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Cycling in Sicily

from $1,849.00

Ride through the UNESCO Val di Noto and Montalbano’s filming locations

  • Reviews 9 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Moderate
    5/8
  • Group Size Small Group
    8 - 16
All about the Cycling in Sicily.

Sicily is not only the biggest island in the Mediterranean but also one of the most fascinating, thanks to the incredibly diverse heritage left here by past civilizations including the Phoenecians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans and Spanish. On this exciting cycling tour we explore the south-eastern part of the island, pedalling through the Baroque gems of Ragusa, Modica, Noto and other filming locations of the famous TV series Inspector Montalbano up to Syracuse, the ancient Greek capital. Along the route we enjoy picturesque landscapes made of farmlands, deep gorges and dramatic coastal scenery which showcase the great natural diversity of the region. No trip to Sicily is complete without sampling some of the finest regional delights considered among the best of the whole Italian gastronomy.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* All breakfasts and 1 dinner
* 7 nights accommodation
* Airport transfers (at designated times)
* Local bike rental included

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • E-Bike (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Local city taxes (approx. €15)

Highlights

  • Ride the stunning UNESCO Noto Valley
  • Visit the charming Baroque towns of Modica and Noto
  • Point-to-point rides through picturesque countryside and quaint villages
  • Sample superb regional cuisine
  • 5 nights 3-star hotels and 2 night converted farmhouse, all en suite
  • 6 days cycling with partial vehicle support (limited seats)
  • Group normally 6 to 16. Min age 16 yrs
  • 90% tarmac and some short sections of gravel; quiet rural undulating roads
  1. Day 1 Start Palazzolo Acreide.

    Start Palazzolo Acreide, a charming maze of narrow streets and Baroque churches built after the 1693’s earthquake on the site of the Greek Akrai, which was founded in 664 BC. The town is situated in the heart of the Iblean Mountains, overlooking the upper valleys of the Anapo and Tellaro rivers, which helped the Corinthians control a broad swathe of Sicily.**

  2. Day 2 Ride south to the hilltop Baroque town of Ragusa Ibla; cycle scenic roads to Modica.

    We start our exploration with a ride through the beautiful lower valleys of the Iblean Mountains, passing olive plantations and dry-stone walls that characterise this area. We then climb into the highlands to the delightful town of Ragusa Ibla, built over three hills separated by a deep valley, and home to beautiful Baroque churches and buildings. After visiting Ragusa, we cycle for another 14km to the town of Modica, another gem of the Sicilian Baroque, nestled at the bottom of a deep gorge. Overnight in Modica.Cycle approx. 51km (elevation gain +529m; elevation loss -841m)

  3. Day 3 Try the famous Modica chocolate with chilli; cycle to the architectural delight of Scicli, famous film set of Inspector Montalbano; on to the fishing village of Marzamemi.

    Before leaving Modica, we have the opportunity to taste its famous chocolate with chilli, which is still prepared using the original Aztec recipe brought over by the Spaniards in the 1500’s. We leave Modica behind and ride along a ravine with a downhill bias until we reach another outstanding example of Sicilian Baroque architecture, Scicli, where the popular Inspector Montalbano TV series has been filmed. From here, we move to picturesque Marzamemi, one of Sicily’s prettiest fishing villages offering postcard views, numerous cafés and restaurants. Overnight in a lovely agriturismo with pool near Marzamemi.

  4. Day 4 Circular route through coastal wetlands to Isola delle Correnti, the southernmost point in Sicily.

    A circular ride takes us through the wetlands of Patano Longarini and Patano Cuba, a favourite spot among migratory birds that are attracted to the unique ecosystem of this area on their journey between Africa and Europe. Following the coastline, we reach Sicily’s southernmost point: Isola delle Correnti, where the waters of the Ionian and the Mediterranean seas merge. Back at the agriturismo, we can enjoy an optional fun cookery demonstration and class (payable locally) followed by a delicious dinner.Cycle approx. 45km (ascent +300m; descent -300m).

  5. Day 5 Coastal ride to the Vendicari Nature Reserve; continue to the UNESCO-listed Baroque town of Noto.

    A short ride brings us to the beautiful Vendicari Nature Reserve. This narrow stretch of marshy coastline provides a rare and now completely protected habitat for migratory species and for the local flora and fauna. There are some beautiful sandy beaches, perfect for a swim in the clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. As we leave the reserve behind, we head north to the elegant town of Noto, another UNESCO World Heritage site. Noto is an absolute gem, a planned town in the unique Sicilian Baroque style, all built in a beautiful honey-coloured stone. A must try in Noto is the delicious almond granita (similar to a sorbet) with brioche, typical of the area! Overnight in Noto.Cycle approx. 41km (ascent +495m, descent: -344m).

  6. Day 6 Circular ride to Cavagrande National Reserve and the deep Cassibile Canyon.

    We start our day with a challenging but rewarding climb to San Corrado and the ruins of Noto Antica, the original settlement of Noto completely destroyed by the earthquake of 1693. We continue up until reaching the viewpoint of Cavagrande del Cassibile (505 mt.), one of the deepest canyons found in Europe. The scenery here is spectacular and offers dramatic views of the valley far below. In the afternoon we enjoy a beautiful descent with hairpin bends towards the coast and then back to Noto.Cycle approx. 43km (ascent +590m; descent -590m)

  7. Day 7 Final coastal ride to Syracuse; free time to discover the historic town.

    Today’s gentle ride follows the coast all the way to Syracuse, passing beautiful beaches where, weather permitting, we will stop for a refreshing dip in the sea. The afternoon will be spent in Ortigia, the island where Syracuse was founded. After a short orientation tour, there is free time to explore at our own pace, head to the beach, do some shopping or visit the famous archaeological park. Overnight in Syracuse.Cycle approx. 40km (ascent +10m; descent -100m)

  8. Day 8 End Syracuse.

    The trip ends in Syracuse in the morning of day 8.**

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Where you stay

Hotels & Agriturismo

We use comfortable hotels, which have been carefully selected for their friendly atmosphere and character. All rooms have en suite facilities and most of them are conveniently located in proximity of the charming UNESCO historic centres we visit.

List of hotels normally used:

Palazzolo Acreide: Hotel Colle Acre

Modica: Ferrohotel

Portopalo: Hotel Vittorio

Noto: Grand Hotel Sofia or Hotel Netum or Hotel Flora

Siracusa: Piccolo Hotel Casa Mia or similar hotel nearby

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 1 dinner is included.

Sicilian cuisine is a melting pot of all the different cultures that have occupied the island, from the Arabs to the Normans. The island itself is incredibly fertile, enjoying a perfect climate which is ideal for the cultivation of fresh produce such as olives, oranges, lemons, eggplants, tomatoes, pistachios, almonds, grapes, and more—not to mention all of the seafood, tuna and swordfish fished right off the coast. The result? A cuisine that’s fresh, varied, and absolutely delicious! Sicilian wines are also superb and known to be strong and syrupy, like Marsala and Moscato. On this trip there is the chance to sample some unique Sicilian products. Lunches normally consist of delicious pic-nics, freshly prepared by your assistant leader each day. Dinners will be taken at the hotels or local restaurants recommended by your guide.

This trip is classified Road. 6 days cycling with partial vehicle support (due to limited seats) and a cycling guide; 90% tarmac and some easy sections of gravel.

There are no transfers to or from hotels on this trip: all the rides are designed to be door-to-door. Most of the cycling is along flat to hilly tarmac roads (mainly traffic-free), with a couple of days (Day 2 and 6) of more demanding ascents and undulating routes, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. As we approach the main towns and cities such as Syracuse there are busier sections with traffic at peak hours. If you have any queries about the difficulty of the trip please do not hesitate to call us.

Special e-bike departure

Please note that while electric bikes are always available on request for a supplement, we will run a special e-bike departure on the 25th August 2019, where only e-bikes will be available to hire (supplement included in the selling price) Electric bikes provide all the benefits of a normal bike but having power assistance means you will be able to exert less during the ride and hilly sections.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Thoroughly enjoyable

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling into Noto for a fab lunch after a challenging morning!
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Iris is knowledgeable, a great leader and good fun to be on holiday with.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

A wonderful ride in Sicily

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The ascent to the canyon of Cavagrande del Cassibile and the views from the top, followed by the exhilarating descent to Avola.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Iris was absolutely great in every way.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Beautiful Sicily

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The thrill at having cycled up the 10km climb and then the joy of riding down the other side on day 6.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Iris is an inspiration! She is so capable, friendly, knowledgeable and approachable. Exodus are very fortunate to have her on their team. A really lovely person in every way.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Come and do the cycling tour in Sicily, you won't be disappointed !
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The back up team on this tour did an excellent job also. They were very responsive to both Iris and the group and did everything to keep us safe, to have the bikes working well and to transport the luggage each day.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

The best of everything

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Inspirational no, but as a fan of Montalbano, I was beside myself with giddiness when we got a quick look inside his 'police station and office' in Scicli. Lifetime firsts: I ate a prickly pear, cycled past fields of aubergines and pomegranates and found a fizzy water vending machine where you can fill your own bottle - why don't we have these at home?! I appreciated having 2 hotels where we stayed 2 nights each, particularly the agriturismo, with lovely pool and great staff. I loved all the places we visited, but Siracusa had a particular hold on me.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Iris was wonderful. She made us all feel very safe, was super organised and attentive and good fun. A gem. Her side-kick Giuseppe was brilliant too.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A bit of training beforehand would be good to help you up those hills, particularly if you haven't been on your bike for a while! Although, with e-bikes an option now, it's maybe not required. One point on the e-bikes, some people found them heavy and clunky on the descents. Bring a raincoat for any short, but heavy downpours. Be prepared for a lot of eating.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Cycling in Sicily

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    As above: visiting Syracuse, and seeing the Baroque town of Noto Two very beautiful places
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    He was just wonderful! Full of knowledge, helpful, guiding us safely through traffic, And up the hills. And down again!!! Lots of fun, always on the lookout to avoid any potential problems. He and the very patient van driver guided us safely on the road sections And they excelled at making us wonderful picnic lunches on 3 occasions!
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you want to see Sicily, then go for this trip! Depending on the season, it can be chilly . Be prepared to cycle some significant hills!

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