Pre-Trip Extension - Taormina
2 nights for only $395
- Two nights at Hotel Villa Belvedere or Hotel Monte Tauro
- Daily breakfast
- City Information
- Full day excursion to Etna volcano
- Airport transfers
Taormina, with its incredible views ranging from its blue
waters, the Etna volcano, the bay and rocks and the little isle of Isola Bella,
as well as the concentration of monuments of different architectural styles in
a handful, is the compendium of the beauties of Sicily. Don't miss the
magnificent Greek Theater, the symbol of Taormina, an ancient Greco-Roman
theater nestled in the mountains with spellbinding views of the
sapphire-colored sea, Etna and the city. Stroll along the Corso Umberto with
its classical music cafés, pastry shops and monuments left from the Arabs and
Normans, Gothic and Baroque buildings.
During your stay you will spend a full day hiking on the
Etna volcano with a local guide. The Etna is probably the most active volcano
in Europe and the oldest recorded active volcano in the world. Depending on the
weather and ability of the guests, our guide will decide which path—among the
hundreds available—is the most suitable for the day. In March and April for
example, snow is likely to prevent any walking activity above 2400 feet
of altitude. For the rest of the year we plan to hike at approximately 6000 feet
of altitude. The path can vary, sometimes offering a walk on the rims of dormant
craters, observing fumeroles maybe, other times crossing a pine forest cut in
two by the black lava and ashes. It will be an unforgettable experience!
Available only with the Air Inclusive Package.Single Supplement: $145
Day 1 - Depart U.S. / Fly overnight to Catania
Depart from the U.S. and travel to Italy. The particulars of
your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary and airline
Day 2 - Arrive in Catania / Transfer to Taormina / Begin your Trip
Arrive at the Catania airport where a VBT representative
will meet you and help you transfer (approximately 50 minutes) to your centrally
located hotel in Taormina. At the hotel, our VBT representative will be
available at a set time to answer your questions and help you organize your
time here. She will also take you on a walking orientation tour through the
historical center of Taormina. Your VBT City Information Package will help you
continue to explore the city in the next days. For dinner pick a restaurant in
the maze of alleyways of Taormina or ask our guide for tips!
If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be
available until 2:00 pm. You may store your luggage with the reception desk.
Please note: VBT transfer times and departure points are
finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you fly
in earlier than the scheduled program dates, transportation from the airport
will be at your own expense.
Day 3 - Independent exploration of Taormina
Continue to explore Taormina. Visit the Greek Theater and
browse the shops and cafés on Corso Umberto, reserved to pedestrians. Closed
between the two gates of the city—Porta Catania and Porta Messina—the street
displays numerous Baroque and Gothic churches and palaces, the wonderful
Piazza Duomo loved by artists like Oscar Wild, Alexander Dumas and Richard
Wagner, and the terrace-square of Piazza IX Aprile, a balcony overlooking the bay and
If you feel active, take a walk up to the Castello Saraceno.
Or take the funicular down to Mazzaro' beach for a swim in the blue ocean. The
options are many!
Day 4 - Independent exploration of Taormina / Excursion to Etna
volcano / Begin Main Tour
This morning put on your hiking boots, wear layers and be
ready for a truly unique experience. Meet your guide at the hotel and shuttle to
Linguaglossa, a typical Sicilian village at the foot of Etna. Buy your bread, cheese,
olives and more specialties for your picnic lunch.
Continue to shuttle up to the craters. Based on the
weather, your local guide will decide what is the best starting point for your
walk. Expect to hike at approximately 6,000 feet (in March and April the snow
may prevent a hike at that altitude and you will remain at approximately 2,400
feet) on unpaved terrain, covered with some ashes and rocks. You do not need to
be an expert, but be prepared with appropriate clothing and bring your
adventure spirit! In the afternoon stop by a local wine maker for more local
discovery before you return to the hotel.
Air Package guests will be arriving throughout the day.