Sicily: A Cultural Journey

11 days
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.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Tour group size: 18 - 35 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 1.5 hours daily across uneven terrain, including cobblestone streets and unpaved roads, at high altitudes.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of Italy

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Palermo today.

Palermo 3 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Palermo

  Included meals: 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 meals: 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 meals: Breakfast

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

Optional Excursion - Ancient Ruins: Segesta & Erice $99pp* Details

Journey to western Sicily to visit the ancient ruins of Segesta. Here, you’ll view a magnificent Doric temple and an ancient Greek theater. Next, visit the well-preserved village of Erice, perched on the summit of Monte San Giuiliano. The relics within Erice are fascinating, from its Phoenician walls to its Norman castles. Your guided tour of the town will take you past the town's churches, and will touch upon the role they played in Erice's history.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Agrigento 1 night Hotel info

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.

Syracuse 3 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Syracuse via Piazza Amerina

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

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

Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Syracuse

  Included meals: 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 meals: Breakfast

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

Optional Excursion - Traditions of Sicily: Villa Lunch & Noto Village $89pp* Details

Start off the day in Noto, a quaint city at the foot of the Hyblaean Mountains. A local guide gives you the lay of the land, highlighting the UNESCO-recognized cathedral and the city's Baroque-style architecture. Next, travel to a rustic villa, Casa Bianca, owned and run by a Sicilian contessa. With its warm climate, open fields and fertile soil, Sicily is home to some of Italy’s finest foods, and today’s authentic family-style meal showcases many of the region’s delicious and varied flavors.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $99)

Taormina Region 2 nights Hotel info

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Taormina

  Included meals: 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.

Optional Excursion - Traditional Sicilian Dinner & Wine Tasting $89pp* Details

Venture into the foothills surrounding Mt. Etna for dinner and a wine tasting at a local vineyard. Like Sicily itself, Sicilian cuisine has been profoundly influenced by the myriad cultures that have made this island their home.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $99)

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.

Optional Excursion - Mount Etna: Sicily's Volcanic Landscapes $79pp* Details

Travel from Taormina to the base of Mount Etna, Europe’s largest and highest active volcano. Here, a local guide will board your bus and you’ll ascend up to 5,000 feet, stopping at a scenic vantage point to snap photos and learn about the mountain’s long history of eruptions, as well as its native flora and fauna. Continue up to 6,600 feet, where you’ll have free time to walk among the volcanic craters and peruse the mountainside shops before sampling local delicacies at an included three-course lunch. Please note: Comfortable shoes and layered clothing are recommended. Temperatures on the mountain are cool in the summer and can be quite chilly the rest of the year.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Day 11: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

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

Add Taormina Region Starting from $419 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

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 Region 2 nights Hotel info

Day 11: Free day in the Taormina Region

  Included meals: Breakfast

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

Optional Excursion - Hidden Sicily: Medieval Savoca & Forza d’Agrò $49pp* Details

Delve into the traditional Sicilian villages that served as sets for Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather.” First, visit Savoca and tour the Church of St. Lucia and the Bar Vitelli. Walk through this medieval village and marvel at its 15th-century buildings and panoramic views of the Mediterranean sea. Continue on to Forza d’Agrò, another “hidden” Sicilian village, where you’ll visit the Church of the Annunciation. Please note: The order of villages visited is subject to change. In the event that the Church of the Annunciation is closed, it may only be viewed from the outside.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $59)

Day 12: Free day in the Taormina Region

  Included meals: Breakfast

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

Optional Excursion - Museo Storico dello Sbarco & Historic Catania $55pp* Details

Explore Sicily’s World War II history on a visit to the Museo Storico dello Sbarco, an interactive museum featuring striking photographs and a life-size model of a war-era bunker. Then, stroll past the Baroque architecture of Catania’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site. You’ll see the bustling shops and cafes of Via Etnea and Via dei Crociferi, the grand Teatro Massimo Bellini and the historic Palazzo Biscari. End your tour at the beautiful Piazza del Duomo, home of the famous elephant statue and the large fish market, where you’ll have free time for lunch.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $65)

Day 13: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Palermo, Italy
  • Agrigento, Italy
  • Syracuse, Italy
  • Taormina, Italy
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

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 arrive in Palermo and depart from Catania. A Go Ahead representative 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. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead for an additional cost.

  • A flight from Catania to Rome is included on the tour extension.

  • 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 Go Ahead 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 at cdc.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 at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to My 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 arancinicannoli 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 Standard Time (EST). 

  • 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/CAD to $10USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver.

  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD 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.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 10/20/2016

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Sicily WOW!

My wife and I looked for a tour that included Sicily,we decided to take the Cultural tour because we felt that the other tours didn't spend enough days in Sicily,well we are glad we did. Our Tour Director was a passionate about us as she was in telling us about her home land, Sabra made sure that all of our needs, hotels,food and tours went with out a hitch, my wife said she thinks GoAhead didn't get her a room at the hotels because whenever we went to the lobby there she was ready to answer all of our questions or advise us on where to go eat or see.Loves this tour Mike & Linda Geddes

 

Hi Michael! Sicily is truly a gem -- we’re glad you opted to spend the whole trip there! There’s so much to see, do, and learn about Sicily. We’re glad that your Tour Director brought the culture and history to life through her enthusiasm and knowledge. We’re also glad she made herself readily available for any questions. Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you and your wife on tour again soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 02, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 10/20/2016

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: VT

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Sicily Surprises

The biggest surprise we had in Sicily was all of the Greek temple and theater ruins. Temp in late October was surprisingly warm. Sabra, our tour director, was simply excellent and energetic and hard-working. She also was very helpful advising us about our 4-day between tours (Sicily & Puglia) stay on the Isle of Capri. Roman msaics also were a surprise, and the bus driver did marvelously over all those hairpin turns!

 

Hi Herschell! We're glad to learn what surprised you! It is truly amazing how influential the Greeks were on Sicilian life and culture during their occupation and beyond. We're delighted that you feel your Tour Director and bus driver contributed greatly to the success and enjoyment of your trip. We will be sure to let them know! Thank you for your great feedback. We look forward to welcoming you on your next tour!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 23, 2016

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 10/20/2016

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: MD

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Sicilian Experience

Our tour guide, Sabra, was outstanding. She went above and beyond what one would expect from a tour guide. She made the trip so enjoyable. Our bus driver, Fabio, was also outstanding. The way he handled the driving and taking care of the passengers was note worthy. The only complaint we have is about the flight scheduling and routing. I definitely would not recommend flying with Alitalia. My wife's luggage is still lost, and Alitalia doesn't seem to be putting in very much of an effort to locate the suitcase. It is no fun to travel for 10 ten days without a change of clothing.

 

Dear Lorraine, We’re so glad you enjoyed your time in Sicily. It sounds like your Tour Director and bus driver were valuable resources throughout the tour, and we will be sure to share that with them. Regarding Alitalia, we regret to learn that the airline misplaced a piece of your luggage enroute. All airlines have their own policies and systems surrounding this matter, and we suggest that you work closely with the airline representatives to work towards a solution. As travelers ourselves, we understand the frustration when this happens. We sincerely hope that the airline is able to reach a desirable outcome for you. Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 04, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 10/6/2016

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Bellissimo

Tour of Sicily was great. Ortigia and Taormina were beautiful. Would have liked to see more cities like Cefalu and Catania. Loved being surrounded by the Mediterranean. For the most part it was a terrific experience and our tour guide and bus driver were top notch

 

Hi Ann! We're pleased to learn that you enjoyed your time in Sicily. We appreciate your suggestion to see more cities like Cefalu and Catania, and we will be sure to share it with our Product Development team. Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 20, 2016

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 10/6/2016

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: CA

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Pay Attention

Sicily is a lovely island. This tour has a lot of walking on uneven surfaces, up and down hills. Please do NOT go on this tour if you are not physically capable. We had many people who held up the large group and complained because the tour was too difficult. The tour clearly defines the tour pace as "....walking for about 1.5 miles daily across uneven terrain, including cobblestone streets and I paved roads, at high altitudes."

 

Dear Stephanie, We completely agree on the beauty of Sicily! We appreciate your reminder about the uneven terrain, cobblestone streets, varying altitudes, and daily walking requirement. Every traveler is encouraged to take these conditions seriously and be realistic about their capabilities. Thank you for your review. We hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 07, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/22/2016

Number of Past Tours: 7

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Dreams of Sicily

This tour fulfilled all my dreams and expectations of Sicily, and Carmelo was a wonderful representative of the Sicilian temperament and culture! He presented the reality of the history and current state of Sicily with excellent knowledge and his signature good humor. The locations and time spent in them were perfectly selected; it was so nice to be three nights in each of several locations. The accommodations were very comfortable and suited us fine. It didn't matter to us if we had a room view, because we got out and walked everywhere! We were extremely pleased, however, with our room in Siracusa, with its delightful balcony and oval view window, which enhanced the exotic feeling of the town itself. We enjoyed all the excursions available, especially Segesta, Erice, Agrigento, and Piazza Armerina, all of which exuded the history of past millennia. What an unforgettable feeling, too, of climbing above the Mediterranean in the amphitheater above Taormina! The only thing I would mention about the food is that at some meals we felt overwhelmed by the amount offered, especially a plate of so much meat after having enjoyed antipasti, pasta, and contorni! Overall, the tour was a fabulous mix of good tour directing, excellent locations, and a wonderful driver, Salvatore, who did an excellent job of getting us safely through winding roads and narrow alleys to our next location! Thank you, Go Ahead!

 

Hi Linda! To learn that this tour fulfilled your dreams and expectations of Sicily makes us very happy. We’re also delighted that your Tour Director added value and depth to your exploration of this beautiful island. We’re glad to know that you feel the itinerary is well-designed and offers a good balance between the locations visited. Enjoying the view of the sea from the amphitheater above Taormina is one of our favorite sights! We’re glad you could enjoy it. We appreciate your feedback on the amount of food provided at included meals, and we will be sure to communicate that to our Operations team. Thank you for your wonderful review, and we look forward to welcoming you on your next tour!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 31, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/22/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

A Cultural Crossroads

Sicily was amazing and real! We saw evidences of history being made by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, British and probably lots of others. GoAhead Tours did a wonderful job of presenting the best of Sicily, through the places we visited, the sights that we saw and the people with whom we interacted - our guide, bus driver and local guides. Our hotels were comfortable and beautiful, the meals provided were varied and delicious. Our taste of Sicily was well seasoned and delicious. Thank you to those involved in putting everything together. It was a true travel bargain with good value for the money.

 

Hi Margaret! We're glad you feel you got an authentic look into Sicilian culture and history. We appreciate your feedback on the itinerary, and we're pleased you're happy with all the places you visited. It's also great to know that you enjoyed your hotels. We will be sure share that feedback with our Operations team. Thank you for your kind review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 31, 2016

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 9/22/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Sicily through the eyes of a native

Our tour director Carmelo and his driver Salvatore were outstanding. Carmelo made his country come alive and vital as we toured from west to east. Salvatore was a very skilled and attentive driver . A perfect combination. We saw so much we were practically dizzy but wouldn't have changed anything. It poured, it rained,, it thundered , the sun came out, the weather turned balmy. No one complained about the weather because we so enjoyed what we were doing and learned so much. Four things standout, the Greek temples and theaters, the stunning mosaics, lunch with the Contessa and dinner at the winery. Class acts! Grazie ,grazie. Ilona Caldwell

 

Hi Ilona! Despite some inclement weather, we’re thrilled that you enjoyed your time in Sicily. It’s great to know that your Tour Director and bus driver proved to be valuable along the way and that their insight brought the history and culture alive. Grazie for your fantastic feedback! We hope to welcome you on tour again.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 25, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/22/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great Tour

Every thing about it was excellent. We came away with a much greater understanding of this beautiful part of Italy and it's wondrous history. Camelo, the tour guide was perfect; knowledgeable, personable, entertaining and charming. It was an excellent value.

 

Hi Gerald! We’re so glad you feel this tour is an excellent value. We’re especially happy to learn that you came away from this trip with a greater understanding of Sicily. It sounds like your Tour Director’s efforts had a huge impact on your overall experience, and we will be sure to share that with him. Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 25, 2016

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 9/22/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Sicily

Good tour. Carmelo the tour leader and Salvatore the driver were fabulous.

 

Hello! Thank you for your wonderful feedback!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 31, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/15/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MI

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

My BIG Adventure

This was my first experience with a tour group. I couldn't have been more pleased with everything. Our tour director, Gabrilla was excellent. Keeping us informed, together as a group, seeing to our every need, etc. The country of Sicily was beautiful and I believe in two weeks we were able to see most everything. Our hotels were always available to walking and seeing the sites without problems of navigation. I have already told friends about Go Ahead and hope that they too will take a trip.

 

Hi Michele! We're thrilled to learn that you enjoyed your first tour. Your certainly chose an incredible place to visit! Sicily truly is an amazing place, and we're glad you could see it. We appreciate your feedback on your Tour Director, as well as your accommodations. Thank you for telling your friends about Go Ahead -- we're honored to have your recommendation! We hope to welcome you on tour again soon.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 21, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 7/21/2016

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Sicily... An Amazing Experience!

This was my 4th tour, my 3rd tour with GoAhead, and my second with Rita. GoAhead Tours provides an excellent tour experience in 4 and 5 star hotels. Our tour director, Rita, was with us through the entire trip, including optional excursions, when they ran. We had a small group so it was disappointing when optional excursions to which I prepaid, were cancelled. We were refunded, but I would have preferred to take the trips. After all, how many times am I going to be in these places... there are so many wonderful places to see in the world. Rita has over 20 years of experience in tourism and it really showed. She went out of her way to recommend good restaurants, sights, relaxation options, etc., always looking out for us to have the best experience, and the best "local" experience. In addition she was always looking out for our safety, especially when we were on our own... to make sure we used safe and reliable transportation, etc. She had a genuine interest in each and every one of us, making sure we were all satisfied with the accommodations, meals, and all our experiences (even for a "difficult" traveler in our group). Rita planned an excursion for a traditional "Sicilian fish dinner" in a nearby seaside town, our second night after arriving. This was a real treat! We feasted on a 10-course meal with water, wine and beer included. We were all stuffed and practically rolled back to our hotel. Rita's meetings and daily "posters" always kept us informed as to the day's and next day's activities. The included dinners at the hotels upon arrival were of high quality, and delicious. This is not always "a given" in the US. I was pleasantly surprised. In addition, the included lunches and dinners that were not in our hotel, were also delicious and of high quality. The optional excursions that ran were all worth the time and money. The personal "radios" made it easy to tune into a particular channel and be able to hear our guide! This totally made the sites more enjoyable, being able to hear the guide discuss relevant information, the range of these, however could be broader if GoAhead is looking to upgrade anything. All our local guides such as Lara and Giusy, were also very knowledgeable, personable, and funny... giving us interesting pointers about the sights around us. The food on the Sicily tour was amazing! There was not a single bad meal. All the hotels were beautiful, and the outdoor pools were large. The pools in 2 of our hotels overlooked the Mediterranean, this was in Agrigento and Taormina... We had a great time in the hotel and pool in Siracusa. Overall I think those of us in my group on the tour really loved Ortigia in Siracusa. However, we wish our hotel was closer to Ortigia, or closer to something (it really was not near anything, we always needed to take a cab or bus into the town center). The hotel in Taormina was also beautiful, with views of the Mediterranean, but it was also a long walk to the beach, or into the town center. My experience with GoAhead (now that I've done 3 tours with them), is that there is often at least one hotel on each tour that is far from the "center of the action." I would pay more to be closer to the action. Our bus driver Fabio was excellent and a very safe driver. He made the driving look easy and the Sicilian roads were steep like the Amalfi Coast... but probably even more treacherous. One negative comment is that the Wifi was not ideal in some of the hotels, particularly in Taormina... and the hotel staff were not very accommodating. There were also some issues with the air conditioning not working, which was eventually fixed and some of the rooms were small. Two people who share a room should have a larger room than a single person in a room. This was not always the case on our tour, we actually switched rooms with a friend in one of the hotels, due to a small room size. We saw a lot of ruins on the tour, I had no idea there were so many in Sicily. An indoor archeological museum or historical museum, similar to Napoli, could have been included in lieu of some ruin site. We were also disappointed that GoAhead cancelled the option extension to Rome very early in the process. It was cancelled late last year. Many of us on the tour would have taken the option in Rome. There was a lot of walking, more than the 1.5 hours daily noted on the tour description. Overall however, Sicily is very beautiful and well worth it with GoAhead. We made new friends we will keep in touch with and it didn't hurt that the dollar (exchange rate) was really strong compared to the Euro. I would do any of the tours that I've already done with GoAhead again. The other tours included (1) Naples, Sorrento, Rome; and (2) Barcelona, French Riviera, Italian Riviera, and Florence.

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Hi Michele! Thank you very much for your thorough review. We're glad that your Tour Director’s knowledge and eagerness to help positively impacted your tour experience. It sounds like her tips and suggestions were a great resource for you, and we are glad she was able to plan some extra excursions such as the Sicilian fish dinner. Sounds delicious! While on the subject of food, it’s great to hear that you enjoyed all the meals you had on tour. It’s certainly hard to go wrong with food in Sicily! We regret that some of the optionals you had signed up for did not run. We understand your frustration about this, which is why ensuring more optionals are able to run in the future is a high priority for us. For the optionals that did run, we’re pleased that you felt they were worthwhile, and we’re also happy that the headsets helped you hear the guide better. We appreciate your feedback on your hotels, as our Operations team works hard to secure the ideal accommodations for our travelers. We regret that you feel the location of the hotel in Ortigia could have been better, and we will be sure to communicate this to our team. We do try to secure hotels that are as centrally located as possible; however, there are many factors, not only location, which factor into our decisions. Quality and reputation are among the other criteria we look for, and of course, availability is crucial. Regarding wifi, we understand that this is very important to travelers, particularly for purposes of getting in touch with family, friends, etc. However, wifi standards are very different in other countries, especially in areas with less infrastructure and modernity. Other cultures also view the necessity of internet access in a different light than we do here in North America. Hotel standards, in general, are very different in other countries, including room size, bedding, air conditioning, etc. For example, rooms in many European countries are smaller than those you might find in the U.S.. This is due in part to the fact that they have less space to work with. Taormina, for example, is very limited in terms of real estate because it’s built into a hilltop/cliff and therefore cannot accommodate large hotel properties. Regarding other components of your tour, it’s fantastic to hear that your bus driver impressed you with his driving and that you discovered many of the archaeological ruins Sicily has to offer. In terms of the extension to Rome, we can only run extensions with a minimum number of travelers and unfortunately we did not receive enough interest from your group in time to secure the space for it. That said, in the future, you can always arrange for a post-stay, which means that you will be able to stay longer in any place you’d like and we can arrange the hotels for you. The only difference is a post-stay does not include a tour or Tour Director. Regarding the amount of daily walking, the 1.5 hours merely refers to the required walking, meaning the amount of actual guided time. Of course, many travelers choose to walk outside of this time, in which case this number will be higher. Our itineraries are designed in such a way that you can make your tour as active or as inactive as you’d like, especially with all the built-in free time. We appreciate that you took the time to provide such a detailed review, and we’re glad that you had a good time on tour. We hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 15, 2016

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 6/23/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: QC

Tour Director: 1 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Tour Director non-informative

Our recent trip to Sicily was amazing, except for the fact that our Tour Director was not informative in any way. She did not know anything about our location, she was informed by the bus driver, on all counts, about our destinations. She did not speak on the microphone at all during our bus rides. The local guides, however, were very informative and entertaining. Also, choices of hotels were mediocre. They were lower-end 4-star hotels. We had a great time nonetheless.

 

Dear Rosa, We’re glad that you enjoyed your overall tour experience. It’s great to know that you found the local guides to be informative and entertaining. We will be sure to communicate that to their supervisors. However, we regret that your Tour Director did not meet your expectations. It looks like you were able to speak with one of our team members upon your return, and your experience has been communicated to the appropriate departments. Regarding the hotels, we regret that you felt they were mediocre and we will be sure to use this feedback to evaluate them for future departures. Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | August 09, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/31/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

What an experience!

Before going I read a couple of books about Sicily, and talked with people from there who spoke fondly of their homeland, but I was not sure what to expect as this was my first time in Sicily. What a trip! I got to experience the history and culture of this wonderful island up close. The Tour Director and the local guides provided the historical background, while the people, the sights, sounds, the food, and the smells gave constant feedback that said this is special! I am certain I will live this adventure far into the future; and someday get to see more of this beautiful, charming and exciting place. A special thanks to the Tour Director for her unwavering concern that we have a great time; even arranging a most delicious lunch with a contessa.

 

Hi Luvaghn! We’re so glad you were able to experience the culture and history of Sicily. It sounds like your Tour Director was very informative throughout your tour, which we’re happy to hear. We’re also pleased to know that you will live this adventure far into the future, and we do hope that you will return to Sicily to discover even more. Let us know when we can make that happen for you!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | April 18, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/10/2016

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: WV

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Tour Value

Sicily is beautiful!! You definitely get your money's worth. The accomodations for the most part were really nice and centrally located. The rooms in Siracusa were too small, once you got your luggage in the room, you could barely move around, especially with two people in the room. Otherwise, the other hotels were roomy, especially those in Toarmina - the best! I would classify this trip as a level four, a lot of walking and strenuous at times. Our tour guide, Barbara, and bus driver, Fabio, were wonderful!!!. I would recommend this trip to anyone. The people were friendly, and the food was very good, not excellent, but good.

 

Hi Debra! We’re happy to hear you enjoyed your time in Sicily and that you would recommend the tour. We appreciate your feedback regarding the hotel in Syracuse, as well as the physical demands of the tour. Regarding hotels, our Operations team strives to choose the best available accommodations based on criteria such as quality, location, and value. However, the infrastructure in Sicily is less developed than in the north, for example.. We will certainly communicate your thoughts to our team here for evaluation as we move forward. We thank you for sharing your experience, and we hope to welcome you on tour again soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | April 14, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/10/2016

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: NC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Sicily...Amazing Part of Italy!

For me, this trip ended up being among my favorites. I thought nothing could compare with Greek Isles, Kenya, and Egypt. I was wrong. Add the beautiful coastal towns of Sicily to the mix of my favorites! Starting with Palermo, followed by Agrigento, Syracuse, and ending with Taoramina...this tour was perfect! The 4-star hotels were exceptional....one had been a palace, one had been a special villa built by a noblewoman for the "man of her dreams," and the hotel in Taoramina gave us a view of the Mediterranean that took our breath away! All the provided meals were wonderful and varied. The excursions were among the best of any of the 24 trips I have taken. An excursion to Savoca to visit spots where parts of the "Godfather" trilogy were filmed were a perfect finale for this "Godfather junkie!" I have loved all my travels to Italy...but Sicily is different....a delightful surprise. Treat yourself to this travel gem!

 

Hi Carole! Welcome home, and thank you for your great review! We’re happy to learn that you enjoyed your time in Sicily and that the unique accommodations and varied meals were to your liking. We’re also glad you found the optionals to be interesting and worthwhile, especially as a 'Godfather' junkie! You’re very right that Sicily is different from Italy, and we, too, think it is a delightful surprise. We hope that your review will encourage others to explore this beautiful island! Again, thank you for sharing your experience, and we hope to welcome you on tour again soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | March 29, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 12/2/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: MD

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Exceptional tour and my favorite

What a fantastic tour. It's a winner, folks! I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves and has been on a grand tour of Italy and wants to see more. Sicily has now become my favorite overall and I know I will crave to go back on my own. The history is amazing and I learned a lot about how Greeks founded Sicily, Rome then conquered and repurposed the temples etc and then came the Byzantines etc. What amazingly well- preserved temples, almost pristine mosaics, outstanding scenery including countryside and rich agriculture but also epic vistas and cozy streets, grand cathedrals and a message that all civilizations can live and get along together. This tour has a star and funny "Americanized" tour director in Carmelo and an amazingly skilled bus driver, Salvatore. The hotels were all first class. I really can't strive enough to take this tour on the off season. We got very lucky and the weather in December was warm, sunny and there were no crowds whatsoever. We had wonderful private tours and our tour group of 13 were all very comfortable together and we just had so much fun as a whole. Just go, you won't be disappointed.

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5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 12/2/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: MD

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Sicily is a must see!

We went to Sicily in the off-season (early December 2015) and it was fantastic. The weather was very nice and we got to see many things up close with no crowds. Many places we actually had to ourselves with a few locals. It also was nice to see how they decorate and do Christmas. Very different than the states. Our Tour Director, Carmelo was fantastic. Could not have asked for a better guide. Helpful, fun, nice, very smart and thought-provoking at times. Our bus driver was also the best (this person is just as important as the tour director in my opinion). Salvatore was amazing. His bus was excellent. He was very kind and accommodating to our group. If you are going to pick one optional excursion make sure it is the Traditional Sicilian Lunch on the Farm at the Contessa's. This was homemade Sicilian food on her amazing farm...so authentic and relaxing. That alone was a 5 star experience. DON'T MISS OUT. Mount Etna was also fantastic and worth it as well. All hotels were amazing and 5 star experiences. Loved all of them. Taormina was the highlight of the trip. Take a day to yourself to enjoy the town. Skip that final excursion. Go to the beach or explore all that Taormina has to offer. Those will be better memories in my opinion. This is a beautiful and amazing island. We will be returning to Sicily on our own in the future. We took the Grand Tour of Italy with Go Ahead in 2012, but Sicily was more special and charming in our opinion. Amazing Greek ruins and structures that date back to 5 BC that are well-preserved.

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5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 12/2/2015

Number of Past Tours: 18

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

The Wonders of Sicily

I have been on more than 11 tours with Go Ahead and this on by far has been my favorite. Carmelo our tour guide made the tour unforgettable. He knows Sicily like he knows his name. He gave us suggestions on food, additional sights to see and where to see Authentic Sicily. Salvatore our driver drove the bus like it was a part of him and his bus was spotless. This was the first tour I took with knowing anyone in the group. I had so much fun that I forgot I was by myself. The people in the group was awesome. My favorite additional excursions on this trip was Traditions of Sicily: Villa Lunch & Noto Village. Noto Village was quaint and picturesque, the food at the Villa lunch was to die for. The Mount Etna: Sicily's Volcanic Landscapes was breath taking. If you love great food, good people and having a great time. I would really recommend this Tour.

 

Hi Rowynn! Thank you for your thoughtful review. We’re pleased to learn that you loved Sicily. Sicily is certainly one of our favorite regions of Italy, as it has a culture and feel all its own. We’re glad you found your Tour Director and driver to be helpful and knowledgeable and your group to be awesome. It’s also good to know you enjoyed the additional excursions offered on this tour, as we’re always keeping record of how they’re received. We thank you for your recommendation and for consistently choosing to travel with Go Ahead!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | January 07, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 11/4/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Above & Beyond

Our tour director went above & beyond, helping us find a specialty item made only in Sicily. He made our tour so up beat; sharing anecdotes about the island and it's people. He kept the travel pace enjoyable as well. We traveled a lot, saw many things but he never made us feel rushed. Our accommodations were above average & the food was abundant & fantastic! This was a great tour to relax & unwind.

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