Fantastic Experiences, Great Value

020 7263 3000

Treasures of Sicily

Noto Cathedral, Noto, Sicily
Temple of Concordia, Valley of the Temples, Agrigento
Palermo Cathedral, Palermo, Sicily
Mosaic Christ Pantocrator, Monreale Cathedral, Monreale, Sicily
Greek Theatre with Mount Etna backdrop, Taormina, Sicily
Incl flights, accommodation & transfers
From   £1849 £1699
8 days

Holiday highlights

  • 8 days in splendid Sicily. Click here for more information about Sicily.
  • Discover ancient ruins in Syracuse, the largest city of the ancient Greek world.
  • Marvel at the world’s finest Roman mosaics in Villa Romana del Casale.
  • Explore the world’s best-preserved Greek temples in Valley of the Temples, Agrigento.
  • Visit Palermo and see the jaw-dropping Arab-Norman cathedrals, souk-like markets.
  • Wander around the medieval hill towns of Erice and Castelbuono.
  • Enjoy wine tasting on Mount Etna, Europe’s largest and most active volcano.

View this Itinerary in Photos

  • Fly from the UK to Catania, where you are met and transferred for one hour to your hotel in Syracuse. Founded by the Greeks over 2,700 years ago, at the height of its economic, political and military powers, Syracuse was the largest city in the ancient world.

    Journey: 40 miles (approximately 1 hour)

  • Start the day with a visit to the Neapolis Archaeological Park to see well-preserved Greek and Roman ruins. The highlight is the Greek theatre dating back to the 5th century BC, whose cavea is one of the largest ever built: its 67 rows could accommodate up to 15,000 spectators. The Roman amphitheatre, built in the 3rd century AD, is also very impressive.

    In the incredible quarry area, learn about the legends behind the fascinating Ear of Dionysus cave. Because of its teardrop shape, the Ear has extremely good acoustics, making even the quietest whisper echo through the cave. According to legend, the tyrant Dionysus I of Syracuse (432-367 BC) used the cave as a prison for political dissidents so he could eavesdrop on their plotting.

    Then, explore the small island of Ortigia, Syracuse’s ancient heart. Visit the Temple of Apollo, dating from the 6th century BC, the oldest Doric temple in Sicily. Walk across the island to the stunning Piazza del Duomo where you will find the Cathedral of Syracuse, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Originally built in the 5th century BC as a Greek Doric temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, it was later transformed into a Catholic church with a Baroque façade and is unique in having the original Greek columns within the modern church. Walk through a tangle of narrow streets, courtyards, dark alleys that suddenly open up onto the sea. Admire the freshwater Fountain of Arethusa filled with papyrus and learn about its mythological origins.

    In the afternoon, a short 45-minute drive away from Syracuse is the beautiful town of Noto, known as the capital of Sicilian Baroque architecture. One of Noto’s most unique features is the typical golden-honey colour of its buildings. The limestone absorbs the sun’s rays and transforms them into a sparkling gold-like colour. This small town has a historic centre that consists almost entirely of limestone Baroque palaces, churches and buildings. Visit the stunning Noto Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then, wander down Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Noto’s main street, and stroll past magnificent churches, beautiful buildings, restaurants and shops. Return to Syracuse in the early evening.

    Included Activities: Guided walking tour of Neapolis Archaeological Park, Ortigia Island and Noto.

    Included Meals: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • After breakfast, depart Syracuse for the drive towards Agrigento, passing Etna as you cross the interior of Sicily. Around two hours inland, stop at the UNESCO Heritage Site of Villa Romana del Casale outside Piazza Armerina. A landslide in the 12th century covered the villa, preserving the extensive mosaics, which were only excavated in the 20th century. These are the finest mosaics anywhere in the Roman world and one of Sicily’s highlights. Marvel at the Ambulatory of the Big Hunt, one continuous corridor mosaic that runs 60 metres from one side to the other. It tells story of the Roman Venatio, where wild animals were fought in amphitheatres and the vivid mosaics show how wild animals were captured from across the Roman Empire, with scenes including an exotic range of creatures, from lions to rhinoceroses to mythical griffins and Cyclopes.

    After a three-course lunch at a local country restaurant (included), drive for an hour and a half to the Valley of the Temples outside Agrigento. The archaeological park consists of seven Doric temples built between 510 and 430 BC all dedicated to Greek divinities. It is one of the most extensive sites of classic Greek civilisation in the world: the fabulous Temple of Concordia is the largest and best-preserved Doric temple in the world, while the Temple of Heracles is the oldest but only has eight columns remaining. Situated on dry arid hilltops, the temples are scattered amongst olive trees against a backdrop of the blues of the Mediterranean Sea, making for some incredible views.

    In the evening check-in to your hotel on Sicily’s southern coast, where dinner is included.

    Journey: 150 miles (approximately 3-4 hours)

    Included Activities: Guided visits to Villa Romana del Casale and Valley of the Temples.

    Included Meals: Breakfast at the hotel, lunch at a local restaurant and dinner at the Agrigento hotel.

  • Leave southern Sicily behind as you journey north. Drive for two and a half hours before stopping at the Temple of Segesta. The Doric Temple was built in the Greek style by the Elymians in 420 BC, an indigenous population of Sicily. The setting of the Temple is beautiful, with unspoiled rolling green countryside.

    Continue for 45 minutes until you reach Erice, a medieval walled hilltop town on the western coast, where you have free time to explore and have lunch. Perhaps visit the fortified Venus Castle, built in the 12th century by the Normans on top of the ancient Temple of Venus, dedicated to the Roman goddess of the same name. On the slopes of the castle is Pepoli Tower, built by the Saracens in a medieval and Moorish style. Navigate through pristine labyrinth cobbled streets and archways where you can find many souvenir and pastry shops. With its hilltop position, Erice offers stunning views of the Tyrrhenian and Mediterranean coastline, the salt pans and sprawling city of Trapani. 

    Continue for two hours and arrive into Sicily’s capital city Palermo in the evening. Check-in to your hotel and spend the evening at leisure.

    Journey: 200 miles (approximately 6 hours)

    Included Activities: Guided visit to the Temple of Segesta and Erice.

    Included Meals: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • The morning is spent discovering the beautiful city of Palermo. At the intersection of Europe and Africa, Palermo has been the crossroads of civilisations since the ancient world. As a result, Palermo is teeming with Byzantine mosaics, Arabic cupolas, Baroque facades and Norman relics.

    On a morning walking tour, wander through colourful souk-like markets, old streets and alleyways learning about the capital and its history. Three churches, three cathedrals, two buildings and a bridge: these are the nine wonders of the Arab-Norman Palermo listed by UNESCO as World Heritage sites. Found in Palermo and nearby, these unique buildings are the result of Byzantine, Islamic and Western architectural and artistic traditions. Marvel at the impressive Palermo Cathedral, an example of the unique Arab-Norman architectural style that prevailed in 12th century Sicily. The Cathedral is home to the royal Norman tombs and inside the treasury is the extraordinary gem-encrusted 13th century crown of Constance of Aragon.

    Continue exploring the capital in the afternoon, or take the optional Monreale Cathedral excursion where you visit the stunning Cathedral of Monreale, with a jaw-dropping interior made up of 6,500 square metres of gold mosaics. This is probably the finest example of Byzantine-Norman architecture in Sicily.

    Included Activities: Guided morning walking tour of Palermo.

    Included Meals: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • After breakfast, leave the capital behind as you follow the north coast for the journey to Giardini Naxos. After an hour and a half, stop at the medieval hill town of Castelbuono. The town is known for its imposing castle from which its name derives. Surrounded by rolling green mountains, the 14th century castle stands on top of San Pietro hill and was built in Arab, Norman and Swabian architectural styles. After a tour of the castle, you will have some free time to have lunch and explore this charming town.

    You then continue for another three hours, passing the Strait of Messina, with mainland Italy visible only two miles away. Follow the beautiful coastline until you reach Giardini Naxos, a seaside town close to Taormina, which perches on the hills above. Check-in to your hotel and spend the evening at leisure.

    Journey: 200 miles (approximately 4.5 hours)

    Included Activities: Guided visit of Castelbuono Castle.

    Included Meals: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Spend the day at leisure, perhaps relaxing on one of Giardini Naxos’ beaches or take a short 20-minute bus to the small town of Taormina. Idyllically perched on the side of a rocky mountain, Taormina is known for its Greek-Roman theatre, preserved medieval streets and dramatic views of Mount Etna.

    Alternatively, take the optional Mount Etna & Wine Tasting excursion to discover Europe’s highest and most active volcano and the wines it produces. Drive to 1,900 metres and walk around the lunar landscape, then visit the beautiful Barone di Villagrande vineyard on the eastern slopes.

    Included Meals: Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch at the Barone di Villagrande vineyard (on the optional Etna excursion).

  • Take a one-hour transfer to Catania airport to check-in and board your return flight to the UK.

    Included Meals: Breakfast at the hotel.

Accommodation

Accommodation in Syracuse

Grand Hotel Villa Politi

Included

Standard hotel: The historic Grand Villa Politi Hotel is located close to Syracuse’s seafront. The hotel was used as a wartime base by Sir Winston Churchill during the allied invasion of Italy. There is a large outdoor swimming pool surrounded by verdant parkland, two restaurants and two bars, one of which is named after Churchill. It is a 5 minute walk to the seafront, while the Island of Ortigia is around a 10-minute taxi ride or a 30-minute walk away.

Perched over the sparkling Mediterranean Sea, the hotel sits on the Latomie dei Cappuccini, one of Sicily’s oldest historical archaeological sites. A network of caves carved into the rocky cliffs of Syracuse’s coastline, the Latomie dei Cappuccini were used to imprison Athenian soldiers around 413 BC.

The rooms are spacious and comfortable with elegant decor.

Why stay here: This unique hotel and historic building boasts panoramic sea views from its clifftop location.

Hotel facilities

  • WiFi is available throughout the hotel and is free of charge.

  • There is a swimming pool, two restaurants and two bars.

  • The hotel offers a 24-hour front desk, luggage storage, ATM on site and currency exchange.

About the room

All rooms have free WiFi, air conditioning, a TV, a telephone, ensuite bathrooms and safes.

Accommodation in Agrigento

Hotel Baia di Ulisse

Included

Standard hotel: The Baia di Ulisse hotel is set inside a cool pine forest overlooking the sea of San Leone, with access to a private beach 50 metres away. The hotel offers two restaurants offering traditional Sicilian dishes and Mediterranean cuisine. Relax on the sun terrace by the large outdoor swimming pool or jacuzzi. The Spa & Wellness Centre offers a selection of treatments and packages, complete with an indoor swimming pool, sauna, hot tub and Turkish bath.

The rooms are spacious with plenty of natural light.

Why stay here: The hotel has great facilities for a relaxing stay after visiting the Valley of the Temples. Take an early morning dip in the sea or stroll along the beach.

Hotel facilities

  • WiFi is available throughout the hotel and is free of charge.

  • The hotel offers a 24-hour front desk, luggage storage, room and laundry service.

About the room

All rooms have free WiFi, air conditioning, a TV, a telephone, ensuite bathrooms, a hairdryer, minibar and safes.

Accommodation in Palermo

Hotel Plaza Opera

Included
Panoramic Roof Terrace, Hotel Plaza Opera, Palermo, Sicily

Standard hotel: Located in the historic heart of Palermo, there is a panoramic rooftop terrace with a bar and sun loungers. The hotel does not have a restaurant, but there is a good selection of restaurants nearby, and the hotel staff can help suggest the best options. Embedded between Via della Libertà and Piazza Politeama, this stylish hotel is steps away from chic boutiques and trendy bars.

The rooms are furnished in a contemporary style with 18th century accents.

Why stay here: The hotel’s city centre location next to the historic Politeama theatre is great for exploring Palermo’s highlights, with the Palermo Cathedral and Norman Palace only a 20-minute walk away.

Hotel facilities

  • WiFi is available throughout the hotel and is free of charge.

  • There is a rooftop terrace and a bar.

  • The hotel offers a 24-hour front desk, luggage storage and laundry service.

About the room

All rooms have free WiFi, air conditioning, a TV, a telephone, ensuite bathrooms, a hairdryer, minibar and safes.

Accommodation in Giardini Naxos

Sant Alphio Garden & Spa

Included
Pool, Sant Alphio Garden & Spa, Giardini Naxos, Sicily

Standard hotel: The Sant Alphio Garden Hotel boasts views of Taormina and Mount Etna. The hotel is a 5 minute walk from a fine-sand beach where there is a private section reserved for hotel guests. There is a large outdoor pool and sunbathing terrace surrounded by waterfalls, potted plants and Greco-Roman statues. There is also a wellness and fitness centre and the spa is complete with a hot tub, sauna and indoor pool.

There is an on-site restaurant serving regional and international cuisine as well as a snack bar. There are restaurants, bars and shops close by. It is a 30-minute walk or 10-minute drive into the centre of Giardini Naxos, while buses for the 15-minute journey to Taormina stop 400 yards away.

The rooms are clean, comfortable and spacious.

Why stay here: The hotel’s tranquil atmosphere is perfect for a relaxing end to your Sicilian adventure.

Hotel facilities

  • WiFi is available throughout the hotel and is free of charge.

  • There is a private beach, swimming pool, gym, spa and restaurant.

  • The hotel offers a 24-hour front desk, luggage storage, room and laundry service.

About the room

All rooms have free WiFi, air conditioning, a TV, a telephone, ensuite bathrooms, refrigerator and safes.

Excursions

Monreale Cathedral

£25

Overlooking Palermo and the Conca d'Oro valley from its panoramic hilltop position, Monreale would be a typical Sicilian town if it was not for one of the world’s most stunning architectural treasures: the Cathedral of Monreale, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This half-day afternoon excursion includes a guided visit of the Cathedral of Monreale, arguably the finest example of Arab-Byzantine-Norman architecture in Sicily. In 1174, the Norman ruler William II of Sicily ordered the construction of a new church in Monreale. In competition with the great cathedral being built 8 miles down the road in Palermo, William II employed the very best Arabic, Byzantine and Norman craftsmen to work on his cathedral. The result is a fascinating fusion of architectural styles, artistic traditions and religious symbolism.

The interior is jaw dropping, with over 6,500m2 of swirling golden mosaics depicting biblical scenes, saints, kings and angels. The mosaics are among the most spectacular in the world, and it is estimated that they were made with 2,200kg of pure gold. Wave after wave of glistening gold culminate in an immense representation of Christ Pantocrator above the altar.

Outside the Cathedral is another artistic masterpiece. Built in 1200, the nearby cloisters of the Benedictine monastery comprise over 200 marble columns, either ornamented with mosaics or carved with biblical figures, mythological scenes, Arab warriors, Norman knights as well as floral motifs and fauna. No two columns have the same pattern, making each unique. Walking around the cloister and admiring the sculptures is like a brief glimpse into the medieval mind and daily life: there is a person riding a camel, fighting scenes, men with big dogs, acrobats and strange beasts.

There are fabulous views of the Conca d'Oro, the fertile valley in which Palermo grew, Palermo itself and out to the coast. On a clear day you can even see the Aeolian Islands.

You return to your hotel in Palermo in the early evening.

Mount Etna & Wine Tasting

£250

The highest volcano in Europe and among the most active in the world, Mount Etna dominates Sicily with its size and stature. This full-day excursion will take you on a walk on Etna’s lava fields and a visit to an Etna winery where you will enjoy wine tasting alongside a delicious traditional Sicilian lunch.

Drive up Etna’s slopes to 1,900 metres, passing by lava flows and extinct craters. Learn about centuries-old forests and the extraordinary flora and fauna that grows on Etna. Take a guided walk and enjoy sweeping views of the landscapes, characterised by black dunes and expanses of solidified lava. The guide will explain the science behind the volcanological phenomena that has created this immense natural wonder.

Then descend the mountain to see how Etna’s fertile volcanic soil enables top quality grapes to grow on all sides of the volcano. Visit the Barone di Villagrande vineyard on the eastern slopes, where you are taken around the winery and cellar, followed by tasting of 4 wines and an excellent four-course lunch. Located at 700 metres above sea level, the vineyard has been producing some of the best Etnean wines since 1727.

Return to your hotel in Giardini Naxos in the late afternoon.

2022

Sun 09 Oct - Sun 16 Oct Price £1849 SAVE £150 £1699 Single supplement Price £320 Book Now

Prices include

Return flights from the UK; any internal flights; accommodation (bed and breakfast except where indicated); transfers; service of guides and local reps, UK airport taxes.

Prices do not include

Any optional excursions, travel insurance, tips.

Holidays without international flights

The above prices include return international flights from the UK. If you wish to arrange your own flights, we will reduce our prices accordingly. The reduction depends on when you travel, please call us for details.

Departure Airport

Flights are scheduled to be from London. Other airports may be possible, although a supplement sometimes applies.

Holiday Information

All the practical information you need regarding your trip is found here. From how to prepare before you leave and travelling to your destination, to advice on travelling within your country of choice.

About Your Holiday

  • In many cases, the best way to describe our holidays is flexible tours, so you can choose where to visit by combining different extensions and excursions, and which hotels to stay in. In most cases, you will be with other Llama Travellers, but not necessarily the same people throughout. This allows you to get to know like-minded people, but not have to spend all your time with the same group. If we don't have anyone else taking a particular part of a holiday, we will normally operate this just for you.

    In some cases, we operate more traditional tours, with the same Llama Travel group travelling together for the majority of the holiday, which allows land travel from one location to another. This is particularly the case for our European tours, and in this case we may have a minimum number of travellers required to operate the group.

    Excursions are usually taken together with other Llama Travel customers in groups of no more than 18 people. If we have more than 18 booked, we operate two groups. These will usually be in English, although in some places, especially on wildlife excursions, the excursions may be operated by one of our local partners, so you may be with people other than Llama Travel customers and the group may be a mix of English and other languages. In these cases, group sizes can sometimes be larger. If you would like to know the likely situation for your holiday, please ask us and we will be able to check. Transfers may be with more than 18 people.

    We get a wide range of people taking our holidays, with probably the largest group being couples aged in their forties to sixties, or even older. However, we also have a large number of customers in their twenties and thirties, especially for some of the more active holidays. What unites everyone is a sense of curiosity and a desire to discover new cultures, landscapes and wildlife. Although most of our customers travel with friends or family, we also have quite a few single travellers who are happy to mix and match as described above.

    Group Size
    Most holidays can operate with a minimum of 2 passengers, but some holidays have a higher minimum group size. If we have fewer than the minimum number of passengers, we will let you know two months before departure. In this case, we will refund you any monies paid or offer you an alternative option. It may be possible to operate the trip for fewer than 4 passengers for an additional cost.

    All holidays in Europe have a minimum group size of 4 passengers, except Iceland which has a minimum group size of 6passengers.
    All holidays in Namibia or South Africa have a minimum group size of 6 passengers.
    All holidays in Kenya have a minimum group size of 6 passengers.
    All holidays in Costa Rica and Mexico have a minimum group size of 4 passengers.

  • Prices listed are per person and based on two persons sharing a room and include all flights from the UK and within destination, service of guides and reps (please note that tips are not included), accommodation and all transfers and excursions listed in the itinerary. Where applicable, entrance fees, taxes and charges are included in our prices at the rates advised to us at the time of preparation. An adjustment will be made to your price if any of these change before your holiday. UK airport taxes are included.

Booking Conditions

How To Book

  • You can pay your deposit by bank transfer, cheque, standard UK debit card or non-premium UK personal Visa / MasterCard credit card. Balance payments can be made by bank transfer or cheque. We do not accept cards for balance payments. We are unable to accept cash.

  • To book a holiday or discuss your requirements, please call us on 020 7263 3000. We can usually confirm availability immediately, but may need to check with a supplier first.

Before You Go

  • Adequate travel insurance is essential. We do not sell or recommend any specific policy, but good medical insurance should cover medical evacuation and repatriation. If you are going to be taking part in any activity, please ensure your policy covers you for this, especially if this involves high-altitude trekking, such as the Inca Trail.

  • To issue some tickets, we require passport details and ages when you book. If you subsequently change your passport, please let us know as soon as possible.

    Latin America

    Visas are not required in advance for British citizens for any Llama Travel Latin American destination. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the appropriate consulate: Peru (020 7838 9223); Ecuador (020 7451 0040); Argentina (020 7318 1340); Chile (020 7222 2361); Brazil (020 7747 4500); Colombia (020 7589 5037); Bolivia (020 7235 4248); Costa Rica (020 7706 8844); Guatemala (020 7351 3042); Mexico (020 7499 8586), Panama (020 7409 2255).

    If you are flying via another country, especially the US, you need to comply with the appropriate immigration requirements. Please ask us for details.

    You need a full 10 year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum period needed if you are transiting in Europe.

    There is an entry fee to enter Chile for citizens of Australia, the US, Canada and some other countries which must be paid upon arrival. There is also an entry fee for US and Canadian citizens visiting Argentina, which must be paid in advance online.

    If children are not travelling with both parents, some countries require a letter of consent to enter or depart. Please consult the appropriate consulate.

    Africa

    British nationals can enter Morocco, South Africa, Namibia and Botswana for a visit of up to 90 days without a visa. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the appropriate consulate: Morocco (020 7724 0624); South Africa (020 7451 7299); Namibia (020 7636 6244); Botswana (020 7499 0031). You need a passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. For South Africa, you need a passport with two blank pages.

    For Zimbabwe, British nationals will be granted with a KAZA Univisa (valid for travel between Zimbabwe and Zambia and day trips into Botswana) visa, for a fee (US$ 50 per person, paid in cash). This is easiest to obtain upon arrival at the airport or border post, rather than via an agency in the UK. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask Zimbabwe consulate (020 7836 7755). You need a passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK.

    For Kenya, British nationals require a visa, which must be obtained online in advance. You can apply for single entry and transit visas on the evisas website. For more information, see the website of the Kenya High Commission. Children aged 16 and below do not require a visa to enter Kenya. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the Kenya consulate (020 7636 2371). You need a passport with two blank pages, valid for six months after your return to the UK.

    If children are not travelling with both parents, some countries require a letter of consent to enter or depart. Please consult the appropriate consulate. In South Africa and Namibia, children under 18 must also carry an unabridged birth certificate.

    You need a full 10 year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum period needed if you are transiting in Europe.

    To issue some tickets, we require passport details and ages when you book. If you subsequently change your passport, please let us know as soon as possible.

    Europe

    You need a full 10 year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum period needed.

    Jordan

    You need a full 10 year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. You will need a visa to enter Jordan. The Jordan visa is included in the price of your holiday. On arrival in Amman our representatives will meet you prior to immigration and this will be provided to you free of charge. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the Jordanian consulate (020 7937 3685).

  • In many destinations, you can arrange adventure activities, either through Llama Travel or through Llama Travel. If you are interested in taking any of these, please make sure you are covered by your travel insurance.

  • Some countries have strict regulations regarding the entry and exit of children under 18 when not travelling with both parents, or if the child has nationality of the country you are visiting. If you are travelling with children who are not entering or leaving the country with both parents, or if the child has nationality of the country you are visiting, please contact the consulate of the country you are visiting to check requirements.

    Countries in Africa have particularly strict requirements regarding children travelling, and in both South Africa and Namibia, children need to carry an unabridged birth certificate. Additionally, in Namibia, adults travelling with children where they are not the biological or legal guardians of those children, should be in possession of an affidavit statement from the child’s parents giving consent for their travel.

    Such requirements do change from time to time, and although we try to keep abreast of such changes and update this information, if you are travelling with children, we suggest you check current requirements carefully.

  • You will receive tickets approximately 10 days before departure, along with information on accommodation, transfers and excursions. Our agents in destination will give you final details for hotel and excursions when you arrive. Please check airline tickets carefully in case timings have changed after we issued your confirmation.

  • Cards are widely accepted in most hotel and restaurants, and cash machines are common in most destinations. However, when travelling to remote areas, it is advisable to take cash, as it is difficult to withdraw or change money. Travellers cheques are no longer widely used, so it may be inconvenient to take these.

    It is always recommended to inform your bank that you are travelling abroad and to which countries. This will allow them to authorise money withdrawals from your account when you are away. Some banks say that this is not necessary, however we would still recommend contact with your bank as in some cases people have had difficulty in withdrawing currency.

    More information on the situation regarding money, budgeting and tipping in specific countries is in the country information below.

When Your Are Travelling

  • Most people who travel to the countries where Llama Travel operates experience no problems on holiday. However, as is the case anywhere in the world, crime can be a problem, especially in large cities. Tourists can appear attractive targets to criminals. To minimise the risk, use common sense. Do not display signs of wealth, such as expensive looking jewellery or cameras. Avoid empty streets, especially on your own. Take a taxi after dark. By taking sensible precautions, you should have a trouble-free holiday.

    Each country has its own standards for health and safety, but these are often not as good as in the UK. We take this into account when selecting hotels and request that they comply with all local regulations, but cannot guarantee that these are equivalent to British standards. Please take reasonable precautions to protect yourselves whilst on holiday, e.g. by locating fire exit routes.

    Please also check the Foreign Office travel advice for the countries you are visiting at www.fco.gov.uk.

  • Attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) travellers around the world can be very different from those in the UK.

    In Latin America and Europe, attitudes can sometimes be more conservative than in the UK, but there are not usually problems.

    In some African countries, including Zimbabwe and Kenya, same sex relationships are illegal and conservative attitudes prevail. However, hotels and lodges do not discriminate and LGBT couples can share rooms. In much of Africa, public displays of affection may attract negative attention, especially with LGBT couples, although the majority of people are friendly to visitors, irrespective of gender and sexual orientation. In South Africa, the authorities have introduced legislation which bans any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

    The UK Foreign Office has information LGBT travel on their travel advice for individual countries, found at www.fco.gov.uk.

  • For all wildlife excursions, please always follow the instructions of your guide, both for the animals’ welfare and for your safety. Staff are experienced at dealing with wildlife, but by their nature, excursions involving exposure to wild animals will always carry some risk.

    If you take a safari in Africa, you will be with an experienced guide at all times, who is usually unarmed. All of the game drives run according to schedule, although unexpected delays can occur, which the guide will deal with as quickly and safely as possible. Being in the wilderness means that the environment is unpredictable, so the unexpected can happen. For any excursions taken on foot, there will be a safety briefing to inform you of the possible dangers.

Health & Fitness

  • Please consult your GP or a travel clinic about health and vaccination requirements. Advice for travellers is available at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk.

    When travelling, stomach illnesses are not uncommon due to changes in diet. We suggest you only drink bottled water and avoid ice in drinks. If you are unsure if salads and fruit have been washed in purified water, it is best to avoid them.

    If you suffer from a disability or condition and are worried whether this will affect the enjoyment of a holiday, please call us. We will do our best to help. We recommend that you bring any medicines you require from the UK.

    If you have any health problems on holiday, please speak to our local agents or hotel staff. They will arrange for a doctor or hospital if necessary. If you do experience any problems, please seek appropriate medical attention.

    Outside of major cities, medical facilities can be basic, meaning a lengthy transfer if hospital attention is required.

    Latin America

    Yellow fever and / or malaria precautions are recommended for visiting the jungle, Iguazu Falls and some parts of Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador. Yellow Fever certificates are sometimes required if you have recently visited a country with an infected area. Children under 6 require proof of vaccination against polio to enter Brazil. Some GPs do not recommend yellow fever vaccinations for travellers over 60 years old. If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, please speak to your GP about zika. Please seek medical advice before you travel.

    Parts of South America are at high altitude. Most visitors do not suffer major problems. However, shortness of breath is common and we advise you to take things calmly during your first day at altitude. If you suffer from a heart or lung condition, or think that you may suffer due to the altitude, please consult your GP.

    Africa

    Malaria precautions are highly recommended when visiting the Kruger National Park in South Africa, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, the north of Namibia, including Etosha, Botswana and Kenya. Yellow Fever vaccination is highly recommended for Kenya. Travellers entering many African countries, including South Africa and Kenya Africa, coming from a yellow fever zone must have a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate. Some GPs do not recommend yellow fever vaccinations for travellers over 60 years old.

  • For most of our holidays, age is not a concern. However, a reasonable level of fitness is required, as most holidays require some walking, sometimes on uneven ground. Even relatively mild activities can be strenuous at altitude. High altitude trekking is more strenuous than an equivalent length walk at low altitude.

Getting There

  • You can upgrade to business class or premium economy on most airlines. Prices start from £199 each way for Premium Economy and £699 each way for Business Class, although sometimes airlines have special offers and prices may be lower. Call us for prices for the route and airline you are interested in.

    Premium Economy

    Some airlines offer Premium Economy cabins, which provide more comfortable seats which recline further and have more legroom. There are better meals and a bar service.

    Other airlines offer standard economy class seats with extra legroom for additional cost.

    Business Class

    Many airlines have long haul business class cabins with seats which convert into full flat beds and often have a privacy screen.

    Business Class within Europe is often similar to economy class seating, but with better meals and middle seats are often left empty.

  • Most scheduled airlines have a baggage allowance of 23kg per passenger for international flights, but internal flight allowances can be less. Exact limits can be found on airline webpages. Please bear this in mind when packing, as carrying excess baggage will normally incur an expensive additional cost payable at check in. Additionally, certain excursions have a limited baggage allowance. Where this is the case, we will advise you in advance. Llama Travel accepts no responsibility for the delay, loss or damage of luggage.

    There may be additional luggage restrictions for specific countries. In this case, details of this will be in the country information below.

  • Many airlines now charge a fee to select your seat prior to checking in for your flight, even when travelling in premium economy or business class. Alternatively, you may choose your preferred seat free of charge when online check-in opens 24 hours prior to departure or at the airport. Please ask us about the options available at time of booking.

    We all want a comfortable journey, particularly on long haul flights. If you would like a seat with some extra leg room or a larger recline please let us know. Airlines have introduced a range of “economy comfort” seats that may be purchased in advance. In some cases, these seats may only be purchased online directly with the airline once Llama Travel has issued your ticket approximately 30 days prior to departure.

    For internal flights, and for connecting flights in Europe, it is usually only possible to select seats when you check-in online or at the airport.

                        

    It may not be possible to always use online check-in systems, especially when using a codeshare flight. On occasion, your preferred seat may be changed by the airline for operational reasons such as a change of aircraft or to facilitate a disabled passenger on the day you fly and as such, Llama Travel cannot guarantee specific seats.

  • Depending on the route and the airline, if you would like to break your journey to or from your final destination, and add a stopover to your holiday, this may be possible. Please ask us for information.

  • If you are interested in arranging your own international flights, this is sometimes possible. Please ask us for details of this and any discount we can arrange for removing international flights. Please do not book your flights until we have reconfirmed all services with our suppliers and you have checked the confirmation invoice.

  • All people transiting in a third country need to make sure they comply with any immigration requirements for that country.

    This is especially the case when in transit in the UK when flying to Latin America. In this case, you must comply with US immigration requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that you comply with these requirements before you travel. Failure to do so may result in you being denied boarding on your flight to the US and, at best, a last-minute and probably expensive re-routing avoiding the US. It is important, therefore, that you follow these procedures carefully.

    If your flight to Latin America involves a stop in the US, you will be subject to US immigration control upon entry to the US. If you qualify for the US Visa Waiver Program, you are able to avoid the need to apply for a visa, but still need to enter your details online on the US State Department website. If you do not qualify for the US Visa Waiver Program, you must apply in person at a US embassy for a US visa. Please make sure that you do this in good time.

    If you are a UK citizen and have a UK passport, you may qualify for visa-free travel. You will require a machine readable passport to qualify for the ESTA Visa Waiver Program (so you do not require a visa to enter the US). A machine readable passport has the holder's personal details (name, date of birth, nationality and passport number) contained in two lines of text at the bottom of the photo page. This appears as two lines of letters, numbers and chevrons (">>>>>") printed across the long edge of the photo page. It must be also include an integrated circuit chip capable of storing the biographic information from the data page, a digitized photograph and other biometric information.

    Please note, holders of passports indicating that the bearer is a British Subject, a British Dependent Territories Citizen, British Overseas Citizen, British National (Overseas) Citizen or British Protected Person do not qualify for travel without a visa. A passport which states that the holder has Right of Abode or indefinite leave to remain in the UK does not quality for visa-free travel.

    If you have been arrested, even if the arrest did not result in a criminal conviction, or if you have a criminal record, you will need a visa.

    If you have any doubts about whether you qualify for the Visa Waiver Program, please check with the US embassy. Full details can be found on the US embassy’s UK website at: http://london.usembassy.gov/vwp3.html

    Many European, Australian and New Zealand passport holders also qualify for the Visa Waiver Program as long as the passport is machine readable and complies with the relevant criteria. Please see the US embassy website for a list of countries which qualify for the Visa Waiver Program. It is important that you check the website of the US Embassy in the country of passport nationality for any further changes before you travel.

    Details of the ESTA Visa Waiver Program can be found on the US State Department website at

    https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov.

    In addition to the Visa Waiver Programme, the US Transportation Security Authority requires anybody flying through the United Sates to supply specific passenger information prior to their international flight.

  • A holiday in Latin America or Africa inevitably means long haul flights, and usually at least one overnight sector. Air fares vary from date to date and between airlines. Our holidays are scheduled to use the most advantageous air fare. You can choose which airline you prefer, we will let you know if a supplement is payable. Levels of onboard service and facilities, such as entertainment, vary by airline and route. Please ask us for details. Flights are sometimes operated by another airline in the appropriate airline alliance.

  • Many airlines offer the option of flying from regional airports in the UK, avoiding the need to make your own way to London. Due to the timing of flights, in some cases this may involve an overnight stop in London or another intermediate airport. There is usually a supplement for regional departures. Please note that most of our flights depart from London.

Travelling in Sicily

  • The currency in Sicily is the Euro (approximate exchange rate £1 = €1.20). Credit and debit cards can be used in hotels, shops and restaurants, and can also be used to withdraw money from cash machines.

    All hotels include breakfast, and other meals are included on some tours and excursions. However, generally, you will need to arrange your own lunches and dinners. We recommend budgeting approximately £25 for a meal, £7 for a good bottle of wine, £3 for a beer or soft drink and £1 for a big bottle of water. Throughout Sicily there are opportunities to shop for souvenirs and we advise setting aside some of your budget for this purpose.

    If you receive good service, you may want to leave a tip. This is completely at your discretion. It is standard to tip 5-10% for table service in Sicilian restaurants. If you would like to tip guides, €5 per person per day is usual if you are in a group. Approximately €2.50 per person per day is usual for drivers or transfer staff.

  • Sicily has a Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and mild winters.

    The weather between March and May is mild, with highs normally around 19°C towards the end of spring. Temperatures rarely drop below 16°C, but the warmest time of year is from June to September with highs of 30°C in July and August, and temperatures can often be significantly higher. Warm weather continues into October and November, but rain is possible towards the end of the year, so waterproofs are recommended.

    Electricity in Sicily is 230V, and plugs are of the round two-pin type.

    We recommend you carry a copy of your passport with you at all times.

    Please bring any medication you may require from the UK.

  • Although Sicilian cuisine has much in common with Italian cuisine, Sicilian food also has Greek, Spanish, French and Arab influences. Sicilian cuisine represents Italian gastronomy at its best. In Sicily, restaurants, vineyards, gelaterias and cafes are as important as beaches, cathedrals and archaeological sites.

    Arab influences brought in the use of apricots, sugar, citrus, sweet melons, rice, saffron, raisins, nutmeg, clove, pepper, pine nuts and cinnamon, while Norman influences are found in the fondness for meat dishes. Catania, on the east coast, was initially settled by Greek colonists, who left a preference for fish, olives, broad beans, pistachios, and fresh vegetables. Later, the Spanish introduced products from the New World, including cocoa, maize, peppers, turkey, and tomatoes.

    Much of Sicily’s cuisine encourages the use of fresh vegetables such as eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes, and fish such as tuna, sea bream, sea bass, cuttlefish, and swordfish.

    The symbol of Italian cuisine, pasta, was created in Sicily in the 12th century. Spaghetti ai ricci (spaghetti prepared with sea urchin), pasta con le sarde (with sardines) and pasta alla Norma (with eggplant that originated in Catania) are the most popular and typical Sicilian pasta dishes.

    Street food is common in Sicily, with the most popular being the arancini (deep-fried rice croquettes), pani ca meusa (soft bread stuffed with veal) and pane con panelle (chickpea fritter sandwich), all of can be found in Palermo’s markets.

    In the main cities, the price for a two-course meal and a drink in a restaurant is approximately £25.