Gardens and Villas of Sicily

Gardens and Villas of Sicily

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tourhub | Brightwater Holidays | Gardens and Villas of Sicily | BSIC
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Gardens and Villas of Sicily

8 Days Starting in London, UK and ending in Various pick-up points available - please contact us for details

Visiting: Catania, Naxos, Mount Etna, Taormina, Villasmundo, gli AROMI, Ragusa, Madonie, Palermo, Norman Palace

Tour operator:

Brightwater Holidays

Tour code:

BSIC

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

6 - 25

Physical rating:

Low, Light

Age range:

1-99

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Vegans, Meat, Please contact Brightwater with any specific dietary requirements

Tour operated in:
English
Activities:

Sightseeing

This tour is no longer available

Tour Overview

Sicily has become one of Europe’s best-loved destinations in recent years and it is truly an island of the senses. As soon as you step on to its warm and fertile shores you’ll understand why. Experience its many highlights with us, and be sure to do this unique location justice.



Our eight-day tour takes in the best that the island has to offer, from the popular beach-side city of Taormina to the rugged landscapes of the Madonie Mountains. We begin on the slopes of Mount Etna, Europe’s highest active volcano, as we visit an elegant garden which thrives on the fertile soil here and then ascend the mountain itself, observing the change from lush groves to stark, desert landscapes. In Taormina we visit a private garden which boasts spectacular views across the bay before exploring the Greco-Roman remains of the city itself.



Heading south we gain an exclusive insight into Sicilian gardening with the head gardener at Villasmundo and visit the private garden of a Sicilian aristocrat. A treat for the senses awaits at Gli Aroma Sicily as we discover an extensive selection of herbs and spices and we also enjoy lunch at a monastery high in the mountains. We conclude in Palermo, a melting-pot of architectural styles with both Norman and Arabic influences.

Highlights

  • Driving up the slopes of Mount Etna

  • Head gardener tour at Villasmundo

  • An eclectic mix of cultures at Palermo

  • Lunch at a Benedictine Monastery

Places You'll See

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Gardens And Villas Of Sicily

Itinerary

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Day 1
Location: Catania, Naxos
Meals Included: Dinner

We fly from London to Catania this morning. Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel in Giardini Naxos. Here we settle in with a welcoming drink, followed by dinner.

Day 2
Location: Mount Etna
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Following breakfast we visit Villa Trinità, an elegant garden born from lava, which thrives on the slopes of Etna. Its design features both native and exotic species – picture gangly cacti peering above vibrant citrus trees.
After lunch here, we depart on an afternoon excursion to Mount Etna, Europe's highest active volcano and greatest natural wonder, where we will venture as far as we can take our coach up the winding roads. Depending on the weather we should reach 2000 metres (7000ft) where we will see the ‘Silvestri’ craters dating from 1986, and some of the latest lava flows from 2002/2003, in an amazing lunar landscape of black rock and steam. The views across the island are truly breathtaking, but please remember that Etna is a highly active volcano so things may have changed by the time this holiday happens!
Dinner will be served in the evening.

Day 3
Location: Taormina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Following breakfast, today is ours to explore Taormina and its many highlights. We begin with a trip to the private garden of Casa Cuseni, which boasts spectacular views across the city and the sea. Created by Robert Kitson, a British painter of the early 20th century, its house and exuberant plantings demonstrate clear links with the Arts and Crafts movement.
Following this is a guided walking tour of old Taormina, featuring Greco-Roman ruins, winding streets, and a host of medieval architecture. It's easy to see why the town is Sicily's most popular tourist destination.
Dinner will be served in the evening.

Day 4
Location: Villasmundo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

We check out of our hotel this morning and pay a visit to the gardens of Princess Maria Carla Borghese, which were created out of barren ground almost fifty years ago. Evocative scents of jasmine and rose intermingle with the fragrance of a Roman-style stone pine avenue.
After an opportunity for lunch (not included) at a nearby Cactus Nursery we head south, stopping at the San Giuliano estate in Villasmundo, where the head gardener gives us an exclusive insight into Sicilian gardening. As part of our tour we observe the estate's traditional Arabic irrigation channels in action, as well as the 15th century farmhouse's distinctive “gardenette”.
We then continue to our accommodation in Ragusa. Dinner is served in the evening.

Day 5
Location: gli AROMI, Ragusa
Meals Included: All Meals

This morning we discover an extensive collection of herbs and spices with a multi-sensory tour of Gli AROMI. We will explore varieties both native to Sicily and imported to the island by the garden's passionate owners – one of whom will be our highly informative guide. Lunch here makes for today's biggest highlight: a home-made feast prepared with an abundance of fresh herbs and devotion.
The afternoon is free for us to enjoy Ragusa at our own leisure. Discover the archaeological museum or enjoy a delightful exploration of the many local churches. We return to our hotel, where dinner is served in the evening.

Day 6
Location: Madonie
Meals Included: All Meals

This morning we travel between the remote villages of northern Sicily, pausing for an authentic lunch at a former Benedictine monastery, in the heart of the verdant Madonie Mountains.
Our afternoon involves a visit to the crowning glory of Monreale village – its amazing cathedral and abbey, complete with 70,000 square feet of mosaics in gold leaf and colourful glass. This astounding display echoes the opulence of the Alhambra, and is a sight not to be missed.
Following our visit, we continue to our hotel in Palermo. Dinner will be served in the evening.

Day 7
Location: Palermo, Norman Palace
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Palermo was once known as Sicily's “garden city”. We find out why during our morning visit to the local Botanical Gardens, one of the oldest and most significant centres of plant research in the Mediterranean. The public garden of Villa Giulia sits next door, its beautiful trees and flowers a lasting testament to the 18th century viceroy's wife after whom it was named.
We end the day, and our trip, on a high, with a full guided tour of Palermo that features the impressive Norman Palace, an architectural gem encapsulating both Norman and Arabic influences.
We return to the hotel, where dinner is served in the evening.

Day 8
Location: Palermo
Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning, after breakfast, we check out of the hotel – once again, please ensure any extras are paid for before taking your luggage to the coach. We then travel to Palermo airport in time to check in for our return flight.

What's Included

  • Accommodation

  • Services of a professional tour manager

  • Comfortable coach travel throughout

  • Meals - as per the itinerary

  • All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

  • Drinks with Meals

  • Entrance Fees

What's Not Included

Check out our Q&As

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Yes

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    Yes

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • Are all entrance fees included in the price?

    Yes

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Yes

  • Will I receive more details of the holiday before I travel?

    You will receive detailed joining instructions around 10 days prior to you departure, but you are of course welcome to contact us at any time should you have any queries.

  • What facilities do your coaches have?

    Generally, our coaches have reclining seats, air-conditioning and toilets, however this cannot always be guaranteed as sometimes we have to use smaller vehicles. Toilets are recommended for emergency use only and regular comfort stops will be made throughout your holiday while travelling around.

  • Do I have to go on the included excursions?

    Absolutely not. You are more than welcome to spend the day at your hotel or exploring independently should you wish. All we ask is that you inform your Tour Manager, so they are not left waiting for you to join the group.

  • Is there time to relax?

    Although our itineraries may seem jam-packed, boasting access to some of the most exclusive sites across the UK and beyond, a Brightwater Holiday is just that: a holiday. Each trip will counter in more than enough free-time for you to explore places at your own leisure. And with most nights and the majority of meals being included in our tour prices, you can relax in hand-picked accommodation.

  • Do I need to be an expert?

    Absolutely not! Although some of our tours are specifically focused on one thing, all you need to enjoy a Brightwater holiday is interest and bags of enthusiasm! Even on our most specialist tours, we take travellers from all skill levels, from experts to beginners.

  • How fit or active do I need to be for one of your holidays?

    You need to be able to get on and off the coach unassisted, and most – but not all – coaches have a kneel facility that lowers the front step for ease of boarding

  • Do you have self-drive holidays?

    Yes, we do – tailored to your exact requirements!

  • What’s the luggage allowance on your coaches?

    There’s no fixed limit, but we generally say one large suitcase to go in the luggage compartment and a smaller bag that you can take onto the coach with you. For flight-inclusive holidays, we include a luggage allowance of at least 20kg.

  • Where are your departure points?

    UK garden holidays generally depart from London, with additional pick-ups depending on the route of the coach, while holidays to Scotland depart from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Perth, with Dundee, Inverness and Aberdeen sometimes included. All Eurostar holidays depart from London St. Pancras and flight-inclusive holidays depart from one or more of the main London airports, with regional flights .

  • What about the company that will be kept?

    For single travellers, those with a companion or even those travelling in a larger group, you'll find that the signature of any Brightwater Holiday is the company. You won't ever be travelling with a group of strangers, instead, you'll find yourself surrounded by like-minded people with a strong shared interest who will soon become your firm friends.

  • What is a Brightwater Holiday?

    Bursting with enthralling, educational and enlightening itineraries, a Brightwater Holiday, by its very nature, is packed with bucket-list-worthy destinations, behind the scenes passes and expert-led experiences. From creating bespoke quality garden and special interest tours for groups and individuals alike, we have made it our business to make our guests' travel dreams come true.

  • Why is there a single supplement?

    Unfortunately, single room supplements are charges that are often imposed on us as a company when we book rooms for group holidays. However, most hotels do charge less for single occupancy, and we always pass this saving on to our solo travellers in the form of a modest single supplement.

  • How much are your optional excursions?

    Prices start from as little as £20, but please contact our friendly team for questions about specific itineraries or excursions.

  • Can I pre-book my coach seats?

    Yes, you can. In the case of front seats, guests with limited mobility are given priority. Please get in touch with our friendly team to discuss any requirements you may have.

  • How to get there? Easy!

    With a Brightwater Holiday, the journey is just as important as the destination and we make getting you to your tour start point easy. From organising group flights and individual travel plans, to offering accessible local departure and pick-up points, we go out of our way to ensure that your journey is as convenient and hassle-free as it can be.

  • Do I need to have travel insurance?

    Travel insurance is required for all overseas holidays and is also strongly recommended for UK holidays – primarily to protect yourself against cancellation charges should you be unable to travel.

Reviews of this Operator

Trusted Customer  

Brightwater Holidays offers great value

28-Nov-2019

I would highly recommend Brightwater Holidays. It offers excellent service and value for money. This was my first tour as I normally arrange holidays myself, but this tour - which was to the gardens of Kent and Sussex - was a very pleasant change of pace.

Feefo Trusted Reviews
Brightwater Holidays Customer  

My experience with Brightwater Holidays

08-Aug-2019

The tour was well managed, the sites visited were all interesting and linked to the theme of the Picts and their place in history, the hotel was comfortable and the coach journeys were well paced. I have been with Brightwater before and will certainly travel with them again

Feefo Trusted Reviews
Alan Hawkes (Google Reviewer)  

We were on the Tour...

28-Aug-2022

We were on the Tour of the Outer Hebrides. We had a great experience, in no small part due to the excellence of the tour manager and driver.

Brightwater Holidays Custome  

Wonderful experience with brilliant information

31-Jul-2019

The most important factor was an amazing guide in Alastair Walker whose knowledge and care for clients was fantastic. The whole trips are superbly organised

Feefo Trusted Reviews
David MacLennan (Google Reviewer)  

Noted a comment on taking...

23-Aug-2023

Noted a comment on taking coaches on A814 by a local person who didn't know the facts: When the A82 was blocked and the POLICE divert you onto that road you do as instructed not what a you know are tight roads but they only way to your destination as intructed by officials. We know this route is not suitable for large vehicles but the driver does as instructed by someone in authority.

Eric Webb (Google Reviewer)  

Recent (September 2023) Scottish holiday...

07-Oct-2023

Recent (September 2023) Scottish holiday not so good. Various 'issues' to do with scheduling and organisation. I'm happy to report however that - after an interval - a letter expressing disappointment brought a full response - including a generous refund. So - with fingers slightly crossed - we'll be booking with Brightwater again in due course.

Kevin Barrett (Google Reviewer)  

The recent tour in Northumberland...

30-Sep-2023

The recent tour in Northumberland turned out to be a shambles. Our South London driver took us to Newcastle, but no guide to meet us. Next day still no guide and the bus driver attempted to salvage the tour the best he could despite having no knowledge of the attractions. Fortunately one of the passengers Googled the tides for Holy Island. No holiday guide ever showed up. Coach and hotel were fine. Do these people only offer self guided tours? Take Shearings next time.

ALEXANDRA MCQUEEN (Google Reviewer)  

Been trying to get a...

17-Oct-2023

Been trying to get a reply from them for over a week. Booked Xmas tour, confirmation said pick up subject to numbers, they never said anything when booking and theyve been paid in full. Would not recommend!

Dp Green (Google Reviewer)  

I had heard this company...

20-Feb-2024

I had heard this company was a nightmare to deal with, but thought I'd give it a go. Signed up for a tour, then emailed them about how to pay off the balance. No response to 3 emails. I've never encountered a tour company that ignored questions on how to pay off a balance. Looked into other reviews and found many complaints about cancelled tours and refusals to refund deposits.

Kieran Thompson (Google Reviewer)  

Two of your tour busses...

26-Jul-2021

Two of your tour busses used the A814 from Garelochhead to Arrochar on 24th July 2021. This route is not suitable for large vehicles and your drivers should not have taken the huge coaches that way. There are clear signs at both ends of the road indicating it is not suitable for HGV's. Our car had to go off into the soft verge to allow your coaches to pass. Please amend your routes to avoid this road in future.

Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Brightwater Holidays allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform brightwater holidays, 25 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Brightwater Holidays requires a minimum deposit of 15% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of brightwater holidays charges.

    At 40 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 7 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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