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THE TRIP IS BACK!

WHO'S READY TO TRAVEL AGAIN?! I hope you guys all survived this crazy past year and are ready to venture back out and see the world again! I am very excited to formally announce the 2022 Ski & See Europe trip!  We will be skiing in Alpe d'Huez, France and sightseeing in one-of-a-kind Sicily.  
 
Alpe d'Huez, France
January 25  - January 31
Alpe d'Huez is one of Europe's top ski resorts and was voted the #1 ski resort in Europe by the European Ski Trade magazine Association in 2017.   The ski terrain is massive, the village is lively and the views are breathtaking!
 
You may recognize Alpe d'Huez as it is one of the stunning French villages that the Tour d' France rides through. With over 250km of skiing that is accessible for all levels of skiers, it is known for the superb expert free ride terrain, but should be equally recognized for the near perfect alpine offerings for novices & beginners. The terrain near the main village offers some of the best learn-to-ski slopes & facilities in the world. Alpe d' Huez is also the longest advanced run in Europe at 10 miles long!  Alpe d'Huez ski map:  

This lively village is surrounded by massive Alpine mountains that soar high above the village.  Alpe d'Huez is well known for its lively apres ski (happy hour) both on and off the mountain with top notch nightlife scene that is arguably the best in France. 
 
You will have the option to give your legs a break from skiing and spending the day visiting Grenoble, France!  Just over an hour from the ski village, Grenoble is the French town you didn't know you needed to see.  Grenoble, nicknamed the ‘capital of the Alps’, is surrounded by soaring snow-capped peaks and luscious green forests – making the views here some of the best in Europe. More than 2,000 years old, this ancient city has charmed visitors for centuries with its stunning architecture and gorgeous period character.
 
 


SICILY OPTIONAL EXTENSION
January 31 
(4 or 6 night sightseeing extension option)
I traveled to Sicily ten years ago and absolutely fell in love with this amazing island and you will too!  The culture, the history, the food and the incredible amount of sights you can see in such a short distance is mind boggling.  With more than 10,000 square miles (200 miles across), Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and it is one of the most fascinating places in all of Europe. 
 
First colonized by the Romans, then the ancient Greeks (Byzantine) and eventually the Arabs (Normans), Sicily has been under the rule of many cultures over its 3000 years of history. It only became part of Italy in 1946, so it is very different than the rest of Italy.  So much so that natives of Sicily consider themselves Sicilian first. You may have visited Italy before but you haven't been to Sicily!

We will be on the move in Sicily, visiting seven cities and staying overnight in four of them.  Each place we visit will be different than the other with varying architecture, history and cultures.  Our first stop is Taormina, also know as “the pearl of the Mediterranean.”  With breathtaking views around every winding corner, you will know why this has been the most popular tourist destination in Italy for over 100 years!  Next we will spend the morning hiking and driving through the active volcano fields of Mount Etna.  You will smell the volcanic ash and feel the rocks through your fingertips at Europe's most active volcano!

We move onto the amazing town of Syracuse, which at one time was the largest city in the ancient world.  By foot, we will be exploring ancient Greek ruins and the quaint coastal town that it has now become.  From there we will be visiting the Baroque cities of Noto and Ragusa.  Both built up on a hill high above sea level, it will feel like walking through history as we meander through the picturesque streets and piazzas.  

Food throughout these towns are unparalleled to any italian food you have eaten.  The locally grown fruits and vegetables are enhanced by the volcanic earth from which it is grown.  Dishes are made from scratch and the accompanying Sicilian wine are sure to please!
We spend our fifth morning in the magical Villa Romana del Casale.  A UNESCO World Heritage site, you will be awed by the worlds largest and best preserved mosaics.  We finish up our trip in Palermo with its Arab-Norman domes which is a sharp contrast from the sites and sounds previously on our trip.  Palermo is a buzzing city at the edge of Europe and at the center of the ancient world.  It's a place where two cultures intertwine with souk-like markets rubbing up against baroque churches.

Sicily Snapshot Itinerary
Day 1  Taormina
Day 2  Mount Etna/Syracuse
Day 3  Syracuse
Day 4  Noto/Ragusa
Day 5  Villa Romana del Casale
 / Palermo (4 night option departs)
Day 6  Palermo
Day 7  Depart

There are four trip options... 

TRIP OPTIONS:
#1  Ski France (6 nights in France)
#2  Ski France and See Sicily 6 nights (6 nights in France, 6 nights in Sicily)
#3  Ski France and See Sicily 4 nights (6 nights in France, 4 nights in Sicily)
#4  Sicily Sightseeing (6 nights in Sicily)

I will be putting the finishing touches on the trip this week and you will soon be sent the final pricing and trip details for the ski and sightseeing extension portions of the trip! If you can do the full Sicily extension, I highly recommend it.  As always, please forward this email on to anyone that you feel may be interested in joining the trip.
 
Gary Hazan

Trip Leader
(cell) 312-375-3562
gary@playerssports.net
 
 
 

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