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Splendours of Sicily – 10 Days Palermo to Catania with A&K


Highlights
  • Absorb the rich Moorish and Byzantine architectural heritage of Old Palermo
  • Satisfy your sweet cravings at the Grammatico Pasticceria
  • Learn the secret of ceramics, a symbol of Sicilian culture in Caltagirone
  • Join locals in the great tradition of passeggiata
  • Savour Sicilian wines at a vineyard on the slopes of Mt Etna
  • Earn 1 Qantas Point* per $1 spent on this Itinerary!

Important Terms
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Afloat in the Mediterranean, off the toe of Italy, and closer to Africa than Rome, Sicily has seen successive waves of conquerors from ancient Greek and Roman times to the Germanic tribes and Byzantine emperors, Arab armies, Norman invaders and the Spanish crown. Each left their mark on this sunny open-air museum with its Greek temples and Norman churches, Baroque palaces and dramatically located cliff-top villages. Lush mountains and sun-drenched plains, sandy beaches and a snow-capped volcano provide the scenic surrounds to the bustling cities of Palermo and Syracuse and it has a rich culinary tradition which reflects the island’s fascinating history.


Day 1

Arrive Palermo

Welcome to Sicily where you are met by your A&K Guardian Angel and transferred to your luxury hotel in the heart of the city.
Accommodation: Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa (Deluxe Room)

 

Day 2

Palermo – Monreale – Palermo

Begin your adventure at Monreale on the outskirts of Palermo to see the stunning Cathedral and Cloisters. Afterwards head back into town to old Palermo to discover the Palermo Duomo, intriguingly built on the site of a Muslim mosque. Explore the Quattro Canti, where your see the 12th century San Cataldo Church with its Moorish-style architecture and La Martorana Church, decorated with beautiful Byzantine mosaics. If time permits, your guide may incorporate some other sites such as the Palazzo dei Normanni and Palazzo Albatellis.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

 

Day 3

Palermo – Agrigento

Explore the rugged west of Sicily starting off at Segesta, one of the finest surviving Greek temples in Sicily, and the beautiful medieval hill town of Erice boasting some of Sicily’s most impressive views over the stunning Trapani coast and the Egadi Islands. Known for its almond pastries, visit one of the town’s pasticcerias to see them being made and taste the finished product. Continue your journey along the coast and visit an historic wine cellar for a tour and tasting before heading to your hotel just outside the town of Agrigento.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Villa Athena (Deluxe Room)

 

Day 4

Agrigento

Rise early and visit the 2,000-year-old Temple of Concordia before the crowds before being led by your guide later on an in-depth visit to the fascinating Valley of the Temples, one of the most significant archaeological sites in Sicily. Visit the impressive remains of five Doric temples at this richly-preserved 5th century BC site, resplendent with thousand-year-old olive trees, almond groves and diverse Mediterranean flora. The Temple of Concordia, one of the best-preserved Greek temples anywhere in the world, is a stand out. The afternoon is yours to relax and enjoy your beautiful hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Villa Athena (Deluxe Room)

 

Day 5

Agrigento – Piazza Armerina – Syracuse

Continue to the lesser visited south-eastern corner of Sicily pausing in the graceful old town of Piazza Armerina which is surrounded by forest. Wander through the ancient site of Villa Romana del Casale, originally home to Maximianus Herculeus, Diocletian’s co-emperor, and his son Maxentius. Admire the stunning mosaics depicting scenes of mythology, hunting and domestic life.

Next stop is Caltagirone, the pottery capital of Sicily. Take your time strolling through the historic centre of town and browse the shops and stalls selling the beautiful ceramics. Arrive into Syracuse later this afternoon.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Algilà Ortigia Charme Hotel (Deluxe Room)

 

Day 6

Syracuse

The city of Syracuse, birthplace of Archimedes, was once described by Cicero as “the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all”. What began as a small Greek outpost would eventually become one of the most prosperous and powerful states in the entire ancient world. Start your exploration at the magnificent 5th century BC Temple of Athena, located in the heart of the Ortygia neighbourhood, one of Sicily’s most picture-perfect destinations and known for its charming shops and restaurants. This little island connected to the main city of Syracuse is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site and has always been a strong focal point of the city.

From here, it’s a short drive to the Neapolis to visit the Greek theatre, one of the most important examples of ancient theatre architecture in the world and once the centre of Siracusan life. Testament to its stature, it is said that famous Greek playwright Aeschylus once premiered works here. Other sights explored on your tour include the Roman Amphitheatre and the Latonia del Paradiso, the impressive ancient stone quarries and caves – the most famous of which was named The Ear of Dionysius by Caravaggio for its peculiar acoustic qualities. Prior to returning to your hotel, you may also wish to visit the Archaeological Museum to further your exploration of the ancient cultures where exhibits range from Neolithic pottery to fine Greek statues and vases.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Algilà Ortigia Charme Hotel (Deluxe Room)

 

Day 7

Syracuse – Noto – Ragusa – Modica – Syracuse

Val di Noto in the south east was once described by an unknown author as “pure joy…a perfect marriage of colour and light found nowhere else on earth”. You’ll encounter this when you set foot in the local villages and admire the typical honey-coloured, Baroque facades which glow in the sunshine. The region is also famed for its gourmet cuisine – from artisanal chocolate and nougat to Michelin-starred restaurants, the finest granita, gelato and buffalo mozzarella with citrus jam.

In the lovely Baroque village of Noto, visit the splendid cathedral, renowned for the beauty of its architecture, opulent marble altars and recently-added frescoes. Stop for a delicious treat at one of the caffes before continuing to the delightful town of Modica, for a chocolate-making demonstration and tasting, and the hilltop city of Ragusa where you’ll join the locals on a passeggiata, a pre-dinner stroll with friends and family through the streets – and pre-dinner aperitivo. Return to Syracuse.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Algilà Ortigia Charme Hotel (Deluxe Room)

 

Day 8

Syracuse – Catania – Taormina

Onwards to Catania, Sicily’s second-largest city. Sitting above the massive lava flows from Mt Etna, the city has always had an intricate relationship with the volcano. Cool black and grey lava rock blended with the imported white stone from Syracuse gives the city its unique architectural style.

Start your exploration in the neighbourhood surrounding the magnificent Baroque cathedral and the famous Elephant fountain. A stone’s throw away, behind the nearby Fontana dell’Amenano, discover the colourful and bustling fish market which opens every morning. Heading north out of town, stop at a local winery near the slopes of majestic Mt Etna for a tasting before arriving into the delightful town of Taormina.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo (Superior Room with Seaview & Balcony)

 

Day 9

Taormina – Castelmola – Taormina

Explore Taormina on foot this morning. Visit the Greek Theatre that was originally built by the Greeks and rebuilt later by the Romans. Overlooking the surrounding countryside and Mt Etna, views from the amphitheatre are spectacular. Later drive to Castelmola, a tiny hamlet with even more sensational views, best enjoyed with a glass of local wine from the Turrisi Bar. Return to Taormina with the rest of the day at leisure.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo (Superior Room with Seaview & Balcony)

 

Day 10

Depart Catania

Transfer to Catania Airport for your departure flight.
Meals Included: Breakfast


Twin Share Per Person from: $11,485
Solo Traveller from: $21,885

This is an Abercrombie & Kent private journey and can be tailor-made to fit with your travel dates and built around your desires.

Earn 1 Qantas Point* per $1 spent on this Itinerary!

Ask one of our Travel Specialists about Packaging Flights with your Tour and Save


Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

Located in the heart of Palermo, Grand Piazza Borsa Hotel is a convenient base for your stay in the city with all the major attractions just a short stroll away. There are 127 classically styled rooms, two restaurants and a spa.

Villa Athena

The Hotel Villa Athena has an astonishing position just a stone’s throw from the magnificent Temple of Concordia, part of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Valley of the Temples, just outside Agrigento. This handsome 300-year-old villa is set in pretty, landscaped gardens with a restaurant, bar, outside pool, spa and wellness centre, vegetable garden and amazing temple views. Rooms and suites are tastefully decorated in designer fabrics and furnishings with marble bathrooms, some with spa facilities.

Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo

Set high in the rugged hills of Taormina, the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo has long been revered as one of Italy’s most glamorous hotels playing host to an impressive clientele since its opening in 1873. The villa-style property has sweeping vistas of the Greek Theatre, the bay of Naxos and snow-capped Mt Etna. The interiors boast Baroque-style antiques, silk curtains and sprawling marble baths while the gardens are full of towering cypresses, century-old olive trees, fragrant bougainvillea and a heated, panoramic swimming pool surrounded by beautiful terraced gardens. The hotel also has access to a private beach.

Algilà Hotel de Charme

Located on the waterfront of the Ionian Sea amongst historic 14th century residences, the Algilà Ortigia Charme Hotel is in two adjacent Baroque palazzi with sea views from many of the rooms. The hotel showcases Sicily’s traditional decorative style with antique furniture, brightly painted ceramics and warm, colourful textiles. A small restaurant features fresh local produce and a Sicilian wine list.

 


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Experience the Abercrombie & Kent Difference

A&K pride themselves on the service and standard of excellence for which they have become renowned. This service extends to every stage of your journey with Abercrombie & Kent, from the very start of your planning to the phone call you receive from us when you get back from your holiday.

With local guides on the ground in 52 offices around the world, Abercrombie & Kent can provide you with exclusive insider access to experiences that other travel companies simply can’t provide. So whether you want a tour of the pyramids with your own Egyptologist, observe a private food offering ceremony with Buddhist monks in Thailand or browse the private art collection of the Medici’s in Florence, Abercrombie & Kent experts will know just how to make it happen. And as they are the partner of choice for many hotels and resorts, travellers are guaranteed to receive the best service available.


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