The Golden Eagle Danube Express - Sicilian Odyssey
Discover Venice through Verona, Pompeii and more on this 7-day luxury rail journey aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express
Breathtaking scenery and an ever-changing view of spectacular proportions are a certainty. Enjoy coastal views of the tranquil and inviting Adriatic and the awe-inspiring panorama of Mount Vesuvius. Board the Golden Eagle Danube Express for a truly remarkable journey of a lifetime.
Italy is overflowing with ancient history, none more prevalent than the crumbling ruins of Pompeii and the few remains of the catastrophic eruption of 79AD that turned a once-thriving city into a virtual ghost town. The architecture is vast and varied; from the quirky flamboyance of Palermo to the medieval influences of Naples.
Highlights and Inclusions
- 7-night trip on the Golden Eagle Danube Express
- 1-night hotel stay in Budapest
- 2-night hotel stay in Taormina
- Tour of Budapest
- Mount Vesuvius
- Tour of Pompeii
- Concert at the Teatro Massimo
- Valle Dei Templi
Day 1 – Budapest
Arrival day in Budapest, where you will be met and transferred to the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace for a one-night stay. Enjoy a welcome reception dinner in the elegant surrounds of this art nouveau landmark where you can meet your fellow travellers on this highly anticipated journey.
Day 2 – Budapest
Budapest is two cities separated by the River Danube. The old city of Buda and the imposing Royal Palace dominate the city with stunning views across the Danube to the commercial heart of Pest. Our morning city tour includes the Royal Palace, St. Mathias Church and a panoramic view of the city from Gellert Hill. We enjoy a drinks reception in the impressive Royal Waiting Room at Budapest Nyugati station before boarding the Golden Eagle Danube Express. Settle in to your cabin and enjoy a late lunch as the train heads out of the Hungarian capital and south across the border into neighbouring Slovenia and onto Italy.
Day 3 – Venice
Venice is a truly captivating city of romance; its unrivalled beauty takes away the breath of first time visitors and regulars alike. The Golden Eagle Danube Express will arrive in Santa Lucia station at breakfast and guests will have the opportunity to take a morning tour around the highlights of this romantic city followed by free time in the afternoon. This evening enjoy dinner in the city before returning to the train late in the evening for our departure as we head down the eastern seaboard of Italy towards our next destination.
Day 4 – San Marino
San Marino is a mountainous micro-state surrounded by north-central Italy. Among the world’s oldest repub-lics, it retains much of its historic architecture. On the slopes of Monte Titano sits the capital, also called San Marino, known for its medieval walled Old Town and narrow cobblestone streets. The Three Towers, castle-like citadels dating to the 11th century, sit atop Titano’s neighbouring peaks.
A touring options is available this afternoon where you could visit the Ferrari factory (additional charges applicable) in nearby Maranello to take a drive around the test-track in a classic race car.
Day 5 – Bari
Today we spend the day touring the charming Apulia region, including visits to the unique architectural sites of Matera and Alberobello, both declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites, followed by a guided tour of the Florentine style old-town of Bari and its domineering fortress and castle that has stood guarding the port since the 12th century. This evening as we sit down for dinner our train travels across central Italy through the Matese Hills.
Day 6 – Naples & Pompeii
The city of Naples is centrally located on the Gulf of Naples between Mount Vesuvius and the volcanic area of Campi Flegrei and is a melting pot of many cultures. This morning we enjoy a panoramic tour of the city, including a visit to the fascinating Galleria Borbonica, an ancient underground passage constructed for military purposes to connect the Royal Palace to military barracks in the city.
From here we visit the crumbling ruins of Pompeii. This famous town which was destroyed by lava flow in the momentous eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD has been painstakingly conserved over centuries to keep visitors coming to the region. Our guests will be welcomed at the President Restaurant for lunch, where we have the opportunity to enjoy a tasting of Pompeian bread. One of the staff from President will join the group, after lunch, for an extended visit of the Pompeii excavation, and enjoy the method of bread production of Pompeian era.
Day 7 – Palermo
Overnight the Golden Eagle Danube Express travels from the Italian mainland across the Straits of Messina on one of the very few ‘train ferries’ in the world to the island of Sicily.
Our first stop this morning is the flamboyant and feisty capital of Sicily, Palermo. Here we’ll take in a gentle walking tour of the city’s bustling old-town and enjoy the city’s melting pot of architec-tural styles. We will finish the tour with an aperitif and small concert at the stunning Teatro Mas-simo, the biggest theatre in Italy and the third largest in Europe.
This afternoon you have the choice to continue browsing the capital or take a transfer to Corleone to learn about the notorious Mafia families made famous by Francis Ford Coppola's motion pic-ture, The Godfather.
Day 8 – Agrigento & Ragusa
Wake up in Agrigento, home to Italy’s most impressive Greek ruins. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Valle Dei Templi with a private tour around the remains of the ancient city.
This afternoon, continue onto Ragusa. This quaint small town has plenty of character with its many grey stone houses and churches dotting the hillside, making for wonderful picture postcard scenery. Get familiar with local delicacies during a cooking demonstration at a nearby hotel, then take a brief walking tour of the historic old-town. Tonight the train continues on to Syracuse.
Day 9 – Syracuse & Catania
The former Byzantine empire was founded and raised at our first destination of the day in Syracuse. We’ll take a walking tour before escaping the hustle and bustle of the city itself and enjoy the view from the water with a tour around the Island of Ortigia before heading back to the train for lunch. This afternoon the train will meander north-eastwards, allowing us to enjoy passing through the scenic Sicilian landscape with views of Mount Etna before arriving in Catania where you will have the option of free time to explore the various characterful squares and churches. This evening we arrive into Taormina, our final destination and transfer to the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo for a two-night stay.
Day 10 – Taormina
With views overlooking the gulf of Naxos and Mount Etna, the city of Taormina makes for a truly memorable setting for the end of our voyage. A privately guided tour of the Mount Etna museum with a local volcanologist will start our day before taking time on the slopes of the geological wonder itself at a Sicilian Palmento. Here you’ll sample local wines and eat lunch amongst the vineyard. This afternoon, relax among the gorgeous medieval churches and the stunning Greek theatre before we toast the success of the tour on our final evening at our farewell dinner, complete of course with fine wine.
Day 11 - Taormina
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for onward departures.
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Heritage cabins are 33 square foot private compartments that include a full-length couch for daytime seating (converting into an upper and lower berth in the evening), a large picture window, clothes hanging storage and power outlets, and remote controlled air-conditioning. Toilet and shower facilities are located at opposite ends of the Heritage cars.
Deluxe cabins are 83 square foot private compartments that include a private en suite bathroom with cubicle shower, two armchairs and a free standing chair for daytime seating (converting to two beds for the evening), a large picture window, full-length wardrobe and power outlets, and remote controlled air-conditioning.
Superior Deluxe Class
Superior Deluxe cabins, with private en-suite facilities, offer the ultimate in European rail accommodation regarding space, facilities and comfort. Limited to just 4 cabins per departure, each cabin offers comfortable daytime seating with a full-length sofa and two additional chairs. The large cabin also benefits from two full-size picture windows, one of which is openable to add to the bright and airy feel of the interior. Each evening the cabin is transformed into a luxurious bedroom with a UK-standard King Size bed. All cabins have, as standard, a large double wardrobe with excellent storage space, individually controlled air-conditioning, lighting with dimmer switches, individual reading lights, in-cabin Wi-Fi and USB ports, power sockets and a safe.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|6th September 2019||$12,495||Book Now|
|6th September 2019||$19,995||Book Now|
|6th September 2019||$23,995||Book Now|
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Heritage Class: Departs 6th September 2019 ($12,495)
Deluxe Class: Departs 6th September 2019 ($19,995)
Superior Deluxe: Departs 6th September 2019 ($23,995)
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