Tour description

CALABRIA & THE AEOLIAN ISLANDS SMALL GROUP TOUR

Experience the Southern Italy lifestyle with a small group of 12/14 participants only! Distinctive and delightful, with crystalline seas, pretty countryside and endless sunshine, Calabria is a land of natural beauty, warm hospitality and amazing food and wine. A unique, much-loved southern region. Dramatic mountains, Byzantine rock-hewn churches, sunbaked olive groves, stunning Romanesque architecture and some of Italy’s best beaches are tempting more and more visitors to the exciting little-known regions. Calabria has an otherworldly landscape of tremendous mountain ranges, dark forested valleys and villages so melded with the rock face that they seem to have grown there. Its extensive coastline bears the marks of many conquering invaders: the Normans, the Spanish, the Turks, the Swabians and the Greeks. Yet, despite its diverse influences, Basilicata has its own distinct and authentic identity.

The seven Aeolian Islands can be found across the Tyrrhenian Sea, just off the North Eastern coast of Sicily. Island lovers will be drawn to these glittering shores, each with its own unique character and breathtaking beauty.Believed to have been home to the mythological Greek Gods of wind and fire, the untamed forces of nature still abound here whilst other islands have been tempered and tamed by their inhabitants.

Discover vibrant Vulcano with its lively nightlife; the introverted and solitary Salina, whose lush vineyards and fruits create its distinctive sweet dessert wine; the hidden sea caves and remote lunar like landscapes of Filicudi and Alicudi and the fine black sands and bubbling hot springs of Porto Lavante beach.Be humbled by the brooding beauty of Stromboli’s active volcano and admire a fire-strewn sky as molten lava erupts by night.From the largest island of Lipari with its fortified city and Franciscan convent to the smallest jewel of Panarea, with its western flank plunging steeply to the sea; this archipelago is a mixture of sublime mountains, sub-tropical fragrant gardens, sapphire skies, stunning seascapes and crystal clear coastal waters.

We have a real passion for the Aeolian Islands and look forward to sharing it with you! Trust the locals…


SMALL GROUP TOUR HIGHLIGHTS & INCLUSIONS: 8 DAYS/7 NIGHTS

  • Guaranteed departures small group tour: Small, intimate group of only 12/14 participants only !!
  • More than 10 included sightseeing tours & cultural experiences
  • Walk on the volcanic AEOLIAN ISLANDS of Sicily, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • AEOLIAN PARADISE-Escape to these mythic islands for spectacular swimming
  • LOCAL ARTISAN FOODS-Indulge in almond wine, pistachio cake and the sweetest strawberries
  • Visit UNESCO AEOLIAN ISLANDS
  • Discover LIPARI and its ARCHAEOLOGICAL TREASURES
  • Enchanting VULCANO ISLAND with its YELLOW SULPHUROUS BATHS and VOLCANIC CRATERS
  • Boat trip to SALINA ISLAND, the highest and greenest,topped by symmetrical volcanoes
  • Visit a MALVASIA WINERY in SALINA
  • Explore PANAREA ISLAND
  • Visit popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Local Tour Manager, experienced to accompany you throughout your journey
  • Tour city guides included
  • Transportation on tour, via private air-conditioned Mercedes car or 9/19 seats motorcoach
  • All transfers while overseas, baggage transfers & porterage are included
  • Included gratuity for all city guides as per itinerary
  • No hidden extras
  • We strongly recommend arriving a day or more prior to tour start
  • Culinary inclusions: All breakfasts, 2 foodie experiences, 3 dinners, 3 lunches, (main meals include local wine, mineral water, espresso coffee or tea only)
  • We strongly recommend arriving a day or more prior to the beginning of the tour.
  • Our unique Hotels: TROPEA “La Dolce Vita Tropea” or similar; LIPARI ISLAND “Grand Hotel Arciducaor similar;CEFALU’ “Hotel La Plumeria” or similar
  • The tour will begin on Day 1 from Lamezia Terme airport and end with group morning transfer to Palermo airport and train station on Day 8
  • Activity level: Good/Moderate
  • Terms & conditions/Single supplement: (View here) & FAQ (View here)
  • Trip interruption & cancellation insurance is not included. We highly recommend Travelex-insurance.com to protect your vacation
  • Purchase of European Travel & Health Insurance is strongly recommended.
DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

SCENIC BEAUTY OF CALABRIA & THE AEOLIAN ISLANDS TRAVEL ITINERARY 

TOUR LIMITED TO 12/14 PARTICIPANTS FROM LAMEZIA TERME TO PALERMO

Day 1: WELCOME TO CALABRIA & CHARMING TROPEA

Arrive at Lamezia Terme Airport or train station where you’ll be met by your driver and local tour director and travel to the splendid town of Topea which boasts centuries of glorious architecture and art treasure, for your first two nights in a beautiful hotel located near the village center. After an opportunity to rest and freshen up in your central hotel,you’ll be treated to a welcome aperitif at the hotel bar followed by dinner in the hotel restaurant.Overnight in TROPEA

Day 2: TIMELESS TROPEA WITH WINE TASTING

One of the most picturesque towns on Calabria’s largely built up Tyrrhenian coast, Tropea’s town architecture reveals medieval Norman and Arab touches as well as a more austere baroque style than that of Rome or Naples. It also offers superb views of the sea and beaches. The old town hangs on to a cliff-side facing a large rock, formerly an island. The rock is topped by a former medieval Benedictine sanctuary. The cathedral is of Norman origin, although it has been rebuilt several times.A walking tour of the town center will let us apreciate not just the charm of the brick and stone houses hugging the steep lanes, but greeting the local people we meet and witnessing their daily routines.We stop for lunch in a well know winery near Tropea before enjoying the Dolce Vita!.Overnight in TROPEA

Day 3: WELCOME TO LIPARI & THE AEOLIAN ISLANDS

The Aeolian Islands are a little piece of paradise. This morning you’ll take a ferry to the island of Lipari, the largest and most developed of the Aeolians, a little piece of paradise. Along the way, we stop at VOLCANO ISLAND, with its yellow sulphurous baths and volcanic craters.You will have here free time with options that include hiking to the Gran Crater, a therapeutic mud bath fuelled by the Islands famous hot springs, or simply relax at the beach.Continue to the LIPARI ISLAND,the largest and most developed of the Aeolians,staying at the charming hotel located a short walk from the town center.In the evening, meet your tour director for a welcome drink in a local bar followed by dinner in a local restaurant.Overnight in LIPARI

Day 4: ENCHANTING LIPARI & THE EOLIAN ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM

Lipari town is spread out under the imposing castle rock, the ancient Greek acropolis, and along the bay of Marina Corta and Marina Lunga, to the north and south. Its volcanic origin is evident in the Muria Valley, with its red rocks, and on the north-east coast, covered by a vast flow of pumice, which hides Roman ruins of the 4th century AD. This morning a local expert will shed light on the main archaeological site of an island inhabited for some 6000 years and settled in the 4th millennium BC by Sicily’s first known inhabitants, the Stentillenians who developed a flourishing economy, based on obsidian, a glassy volcanic rock. We have included today a visit to the archaeological museum which displays finds from the islands’ long history, including tools and pottery left behind by Neolithic inhabitants. The museum is also famous for its terracotta Greek theater masks and figurines of dancers and actors, the world’s largest such collection. After a local foodie experience, you’ll enjoy the rest of the day on your own for more discoveries. Dinner is included this evening in a local restaurant. Overnight in LIPARI

Day 5: BOAT TRIP TO SALINA & MALVASIA WINERY

A 25-minute boat hop from Lipari will take to laid-back Salina, lush and fertile island. The famous Aeolian capers grow plentifully here, as do the grapes used for making malvasia wine. After touring the island by Aeolian Ape Calessino (approx. 2hrs) or minivan and an included visit to a local winery, you’ll enjoy a typical eolian lunch in one of the best local taverns. The remainder of the day is at leisure.Overnight in LIPARI

Day 6: UNKNOWN MONTALBANO ELICONA & THE DOLMENS

This morning drive takes you to the fairy tale medieval hill town of Montalbano Elicona, located in the middle of the Nebrodi Mountains. Upon arrival at the port of Milazzo, you will ascend the town travelling on a picturesque, winding road overlooking the Aeolian islands and then walking narrow cobblestone streets to reach the historical center, the heart of the town. Here you visit the Aragonese castle, a local museum and the main church, built in the 1300s to admire the work of local sculptures and painters. After an included foodie experience, you’ll visit a magical, mysterious plateau named as the Sicilian Stonehenge, a large area of megaliths whose archaeologists believe to be created by natural forces and maybe in the prehistoric times, the setting for ritual activities.Continue to the fishing town of Cefalu’ for your last three nights in a central hotel. Dinner is on your own this evening.Overnight in CEFALU’

Day 7: CAPTIVATING CEFALU’

The day is on your own for further explorations of the beautiful town. The squares, streets and churches of this medieval town are so postcard-pretty that it’s no wonder director Giuseppe Tornatore chose to set parts of his much-loved film Cinema Paradiso here. Today you’ll have time for swimming, enjoying some fish specialties or even climbing the great crag of La Rocca. Dinner is on your own this evening.Overnight in CEFALU’

Day 8: ARRIVEDERCI BEAUTIFUL SOUTHERN ITALY

Morning transfers to Palermo airport and train station

TOUR DATES & PRICING

2021 TOUR PRICE:  € 3,100      SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: € 400       Currency converter

Price is per person based on double room occupancy for 8 days/7 nights

CALABRIA

CALABRIACalabria, in southwest Italy, occupies the “toe” of the country’s boot-shaped peninsula. It’s a sun-baked region of rugged mountains, old-fashioned villages and dramatic coastline, with many popular beaches. Coastal Reggio Calabria, its largest city, is home to the Museo Archeologico Nazionale and its Riace Bronzes, a famous pair of Greek warriors dating back to the Read more

SICILY

SICILYSicily-An island touching different worlds Sicily is full of beguiling contrasts. The untamed west vies with the flawless Greek classicism of the east and every Mediterranean civilization has passed by, bequeathing marvels fit for the gods and a rich gastronomic heritage.Palermo has bustling markets and grand architecture. Sample fish couscous and the typically Sicilian atmosphere Read more