Working with my travel agent, Lynne Erikson at Dolphin Vacations and Collette Travel, I have created the next group trip for 2017. This one is to Sicily and the Amalfi Coast on the mainland of Italy.
As I do not like to spend a great deal of time packing up and moving to a new hotel, then going through the check-in process (assuming that the new hotel has rooms ready for the group, and if they don’t, finding a secure storage for bags and other things while I take the group out to see certain sites), then getting the lay of the land in the neighborhood of the new hotel and the hotel itself as we look for new and interesting restaurants, I have designed this trip so that there are only three hotel stays for the 14 days of the trip: four nights in Palermo, four nights in Catania, and four nights on the Amalfi Coast.
I have scheduled day trips away from each of the hotel sites to return each evening.
The company that I am working with, Collette Vacations, is a very reputable one. I used them when I designed a trip to Thailand about 7 years ago and they did the itinerary as I asked for it, getting everything that I wanted. Our guide on the Thai trip was excellent (I still communicate with her via email and Facebook). I tried to put an itinerary together by myself and I could put all the pieces together and keep the cost anywhere near as reasonable as what Collette has done in the Sicily portion of the trip (sort of what I would call a “canned” trip because there will be others for those first nine days.
But then my group will fly out of Catania to Naples and then pick up a guide who will be with us for the mainland Italy portion of the trip. This is totally my design, but still working with Collette as they were able to procure ground transportation, a decent flight from Catania to Naples, our great hotel, the guide(s), and transfer back to Naples to fly back to the States. If anyone wants to extend the time in Europe, Lynne Erikson can work with you for that possibility.
I think that the attached brochure is self-explanatory but be sure to contact me if you have any questions. I have tried to make the entire trip as comprehensive as possible, yet still allow some free time so that my guests can digest and process what they have seen, get their feet up, catch up with email, and explore on their own.
I have only arranged a total of 19 meals (of course, breakfast at the hotel every morning) so that you can determine on your own if you want to skip a particular meal or eat somewhere else at a particular restaurant that you found in your own meanderings. There will even be time for shopping! There are also some home visits, farm excursions, and such.
Both Sicily and the Amalfi Coast are full of Greek and Roman temples and other artifacts. I have included a number of these, but not all, because I don’t want to burn people out.