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Join us on an active family holiday to Sicily. Try out sea kayaking, snorkelling, climbing and archery, with one night spent in a tree tent! Hike on the slopes of Mt Etna and learn to prepare fresh gnocchi. Each evening return to our comfortable hotel.
Explore Tour Leader
6 nights comfortable hotel
1 nights simple tree-house
14 - 20
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Arrive in Palermo, Sicily's capital with a rich mix of Greek, Roman, Islamic and Byzantine culture all merging into a fascinating mix of architecture and customs.
Due to the number of arrival flights on the first day our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception on day two at 8am for the welcome meeting. There are no other activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Palermo at any time. If you would like an airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Palermo's Falcone-Borsellino International airport (airport code PMO), which is 35km, around 45 minutes from the airport.
Please note that a full dinner is served up until 9pm; if you are arriving later than this we can arrange for a cold platter to be provided.
If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might choose to visit the Gothic Cathedral with its extensive mosaics and beautiful cloisters. To get away from the summer heat the Botanical gardens are also well worth a visit, the city centre is compact with a network of narrow streets and expansive piazzas with a great choice of places to eat. Palermo is well known for is colourful and bustling open-air markets with a wide range of food options from pane e panelle (a Sicilian sandwich stuffed with chickpeas) or a wholesome bowl of homemade fresh spaghetti with sundried tomatoes, olives, capers and topped with breadcrumbs. Most restaurants also offer child menus.
San Paolo Palace Hotel (or similar)
Overlooking the azure waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Palermo is one of Sicily's cultural and historic highlights, combining influences from the Greeks, Byzantines and Romans. We spend the day exploring some of its treasures today, stopping off at the Piazza Marina to visit Villa Garibaldi - a small garden set amidst some of Palermo's best-known historic buildings.
This afternoon we enjoy a cookery lesson of pasta and gnocchi, putting our culinary skills to the test. We get to eat our dishes at the end of the class, a great opportunity for the whole family to get involved!
After breakfast this morning drive two hours to the Madonie Adventure Park for a full day amongst the wooded landscapes near Petralia Sottana.
Spend the day trying the parks many delights. You can choose to either brave the assault course through the trees, with zip-lines, rope ladders and 'Tibetan bridges' or try your hand at archery, tree climbing and 'Power fan' (which involves free-falling from high platforms whilst attached to a safety harness). Please note that throughout the trip you will need to be well prepared for the activities by bringing appropriate footwear, for this day we also recommend cycling gloves for the high wire course. Please refer to the equipment and clothing section for full details.
There are five tree tents within the trees set around 6 meters off the ground surrounded by the forest. The tents can accommodate three people per tent with another five tents on the ground which are positioned on platforms for those wanting to sleep nearer the forest floor! The area is illuminated at night and there are toilets close by.
Adventure Park Madonie (or similar)
Pack your swimsuits, water shoes, sunscreen and goggles as we experience the islands largest water theme park. The award winning water park boasts over 14 slides all designed for excitement and adventure including; The Black Hole (guests are seated on a 2-person dinghy that slides through a dark and twisting tunnel), Jungle Splash (20 seater boat with a drop of 30 meters towards the splash zone below), Hydro and Dark Kamikaze slides both with steep drops where your back sometimes doesn't even touch the slide, Twin Twister (four slides linked together over 120 meters) and Rafting River with a 4-person dinghy that slides right into the pool. The Wave Pool, the largest in Europe, comes to life every hour for splashing fun.
Take a break from the excitement by enjoying a relaxing float around the Lazy River or at the Blue Lagoon, an oasis of rocks and waterfalls. You can also enjoy a hydro massage at the relaxing Hydro Pool.
There are some height restrictions on certain attractions up to 1.4 meters high
Hotel Mareneve Resort (or similar)
One of the highlights of our journey is a visit to the slopes of Mount Etna, the highest volcano in Europe (3330 meters) and one of the largest in the world.
We'll drive up the mountain this morning, passing through citrus groves and beech woods to Linguaglossa Rovittello where we taste a selection of dairy products and salami. We continue to Curva Sparita which is where the lava flow of 2002/2003 engulfed a part of the old road to Mareneve before arriving in Piano Provenzana (1,800m) where there is the opportunity to view photographs of previous eruptions that have been taken by a local well known photographer. We continue by foot along a path that goes up to the crater of the Northeast side of the volcano to an altitude of about 2,300 m, stopping off at an old Bottoniera (numerous craters formed in 1923 including the longest one on the volcano) where we also stop for lunch. We continue the walk for around 1 ½ hours returning to Piano Provenzana where we meet our transport and visit a volcanic cave which is one of more than 200 caves in the area (1,750 m) before returning by bus to our hotel.
Spend today exploring the landscapes that lie along the Alcantara River. Carved from basalt rock, the gorge drops down over 50 meters, following the course of the river and providing us with some stunning but short walking trails. We hike up to the Terrace of Venus this morning, before continuing along the Gorge Trail to view the surreal monoliths of lava that lie strewn across the valley floor. Total 2km, one hour walking.
After lunch we then travel to Aci Castello where we will sea kayak along a guided course exploring the protected marine park of Isole Ciclopi for a few hours which includes a circumnavigation of the towering sea rocks of the Faraglioni di Actirezza before returning back to Acicastello - life jackets, tuition and auto draining 2 or 3 seater kayaks are provided.
This morning travel the short distance to Taormina, Sicily's most famous resort. Once a favourite haven for the likes of D. H Lawrence and Oscar Wilde, Taormina is still today a popular tourist destination. After a walk around this chic and beautiful town, with its pretty medieval churches and charming streets, it's easy to understand why. With a local guide we'll visit the Greek Theatre. The snow-capped Mount Etna acts as a spectacular backdrop to the remarkably preserved columned stage and it's easy to see why this is possibly the most famous view in all of Sicily and it makes for a superb photograph. After our tour there is free time to walk amidst magnolia, hibiscus and bougainvillea trees. We would recommend taking a stroll down one of Taormina's side streets where you'll find a variety of less-busy bars and restaurants for lunch than in the very centre of town.
This afternoon drive to Naxos to pick up snorkeling gear. Heading out into the Mediterranean on a rib boat, we visit the Isola Bella Marine Park and snorkel in two spots, the Blue Cave Bay and Isola Bella South Side. Snorkelling equipment is provided including; fins, mask, snorkel, wet suit and life jacket.
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in the village of Linguaglossa.
There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Linguaglossa at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like an airport transfer today, you need to depart from Catania airport (airport code CTA), which is 70 km, around 1 hour 15 minutes from our hotel.
April/May and October/November are pleasantly warm. June/September are the hottest months. Showers are common in Autumn.
2 Pin Round
In summer you will need clothing for hot, humid conditions. Sunhat, sunglasses, long trousers and long sleeved shirt recommended for protection from the sun. In May and October half-term the sun should still be strong but temperatures will certainly be lower than in the summer months, particularly at night when you will need some warmer clothing and jackets. At any time of year you will feel cold at the top of Mount Etna, therefore you should bring warm clothes, which will also be useful for our night in the tree tents at Madonie Adventure Park. For the high wire course we recommend leggings or cycling leggings, or anything else other than very short shorts, as you will be wearing a harness.
We recommend a good pair of sturdy recreational shoes/walking boots for the short walks, Mount Etna, cycling and climbing and activities in Madonie Adventure Park. Trainers and/or sandals for travelling/beach time.
One main piece of baggage and daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.
A water bottle, sunhat and high factor sunscreen are all essential. You will need a swimsuit and swim hat and towel for the gorge, as well as beaches and pools and the trip out to the marine park. Swimming caps are available to purchase for around €2 Closed shoes or trainers with good grip are needed for the high wire course and trekking on Etna, we also recommend watershoes (or shoes you don't mind getting wet - but not flip flops) for both the kayaking and Alacantara gorge and Etnaland water park You may also wish to bring cycle gloves for cycling and while undertaking the ariel course A torch is useful in case of powercuts/ emergencies and for inside the tents in Madonie.
One of the many attractions of this holiday is staying in tree tents within the Madonie Adventure Park. There are five tree tents within the trees set around 6 meters off the ground and surrounded by the forest. The tents can accommodate three people per tent with another five tents on the ground which are positioned on platforms for those wanting to sleep nearer the forest floor! The area is illuminated at night and there are toilets close by. The forest is also rich in biodiversity and has a wide variety of plants and trees including Chestnut, Pine, Poplar and Beech. The hotel that we stay at for the second half of the trip is located in the traditional Sicilian town of Linguaglossa on the northern side of Mount Etna.
Enjoy the hotel swimming pools and enjoy dips in the sea including a snorkelling trip
Can you drink the water?
It is generally possible to drink the local tap water, therefore to reduce the need for single-use plastic bottles we recommend you bring a refillable water bottle with you. Your leader will advise you on refill points each day.
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
Italy: Visas are not required by UK, E.U Nationals, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
Due to the volcanic dust and sulphur fumes, we ask asthma sufferers or customers with heart conditions of any kind to take these factors into consideration before taking part in any included activities on Mt Etna.
An ability to swim is essential for your safe enjoyment of the water based activities on this trip. If you wish to participate in these activities then we insist that you are able to swim.
Nothing required. Tetanus recommended. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.