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OLD WORLD WONDERS OF SICILY & MALTA

Experience the wonderment of old world traditions and taste authentic cuisine in timeless Italian and Maltese towns

Dates

Wed Jun 15 – Tue Jun 28, 2022

Locations

SicilyMalta

Cost

$4699/Person

Deposit

$600/Person

ENCOUNTER SEASIDE TOWNS AND UNESCO ISLAND GEMS

Explore two island paradises nestled within the scenic Mediterranean Sea – Sicily and Malta. Sicily is the largest island in Italy that offers a vast rich history filled with old world traditions, where art and culture intertwine with wonderful natural wonders. On the list of the Unesco’s World Heritage sites, there are seven in Sicily, along with multiple charming Baroque cities to explore. From the sea to the mountains and countryside, from the volcanos to the quintessential seaside villages, Sicily will not dissappoint.  On this memorable adventure, sample culinary specialties in Palermo’s colorful marketplaces and taste authentic cuisine from street food to the best of local tables. Engage with a local Countess in her medieval palace for regional refreshments; and visit the private home of a modern-day Knight of Malta. Taste award-winning olive oil and learn about the authentic Slow Food movement with an educational visit at a local producing farm; and delve into the history of Marsala wine with a visit to a private cellar. Be immersed in the the UNESCO Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples (UNESCO) for a twilight experience like none other with an expert guide; spend time in blissful UNESCO town or Taormina, perched above the idllyic Ionian Sea. Journey to Mount Etna and see it from a different perspective on an off-road excursion. Explore the unique architecture of the UNESCO sites in Scicli and Modica in the Baroque Valley; and venture to Hagar Qim, the UNESCO megalithic temple complex older than Stonehenge, to view architectural masterpieces. Soak up Sicily’s and Malta’s island ambiance and experience their individual dynamic pasts on leisurely walking tours with expert insider guides. Discover the classical old world ways of life in this Mediterranean paradise as we encounter with these timeless Italian and Maltese islands.

This is a private THIRDHOME small-group tour with a maximum occupancy of 24.  Our group size is kept small, allowing this Adventure to be a more engaging and rewarding experience for participants. On this active, immersive journey, travelers will connect with the culture of the extraordinary destinations of Sicily and Malta in an authentic and more intimate way. 

Who Can Participate

Exchange Club & Adventure Club Members, along with their family & friends ● Age requirement 12+ 

Activity Level

To experience this unique destination, you will need to be able to participate in physical activities such as longer walking tours, walking over uneven terrain, climbing stairs and various time-period lengths of standing (between 1-2 hrs). You can navigate hills and uneven ground, climb onboard various modes of transportation and adapt to changes in elevation. You can expect some longer guided days, balanced with ample free time to relax or set out on your own to explore each city. Some of the touring days have pre-planned select included group activities in addition to occasional meals together as a group. Guests should bring adequate sun protection, appropriate layers and sturdy walking shoes adequate for walking and climbing on uneven surfaces.

SICILY & MALTA HIGHLIGHTS

  • Discover Palermo on a panoramic tour including the Monreale Cathedral
  • Tour the masterpieces of Valletta’s Cathedral from Mattia Preti to Caravaggio
  • Sample authentic Sicilian cuisine from street vendors, marketplaces to coveted local tables
  • Taste award-winning olive oil with a visit to a local producing farm
  • Learn about the original “Slow Food” movement and its birthplace
  • Delve into the history of Marsala wine with a tasting at a private cellar
  • Encounter with a local Countess in a medieval palace for refreshments
  • Visit the private residence of a modern-day Knight of Malta
  • Marvel at UNESCO Mount Etna on as you ascend on off-road vehicles
  • Immerse into the ancient history with a visit of UNESCO Valley of the Temples at dusk
  • Encounter the beauty of UNESCO Taormina and explore its iconic Greek Theater
  • Soak up idyllic island ambiance in Malta’s coastal town of St Julian
  • Gain a glimpse into the old practiced traditions of this region
  • Wander the fabulous Baroque towns and stroll the cobblestone streets
  • Choose to Add-On an optional Premium Experiences – Enjoy a sensory-immersive full-day explorations into legendary places, such as The Baroque Valley to discover the UNESCO World Heritage towns of Scicli and Modica; and explore Malta’s UNESCO Megalithic temple complex at Hagar Qim along with the ancient prolific capital of Malta that was known as “the Silent City”. Details can be found in the Itinerary expanded version and in the Adventure Optional Premium Experience section.

ADVENTURE ROUTE MAP

Itinerary

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ARRIVAL INTO PALERMO, ITALY

Our Adventure begins today with international flight arrivals into Palermo per your preferred carrier. Upon arrival at the Palermo Airport, Collette Tours will meet and greet all participants, and ground transfer to the group hotel. Remainder of the day free to relax and explore the city on your own if you wish. This evening enjoy a Welcome Dinner and become acquainted with your fellow group travelers. Overnight at the Hotel Porta Felice. (Dinner included)

PALERMO HISTORY & CULTURE EXCURSION

Awaken this morning, enjoy breakfast and experience an insightful day with our guide as we discover highlights of Palermo. Uncover the island’s deeply rooted heritage teeming with Arab-Norman architectural masterpieces and world renowned classical designs. We will begin with the remarkable Monreale Cathedral, ascending on foot to see the gold Byzantine mosaics. Spend your afternoon strolling and tasting your way through Ballard Market’s olives, spices, and other local and regional produce. We will end our day with a fabulous finale at a medieval palace, where a Countess will guide us through her family’s home, and enjoying an aperitif with hors d’oeuvres. Overnight at the Hotel Porta Felice. (Breakfast, tastings and hors d’oeuvres included)

TRAPANI, SICILY

This morning after breakfast, we will depart the hotel for charming town of Trampani. En route experience an impact moment with a visit to Addiopizzo, an anti-Mafia nonprofit that supports locals who refuse to pay the Mafia’s protection fees. We will visit Capaci and Cinisi, two historic sites with a deep-rooted Mafia history, and pay tribute to fallen activists. We will engage in an educational chat with locals for a personal perspective and learn how they overcame the Mafia’s reign. As the day draws to a close, settle into Trapani’s ambiance and watch the sunset fade against the crashing waves and its whirling windmills. This evening we will enjoy a group dinner in a local establishment. Overnight at I Mulini Resort. (Breakfast and dinner included)

ISLE OF MOZIA & MARSALA EXPLORATION

Following breakfast, we will depart our hotel to venture to the isle of Mozia, once a great trading port for the Phoenician, Greek and Roman civilizations. Explore Mozia with our local guide, visiting the ruins of its ancient port, and a museum featuring impressive ancient Greek statuary. We will continue onward to Marsala, and escape into a private cellar for a taste of its renowned wine. Return to Trapani, with the remainder of the afternoon free to relax or further explore on your own. This afternoon perhaps consider an Optional Premium Experience – journey to lovely town of Erice to visit Maria Grammatico’s famous bakery for a hands-on pastry-making class.  Overnight at I Mulini Resort. (Breakfast included)

GIBELLINA, VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES & AGRIGENTO

Enjoy breakfast this morning and get ready for a memorable day! We will depart the hotel for an excursion to the humble countryside village in Gibellina. Stroll with our local guide to understand how this town rebuilt itself after an earthquake, transforming ruins into a sprawling piece of contemporary art. We will continue to an award-winning olive grove and learn about the Slow Food movement, which supports local cultures and preserves traditions. Here we will enjoy a tasting of their unique olive oil with a wonderful traditional lunch. Depart for our short journey to Agrigento, where ancient roots and medieval buildings blend into modernity. Wander through the Valley of the Temples (UNESCO) with a local guide for a memorable tour at dusk. This evening we will enjoy a group dinner at a local establishment. Overnight at Baia di Plisse Hotel. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

PIAZZA ARMERINA & TAORMINA

After breakfast we will depart Agrigento to venture deep into Sicily’s countryside to Piazza Armerina, home of the ancient Villa Romana del Casale (UNESCO). Here we will explore the site with an expert insider with a locally guided tour of its impressive structure and mosaics. In the afternoon, we will journey along the beautiful Ionian Coast to Taormina, a seaside hub of ancient Greek theaters and hillside walkways. We will settle in before enjoying a fantastic Sicilian dinner serenaded by local musicians. Overnight at NH Collection Taormina Hotel. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

TAORMINA SIGHTSEEING

After breakfast we will depart the hotel to discover the lovely city of Taormina with a local guide on a morning excursion. As we follow in the ancient footsteps of the past, we will take in the city’s Duomo, public gardens, and the well-preserved Greek theater with its unparalleled viewpoint of the adjacent ocean. This afternoon enjoy free time with the day at leisure…perhaps grab a bite to eat at a popular sidewalk café, or peruse the local boutiques for handcrafted souvenirs. Evening on your own to relax or enjoy a local restaurant of your choice. Overnight at NH Collection Taormina Hotel. (Breakfast included)

MOUNT ETNA EXPLORATION

Enjoy breakfast this morning before we depart for on a fun 4×4 exploration. We will explore Sicily’s wilder side on an off-road excursion to Mount Etna. Marvel at this iconic natural peak as we navigate up the sides of Europe’s largest active volcano. We will spend the majority of the day exploring this legendary giant, passing by lava formations and basalt rocks, with scenic stops along the way. We will return to Taormina with the late afternoon and evening at leisure to relax and enjoy dinner on your own. Overnight at NH Collection Taormina Hotel. (Breakfast included)

DEPART TAORMINA – TO RAGUSA

Enjoy breakfast before we depart for our journey to Ragusa, the UNESCO ancient city perched upon a hillside. We will enjoy the morning exploring through its Baroque neighborhood with an expert local guide, passing by winding narrow lanes, cobblestone streets, while marveling at the architecture and elaborate iron balconies. The afternoon is free to explore on your own. As the sun sets, we will retreat to our countryside resort just outside the city. Overnight at Poggio del Sole Hotel. (Breakfast and dinner included)

RAGUSA – FREE TIME OR THE BAROQUE VALLEY

This entire day is free to spend as you wish – perhaps choose to relax in the countryside and enjoy the resort’s amenities (OR) perhaps join into an Optional Premium Experience Tour to the picture-perfect UNESCO towns of Scicli and Monica in the beautiful region of the Baroque Valley, where you’ll enjoy a savory brunch at an artisan ricotta cheese farm, followed by some sweet tastings at a local chocolate shop. Overnight at Poggio del Sole Hotel. (Breakfast and dinner included; lunch included on optional tour)

FERRY TO POZZALLO, THREE CITIES & ST JULIAN’S

After breakfast, collect your luggage and depart the hotel. Adventurers are responsible for porterage of their own bags for boarding the ferry service from Ragusa to Pozzallo. We will waive goodbye to Italy and journey on the water to the island paradise of Malta, one of the smallest countries in the world. Upon arrival we will being our exploration in Three Cities, a conglomeration of three fortified cities of medieval heritage. Once the setting of battles by the Knights of Malta, this area preserves endless layers of the historic past. We will connect with the heart of the neighborhood at a Band Club, where locals gather to learn and play instruments together for a fun interactive experience; here we will enjoy light local bites as the musical Maltese culture drifts softly around you and envelopes you in its charm. We will make our way onward to St.Julian’s, our home for the next three days. This evening relax or explore the town with dinner at a local restaurant of your choice. Overnight at The George Urban Boutique Hotel. (Breakfast and lunch included)

ST JULIAN’S – FREE TIME OR THE SILENT CITY

The day is free to experience the island of Malta however you please. Soak up the sunshine, relax on the beach, or even explore the colorful old town and harbor on foot. Perhaps join an Optional Premium Experience excursion to a temple complex older than Stonehenge, followed by an intimate look at UNESCO Mdina – the ancient “Silent City.” This evening enjoy a group gathering for dinner at a local establishment. Overnight at The George Urban Boutique Hotel. (Breakfast and dinner included)

VALETTA EXPLORATION

Enjoy breakfast this morning and depart the hotel for an adventurous day into Valletta, the capital of Malta. We will visit the picturesque Barrakka Gardens overlooking the harbor, featuring a charming blend of natural beauty and terraced arches. Afterwards, choose one of the two arranged group tour experiences – (1) Visit the private home of a modern-day Knight of Malta – OR- (2) tour the masterpieces of Valletta’s Cathedral featuring Mattia Preti and Caravaggio. This evening we will enjoy a wonderful group Farewell Dinner, recounting our memories together of these unique Mediterranean islands. Overnight at The George Urban Boutique Hotel. (Breakfast and dinner included)

DEPART MALTA – JOURNEY HOME

Depart the hotel this morning after breakfast for group ground transportation to the Valetta Malta International Airport. Although your adventure has come to close, we hope you will cherish the many fond memories of your time spent in Sicily and Malta, while having gained a new understanding of these old world islands. Please note – we recommend that your onward flight arrangements occur anytime after 11AM. (Breakfast included)


PALERMO & ST JULIAN’S

Would you like to extend the Adventure with an additional night on either end of the tour?  Please inquire for pre and post nights accommodation needs for your flight arrival and departure times.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Enjoy 4 & 5-star boutique accommodations throughout the Adventure in the order of the itinerary nights, at the following properties:

  • Hotel Porta Felice (Palermo)
  • I Mulini Resort (Trapani)
  • Baia di Ulisse (Agrigento)
  • NH Collection Taormina (Taormina)
  • Poggio del Sole Hotel (Ragusa)
  • The George Urban Boutique Hotel (St Julian’s/Valletta)

What’s Included

  • 13 nights accommodations in 4-5-star properties throughout group itinerary – 2 Nights Palermo, 2 Nights Trapani, 1 Night Agrigento, 3 Nights Taormina, 2 Nights Ragusa, 3 Nights St Julian’s (Valletta)
  • Small-group deluxe bus transportation where applicable in each region of the itinerary, including other modes of unique transportation as noted per adventure itinerary
  • Internal Domestic flights required per adventure itinerary as part of our organized group tour
  • 22 Group Meals including 13 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 7 dinners
  • Insider expert tour guides throughout adventure itinerary
  • All sightseeing experiences as noted per adventure itinerary

What’s not Included

  • International Airfare – home town into Palermo for arrival / departure from Valletta to home or onward destination
  • Airport/Hotel Transfers – Arrival in Palermo, Italy / Departure from Valletta, Malta – $100 per person
  • Visas are required for each destination based on traveler’s nationality (SEE BELOW)
  • Meals “on your own” when not provided in the scheduled group itinerary
  • Optional activities, spa treatments and hotel incidentals are on your own
  • Premium Experiences offered are optional and at additional cost as noted
  • Additional pre and post nights/extensions in Palermo or St Julian’s/Valletta
  • “Cancel for Any Reason” travel insurance (refer to pricing details)

VISA & PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS

  • ITALY – Currently, U.S. citizens may enter Italy for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. However due to the global pandemic, THIRDHOME will closely monitor the requirements on this matter should anything change or be added to tourism-entry requirements.
  • MALTA – U.S citizens may enter Malta for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. However due to the global pandemic, THIRDHOME will closely monitor the requirements on this matter should anything change or be added to tourism-entry requirements.
  • PASSPORTS – All traveler passports MUST have validity of minimum 6 months or longer at the time travel occurs, otherwise the risk of denied travel could be experienced per airline carrier rules and country entry requirement mandates with Customs & Immigrations. We recommend that our members travel abroad with a photocopy of their passport and applicable visas. Your photocopy should be packed separately from your actual passport. We also recommend leaving a copy at home with your emergency contact or entrusted family/friend.
  • PROOF OF RETURN OR ONWARD TICKET – Italy and Malta require proof of onward ticket or return to your original destination or another destination outside of their country, to ensure you are not staying past the 90-days allowance

OPTIONAL Premium Experiences

ADD-ON this Premium Experience in Trapani/Erice

Erice Village & Sicilian Pastry Baking Class | $75 per person | Duration: 4 Hours – In the workshop of a renowned pastry chef and author, learn to make delicious Sicilian specialties. After you meanderthrough the historic streets of Erice, you’ll head to Maria Grammatico’s Bakery, whose life story is dictated in thenovel Bitter Almonds. There, you’ll learn to prepare two almond pastry recipes and learn about history behind the iconic Sicilian cannoli. Almonds are grown throughout southeast Sicily, the foundation of many age-old traditional recipes. Once you finally taste the fruits of your labor, you’ll taste and know why Sicilian pastries are so loved around theworld. Please note a minimum of 8 passengers is required. Transportation is included.

ADD-ON this Premium Experience in the Baroque Valley

Baroque Valley – UNESCO Scicli & Modica | $110 per person | Duration: 8 Hours – Journey to Sicily’s Baroque Valley, known for its ornate historic architecture. Discover the charming old world UNESCO World Heritage towns of Scicli and Monica including their most historical sites. The town of Scicli dates back to the 3rd century BC, home to quite a few of centuries-old churches. Visit a local farm for a wonderfully prepared local brunch and learn about the making of two local specialties: artisan ricotta cheese and sausage. Afterwards, continue to the hillside city of Modica, dating back to the 2nd century BC, and renowned for its baroque architecture and breathtakingly detailedfacades. Taste Modica’s historically rooted artisanal chocolate, based on flavorful Aztec recipes of millennia ago. This excursion will immerse you in the alluring culture and history of the Baroque Valley. Please note a minimum of 8 passengers is required. Transportation is included.

ADD-ON this Premium Experience in St Julian’s/Mdina

Malta’s Megalithic Temples & Ancient Capitals & Mdina | $130 per person | Duration: 8 Hours – Uncover Malta’s ancient past on an exploration to Hagar Qim, a megalithic temple complex that is among the oldest in the world. These UNESCO-recognized architectural masterpieces are even older than Stonehenge, dating back to 3200 B.C. Stop at Dingli Cliffs for a dramatic photo opportunity overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Then, we journey to the Maltese city of Mdina, layered in legends spanning millennia. Once the prolific capital of Malta, this walled city is populated by less than 300 residents and became known as “the Silent City.” Cars are not allowed past the city walls, so you will meander cobblestone streets by foot with a local expert guide. Discover its colorful medieval architecture and beautiful Maltese facades, and leave inspired by this unforgettable region of Malta. Please note a minimum of 10 passengers is required. Transportation is included.

ADVENTURE PRICING

$4699 per person based on Double Occupancy

$5699 Single Occupancy

DEPOSIT REQUIRED to Confirm: $600 per person

FINAL PAYMENT DUE:  APR 8, 2022

Deposits are refundable if the Adventure is cancelled or postponed by Collette Tours. Adventure is non-refundable after final payments have been made. This Adventure requires 24 people to operate at the price quoted; if less participants join this adventure than an increase in cost would be required.

“Cancel for Any Reason” Travel Insurance: $349 per person

Adventure is fully non-refundable after final payment. THIRDHOME requires all participants to purchase travel insurance. Insurance is required to be purchased prior to final payment date. Collette Tours has partnered with TripMate Travel Insurance for this Adventure, offering a special group tour rate of $349 per person for coverage. Click here to learn more about what’s covered. Collette Tours reserves the right to modify or change itinerary accommodations and/or alter tour routing if conditions beyond their control require such alterations thereof due to unforeseen circumstances.

THIRDHOME strongly recommends that all travelers purchase travel insurance prior to participating in a THIRDHOME Adventure and that all such insurance be purchased when a tour deposit is made. THIRDHOME travelers can purchase travel insurance through (1) the THIRDHOME preferred provider Allianz Travel or (2) the traveler’s insurance provider of choice. THIRDHOME will require proof of such travel insurance protection when a tour deposit is made.  

Any traveler that elects not to purchase travel insurance, by either of the above means, agrees to release THIRDHOME from liability for any loss of funds incurred due to the cancellation of a specific THIRDHOME Adventure as a result of, but not limited to, an act of God, a failure to purchase travel insurance, the cessation of business with respect to a tour operator/ground operator, the failure of a tour operator/ground operator to refund consumer deposits or payments within 120 days following the cancellation of a THIRDHOME Adventure or a material failure to complete performance of a THIRDHOME Adventure.

Click here to view the THIRDHOME Adventures Terms and Conditions

CURRENT COVID-19 UPDATE per Collette Tours

This Adventure is provided in partnership with Collette tours.

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