Around Sicily Mini Tour 2 days from Palermo to Taormina (1 night/2 days ⇒ Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday): This mini tour is PRIVATE, organized using a driver guide. Discover Sicily with our Driver --even if you don't have much time -- it's simple, comfortable and give you the opportunity to explore the main Sicilian highlights i.e. Erice, Marsala, Agrigento, Piazza Armerina, Caltagirone.
Today you will meet your Driver-Escort and departure to tour western Sicily. We will join Erice uptown. The Elymians settled the medieval town of Erice and was an important religious site associated with goddesses of fertility. Wander through its’ ancient streets and visit some of the famous pastry home made shops, world-famous for marzipan candies and other delicacies like almond and pistachio pastry. Then light-lunch at olive oil factory and tasting typical dishes and local olive oil. In the afternoon, we travel between Trapani and Marsala to the Salt Road, to tour the historic saltpan works, where the ancient tradition of harvesting salt from the sea is still practiced. Arrive in Marsala and visit a local winery’s cellar and taste Sicilian wines. Later continue the trip to Agrigento. (L)
This morning independent visit to Agrigento whose history dates back to 580 BC. Own tour to the Valley of the Temples (admission fee: not included), a magnificent cluster of Greek ruins overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Thendrive across the vast countryside enables us to see Sicily’s great variety of sceneries we will reach Piazza Armerina to see the ruins of a Roman Villa of Casale (admission fee: not included). The mosaics discovered here are celebrated among scholars of antiquity. Light-lunch will be in a country-restaurant. In the afternoon, we visit the baroque town of Caltagirone know as “the city of ceramics”. Ceramics have been produced here for over 1000 years. Climb the Stairway of Santa Maria del Monte, city’s symbol made out of 142 steps decorated with splendid glazed majolica tiles. We will continue the trip to Taormina(BB L)
Meal Legend: BB Buffet Breakfast L Lunch (or light-lunch)
Important to know: We customized this excursion using a Driver-Guide. A Driver Guide is a chauffeurs (or driver) specialized to drive you around our amazing island. He is able to provide basic historical information, he can show you the main highlights ... he is knowledgeable and he has an umbrella of information. Our Driver Guide will take care to give adequate time at all stops and to accommodate special requests when possible, he will assure that your experience in Sicily will be both memorable and enjoyable.
The Driver Guide is not a Licensed Tourist Guide (Licensed Tourist Guide: are the only professionals -- with a Regional license -- permitted to conduct visits and tours in all sites and museums within a city) and he cannot escort you inside the monuments because this is not allowed by Italian Rules. In case you need a Licensed Tourist Guide you must pay a surcharge and we will arrange for Licensed Guide to meet you directly on the spot.
LICENSED TOURIST GUIDE (Service is available on request) This excursion doesn't include Licensed Tourist Guide. We are able to book this service on request, subject to availability.
Erice: Breathtaking views and fortress, Olive Oil Factory
Marsala: World known wine producing town + Winery
Trapani: Saltpan works
Agrigento: Valley of Temples
Piazza Armerina: Best Roman mosaics of Sicily
Caltagirone: Traditional ceramic & pottery
Agrigento: Hotel Colleverde
Hotel may be substituted with similar category
N O T E S
ACCOMMODATION FACILITIES: When choosing your accommodation please keep in mind that the categories shown beside the hotel descriptions are supplied by the local authorities. Grading may not necessarily reflect your own personal direct comparison with hotels of the same category elsewhere. If unsure feel free to ask us to advice you to help you to choose the accommodation that best suits you
HOTEL ROOMS: Room assigning is done by the hotel management and is as fair and impartial as the rooms at their disposal allows. Our efforts start weeks before the tour begins when we send a list to each hotel, noting any special requests made by you. Many of you may have requested non-smoking rooms, but because of the tremendous demand for these recently, many hotels are not able to satisfy all the requests. For assistance in operating the TV, heating/air-conditioning or telephone, do not hesitate to contact the front desk staff, they are there to help you.
ROOMS TYPE: Twin/Double in many countries, a double bed is one bed for two people, a twin room is two twin close together. Single rooms are normally very small. DUS rooms is a double for single use and usually if you need it you have to pay the supplement. Triple rooms normally is a twin with an extra rool-away bed.
START/FINISH The tour is Land only; start in Palermo hotel/town and finish to Taormina Hotel/Town.
SMALL SIZE GROUP
Maximum 6 clients My Family/Friend Vacation We generally recommend this solution if you are going to plan your Family Vacation or you are a group of friends need to enjoy a trip in Sicily....you don't agree to rent a car? Great ....this is the best solution for you: a Driver-Escort will get you around the island...look the Family-Friend-Vacation-Offer on the tour 'Around Sicily'.
ADMISSION FEE The price of this tour does not include the Admission Fees, which are usually around Euro 10,00 per person payable directly on the spot. If you are under 18 years old the admission fees are free of charge for you showing your document (or copy of your document) on the spot.
GRATUITIES (We Suggest) -The suggested amount for the Driver Guide have to be an average between EURO 30,00 to EURO 50,00 (for a full day excursion) per day based on the efficiency and service you receive. -Gratuities to restaurants are never included in the bill. The restaurant cover charge is not a tip. If paying with credit cards in Italy & Sicily, please be so kind as to pay your tip separately in cash to the waiter. This should be 10% of the total bill. -The use of public toilets requires a payment to the attendant of EURO 0,30 cents. Public toilet charge EURO 0,50 cents.
LEVEL OF TRIP This trip is designed to create comforts. The accommodation is 4 star standard, which usually means a combination of well-known 4 star properties. The food is first rate, with a blend of haute cuisine and regional Sicilian delicacies, discrete and comfortable transportation, the guides are knowledgeable and charming.
SICILIAN FOOD Sicily is an island and there is a heavy emphasis on fish. Also, in Sicily typically the meal begins with a “starter? then pasta and then your main course. Please keep in mind that the food in Italy and Sicily might not be the same type of Italian food that you have are used to in your hometown. Sicily is famous for cannolis and marzipan. Please save room for dessert!
BAGGAGE HANDLING The charge for handling one suitcase per person sometimes is not included with your tours.
WHAT TO PACK The most important ingredient to a successful vacation is exploration. Please pack comfortable walking shoes. Sicily has a lot of steps and archaeological sites please pack accordingly. For city walking, wear leather shoes with good support. They are more socially and aesthetically acceptable than athletic shoes. Raingear is essential and a little umbrella could be handy. Gore-Tex fabric, which is both waterproof and breathable, is an excellent choice. Always pack a light sweater or jacket, even in summer.
INFORMATION & HINTS -Once you land in Italy don’t forget to set your watch to the local time; -In Italy the current voltage in Hotels is 220W. -In Italy eating snacks is not a problem. But if you want to use restaurants, they open at certain times of the day: 11:30AM till 2:30PM and from 7:00PM till 10:30PM; -Gratuities to restaurant are never included in the bill. Cover charge is not a tip. If paying with credit cards in Italy please pay your tip separately in cash to the waiter and this should be 10% of the total bill; -The use of public toilets requires a payment to the attendant of € 0.30 cents. Public toilet charge € 0, 50 cents; -Shops are generally closed from 1:00PM till 4:00PM and close approximately at 7:30PM. -Ask for a receipt of your bills from most of the shopping establishments. By Italian Law, you must obtain them before leaving the premises; -Be careful of your purse and wallets. Pick pocketing and purse snatching can happen especially in crowed places, such as famous monuments, bus stops, and railways stations. We advise that you do not give money to beggars as this is a common distraction for someone else to snatch your valuables; -Do not carry all your money with you when leaving for sightseeing or strolls, deposit part of your money in the hotel safe or in the special belt around your waist; Have handy telephone numbers of your banks in the event of stolen or lost credit cards; -Keep separate a photocopy of your Passport; -Keep your Currency Exchange forms if you plan to change money back to another currency.
GETTING THERE Flights: We generally recommend that our travellersarrive one day before the tripstarts in order to get their bearings and ease in to the new surroundings. Travel Services: For the convenience of our travellers, we would be happy to assist you in case you need a special rate for your pre-post nights in Sicily.
CLOTHING Whole essays can be written about the Italians' relationships with clothes. Some observations: 1. Sometimes clothing rules are written. To visit a church or religious site you will need to cover yourself up; no bare backs, chests, shoulders and sometimes no bare knees. Sometimes museums and other attractions can also be strict; no bathing suits, for example. If you want to visit a church or religious site it's a good idea to carry a shawl or something with you so you can cover up. Even where there are no written rules, please use good judgement and respect the customs of the area....you're not at home and a little more "prudent" behavior is always appreciated by locals. 2. Italians are very conformist about clothing; everyone wears the same fashions, from teenagers to grannies, which can be shocking at times. And it's normal to be glared at if you are not wearing the latest customised jeans or super hip boots. 3. It's important not to judge people by their choice of clothing. Styles do not necessarily carry the same connotations in Italy that they would in other countries. A woman in fishnets, stilettos and miniskirt with caked-on makeup at eight in the morning is probably just going to work in a bank. Almost all youths lounge about in skin-tight t-shirts with their rear-ends squishing out of jeans.
ADVISE FOR WOMEN "Sexual harassment" is not regarded in the same way in Sicily-Italy as in other countries. The general atmosphere is pretty unreconstructed, and women should be prepared for attention :-). However, the tone of this "attention" is generally less aggressive than you may be used to. Men will call out compliments such as "bona" (beautiful in Sicilian language) instead of muttering crude suggestions. And culturally, these comments are not seen as insults; if you respond angrily or insultingly everyone will be very surprised. Whereas women of other nationalities may be used to telling strangers (in no uncertain terms) to shut up and go away, in Sicily the norm is to ignore the attention. In any case, responding in English or in imperfect Italian will only encourage more attention. It's best to do as the Sicilian-Italian women do, and sail past with your head held high. If you avoid eye contact and don't respond, you are extremely unlikely to be pursued or hassled further.
DISABLED TRAVELERS Please advise us in advance if you will arrive in Sicily with a folding wheelchair or with a cane. This is because we need to verify if our excursion fit you needs.
SMOKING Since January 2005, smoking has been banned in all enclosed public places that do not offer sealed off rooms equipped with smoke extractors. The controversial new law covers i.e. bars, restaurants, offices, public buildings, public transports and cinemas. Smokers face fines is up to EURO 275, whilst businesses could be hit for EURO 2.000.
CURRENCY -The EURO is the currency accepted in Italy. The preferred method of payment is the EURO or a major credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express). -Traveler’s checks are not welcomed by local merchants. -Check with your bank to determine whether or not your ATM card will work overseas and find out what is the maximum amount of cash is that can be dispensed on a daily basis. (Note: The maximum amount available for withdrawl in Europe is usually less for “foreign” ATM cards. If you try to withdraw an amount and have problems, try again selecting a smaller amount to withdraw). -If you do not have a cash card, you can go to the currency desk and they will exchange your currency into EURO. The other option is to go to your local bank BEFORE leaving your country and obtain EURO. Please do this well in advance of your trip as some local banks might need to order EURO from their main branch.
GENERAL SAFETY Sicily is a pretty safe island. You should take obvious precautions, as in any city around the world, such as keeping any bags and possessions under your control and being alert for bag-snatchers and pickpockets in crowded places.
Agrigento: One night accommodation; Buffet breakfast; One visit to Sicilian cellar and tasting local wine; Two light-lunches at local restaurant/country-restaurant with set-menů; Car/Van with Air Conditioning; Tasting as specified in the itinerary; English speaking Driver-Guide as per program.
Gratuities and tips; Beverages and meals not specified; Travel Insurance; Licensed local guide; Admission fees; Hotel & City Taxes.