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OverviewItineraryReviewsHotels, flights & FAQ

Sicily: A Cultural Journey

with Taormina Region extension
When are you looking to travel?
This tour itinerary varies by year.
  • Duration: 11 or 13 days
  • Group size: 15-38
  • Reviews: 194
The Sicilian sun shines light on a different side of Italy.

In the midst of the Mediterranean, discover an island with personality all its own—full of flavor and teeming with one-of-a-kind art and architecture. From multicultural Palermo to breathtaking Taormina, each stop on this tour of Sicily reveals unexpected treasures.

Your tour package includes
  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 9 breakfasts
  • 4 dinners with beer or wine
  • 5 guided sightseeing tours
  • Expert Tour Director & local guides
Included highlights
  • Palermo Cathedral
  • Agrigento's Greek ruins
  • Piazza Armerina
  • Syracuse Cathedral
  • views of Mount Etna
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Day-by-day itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Palermo today.

Palermo3 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Palermo
Included meal: Dinner

Welcome to Italy! Transfer to your hotel and get settled in, then meet your Tour Director and group at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Palermo & Monreale
Included meal: Breakfast

This morning, embark on a guided tour of bayside Palermo, situated at the foot of Mount Pellegrino.

• Visit the architecturally diverse Palermo Cathedral and see the stunning artwork of the Cappella Palatina

• Continue on to nearby Monreale where you’ll pay a visit one of the town’s magnificent cathedrals

Day 4: Free day in Palermo
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Palermo or add an excursion.

Ancient Ruins: Segesta & Erice
Excursion (additional cost)
Agrigento Region1 night
Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Agrigento
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel south through the Sicilian countryside to Agrigento for a guided walking tour of the city’s fascinating Greek ruins.

Syracuse3 nights
Day 6: Syracuse via Piazza Armerina
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

On the way to Syracuse, stop for a guided tour of Piazza Armerina and view the stunning mosaics in Villa Romana del Casale, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Syracuse
Included meal: Breakfast

Embark on a guided tour of Syracuse, a historic city known for its rich Greek history.

• Visit the Greek theater, the most complete ancient Greek theater still in existence

• Tour the massive Paradise Quarry and gardens, featuring the cave that Caravaggio dubbed “The Ear of Dionysius” for its unique acoustics

• Visit the Roman amphitheater, then cross a bridge to the Island of Ortygia to see the Temple of Apollo and Syracuse Cathedral

Day 8: Free day in Syracuse
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Syracuse or add an excursion.

Traditions of Sicily: Villa Lunch & Noto Village
Excursion (additional cost)
Taormina Region2 nights
Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Taormina
Included meal: Breakfast

Transfer to Taormina, where a local guide introduces you to this scenic town perched high above the sea.

• Enjoy views of Mount Etna, Taormina Cathedral, and the Palazzo Corvaia, seat of the first Sicilian parliament

• Visit the town’s 2nd-century Greek theater

Enjoy a free evening in the Taormina region or add an excursion.

Traditional Sicilian Dinner & Wine Tasting
Excursion (additional cost)
Day 10: Free day in the Taormina Region
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy a full free day in the Taormina region or add an excursion.

This evening, say goodbye to your group at a farewell dinner.

Mount Etna: Sicily's Volcanic Landscapes
Excursion (additional cost)
Flight Home
Day 11: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or extend your stay in Taormina.

Extension to Taormina Region

Extend your stay in Taormina and see for yourself why expatriate artists, writers and intellectuals were so inspired during the early 20th century when they came to call it home. Spend your time exploring its tiny villages, old churches, lively bars, fine restaurants and antique shops.

Taormina Region2 nights
Day 11: Free day in the Taormina Region
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy another full free day in the Taormina region or add an excursion.

Museo Storico dello Sbarco & Historic Catania
Excursion (additional cost)
Day 12: Free day in the Taormina Region
Included meal: Breakfast

Spend another full free day in the Taormina region or add an excursion.

This evening, enjoy a farewell drink as you celebrate your trip with your fellow group members.

Hidden Sicily: Medieval Savoca & Forza d’Agrò
Excursion (additional cost)
Flight Home
Day 13: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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Reviews
5
194
4.7 average
by 6th time traveler 

Best trip ever. Sabra was an exceptional tour guide. Our bus driver was also excellent.

My trip to Sicily
by 2nd time traveler 

I totally enjoyed the tour. The entire group was very friendly and upbeat. I loved seeing all the ruins etc and eating the fabulous Sicilian food. Our tour guide, Raffaella was absolutely wonderful. She was helpful and knowledgable, and had a great sense of humor. Our driver, Fabio, was also a grea...

Read more +
Excellent trip
by 5th time traveler 

It was a really nice trip all around. Just enough ancient architecture to appreciate the history. Just enough fantastic churches to appreciate the art and craftsmanship. Stories of past and more current countrymen to get a better understanding of the political history. And the food and wine just set...

by 5th time traveler 

I booked this trip to get out of the cold. Wow, it warmed my body & soul. Every moment was a treasure.

by 3rd time traveler 

Sicily was an amazing adventure! Food was amazing, probably the best I ever had. I would have liked a little more free time but we booked four excursions to see everything! My least favorite part of the vacation was Alitalia Airlines, they really should book elsewhere,

Our reviews are authentic and unedited.
Hotels, flights, & FAQ

Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.

Hotels

We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.

Excelsior Palace Hotel

This picturesque hotel is located in Taormina. Guests enjoy a panoramic pool, sun deck, and an on-site restaurant. Nearby, you’ll find the historic ce...

Grand Hotel Villa Politi

This grand hotel is located near the historic archeological zone. Guests enjoy a restaurant, bar, and spa. Nearby, you’ll find the Greek Theater of Sy...

Flights

Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.

Add our airfare package and you'll get:
  • Round-trip flight for your tour
  • Airport transfers at your destination
  • A great price locked in today
  • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
  • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
  • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
  • Find out more about flights
FAQ
Passport & visa requirements
  • In order to enter Italy, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
  • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact your destination country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
Tour pace
  • You will walk for about 1.5 hours daily across uneven terrain, including cobblestone streets and unpaved roads, at high altitudes.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
Transportation & arrival information
  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Palermo and depart from Catania. A representative from Go AheadTours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
Baggage allowance
  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.
  • Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that our travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
  • One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
Clothing & packing tips
  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
  • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
Health
  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Italy.
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website atcdc.gov.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
Cuisine
  • The cuisine of Southern Italy is often what diners think of when imagining Italian flavors—pasta with tomato sauces, olives and olive oil, zucchini, veal, and fish are all featured prominently on menus throughout the region.
  • Sicilian cuisine in particular is heavily influenced by Spanish, Greek, and Arab traditions. The Spanish brought New World influences to the region in the form of tomatoes, chocolate, and maize, while the Arab influence can be tasted in recipes that include rice, spinach, saffron, and citrus fruits. Regional specialties include_arancini_,cannoli, and_granita_.
  • For more authentic meals, try local_trattorias_,small restaurants set away from the main piazzas. A typical Italian meal includes wines and the occasional beer, followed by a few sips of after-dinner drinks like_grappa_or_limoncello_.
Electricity & air conditioning
  • Italy operates on the European standard 220-240 volts and use Types C, F, or L plugs with two or three small, round pins.
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
  • The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
  • Your hotel may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
Time zones
  • Italy is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET).
  • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm on tour.
Currency
  • You will use the euro on this tour.
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
Tipping
  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
  • Tips can only be paid in cash.
Purchasing excursions on tour
  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for optional excursions.
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information. International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates, and prices.
Choose your dates to start a quote
25 Departures
Tour prices are per person, before flights, and based on two travelers per hotel room.
Sep 12–Sep 22, 2019
Extension available
Join waitlist
$2,749
Sep 26–Oct 6, 2019
Join waitlist
$2,749$2,449
Oct 3–Oct 13, 2019
Extension available
Join waitlist
$2,599
Nov 14–Nov 24, 2019
$2,349$1,949
Dec 5–Dec 15, 2019
Extension available
$2,349$2,199
Feb 27–Mar 9, 2020
Extension available
$2,349$2,149
Mar 19–Mar 30, 2020
Extension available
$2,349$2,149
Apr 9–Apr 20, 2020
$2,699
May 7–May 18, 2020
Extension available
$2,699$2,599
May 21–Jun 1, 2020
$2,949$2,849
May 28–Jun 8, 2020
Extension available
$2,949$2,849
Jun 11–Jun 22, 2020
$2,949$2,849
Jul 9–Jul 20, 2020
Extension available
$2,849
Aug 20–Aug 31, 2020
Extension available
$2,849
Sep 3–Sep 14, 2020
Extension available
$2,849$2,749
Sep 10–Sep 21, 2020
Extension available
$2,849$2,749
Sep 24–Oct 5, 2020
$2,849
Oct 8–Oct 19, 2020
Extension available
$2,699
Nov 12–Nov 23, 2020
Extension available
$2,449$2,199
Dec 10–Dec 21, 2020
Extension available
$2,449$2,149
Feb 25–Mar 8, 2021
$2,349
Mar 18–Mar 29, 2021
Extension available
$2,349
Mar 25–Apr 5, 2021
$2,349
Apr 8–Apr 19, 2021
Extension available
$2,699
Apr 22–May 3, 2021
$2,699
95% of travelers would recommend Go Ahead Tours to a friend.
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