A wealth of ancient and historic treasures awaits you in an enchanting land of sun-drenched vineyards and sparkling clear seas. A succession of civilisations has left a dazzling, cosmopolitan heritage with some of the finest art and architecture in the entire Mediterranean.
Itinerary: Use the tab menu above for full itinerary and other information.
Dates & Prices:
08–19 April 2019. Early booking price only £1795.
07–18 October 2019. Early booking price only £1795.
Reserve your place early for a best price guarantee. Single supplement £240.
- Eleven nights 4-star hotel accommodation.
- All breakfasts and 7 evening meals (4 nights free to enjoy local restaurants).
- A complete circuit of the island at a relaxed pace.
- Greek temples, Phoenician cities, Roman mosaics, medieval and baroque masterpieces.
- Accompanied by a specialist tour director supported by local Sicilian guides.
- Flexible flight arrangements.
- 100% TTA financial guarantee.
Flights and Extended Stays
Flights are added on a personal basis rather than included in the tour price. This gives you complete freedom to choose your preferred departure airport, flight times, length of stay, airline etc. We will be pleased to quote and book flights for you, and any extended stays, or you can book your own if you prefer. Flights booked with us are fully ATOL protected and can be available from as little as £100 return.
How To Book
Reservations & Enquiries: To reserve your place or enquire further simply fill in the booking form, or call us on (UK) 0121 444 1854. There is no commitment and no payment at this stage; reservations are purely provisional until we have confirmed availability and proceeded with booking and payment.
Booking & Payment: Once you have checked availability and reserved your place, we will require your full details and a deposit of £250 per person to secure your booking. This can be done with a credit/debit card over the telephone (0121-444-1854) or by sending us a completed booking form and cheque. To print a booking form click here.
See our booking conditions for further details.
All Hidden History’s tours include a host of fully guided excursions and interesting talks to create an enriching travel experience. They also include some luxury and leisure by choosing great hotels and keeping the itineraries fairly relaxed and varied. More about What to Expect…
Departure TimeDeparts 08 April 2019 and 07 October 2019.
Day 1: UK/Sicily.
You are met on arrival at Catania airport and transferred (45 mins) to your hotel in Syracuse for three night’s accommodation with dinner in one of the city’s finest historic hotels. Your tour director will be on hand to answer any questions.
Day 2: Syracuse.
Syracuse was one of the most famous and powerful cities of ancient times, and is now a beautiful, honey-hued mix of ancient and historic buildings. Our guided tour of this World Heritage site includes the wonderful archaeological park with its spectacular Roman theatre, massive altar of Hieron II and its mysterious stone quarries. We continue to the lovely island of Ortygia, in fact the nucleus of the city both in ancient times and today. Here we can stroll through the narrow, winding streets and small piazzas that surround the cathedral which was also a Greek temple. A lecture by your tour director will help to put it all in context.
Day 3: Akrai and Syracuse.
We begin with a scenic morning in Syracuse’s hilly hinterland, the land of the Sicels, a tribe who lived here before the Greeks arrived. We visit the ancient Greek city of Akrai, with its evocative ruins in a beautiful upland setting. Returning to Syracuse, we learn more about the Sicels and the Greeks in the excellent Syracuse archaeological museum, and then relax with free time in the city or at the hotel, as you wish.
Day 4: Piazza Armerina & Morgantina.
A treat is in store today as we leave Syracuse and head across to the island’s southern coast. En-route we find one of the world’s most stunning collections of in-situ Roman mosaics. They adorn the floors of room after room of an enormous 4th century villa of imperial scale and are simply breathtaking. Nearby, we make sure not to miss the little gem of a site at Morgantina, where excavations continue to uncover a fine Greek city, before continuing to our hotel in Agrigento for the next two nights with dinner included.
Day 5: Agrigento.
It can be said that Sicily has better Greek temples than Greece, and the most famous are those of the Valley of the Temples at Agrigento. We have the whole day to explore it all, enjoying a guided walk along the sacred way and among the treasures of the site museum, and taking a leisurely lunch in the attractive town centre. Your tour director will provide another lecture before your included dinner in the hotel this evening.
Day 6: Selinunte and Mazara del Vallo.
The ancient city of Selinunte flourished in the 5th century BC and is now one of Sicily’s most impressive and extensive archaeological sites, enhanced by a wonderful coastal location. After our guided visit and time for lunch on the seafront, we continue to nearby Mazara del Vallo, a fishing port with historic connections to North Africa and our base for the next two nights. Here we leave the evenings free for you to enjoy the excellent local restaurants within walking distance of our hotel, itself once one of the wineries for which this region is known.
Day 7: Motya & Marsala.
It is rare to find good Phoenician sites and Motya is one of the best. Founded in the 8th century BC it is preserved on a small island in a lagoon, accessible only by boat. Abandoned since the 4th century BC, the excavated settlement now creates a memorable experience. Nearby Marsala was founded when Motya was abandoned and is now a pleasant, historic town with a fine baroque centre. Its museum houses a rare Phoenician ship. The 18th century saw the first production here of the famous Marsala fortified wine, and our lunch break is a perfect opportunity to sample it.
Day 8: Segesta & Monreale.
Leaving the south coast we head to Palermo, stopping en-route at two magnificent religious sites, one ancient and one medieval. Segesta has a magical, remote, rural setting and is one of the best preserved Greek temples in the world. Closer to Palermo we find Monreale (literally ‘Royal Mountain’) where the wonderful Cathedral and cloister represent an unmatched 12th century ‘east meets west’ concentration of Arab, Norman and Byzantine art. Then we settle into our hotel in Palermo for the next two nights with breakfast only—our city centre location allows you to explore the local Sicilian cuisine at your leisure.
Day 9: Palermo.
A whole day to explore Sicily’s colourful, multi-cultural capital. We include visits to the Norman Palace, the cathedral and the archaeological museum, and leave you time to wander through the lively streets and markets.
Day 10: Cefalu & the North Coast.
Leaving Palermo we enjoy a leisurely drive along Sicily’s north coast, enjoying lovely views of the sea, the mountains and islands. We stop at Cefalu to see the cathedral, second only to Monreale in its splendour, and finish at our hotel in Acireale for the final two nights with dinner included.
Day 11: Taormina.
A relaxed morning enjoying the attractive town of Taormina with its dramatically-sited ancient theatre. A free afternoon with options to enjoy the hotel and its interesting town of Acireale, or take the opportunity to join a trip to the crater of nearby Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano and a fascinating landscape.
Day 12: Departures.
You will be transferred from your hotel to Catania airport for your flight home, or why not stay longer in Sicily? We can recommend more to do, such as a trip to the fabulous Lipari Islands.
Please note that the itinerary may be subject to change or re-ordering according to the weather or other circumstances beyond our control.
This large island, poised off the toe of Italy, was ancient Rome’s first stepping stone to overseas conquest. But before and after the rise and fall of Rome other cultures contributed to the history of Sicily, ultimately creating a particularly rich and uniquely Sicilian heritage. Mountains, hills, plains and a 1000 km long coastline have provided an equally varied and interesting landscape, including Europe’s tallest and most active volcano, Mount Etna.
More on Sicily: Click Here to see our brief overview of the archaeology of Sicily. A Virtual Tour, with a map and a gallery of photos and information about each site, will also be coming soon.
Please note that we sometimes have to change hotels for reasons beyond our control. We always choose hotels of a similar standard, designed to give you a little luxury and leisure alongside your cultural enrichment.
Syracuse: The Grand Hotel Villa Politi. For hotel website click here (opens in another tab).
Agrigento: The Hotel della Valle. For hotel website click here (opens in another tab).
Mazara del Vallo: The Mahara Hotel. For hotel website click here (opens in another tab).
Palermo: The Hotel Frederico II Central Palace. For hotel website click here (opens in another tab).
Acireale: The Hotel Santa Tecla Palace, Acireale. For hotel website click here (opens in another tab).
Flexibility: Rather than reserving group seats for a particular flight, we keep your flight options open to give you greater choice of departure airport, airline, flight times, cabin class etc.
Airports & Airlines: There are two main airports in Sicily: Catania and Palermo. This tour is designed for use with Catania airport. Use of Palermo airport is impractical for transfers. Direct flights to Catania are available from a number of UK airports, enabling various flight options.
Book with us or book your own: Once we have confirmed availability of the tour, you can choose either to book your flights with us, or to make your own travel arrangements. Before booking any flights of your own please ensure we have confirmed the availability of the tour as our tours are subject to minimum and maximum numbers of participants.
Airfares: Ask us for a quote. Use the reservation/enquiries form or call 0121 444 1854.
ATOL Protection: If you book your flights with us you will be ATOL protected, which means that you will not lose your money or be stranded abroad if things go wrong. If you book your own flights they may not be ATOL protected, even if you book direct with the airline or with an online search facility.