The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations.
Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.
While this trip includes a great selection of Sicily's highlights, we have also built in free time to allow you the flexibility to choose from some of the excursions, museums and sights that this area has in abundance, or take time to relax, the choice is yours. An idea of optional activities are listed below to help you budget for your holiday. You will not have time to do all of them, but the list will give you an idea of what is possible.
Ortygia Island, Syracusa:
Entrance to Castello Maniace, €4.00 per person.
Guided tour of the Jewish Baths, €5.00 per person.
Boat trip along the coast, €10.00 per person. May not be possible in spring/autumn due to wind conditions.
Entrance to the Botanical Gardens, €5.00 per person.
Entrance to the catacombs, €3.00 per person.
Entrance to the cathedral, free of charge or €1.50 per person to see the Norman tombs.
Tour of the Teatro Massimo, €8.00 per person.
There are three different options for the Mount Etna tour:
1. Bus to 1,900 metres €32.00 per person
2. Bus to 1,900 metres plus cable car to 2,500 metres €64.00 per person
3. Bus to 1,900 metres, cable car to 2,500 metres plus four-wheel drive coach up to 2,900 metres €96.00 per person
Due to the volcanic dust and sulphur fumes on Mount Etna, we ask asthma sufferers or customers with heart conditions of any kind to take these factors into consideration when deciding if this optional excursion is right for you.
It's possible to hire cold weather equipment at the top of the cable car: Quilted jackets €3.00 per person and walking boots €3.00 per person.
In windy conditions the cable car might not be running, in which case the four-wheel drive coach normally operates from 1,900 metres up to 2,500 metres.
Entrance to Giardini Naxos Archaeological Zone on day 7, €2.00 per person including museum entrance.
All excursions listed above are subject to change and availability and they may not all be possible throughout the year.
Throughout most of the year it's best to dress for hot conditions, although light rainwear and a warm fleece/jacket for nights when temperatures can drop is recommended. If you're travelling through late autumn and winter then the weather can be cooler and rain more frequent, so it's best to pack layers and rainwear just in case.
Anyone intending to visit Mount Etna should bring warm clothing as snow is a common occurrence (even in early summer). Wind and waterproof garments are therefore suggested for those wishing to visit the volcano.
Women should avoid bare arms and shoulders in churches, so it's best to carry a scarf or shawl.
Luggage: On tour
One main piece of baggage and daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.
Sicily is located off the southern coast of Italy and the weather is often sunny, so a sunhat and sunscreen are essential. You should also bring a two litre water bottle and insect repellent. You may also wish to bring a swimming costume and towel in order to make the most of swimming opportunities off the coastline. At any time of year it can be snowy on top of Mount Etna and considerably colder, so if you plan to travel up the volcano we'd recommend bringing gloves and a woolly hat.
Tipping in Italy is not always customary, particularly in restaurants, but of course is welcomed. When eating out many Italians simply round up the bill if paying in cash, or will leave some coins on the table for the waiter if paying by card. For local guides and drivers, we recommend around 3-5 Euros per person depending on the length of the tour or the drive. Of course, this is discretionary and should be based on the service that you receive.