Canterbury Tours

Two Islands and a Shoe 2017

Malta, Sicily and Southern Italy

 

Day 1      Fri 15 Sep              VALETTA

Upon arrival at Valetta (Malta) airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Sliema. (D)

 

Day 2      Sat 16 Sep             VALETTA – MDINA – RABAT – VALETTA

After breakfast we set out on a guided tour through the bustling streets of Capital City Valletta visiting the Upper Barracca Gardens which commands a breathtaking view of the Grand Harbour followed by a walk around the beautiful streets of Valletta admiring some magnificent buildings and monuments. After some free time we will then proceed to the old capital city – Mdina, also known as the silent city. After a walking tour, we then continue to Rabat and visit the Catacombs of St. Catald`s.  Next stop is on the Dingli Cliffs for a picturesque photo stop before proceeding to board one of the pleasure boats for a 90-minute Harbour Cruise around the two natural ports of Marsamxett and Grand Harbour. Dinner and overnight at hotel. (B,D)

 

Day 3      Sun 17 Sep            VALETTA

Today is free for independent sightseeing. The nearby Holy Trinity Anglican Church has Mass at 9.30am. Dinner and overnight at hotel (B,D)

 

Day 4      Mon 18 Sep          VALETTA – GOZO – VALETTA

Photo 2 – Valetta, MaltaAfter a 20-minute ferry crossing to Malta’s sister island, one immediately notices that although both islands are similar in History and Development, Gozo offers a truly unique setting due to its traditional character. Our guided tour in Gozo starts with a visit at the Megalithic Temples of Ggantija and Calypso’s Cave, followed by the Old Citadel in Victoria. In the afternoon we shall also visit Xlendi Bay and Dwejra better known for the “Azure Window” and The Inland Sea.  Return to hotel, dinner an overnight (B,D).

 

Day 5      Tue 19 Sep            SOUTHERN MALTA

Today’s excursion focuses on the south of Malta starting with the picturesque fishing village of Marsaxlokk, where one can admire the waterfront lined with the colourful Maltese ‘Luzzu’ boats painted in traditional reds, blues & yellows. We then proceed by coach to Birzebbugia before arriving at the Blue Grotto in Wied iz-Zurrieq. Perhaps take an optional short boat trip to view the brilliant blue sea and the underwater flora in the Grottoes. This will then be followed by a stop at Hagar Qim temples that, due to their very good state of preservation, provide us with evidence of the skill and artistic abilities of our forefather. The last stop of our tour will be at Ghar Dalam Caves – one of the first settlements of these islands. Return to hotel, dinner and overnight (B,D)

 

Day 6      Wed 20 Sep          VALETTA – SICILY – RAGUSA – PALERMO

This morning we transfer to the port and take the ferry to Sicily (Pozzallo). Upon arrival you will meet you Italian Tour Director and will travel to Ragusa for a  half-day tour. The city is situated in the Iblean mountains and it is part of the UNESCO Heritage Sites in Sicily. The main economy of the area revolves around dairy cheese, agricultural products like olives, carobs, legumes, and grains. Upon arrival we walk through the historical town of Ragusa Ibla which highlights the wide array of Baroque architecture in Sicily, including several stunning palaces and churches. Then travel to Palermo. Dinner and overnight at hotel. (B,D)

 

Day 7      Thu 21 Sep            PALERMO AND MONREALE TOUR

In the morning we have a walking tour of the city centre. The walking tour will start with the lively market.  Originating from the era when Sicily was occupied by the Moors, this 1000 year old market has run much in the same manner for centuries.  It has strong Arab influences, resembling an eastern souk, and these influences are also evident in the merchandise itself.  We then walk to the Piazza Pretoria where the famous four corners converge in a quartet of baroque palaces from the Spanish rule dating from 1560.  Then our short stroll will continue through Via Maqueda with the external view of Massimo Theater (The Opera House) and Politeama Theater. The visit will end in Piazza Ruggero Settimo. In the afternoon a short drive take us to Monreale, to see where the Arab-Norman art and architecture reached the pinnacle of its glory with the Duomo launched in 1174 by William II. It represents scenes from the Old and New Testaments all in golden mosaics. Return to Palermo. Dinner and overnight (B,D)

 

Photo 3 – Taormina, SicilyDay 8      Fri 22 Sep              TAORMINA

Today we will enjoy a tour to Taormina. We will walk along the main road of this town, Corso Umberto, with the Messina Gate below and the Catania Gate on the mountain side, and you will have the chance to admire the most important monuments: Palazzo Corvaja  (The Corvaja Palace) (included entrance to Museum of Arts and Folk Traditions), the Teatro Antico (The Old Theatre), Piazza IX Aprile, the Torre dell’orologio (The Clock Tower), the Cattedrale Fortezza (The Fortress Cathedral), the Badia Vecchia (The Old Abbey), and the Palazzo Duca di Santo Stefano (The Duke of Saint Stephen Palace), and much more. After some free time we will return to Palermo and have dinner and overnight at hotel (B,D)

 

Day 9      Sat 23 Sep             SIRACUSA

Upon arrival in Siracusa wel visit the Archaeological Park of Neapolis (from Greek “new city”) that hosts the majority of classical monuments of Greek and Roman Syracuse. On walking through an old Roman street , you can get many important archaeological monuments: the Greek theatre used for classical performances, Roman amphitheater, the Latomie with the Ear of Dyonisius and Cordary’s cave, the Ara of Ierone and The Church of San Nicolò ai Cordari. Then it is on to Ortygia Island, the heart of Syracuse, and among Greek temples, Christian churches, Arabian Streets, important old palaces, we will visit The Arethusa Source and the Duomo square . Some free time in the city and retrun to Palermo for dinner and overnight at hotel. We plan to have Mass at the hotel before dinner. (B,D)

 

Day 10    Sun 24 Sep            CATANIA

Today we will discover the Sicilian port city, Catania. Located on the eastern coast of Sicily, the city sits at the base of Mt. Etna, Europe’s tallest active volcano. Given the historic significance and the number of historic attractions, the city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After the sightseeing tour you will have some time to discover the city on your own. Dinner and overnight in Palermo (B,D)

 

Day 11    Mon 25 Sep          PALERMO – TROPEA

Today we will depart Sicily and take the ferry from Messina to Calabria. Continue to Tropea For dinner and overnight. (B,D)

 

Photo 4 - Tropea, CalabriaDay 12    Tue 26 Sep            TROPEA

A day at leisure to enjoy this seaside resort area, much loved by the Italians. Dinner and overnight at hotel. (B,D)

 

Day 13    Wed 27 Sep          TROPEA – TARANTO

This morning we set out on our eastward journey  to Taranto. Upon arrival we shall commence our sightseeing tour. Taranto was an important Greek colony and became the most important city in the Magna Graecia. The National Archeologic Museum is the only place left to discover the art and history of Greek Taranto and, more generally, of Apulia in the Classical Age. In the pictoresque old city of Taranto we will admire the remains of the Doric Temple (or Poseidon Temple; the oldest temple of the Magna Graecia), the  cathedral of San Cataldo, the gothic church of San Domenico, dicover  charming palaces in the narrow streets and the fishing port. We will also to visit the Aragonese Castle near the swing bridge. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Taranto (B,D).

 

Day 14    Thu 28 Sep            TARANTO – LECCE – BRINDISI – FASANO

Photo 5 – LecceWe will leave Taranto and continue to beautiful Lecce, we will enjoy a sightseeing tour and discover the historic centre, Basilica of Santa Croce with its wonderful Barocco facade and the stunning Duomo square. After some free time we will continue to Brindisi, where we will visit some of the most important sights of the Granafei Nervegna Palace, the archeological site of San Pietro degli Schiavoni (under the theatre), the Norman temple of S. Giovanni al Sepolcro, Duomo square (with the cathedral, the seminary palace, the so called Portico of the Knights Templar), the terminal column of the Appian way and the port of Brindisi.  Then it is on to Fasano for our overnight stay (B,D).

 

Day 15    Fri 29 Sep              FASANO – ALBEROBELLO – MONOPOLI – BARI

A treat is in store today with our first stop in Alberobello. Here we will discover the iconic houses of Puglia. We will learn about the 15th-century buildings in the Aia Piccola district and visit the neo-classical Basilica Minore. Explore the magical Casa D’Amore and Trullo Sovrano and immerge in the atmosphere of the Trulli, part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. We then  continue to Monopoli – the greek Monòpolis –  with its amazing old town and seaport, Polignano a Mare, with its wonderful “terraces” overhanging the sea and its sea caves. Continue to Bari. Dinner and overnight at hotel (B,D)

 

Day 16    Sat 30 Sep             BARI – NAPLES

Bari is the main city of southern Italy and a major ferry port. The old town is typically winding and narrow, but the rest of the city is laid out in an elegant 19th century grid with a seafront promenade, and now also has a modern business centre of glass skyscrapers located in the suburbs. Enjoy a sightseeing tour before travelling to Napoli. Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Naples. We plan to have Mass at the hotel this evening. (B,D)

 

Day 17    Sun 01 Oct            NAPLES – POMPEII

Photo 6 - PompeiiThis morning we explore Naples’ historic centre and discover Piazza del Plebiscito and its fine collection of monuments. Hear snippets of history about Naples Royal Palace (aka Palacio Real), the three Bourbon palaces and the Basilica of San Francesco di Paola — a church with attention-grabbing colonnades. We will also view other Naples attractions such as  Castel Nuovo, Galleria Umberto I and Teatro di San Carlo. We then leave the city by coach and travel further south toward Mt Vesuvius and Pompeii. This city way destroyed and  buried under ashes and forever preserved by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. After a visit to the UNESCO site return to Naples. Dinner and overnight at hotel (B,D)

 

Day 18    Mon 02 Oct           NAPLES – CAPRI – NAPLES

Today we shall glide across the glistening bay to the beautiful Isle of Capri. Here, you’ll visit the magnificent Gardens of Caesar Augustus and view the famed Faraglioni Rocks. Then there’s time to wander through the winding streets and browse in the elegant boutiques before returning to Naples. Dinner and overnight in Naples (B,D)

 

Day 19    Tue 03 Oct            NAPLES – ROME

Upon arrival in Rome, we will have a sightseeing tour of Baroque Rome featuring the historical centre of Rome where you can admire the fabulous fountains and piazzas of the city, decorated with the incredible works of Borromini and his more famous rival Bernini, and still used by Roman’s today as places to congregate. You’ll enjoy a very different walking tour of Rome appreciating the city from a different perspective. (B,D)

 

Photo 7 – Rome

Day 20   Wed 04 Oct          ROME

On our morning tour we will discover the sights of the Ancient Rome. You’ll visit the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Capitoline Hill and Pantheon while learning about notorious events like the gladiator competitions. Rest of the day at leisure. Dinner and overnight at hotel (B,D)

 

Day 21    Thu 05 Oct            ROME

A full day at leisure to enjoy this most wonderful of cities. Perhaps take an optional tour to the Catecombs, or visit the Vatican, or maybe wander the Via Veneto and admire the shops. Tonight we meet up for our farewell dinner in a local restaurant. (B,D)

 

Day 22    Fri 06 Oct              Our tour comes to an end after breakfast this morning as we transfer to the airport for our onward or return flights. (B)

 

 

Tour Cost:                         

  • Land Only:  AUD 7850 (share twin)
  • Single Supplement: AUD 990

 

Inclusions:

  • Accommodation – hotels are mainly locally graded 3/4* with private facilities. (Tour based on share twin accommodation.) Supplement is payable for passengers requiring single rooms.
  • Meals – breakfasts (Continental) throughout. Dinner (three course hotel dining room) throughout., except for our farewell dinner which will be held in a restaurant.
  • Sightseeing – as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Entrances – we have arranged for pre-payment of entrances as follows:

Malta: Upper Barracca Gardens, Catacombs of St. Catald`s, 90-minute Harbour Cruise, Megalithic Temples of Ggantija, Calypso’s Cave, Old Citadel in Victoria, Blue Grotto in Wied iz-Zurrieq, Hagar Qim temples, Ghar Dalam Caves

Sicily: Museum of Arts and Folk Traditions, Teatro Antico, Archaeological Park,

Italy: The National Archeologic Museum, Aragonese Castle, Granafei Nervegna Palace, Casa D’Amore, Trullo Sovrano,  Pompeii, the Colosseum

  • Local Guides – in Malta on Days 2, 4 and 5. In Italy: Ragusa, Palermo and Monreale, Taormina, Siracusa, half day Catania, half day Taranto, full day Lecce and Brindisi, Alberobello and Monopoli, half day in Bari, full day Naples and Pompei, full day in Capri, 2x half day in Rome
  • Touring – in air-conditioned coach with driver and English speaking guide. This is a private tour.
  • Ferry – Malta to Sicily and Sicily to mainland
  • Hydrofoil  – Capri day excursion
  • Minibus – Capri island tour, and disembarkation ticket
  • Tips – for our drivers in Malta and Sicily/Italy. And for our Tour Director in Italy.

 

Not Included:

  • Airfares / Airline taxes / airport charges.
  • Insurance – Travel Insurance is extremely important. You are at liberty to arrange this through your own insurance provider.
  • Passport and visa fees. At time of publication no visas are required for this itinerary.
  • Tips to local guides for half-day and full-day tours.
  • Drinks with meals
  • Items of a personal nature – this goes without saying!

 

Optional Sightseeing:

Additional sightseeing tours, during this tour, will be available.

 

Additional Arrangements:

Integrity Travel, in association with Canterbury Tours, will be happy to arrange any extensions to your tour. Hotels, touring, flight reservations, car hire, rail travel, cruising etc may be booked at the end of your tour.

 

Airfares:

The prices quoted above are for land content only. Many of our travellers have access to airline loyalty programs, and so prefer to fly with a specific carrier. Also, travellers often combine a Canterbury Tour with other travel arrangements, and for this reason, choice of airline and flights is personal. However, should you require us to make flight bookings on your behalf we shall be pleased to assist. Of course, you are at liberty to utilise the services of any travel agent or online service.

 

Important – Please Note:

While every effort has been made to assess the cost of this tour as a whole, should there be variances to currency exchange rates, Canterbury Tours reserves the right to impose a surcharge to the quoted cost.

Should the tour numbers not reach the minimum required to obtain the quoted price, the tour may have to be cancelled. In this case a full refund of monies paid would be offered, or alternatively, the group as booked would be offered the option to proceed with the tour at a price to cover the reduced numbers.

Please do not make flight bookings until we are able to advise you that the minimum numbers have been reached.

 

Deposit

A deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm a place on the tour. Please consider Cancellation Insurance at this time, as this deposit is non-refundable except under extreme circumstances.

 

Balance of Payment

Full payment of the balance of the tour cost will be due and payable approximately 60-70 days prior to departure. After that date all unused accommodation will be released to the overseas suppliers, and late applications to join the tour will be possible only upon request and consultation with the various overseas suppliers and the airline concerned.

 

Health

This tour is not strenuous, though there are days when quite a deal of walking is required, and often on cobblestoned streets – please consider your individual capabilities in this regard. The tour is not rushed and will be conducted to please all passengers if possible. We have allowed for free time and even free days whilst touring, and there are only three stops of one night – all other stops are for multiple nights’ stay. We are not planning very early morning starts, though there are days when several hours will, of necessity, need to be spent in travelling.

If you require any information regarding the performance of sightseeing etc on this tour, we would be happy to clarify.