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. – Tuesday: Palermo (hotel in Palermo)
Arrive independently to the hotel in the charming city of Palermo (optional private transfer on request). In the evening meet our tour-leader and your travel companions and enjoy welcome dinner. Overnight in hotel.
Day 2.- Wednesday: PALERMO MONREALE – MARSALA (hotel in Marsala)
After breakfast in hotel, the morning will be spent visiting the capital of Sicily 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, 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 Byzantine, Muslim and Latin workers. Continuing our walk we will admire the debated fountain in Pretoria Square, situated in the ancient Kalsa area and adorned with XVI century sculptures. Along the visiting day we will have a stop for a food surprise in the famous Antica Focacceria San Francesco. Free time for lunch. Later on we will proceed to Monreale to visit 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! In the afternoon we will continue to Marsala in whose port Garibaldi landed in 1860. Visit of a prestigious wine cellar and wine tasting. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 3.– Thursday: MARSALA SALT ROAD – SELINUNTE – AGRIGENTO (hotel in Agrigento)
This morning the tour will continue along the charming and well-known Salt Road: the west coast of Sicily with many salt marshes, which have given rise to one of the oldest salt-extracting industries in the world. Between Trapani and Marsala they are now protected, in part because of the interesting birdlife, and also as important sites of industrial archaelogy. On the way you will see the nice Island of Mothia (situated at the centre of a large lagoon in Marsala, known today as ‘Stagnone’), and the famous Salines and windmills. Departure to Selinunte to visit the largest Archaeological Park in whole Mediterranean and World Heritage Site! Surrounded by a splendid landscape near the African Sea, we will walk among the rests of the ancient Greek city. Free time for lunch. 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. – Friday: PIAZZA ARMERINA – RAGUSA – MODICA – LA VALLETTA (Hotel in Malta)
Proceeding on 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, which has some of the most extensive and most beautiful Roman mosaics known, is a World Heritage Site. 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, well known thanks to the Commissario Montalbano television series, hosts more than 50 churches and many baroque architectural treasures. Free time in the Ragusa city center. The group will continue with a private driver to Modica, a treasure chest full of Baroque treasures and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We’ll conclude the visiting day with a tasting of local products. Transfer to Pozzallo harbour, boarding on the catamaran to reach Malta. Arrive in Malta La Valletta and transfer to your hotel. Free dinner and overnight.
Day 5 – Saturday: LA VALLETTA – MDINA
After breakfast in hotel, our guide will lead you through an half day excursion discover the treasures of the charming capital La 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 we will admire the beautiful “Beheading of St. John the Baptist”, Caravaggio masterpiece and continuing 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. Our 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
This morning the tour continues with a full day excursion with private driver 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 whose system of caves surrounding reflects the fluorescent colors of the underwater flora. Along the coast you’ll ncontinue until the quiet cove of Wied iz-Zurrieq. Our tour will continue on board of a private vehicle in the direction of Dingli through the Maltese countryside. Then you will continue in the direction of the 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 – CAVES OF MALTA
After breakfast in hotel, our 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! You will sail through the north of the Maltese coast to the island of Comino and you will stop at the famous Blue Lagoon for about an hour. You will have 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 all sorts of drinks and snacks. Afterwards you will reach Gozo for here a visit of about 3 hours. You will discover the most charming places of the island: Ta ‘Pinu, Dwejra, the Azure Window and 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 around 17:30/18:00. Transfer to your hotel and overnight.
Day 8 – Tuesday: MALTA
After breakfast in hotel, check-out and end of our services.
Cost inclusive of in Sicily: Multilingual Tour leader and professional travel guide (English, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese) for the whole tour (from the evening of the 1st day to the evening of the 4th day), local guides or audio-guides where necessary; Modern and comfortable bus, minibus or minivan for group with less than 15 pax for the whole tour (from the 2nd day to the 4th); Accommodation in charming 4* hotels mostly located in the city centre of the main Sicilian towns; Visit of the main suggestive Unesco World Heritage Sites: Palermo, Monreale, Selinunte, Agrigento, Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina, Ragusa; Half board basis (dinner – 3 main courses menu to have a taste of Sicilian cuisine); Tasting of typical Sicilian products: Palermo (day 2): tasting of local street food; Marsala (day 2): visit of a wine cellar and wine tasting; Ragusa (day 4): tasting of local products. in Malta: 4 nights in central 4* hotels BB treatment; Private Transfer from Ragusa to Pozzallo and from La Valletta harbour to the Hotel; Virtu Ferries Ticket one way; 1 full day excursion with private driver; 1 half-day excursion with a private driver-guide; 1 excursion to the Blue Lagoon, Comino, Gozo and The Caves
Not inclusive of: Airfares, Transfers in/out, all lunches, beverages, entrance fees for monuments, Tourist taxes (to pay direct if applicable), tips, extras and in general anything not specified under “cost inclusive of”.
Total cost (based on 2 people): A$2900 per person
Guarantee Departure dates 2019:
Fees for the entrances to pay direct(to be confirmed):
Multilingual Tour : English, Italian and Spanish with a maximum of 30 people in the peak periods
Special GIFT to participants: A splendid illustrated book about Sicily, its history and its culinary tradition with recipes in English.
Hotels are carefully selected for their location and design to combine Sicilian tradition with comfort. Will be confirmed up to 7 days before the tour depart
Payment : Deposit A$600 per person within 7 days of confirmation and balance 60 days before leaving from Australia