martorana Church and the amazing Cappella Palatina, mirable example from an historical and an artistic point of view, of how different cultures, religions and way of thinking apparently incompatible can coexist. Ruggero II in fact employed both Bizantyne, Muslim and Latin workers. Along the visiting day, we will have a stop for a food surprise in a local bakery. Free time for lunch. Continuing our walk we will admire the Teatro Massimo and the debated fountain in Pretoria Square, situated in the ancient Kalsa area and adorned with XVI century sculptures. Dinner and overnight in hotel.

Day 3 – MARSALA- SALT ROAD – AGRIGENTO (hotel in Agrigento)
This morning the tour will continue along the charming and well-known town of Marsala, where Garibaldi went ashore in May 1860. Marsala is a Mediterranean modern city, divided between sea and land, featuring unforgettable colors: bright yellow, intense blue, strong red, dazzling white and natural green. It preserves several ruins of Phoenician, Arab and Norman dominations and a wide artistic heritage with sanctuaries and caves, hypogeums, underground roads, necropolis and thermal baths. We will discover the lovely city center and its aristocratic buildings, monuments and imposing Baroque churches. The guided tour of the Florio Cellars is a journey that begins in front of the majestic giant vats, built at the end of the 19th century and still used for the refinement of marsala. It continues inside the 3 fascinating barrel chambers, 165 meters long and running beneath 104 arches, under which 1.400 small barrels and about 600 larger barrels and vats of different capacities are arrayed, as c. 5.500.000 litres of Marsala wines age in silence and stillness. After a thirty minute tour through the barrel vaults, where the ancient tuff stone floor has been restored, you reach the avant-garde tasting rooms where we stop for lunch and for a local wine tasting. We will proceed to visit the popular Salt Road. Between Trapani and Marsala, the Salt Road is now protected, in part because of the interesting birdlife, and also as important sites of industrial archaeology; here the salt marshes have given rise to one of the oldest salt-extracting industries in the world.. Transfer to Agrigento and visit of the Valley of the Temples stated World Heritage Site, where among hundreds of almond trees, the rests of the ancient Akragas rise. It was defined by Pyndar “the most beautiful city of mortals”. Once one of the most prosperous of the ancient Greek cities on the island, Agrigento presents a remarkable series of Doric Temples of the 5th century. You will see the “Temple of Hera”, the “Temple of Concordia” and the “Temple of Heracles”. Accommodation in hotel, dinner and overnight.

Day 4 – PIAZZA ARMERINA – RAGUSA IBLA – VALLETTA (Hotel in Malta)
Today we will reach Piazza Armerina where we will admire the splendid polychrome mosaics of the famous Villa Romana del Casale, World Heritage Site. The complex includes some of the most extensive and most beautiful Roman mosaics known. This majestic villa, belonged to a member of the Roman Senatorial aristocracy, hosts prestigious mosaics representing mythological and historical episodes and scenes of hunting and entertainments. After free time for lunch, departure to Ragusa Ibla and visit of its historical centre cradle of Sicilian Baroque, with its Cathedral, situated in the beautiful square of the Dome and the “giardino Ibleo”. Used as a location of the extremely popular Police Inspector Montalbano Tv series, it is today stated among the 44 Italian World Heritage Sites. This little precious ancient city hosts more than 50 churches and many Baroque architectural treasures. We’ll conclude the visiting day with a tasting of local products. Free time in the Ragusa city center. The tour continues without a tour leader. Transfer to Pozzallo harbour, boarding on the catamaran to reach Malta. Arrive in Malta Valletta and private transfer to your hotel. Free dinner and overnight.

Day 5 – VALLETTA – MDINA (Hotel in Malta)
After breakfast in hotel, our guide will lead you through a half day excursion to discover the treasures of the charming capital Valletta.  You will visit the wonderful Casa Rocca Piccola, ancient palace of the sixteenth century belonged to the Maltese nobility and still today private residence of the Marquis De Piro; proceeding on you will visit the Cathedral of St. John where you will admire the beautiful “Beheading of St. John the Baptist”, Caravaggio masterpiece and the Barraca Gardens from where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the picturesque port of Valletta. Later on, you will visit the Grand Master’s Palace, nowadays seat of the Maltese Parliament. Your tour continues on to Mdina, the former capital of Malta. You will visit the Cathedral of St. Paul and then you’ll have free time to walk along its lovely streets and discover its viewpoint from which to enjoy a splendid view. After the visit, transfer to your hotel. Free afternoon. Overnight at your hotel.

Day 6 – Sunday: COTTONERA – MARSAXLOKK – BLUE GROTTO – DINGLI – GOLDEN BAY (Hotel in Malta)
Today the tour continues with a full day excursion with private driver and guide to discover the beauty of this magical Island. You will reach Cottonera, also called “The Three Cities”: the three fortified cities of Senglea, Vittoriosa and Cospicua. Afterwards you will visit the charming fishing village of Marsaxlokk whose waterfront is decorated with traditional colorful fishing boats called “luzzi“. Free time to stroll along the streets of the city centre and browse among the stalls of the famous local market. Continuing you will visit the town of Wied iz-Zurrieq where you will embark on an excursion sea towards the famous Blue Grotto, a beautiful and picturesque natural cave that reflects the fluorescent colors of the underwater flora. Your tour will continue on board of a private vehicle in the direction of Dingli through the Maltese countryside. Then, the tour goes to Golden Bay in Mellieha, one of the most beautiful beaches of the island. Free time to enjoy the place and for a refreshing swim in its crystal clear waters . Return to your hotel. Overnight.

Day 7 – Monday: COMINO – BLUE LAGOON – GOZO – MALTA CAVES (Hotel in Malta)
After breakfast in hotel, a private driver will pick you up for another day of excursion in the Maltese archipelago. You will be accompanied to Bugibba, where you will board on a comfortable boat for a fantastic mini cruise. Sailing through the north of the Maltese coast to the island of Comino; you will stop at the famous Blue Lagoon for about an hour. Time to take some pictures, sunbathe and have a swim in the turquoise waters of the bay or, if you prefer, you can relax in the bar of the boat which is equipped with drinks and snacks. Afterwards you will reach Gozo for a visit of about 3 hours, discovering the most charming places of the island: Ta ‘Pinu, Dwejra, the capital Victoria with its historic market square and the Citadelle St. Georges. At the end of tour, you will return on board to circumnavigate Comino and visit the famous caves. Return to Bugibba at late afternoon. Transfer to your hotel and overnight

Day 8 – MALTA
After breakfast in hotel, check-out and end of our services.

NB: Please note the company is not responsible for any disruption due to weather and sea conditions concerning all hydrofoil and ferry crossings among the islands.

Dates, Inclusions, Cost , Supplements

Guarantee Departure dates 2020:

  • March  24…31
  • April  07…14…21…28
  • May  05…12…19…26
  • June 02…09…16….23…30
  • July 07…14…21…28
  • August 04…11…18…25
  • September 01…08…15…22…29
  • October  06…13…20…27
  • November  03…10

Fees for the entrances to pay locally (to  be confirmed):

  • Monreale Cathedral € 4,00 p.p.
  • Monreale Cloister € 6,00 p.p.
  • Palermo Cappella Palatina € 12,00 p.p.
  • Palermo Martorana Church € 2,00 p.p.
  • Agrigento Valle dei Templi € 12,00 p.p.
  • Piazza Armerina Villa Romana € 10,00 p.p.Malta
  • Casa Rocca Piccola € 9,00 p.p.
  • St John Cathedral € 7,50/€ 10,00 p.p.
  • Grand Master’s Palace € 6,00/€ 10,00 p.p.
  • St Paul Cathedral € 10,00 p.p.

Price per person (2 people twin share): A$2950 per person

Payment : Deposit A$600 per person within 7 days of confirmation and balance 60 days before leaving from Australia

What is included:
  • Multilingual Tour leader and professional travel guide* (English, Italian, Spanish) from the evening of the 1st day to the evening of the 4th day, local guides or audio-guides where necessary.
  • Deluxe bus from day 2 to day 4 and Whisper kit
  • Accommodation in charming 4 stars hotels mostly located in the city centre, international breakfast included
  • 3 dinners in hotels or local restaurants (dinner – 3 main courses fixed menu – beverages not included) to have a taste of Sicilian and Italian cuisine.
  • Visit of the main suggestive Unesco World Heritage Sites: Monreale, Palermo, Agrigento, Piazza Armerina, Ragusa.
  • 1 lunch: day 3 in Marsala in the well-known Florio Cellars.
  • Tasting of Sicilian typical products: Palermo (day 2) tasting of local street food; Marsala (day 3): visit of a wine cellar  and wine tasting; Ragusa (day 4): tasting of local cheese.
  • Private transfer from Ragusa to Pozzallo harbour.
  • 4 nights in 4* charming hotels, mostly located in the city centre, international breakfast included
  • Private Transfer from Valletta harbour to your Hotel
  • Virtu Ferries Ticket one way Pozzallo-Malta
  • 1 half-day excursion with a private driver-guide (1st day in Malta)
  • 1 full day excursion with private driver-guide(2nd day in Malta)
  •  1 excursion to the Blue Lagoon, Comino, Gozo and The Caves (3rd day in Malta)
Not included:
  • Flights
  • Arrival and Departure transfers
  • Other meals and drinks
  • Entrance fees at monuments/museums
  • Hotel tourist taxes (where required)
  • Insurance and everything not listed as “Included”
Additional Supplements:
  • Single supplement A$580
  • Pre-night in hotel in Palermo  inclusive of breakfast A$140 per person per night and – A$255 in single room per night.
  • Transfers from Palermo airport to hotel in Palermo: A$85 each way (1/3 pax per car).
  • Post-night in Malta upon request
  • Privilege pack A$590 per person ( or A$900 for single) which includes: Superior/Deluxe room , return private transfers, City taxes and all entrance fees as per program
Accommodation and Meals

Accommodation:
Hotels are carefully selected for their location and design to combine Sicilian tradition with comfort. They will be confirmed up to 7 days before tour deparure

  • Palermo: Mercure Palermo Centro 4*/ Ibis Styles Palermo Cristal 4* or similar
  • Agrigento: Baia di Ulisse Wellness &SPA  4* or similar
  • Malta: Hotel Argento St Julians 4* / Seashells Resort at Suncrest 4*  or similar

Special GIFT to participants: A splendid illustrated book about Sicily, its history and its culinary tradition with recipes in English.

Price from: A$2950

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