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Treasures of Sicily (Monet)

Treasures of Sicily (Monet)

From GBP £4,295

Description

The island of Sicily has an incredible wealth of treasures and a geography which lends itself beautifully to exploration by sea with most points of interest located close to the coast. Owing to its benevolent climate and superb strategic position Sicily has been coveted, fought over and colonised numerous times with the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Byzantines and Bourbons having all made their mark. During our circumnavigation of the island we will discover Sicily’s rich heritage which is the result of so many invading civilisations.

From magnificent Doric temples to great Byzantine cathedrals and bizarrely styled villas, there is so much to explore during our voyage. We will visit the Roman mosaics of Villa Romana del Casale, the Valle dei Templi, the superbly well-preserved Greek temples of Segesta and the Norman Royal Palace and Palatine Chapel in Palermo, the Byzantine Monreale Cathedral and the stunning Greek theatre at Taormina. With a maximum of just 50 guests our trips ashore will be relaxed and our local guides and Guest Speaker will contribute greatly to your enjoyment and understanding of Sicily.

Trip Name
Treasures of Sicily (Monet)
Days
11
Overview
Vessel Type: Motor Yacht Passenger Capacity: 50 Build / Referbished: 1998 / 2016 / 2018 Your Cabin All the cabins on board the MS Monet are designed for comfort and have a warm and inviting feel with light fabrics and wood trimmings. Cabins range in size from 9 to 22 square metres and Categories A, B & C are equipped with windows, while those in Category D have portholes. Cabins 104-107, 112, 119, 205 and 210-215 feature twin beds and all other cabins have fixed double beds. Facilities include en-suite bathroom with shower, television, minifridge, safety deposit box, air-conditioning and hairdryer. Your Space The public areas include a main lounge and bar with comfortable sofas on the Lumiere Deck, a restaurant located on the Parisian Deck and the Lumiere Open Deck al fresco dining area where meals can be enjoyed when weather permits. The gym can be found on the Parisian Deck and the Lumiere Sun Deck provides a delightful sun exposed space with sun loungers and a Jacuzzi, ideal for relaxation and wonderful views. Your Dining Located on the Parisian Deck, the glass enclosed indoor dining room seats all passengers in a single sitting with unassigned seating and allows for wonderful panoramic views of the stunning scenery as we sail. The Lumiere Open Deck provides a generous covered area where guests can enjoy meals al fresco, weather permitting. Food is served at the table or displayed on the hot and cold buffet stands. The menu is international, with a focus on local specialties. A choice of house wine, beer and soft drinks are served with lunch and dinner. Life On Board During the day, life on board focuses around the indoor lounge area, and the indoor and outdoor dining spaces, as well as the open and inviting deck areas including the Jacuzzi. These are natural gathering places and perfect for enjoying your meals al fresco, relaxing in a comfortable chair with a good book or socialising with your fellow passengers and enjoying the views.

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 London to Valletta, Malta.
Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival transfer to the MS Monet for embarkation where the crew will welcome us aboard. We will sail later in the evening.
Day 2 - Day 2 Licata, Sicily for Piazza Armerina.
From the port of Licata we travel inland to what is regarded as the finest Roman site in Sicily, the Imperial Roman Villa of Casale, which is located close to Piazza Armerina amidst wooded rolling countryside. This huge villa was built in the 3rd century and has some stunning floor mosaics. Our return drive takes us through the province of Caltanissetta, recognised today as one of the best winemaking regions in Italy thanks above all to its production of high quality, prestigious red wines including Nero D’Avola. On our journey back we will stop at one of the vineyards and enjoy a chance to sample some wine over a Sicilian lunch, before returning to the MS Monet and sailing in the late afternoon.
Day 3 - Day 3 Agrigento & Valley of the Temples.
Although handsome in its own right and awash with Medieval atmosphere, Agrigento is not our main reason for calling at the southern port of Porto Empedocle. Close by is the Valle dei Templi, a series of Doric temples and the most captivating of Sicilian Greek remains, a grouping unique outside Greece. Surrounded in greenery of olive and almond trees, admire the Temple of Hera, the Temple of Concord, the Dioscuri Temple, the Temple of Olympic Jove and the Temple of Hercules. There will be a choice to visit the Valley of the Temples and the Museum or just the Valley of the Temples. After lunch on board the afternoon is free to explore Agrigento and shuttles will run from the port to the town.
Day 4 - Day 4 Mazara del Vallo.
Founded in the 9th century BC by the Phoenicians, Mazara del Vallo was used as a strategic location for their trans-Mediterranean trading interests. Mazara soon became part of Magna Graecia, when it served as a port for the nearby city of Selinunte and by the 9th century was the island’s second city behind Palermo. It is the impressive remains of the ancient city of Selinunte which is our destination this morning. Once one of the most eminent cities of Magna Graecia it was ransacked by the Carthaginians, led by Hannibal, who sent 100,000 soldiers to attack in 409 BC, massacring thousands of the inhabitants with the remainder being taken into slavery. The city was destroyed and forgotten until 1823 when excavations began. Situated on a high plain overlooking the sea it is a lovely place to walk and our guided tour will explore the Acropolis, the eastern temples and the ancient city. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy a free afternoon in the old town to see the bustling fishing harbour, the picturesque Piazza della Repubblica and the famous bronze statue of the Dancing Satyr hauled up from the sea by a local fisherman.
Day 5 - Day 5 Trapani.
Trapani was the landing point for Peter of Aragon in 1282 to start the Spanish occupation of Sicily and is our base for the day. Enjoy a choice of excursions this morning. Discover the nearby hilltop town of Erice, famed in antiquity for its temple dedicated to the goddess of love, the Phoenician Astarte, Greek Aphrodite or Roman Venus. A cable car will take us to this stunning site high above the sea and to the beautifully preserved Medieval town characterised by its steep, winding cobblestone streets and beautiful courtyards. Alternatively travel inland to explore Segesta, one of the grandest Doric monuments to survive. See the unfinished temple dating from 424 BC as well as the theatre from which you can enjoy excellent views of the countryside and distant coastline. Both tours will then enjoy a delicious Sicilian lunch at a nearby Olive Farm. We return to the ship later in the afternoon where you can wander around Trapani at leisure as we plan to sail later in the evening.
Day 6 - Day 6 Palermo.
Arrive this morning in the Sicilian capital of Palermo. After breakfast we will explore the city, famous for its jumbled and picturesque streets punctuated with ornate Baroque churches, domed Arab mosques and the glittering Byzantine mosaics that reveal a unique and diverse heritage. We visit the impressive 12th century cathedral which houses the royal tombs of Henri VI and King Ruggiero. Return to the MS Monet for lunch and this afternoon either enjoy some time to explore independently or join an excursion to Monreale Cathedral, said to be the most beautiful Norman Church in Italy, designed and completed by William the Good in 1174. With its thick walls and powerful towers, the exterior looks like an austere fortress yet it is the interior of this great cathedral which is its crowning glory. Here the large nave, with its side aisles and grey granite columns set off the exquisite Byzantine mosaics on the walls above the arches. We remain in port overnight.
Day 7 - Day 7 Cefalu.
Enjoy a relaxing morning as we cruise the short distance to reach the port of Termini Imerese from where we drive along the coast to visit the picturesque fishing village of Cefalu. The village exudes typical Sicilian charm and we will see the Gothic-Norman style cathedral and Medieval Wash House on a walking tour before enjoying some free time to stroll among the narrow streets perhaps tasting the famous Sicilian ice creams and cakes.
Day 8 - Day 8 Messina.
From the nearby port of Messina we will visit Taormina, a walled town lying in the shadow of Mount Etna, Europe’s highest volcano. The town has been a popular tourist destination since the 19th century and our guided tour will include walking the characteristic alleys before visiting the 15th century Palazzo Corvaja and the impressive Greek Theatre from where there are marvellous views over the town and coast. For those who wish to enjoy longer here you will be able to take lunch independently in one of the local restaurants and spend an afternoon exploring Taormina at leisure before our coach returns to Messina. Alternatively, return to the MS Monet for lunch and enjoy some free time in Messina before we sail this evening.
Day 9 - Day 9 Syracuse.
Syracuse was founded by the Greeks in 734 BC and by the 5th century was a political and military power throughout the Mediterranean and rivalled Athens as the largest and most beautiful city in the Greek world. After a morning at sea we will arrive in our central berth over lunch. This morning we will visit the Neapolis Archaeological Park where we will find a well-preserved Greek theatre with seats carved from limestone. Paradise Quarry, now an attractive garden and orange grove, was the primary source of that limestone and is the site of the curious ‘Dionysus’ Ear’, a vast grotto with an amplifying resonance. We will continue to explore Ortigia old town where we will find the Temple of Apollo, considered to be Sicily’s most ancient Doric temple and the Baroque cathedral, erected over the remains of the Temple of Minerva. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure and moor overnight.
Day 10 - Day 10 Catania.
After a relaxing morning at sea we will arrive in Catania over lunch. The architecture here is particularly impressive but a little forbidding being mainly constructed from black lava stone from Mount Etna. On an afternoon walking tour we will see the magnificent Piazza del Duomo which is a World Heritage Site, St Agatha’s Cathedral and the imposing 13th century Castello Ursino. Alternatively join a tour to the slopes of Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano. Our drive will take us past scenic countryside, small towns and vineyards before arriving at the Silvestri Craters that were created in the eruption of 1892.
Day 11 - Day 11 Catania to London.
Disembark this morning in the port of Catania and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.
Day 12 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
05-05-202115-05-2021GBP £4,295Category D
05-05-202115-05-2021GBP £4,495Category C
05-05-202115-05-2021GBP £4,795Category B
05-05-202115-05-2021GBP £5,095Category A
05-05-202115-05-2021GBP £5,695Category D Solo

Inclusions

    • Enjoy Licata, Sicily for Piazza Armerina.
    • Travel to Agrigento & Valley of the Temples.
    • Discover Trapani & Palermo.
    • Explore Syracuse.

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