Day 1 UK - Catania
You'll fly into Catania and be transferred to your hotel in the peaceful resort of Giardini Naxos. It's located just 400 metres from the sea, with convenient free shuttles to Taormina during the day.
Day 2 Syracuse
Start your discovery of beautiful Sicily with a visit to Ortygia, a small island in Syracuse's city centre that's packed with ancient landmarks. Explore its highlights – including Castello Maniace and the fresh water Fountain of Arethusa – and take a stroll around the traditional market before a 50-minute cruise across the Gulf of Syracuse.
We'll sail under the Saint Lucia and Umbertino bridges and up the Anapo and Ciane estuaries that are enchantingly named after a Greek water god and a nymph.
Day 3 Giardini Naxos - at Leisure
Today you'll have the option of relishing the tranquillity of Giardini Naxos or signing up to our optional Godfather Trail tour. Particularly great for film buffs, it'll see you travelling to Savoca and Forza d'Agrò, two pretty medieval coastal hamlets used as shooting locations in Francis Ford Coppola's iconic films.
The tour will start in Savoca, a little village that's widely thought of as the prettiest in Italy. Perched atop a hill and enveloped by vineyards and citrus groves, it's a beautiful place where time seems to have stood still. Enjoy views over the Gulf of Taormina before ducking into Savoca's Capuchin Convent, filled with wonderful artwork and the catacombs of 18th century aristocracy.
Next up is the almost-equally-pretty Forza d'Agrò. The peaceful village stood in as Corleone in the famous Godfather movie trilogy, and you'll understand why it was chosen when you witness its stone-paved streets, quaint churches and ruined Norman castle.
Day 4 Giardini Naxos - of Leisure
Enjoy a lazy morning in Giardini Naxos or sign up to our optional Jeep excursion to legendary Mount Etna. We'll go off-road along a volcanic trail, passing ancient lava flows and fascinating vegetation, to Valle del Bove on the southeast edge of the mountain. Take a stroll along the crest and craters of the volcano with a Local Guide who will enlighten us about the geology of the valley. The tour concludes at a volcanic cave where you'll discover more about Etna's destructive eruptions.
You'll have the afternoon completely to yourself before we all journey to the Murgo Winery on the slopes of Mount Etna. Thanks to the volcanic soil, the vineyard grows a unique variety of grapes with distinct and complex flavours. Sip on the region's earthy wines during a tasting session and traditional meal.
Day 5 Giardini Naxos - at Leisure
We've left today free for more leisure time in serene Giardini Naxos. Soak up the sun on the resort's glorious golden beach, take the free hotel shuttle bus to Taormina or join our optional cookery class at the Agriturismo Terrenia. Learn how to make maccheroni (macaroni) pasta and whip up a traditional Sicilian dessert before tucking into both for lunch.
Day 6 Giardini Naxos - at Leisure
Enjoy another day to yourself or join our optional full-day excursion to the Aeolian Islands of Lipari and Vulcano. We'll depart from Milazzo harbour and sail across to Lipari, an island famed for its white pumice mountains and huge Petra Lunga and Petra Menalda rocks.
Lipari Town, the island's capital, is awash with colourful buildings overlooking the crystal-clear ocean. Explore the town's major highlights, including the majestic ruins of a 16th century citadel and the Museo Archeologico Regionale Eoliano that's jam-packed with ancient artefacts and undersea treasures rescued from local shipwrecks.
We'll then hop on the boat to nearby Vulcano, a small volcanic island that's known for its thermal waters, therapeutic sulphurous mud and dramatic black sand beaches. Take it easy with a mud bath or trek up to the mouth of the island's steaming volcano crater for panoramic views of the land and sea.
Day 7 Catania
Catania is one of Sicily's most visually stunning cities, thanks to beautiful Baroque architecture decorated with gargoyles, cherubs and floral motifs. We'll take you on a Local Guided tour of the city's main sites, beginning at the UNESCO World Heritage Palazzo Biscari built by Sicilian nobility during the 17th century.
Next, venture through Catania's fish market and along Via Vittorio Emanuele that's lined with Baroque era palazzos and the striking Convitto Cutelli school with its circular courtyard. Admire even more wonderful structures along Via Crociferi – including Sant'Agata Cathedral and the grand Bellini Theatre – before indulging in an afternoon Sicilian street food-tasting experience at a local bar. In the evening, the group will gather for a memorable farewell dinner by the hotel pool.
Day 8 Catania - UK
Today we'll transfer to the airport for our flight back to the UK.Meals included: B
Please note:Pools are typically open from May-October, at the discretion of the hotel.
TAILOR YOUR TRIP
Diamond Resort: Room Upgrade
Sea view rooms are available at a supplement for the duration of your stay. Please speak to a Holiday Advisor for details.