The next tour in our Top Tours of the Past 10 Years is Classical Sicily, which appeared in our 2010 brochure as Sicily Antiqua. This is an Italian archaeological adventure that has gone from strength to strength, visiting incredible temples and museums alike, and we're delighted that we are offering six departures throughout 2020 to choose from.
The Top Tours of the Past 10 Years: Classical Sicily
3 January 2020
One of our core – and most popular – tours, Classical Sicily offers a chance to explore this magnificent island and its unrivalled archaeology. The tour showcases monuments from all the cultures that found their homes here, from the Normano-Arabic churches of Palermo, some of the best-preserved Greek temples in the world, and the most important late antique villa in Italy. We will take you to discover the Valley of the Temples at Agrigento, you’ll enjoy private access to the glittering Cappella Palatina and there will be time to explore the quarries of Cave di Cusa, used by Selinus for their titanic temples. Spanning 11 days, this trip also includes visits to the catacombs of San Giovanni in Syracuse, the island of Motya with its Archaeological Museum and a walking tour of Palermo.
Dr. Eireann Marshall opens up about the evolution of our Classical Sicily tour over the years:
“My very first solo tour was to Sicily, a tour that was then called Sicilia Antiqua, back in 1997 and I was young and nervous. The tour has stayed the same length, though we have tweaked the sites over the years due to site closures and to listening to our clients’ feedback. We don’t go to the Castello Eurialo or Pantalica now for these reasons. Some of the sites have become a lot busier, particularly Agrigento and Piazza Armerina, though some of the sites, like Selinus and the Cave de Cusa, still seem to be well-kept secrets. The site conditions have depended on the popularity of the sites. Some of the popular sites have really been done up, like Piazza Armerina, the restoration of which is exemplary in the main. Other sites, like Morgantina, which nobody seems to go to, have become more overgrown."
"The biggest change, perhaps, has been the special private evening visit to the Cappella Palatina – we used to have 15 minutes of a stressful visit, whereas now we get the whole of this wonderful chapel completely to ourselves. The tour has remained as popular as it has because Sicily is literally littered with UNESCO World Heritage Sites and because it has a wonderful cuisine – perhaps the best in Italy. I’ve noticed that we are attracting more American guests on our tours, as our marketing to other countries has grown. The other big change is all the security on sites – before entering some of the most important sites, you now have to go through security systems, which is a real sign of the times.”
All that's left to do is choose when to go
We have six Classical Sicily tours running throughout the year, so all you need to do is decide when's best to travel. Departures are 19th March, 14th May, 10th September, 17th September, 1st October and 8th October, with prices starting from £3,345pp for 11 days.