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  • Islands of the South: Sicily, the Aeolian Islands and Capri Touring Holiday

    Hotel Villa Belvedere

    Hotel Villa Belvedere

    View from Hotel Capofaro

    Hotel Luna

    Hotel Luna

    Islands of the South: Sicily, the Aeolian Islands and Capri Touring Holiday

    16 nights and 17 days
    This is a magnificent, luxury touring holiday of the southern part of Italy, staying on four very different islands.

    Click here to download a pdf with information about some of our suggested Italian touring holidays.

    This touring holiday begins with the rich tapestry of Mediterranean history on the southerly island of Sicily, which is fascinating due to its amazing blend of cultures, architectural treasures, captivating coastal scenery, parched mountains and fertile groves of oranges, lemons and olives. The comfortable and stylish Hotel Belvedere, your home for the next five nights, is situated near the botanical gardens of Taormina and overlooks the sea, with the looming shadow of Mount Etna in the distance. Your next stop, the Aeolian island of Lipari is perhaps the most ‘Sicilian’ of the islands, offering breath-taking scenery and an easy escape from life’s daily routines. Our pick for your three night stay, the  Hotel Villa Meligunis, is close to exquisite beaches and has a delightful restaurant with a terrace that overlooks the never-ending blue seas. Your next hotel is the Hotel Capofaro, located on the Aeolian island of Salina near the lighthouse of Faro; its rooms are furnished with beautiful views across acres of vineyards towards the sea, with the islands of Panarea and Stromboli in the distance. Stay here for three nights and spend your days hiking, walking, or enjoying a relaxing swim or game of tennis at the hotel. Finally, the enchanting island of Capri, with its wealth of designer boutiques, chic restaurants and captivating scenery, is a perfect place to end your touring holiday of Italy's southern islands. The attractive Hotel Luna can’t fail to please, with its inviting sun terrace overlooking the blue, blue Mediterranean Sea below and beautiful gardens to enjoy. After five nights in Capri, catch your return flight from Naples to London.

    Prices from about £3,710 per person.

    What’s included:
    • Five nights’ bed and breakfast the Hotel Belvedere, Taormina, Sicily.
    • Three nights’ bed and breakfast at the Hotel Villa Meligunis, Lipari.
    • Three nights’ bed and breakfast at the Capofaro, Salina.
    • Five nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the Hotel Luna, Capri.
    • Scheduled flight with British Airways London to Catania, returning Naples to London.
    • Private car transfers from Catania to Taormina, Taormina to Milazzo, Naples port to Capri, and Capri to Naples Airport
    • Hydrofoil tickets from Milazzo to Lipari, Lipari to Salina, Salina to Naples

    Click the tabs above to view our suggested day-by-day touring itinerary and to find out more about the hotels featured.
    Click here to find out more about how our touring holidays work or click here to download a pdf with information about some of our suggested Italian touring holidays.


    Touring holiday of Sicily, the Aeolian Islands and Capri

    Day-by-day itinerary

    Arrive in Catania, Sicily, and drive north to Taormina, where you will spend five nights

    A lesser-known town on the island of Sicily, Taormina is relatively untouched by the hand of tourism, and therefore retains its original character, charm, and exclusivity. Your hotel, the Hotel Belvedere, overlooks the beautiful waters of the Bay of Naxos, and is but a short distance from the botanic gardens of Villa Communale, and the Teatro Antico di Taormina. The yellow-ochre façade reflects the citrusy flavour of Sicily, and stands out against one of the greenest parts of Taormina. The hotel offers luxurious, chic rooms, with light decorations to bring out the bursting colours of the Sicilian landscape. Spend your days relaxing under the citrus trees beside the pool, eating light, but delicious, lunches in the poolside restaurant, and looking out across the radiant sea from one of the many terraces or gardens. Local businesses offer a variety of water sports such as wind-surfing, sailing, fishing, scuba-diving, canoeing, and snorkelling, or head out to the Alcantara Gorges in the Alcantara River Park to see the dazzling lava caves and waterfalls. Taormina, though small, has a great legacy that is evident when walking along its streets. The Teatro Antico di Taormina, the second largest ancient theatre in Sicily, is the source of much debate amongst the local residents, as to whether its origins are Greek or Roman. Taormina’s origins as a Greek Polis, however, point towards a Grecian beginning. The theatre comes alive all throughout the summer with the ‘Taormina Arte’ festival, featuring cinema, theatre, ballet, and music performances. The gothic Badia Vecchia and the Palazzo Duca di S. Stefano are the perfect places to witness the Arabian and Norman influences on the town. The former used to be used as an abbey, and still contains a number of subtle references to its religious past, while both were built to fortify the town’s defences. Nowhere in Taormina does its Arabian history become more apparent than in the intricately arched windows and stairways of the Palazzo Corvaja, built in the style of the first temple Abraham built in God’s name. The Corsa Umberto, the pedestrian-only town centre, is the ideal place to pick up some Sicilian souvenirs, from the beautiful hand-made ceramics, the fine leather, and the Sicillian wines, to the wrought iron and wooden products. Travel south to Syracuse to see the abundance of Roman and Greek remains, including the largest amphitheatre in Sicily, particularly in the Ortygia, or Old Town. Wander down Syracuse’s streets, observing the Duomo, the Temple of Athena, and the Ear of Dionysus, before exploring the catacombs and the beautiful seaside bays.

    Drive north and catch the ferry, or take a hydrofoil, across to Lipari, where you spend three nights

    Drive towards the most northern point of Sicily and catch the ferry across from Milazzo to the volcanic archipelago of Lipari, which takes around two and a half hours. Your hotel, the  Hotel Villa Meligunis, overlooks the harbour and shoreline of Lipari, the main town of the same name. The rooms are understated but elegant, capturing the intimacy and peace that comes with staying on such a small island. Dine in the hotel’s restaurant, sampling a blend of Aeolian and Sicilian cuisine, whilst gazing out across the blue sea and old fortified walls of the town. Unwind in the evenings post-dinner on the rooftop bar. During the day explore the winding streets of this small Italian town, purchasing samples of the Malvasia wine and the local capers, perhaps in a harbour-side restaurant. The main historic attraction of Lipari is the Castello, large enough and intricate enough to be a citadel in itself. Some of the buildings inside house a museum. Lipari’s archaeological museum pays testament to Lipari’s connections with ancient Greece and Rome, with its selection of Greek vases, amphorae from wrecks, and models of Greek theatrical masks that were found in the tombs on the island. Though the cathedral itself is fairly simplistic, the Norman Cloisters within are particularly beautiful, with delicate animal carvings on the capitals of the columns. Whilst in the town centre, pick up some of the pumice that the island is so well-known for. Though the pumice is not mined for with the same intensity that it once was opportunities across the island still exist for visitors to collect some of their own from its source. The island’s obsidian is also highly sought after, used as it is to make knives. Tour the island coast by car, stopping off at the various viewpoints and ruins en route. Perhaps visit the ruined and crumbling remains of the Roman baths, though access is not guaranteed. From the Marina Lunga, to the north, or the Marina Corta, to the south, take a hydrofoil to one of the other nearby Aeolian Islands, or simply enjoy the sea air and warmth of the Italian climate. Seek out, by boat, the Bronze Age settlements of Filicudi, to the west, and Panarea, to the east. Plan your trip for the end of the summer to ensure you spend the 24th August in Lipari to witness the celebrations and fireworks of the feast day of San Bartolo.

    Take a ferry or hydrofoil to the island of Salina, where you will spend three nights

    Take the ferry from Lipari to the port of Santa Marina Salina on the island of Salina. From here, drive north to the Hotel Capofaro. A serene building built in typical Aeolian style, with white-washed walls and pillar terraces, the hotel is surrounded by Malvasia vineyards that have served the hotel’s owners for thirty years. The lighthouse that gives the hotel its name, the Faro Lighthouse, is a small tower very near to the resort, on the edge of one of Salina’s steep cliff edges. For an educational and cultural experience in Salina, consider visiting the Museo dell’Emigrazione Eoliana, or simply observe the monuments and architecture in the small towns and villages as you visit them. The Santuario della Madonna del Terzito is the site of the Feast of Assumption on the 15th August every year, which attracts residents from every one of the Aeolian Islands, making it a veritable pilgrimage point. For a relaxing few days taking in the sun, arrange transport to the Spaggia dello Scario, and walk the considerable distance down the cliffside to the beach. With a small café on hand, clear blue waters, and a clean pebbly beach, the Spaggia dello Scario makes a great stop-off point for an afternoon of secluded relaxation. Alternatively, head west from your hotel to Malfa, where the streets are skirted by palm trees, and the beach is guarded by sand dunes. Wander inland through the countryside, kept unusually green by the fresh water springs, to find out why Salina is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Embark upon the hiking trails up either the Monte Fossa delli Fecci or Monte dei Porri volcanoes, or stay on ground level to see the impressive rocky window land formation that hangs like an arch across the sea. In the towns and villages the restaurants specialise in simple, home-style Italian food, particularly pasta, pizza, and seafood. The food is generally excellent, and the authentic Aeolian dining experience can be had in one of these local restaurants, or back at the Hotel Capofaro in the poolside restaurant that overlooks the sea. Far removed from the major tourist spots in mainland Italy, the shops on Salina serve mainly the local needs, but it is possible to pick up some of the local speciality cheeses, to take home if your luggage allows it, handmade clothes, lace, cashmere, wooden products, and pottery in one of the small shops owned by local residents. Return to your luxury hotel in the evenings to make the most of the massage facilities on site.

    Travel north to Capri via Naples, where you will stay for five nights

    Travel from Salina to Naples via hydrofoil, and then from Naples on to Hotel Luna in Capri. Your approach to Capri Town is along a road lined with orange groves and gardens, with a view of the rocky coastline beyond the cluster of white houses. To really experience the landscape of Capri, and see what is available for further exploration, take a boat trip on your first day around the island. Specific points of interest include the Faraglioni rocky outcrops to the east, most formidable when viewed from the sea, but also an excellent place for swimming. These rocks are also the home of a particular species of blue lizard. On the west side of the island you will pass the small opening of the Grotta Azzurra, a cave accessible only by swimming or on very small boats, famous because the waters inside glow a luminous, iridescent blue. The effect is caused by the light that enters the cave through a subaqueous window, but still has something of a magical, enchanting feel to it. Before you begin your tour of Capri on foot, purchase a pair of traditional Capri sandals sold at the Canfora shop, so you may walk across the island in the footwear worn by the likes of Sophia Loren. The Villa Jovis, on the most eastern point of Capri, perched dramatically on a sheer cliff edge, is the palace of Tiberius, now partially in ruins. The pattern of its walls is still intact, as is its grandeur and appeal. Visit the picturesque and peaceful Carthusian monastery of Certosa di San Giacomo, before appreciating the magnificent views of Il Faraglioni from the Belvedere di Tragara Punto. For more spectacular views, visit the Giardini Augusto, a series of beautiful terraced gardens containing exotic Capri plants that date back to the 1930s.Or, for more long, rambling walks along the Capri coastline, seek out the Via Krupp, that will take you to the Marina Piccola, and winds down the steep cliffside. The Sentiero dei Fortini is a path that links the many forts that once protected the island, at the end of which, you can rise high above Capri and witness its splendour from the sky on a cable car trip up the side of Monte Solaro. It is worth also visiting the Villa Malaparte, built on an eastern rocky outcrop, painted entirely red and built in an unusual modernist style. Back in Capri Town, make the most of the idyllic cafes on the famous Piazetta, or browse and buy to your hearts content in the numerous luxury shops. Before your stay in Capri is done, be sure to try the Limoncello that Capri is famous for, the Capri white wines, and the Torta Caprese, a cake of almonds and dark chocolate. 

    Leave Capri and return to Naples for your return flight
    Return to Naples via hydrofoil, where you can briefly explore the vibrant city, before catching your return flight to the UK.

    Travelling times for this touring holiday:
    Catania to Taormina: 50 minutes
    Taormina to Lipari: 4 hours
    Lipari to Salina: 1 hour 30 minutes
    Salina to Capri Town: 15 hours 30 minutes
    Capri Town to Naples: 1 hour 45 minutes

    Click the 'Hotel Information' tab to find out more about the hotels featured in this touring itinerary or click here to download a pdf with information about some of our suggested Italian touring holidays.

    Sicily, Aeolian Islands, and Capri

    Hotel Information

    These are the charming and well-located hotels that are featured in this touring holiday of Sicily, the Aeolian Islands and Capri. Alternative hotels are available in some destinations - please contact us for full details.

    Hotel Belvedere
    Taormina, Sicily
    The Hotel Villa Belvedere is a 4-star hotel located centrally near the botanical gardens of Taormina, perched on a hill-side affording beautiful views of the coast and the countryside towards Mount Etna. Occupying an historic Sicilian villa, the Villa Belvedere offers comfortable accommodation in reasonably good sized bedrooms, some of which have a balcony with tables and chairs. The bedrooms are simply but pleasingly equipped with wi-fi throughout. There is a small, prettily furnished lounge with paintings and comfortable chairs, a cosy bar area nearby and on a floor below, a breakfast room. Outside there is a sun terrace and swimming pool reached through terraced luxuriant gardens of tropical plants and bougainvillaea, above which tower immense palm trees. On the terrace by the pool, tasty light lunches are served. The Hotel Villa Belvedere can also arrange for you to join local excursions to all the major sites and places of interest.
    Find out more here.

    Hotel Villa Meligunis
    The Villa Meligunis is a glorious, small hotel of just 32 rooms, enjoying a central location in the ancient centre of the town of Lipari, a short step from the sea in what was the old fisherman's quarter, criss-crossed with alleys and lanes. Its location offers a perfect base for exploring the town of Lipari and getting out and about. There is a beach about 200 metres away but the Villa Meligunis also offers a free shuttle to a beach equipped with chairs and umbrellas in the summer season, although a local charge is payable for these. The Hotel Villa Meligunis occupies a restored 18th Century villa which is furnished in a style in keeping with its history and location. There is a charming courtyard and garden abounding in spiky cactus and purple-pink bougainvillaea. The Villa Meligunis has a restaurant on a panoramic terrace which affords beautiful views of the town and the sea. The bedrooms are tastefully furnished combining contemporary comfort and a regional flavour; some of them have their own balcony or terrace. Highly recommended in its own right and as a two centre with Panarea or Stromboli.
    Find out more here.

    Hotel Capofaro
    Located on the Aeolian island of Salina near the lighthouse of Faro, the Capofaro is owned by the Tasca d'Almerita family whose love for vineyards and the sea has made the Capofaro possible. Rich Mediterranean flora and fauna and cliffs of dark volcanic rock surround the hotel, and six acres of 30-year-old Malvasia vines stretch before you. The Capofaro hotel has 18 rooms grouped together in seven cottages built in typical Aeolian style with white walls, flat roofs and columned terraces. Rooms boast beautiful views across the vineyards to the sea with the islands of Panarea and Stromboli in the distance. Days can be spent walking in the surrounding countryside. The island of Salina boasts 18 scenic hiking trails and guests can explore this area with a guide if they wish. Boat trips to the other Aeolian Islands can also be arranged. The outdoor swimming pool and its terraces provide the perfect place to relax and there is also a tennis court and massage if you prefer. Guests at the Capofaro can take their evening meal of local cuisine in the elegant restaurant by the pool overlooking the sea.
    Find out more here.

    Hotel Luna
    The Hotel Luna enjoys a striking position in Capri town, just a couple of minutes’ walk from the centre, situated between the famous Chartreuse of San Giacomo and the Gardens of Augustus. Nestling into the rocky hillside of Capri amid beautiful gardens of olives, palms, roses and enjoying tremendous views of the sea and the Faraglioni rocks, the Hotel Luna offers comfortable 4 star accommodation in 54 rooms, many of which have a side or full sea view. The rooms with full sea view are well worth having as the views are very dramatic and give a feeling of being very close to the sea when in reality it is several hundred metres below you (in fact we recommend strongly that you book a room with side sea view, Type B, or a room with front sea view, Type C, to really make the most of the splendid situation of the hotel on the island). As you enter the Hotel Luna in Capri an understated yet traditional and comfortable feel greets you; there is a lounge area, a bar and outside terrace, restaurant and in the gardens a good-sized swimming pool and sun terrace, where a wide range of light and tasty lunches are served. Expressions clients have complimentary use of a sun bed by the pool. The sun terrace, pool area and garden terraces are perfect daytime spots for rest and relaxation and then in the evening you can dine in the Hotel Luna’s restaurant or easily wander into the centre of the town, which is quieter in the evenings once the day visitors have left the island. Half board at the Hotel Luna represents very good value for money.
    Find out more here.

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