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.
A selection of optional activities are listed below to help you budget for your holiday. Whilst the trip price you pay before you travel includes a great selection of highlights, we have also built in free time to allow you the flexibility to choose from a carefully selected range of additional excursions or to take time to relax, the choice is yours. At certain destinations along the way there may be several options to choose from and it may not be possible to fit all the activities in; your Explore Leader will be able to give advice on which are the most suitable for you.
Ortygia Island, Syracusa:
Entrance to Castello Maniace on day 2, €4.00 per person.
Guided your of the Jewish Baths on day 2, €5.00 per person.
Boat trip along the coast on day 2, €10.00 per person. May not be possible in spring/autumn due to wind conditions.
On day 4 entrance for four of the most famous churches €5.00 per person or each individual church €2.00 per person.
Entrance to Castello di Venere on day 4, €5.00 per person.
Entrance to the Botanical Gardens on day 5, €5.00 per person.
Entrance to the catacombs on day 5, €3.00 per person.
Entrance to the cathedral on day 5, free of charge or €1.50 per person to see the Norman tombs.
Tour of the Teatro Massimo on day 5, €8.00 per person.
Entrance to the Regional Museum on day 6, €8.00 per person.
Entrance to the Cathedral Museum on day 6, €3.50 per person plus €4.00 per person to climb the campanile.
There are two different options for the Mount Etna tour on day 7:
1. Cable car to 2,500 metres €30.00 per person
2. Cable car to 2,500 metres plus four-wheel drive coach up to 2,900 metres €66.00 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.
Due to the colder temperature on Mount Etna it's possible to hire 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.
Entrance to the Villa Comunale Gardens on day 7 is free of charge.
Please note that all optional excursions listed above are subject to change and availability and they may not all be possible to offer on every departure date.
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 in March, October or November 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 June). 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, torch in case of emergencies, 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 isn't compulsory, and we work hard to ensure that our leaders all receive a fair wage. You may however, want to recognise a leader that has done a great job or really added to your trip by giving them a tip. We're often asked about the recommended amount. It is a tricky one, and down to personal preference, but we would recommend £15 to £20 per person per week as a guideline.
Although voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. Accordingly, you should allow approximately £25 of local currency for tipping.
In order to make things easier for you, the Explore Leader may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the trip.