Italy: Highlights of Sicily

Trip Code: ZMSL

Why we love it

Take a drive up the towering Mt. Etna, one of the greatest natural beauties of the Mediterranean and Europe’s largest active volcano and get a chance to walk into an extinct crater., Be swept away by Sicilian charm as you explore the backstreets and cobblestone alleys in the timeless old town of Syracuse, Noto and Ragusa., Take a step back in time with a guided tour of Temple of the Valleys which brings to life the full glory of ancient Greece and its myths, legends, gods and goddesses., Join a special tour that showcases the anti-mafia movement in Palermo, visiting sites and people who played an important part in the turbulent history of the city., Enjoy a perfect balance of free time and included activities on this trip for you to make your own discoveries, with our professional leader helping you make the most of it.

Is this trip right for me?

Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Many hotel rooms in Europe are not equipped with air-conditioning, and the cooling system on local trains can be broken on a regular basis. Note also that during peak holiday season beaches can be quite busy. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

Hotel rooms in Europe can seem rather small by American or Australian standards and often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together.

If you have more time to explore the region you can extend your trip and see more of Italy by starting your travels in Rome. Check out our trip 'Rome to Sicily' (trip code ZMSFC). Most departure dates are designed to create this perfect combination trip.

Important information

1. A single supplement is bookable for this trip. Availability is limited due to small properties we use. Please speak to your agent for further information.

What to bring/pack

PACKING
On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are likely to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list., https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination, if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day., TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT
It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.

Physical rating

 
2

This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. Some trips may have individual inclusions that may be of a higher physical rating compared to the overall rating of the trip. Please read the day-to-day itinerary carefully to find out more details on each day's activities, and whether they are suitable for you. Activities can be opted out of if you don't want to participate.

EXPLORING EUROPEAN CITIES
One of the pleasures of travelling in Europe is the ease at which cities can be explored on foot. Your leader will take you on frequent orientation walks, and you will be able to further explore in your own time. We recommend you pack comfortable walking shoes for this trip. Many of our customers are surprised at how much they end up walking, however this is entirely up to you, and public transport to take you back to our accommodation is never far away.

Joining your group

La Collegiata Guest House, Via Paolo Vasta 10 Ang Via Etnea, Catania, 95100, ITALY, Phone: +39 095 315256

La Collegiata is ideally located in a small side street just off from the main shopping street of Via Etnea. The rooms are very clean, spacious with air conditioning and balcony's. The hotel is is very tight on security so the main door to the street is locked and you buzz to unlock it and each floor is locked as well as you own room.

All rooms come with a TV, free wi-fi, telephone and hairdryers.

Home

Joining instructions

The hotel is located just 4 kilometres from the airport and taxis are readily available. By public transport from Catania–Fontanarossa Airport you are able to travel by Bus Alibus line 457 which travels from the airport to Piazza Stesicoro. The hotel is located a 5 minute walk from Piazza Stesicoro. The bus runs every 20mins from 5 am to midnight.

Pre booked arrival transfer from the airport: If you have pre booked an arrival transfer, your transfer driver will be holding a board with the Intrepid Logo or your name at the arrivals hall in front of the Money Exchange office. In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the emergency phone number: +39 346 011 0794. Please note that there is a luggage restriction: 1 big suitcase and 1 hand luggage per passenger.

Finishing your trip

Hotel Tonic, Via Mariano Stabile 126, Palermo, ITALY, Phone: +39 0292965707

Hotel Tonic, situated in the historic centre of Palermo, just a few steps from its most important theatres, the 'Politeama' and the 'Massimo', is housed in an elegant 1900's Art Nouveau building. The hotel has 36 rooms and offers 24 hours reception. All rooms have TV, mini fridges, safe boxes with space to hold a laptop, air conditioning, internet and ensuite bathrooms.

If you are making your own way to the Palermo Airport (airport code PMO) the hotel reception will be able to assist you in organising a taxi or transfer. Alternatively the main railway station is close to the hotel, from where there are frequent bus and train departures to the airport or further afield.

If you have pre booked a departure transfer to Palermo Airport (PMO): You will be collected at the hotel reception. Please reconfirm the pick up time with your tour leader. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +39 339 505 0645.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 7

Lunches included: 

Dinners included: 

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

BREAKFASTS
There are some continental breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar).

VEGETARIANS
Vegetarians might find the menu selection in Europe less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

Climate & seasonal information

SUMMER
Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C/104°F), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

SHOULDER SEASON
In contrast, weather in shoulder season can be unpredictable, and snow is not unheard of at higher altitudes. If you travel at the start or towards the end of the European season please pack accordingly with warm and/or waterproof clothes (preferably layers). The advantage of travelling during this time is that there are less tourists around.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below:

If you have booked an arrival transfer, and you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find to the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly on the number listed in the joining point instructions in the section above.

Intrepid's Local Operator: +49 8024 4679 540

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

TWIN SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per the gender marker on each of their passports. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.

CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

FACILITIES
Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

Transportation

TRANSPORT IN EUROPE
Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a local train, watching the scenery roll by from the window of a long distance bus, arriving on a high speed train in the city centre of your next destination, or navigating each city's public transport system. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action.

TRAINS
The main mode of transportation on this trip is by train. Italian long-distance and inter-regional trains are comfortable and often decked out with air-conditioning. Toilets are always available. Some of the trains have snack bars (or vending machines) and power points next to the seats but that cannot be guaranteed on every journey. Regional and metropolitan trains are usually a bit more basic and can be quite busy, but this just adds to the experience. Train travel is a fast way to traverse long (and short) distances, allowing you to avoid traffic jams and arrive right into the city centre of your next destination.

PRIVATE VEHICLES
Our private vehicles are locally sourced and are air conditioned and comfortable, which makes travelling enjoyable. On some days we will be covering long distances, which will make these days feel longer, however spectacular views and interesting stops along the way make up for it.


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