Highlights of Southern Italy & Sicily
Discover the magic of southern Italy on our brand new tour for 2017! One of the most visited destinations in the world, Italy serves up centuries of incredible history, rich culture and, of course, fantastic food! Over 10 days you will visit all the highlights of southern Italy and the island of Sicily, with plenty of free time to explore, and accompanied for the duration of the holiday by a passionate and experienced Expat Explore tour leader.
Starting your Italian tour in Rome, you will experience amazing destinations including the ancient city of Pompeii and the Sorrento peninsula, followed by the famous 'trulli' houses of Alberobello in the Apulia region. We'll then head west through the beautiful Reggio Calabria region, from where we'll take a ferry across to Sicily. Our first base is Taormina, which offers incredible views of Mount Etna. We'll then spend the next three days exploring Sicily in-depth, including a free day to explore the islands capital, Palermo.
Like all Expat Explore Italy holiday packages, this itinerary is a guaranteed departure, and you will be accompanied for the duration by an experienced and passionate tour leader. Our coaches are modern, comfortable and air-conditioned, and at each hotel we include free wi-fi in your tour package so you can stay connected and share all your incredible photos and memories with your friends and family while on your Italy vacation!
Why this Trip
- All tour dates are guaranteed to depart.
- No minimum numbers required.
- FREE Wi-Fi in hotels.
- Massive early bird savings
- Only 10% deposit or minimum $80.00 required and no booking fees.
Itinerary PrintView full Itinerary here
DAY 1: Arrive in Rome
Welcome to Rome! Meet up with your tour leader at our hotel in the afternoon and prepare for a great evening. Your tour leader will show you ‘Rome by night’ - explore some of the iconic sights of the Eternal City including the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona and the Pantheon. Later this evening we'll enjoy dinner at Alfredo Alla Scrofa, a 'ristorante' with an international reputation - the perfect place to get to know your fellow travellers.
DAY 2: Rome - Sorrento
Leaving Rome, we’ll head to the Sorrento peninsula, stopping off along the way to see Mount Vesuvius and to explore the ancient ruins of Pompeii, destroyed in 79AD in a catastrophic volcanic eruption. Upon arrival on the Sorrento peninsula we have a two night stay. This area is famous for limoncello (a sweet lemon liqueur), the perfect way to finish off your included dinner this evening!
DAY 3: Sorrento - Free day
A gorgeous old town hugging the coastline, the Sorrento peninsula is our base for the day. Explore the towns in your own time, or alternatively choose our optional excursion to the famous Isle of Capri, where you can spend some free time exploring the rugged coastline, ancient Roman ruins and stylish piazzas.
DAY 4: Sorrento - Matera - Alberobello
Today we’ll head east and explore the southern Italian region of Apulia, taking a comfort stop along the way in the ancient cave city of Matera. Known as "la Città Sotterranea" (the Subterranean City), it is famous for its extensive cave-dwelling districts, the ‘sassi’. Later we'll arrive in Alberobello, and enjoy an orientation tour of the region's famous ‘trullo’ houses. These beautiful 14th century whitewashed stone huts have iconic conical roofs, and are specific to the Itria Valley. This afternoon you’ll have free time to further explore Alberobello; check out the trullo church of St Antony and the trulli museum.
DAY 5: Alberobello - Taormina
Today we take a coastal drive beside the Ionian Sea, before we leave the mainland behind and take a short ferry ride over to the island of Sicily, home of Mount Etna. Prepare for stunning views as we make our way to Taormina. Upon arrival your tour leader will take you on an orientation walk of this hilltop town, showing you some of the highlights you can explore further on your free day tomorrow, including the historic Porta Catania and the Villa Comunale. This evening we’ll top off our Sicilian experience with an included dinner at our beachside hotel.
DAY 6: Taormina - Free day
Enjoy a free day to relax on Sicily's beautiful beaches, or explore the island's quaint towns. The town of Taormina itself is one of Italy’s most popular summer destinations, perched on the side of a mountain and offering medieval churches, a castle and Greek amphitheatre. For those looking to explore further afield on their Italian tour, speak to your tour leader for their recommendations, including boat tours of the beautiful coast line, paragliding and 'Godfather' tours.
DAY 7: Taormina - Catania - Agrigento
Today we’ll drive to through the heart of Sicily, along the way taking a comfort stop in Catania. With a Unesco-listed historic centre boasting many beautiful baroque buildings. This afternoon, get your cameras ready as stopping at the ‘Valle dei Templi’ (Valley of the Temples), one of the most outstanding examples of Greater Greece art and architecture. We’ll then arrive at our accommodation in Agrigento.
DAY 8: Agrigento - Marsala - Palermo
Enjoy a beautiful drive this morning as we make our way round the western tip of Sicily to the island's capital, Palermo. Along the way we'll make a comfort stop in Marsala, a city built on the ruins of the ancient Carthaginian city of Lilybaion, and famous for it's Marsala wine. Arriving early afternoon in Palermo, you’ll enjoy a walking tour to introduce you to the city’s highlights. Founded more than 2,700 years ago by the Phoenicians, Palermo is noted for its history, culture, architecture and food. Sights you'll see on you walking tour include the San Giovanni degli Eremiti church, Piazza Indipendenza, Porta Nuova (The New Gate) and the Cathedral of Palermo.
DAY 9: Palermo - Free day
Enjoy the day to further explore Sicily’s capital. Over the centuries Palermo has been colonized by many different rulers, including the Greeks, Romans and Normans. This melting pot has resulted in a variety of architectural styles for you to explore in the historic old town.
This evening, we’ll take an overnight ferry back to the Italian mainland. For travellers who wish to stay on in Palermo, tonight’s hotel accommodation will be included in the tour price, and the tour will end in Palermo on Day 10 after breakfast.
DAY 10: End of tour - Naples/Rome
This morning we’ll arrive in Naples where travellers can choose to end their tour (with a drop off at the port), or continue on the coach with the tour leader and make our way back to Rome, where the coach will drop off at the hotel.
- 9 nights' accommodation in twin rooms with private en-suite facilities. Single travellers have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure a private room.
- Services of your Expat tour leader, who will be on hand with advice and tips to ensure that you get the most from your trip. You can also book any of the optional excursions available during your tour with your tour leader – please see the 'Essential Information' tab for more details.
- 9 breakfasts, 4 dinners
- All taxes and fees
- Any public transport used as part of the tour (excludes free days)
- Modern air conditioned coach with reclining seats, TV for showing DVDs, and toilet.
- 11 Experiences (including guided walking tours, orientation walks, driving tours of cities plus other exciting experiences)
- Free Expat Explore tour souvenir – a memorable gift of your once in a lifetime trip.
Optional ExcursionsOptional excursions are payable in cash currency to your tour leader whilst on tour.
- Isle of Capri
- Amalfi Coast
Return customers get 10% off!
If you have traveled with us before you qualify for a 10% rebate. To claim your rebate, simply type your previous Booking Number in the "Special Notes" box at the final Payment step of the checkout.
Save - without compromising on quality - by booking directly with the leading tour operator
How we make awesome trips affordable
- No intermediary: You book directly from the tour operator so you don't have to pay any travel agent.
- As a Europe leading bus tour operator we have 11 years of experience finding the best hotels for your budget and continuously optimizing our selection based on customer feedback.
- We book our hotels well in advance so we get early bird rates that we can pass on to you!
- Thanks to the great number of people who travel with us each year, we can negotiate great deals that would be quite impossible for you to find on your own.
Detailed Info Pack
- Tour start & end points
- Pre-departure information
- Pre-tour accommodation
For more information on, starting points & times, emergency contact details, budgeting for your tour & much more you can download our information pack here.
Helpful Pre-Trip Info
On tour costs
Please refer to the tour itinerary above for full details of what activities are included, which meals are included and what is excluded. We would recommend budgeting €25-€40 per day (this excludes optional excursions).
Please note, all rooms are twin bed as standard.
- Partners: When you book for more than one person, we will by default group you together in a room (unless you specifically request us not to). If you are unequal numbers (3, 5, 7 etc.) and we are unable to secure a triple room then the the remaining traveler will be roomed with another passenger of the same gender.
- Single Travelers: If you are travelling alone there is no compulsory charge - you will share a twin room with another passenger of the same gender. There is an optional single supplement/private room upgrade available for single travellers who wish to have a private room. This can be added at the time of booking or by contacting our customer services team. Please note that the room provided may be a single room with a single bed.
- Triple Room requests: We can generally provide a triple room on request; however it is not guaranteed to be available in every destination. Please contact our customer services team to request a triple room. Please note that in some hotels, the triple may be a double and a single bed, or the third bed may be a pull-out or bunk-bed. Where we cannot provide a triple room the rooming will consist of one twin room and the third passenger sharing with another single traveller of the same gender.
In some destinations you will have a full free day, where you can choose to join our optional excursions or explore on your own.
Your tour starts and finishes in Rome. There is also the option to finish the tour in either Palermo or Naples on Day 10. Please have a look at our essential tour help page for detailed information.
This should be valid for at least six months after you have returned home from your trip. You should also have several blank pages as Visas and entry/exit stamps can take up a whole page.
Have a question?
Are children allowed?
Are international flights included in the tour price?
Are transfers included in the tour price?
Can I access wi-fi on the tour?
Can you cater for my dietary requirements?
Can you provide a triple room?
Can you send me a quote?
Can you tell me the name of the hotels I will be staying in?
Do I get allocated a seat on the coach?
If you have any medical conditions that may be affected by where you sit, please discuss them with your Tour Leader, but note that the seat rotation policy will most likely mean that your request may not be honoured.
Do I need a visa to travel on this tour?
Do I need to change money before the tour?
Do you have storage/left luggage facilities?
How can I get the documents I need to apply for my visa?
How do I book/pay?
How many other people will be on my tour?
How much luggage can I bring?
How much spending money do I need for my holiday?
How much time will be spent on the coach?
How much walking is involved in your tours?
Is Europe a safe place to travel to?
Is my deposit refundable?
Is travel insurance compulsory?
For a relatively small price, travel insurance provides you with the peace of mind so that you can enjoy your tour without any worries. To receive a quote from one of our preferred travel insurance partners, please visit WorldNomads (for all nationalities) or Hollard (for South Africans).