My husband and I loved, LOVED this trip! The pace was perfect: we had enough time to see each site and explore a bit as well. I have fallen in LOVE with Sicily and we hope to return some day and see more of this part of Italy.
Sicily is a place where you can enjoy the many amazing Greek/Roman ruins, see topography that ranges from mountains to rolling hills of olive tree farms to beaches along the Ionian Sea. This tour covers them all! This was my first experience with Go ahead Tours but I will be back; well done.
This is an excellent itinerary for a tour of Sicily
10/03/19 by 3rd-time traveler Pat
My daughter and I enjoyed this trip. This was my third trip to Sicily, my second with Go Ahead. My daughter had not been before and we enjoyed what we saw and the optional excursions were all excellent. The included sightseeing was also excellent and covered almost all the important sites to see.
This tour was a fabulous mix of countryside and city sites. I've been traveling with EF/ Go Ahead for many years and always come back because of the wonderful tour guides. I've been to Italy previously, but never Sicily before. I am so glad we saw it at last!
What are some interesting things to do on a trip to Sicily?
During your free time on one of our Sicily trips you can:
Stroll along Corso Umberto in Taormina. This is the area’s main shopping street, where you’ll find many shops, cafes, and restaurants. A stop in Piazza IX Aprile offers more stunning sea views. Check out our guide for how to spend free time in Taormina.
Stop by the Scala dei Turchi near Agrigento. The Stair of the Turks is a unique geological formation on the seaside, where white cliffs create a stunning contrast with the azure water.
Visit the village of Noto. Along with its multidimensional culture that ties back to Greek, Roman, Arabic, and Norman influence, an earthquake that struck in 1693 further molded Noto’s intricate history. As you stroll down Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the main street, you’ll see the Baroque style that designers added during its reconstruction. The intricate architecture has earned the village and its cathedral UNESCO status. Learn more about it in our Noto excursion spotlight.
Explore the Island of Ortygia. This island is the historic center of Syracuse, known for its picturesque and quiet atmosphere. You can even visit the Cathedral of Syracuse in the main square or wander through the small streets along the waterfront.
Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo. Palermo’s Catacombs feature years of incredibly preserved history. These catacombs became a symbol of status, where local luminaries would ask to be preserved in certain clothes, or even have their clothes changed at regular intervals. Relatives would even visit to pray for the deceased and to maintain the body in presentable condition.
Looking for more interesting things to do on our Sicily tour packages? Read our Sicily Travel Guide.
What are the top attractions to see in Sicily?
If you’re planning a trip to Sicily, these are the must-visit spots:
Greek Theater in Syracuse. Sicily’s rich history can be seen through this incredibly well-preserved site, which is still used for performances today.
Ear of Dionysius in Syracuse. Under the theater, you’ll be able to visit the Ear of Dionysius and learn about its legends while marveling at the ancient stone caves around you.
Ballarò Market in Palermo. This is a favorite on all of our Sicily tours. You’ll find some of the best street food in Italy here—as well as unique architecture influenced by Arab and Norman rule.
Experience Mount Etna. Sicily’s second-largest city, Catania, sits at the foot of Mount Etna, an active volcano. Here, you can enjoy views of the mountain from afar or get a closer look by venturing all the way to the summit. In the winter, you may have the unique opportunity to witness snowfall, volcanic smoke, and the Mediterranean Sea all at once.
Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. Here, you’ll find incredibly preserved Greek temples surrounded by fields and almond trees. If you go on one of our guided tours to Sicily in March, you’ll get to experience Agrigento’s Almond Blossom Festival, which marks the beginning of spring. See the pink and white almond blossoms and sing and dance within the explosion of colors, music, and costumes.
When is the best time to visit Sicily?
There is no bad time to travel on one of our Sicily tours! Here’s what you’ll find in each season:
Spring: While Sicily can sometimes see spring rain, don’t let this discourage you from considering Sicily tours during the off-season. You’ll see fields of wildflowers divided by low, hand-built stone walls as you travel between cities. And with fewer crowds, it’s a great time to visit any of Sicily’s outdoor archeological sites. In May, Noto also blankets its city’s streets with flowers to celebrate the Baroque Spring Festival.
Summer: The Mediterranean is a popular summer destination. Sicily’s coastal cities offer plenty of opportunities to relax on some truly unique beaches.
Fall: This is also considered the off-season for Sicily guided tours. If you visit in October, you’ll arrive in time for olive harvest season. And with Sicily’s numerous olive groves, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for an olive oil tasting. The cooler weather is also perfect for hiking up Mount Etna.
Winter: Apart from fewer crowds, lower prices, and cooler weather, winter trips to Sicily are simply magical! You’ll still be able to swim in the Mediterranean, but you might even get to see some snow—especially on Mount Etna. You can even ski on the active volcano!
What to pack for a tour in Sicily?
Summer trips to Sicily call for lighter clothing, while off-season travel requires packing layers. Even Sicily’s coastal cities can get quite hot, so you’ll want to be prepared for beach weather. Read our Sicily Travel Guide for a more detailed list of what to pack for your trip.
What are some common dishes to order in Sicily?
One of the best things to do on any trip to Sicily is eat the incredible food! Here are some must-try dishes:
All the seafood. It’s what this island is known for! Explore the fish markets or order any dish in any restaurant for the freshest seafood.
Gelato. Okay, it’s not a dish. But it could be, if you eat it during every meal on your trip!
Granita. This summertime shaved ice gelato is unique to Sicily. While you may find attempts to recreate it elsewhere in Italy, an authentic Sicilian granita cannot be beat. It’s even sometimes eaten as a summer breakfast served with a brioche roll and fresh whipped cream!
Arancini. These cone-shaped, fried risotto snacks are a must-try in Sicily. They’re typically filled with ragù or prosciutto and cheese, and they’re absolutely delicious.
Pasta alla Norma. Native to Catania, this dish is known for a simple but exquisite combination of flavors. Eggplant, tomatoes, ricotta salata (salted, pressed ricotta cheese), and basil make for a perfect pasta dish.
Cannoli. You’ve definitely heard of these before, but you haven’t had a real one until you’ve tried one on our Sicily tours.
Orange salad. Peeled, sliced oranges are dressed with olive oil, salt, and pepper. It’s healthy, refreshing, and incredibly tasty.
What should I know before visiting Sicily?
The most important thing to know before any Sicily trip is to be prepared for a lot of walking—including hills. Sicily’s hills provide the most stunning views. Just remember to pack a couple pairs of sturdy, comfortable walking shoes, some sunscreen, and some water to keep hydrated!
Lastly, don’t forget about siestas! Most shops and restaurants close down between 1pm and 5pm, so plan accordingly.