Circumnavigation of Sicily: May 08—17, 2008
Aboard the Yacht Callisto
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Peter MatthiessenPeter Matthiessen is one of America's leading nature writers and novelists. His adventur...
Segesta — Photo: Travel Dynamics
A circumnavigation of enchanting Sicily aboard the elegant Callisto combines birding at several parks and preserves with rich history, culture, and architecture.
Perched at a crossroads of Mediterranean civilization, lovely Sicily offers a complete travel experience. Beautiful scenery, vibrant cities, fishing villages, and groves of lemons and olives bring to life classical images of the island. Inhabited for at least 2,000 years, Sicily has played host to many of the world's most influential powers, including the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans.
For this exciting departure VENT and Travel Dynamics International are teaming up to provide participants a unique opportunity to experience the Mediterranean's largest island via a full circumnavigation. Unlike any other tour to Sicily, this trip provides the best of Greek and Roman history and architecture with visits to some of the island's most productive birding areas. And, at this season, spring migration is in full force and thousands of birds are surging north from their African wintering grounds.
Travel will be aboard the 34-guest Callisto, an elegant all-suite private yacht. Exuding a warm elegance, the Callisto provides excellent viewing conditions, delicious cuisine, and luxurious cabins.
Our journey begins in Palermo, one of the world's most important cities from the ninth through twelfth centuries, and a pivotal epicenter during the Crusades. From Palermo we'll sail to Reposto on the eastern side of the island, navigating the Strait of Messina, the mythical narrow waterway that separates Sicily from the mainland. From here the rising cone of Mt. Etna provides a scenic and historical backdrop.
Continuing around the island we'll call at several important ports, including majestic Syracuse, Porto Empedocle, and Trapani. Land excursions to some of the finest archaeological sites surviving from antiquity include the 15,000-seat Greek Theatre, Doric temples at Agrigento, and the remarkably well-preserved temples of Hercules, Concord, and Juno. Aside from such prominent locations, we'll include visits to several major archaeological museums.
Such important nature reserves as Oasi del Sime, Di Vendicari, and Bélice are excellent destinations for viewing resident wading birds and songbirds, as well as migrant waterfowl, shorebirds, and hawks. More than 250 species of birds have been recorded from each of these refuges.
Joining us as our staff historian is Dr. Larry Wolff, a renowned researcher and professor of European history at New York University. We are honored to have Dr. Wolff with us for this departure as he is widely recognized as a gifted teacher and lecturer, and a leading scholar of intellectual and cultural history of Early Modern Europe.
With historical and natural history interpretation throughout the trip, there simply is no better way to experience the charm of Sicily.
Most travel, accommodations, and cuisine aboard the Callisto; conditions on board excellent; several land excursions by bus; excellent cuisine; historical and natural history interpretation throughout; warm temperatures.
Announcing special guest, Peter Matthiessen.