Southern Italy, Sicily & Malta - Small Group

Southern Italy, Sicily & Malta - Small Group

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Southern Italy, Sicily & Malta - Small Group

20 Days Starting in Rome and ending in Valletta

Visiting: Rome, Alberobello, Matera, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Villa San Giovanni, Giardini Naxos, Taormina, Cefalu, Palermo, Agrigento, Ragusa, Syracuse, Catania, Sliema, Valletta

Tour operator:

Insight Vacations

Specialist Group:

Family/Kids

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

12 - 24

Physical rating:

Low

Age range:

5-99

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English

This tour is no longer available

Tour Overview

Indulge in Italy’s finest cuisine and striking vistas during this 20-day guided tour. When in Rome, toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain on a walking tour with a Local Expert. At the Vatican Museums, get a behind-the-scenes look at the Bramante Staircase, normally closed to the public. In Sorrento, settle into a luxurious resort and take in the views of Mount Vesuvius, which buried Pompeii in a sea of lava in 79 A.D. Stroll through Palermo's old city with a historian. In Malta, home to some of the oldest temples in the world, venture from your waterfront hotel in Sliema to the Valletta and meet a Local Expert for a guided visit through the ancient Fortress City.

Highlights

  • Capri: Discover the luxuriant Gardens of Augustus with a Local Expert and admire views of the Faraglioni rocks

  • Capri: Enjoy a tasting of limoncello, Capri's traditional lemon liqueur

  • Palermo: Join your Local Expert for a walk through the lively Vucciria market

  • Palermo: Visit the spectacular 12th Century Palatine Chapel

  • Vatican: Gain priority access into the Vatican Museums and admire the famous Bramante Staircase

  • Alberobello: Explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site showcasing the Trulli of Alberobello

  • Pompeii: Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town, frozen in time since the 1st century

  • Valletta: Explore the capital with your Local Expert. Visit the Upper Barrakka Gardens and St John’s Co-Cathedral

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1: Welcome To The Eternal City Of Rome

Location: Rome

Accommodation: Kolbe Hotel Rome.

Accommodation Name: Golden Tulip Rome Piram

Meals Included: Dinner with Wine

Welcome to Rome, a glorious city filled with classic antiquities, medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and baroque churches. Transfers depart from Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport for your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Relax and settle in before joining your Travel Director at 17:30, and get to know your fellow travellers over a delicious Welcome Dinner with wine at a local restaurant.

Day 2: Rome With The Locals

Location: Rome

Accommodation: Kolbe Hotel Rome.

Accommodation Name: Golden Tulip Rome Piram

Meals Included: Breakfast

Rome is about art, antiquity, piazzas and pizza, and our guided walk with a Local Expert has it in abundance. Toss a coin into the spectacular Trevi Fountain, see the Pantheon, the best-preserved monument from the Roman period, and enjoy free time to do as the Romans do.Perhaps join a tour to discover the incredibly characteristic Roman quarter of Trastevere.

Day 3: Vip Vatican And Alberobello

Location: Rome, Alberobello

Accommodation: Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello.

Accommodation Name: Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

With your Local Expert, visit the Vatican Museums. Insight provides special VIP entry to avoid the crowds and behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase, normally off-limits to the public. Inside the Sistine Chapel, admire Michelangelo's famous ceiling before visiting St. Peter's Basilica.Next, journey to Alberobello.

Day 4: The Trulli Of Alberobello Relaxed Start

Location: Alberobello

Accommodation: Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello.

Accommodation Name: Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Admire another of Italy's record number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites with a Local Expert. The Trulli of Alberobello are circular structures with conical roofs that are domed within. They are built from local limestone and stacked without using mortar. In the evening, join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience at Trattoria Terra Madre. Alessandro, the owner, shares his philosophy of using home-grown organic and seasonal produce. See Nonna making orechiette pasta during a demonstration, before a delicious four-course, Farm-to-Table Highlight Dinner.

Day 5: Free Time In Alberobello Relaxed Start

Location: Alberobello

Accommodation: Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello.

Accommodation Name: Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri

Meals Included: Breakfast

The day is free for you to enjoy this extraordinary town as you wish. Why not join an Optional Experience to the stunning city of Ostuni? With its dazzling white-washed houses and fascinating history, it is a true delight.

Day 6: Journey South To Matera Relaxed Start

Location: Alberobello, Matera

Accommodation: MH Matera Hotel.

Accommodation Name: MH Matera Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Visit Matera with a Local Expert for an in-depth exploration of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sassi — a labyrinth of cave dwellings, churches, staircases and arches, hewn out of the solid rock. You may recognise Matera as the biblical backdrop for the film ‘The Passion of the Christ.’ Continue to the small village of Grottole. Once a thriving community, it has lost most of its activity and population. Meet Andrea, a local striving to bring back the area's traditional way of living. On this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience explore the historic old town to learn about the fascinating history of the village.

Day 7: Pompeii And Sorrento

Location: Matera, Pompeii, Sorrento

Accommodation: Hotel Isabella, Sorrento.

Accommodation Name: Majestic Palace Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

Start your day in Pompeii, buried in A.D. 79 by the historic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Walk with your Local Expert through the cobbled streets to see a city frozen in time. Venture on to Sorrento.

Day 8: Capri, The Isle Of Dreams

Location: Sorrento, Capri, Sorrento

Accommodation: Hotel Isabella, Sorrento.

Accommodation Name: Majestic Palace Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Cruise by jetfoil across the impossibly blue sea to the sun-drenched island of Capri. On arrival, enjoy an escorted ride in an open-top taxi to Capri Town and meet your Local Expert for an orientation walk through narrow alleyways. Explore Capri with Insight Choice. Choose to visit the immaculate Gardens of Augustus with a Local Expert and admire the views over Faraglioni Rocks. Alternatively, enjoy a tasting of limoncello, Capri's famous lemon liqueur. Descend to the port by funicular, before returning to Sorrento for a Celebration Dinner.

Day 9: To Sicily And The Taormina Riviera

Location: Sorrento, Villa San Giovanni, Giardini Naxos

Accommodation: RG Naxos Hotel, Taormina.

Accommodation Name: Delta Hotels by Marriott Giardini Naxos

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

The local roads will take you south through the mountainous Calabria region. Travel along the Purple Coast to the very 'toe' of Italy and board your ferry bound for Sicily. According to ancient legend, it was here at the Straits of Messina where the twin whirlpools of Scylla and Charybdis carried unwary seafarers away to their doom! After disembarking, continue to the Taormina Riviera.

Day 10: Taormina And The Dawn Coast Of Europe

Location: Taormina

Accommodation Name: Delta Hotels by Marriott Giardini Naxos

Meals Included: Breakfast

Your hotel faces east, so early risers may learn why D.H. Lawrence christened this 'The Dawn Coast of Europe.' After breakfast, perhaps take an Optional Experience through the vineyards to Mount Etna, Europe's largest active volcano. Travel to the old town of Taormina, which clings to the side of Mount Tauro, overlooking the Ionian Sea and Mount Etna. With your Local Expert, visit the Greek theatre set on a cliff and open to the sky. Take a moment to sit in this ancient theatre and admire the view through the crumbling arches to Mount Etna. Stroll through the tiny courtyard of the Palazzo Corvaja, Taormina’s grandest building, and along the elegant Corso Umberto.

Day 11: Cefalu And Palermo

Location: Taormina, Cefalu, Palermo

Accommodation: NH Palermo.

Accommodation Name: NH Palermo

Meals Included: Breakfast

Travel to the quaint fishing town of Cefalu. The town's imposing cathedral was erected to fulfill a vow made by the Norman King Roger II. Stroll down to the medieval stone fountain and seek out the Gothic arch of the Porta Marina for a picture-perfect view of the little harbour. Later, travel onwards to Palermo.

Day 12: Palermo & The Golden Age Of The Normans

Location: Palermo

Accommodation: NH Palermo.

Accommodation Name: NH Palermo

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Explore Palermo with Insight Choice. Choose to visit the Monreale Cathedral with a Local Expert and marvel at the Byzantine mosaics. Alternatively, join your Local Expert for a walk through the lively market. Later this morning, visit Palermo Cathedral, which has been altered many times over the years, and observe its unique blend of architectural styles. For your dining pleasure, you are offered a selection of local restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening, each with their own ambience and cuisine.

Day 13: Explore The Valley Of The Temples And On To Ragusa

Location: Palermo, Agrigento, Ragusa

Accommodation: Mediterraneo Palace, Ragusa.

Accommodation Name: Mediterraneo Palace

Meals Included: Breakfast

Journey to Agrigento. Explore the Valley of the Temples with a Local Expert and see the massive Temple of Concordia and the clifftop Temple of Juno overlooking the sea. Your travels continue to the hilltop town of Ragusa.

Day 14: Ancient Syracuse And Catania

Location: Ragusa, Syracuse, Catania

Accommodation: NH Catania Centro.

Accommodation Name: Katane Palace Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Sightseeing with your Local Expert takes you to Syracuse’s Paradise Quarry with its unusual Ear of Dionysius, an ear-shaped grotto with an unusual echo. See the superb Greek theatre, carved out of solid rock, one of the largest of the ancient world. There is time to explore the atmospheric Old City, a maze of narrow streets lined with palaces, sprawling over the island of Ortygia. It was here that the famous geometrician Archimedes ran naked through the streets, crying ‘Eureka!' Continue to Catania for a Celebration Dinner with your fellow travellers.

Day 15: Fly From Catania To Malta

Location: Catania, Sliema

Accommodation: Waterfront Hotel, Sliema.

Accommodation Name: Waterfront Hotel Sliema

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

During your private transfer to Catania airport, appreciate the vistas of Mount Etna one last time. Board your short flight to Malta where on arrival you are met and taken to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax and settle into your hotel. Join your Travel Director at 18:30 for Dinner with wine.

Day 16: Free Time In Sliema Relaxed Start

Location: Sliema

Accommodation: Waterfront Hotel, Sliema.

Accommodation Name: Waterfront Hotel Sliema

Meals Included: Breakfast

Your day is at leisure. You may want to explore to the World Heritage Site of Haġar Qim and Mnajdra temples before proceeding to the idyllic fishing village of Marsaxlokk, or enjoy a stroll around the many market stalls whilst admiring the colourful ‘luzzu’ fishing boats in the harbour.

Day 17: Explore Valetta Relaxed Start

Location: Sliema, Valletta, Sliema

Accommodation: Waterfront Hotel, Sliema.

Accommodation Name: Waterfront Hotel Sliema

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch with Wine

With a Local Expert, you’ll visit the Upper Barrakka Gardens and the impressive St. John's Cathedral, designed in a baroque fashion. Find yourself captivated by the abundance of history as you walk through the elegant streets to see why it is named The Fortress City with its restored golden-stone buildings that mould the cityscape. For lunch feast on delicious meal made from fresh local ingredients.This afternoon visit the National War Museum. Learn about Malta’s important role in WWII with a lecture from an historian.

Day 18: Free Day In Malta

Location: Sliema

Accommodation: Waterfront Hotel, Sliema.

Accommodation Name: Waterfront Hotel Sliema

Meals Included: Breakfast

Today is free for you to relax at leisure on the rooftop terrace and enjoy the marvellous seascapes from the seafront hotel. Perhaps take a relaxing stroll along the promenade lined with restaurants and bars. If you’re feeling active, why not take an Optional Experience with lunch on Gozo Island? Calypso Cave, found on the island, is said to be the one Homer wrote about in his acclaimed epic poem, The Odyssey.

Day 19: Mdina The Silent City

Location: Sliema

Accommodation: Waterfront Hotel, Sliema.

Accommodation Name: Waterfront Hotel Sliema

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Head to Mdina with a Local Expert in the late afternoon to explore this golden city, known also as the silent city for its shady streets and peaceful atmosphere. Enjoy a Celebration Dinner at a wonderful local restaurant where you’ll toast to your trip with your fellow travellers.

Day 20: Depart Malta

Location: Sliema

Meals Included: Breakfast

It’s time to say goodbye to this beautiful island and your fellow travellers, as a transfer takes you to Malta International Airport for your onward journey.

What's Included

  • Welcome Dinner in Rome

    Get to know your fellow travelers over a delicious Welcome Dinner with wine at a local restaurant in Rome.

  • Local Expert Guides

    Enjoy the insights and fascinating facts from Local Experts in destinations like Capri, Palermo, Vatican, Alberobello, Pompeii, Valletta, and more.

  • Exclusive Experiences

    Gain priority access into the Vatican Museums, explore the Trulli of Alberobello, and visit the spectacular 12th Century Palatine Chapel in Palermo.

  • Tasting Experiences

    Enjoy a tasting of limoncello in Capri and savor a four-course Farm-to-Table Highlight Dinner in Alberobello.

  • MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences

    Participate in experiences that advance the United Nations Global Goals, like exploring the historic old town of Grottole and learning about traditional living.

  • Ferry Ride to Sicily

    Travel along the Purple Coast to the very toe of Italy and board your ferry bound for Sicily, across the Strait of Messina.

  • Dine-Around Evening in Palermo

    Choose from a selection of local restaurants in Palermo, each offering different ambiances and cuisines.

  • Flight from Catania to Malta

    Board your short flight from Catania to Malta, with private transfer to Catania airport included.

  • Celebration Dinner in Malta

    Enjoy a Celebration Dinner with your fellow travelers in Malta, marking the end of an unforgettable journey.

What's Not Included

  • International Airfare

    International airfare to and from the start and end points of the tour is not included.

  • Travel Insurance

    Travel insurance is not included and is recommended for all travelers.

  • Some Meals

    Not all meals are covered.

    Please refer to the itinerary for details on which meals are included.

  • Optional Experiences

    Optional experiences and excursions outside of those outlined in the itinerary are not included and may incur additional costs.

  • Personal Expenses

    Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls, minibar, and room service are not included.

  • Tips and Gratuities

    Tips and gratuities for tour guides, drivers, and hotel staff are not included.

Mode of Transport

In the morning, travel along the Purple Coast to the very toe of Italy and board your ferry bound for Sicily, across the Strait of Messina. According to Grecian legend, this was home to the mythical sea monsters Scylla, a six-headed rock monster, and Charybdis, a whirlpool, based on either side of the strait. Together, they posed an inescapable threat to passing seafarers as avoiding one meant passing too close to the other. You will soon arrive at your hotel where you will spend three glorious nights on the Taormina Riviera.

Accommodation

During your private transfer to Catania airport, appreciate the vistas of Mount Etna one last time. Board your short flight to Malta where on arrival you are met and taken to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax and settle into your hotel. Join your Travel Director at 18:30 for Dinner.

Check out our Q&As

  • What countries does the tour visit?

    The tour visits Italy and Malta.

  • Are there any exclusions I should be aware of?

    Exclusions include international airfare to and from the start and end points of the tour, travel insurance, some meals, optional experiences and excursions, personal expenses such as laundry and minibar, and tips and gratuities for tour guides, drivers, and hotel staff.

  • What are some highlights of the tour?

    Highlights include exploring the Gardens of Augustus in Capri, a limoncello tasting in Capri, a walk through Vucciria market in Palermo, priority access to the Vatican Museums, exploring the Trulli of Alberobello, a guided walk through Pompeii, and visiting the Upper Barrakka Gardens and St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta.

  • What meals are included?

    Included meals feature a Welcome Dinner in Rome, a tasting of limoncello in Capri, a four-course Farm-to-Table Highlight Dinner in Alberobello, a Dine-Around Evening in Palermo, and a Celebration Dinner in Malta, among others. Not all meals are covered; please refer to the itinerary for specific meal inclusions.

  • What are the accommodation options?

    Accommodations include hotels in various locations such as Rome, Alberobello, Matera, Sorrento, Taormina, Palermo, Ragusa, Catania, and Sliema. Specific hotels mentioned include Kolbe Hotel Rome, Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri, MH Matera Hotel, Hotel Isabella, RG Naxos Hotel, NH Palermo, Mediterraneo Palace, NH Catania Centro, and Waterfront Hotel in Sliema.

  • What type of transportation is included?

    Transportation includes a ferry ride to Sicily, a flight from Catania to Malta, and various local transfers.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    We regret that no refunds can be made for absences from a tour, including experiences such as missed meals or sightseeing.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Since 1978.

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Insight Vacations is a founding member of the TreadRight Foundation, a joint initiative created by the brands within The Travel Corporation (TTC) almost 15 years ago to ensure our impact through tourism is positive. Our ethos to #MakeTravelMatter guides our decision-making at every level of our business.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    You have two options as a solo traveller. Either choose to be matched with a same sex partner for a room share - at no extra cost. Or choose a room of your own with a reduced or even free private room upgrade on select tours.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

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Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Insight Vacations requires a minimum deposit of 200 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of insight vacations charges.

    Up to 91 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 90 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 29 days before tour starts: Forfeit 80% of booking price.

    At 1 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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