We are pleased to introduce our Sicily tour for 2019! We are offering several options to travel around this incredible island, bursting at the seams with culture & history. You will explore these towns with a local Italian guide who knows the ins & outs and off-the-beaten path places to stop. Travel like an Italian, with Italians! We take pride in ensuring each hotel is hand-picked by our staff, highlighting only the best of the best, unique and authentic places for our guests to stay.

Green Italy Tours focuses on full immersion into the best of Italy. We specialize in award-winning restaurants and local cuisine, the best wineries with organic wines and accommodation at only hotels that meet our high standards. Our team personally vets each location to ensure it meets our expectations. We are a diverse team here at Green Italy and with that comes a good balance of luxury, quaint & friendly, family run, authentic and comfortable. From hotels on the sea to charming country estates, we can accommodate any request based on our clients needs.

Our collection of accommodation is something we’ve been working on for decades. We only include the hotels that leave us wanting more! Each with its own special touch, our hotels have wonderful staffs to welcome you warmly and they always leave a positive impression on our guests.

For our 2019 Sicily tours we have three options:

Option #1: 7 days / 6 nights starting from Taormina

Option #2: Extended stay - 10 days / 9 nights starting from Taormina

Option #3: Jewish Heritage Tour of Sicily beginning in Palermo

Option #1 + Option #2

2x nights in Taormina

Day #1: Arrival in Sicily! We will welcome you at the Catania airport (*see note below for alternative travel options) and bring you to your accommodation in the famous resort town of Taormina, perched high over the sea. After getting situated in our hotel, we’ll go explore the town on foot and visit the town’s center. There we’ll have the chance to visit the incredible theater that was begun in 3rd century BC by the Greeks, and then rebuilt by the Romans. With a view of Mount Etna in the distance, you’ll have your first introduction to Sicily and its history, landscape and sea all at your fingertips. You’ll have some time to relax at your accommodation or we can go out for an aperitivo before enjoying dinner in the center of town.

Day #2: Today you have two options as to how to spend your morning. Option #1: Relax at one of Taormina’s famous sandy beaches. Option #2: Partake in a guided excursion to visit Mount Etna, Europe’s highest and most active volcano! You can climb to the summit or take the railroad that runs around the base to see the volcano from below. After either option, we’ll head to a winery for a wine tasting and lunch before heading into Catania in the afternoon. Catania has a famous shipping strip that amazingly ends with a magnificent view of Etna. We’ll see the Piazza del Duomo, one of the most imaginative lava-built Baroque buildings in Sicily and enjoy a Sicilian cannoli. We’ll head back to Taormina to relax at your hotel or on the beach before going out for dinner.

Platinum & Platinum Plus Luxury Option: For our Platinum Luxury Plus Package, we have the incredible Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea. This incredible secluded resort is just a 3 minute drive from the town’s center (with available rides as requested). With a full restaurant, spa, pool, pool bar, beach bar and romantic rooms, this luxury option will not disappoint. Upgrades to suite options for Platinum Plus.

Gold Option: For our Gold Package, we offer guests one of two options: Villa Le Terrazzo or Iancu Charme Apartments. Villa Le Terrazzo has beautiful, grand terraces with panoramic views that let its guests view everything from Etna to the Naxos Bay. The Iancu Charme Apartments are conveniently located and equipped with private balcony and a community pool.

Silver Option: For our Silver Package, we offer guests the Porta Del Tocco, a quaint 3-star hotel with lovely accommodation in a very convenient location.

2x nights in Siracusa (Syracuse)

Day #3: We’ll begin the day with a visit to Mikveh - Jewish ritual bath, the most archaic that has ever been found in all of Europe.  We’ll then head to our accommodation in Otygia, the old town of Siracusa. Siracusa was the most important Greek city from the 5th to 3rd centuries, and according to Roman consul Cicero, also the most beautiful. After getting settled into our accommodation, we’ll visit the extradorinaiy Duomo, begun in 1728. After lunch, we’ll do a walking tour of the old town where we’ll see some of the highlights of Siracusa: Palazzo Beneventano del Bosco, Santa Lucia all Badia, Fonte Aretuse among others.

Day #4: Today you have the option of doing a boat tour or cooking course. If you choose the boat tour, we’ll go out in the morning for an excursion to explore the Ortygia Island and stop for lunch. You’ll be able to swim in the sea and see Sicily from the water. If you choose the cooking course, you will learn the secrets of Sicilian cooking in an authentic Italian kitchen. The course will be followed by lunch! In the afternoon, we’ll relax on one of the many gorgeous beaches that line the coast before reuniting for dinner at the always wonderful Don Camillo.

Platinum Plus Option:  For our Platinum Plus Package, we offer guests an exquisite stay at Hotel Henry’s House. Featuring authentic antique furniture and artwork by local Sicilian artists, this hotel is the utmost in luxury. Panoramic views on stunning terraces.

Platinum Option: For our Platinum Package, we offer guests a stay at Algila Ortigia. Algilà Ortigia Charme Hotel stands on the ancient “Mastra Rua”, a street that from the 14 th century was where the most important noblemen of the city had their residences. The refined historic building that houses the hotel is the result of the fusion of two buildings and a recent restoration has preserved the original structure, creating an intriguing distribution of the rooms that is fascinating.

Gold Option: For our Gold Package, we offer guests a stay Alla Giudecca. This ancient building maintains its original personality with stone floors and museum exhibits on every wall, in every corner and every high vaulted and echoing corridor.

Silver Option: For our Silver Package, we offer guests this 3-star bed & breakfast Maison Ortigia. In the heart of Ortigia, behind the Duomo Square next to the Teatro Massimo di Siracusa, Maison Ortigia B & B and Apartment is a completely refurbished and finely furnished dwelling.

2x Nights in Modica/Ragusa/Noto

Day #5 & #6: Today we’ll head to the incredible area of Modica, Ragusa and Noto. We choose to explore these three towns together because they are very close to one another and each offer something to be desired. Noto and Ragusa are wonderful jewels of Sicilian baroque architecture, rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693. Giuseppe Lanza, Duke of Camastra, employed the best architects of the day. The result, initiated just a week after the earthquake struck, is a late Baroque fantasy played out in fragile, honey-colored stone. Burnished a dusty gold in the fading light and flanked by huge palm trees, this initial introduction to Noto is a surprise, more north African than Mediterranean and yet somehow so Sicilian, enigmatic and unruly.

Noto's cathedral rises impressively above Corso Vittorio Emmanuele and is approached by a wide and graceful flight of steps. The dome collapsed in 1996, but is now back in place, and the whole building has been restored after years of grime and neglect. Simply wander the length of the Corso, as long and graceful as an arrow, diving down side streets here and there, and not missing Via Nicolaci, at the top of which is the beautiful elliptical façade of the Chiesa di Montevirgine. Along one side of Via Nicolaci stands the Palazzo Villadorata, with many playfully buttressed balconies and sculptures of horses, griffons, nymphs and cherubs; its poignant Empire-style interior, with frescoed walls and ceilings, has been miraculously preserved.

At the bottom of the street stands the church of San Carlo, whose bell tower offers fine views. Opposite the cathedral, the town hall has an exuberant trompe l'oeil ceiling in its "Hall of Mirrors". After such a memorable walk, we will leave time for gelato at Caffè Sicilia, opened in 1892, fourth-generation owner Corrado Assenza creates radical cakes such as saffron with sour orange rind and ices flavoured with black olive or basil.

We will travel from Noto to the small town of Agira where we will visit the Synagogue site and the magnificent stone portal of the Aron Kodesh made of the local stone stored in the local church. The Aron belongs to the local ex-synagogue that existed before the expulsion of the Jews from Sicily in 1510.  The portal, unique example of Jewish architecture, will give us an insight into the life of a small Jewish community in the heart of mediaeval Sicily.

Noto was built from scratch in the 18th century to replace the old town, Noto Antica, which was destroyed by an earthquake. The town is completely done in the Baroque style, using local white tufa which has turned a honey color in the sun. It’s an incredible town to explore on foot and get lost in the secret alleyways. We’ll start our day with a walking tour of the town, visiting the twin-towered Duomo and other notable buildings that scatter the city. We’ll enjoy lunch at a local trattoria.

Platinum Plus Option:  For our Platinum Plus Package, we offer guests a stay at the Gagliardi Boutique Hotel in Noto. Gagliardi is a Boutique Hotel from where the heart of Noto can be lived from a unique and privileged perspective. The Terrace embraces the historic centre of this baroque city with one gaze, transmitting a feeling of timeless beauty.

Platinum Option: For our Platinum Package, we offer a stay Ragusa Reis Antica Badia, in the center of the old town Ragusa. A magnificent hotel turned from a XVIII century palace, this 5-star hotel is sure to offer an unforgettable experience for our guests.

Gold Option: For our Gold Option, we offer guests a stay at either Modica’s Casa Talia or Ragusa’s Locanda Don Serafino. Casa Talia is a relaxing, low key hotel that is hidden in the mix of nature while still having beautiful Modica just at its fingertips. Complete with a secret garden that overlooks the town, this beautiful hotel will not disappoint. Ragusa’s Locanda Don Serafino is a beautiful boutique hotel in the heart of Ragusa. Complete with a wine cellar and restaurant, this luxury stone hotel is an experience in & of itself.

Silver Option: For our Silver Option, we offer guests a stay at the Dedalo Hotel in Noto. Dedalo is a quaint B&B in the center of Noto, near the main cathedral.

Day #7: Departure day! After a relaxing breakfast, we will transport you back for your departure in Catania. Depending on the time of your flight, we can arrange a morning on the beach is timing allows.

Option #2 Extended Stay

Day #7: After breakfast, we’ll head for the extended portion of your trip! Today we’ll make our way to the west coast, heading towards Agrigento for lunch. Agrigento is the famous town on Sicily’s southwestern tip, known for the ruins of the ancient city of Akragas in the Valley of the Temples, a vast archaeological site with well-preserved Greek temples. We’ll spend some time exploring the ruins before lunch. After a casual lunch near the ruins, we’ll make our way to Mazara del Vallo. This incredible town on the sea is a fisherman’s hub and captures the essence of Sicily: food, culture, history and sea.

1x night in Mazara del Vallo

Platinum + Platinum Plus Option:  For our Platinum Plus Package, we offer guests a stay at the Giardino di Constanza, an exclusive and luxury resort near the sea. We offer a normal room for Platinum guests and can upgrade to a luxury suite for Platinum Plus guests.

Gold Option: For our Gold Option, we offer guests a stay at Mahara, a gorgeous hotel rebuilt from an 18th century winery. A short walk from town and near the sea.

Silver Option: For our Silver Option, we offer guests a stay at the Melia Resort .

2x nights in Palermo

Day #8: The capital of Sicily has been a crossroads for cultures and civilizations for the past 4 thousand years, Arabic, Jewish and Norman/Christian architecture is overwhelming… On the first day we will walk along Villa Bonanno to the Cathedral in Corso Vittorio Emanuele and continue along Vittorio Emanuele to the imposing Four Corners. Admire the Tuscan fountain in Piazza Pretoria and, just behind it, take in two splendid Arabic-Norman churches, many of which were originally Mosques or Synagogues. After visiting  La Martorana and San Cataldo,  we will drive to the Vucciria the Casbah style market that reminds us of Palermo’s Arabic past; after a short walk we will enjoy an amazing lunch at “Maestro del Brodo”. In the afternoon we will unwind in the chic pedestrian area of Via Principe di Belmonte. The tour ends in the splendid Norman royal palace of the Zisa, built in Norman Arab style, that still keeps a Hebrew inscription and a Jewish candle-holder. Dinner at Ristorante Sant’Andrea.

Day #9: Excursion to Cefalù. Just one hour's drive from Palermo, we will discover the beauty of Cefalu’ with its winding Medieval streets flanked with shops, excellent restaurants serving fresh fish and last but not least, its unique Norman cathedral. After lunch we will drive back to Palermo where we will visit The Norman Palace, built by the Arabs in the year 900 AD and later enlarged by the Normans ( mosaics of the Palatine chapel). Dinner at “Trattoria ai Cascinari”. We’ll enjoy dinner in the center of Palermo and enjoy our final evening together!

Platinum Plus Option & Platinum Option:  For our Platinum Plus Luxury + Platinum Package, we offer guests a stay at the marvelous Grand Hotel Villa Igiea. Platinum Plus Luxury guests will get an upgraded suite. This 5-star hotel has everything you’d need, complete with an outdoor pool & sea views.

Gold Option: For our Gold Option, we offer guests a stay at the Hotel Palazzo Sitano. This 4-star hotel offers easy access to the historic center of Palermo with modern and elegantly restored rooms.

Silver Option: For our Silver Option, we offer guests a stay at the centrally located Hotel del Centro, in central Palermo. This comfortable accommodation provides access to all of Palermo in an elegant old-style hotel.

Option #3 Jewish Heritage Tour

3x nights in Palermo

Day #1: The Jewish Heritage Tour will begin in Palermo where we will spend our first three nights. The capital of Sicily has been a crossroads for cultures and civilizations for the past four thousand years. Arabic, Jewish and Norman / Christian architecture is overwhelming. On the first day, we’ll take a walking tour along the Villa Bonanno to the Cathedral in Corso Vittorio Emanuele to see the Four Corners. We’ll admire the Tuscan Fountain in Piazza Pretoria and visit the two splendid Arabic-Norman churches, many of which were originally Mosques or Synagogues. After visiting La Martorana and San Cataldo, we will drive to the Vucciria Casbah style market that reminds us of Palermo’s Arabic past. We’ll then take a short walk to lunch at the the famous Maestro del Brodo. In the afternoon, we will unwind with wine in the beautiful outdoor space of Via Principe di Belmonte. We’ll end the day in the splendid Norman Royal Palace of the Zisa, built in the Norman Arab style, that still keeps a Hebrew inscription and a Jewish candle holder. We’ll enjoy dinner at Ristorante Sant’Andrea.

Day #2: Today we will spend the morning at the impressive mosaics (describing scenes from both the old & new testament) in the Duomo of Monreale, which lies 15km (12 miles) south of Palermo. Make your next door to visit the annexed Cloisters, where no two column capitals are alike. We’ll then head back to Palermo to visit the picturesque medieval quarter of La Kalsa and a Jewish memorial tombstone. We will end the day at the famous Piazza Marina, where the imposing building of Palazzo Steri, once the seat of the Holy Inquisition, is still standing. We’ll enjoy a cocktail at the hotel’s accommodation and dinner at beautiful BellOtero.

Day #3: Excursion to Cefalù. Just one hour's drive from Palermo, we will discover the beauty of Cefalu’ with its winding Medieval streets flanked with shops, excellent restaurants serving fresh fish and last but not least, its unique Norman cathedral. After lunch we will drive back to Palermo where we will visit The Norman Palace, built by the Arabs in the year 900 AD and later enlarged by the Normans ( mosaics of the Palatine chapel). Here at the Palace, we’ll have an educational tour so we can understand the relationship in situation between Jewish people, the religious & political power of the time. Dinner at “Trattoria ai Cascinari”. We’ll enjoy dinner in the center of Palermo and enjoy our final evening together!

Platinum Plus Luxury Option & Platinum Option:  For our Platinum Plus Luxury + Platinum Package, we offer guests a stay at the marvelous Grand Hotel Villa Igiea. Platinum Plus Luxury guests will get an upgraded suite. This 5-star hotel has everything you’d need, complete with an outdoor pool & sea views.

Gold Option: For our Gold Option, we offer guests a stay at the Hotel Palazzo Sitano. This 4-star hotel offers easy access to the historic center of Palermo with modern and elegantly restored rooms.

Silver Option: For our Silver Option, we offer guests a stay at the centrally located Hotel del Centro, in central Palermo. This comfortable accommodation provides access to all of Palermo in an elegant old-style hotel.

2x nights in Modica / Noto / Ragusa

Day #4 & #5: Today we’ll head to the incredible area of Modica, Ragusa and Noto. We choose to explore these three towns together because they are very close to one another and each offer something to be desired. Noto and Ragusa are wonderful jewels of Sicilian baroque architecture, rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693. Giuseppe Lanza, Duke of Camastra, employed the best architects of the day. The result, initiated just a week after the earthquake struck, is a late Baroque fantasy played out in fragile, honey-colored stone. Burnished a dusty gold in the fading light and flanked by huge palm trees, this initial introduction to Noto is a surprise, more north African than Mediterranean and yet somehow so Sicilian, enigmatic and unruly.

Noto's cathedral rises impressively above Corso Vittorio Emmanuele and is approached by a wide and graceful flight of steps. The dome collapsed in 1996, but is now back in place, and the whole building has been restored after years of grime and neglect. Simply wander the length of the Corso, as long and graceful as an arrow, diving down side streets here and there, and not missing Via Nicolaci, at the top of which is the beautiful elliptical façade of the Chiesa di Montevirgine. Along one side of Via Nicolaci stands the Palazzo Villadorata, with many playfully buttressed balconies and sculptures of horses, griffons, nymphs and cherubs; its poignant Empire-style interior, with frescoed walls and ceilings, has been miraculously preserved.

At the bottom of the street stands the church of San Carlo, whose bell tower offers fine views. Opposite the cathedral, the town hall has an exuberant trompe l'oeil ceiling in its "Hall of Mirrors". After such a memorable walk, we will leave time for gelato at Caffè Sicilia, opened in 1892, fourth-generation owner Corrado Assenza creates radical cakes such as saffron with sour orange rind and ices flavoured with black olive or basil.

We will travel from Noto to the small town of Agira where we will visit the Synagogue site and the magnificent stone portal of the Aron Kodesh made of the local stone stored in the local church. The Aron belongs to the local ex-synagogue that existed before the expulsion of the Jews from Sicily in 1510.  The portal, unique example of Jewish architecture, will give us an insight into the life of a small Jewish community in the heart of mediaeval Sicily.

Noto was built from scratch in the 18th century to replace the old town, Noto Antica, which was destroyed by an earthquake. The town is completely done in the Baroque style, using local white tufa which has turned a honey color in the sun. It’s an incredible town to explore on foot and get lost in the secret alleyways. We’ll start our day with a walking tour of the town, visiting the twin-towered Duomo and other notable buildings that scatter the city. We’ll enjoy lunch at a local trattoria.

Platinum Plus Option:  For our Platinum Plus Package, we offer guests a stay at the Gagliardi Boutique Hotel in Noto. Gagliardi is a Boutique Hotel from where the heart of Noto can be lived from a unique and privileged perspective. The Terrace embraces the historic centre of this baroque city with one gaze, transmitting a feeling of timeless beauty.

Platinum Option: For our Platinum Package, we offer a stay Ragusa Reis Antica Badia, in the center of the old town Ragusa. A magnificent hotel turned from a XVIII century palace, this 5-star hotel is sure to offer an unforgettable experience for our guests.

Gold Option: For our Gold Option, we offer guests a stay at either Modica’s Casa Talia or Ragusa’s Locanda Don Serafino. Casa Talia is a relaxing, low key hotel that is hidden in the mix of nature while still having beautiful Modica just at its fingertips. Complete with a secret garden that overlooks the town, this beautiful hotel will not disappoint. Ragusa’s Locanda Don Serafino is a beautiful boutique hotel in the heart of Ragusa. Complete with a wine cellar and restaurant, this luxury stone hotel is an experience in & of itself.

Silver Option: For our Silver Option, we offer guests a stay at the Dedalo Hotel in Noto. Dedalo is a quaint B&B in the center of Noto, near the main cathedral.

2x nights in Siracusa (Syracuse)

Day #6: We’ll begin the day with a visit to Mikveh - Jewish ritual bath, the most archaic that has ever been found in all of Europe.  We’ll then head to our accommodation in Otygia, the old town of Siracusa. Siracusa was the most important Greek city from the 5th to 3rd centuries, and according to Roman consul Cicero, also the most beautiful. After getting settled into our accommodation, we’ll visit the extradorinaiy Duomo, begun in 1728. After lunch, we’ll do a walking tour of the old town where we’ll see some of the highlights of Siracusa: Palazzo Beneventano del Bosco, Santa Lucia all Badia, Fonte Aretuse among others.

Day #7: Today you have the option of doing a boat tour or cooking course. If you choose the boat tour, we’ll go out in the morning for an excursion to explore the Ortygia Island and stop for lunch. You’ll be able to swim in the sea and see Sicily from the water. If you choose the cooking course, you will learn the secrets of Sicilian cooking in an authentic Italian kitchen. The course will be followed by lunch! In the afternoon, we’ll relax on one of the many gorgeous beaches that line the coast before reuniting for dinner at the always wonderful Don Camillo.

Platinum Plus Option:  For our Platinum Plus Package, we offer guests an exquisite stay at Hotel Henry’s House. Featuring authentic antique furniture and artwork by local Sicilian artists, this hotel is the utmost in luxury. Panoramic views on stunning terraces.

Platinum Option: For our Platinum Package, we offer guests a stay at Algila Ortigia. Algilà Ortigia Charme Hotel stands on the ancient “Mastra Rua”, a street that from the 14 th century was where the most important noblemen of the city had their residences. The refined historic building that houses the hotel is the result of the fusion of two buildings and a recent restoration has preserved the original structure, creating an intriguing distribution of the rooms that is fascinating.

Gold Option: For our Gold Package, we offer guests a stay Alla Giudecca. This ancient building maintains its original personality with stone floors and museum exhibits on every wall, in every corner and every high vaulted and echoing corridor.

Silver Option: For our Silver Package, we offer guests this 3-star bed & breakfast Maison Ortigia. In the heart of Ortigia, behind the Duomo Square next to the Teatro Massimo di Siracusa, Maison Ortigia B & B and Apartment is a completely refurbished and finely furnished dwelling.

2x nights in Taormina

Day #8:  Today we will head north to the breathtaking town of Taormina. After getting situated in our hotel, we’ll go explore the town on foot and visit the town’s center. There we’ll have the chance to visit the incredible theater that was begun in 3rd century BC by the Greeks, and then rebuilt by the Romans. With a view of Mount Etna in the distance, you’ll have your first introduction to Sicily and its history, landscape and sea all at your fingertips. You’ll have some time to relax at your accommodation or we can go out for an aperitivo before enjoying dinner in the center of town.

Day #9: Today you have two options as to how to spend your morning. Option #1: Relax at one of Taormina’s famous sandy beaches. Option #2: Partake in a guided excursion to visit Mount Etna, Europe’s highest and most active volcano! You can climb to the summit or take the railroad that runs around the base to see the volcano from below. After either option, we’ll head to a winery for a wine tasting and lunch before heading into Catania in the afternoon. Catania has a famous shipping strip that amazingly ends with a magnificent view of Etna. We’ll see the Piazza del Duomo, one of the most imaginative lava-built Baroque buildings in Sicily and enjoy a Sicilian cannoli. We’ll head back to Taormina to relax at your hotel or on the beach before going out for dinner.

Day #10: Departure day! After breakfast at your hotel, we will escort you to the Catania airport for your departure flight.

Platinum & Platinum Plus Luxury Option: For our Platinum Luxury Plus Package, we have the incredible Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea. This incredible secluded resort is just a 3 minute drive from the town’s center (with available rides as requested). With a full restaurant, spa, pool, pool bar, beach bar and romantic rooms, this luxury option will not disappoint. Upgrades to suite options for Platinum Plus.

Gold Option: For our Gold Package, we offer guests one of two options: Villa Le Terrazzo or Iancu Charme Apartments. Villa Le Terrazzo has beautiful, grand terraces with panoramic views that let its guests view everything from Etna to the Naxos Bay. The Iancu Charme Apartments are conveniently located and equipped with private balcony and a community pool.

Silver Option: For our Silver Package, we offer guests the Porta Del Tocco, a quaint 3-star hotel with lovely accommodation in a very convenient location.

Group Tour Dates Available for 2019

Option #1 & #2 

Departing Saturday, April 27th 2019

Departing Saturday, September 14th, 2019

For Option #3 Jewish Heritage Tour, please contact us for available dates via greenitalytours@gmail.com. 

PRICING 2019

All excursions mentioned in the itinerary are included in our below pricing. If you’d prefer to have a few hours or 1/2 a day to yourself, to enjoy the facility’s pool, get a massage or wander on your own, we can certain accommodate your wants.

For more information & details on pricing, please visit our dates & pricing page or reach out to us directly with questions. 

Included in this package:

-All breakfast, lunches & dinners for your tour

-All travel fare included for travel within this itinerary 

-Travel outside of this itinerary is NOT included

Terms & Conditions:

Please note: the entire group must choose the same options for day outings. We cannot split the options for individuals within the group. Individuals within the group may choose different accommodation packages. For example, one couple can choose the Gold Package Option and another couple the Silver Package option. 20% deposit is due upon booking. The balance to be paid 30 days prior to tour date. For reservations made within 30 days of tour, full payment is due upon booking. We accept bank transfers as well as online payment via credit card.