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Sicilian Heritage Tour: Palermo to Taormina

  • Duration: 11 days
  • Group size: 14-28
  • Reviews: 1
Find your family roots under the bright Sicilian sun.

Spectacular landscapes, enduring culture, mouthwatering flavors—experience the best of Sicily on this one-of-a-kind trip, created in collaboration with Ancestry®. You’ll journey from Palermo to Syracuse and Taormina, uncovering pieces of your genealogy along the way. As you gain new perspective on the place your ancestors came from, the country just might start to feel like home to you, too.

Your tour package includes
  • AncestryDNA® kit
  • Pre-trip family history review with AncestryProGenealogists®
  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 9 breakfasts
  • 5 dinners with beer or wine
Included highlights
  • Special AncestryProGenealogists® sessions
  • Palermo Cathedral
  • Agrigento’s Greek ruins
  • Piazza Armerina
  • Syracuse Cathedral
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Day-by-day itinerary
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Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel to Sicily

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, genealogist from AncestryProGenealogists®, and fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

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

This morning, get an introduction to Sicilian genealogy and the ways you will be tracing your heritage with your genealogist from AncestryProGenealogists®. Then, 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 to 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.

Tracing Heritage: The Trapani Region
Excursion (additional cost)
Agrigento1 night
Day 5: Guided 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 meal: Breakfast

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: Guided tour of Syracuse
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

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

• Enter the ancient Greek theater, the most complete of its kind still in existence

• Tour the massive Paradise Quarry and gardens, featuring the cave that artist 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

Tonight, taste the recipes of past generations as you learn to craft traditional Sicilian dishes like a local during a cooking lesson. Then, savor the meal with your fellow travelers-turned-chefs.

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: Guided tour of Taormina
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

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

This evening, venture into the foothills surrounding Mount Etna for a traditional Sicilian dinner and wine tasting at a local vineyard.

Day 10: Free day in the Taormina Region
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

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

Tonight, your genealogist from AncestryProGenealogists® shares a summary of all you’ve learned about Sicilian heritage. Then, say goodbye to your fellow travelers 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 in Catania for your flight home.

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Dates and prices
Choose your dates to start a quote
1 Departures
Tour prices are per person, before flights, and based on two travelers per hotel room.
Aug 27–Sep 6, 2020
$3,599
Reviews
5 average
Ancestry Tour of Sicily
by 3rd time traveler 

The ancestry tour of Sicily was by far one of the best tours I have ever taken. It was well planned, well organized, all hotels and meals were far beyond excellent. All the local tours were fabulous, and the timing of all events was impeccable. The coordination between the Go Ahead Tour Guide and th...

Read more +
Go Ahead Tours replied on 11/19/2018

Dear Barbara, We work hard to create smooth and st...

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.

Hotel Mercure Palermo Centro

This modern hotel is located in the Palermo city center. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi, a bar, and a spacious lobby. Nearby, you'll find Teatro Politeama, T...

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...

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...

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
Print FAQ
About your Heritage Tour
  • This tour was created in collaboration with Ancestry®, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics. Ancestry® harnesses the information found in family trees, historical records, and DNA to help people gain a new level of understanding about their lives.
  • As part of your tour package, you’ll receive an AncestryDNA® kit within one month of booking your trip. Please complete the simple test as soon as possible to receive your DNA results.
  • Prior to your tour, we will contact you to schedule your 5-hour pre-trip family history review with AncestryProGenealogists®.
  • A genealogist from AncestryProGenealogists® specializing in Italian research will accompany your group and provide unique genealogical and heritage insight throughout the entire trip.
  • Ancestry® offers customized ancestral home visits during and after the main trip for an additional cost. With these, one of the AncestryProGenealogists® staff will accompany you to the exact town or village in Italy where your own specific ancestors lived. If you’re interested in an ancestral home visit, ask about organizing one during your pre-trip family history review.
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, with some hills and stairs.
  • 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 Ahead Tours 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.
  • Go Ahead Tours and the Tour Director who accompanies your group are unable to provide special, individual mobility assistance to travelers on tour. The responsibility of the Tour Director is to ensure the group as a whole enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing, individualized assistance to any one traveler.
Baggage allowance
  • Please note that our travelers are limited to one checked bag and one carry-on bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
  • Contact your airline(s) for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flights, which may include on-tour flights in addition to your round-trip flights to and from tour. Please note that your included on-tour flights may have more restrictive baggage limits.
  • Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage or exceed baggage size and weight restrictions. Be advised that you are responsible for any baggage fees incurred on all flights.
  • 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, and 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 (https://www.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 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, olive oil, zucchini, veal, and fish are all featured prominently 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.
Electricity & air conditioning
  • Italy operates on the European standard 220-240 volts and uses 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 and purchasing an international data plan.
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.
  • Your genealogist from AncestryProGenealogists® will not be expecting a tip.
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
1 Departures
Tour prices are per person, before flights, and based on two travelers per hotel room.
Aug 27–Sep 6, 2020
$3,599