Mediterranean warmth and twenty-five centuries of mixed rule
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and much bigger than most people realise. The Mafia and Inspector Montalbano most spring to mind when thinking of Sicily but whilst you’re unlikely to spot either of these, a visit is rewarded with stunning architecture and traditions from 2,500 years of mixed occupation. If you’re expecting something much the same as Italy you’ll be disappointed, if you’re looking for surprises Sicily will deliver. Our tour covers the whole island and throughout you’re never far from the sea. We stay in the islands two major cities, capital Palermo and second city Catania; see the geographical phenomenon of Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano; the nature of San Vito lo Capo peninsular, the ancient monuments at the Valley of Temples and Salinunte, the wonderful architecture in Syracuse and Cefalù, the UNESCO towns of Noto and Taormina, and the amazing mosaics of Villa Romana. Add to this the rich local cuisine, the great wines, an opportunity to travel in your own motorhome with like minded people and this tour has all the content for a great holiday.
Day One – Thursday 15th September
Welcome to Bologna in Italy where our tour starts. This evening you have the opportunity of meeting with fellow tour participants as the Tour Directors host a welcome drinks reception at their motorhome.
Day Two – Friday 16th September
We head south to arrive at our campsite in Rome. 240 miles
Day Three – Saturday 17th September
A free day, you may wish to take advantage of the public transport from near our campsite for a visit to the city and some of Rome’s classical sights – the Trevi fountain, Spanish steps, Coliseum and Vatican are all possibilities.
Day Four – Sunday 18th September
Continuing south we arrive at the beautiful Amalfi coast town of Sorrento. This evening we have a group dinner. 170 miles
Day Five – Monday 19th September
A free day. Sorrento’s charm and location are sure to make you want to wander in its many narrow streets.
Day Six – Tuesday 20th September
A free day and an opportunity to join with the Tour Directors as they take the boat from Sorrento to the chic island of Capri for the day.
Day Seven – Wednesday 21st September
Move on today but not too far. We travel south to Paestum, a major ancient Greek city on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea where today three Greek temples of the Doric order remain, this is a taste for some of the great architecture to come in Sicily. A visit on route to our campsite is recommended. 70 miles
Day Eight – Thursday 22nd September
Travel to the toe of Italy today, we are now within sight of Sicily. 190 miles
Day Nine – Friday 23rd September
With a short 30 minute ferry crossing we arrive in Sicily and our campsite in Catania complete with sea views. We celebrate with dinner and Sicilian wine this evening in our campsites own restaurant. 70 miles
Day Ten – Saturday 24th September
A free day. Located in the shadow of Mount Etna Catania the islands second largest city has been reshaped many times. Over the years the city has been rebuilt seven times as a result of violent eruptions from its near neighbour and the locals response has been to rebuild using material that comes in abundance following volcanic activity – lava. There are public transport links from near our campsite to the city centre.
Day Eleven – Sunday 25th September
We have a guided excursion to Mount Etna today. The volcano is one of the most active in the world and has been erupting for several million years. It was the legendary home of the Roman fire god, Vulcan, and the mythological one-eyed Cyclops. We will have lunch in a local trattoria.
Day Twelve – Monday 26th September
Free day. You may choose to relax or visit Catania – the local market there is well worth a visit.
Day Thirteen – Tuesday 27th September
Today we will be taken to the beautiful town of Taormina, one of Sicily’s most famous resorts. Perched on a rocky promontory overlooking the sea with dramatic views of Mount Etna it certainly justifies its nickname ‘the Pearl of the Mediterranean’.
Day Fourteen – Wednesday 28th September
We travel south along the Sicilian coast to Avola. 60 miles
Day Fifteen – Thursday 29th September
A free day, our campsite is close to the beach.
Day Sixteen – Friday 30th September
A full-day guided excursion to Noto and Syracuse. Noto is an attractive little town full of gold-coloured stone buildings with fantastical facades and despite being small achieves UNESCO world heritage status. Syracuse on the other hand is much bigger, has a magnificent archaeological zone and a beautiful centre built on the island of Ortigia. We have lunch included in a local restaurant.
Day Seventeen – Saturday 1st October
We leave the coast for a few days to explore some of the islands interior. This evening we have dinner in our Agritourismo (working farm) camps restaurant. 100 miles
Day Eighteen – Sunday 2nd October
We visit the site of Sicily’s finest Roman remains, the Villa Romana del Casale, which was built between 310 and 340AD. This UNESCO World Heritage site is famous for the richness and quality of the mosaics that decorate almost every room, regarded as the finest in situ anywhere in the Roman world.
Day Nineteen – Monday 3rd October
We have breakfast prepared for us this morning followed by the remainder of the day to relax and do very little in our rural surroundings.
Day Twenty – Tuesday 4th October
Return to the coast and our next campsite situated in the ‘Valley of Temples’. 90 miles
Day Twenty-one – Wednesday 5th October
A free day. The seafront is within walking distance of our campsite.
Day Twenty-two – Thursday 6th October
A guided excursion in the extraordinary Valley of the Temples. This UNESCO World Heritage site is one of Europe’s most significant legacies of Ancient Greece. You will see the ruins of the many temples, necropolis, houses and streets. There is also a fine archaeological museum.
Day Twenty-three – Friday 7th October
A free morning. At lunch time we wander to the coast for a long leisurely lunch.
Day Twenty-four – Saturday 8th October
We continue round the coast to arrive at Salinunte, a pocket of Greece that when part of Sicily was under North African control. 90 miles
Day Twenty-five – Sunday 9th October
A free day and opportunity to visit the ancient site of Salinunte.
Day Twenty-six – Monday 10th October
Continuing around the island we drive along the ‘North African’ coast, gaining its name by being geographically closer to Africa than mainland Italy. 130 miles
Day Twenty-seven – Tuesday 11th October
A free day, our campsite is located on the picturesque peninsular of San Vito lo Capo.
Day Twenty-eight – Wednesday 12th October
An excursion today around the peninsular and its many fishing villages with lunch included.
Day Twenty-nine – Thursday 13th October
A free day.
Day Thirty – Friday 14th October
Today we will be transported to Erice an exquisite tiny medieval walled town perched 750m above sea level.
Day Thirty-one – Saturday 15th October
We arrive near Sicily’s capital. 90 miles
Day Thirty-two – Sunday 16th October
A free day, it’s Sunday so take it easy.
Day Thirty-three – Monday 17th October
A guided excursion of Palermo with city restaurant lunch included. With its central location in the Mediterranean the city has a long and colourful history. Its various rulers, the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Greeks, the Romans, and the Saracen Arabs have all left an influence making this bustling city what it is today.
Day Thirty-four – Tuesday 18th October
Drive to our final Sicilian campsite. 50 miles
Day Thirty-five – Wednesday 19th October
A trip to the popular seaside resort of Cefalù situated on a rocky headland projecting into the Tyrrhenian Sea. It has a lovely beach and a picturesque harbour as well as a Cathedral in the Sicilian Romanesque style dating from 1131. Other sites you can see are a Saracen wash-house and the medieval Osterio Magno, traditionally thought to be the palace of Roger II, Sicily’s 12th Century Norman King.
Day Thirty-six – Thursday 20th October
According to legend Bacchus was the god who brought wine to Sicily, legend aside, there is evidence that wine has been made here for millennia. In the more recent past most of Sicily’s grape harvest was exported to wine producers in other parts of Italy but in the last twenty years there have been major changes to the island’s wine culture and a new generation of local producers are now consistently winning international acclaim. Today we visit one of Sicily’s wineries for a tour and tasting of some the excellent wines the country now produces.
Day Thirty-seven – Friday 21st October
A free day before we have our ‘Farewell Dinner’ this evening and a change to relive the many places and experiences we have encountered throughout the tour.
Day Thirty-eight – Saturday 22nd October
A relaxing start to the day after last night. Late afternoon we travel to Palermo to board our overnight ferry from Sicily to northern Italy. 40 miles
Day Thirty-nine – Sunday 23rd October
Upon departing our ferry this evening our tour comes to an end. You may make your own way back to the UK or travel back with our Tour Directors (campsite and any other fees not included from this point).
PRICE TOUR DEPOSIT £
6m Motorhome with 2 people = £0000 per person
6m Motorhome with 1 person = £0000
Supplement for motorhomes over 6m up to 8m = £000
Supplement for motorhomes over 8m up to 10m = £000
INCLUDED IN PRICE
Southern Italy to Sicily ferry
Sicily to Northern Italy ferry with inside cabin
37 campsite nights with hook-up
1 night on ferry in cabin
All transfers required for included excursions
Entrance fee’s on included excursions
Services of two experienced Tour Directors in their own motorhome
Tour Information Pack including map & guide book
EXCURSIONS & EVENTS INCLUDED
Tour of Mount Etna
Visit to Taormina
Excursion to Noto and Syracuse
Visit to Villa Romana del Casale
Visit to Valley of Temples
Excursion of San Vito lo Capo peninsular
Visit to Erice
Excursion in Palermo
Visit to Cefalù
Tour of Sicilian winery with tasting
1 Drinks Reception
5 Lunches with wine
4 Dinners with wine
This tour starts at Bologna in Italy, but if you would like to travel here at the same time as the Tour Directors please book the optional tour package so that everything can be arranged on your behalf
OPTIONAL EXTRA PACKAGE
Return Dover/Calais Ferry with 60 day Flexible Ticket + Club Class Lounge
Four additional campsite nights with electric hook-ups in France, Germany, Switzerland & Italy
Dinner at the campsite in Germany
Tour information pack with suggested routes
Services of Tour Directors travelling in their own motorhome