Rick Steves is tagging along with with the Sicily tour group. I have been enjoying Rick's daily blog postings as we were on the tour at this time last year. We also had the same tour guide - Alfio. This was a fabulous tour that seemed to get better every day.
sicily tour is on my wish list, along with several others. :) Oh so many tours and not enough money (I got the time, tho). Gosh what is a person to do!! LOL
We are taking this tour in early October. We have been watching and hope we get Alfio as our tour guide. :-)
That was my first (of a grand total of two) RS tours. I took it in the fall of 2015. Wonderful tour.
Sicily in the off season in November is going to be our first RS tour. I've been following along with the blog reports, already counting the days!
I was thinking this would be my 2018 years trip, as it seems easier to see Sicily on tour. However, I've been looking at how to get to Sicily and the flights seem miserable, as I have my rules regarding which flights I take. Two stops or changing airports or a long night flight are not my idea of a good start to a trip... I don't know how you folks from the west coast manage! That being said, I'm watching/reading his blog and I might have to lower my flight standards.
@Wray- yes the flights to and from Sicily are miserable from the west coast. We are breaking our trip up with six days in Barcelona before Sicily and a few days in London after. There is just no easy way to get there so we figured we would experience other places also, since we have to stop anyway.
There are non-stop flights from both Frankfurt and Munich in Germany, to both Palermo and Catania in Sicily. There are likely be similar flights from other European cities. So, for example, if you can get from a major airport near you to Frankfurt or Munich (such as on United or Lufthansa), you may be able to get from home to Sicily in just two connecting flights.
PS: yes, the RS Sicily Tour is a wonderful experience!
When we took the RS tour last April, we flew Aer Lingus from Boston to Rome (connecting in Dublin) and stayed a couple of nights in Rome before proceeding to Sicily (Palermo) on Alitalia. At the end of the RS tour, we flew from Catania to Rome on Alitalia, spent the night in Rome, and took the Aer Lingus flight back to Boston. The Aer Lingus flight was so inexpensive compared to other flight options that it paid for the extra nights in Rome. It was nice to spend some time in Rome at the start of the trip, since we are familiar with the city. Another nice thing about Aer Lingus is that you go through US Customs and Immigration in Dublin on the way home. Now we have an Aer Lingus flight from my home airport (Hartford - Bradley) to Dublin. We will be taking the flight to Dublin on Thursday and joining the RS Villages of South England tour on Monday.
I took the Sicily tour last year and really enjoyed it. Our guide also does the villages of southern Italy tour. I asked her about it . According to her if you liked the Sicily tour you'll like the other. So I think you'll have a great trip. Please let us know how it goes.
Sorry, misread that as villages of southern Italy. Please disregard.
Hi Bob, I've been following Rick's travel blog too. Sort of hoping that he'll be on our tour this summer. That would really be something!
If you have the time a stop over for a day or two in a European city that has good connections to Palermo would be the best way to do it. Milan comes to mind along with London and, or course, Rome It also helps with the jet lag. You will want to be on top of things for the Sicily tour.
The problem with flying to Sicily from the West Coast is that the planes land in European hubs after direct flight to Sicily have taken off. So, you can ping pong to Rome and then on to Sicily or you can break it up.
We did this tour from the West Coast. We took Lufthansa from SFO to Frankfurt and spent two nights in Frankfurt. This allowed us to take a walking tour in Frankfurt and get our internal clock adjusted. It also gave me a chance to spend a couple days in Germany, speaking German, which I like.
Coming back we flew from Catania to Frankfurt, spent a night in Frankfurt, then flew out the next morning to SFO. Coming back, we could have flown direct through Munich, but we prefer the A380 out of Frankfurt to the A340 out of Munich for the same price.
This is an absolutely great tour with excellent food and excellent sites. I would recommend Sicily very highly!
We took the Best of Sicily tour in 2014 and loved it. Alfio was our guide on our previous South Italy tour and we were thrilled to have him as our guide for Sicily. He's the best! The itinerary has been changed since we went to Sicily and no longer includes Cefalu which is a shame. Our tour was fast-paced and rather exhausting so it's probably good that they revised it. In any event, the food was fabulous and we got to visit with not one but two Contessas. I hope Rick does a Sicily book soon because when we went we were sent a Lonely Planet book which was strange. Getting to Palermo from the West Coast was a bit of an ordeal, but the tour was worth it.
We have taken 14 RS tours. We fly to Europe from Seattle picking a non-stop airline to a hub in Europe and then moving on to wherever our tour begins. Last year we flew to London, spent a week there, and then flew to Lisbon to begin our Portugal tour.
We use to have many more choices of non-stop flights by different airlines out of Seattle but about half of them no longer fly out of Seattle. 9 1/2 hours from Seattle to Europe.
I am looking at this tour for 2018 maybe.....and for us, flying US into Rome then taking Ryan Air or Airitalia from Rome to Palermo then Catania back to Rome. We would stay several days in Rome pre-tour but fly back home the day the tour ends. Right now Norwegian just put out some fairly cheap flights RT to Rome from Newark, Oakland, and LA. Almost makes me want to book that trip now!