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TOUR: BIG ISLAND HOPPING : SENSATIONAL SICILY AND SARDINIA


This tour was conducted in 2016 and may only be available as a PRIVATE TOUR for 6 or 7 adults booking and travelling together  in 2017.  If you are interested, please contact Ciao Bella Tours to discuss possible dates for your private tour with us.

The Italian regions of Sicilia (Sicily) and Sardegna (Sardinia) are islands where history merges with myth. Sicily offers Spanish, Greek, Arab and Italian history and architecture: superb beaches and coastal towns, delicious food – especially for those with a sweet tooth - and Mount Etna is genuinely an experience to remember. Parts of Sardinia remain virtually unknown - even for most Italians. The seas are claimed to be the clearest in the world, and the Sardo archaeological sites, food and wine, and the people are quite unlike the rest of Italy. This will be a relaxing holiday tour with a difference – designed for those who’d like to discover two unique, intriguing and fascinating regions of Italy.

This year our tour is of 2 weeks  , so that we can experience a taste of the mid-east mountainous areas amid the Gennargentu National Park, where we'll stay for 2 nights in a small 3 * hotel on the slopes of Mount Corrasi.... as near to traditional Sardinian culture as we can get. (All other hotels are 4* or 5*, with one night at an agriturismo). We’ll spend our first 7 nights in Sardinia, followed by 6 nights in Sicily. All land transportation and site entries are included, as is all accommodation for 13 nights, and all meals. Our holiday tour enables you to discover the islands in a relaxed style, with an itinerary that doesn’t try to cover every town or site, but one which will give you a great experience, encompassing tastes of history, culture, art, archaeology, food and wine.

In Sardinia we stay in Alghero, the centre of the Coral Riviera, exploring the ancient town with a walk around the fortified walls and towers to the bustling port; later even some hours to relax by the pool overlooking the Mar di Sardegna; to visit a  nearby vineyard and winery;  tastings of Cannonau and Vermentino wines; the large grotto Neptune’s Caves which can be reached by foot or by boat; another day with appropriate winds, a day of relaxation and enjoyment on a wooden sailing boat - perhaps swimming or snorkelling or underwater photography when we anchor in the bay- enjoying lunch on board. Driving south we’ll go through some  wild, hilly and untouched natural environments and to Orgosolo famous for its hundreds of murals on houses and rocks.  We'll enjoy drinking vernaccia, vermentino and cannonau wines, and we'll see intriguing “nuraghi” – there are around 7000 of these conically shaped stone buildings dotting the country side. We’ll spend time at an archaeological site with one of the most important pieces of evidence left by the Nuraghic civilization. With a guide, we’ll enter a large nuraghe via a narrow stone staircase.   Staying near Cagliari at our 4* resort hotel within a natural park, we’ll enjoy traditional cuisine in an elegant dining setting. Cagliari is remarkable and maybe older than Rome - certainly more than 3000 years old - but also new - fabulous fashion houses along the main street, overlooked by huge towers from the 1200s. We’ll dine at a wonderful central Cagliari trattoria, frequented almost entirely by locals, which will provide a genuine Sardo food experience.

In Sicily,  Palermo, Siracusa and Piazza Armerina will be our bases for the six nights.  In Palermo, Sicily's capital, we'll have many opportunities to explore the city, including a peek at their magnificent opera house - the biggest in Italy.  Later, nearby Monreale; Segesta, a small village dominated by a superb almost intact Doric styled temple on a hill, built in the 5th century BC, and the less well-known anfiteatro, again in the form of Greek architecture, open for you to climb down into and, if you wish, perform your own soliloquy with the distant rolling hills your backdrop; Erice, the beautiful and oldest town in Sicily - a now medieval town with cobbled streets, no traffic, narrow laneways, stunning views, fabulous pasticceria, and the ambience to suit a town named after the son of Neptune and Venus; Cefalu,  an animated town on the coast under the huge rocca, little fishermen's houses, narrow mazes for streets, a medieval public lavatoio (not a lavatory but a communal washing place amid a little river that was used by locals until a few decads ago!)    On the east coast we'll stay in a 4.5*hotel in the oldest part of town on the island of Ortigia, Siracusa, an  area without noisy traffic, and we'll  vist Catania, Mount Etna (if it’s not erupting!) and beautiful Taormina , a fascinating town of Byzantine origins, now a favourite holiday destination on the hilly coast, and tiny Isola Bella, and Siracusa. We’ll visit (and stay overnight in)  the 12th century medieval Piazza Armerina (a town, not only a piazza) and the nearby Roman villa built in the 3rd century, famous for its remarkable mosaics – probably crafted by African artists in the early 4th century.

Cost:

$AUD 7999.00 per person twin share (land content only): limited single accommodation may be available at a supplement of $AUD 998.00. For further information please contact mardie@ciaobellatours.com.au

Booking:

To make a booking for Tour B, 2016, “Big Island Hopping: Sensational Sicily & Sardinia”, please read the Terms and Conditions documents, then complete the Booking Form, and post to Ciao Bella Tours Pty Ltd, P.O. Box 6068, Cromer 3193 AUSTRALIA, enclosing a cheque for $AUD550.00 per person, as your deposit.

Doric style temple in tiny Segesta, Sicily, Sicilia, Italy, Italia

The Torre dell'Elefante on the hill of the old city of Cagliari, Capital city of Sardegna, Sardinia, Italy, Italia

Clear blue waters of Sardegna, Sardinia, Italy

We walked down the narrow tunnel into the well-preserved ancient Nuraghe in central Sardegna, Sardinia, Italy Nuraghe