Sicily Was Grand But Tour Needs Tweaking
Sicily was beautiful and this tour provides an excellent taste of this lovely island, but, tour groups for this trip should be limited to a maximum of 12 people, as 17 is too many for this trip and resulted in numerous logistical problems. The bus was too big to fit down the narrow roads, meaning that we were frequently dropped a long way from our destination and had to walk the remaining distance, including carrying heavy luggage. A smaller group would have enabled a smaller vehicle to be used that could get closer to hotels and sites. Most of the destinations are small towns and do not have large hotels, meaning that a large group has to be widely dispersed across various accommodation, which takes lots of time and logistical effort to organise. When you're tired after a long day's sight seeing you just want to get to your accommodation and not have to lug your stuff for miles and then wait for ages whilst all of the logistics of who stays where are sorted out. Some of the accommodation also appeared to have been changed at the last minute to accommodate our group size and we were disappointed by the quality of some of the accommodation, which did not meet our expectations. The hotel in Palermo was dirty, and the hotel in Taormina had poor standards and served us stale croissants for breakfast, along with random leftovers from the previous evening. Some of the beds were terrible, with the bed in the hotel at Syracuse being like a slab of concrete. Restaurants in Sicily are also not geared up to cater for large parties and we encountered numerous issues with the group meals, including, in one case, waiting over an hour just for drinks. Two and a half hours later some people in the group still did not have food and many of the orders came out wrong. This was the worst experience, but it wasn't unique. Sicily also has towns with many steps and slopes, and a lot of the guest houses do not have lifts, meaning that you have to carry your own suitcases up flights of stairs. This is something that needs to be considered if you are a person of limited mobility. However, many of the towns are truly beautiful and we did enjoy the trip despite the above problems.