Spirit of Sicily
from $6040
Duration: 11 Days
Ancient civilisations, prehistoric caves, Byzantine churches, Baroque buildings and majestic landscape – the island of Sicily has it all. Immerse yourself in all the glory of Sicily including its mouth-watering cuisine! Explore the volcanic valleys of Mt. Etna, timeworn streets of Siracusa, the architectural wonders of Ragusa and the rich history of Palermo. Starring dramatic cliffside villages, clear waters and delicious seafood, this is a chance to experience the highlights of Sicily.
  • Breathtaking walks with expansive views are the perfect way to experience Sicily’s spectacular beauty
  • Explore the lunar-like landscape of Europe’s largest active volcano – the towering Mount Etna
  • Discover the truly ancient history of the island with the ‘Sicilian Stonehenge’ in the Malabotta forest. Enjoy a lunch of local specialties in the forest, with views of Mount Etna rising in front of you.
  • Search crumbling Greek and Roman ruins in the charming seaside town of Taormina
  • Taste tradition in the famous chocolate of Modica, made from a centuries-old secret recipe
  • Your feature stay hotel is located in the middle of the lovely historical heart of Siracusa, on the island of Ortigia. Hidden in its basement is Europe's oldest Jewish ritual bath, a so called mikveh, discovered during renovation works.
  • Arrival Transfer from Palermo Airport
  • Palermo Sightseeing Tour
  • Monreale Cathedral
  • Cefalu Sightseeing Walk
  • Montalbano Sightseeing Walk
  • Malabotta Forest & Megaliti dell'Argimusco
  • Castelmola Country Walk
  • Sartorius Mountains Walk
  • Mt Etna’s Summit Area by Cable Car
  • Ragusa Sightseeing Tour
  • Vendicari Nature Reserve Coastal Walk
  • Siracusa Sightseeing Tour
  • Day 1 Location: Palermo
    Your journey starts in the bustling city of Palermo, the capital of Sicily. On this illustrious island you’ll be rewarded with rustic coastal retreats, delicious provincial dishes, and a fascinating gathering of historic and natural sites. There are no activities planned before tonight's group meeting so you may arrive at any time. After the meeting, you will join your group for your first taste of Sicilian cuisine in a local restaurant.
    Day 2 Location: Monreale / Palermo
    This morning, stroll through the old heart of Palermo admiring some of its main monuments, such as the cathedral, which has a wonderful mix of styles. Originally built in the 12th century, it has been modified a number of times, most notably in the 18th century with the addition of its dome. Explore a labyrinth of small alleyways, buzzing colourful market squares and winding roads. Then take a private minibus to nearby Monreale, situated in a panoramic position above Palermo with fantastic views over the city and the sea. Visit the stunning interior and exterior of its cathedral, described as one of the ‘wonders of the medieval world’, and climb to its roof. Stroll through the old historical centre before returning to Palermo where the afternoon is free for you to continue to explore this extraordinary city. In the evening why not join the group for an optional dinner in one of the nearby traditional Sicilian cuisine restaurants.
    Day 3 Location: Cefalu / Nebrodi Mountains
    Travel along the northern coast to the beautiful small town of Cefalù, one of Sicily’s ‘undiscovered treasures’. You will be dropped off at the foot of the town’s Roca, a mountain with a castle on top that overlooks the old city centre. Embark on a walk up to the castle, then descend back into the old town and discover its charming narrow alleyways and imposing Norman cathedral. After lunch, maybe take a swim before continuing your travels along the north coast and then inland into the foothills of the Nebrodi Mountains. Upon arrival, settle into the agriturismo, overlooking the coast and the Aeolian Islands.
    Day 4 Location: Montalbano / Malabotta Forest / Taormina
    After a leisurely breakfast in the morning, start with a short walk through the spiralling streets of nearby Montalbano Elicona. Discover the interesting medieval town centre and walk to the top of its impressive 13th century castle, which was recently restored to its full glory. Then hop back onto your private bus to discover the natural beauty of the greenery-drenched forest of Malabotta, a beautiful and little known nature reserve inland. Embark on a circular walk, partly through the forest, partly alongside strange rock formations locally known as ‘megaliti’. An ancient megalithic site, the Megaliti dell'Argimusco (now known as the ‘Sicilian Stonehenge’) has recently been discovered here. Enjoy a lunch of local specialties in the forest, with views of Mount Etna rising in front of you. Continue to our next destination, the enchanting sea-side town of Taormina, situated in one of the most dramatic spots of the whole Mediterranean.
    Day 5 Location: Castelmola / Taormina
    Drive to the charming hilltop town of Castelmola, a small fortified town with stunning views over the surrounding area, including Taormina, Mount Etna and the Mediterranean. After a stroll through its medieval streets, an optional visit to the castle and perhaps a drink on one of the terraces, walk down to Taormina along a beautiful panoramic footpath. Through pleasant agricultural landscape, with breathtaking views of the coastline and glorious Etna, reach charming Taormina. Notice the Greek influence in the architecture, and be transported back to the days when this part of Italy remained an Aegean stronghold. Picturesque ruins and a backdrop of Etna make for memorable views. Walk through the backstreets, gardens, and of course visit the world famous Greek/Roman theatre and the cathedral. The whole afternoon will be at your leisure, so there's plenty of time to explore at your own pace. Those interested can join an optional walk down to the sea opposite beautiful Isola Bella, a small protected island nature reserve. After a swim and some relaxation, and possibly a drink in the Mediterranean sun, you’d return to town by cable car.
    Day 6 Location: Mt Etna
    Come face-to-face with Europe’s largest active volcano, Mt Etna, today. Take your private minibus from Taormina into the valley of the Alcantara River, irrigated by a complex system of basins and canals that date back to the times of the Arab domination of Sicily. In Francavilla you’ll walk along the river, through a pleasant terraced landscape of orchards and fruit trees, and pass a few hamlets built of lava stone. See many strange lava formations, all sculpted by the Alcantara River. Back on your minibus continue along the river, up to the charming little town of Linguaglossa. The volcano makes for very fertile soil, so enjoy a wine tasting in one of the renowned Etna wineries while overlooking the sea. Next, travel along the scenic Via MareNeve, the ‘road of sea and snow’. Here you can see the most recent lava flows, some only a few years old, reminding you that Etna is still very active! A walk here lets you feel the immense forces still working beneath you. Continue to the Sartorius Mountains, a completely different landscape. Walk partly through the forest and partly over older lava flows to a mountain hut with special views over the Strait of Messina. It’s then on to the southern side of Mount Etna, perhaps the best known part – again a completely different landscape. Here you will settle into a charming hotel that’s the highest in Sicily.
    Day 7 Location: Mt Etna / Ragusa
    Get ready to travel towards the very top of Mount Etna by cable car. Once arrived at an altitude of 2,500m you will then embark on a walk to the famous and dramatic Valle del Bove (Bull Valley), a valley formed when the original crater of Etna collapsed. It is Etna’s largest valley, in which many lava flows can be seen, one atop of the other. From here you will start your downhill walk past the craters of Montagnola, finishing at the crater series of Silvestri, a barren landscape formed by the explosion of 1892. Alternatively there is the option to take the cable car back down to base. After lunch you will continue on to our next destination, Ragusa.
    Day 8 Location: Modica / Ragusa
    Start the day with a short stroll through Ragusa, which is equally beautiful by day as it is by night. Ragusa is one of the most scenic Sicilian towns, and one that blends wonderfully into its surrounding landscape. The ‘new’ baroque city of Ragusa was completely rebuilt after the devastating earthquake of 1693, but the historic part of the town still features older monuments. Both parts of the town deserve a visit. You will then travel on to Modica, yet another wonderful baroque city, famous for its precious chocolate, made for centuries according to the same secret recipe. Indulge in a chocolate tasting at the oldest chocolate factory in Sicily, active since 1880. They still make their chocolate using the same ancient technique and ingredients brought to Sicily by the Spaniards. Travel back to Ragusa by local train, an experience in itself. Back in Ragusa, stroll through the wonderful baroque streets and choose from a range of restaurant options for dinner.
    Day 9 Location: Vendicari Nature Reserve / Noto / Syracuse
    Travel on to the nature reserve of Vendicari, one of the last remaining pristine bits of coastline in Sicily. Embark on a relaxed coastal walk, with the possibility of a refreshing swim. Continue to the beautiful small village of Marzamemi, deemed to be the most beautiful of all Sicilian fishing villages, with time for lunch and a stroll along the harbour. By mid afternoon you will leave for nearby Noto, perhaps the best known of Sicily's baroque cities, where you can admire the wonderful colours of its many monuments in the beautiful late afternoon light. Next on your itinerary is Syracuse (Italian: Siracusa), an ancient town by the sea that was of immense importance as Greek Syracuse. Much of its charm lies in wandering the narrow medieval lanes, past romantically crumbling medieval palaces and churches. Your feature stay hotel is located in the middle of the lovely historical heart of Siracusa, on the island of Ortigia. Hidden in its basement is Europe's oldest Jewish ritual bath, a so called mikveh, discovered during renovation works.
    Day 10 Location: Syracuse
    This morning, take a walking tour through the most interesting parts of the old town. You will discover many archaeological areas (some are amongst the world’s finest), countless baroque churches and many other important monuments. The character of the city is enchanting, with its crumbling facades and balconies supported for centuries by a host of stone lions, tigers, bears, dragons, moors, satyrs, devils, angels, kings, paupers, wenches and cherubs. Walk along limestone-paved streets overhung with drying laundry and ancient scaffolding, and discover some of the most expansive piazzas that Italy has to offer. Passing some open doors might give you a glimpse of an ornate secret courtyard, whilst others open right on to someone's dining room where lunch is being prepared. The rest of the day will be free for you to take a boat trip around the island of Ortigia, a bike ride through the old city, or to just stroll around town, visit its monuments and enjoy a coffee or savour a granita in one of the lively bars. This evening you can gather together for an optional farewell dinner, a great opportunity to reflect on your just-completed Sicilian adventure.
    Day 11 Location: Syracuse
    Your trip will come to an end after breakfast in Siracusa. There are a number of bus and train services to onward destinations including Catania (airport) and Messina. The bus station is within walking distance of the hotel and the train station is also close by. Arrivederci!
    Dates
    Prices
    Availability
    Departure Date:
    27DEC2022
    Return Date:
    06JAN2023
    6040NZD
    available
    Last modified (date)

    23 Aug 2021

    Trip title

    Spirit of Sicily

    Trip code

    PESY

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2021

    Introduction

    Ancient civilisations, prehistoric caves, Byzantine churches, Baroque buildings and majestic landscape – the island of Sicily has it all. Immerse yourself in all the glory of Sicily including its mouth-watering cuisine! Explore the volcanic valleys of Mt. Etna, timeworn streets of Siracusa, the architectural wonders of Ragusa and the rich history of Palermo. Starring dramatic cliffside villages, clear waters and delicious seafood, this is a chance to experience the highlights of Sicily.

    Style

    Peregrine

    Transport

    Private minibus,Local train,Cable car

    Physical Rating

    3

    Physical preparation

    The walking on this tour is graded as easy to moderate; anyone used to hill walking/mountain hiking with a daily average of about 4-5 hours and a height gain/loss of maximum 500 metres per day should find the tour within their capability. Some of the walks can be shortened if desired by the use of cable cars or private bus service. Please note if you opt out of any of the group walks or choose to do a shortened version, any additional transport costs are at your own expense.

    Joining point

    Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

    Via dei Cartari 18

    Palermo

    ITALY

    Phone: +39 091320075

    Joining point description

    Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa is located centrally in Palermo's city center in an ideal location to explore the city. Luxurious and spacious rooms, original liberty design and a characteristic cloister add to the ambience.

    Joining point instructions

    Pre booked arrival transfer from Palermo Airport: Your transfer driver will be in the arrivals hall, holding a board with the Peregrine Logo or your name. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the emergency phone number listed in the emergency contact section in these trip notes. Palermo's International Airport Falcone e Borsellino (airport code PMO) is located approximately 35 km west of Palermo. Taxis are readily available and the ride costs around EUR 35 and will take about 45 to 60 minutes, depending on traffic. There are also frequent buses (lines 101 or 102) that run from the airport to the city centre until midnight. The Trinacria Express Train is currently not running due to maintenance, but may well be back in service later this season. Palermo Centrale railway station is the main transit hub for the city, with direct services from Rome. Arriving by rail into Palermo is a feasible alternative to flying. For train schedules and tickets please consult the Italian national rail operator's website trenitalia.com. Upon arrival at Palermo Centrale railway station you can either catch a short taxi ride to the hotel (about 5 minutes), or take a 20-minute walk along busy Via Roma.

    Finish point

    Hotel Alla Giudecca

    Via Alagona 52

    Ortigia

    Syracuse

    ITALY

    Phone: +39 093122255

    Finish point description

    Hotel Alla Giudecca is located in the historic center of Ortigia island, in the heart of the Jewish Quarter. It is housed in an ancient building that was completely restored respecting its history. In the basement of the building is the oldest Jewish ritual bath in Europe, and the courtyards have an Arabic atmosphere.

    Finish point instructions

    Pre booked departure transfer to the airport: You will be collected at the hotel reception. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the emergency phone number listed in the emergency contact section in these trip notes. If you are making your own way to the airport the hotel will be able to help book you an airport shuttle or taxi. Please ask at reception.

    Important information

    LEVEL OF FITNESS You'll need to be in good health and able to walk for a few hours, with some up-and-down sections, and on varied terrain, from well-defined paths to rocky trails. ARRIVAL TRANSFER An arrival transfer from Palermo Airport to the start point hotel is included in the price of the trip. Please advise your travel agent of your flight times at the time of booking. SINGLE SUPPLEMENT A single supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. Please note that due to the small properties we use in Europe there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent.

    Group leader

    All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

    Safety

    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we make no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

    Visas

    Visas are currently not required for Australian, New Zealand, US, Canadian or UK/EU passport holders wishing to visit Italy as a tourist. Some EU nationals may travel in Europe using only an identity card, however it is your responsibility to check with the relevant authorities if this applies to you.

    Why we love it

    Breathtaking walks with expansive views are the perfect way to experience Sicily’s spectacular beauty

    Explore the lunar-like landscape of Europe’s largest active volcano – the towering Mount Etna

    Discover the truly ancient history of the island with the ‘Sicilian Stonehenge’ in the Malabotta forest. Enjoy a lunch of local specialties in the forest, with views of Mount Etna rising in front of you.

    Search crumbling Greek and Roman ruins in the charming seaside town of Taormina

    Taste tradition in the famous chocolate of Modica, made from a centuries-old secret recipe

    Your feature stay hotel is located in the middle of the lovely historical heart of Siracusa, on the island of Ortigia. Hidden in its basement is Europe's oldest Jewish ritual bath, a so called mikveh, discovered during renovation works.

    Is this trip right for you

    On this trip you'll need to be in good health and able to walk for extended distances for quite a few hours, with some up-and-down sections, and on varied terrain, from well-defined paths to rocky trails. Summer temperatures can be very high in Sicily (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season. As accommodation on this trip is twin-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same gender. If you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details, and please note that in some hotels a single supplement exclusion applies where single rooms are not available. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together/apart.

    Health

    All Peregrine travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Peregrine reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

    Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. Vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and choices may be limited to soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets will find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

    Money matters

    CURRENCY Italy has adopted the common currency of the European Union, the Euro (€), divided into 100 cents. BANKING Since the introduction of the euro (€) life has become much easier for travellers, and it is likely you will be using Euro elsewhere on your travels. As the popularity of ATMs has increased, the need for traveller's cheques has diminished. On all our trips you will require additional funds for extra meals, drinks, souvenirs and incidental expenses. The balance of your holiday funds can be split between cash, ATM withdrawals and credit card. As some of our hotels are in rural areas or small villages where you will not always have access to banks or ATMs, we recommend you take about half your estimated needs in Euro cash. Cash: The simplest solution is to exchange your money into Euro at home and bring the cash with you. In addition, you might want to bring a couple of hundred dollars as ‘emergency funds’. Credit Cards: Credit cards are fairly widely accepted throughout Europe and are an easy way of settling hotel bills, restaurant accounts etc. TIPPING On this trip, we have included gratuities for the essential services that you will receive as part of your tour package. Where applicable, this will cover tips to drivers, specialist local guides and restaurant staff for included meals. This amount DOES NOT include a tip for your tour leader, so you may wish to set aside some funds for this. It is customary to tip your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. Tips are greatly appreciated as a gesture of thanks for their professionalism and leadership during your holiday. We are often asked what a reasonable amount might be. The amount is at your discretion, but a sum of €4-5 per person/per day is a general tipping standard. You also wish to put aside some money for your own tipping, such as when you are doing our own optional sightseeing or activity that involves local guides and/or drivers, when joining in optional groups meals or dining out on your own, or for porters, bellboys and other hotel staff, including room-cleaning staff. In these instances, we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier. The amounts can vary greatly according to destination. Tipping in Europe, although not compulsory, is a widespread practice. Tips for good service are appreciated, if not expected. The amount depends on your resources, tipping philosophy and the circumstance. In restaurants, look out for any service charges. Tipping is applicable only at restaurants that have waiters and waitresses. If you order your food at a counter, don't tip. At restaurants with table service menus usually state (at the bottom) if the service is included. If so you don't need to tip, although if you're pleased with the service you can round up a few euros. If the menu states that the service is not included, tip about 10% by rounding up or leaving the change from your bill. Typically, it's better to hand the cash to the waiter than to leave it on the table, particularly in busy places where the wrong party might pocket the change. In some places, you may want to tip in cash even if you pay with your credit card, otherwise your tip may never reach your waiter. When you're paying for taxis, round up to the next euro on the fare (maximum 10 percent). Use common sense! If you feel like you're being driven in circles or otherwise ripped off, skip the tip. Carry some change. If you stop at a public WC, you may have to tip the attendant anywhere from a bit of change to €1.50. If you're not sure whether (or how much) to tip for a service, ask your tour leader for advice. SPENDING MONEY Clients are responsible for expenses (e.g. meals, transportation or hotel costs) not specified as included in the trip cost but that may be required to get to or from a trip start or end. Other costs to consider are tips, laundry, souvenirs, additional sightseeing and possible delays. It is much better to come with more than you would expect to spend and to end the trip with a surplus, rather than being caught short! It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies, which could happen en route. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the source and reimbursement will be made later by your insurance company. This is the situation where having a credit card may be useful. CONTINGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.

    What to take

    What you need to bring will vary according to when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. We also recommend you take a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. As well as your clothes, passport and toothbrush and other items you always need to pack for travel, below are some items that you specifically need for this trip: ESSENTIALS - Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks. Trainers are not recommended for this trip as they don't provide ankle support and the soles can be too thin. Medium-weight boots are suggested - Layered clothing including synthetic or merino underlayers (socks, long-sleeved top, trousers) - Rain gear, including jacket with a hood and waterproof trousers - Shorts and t-shirts for hiking - Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses RECOMMENDED - Personal medical kit. Your leader will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as blister relief, mild pain killers and bandaids. - Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. OPTIONAL - Camera with spare batteries. You won't be able to recharge during the day - Walking poles can be handy but are not essential If you are purchasing new footwear for your trip we recommend that you undertake some walking before-hand to ensure that they are comfortable and are the correct size. In any event we advise some preparatory walking before you commence your trip. We operate trips in Italy in spring, summer and the start of autumn. Bear in mind that the weather will vary significantly from place to place. Remember that quality rain gear is essential for any destination - you’ll enjoy your holiday to the fullest if you’re prepared for all kinds of weather! Laundry facilities are available in some destinations.

    Climate and seasonal

    SUMMER Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season. SHOULDER SEASON In contrast, weather in shoulder season can be unpredictable, and snow is not unheard of at higher altitudes. If you travel at the start or towards the end of the European season please pack accordingly with warm and/or waterproof clothes (preferably layers). The advantage of travelling during this time is that there are less tourists around.

    A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our Responsible Travel Guidelines. The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information. For additional Conditions of Carriage regarding COVID-19, see here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/conditions-carriage

    Feedback

    Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: https://www.peregrineadventures.com/feedback

    Pre-departure checklist

    Before you travel please download our pre-departure checklist to make sure you are fully prepared for your trip: http://www.peregrineadventures.com/pre-departure-travel-checklist

    Emergency contact

    BOOKING ENQUIRIES / ISSUES For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at: www.peregrineadventures.com/contact-us CRISIS AND EMERGENCIES In case of a genuine crisis or emergency please contact our local ground representative on the number below: Peregrine’s Local Operator: +39 089 79 1896, +39 393 9375299, +39 328 64 81 735

    Responsible travel

    Travelling responsibly is all about making good choices. It's about ensuring you have an incredible trip while also having a positive impact on the local environment, community and economy you're travelling in. How can you be a Responsible Traveller? See our tips below: - Choose to travel with a responsible travel company like us! We've already offset the main carbon emissions of your trip, so your footprint is already lighter. - Consider offsetting your flights when you book your trip/flights with us or your travel agent. - Bring a refillable water bottle and some water purification tablets (or a Steripen) to cut down on plastic bottle waste. - Be an animal-friendly traveller. Only go to venues that respect animals by allowing them to live normally in their natural environment. Steer clear of venues that use animals for entertainment or abnormal activities and/or keep animals in poor and unnatural conditions. - Eat at local restaurants, buy from regional artists and support social enterprises so you can contribute directly to locals and their economy. - Always be respectful of local customs and ask permission if you want to take a photo of someone. - Learn a few words of the local language and engage with the people around you. - Carry a cloth or re-usable bag so you can avoid plastic bags. - Give back by making a donation to a local project via The Intrepid Foundation. Share your thoughts with us by completing your feedback form after your trip. This helps us to continue to improve our commitment to responsible travel.

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Peregrine Adventures, a brand of the Intrepid Group, and works with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website:

    Accommodation notes

    SINGLE TRAVELLERS Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in twin share accommodation. You have the option to pay for a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (subject to availability). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis. OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis (unless noted otherwise in the day-to-day itinerary). CHECK-IN TIME Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination. PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. FACILITIES Your accommodation may not always have air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. Travellers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travellers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below:

    Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour.

    Accommodation

    Comfortable hotel (8 nights),Feature stay in Siracusa (2 nights)

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