MALTA, NOTO, SYRACUSE, TAORMINA, AGRIGENTO, PALERMO
History & Culture
Malta and Sicily are two fascinating islands in the Mediterranean basin. The former comprises of rugged hills, some of the oldest buildings in the world comprising of medieval temples, churches, forts and ruins, many which are UNESCO Heritage sites, while Sicily has a wealth of flamboyant Arabo-Norman cathedrals, stunning galleries and the best collection of Greek temples outside Greece.
Starting in Malta, you will immerse in its compelling history, before travelling to Sicily, with a wonderful blend of its stunning baroque towns, archaeological treasures, gorgeous coastlines and bustling cities. Enjoy an exhilarating 4×4 drive on Europe’s greatest volcano Etna, taste the excellent wines of the island, and get a glimpse of its colourful and vibrant southern Italian towns.
Twin Sharing: HK$ 76,800 per person
Single Supplement: HK$ 22,880 per person
Early Bird Offer
First 2 bookings (max 2 rooms) with deposit enjoy room upgrades at all hotels except Doric Boutique Hotel
20% deposit at sign up
*Registration Closing Date
15 Aug 2022 or when tour is fully subscribed
Upon arrival, after immigration and custom clearance, you will be met at the arrival hall and transfer to your hotel in Valletta.
The day is at leisure to relax after your long flight, and you can explore Valletta on your own before dinner.
Start your day in Valletta, first to the Barraka Gardens which offer stunning views of the Grand Harbour and magnificent fortifications, then a walk down Triq Repubblika where you can admire numerous historical buildings built by the Knights of St. John including the Auberges, the Grand Masters Palace and St. John’s Co-Cathedral, home to Caravaggio’s masterpiece “Beheading of St. John” amongst other treasures.
Visit Casa Rocca Piccola and have a special tour and meet the Marquis while sipping on a prosecco (1 hour). Casa Rocca Piccola is still privately owned and is a much-loved family palace, where you will learn all about the unique customs and traditions of the Maltese nobility.
After lunch, visit Mdina (approx. 15km, 25min), built on a plateau in the centre of the island, the city’s old Baroque buildings, cathedral and magnificent bastion walls dominate the rural skyline. Once the capital of Malta, today it is referred to as the Silent City since it inspires tranquillity at any time of the day or night. The only way to really experience and enjoy this city is on foot, explore the quaint alleys, narrow streets, ancient buildings and magnificent far-reaching views from the high bastion walls.
In the evening, we have a special private after-hours admission to St Paul’s Cathedral in Mdina, where you can view its treasures all by ourselves. This is followed by a Michelin-starred dinner with a 3-course menu.
Kick start the day to Birgu or Vittoriosa (approx. 10km, approx. 20min), one of the Three Cities whose strategic position has led some to call this area `the cradle of Maltese history‘. This was the first home of the Knights when they arrived in 1530 and contains many important architectural riches, with auberges, palaces and churches here are older than those in Valletta. While in town you will stop at a local band club to taste local pastry and tea or a local soft drink or a local beer. Highlights in Birgu include the Church of St. Lawrence, designed by Malta’s most prominent baroque architect, Lorenzo Gafa’, the Inquisitor’s Palace, Fort St. Angelo and the Maritime Museum.
Visit a boutique winery with limited production and exclusive wines (approx. 15km, 20min). Here you will tour the vineyard and production area and enjoy tasting local platters as a light lunch and a glass of wine on the terrace (weather permitting).
After lunch, visit the Hagar Qim temple site (approx. 5km, 10min), with the largest and heaviest megaliths out of all the temple sites around the Maltese Islands, dating back to 3,300BC. Continue on to Mnajdra Temples, located on the edge of a hill by the sea and one of the best preserved and most evocative of the country’s prehistoric sites.
We have an early start today with a shared ferry ride over to Sicily (approx. 1hr 45min), bidding farewell to our guides in Malta and meeting your hosts in Sicily. We start your journey in Modica (approx. 25km, 25min) to admire beautiful Baroque churches, including the famous Cathedral of San Giorgio. Next, you will visit the oldest confectionary shop of Sicily where you will taste the unique chocolates of Modica.
Not to be missed is the wonderful town of Noto, a Baroque masterpiece (approx. 40km, 40min). Such is the town’s beauty that it has been awarded status as Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO. Stroll down Corso Vittorio Emanuele, an elegantly manicured walkway lined with huge palm trees and gorgeous reddish-gold Baroque palazzi and churches and discover many of the noteworthy buildings, such as Palazzo Ducezio, Palazzo Vescovile, Palazzo Lanolina, the Church of San Domenico and, of course, the town’s magnificent Cathedral.
Continue onwards to Syracuse where you will check-in to your hotel (approx. 40km, 35min).
After breakfast, enjoy a day of exploration of Syracuse and Ortigia, where you will travel back in time and explore more than 2,000 years of the city’s history. Visit Parco Archeologico della Neapolis in where you will see the Teatro Greco, built in the 5th century B.C., the most complete Greek theatre remaining from the ancient world, as well as the 2nd-century Anfiteatro Romano (Roman Amphitheatre), the Ara di Ierone (Altar of Hieron), once used for animal sacrifices, and the Orecchio di Dionisio (Ear of Dionysius), an enormous ear-shaped entrance into a limestone cave.
Stroll through the island of Ortigia that forms the historic heart of the medieval centre and visit the vast cathedral square with its 17th-century Duomo and ornate Baroque palaces. The nearby Fountain of Arethusa, fed by an underground spring, has snow-white ducks paddling under its leafy papyrus plants and stunning sea views.
Continue onwards to Taormina after lunch (approx. 120km, 1.5hrs). You will have some time to enjoy a walk in town, with countless opportunities to admire the magnificent views of the sea and mountains.
Discover Europe’s largest active volcano today – Mount Etna (approx. 70km, 1hr 15min drive). This is one of the greatest adventure tours in Sicily, not only for the volcanic phenomena but also for the vegetation variety among its 400 craters across the Catania county. Visit Valle del Bove, part of the protected area of the Etna Regional Park, walking through old lava flows to panoramic viewpoints to admire the majesty of the valley and Ionian Coast, visiting the craters of the Sartorius Mountains.
Next, you will visit a local winery, whose vineyards grow over lava stone 700 meters above sea level on the northern slope of the volcano, showcasing the particularities of a unique and precious territory. Enjoy lunch with a wine tasting session, learning about the history of the local territory, followed by a tour of the wine cellar and vineyards.
Today, transfer to Agrigento, with a stop at the splendid Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina (approx. 160km, 2hr 15min). Enjoy a guided tour of this 15th century ‘casale’ or farmhouse with its 3,500sqm of mosaic flooring that is perfecting intact, featuring a hunt of ferocious animals in India and North Africa to be transported to Rome for the gladiator games.
After lunch, continue to Agrigento (approx. 100km, 1.5hrs) and check into your hotel.
Today, you will learn that Sicily was once a thriving Greek colony, with English historian Douglas Sladen once saying, “If you want to understand ancient Greece, come to Sicily”. Thought to be some of the best Greek ruins in the world, the Valle dei Templi near Agrigento is an amazing sight, with most of the seven temples dating from the 5th century BC, which you will explore with your expert local guide while listening to the amazing stories of these ancient monuments.
After the tour, a picnic lunch will be served at the Kolymbetra Garden, an old Greek water reservoir inside the Valley of the Temples. Originally an artificial lake surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers and used as a place of contemplation, today is has been restored to its agricultural and natural landscapes with an irrigation system as in ancient times, filled with Mediterranean shrubs rich in pistachio, myrtle, citrus and more.
We then continue onwards to Palermo (approx. 130km, 2hrs).
This morning, meet your guide in a fascinating exploration of Sicilian culture and cuisine in Palermo, starting with a visit to the Capo market, the oldest in Palermo, where you will admire fresh seasonal produce.
Then explore the city and be enchanted by the city’s wide boulevards, traditional Sicilian Old Quarter, and baroque palaces. We will visit the city’s main sights, including the Norman section, Quattro Canti di Citta’ (the Four Corners of the City), Palermo’s extravagant baroque square and the 12th century Duomo. During the tour you will get a taste of aristocracy life at the extraordinary Palazzo Gangi – be enchanted by an atmosphere of times gone by of unbridled luxury, as well as a special reception by the princess or the Maestro di Casa.
After lunch, continue to Monreale, which is best known for the spectacular mosaics in its Duomo (one of the best examples of Norman architecture in Italy), with an interior covered in 68,220 square feet of glittering gold. We will also stop at the adjacent cloister, with panoramic views all the way to Palermo.
After breakfast, a transfer will be arranged to Palermo Airport for your departure flight.
Hotel Phoenicia Malta • Ortea Palace • Ortea Palace • Doric Boutique Hotel • Grand Hotel Villa Igiea
Hotel Phoenicia Malta: Located just outside the vibrant capital of Valletta on the edge of the city’s 16th Century bastions, The Phoenicia has long been regarded as a national treasure, graced by celebrities, socialites and the crowned heads of Europe for over 60 years.View More
Ortea Palace: Once a Mussolini-era post office, today, this impressive grand building has been converted into an opulent hotel with light-filled rooms. It’s just steps to the trendy bars and restaurants of Ortiga as well as the bustling Ortiga market.View More
Grand Hotel Timeo: Formerly a magnificent patrician residence house, this legendary hotel occupies an unbeatable position in the city's historic centre directly opposite Taormina's legendary Greek Theater. Each of the beautifully appointed bedroom opens out on to its own private terrace.View More
Doric Boutique Hotel: Close to the Valley of the Temples, this boutique hotel features just 22 rooms with lovely views of the Temple of Juno and the Mediterranean Sea. While many rooms have their own private pools, there is a main outdoor pool and spa for guests who want a pampering experience, as well as terraces to relax among the Mediterranean landscape.View More
Grand Hotel Villa Igiea: Discover history, majesty and serenity at this restored Art Nouvea villa of a noble family. The newest property of the luxurious Rocco Forte hotel group, this Palermo landmark features elegant guestrooms that has welcomed royalty, dignitaries and Hollywood luminaries - trace their paths through meticulously kept gardens with a year round display of fragrant Mediterranean floraView More
13 Oct 2022
Hong Kong – Frankfurt (LH 779): 23:25 – 05:55 +1D
14 Oct 2022
Frankfurt – Malta (LH1276): 09:25 – 11:55
23 Oct 2022
Palermo – Munich (LH1915): 11:55 – 13:55
Munich – Frankfurt (LH119): 19:00 – 20:00
Frankfurt – Hong Kong (LH7014): 21:45 – 15:30 +1D
Registration Closing Date: 15 Aug 2022 or when tour is fully subscribed
Kindly call us at (852) 2885 2181 if you require any immediate assistance.