- Palermo Cathedral
Explore the Cathedral of Palermo, a treasure of Norman architecture in Sicily, on an included excursion.
- Archaeological ruins
Syracuse once rivalled Athens as the greatest city of the Greek world.
- Intricate mosaics
Villa Romana de Casale houses one of the richest and most varied collections of Roman mosaics world-wide.
- Monreale Cathedral
Superb mosaics cover almost every surface in Monreale’s fascinating cathedral.
- Ortygia Island
Discover Syracuse’s historic centre with its traditional architecture on the island of Ortygia.
- New holiday
- All breakfasts and more
Greek temples, Roman villas and Norman cathedrals
On this week-long tour uncover the best of Sicily’s archaeological sites. Boasting a total of seven UNESCO-listed sites, the island is home to Greek temples, Roman villas and Norman cathedrals showcasing more than 3,000 years of civilisation. Journey from the capital, Palermo – with its historic centre filled with Norman, Arabic and baroque treasures – to Catania, a city built on the remains of ancient Greek and Roman settlements. You’ll also have the chance to explore the pretty seaside resort of Cefalu, ascend Europe’s most imposing active volcano, and uncover Taormina, home to a magnificent Greco-Roman theatre.
7 nights in hotels
9 meals: 7 breakfasts (B) and 2 dinners (D)
- Optional travel insurance underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK
- Return flights and transfers
- Saga tour manager
- Welcome drink reception
- Porterage at all hotels
Excursions and visits
- Guided tour of Palermo and Monreale
- Visit to Villa Romana del Casale
- Guided walking tour of Syracuse and Ortygia
Day 1 UK-Palermo, Sicily
Fly to Palermo on Sicily’s northern coast and transfer to the locally rated 4-star Hotel Garibaldi where you’ll stay for three nights.
The hotel has a great central location in the heart of Palermo, opposite the grand Politeama theatre, and is within walking distance of many restaurants and shops. Facilities at this modern hotel include a restaurant, where your buffet-style hot and cold breakfast will be served, a small stylish bar and a fitness room. Public areas in this centrally located hotel are relaxing and compact. All 70 rooms are equipped with a satellite television, direct-dial telephone, hairdryer, a small fridge, tea-making facilities (no milk or coffee) and complimentary internet access.
Look forward to a welcome dinner and drink this evening where you can get to know your fellow passengers. D
Day 2 Palermo
Today embark on a full day guided tour of Palermo and Monreale.
This exotic city has a fascinating history reflected in its varied architecture which encompasses Arabic, baroque and art nouveau styles. Coupled with its glorious coastal setting, it's quite unlike any other Mediterranean city. Here you’ll visit the ornate Palermo Cathedral, one of the great sights of Norman Sicily, and the Church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti. Neighbouring Monreale is also home to a stunning Norman cathedral which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015. B
Day 3 Palermo
Spend today at leisure.
Perhaps continue to explore Palermo independently, or alternatively, visit the seaside town of Cefalu and the mountain town of Castelbuono on an optional excursion. B
Day 4 Palermo-Catania
This morning take a scenic coach transfer of approximately four hours to Catania. En route pause in Piazza Armerina for a self-guided visit of Villa Romana de Casale. This UNESCO-listed archaeological site houses one of the richest and most varied collections of Roman mosaics world-wide.
Located on the east coast of the island, Catania is an ancient port city which sits at the foot of Mount Etna.
On arrival, transfer to the locally rated 4-star Hotel Katane where you’ll stay for four nights. The hotel has a central location and is close to a number of restaurants and bars. Facilities include a restaurant, bar/lounge, coffee shop and free Wi-Fi throughout. All 58 rooms have a minibar, telephone and safe. B
Day 5 Catania
After breakfast, look forward to a full day excursion to Syracuse and the island of Ortygia.
One of the most fascinating towns in Sicily, Syracuse once rivalled Athens as the greatest city of the Greek world. This guided excursion includes a visit to the Archaeological Park, where you can see the remains of temples, tombs, a Roman amphitheatre and one of the largest Greek theatres in existence. Enjoy time at leisure this afternoon in the historic centre on Ortygia island with its remains of a 5th-century Greek temple now incorporated into the baroque cathedral. B
Day 6 Catania
Spend the day at leisure or join an optional excursion to Taormina and Catania. B
Day 7 Catania
Today is at leisure to continue exploring Catania independently, or alternatively, perhaps join an optional excursion to Mount Etna, with an included wine tasting.
Look forward to a farewell dinner this evening. B, D
Day 8 Catania-UK
Depart your hotel after breakfast, and transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B
Cefalu and Castelbuono
Take a scenic drive along the northern coastline to the popular resort of Cefalu. Here you’ll have free time to wander the cobbled streets, visit the UNESCO-listed cathedral and, if you’re feeling energetic, walk up the imposing rock of Cefalu.
Once the site of an Arab citadel, the summit offers impressive views over the town below. Continue to Castelbuono, a small medieval village in the Madonie mountains. Named after the 14th-century Norman castle that overlooks the town, there’s plenty of history to discover here.
Optional on 7 nights itinerary
Taormina and Catania
Visit Taormina, where a guided tour will reveal the remains of an important city during the Greek and Roman periods - the Theatre and Odeon.
This afternoon enjoy time at leisure to explore Catania. The city's central square, Piazza del Duomo is know for its Fontana dell'Elefante statue and the ornate Catania Cathedral.
Optional on 7 nights itinerary
Mount Etna and wine tasting
Discover the lava-covered slopes of Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. You'll be taken to the lower level of Mount Etna, called Rifugio Sapienza. From here, the Silvestri Crateri are within walking distance and you can admire the older frozen lava flows and breathtaking views on clear days.
After, unwind with a wine tasting at a local vineyard which grows its vines on the slopes of Mount Etna.
Optional on 7 nights itinerary
On an included excursion to the Greek city of Syracuse, you’ll have the chance to explore Ortygia, Syracuse’s historic centre.
A small island, only one kilometre in length, Ortygia is surrounded by the azure waters of the Ionian Sea and is connected to the mainland by just three bridges. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, Ortygia is home to numerous archaeological sites, which you’ll be able to explore during free time on the island. Don’t miss the stunning Piazza Duomo, one of the oldest piazzas in Sicily, and the remains of the Temple of Apollo, a Doric structure dating from the 6th-century BC.