This tour was excellent for its content! The first half of the day was Mt. Etna and the 2nd half Taormina, including the Greek Theater. Loved it. We were a family group of 7 - English. We were the only English on the tour, the others were French or Italian. Our tour director tried to cover everything in all 3 languages, but that was difficult to do. Our only complaint would be that we felt we missed a lot of content as his main delivery was in the other 2 languages. Not quite what was advertised. Other than that, it was great and we would highly recommend.
Mt. Etna was busy so we couldn and #39;t make the ski lift to the top but out guide made the experience great. Lots of interesting facts along the way. The bus was very clean and comfortable.
I liked the tour very much and was lucky to be picked up at my hotel even though the hotel was not included in the hotels from where you would be expected to picked up from.
The weather was perfect for visiting Etna. I went all the way to the top, where there, of course, was a bit windy.
After Etna we were allowed some two hours in Taormina, but then again you got to wait for the shuttle bus from the carpark and you do not know the city. Even though it is not very big I gave up to see the antique theater being afrait of not being able to be back on time.
Our guide had a hard time translating into English, Dutch and French. She did that constantly while we were on the bus, except for the last hour. In my opinion it would have been nice if she only had translated into English and French and then not constantly. Actually, I was considering it to be a good idea for the participants to have their on audio guide from where to choose their preferred language and also the degree of information to receive. If you ask me today I really do not recall very much of what she said. She did an enormous job, though.
Enjoyed tour, tour guide Mariio was knowledgable and friendly.
only downside was that it was a long day. 630am pick up and then dropped back off at around 7pm
Long journey but Mount Etna was worth it despite the long queues and the fact our Etna guide only spoke Italian and French despite a request for English and us having booked this tour in English.
Five negative points to make:
1. My first experience of a multilingual guide - nice guy, who spoke Italian and French beautifully but English erratically, and liked to show off his linguistic skills to the Italian and French passengers which he did, at the expense of the bemused Brits on board.
2. Guide never had any intention of letting the few of us on the tour who wanted to view Etna's main crater, queue for up to an hour for transport to the top of the volcano. He must have known before we arrived how long the wait would be - he told us he had been taking groups to Etna for at least 15 years. Queues to visit the top must be a regular occurence but hanging around at Etna would have screwed up the schedule. Fair enough, but why, in that case, advertise the trips to the top at all?
3. No stop for a photo opportunity at Messina although, again, it was mentioned in the blurb advertising the trip.
4. Left Taormina at 4.00pm and arrived back at Cefalu at around 7.15pm without any comfort break of any kind. In fact a woman was so desperate she had to ask to be let off the coach in Cefalu and run into a cafe for the toilet.
5. Finally, although we reached Cefalu first on the coast road we went straight past and on to other hotels well to the west of the town. Then, when we finally got back to Cefalu, we had to sit waiting for a shuttle bus because the guide claimed the coach driver would have trouble negotiating the twisting roads and traffic in Cefalua. Nonsense, he was in fact a very good driver and had managed far tighter and tougher challenges earlier in the tour. It was simply too much trouble for them driving into Cefalu.
Not good enough, Viator. You'll have to try harder I'm afraid.
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