Malta Extension 1 - 4 May 2022
Join Jenny on this 8 day tour around the island of Sicily with a 3 night extension to Malta in conjunction with Iberian Wine Tours.
Sicily is a delightful island set in the sparkling seas of the Mediterranean, as famous for its food as for its diverse cultural legacy that spans the ancient Greeks to the Spanish.
Malta is a fascinating contrast to Sicily, a much smaller island but also with a very rich history. There are some very decent wines for us to discover and a unique Maltese cuisine to nourish a journey that takes in the ancient and modern aspects of a very charming island.
Spring is the perfect time of the year to see the islands in all their glory. Along with fantastic wine visits we also get to taste homemade food, eat in a Michelin star restaurant as well as enjoying some spectacular cultural highlights. Undoubtedly this trip to Sicily & Malta is bound to exhilarate the senses of any food and wine lover.
Baglio Soria,Pellegrino, Donnafugata, Planeta, Arianna Occhipinti, Benanti, Romeo del Castello, La Gelsomina
Sicily Trip Itinerary 2022
Sunday 24th April
Welcome reception at Quinto Canto hotel followed by dinner in Palermo at the 1 star Michelin restaurant, Bye Bye Blues.
Monday 25th April
Enjoy a city and market walking tour in Palermo to gain an insight into the colours and flavours of Sicilian cuisine. Tasting, visit and lunch at Firriato Baglio Soria with the Di Gaetano family, pioneers of native Sicilian grape varietals. Afterwards we arrive in Erice and settle into our rooms at the Hotel Elimo, a very elegant hotel in the old town within the city walls. Dine in Erice at the typical and very tasty La Pentolaccia restaurant, a good place to try local specialties like the local sardine and fennel pasta.
Tuesday 26th April
After breakfast we travel out across the salt flats to the Marsala region at the legendary Pellegrino winery. Cantine Pellegrino is a longstanding local producer of fine still and fortified wines, where we get the chance to tour the winery and see the process used to make Marsala wines. Travel the short distance to Donnafugata where we enjoy a guided tour of the historic winery and cellars and then enjoy a tasting of some of the iconic wines of Donnafugata, before we adjourn for a Sicilian lunch accompanied with wines of the property. Return to
Erice via the port town of Trapani for an afternoon stroll and maybe gelato.
We enjoy visit, tasting and lunch at the top class Planeta family winery. For 5 centuries and 17 generations the Planeta family have dedicated themselves to the land and produce wine and olive oil in 5 different Sicilian territories. Afternoon visit to the largest archaeological site in the world, at Valley of the Temples which is one of the most outstanding examples of Greater Greek architecture. The Vecchia Masseria near Piazza Armerina is our base for the next 2 nights. Dinner in hotel.
Thursday 28th April
Visit and tasting at Arianna Occhipinti in Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Sicily ́s only DOCG. Traditional Sicilian family lunch at Baglio Occhipinti. Afternoon chocolate tasting in Dolceria Bonajuto which was established in 1880 in the centre of the wonderful baroque city of Modica. It is famous for its ́ “Cioccolato di Modica” made from an ancient Aztec recipe. Free evening in Ragusa
Friday 29th April
Visit and lunch at historic wine producers Benanti on the fertile volcanic slopes of Mount Etna. Drive up the fertile slopes of Etna to the Silvestri crater to enjoy the commanding view of the straits of Messina and on a clear day you can see the Italian mainland. The Grand Hotel Miramare in Taormina is our base for the next 2 nights. A delightful hill top town on the East coast of Sicily, Taormina is famous for its Greco-Roman theatre. Dinner at the hotel.
Saturday 30th April
Visit and Tasting at Fattoria Romeo del Castello which was affected badly by the 1981 Etna eruption. Visit tasting and lunch La Gelsomina Amphitheatre of Vines with the dramatically stunning backdrop of Etna. Dinner Villa Antonio back in Taormina.
Sunday 1st May
After breakfast depart Taormina to Catania Airport and end of tour or extension to Malta.
Malta Extension Itinerary 1-4 May 2022
Malta is a fascinating contrast to Sicily, a much smaller island but also with a very rich history with imprints from the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Moors, Spanish, French and British. A warm and welcoming people enhance the visitor experience from the stunning visual impact of Valetta and Mdina to the delightful beaches and shores of each island. There are some very decent wines for us to discover and a unique Maltese cuisine to nourish a journey that takes in the ancient and modern aspects of a very charming island.
Sunday 1st May
We would travel around an hour and a half to the port of Pozzallo on the south coast to catch the early afternoon ferry to Malta (this is provisional, subject to 2021 ferry timetables). The journey to Valetta takes just under 2 hours and on arrival our bus meets us to take the short journey to our hotel in Valetta for the next 3 nights. We stay at La Falconeria, an elegant 4 star hotel situated in the heart of Valetta in the street where the Maltese falcons were trained by the knights of St John before being sent to the king of Sicily each year.
We enjoy an introductory walk around the Baroque capital with our local guide Maria before we dine at Rampila a classic Valetta restaurant where we enjoy a casual welcome to Malta dinner.
Monday 2nd May
After breakfast, there would be time for a lecture at the hotel, followed by a guided walking tour of Valetta, the capital of Malta and a world heritage site. We will walk the bustling streets, taking in the magnificent St John’s cathedral and some wonderful views of the harbour.
We then take a bus to the very striking Tabetta winery, which produces an excellent chardonnay as well as 2 very fine red blends, one more Bordeaux style, the other more Rhone influenced. Situated near Mdina, the scenery is magnificent and the setting very private for a wonderful lunch, accompanied of course by the Tabetta wines.
After lunch we take the chance to visit Malta’s other premium winery at Meridiana for a short visit and tasting of a selection of white and red wines, noting the influence of Bordeaux enologist Denis Dubourdieu.
We then return to Valetta in the late afternoon and the evening is free.
Tuesday 3rd May
After breakfast we set off for the 5000 year old Unesco World Heritage Site Hagar Qim temples and then travel across to the fairytale medieval hilltop town of Mdina, where we see the Baroque St Paul’s cathedral and the dramatic entrance gate before exploring the old streets and enjoying a light lunch at the Medinah restaurant, a converted old local house with an internal courtyard.
After a post lunch stroll, we then return to Valetta for a free afternoon before our last night dinner at the Michelin star Noni restaurant in Valetta’s old town.
Wednesday 4th May
After breakfast the tour ends, a group transfer to Valetta would be provided.
(Ferry to Malta included)
$1995 per person double occupancy $350 single supplement