We are very excited to have added another new destination for summer 2017. We will now also be exploring the beautiful Island of Sicily.
As with all of our sailing holidays available, we are happy to adapt the itinerary and activities to suit our guests own interests and preferences.
A selection of some of the sights waiting to be discovered in Sicily are:
The capital of Sicily was founded by Phoenicians under the name of “Ziz” and later renamed by Greeks “Panormos”, which means “all port”. It reached its golden age during the Arab domination (9th to 11th centuries AD) when it became one of the most prosperous cities in the Mediterranean and Europe, known as “city of delights” for its marvellous and lavish gardens, as well as for magnificent mosques and palaces.
Cefalù is notable for beautiful sunsets, unpretentious charm, and a very appealing blend of ingredients for an Italian seaside holiday. Sandy beaches, a picturesque historic town on a rocky headland, some high culture in the shape of a fine Norman cathedral, decent transport links, Sicilian food and sunshine all add up to make the town one of Italy’s most attractive seaside destinations.
The Aeolian Islands
The Aeolian Islands are seven small inhabited Italian islands off the northern shore of Sicily, close to the tip of Italy’s toe. The islands are popular as a holiday destination, offering sunshine, beaches and natural beauty. As well as sunbathers, they also attract thrill-seekers; the archipelago was formed by volcanic activity and two of the islands are still active volcanoes.
While this fact may put some travellers off, many more are attracted to the dramatic scenery, hot mud baths, and the opportunity to hike up to the craters of Vulcano and Stromboli. The islands are grouped together as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Siracusa (or Syracuse, as it is still often known in English) is a pleasant town, with plenty to occupy tourists for at least a couple of days. A fine cultural destination, its significance is recognised with a UNESCO heritage listing. It’s also a good base for seeing the south-eastern corner of Sicily, including the Baroque towns of Ragusa and Noto, several archaeological sites, and the lively city of Catania.
Marsala’s origins are tied up with those of an unusual archaeological site nearby, the little island of Mozia, also known as San Pantaleo. Mozia was an important colonial stronghold of Carthage in north Africa, itself an early colony of the Phoenician (‘Punic’) people.
After the Greeks of Syracuse attacked and destroyed Mozia in 397 BC, most of the island-city’s surviving residents shifted their main settlement to the Sicilian mainland, to an easily defensible site on a promontory: this new town was Lilybaeum, the present-day Marsala.
Sciacca is a historic fishing port on the southern coast of Sicily. A workaday town rather than a polished tourist destination, it is famed for its ceramics, its thermal baths and its religious festivals, as well as for its large fishing fleet.
Sciacca’s location on the sea between the two Greek archaeological sites of Selinunte and Agrigento makes it a good stopover on a tour of the region, either for an short visit or an overnight stay. The name Sciacca is pronounced ‘shack-a’.
Agrigento is situated on Sicily’s southern coast, and the town’s Valley of the Temples (Valle dei Templi) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the greatest legacies of ancient Greece.
This parade of well-preserved Doric temples, just outside town, dates back to the fifth and sixth centuries BC and is what remains of the Greek city of Akragas.