TREASURES OF SICILY

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Visiting the cathedral at Monreale.

What did you think of your group leader?

Salvos is a lovely man. A font of knowledge on volcanology, flora and foods on Sicily. If he could not immediately answer a question he was able to research and let us know later. He took us to markets, deli's and restaurants where we could enjoy a variety of Sicilian foods and wines.

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

I was pleased that I took walking boots for Etna and the Zingaro reserve for although the climbs are easy the terrain is hard on the foot and thinner soles would be very uncomfortable. This trip visits well appointed hotels so a hairdryer is not necessary but you could make room in your case for some prettier clothes for the evenings.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

In the planning stage we wanted a trip that included Monreale and climbing Mount Etna was just a bonus. However in the end we thoroughy enjoyed the huge Etna Reserve and the archeogical sites of Siracusa, Agrigento and Selinunte. The wine tasting event was very diferent to what we expected but most appreciated. We really enjoyed the walk on the Zingaro reserve but would have preferred to walk the whole length and possibly miss out Segesta, but we appreciate that may not have suited the whole group. One of the highlights of the trip was the evening meal at the Baroque town of Noto - the ambience was fabulous, as was the food. However the highlight of the whole trip for us was the visit to the cathedral at Monreale. We knew it was the one of the greatest examples of Norman architecture in the world but it was the completeness of the mosaics that truly blew us away. We would have loved a whole day there but would not have missed the tour of Palermo. Erice and Cefalu are delightful as is the more touristy Taormina. So much to see and so little time - we will have to go back!