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Taormina, Sicily

Golden Eagle Danube Express Sicilian Odyssey

10-day tailor-made rail journey from £9,490 pp incl. flights


Short description

Explore Italy from top to toe on this 12-day luxury rail tour

In Brief

  • 2 Nights Budapest
  • 1 Night Venice
  • 1 Night San Marino
  • 1 Night Bari
  • 1 Night Pompeii
  • 1 Night Palermo
  • 1 Night Agrigento
  • 1 Night Syracuse
  • 1 Night Taormina


Recommended for:
Food & wine | History & culture | Rail journey

Italy is overflowing with natural and cultural treasures in its historic cities, verdant islands and crumbling ruins. The architecture is vast and varied, the art is internationally celebrated, the scenery is second to none and the food and wine is among the best in the world. On this 12-day luxury rail journey aboard the award-winning Golden Eagle Danube Express, you’ll explore the very best of this intoxicating country, from the waterways of Venice to Pompeii’s ash-laden streets and Bologna’s culinary delights. Then, once you’ve traversed the mainland’s highlights you’ll board one of the few rail ferries in the world to explore Sicily’s hilltop towns, idyllic coastlines and Roman archaeology. 

Day by day itinerary

Day 1

Your holiday begins in the historic jumble of Budapest with a one-night stay at the iconic Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace.

Once you’ve settled in, a welcome reception dinner will be held at the hotel, giving you the chance to meet fellow guests and learn more about the journey ahead. 

Stay:  Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace

Meals: D

Day 2
Budapest and Venice

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. A morning city tour includes the Royal Palace, St. Mathias Church and a panoramic view of the city from Gellert Hill.

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

Stay: Golden Eagle Danube Express

Meals: B L D

Day 3

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 you will have the opportunity to take a morning tour around the highlights of this romantic city followed by free time in the afternoon. In the evening enjoy dinner in the city before returning to the train late in the evening for departure heading down the eastern seaboard of Italy towards San Marino

Stay: Golden Eagle Danube Express

Meals: B L D

Day 4
San Marino

San Marino is a mountainous micro-state surrounded by north-central Italy. Among the world's oldest republics, 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 option is available today where the opportunity to drive a classic Ferrari race car in Maranello, the home of Ferrari and the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One racing team.

Stay: Golden Eagle Danube Express

Meals: B L D

Day 5

This morning, enjoy stunning coastal views from our carriages as we travel along the eastern Italian seaboard to our next stop in the Apulia region at Bari. You will enjoy a guided tour of Bari’s Florentine style old-town and its domineering fortress and castle that has stood guarding the port since the 12th century. You also have the chance to visit a local olive oil mill complete with a tasting just a few minutes from the station.

Tonight as we sit down for dinner we’ll travel across central Italy west through the Matese hills.

Stay: Golden Eagle Danube Express

Meals: B L D

Day 6
Naples and 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 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 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. Lunch is at the President Restaurant, where there is an opportunity to enjoy a tasting of Pompeian bread. One of the staff from President join the group after lunch for an extended visit of the Pompeii excavation, and enjoy the method of bread production of Pompeian era.

Stay: Golden Eagle Danube Express

Meals: B L D

Day 7
Palermo and Corleone

Board one of the very few rail ferries in the world as you cross the narrow channel to Sicily. The first stop after the crossing is the island’s flamboyant capital, Palermo. Following a gentle walking tour of the city you’re invited for an aperitif and intimate concert at the stu Teatro Massimo, the largest theatre in Italy and the third largest in Europe. In the afternoon you might choose to explore Palermo further or join a tour of Corleone where you can learn about the notorious Mafia families made famous by Martin Scorsese’s motion picture, The Godfather.

Stay: Golden Eagle Danube Express

Meals: B L D

Day 8
Agrigento and Ragusa

Wake up in Agrigento, home to Italy’s most impressive Greek ruins. While the city itself lacks characters, we will focus on the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Valle Dei Templi with a privately lead tour around the remains of the ancient city.

This afternoon we will continue onto Ragusa. This quaint small town has plenty of character with its many grey stone houses and churches littering the hillside making for wonderful picture post-card scenery. A cooking demonstration at a nearby hotel will allow us to get hands on with local delicacies before a brief walking tour of the historical old-town.

Tonight the train will continue on to Syracuse.

Stay: Golden Eagle Danube Express

Meals: B L D

Day 9
Syracuse & Catania

The former Byzantine empire was both founded and raised at our first destination of the day in Syracuse. We’ll escape the hustle and bustle of the city itself and take the view from the water with a tour around the Island of Ortigia before heading back to the train for lunch.

In the afternoon the train will meander north-eastwards, through the scenic Sicilian landscape with views of Mount Etna before arriving in Catania where free time allows for the exploration of various characterful squares and churches

Stay: Golden Eagle Danube Express

Meals: B L D

Day 10

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 take lunch amongst the vineyards.

This afternoon we’ll have time to relax amongst the gorgeous medieval churches and the stunning Greek theatre.

Tonight, we toast the success of the tour at our farewell dinner, complete – of course – with champagne.

Stay: NH Collection Taormina

Meals: B L D

Days 11

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your for your flight back to the UK.

Meals: B



Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Deluxe

10-day tailor-made rail journey from £9,490 incl. flights


Heritage Class

from £9,490 pp. incl. flights

Deluxe Class

from £14,995 pp. incl. flights

Superior Deluxe Class

from £18,000 pp. incl. flights


  • Complimentary UK airport departure lounge access
  • Flights from UK to Venice and returning from Catania or vice versa
  • Return airport transfers
  • 1 night accommodation Four Seasons Gesham Palace, Budapest
  • 1 nights accommodation at the NH Collection, Taormina, Sicily
  • 8 nights accommodation on the Golden Eagle Danube Express in the cabin of your choice

Southbound Venice - Taormina    

06 September – 16 Sep 2019

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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