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Sicily, Etna & The Aeolian Islands

4.3 stars(12 reviews)
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Explore the unique island of Sicily

8 days From £999 per person
Flexible Booking

Book your 2022 holiday between 8th December 2021 and up to and including 31st January 2022 and you can transfer your holiday for free - no questions asked. T&C's apply

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2022 Tour code: 22SCF

About the tour

An enchanting part of Italy, Sicily boasts a wonderful combination of stunning scenic coastline, historic cities and breathtaking landscapes. Visit Mount Etna and the Aeolian Islands on this magnificent holiday.


What’s included


Day 1 - London & Giardini Naxos

Your holiday begins with a flight from London to Catania. From here, you transfer to Giardini Naxos, a beautiful resort bursting with history and situated just outside of the popular hilltop town of Taormina. On arrival, you check in for your seven-night stay.

  • Dinner
Day 2 - Taormina

You enjoy a guided tour of Taormina which includes a visit to the stunning Teatro Greco. This incredible brick amphitheatre dates back to the 3rd century BC, and still hosts performances today. Built during Roman times in a Greek style and the second largest of its kind in Sicily, it's immaculately preserved. From the top of the auditorium, there are breathtaking views of Mount Etna in one direction, and the peaks of Calabria in another.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Syracuse & Ortigia

You head to Syracuse, a prestigious port city with a rich history. Enjoy a guided tour of Neapolis - which was once the 'New Town', but is now an important archaeological park, with many of the city's centuries-old public buildings. Amongst the incredible findings here are a Greek amphitheatre that dates back to 500 BC, and the Latomia del Paradiso - a series of limestone caves that were once used as prisons, but today are filled with lush greenery. Later you continue to Ortigia, a tiny island connected to Syracuse by a bridge. You could visit its superb cathedral which was built from a former Pagan temple and is reputedly Europe's oldest Christian church. Ortigia is also the home of the majestic Fountain of Arethusa, found on the seafront. This freshwater spring is surrounded by myth and legend, and its gentle waters, dotted with pretty wild papyrus, are well worth seeing.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Giardini Naxos

Your day is free for you to relax in the hotel, or perhaps revisit Taormina, to explore its many attractions. Perhaps visit Villa Comunale and take in Taormina's impressive public gardens, where gorgeous blooms line the paths, shaded by magnolia trees. Otherwise, you could shop for souvenirs in the glamorous boutiques along the Corso Umberto and the surrounding side alleys.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Mount Etna

Take an excursion to mighty Mount Etna on Day 5, Europe's largest active volcano. Take a coach past the rugged lava plains along the higher slopes and see the impressive Silvestri Craters. From here, you're free to take in the view, or you could take the cable car to the top. The summit's active crater is visible, often casting out smoke, accompanied by lumps of tiny red and grey lava - an incredible phenomenon to behold. Later, take the Circumetnea railway around the mountain's base, taking in views of the surrounding villages. This narrow-gauge railway first opened in 1898, and the views of the volcanic landscapes from its carriages are spectacular.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - The Aeolian Islands

Take a boat cruise to the Aeolian Islands, a small volcanic archipelago boasting UNESCO World Heritage status. You stop at Lipari, the largest of the islands, where you spend time in the colourful seaport of Lipari Town, the closest thing to the capital city. Further from the pastel-coloured houses of the bustling harbour, the scenery turns wilder, with dense greenery and rugged hillsides rising out of the water. Continue to Vulcano, which is famed for its hot springs and smoky volcanic peaks. Believed by the Romans to be a by-product from the God of Fire's underground workshop, the island was named in his honour. Even today the black beaches, natural mud baths and rugged coastline have a touch of mythology in them.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Giardini Naxos

Enjoy a free day today, perhaps taking advantage of the hotel's two swimming pools. Otherwise you might like to relax on the hotel's private beach. If you enter the water, there's plenty of sea life to admire amongst the fossilised lava flows from age-old Etna eruptions. For a more sedate way to pass the time, make your way to the pedestrianised seafront, lined with shops, restaurants, pizzerias and cafés.

  • Day 7 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 8 - Breakfast
Day 8 - London

Bid farewell to Sicily today. Transferring to Catania Airport, you fly back to London where your holiday ends.

  • Breakfast

Additional information

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour features the same excursions, they may not necessarily be in the order listed above.

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


UNAhotel Naxos Beach, Sicily

UNAhotel Naxos Beach, Sicily

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The Circumetnea Railway

Enhance your holiday


Flight upgrades
UK rail connections
London hotels


4.3 stars4.3 / 5 · 12 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

Mrs M Mix

4 stars

Submitted 18 Oct 2018

Lovely holiday, beautiful Hotel. Lots of very interesting trips. But too much coach travel, not enough trains

Collected by Rail Discoveries

Mr D Joynson

4 stars

Submitted 03 Oct 2018

Good hotel. Strong points were food, swimming pools and size of room and other facilities. Weak points:- excessive charges to use ombrellones etc on the beach and no baths in the rooms even though it was a four star hotel. Mostly very good day trips. Some minor adjustments would improve particularly having to get up too early in the morning.

Collected by Rail Discoveries

Mrs P Scarsbrook

5 stars

Submitted 27 Sep 2018

fanrastic holiday food was excellant and the overal holiday was well organised

Collected by Rail Discoveries

Mr D Skertchly

5 stars

Submitted 06 Jul 2018

Everything was great and enjoyable

Collected by Rail Discoveries

Mr G Wykes

5 stars

Submitted 31 May 2018

Kate Muir, our tour manager was exceptional! She knew exactly how to control our large group, which made for a hassle free experience. Also the Hotel Ata Naxos Beach was beautiful with extremely helpful staff. We did have a problem in as much as the original accommodation was situated far away from the main building up a sharp incline, and my 82 year old companion found the walk too difficult. Without hesitation, the hotel manager arranged for us to stay in the main complex which was much more convenient. Top marks!

Collected by Rail Discoveries

Mr A Watson

4 stars

Submitted 11 May 2018

The whole tour was excellently planned and managed by the tour manager, Patricia Isaac.

Collected by Rail Discoveries

Show all 12 reviews
European Escorted Holidays by Rail 2022

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Sicily, Etna & The Aeolian Islands

Explore the unique island of Sicily


Lynne Broadley
Helen Laverack
Luke Simpson