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Eastern Sicily and Aeolian Islands
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Eastern Sicily and Aeolian Islands

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 8 day(s)
Group Size: 6 - 10 people
Destination(s): Italy  
Specialty Categories: Walking Tours   Hiking & Trekking  
Season: April - May
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 2195 Euro (EUR)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2195 Euro (EUR)

Only in Siracusa, one of the mightiest cities of ancient times and the starting point for our scenic, historical and mythological walking journey along the Eastern shores of Sicily to the Volcanic Aeolian Islands. Here Greek mythology comes to life: Ulysses finds respite from his maritime adventures after crossing the treacherous Straits of Scilla and Charybdis; Zeus makes Aeolus guardian of the winds; and Vulcan works his forge inside the crater of a volcano; the list could go on.

This area is a sea of ever changing colors, textures and perfumes. As we head up the coast we explore fertile gorges with citrus groves, wild figs and caper bushes cascading onto the openings of Bronze Age tombs; ascend active volcanoes with obsidian and pumice rocks; stroll elegantly in the sophisticated hill-town of Taormina whose scenic beauty bewitched writers such as D.H. Lawrence and Oscar Wilde; sail on the Mediterranean Sea to reach the Aeolian Islands.

Our journey ends on the Aeolian Island archipelago, a group of seven islands, literally chunks of volcanic land lying like sleeping giants in the emerald blue Mediterranean Sea off the north coast of Sicily. Settlers have been here since 4000 BC, trading valuable volcanic rocks like obsidian and pumice across the ancient world. This unspoilt corner of paradise seems frozen in time and exudes a natural harmony and tranquility for us to savor and enjoy.

Itinerary
Day 1
Catania airport - Siracusa
We will meet your flight into Catania airport and bring you to Siracusa to settle into our charming hotel. Aftenoon tour with a local guide of ancient Siracusa, once capital of Magna Graecia and most powerful city of the Greek world.

Day 2
Prehistoric tombs of Pantalica
Early risers will have time to visit the local fresh fish and produce market. We then set out to travel a short distance to the plateau of Pantalica to walk along paths in the Anapo valley along a series of stunning limestone gorges and explore the hillside honeycombed with 4000 year old tombs of various shapes and sizes. We continue in the afternoon to our hotel in Castelmola above Taormina. (3hrs/6miles)

Day 3
Free day in Taormina & Castelmola (Extra - optional excursion to Mount Etna)
Free day to explore the charming streets of Taormina, Sicily's most famous resort town and also Castelmola. Visit the Greco-Roman amphitheatre, do a little shopping, sit in a street cafe and watch the world go by. Optional excursion to Mt. Etna, active volcano, to see an ever changing landscape of lava fields, pioneer flowers and shrubs, ancient and new craters. It is also possible to ascend to Mt Etna using 4x4 vehicles (cost approx 50,00 euros) and then explore the latest eruption sites on foot with a local guide.

Day 4
Panarea
We drive round the north eastern tip of sicily past Messina to reach Milazzo and catch a hydrofoil to Panarea, the smallest and arguably most charming of the Aeolian Islands. Settle into our hotel, stroll along the narrow streets and absorb the island’s soothing atmosphere at sunset over a glass of wine.

Day 5
Panarea & Stromboli by Night
Scenic circular walk around the island and onto the ancient crater wall to a Bronze Age village at the south-west end of the island. Afternoon boat excursion to Stromboli returning after sunset past the eruptive firework spectacle called the ‘Sciara del Fuoco’. (4hr walk)

Day 6
Salina
Salina is distinguishable by its twin volcanic peaks and lies at the heart of the Aeolian archipelago. Our walk is among Malvasia vineyards, ferns, juniper and heather. Il Postino was filmed on this island . Return to Panarea in the afternoon to swim in the sea or relax at our hotel. (3hr walk)

Day 7
Lipari & Vulcano
An excursion to Vulcano for the unforgettable experience of walking up a volcano, going around the rim and looking into the smoldering sulphurous crater (1280ft). Free time in the afternoon to enjoy the town of Lipari, stroll round the characteristic fishing harbor or visit the archaeological museum up on the old Greek acropolis where you can also see excavations of prehistoric settlements.(4hrs)

Day 8
Departure from Catania Airport
We travel by hydrofoil back to mainland Sicily. Transfer by bus to Catania airport for afternoon flights.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Dates for 2014 :- 27 Sept - 4 Oct

What is included?
- 2 experienced guides with you 24/7
- Transportation from meeting to departure point
- Accommodation in double or twin rooms
- All meals including local wine and after dinner coffee
- Entrance fees to museums, events and parks as listed on itinerary
- Local specialist guiding fees
- Gratuities for hotels, meals and baggage
- Not included: Air transport, Lunch on your free days

Notes:
- Lunches are our beloved picnic feasts or packed lunches
- Evening meals are seasonal menus carefully chosen with local chefs
- We choose accommodations with character, charm and a friendly atmosphere and which best reflect the area: luxury or family run hotels, medieval palazzi, manor houses and rustic inns
- Private groups welcome

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