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Cycling in Sicily

from $2,479.00

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

  • Reviews 22 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 16/09/2021
5/5

Cycling in Sicily was INCREDIBILE!

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many unforgettable events on this trip! But, some of my favourite times were the coastal drives drives, swimming in the Mediterannean and enjoying lovely, long evening dinners with our travelling companions.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    I could not say enough wonderful things about our group leader Thomas. Attentive, knowledgable and engaging! Our 2 accompanying drivers, both named Guiseppe, were also terrific.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Cycling in Sicily is classified as a 'moderate' level. I would suggest that it is leaning towards challenging, due to the regular steepness of hills. I am a regular cyclist and am comfortable with distances, however, my experience was for the most part on flat roads. I thought this would put me into a 'moderate' category but, I was incorrect. I would make sure that you are comfortable with long, very steep climbs if you are considering this trip.

Reviewed On 16/09/2021
4/5

SICILY - Group tour

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    n/a - can't imagine what you want to know with this question....did I have a vision!?
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Lovely tour leader with a great, dry sense of humour. Then again, I'm half Bavarian so I would say that! He was very keen to please his very big group of 16 and I believe everyone really liked Thomas.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you're fit for this one! There are long stretches with no breaks as people seem to race along. I took my time and stopped for photos and drinks but it meant I was constantly at the back. Take your own gel saddle and think about protection for your poor behind.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The bicycles gears could have been better! They were clonking all over the place but I got used to how they worked and dealt with it.

Reviewed On 16/09/2021
4/5

sicily

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    probably the food!
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Thomas was pretty much perfect. He was very helpful and always conscious of our needs in what turned out to be very hot weather. He was also charming and amusing, which oiled the wheels. A great deal of care and thought went into his restaurant recommendations, which surprised us by how good value they were.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try and learn at least a little Italian, as English is certainly not that widespread in Sicily.

Reviewed On 16/09/2021
4/5

Sicilly

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lovely scenery - so varied Loved cycling down to the coast and see the lovely blue see Learning from others in the group how they approach different challenges
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. For the whole week, he had exactly the right balance. We had a really mixed group of some really keen cyclists and others (like myself) that would like to be on my bike more but have little time. Thomas ensured a really great pace and waited for those at the back, always ensuring we kept together and he was encouraging in terms of doing well and doing the right pace. He was extremely helpful, always paying each one of us his full attention.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do some practice cycling up hills!
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Food was so lovely Weather was perfect Could do with an additional guide at the back of the group but van driver Guiseppe ensured that we also kept together

Reviewed On 16/09/2021
4/5

Jane Stirling

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Improving in fitness over the week and not being too far behind the real cyclists was, for me, inspirational. Off the bike, the historical sites, especially the catacombs at Syracuse, and the beautiful coastline, were also stimulating.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Leah was a an excellent leader and very knowledgeable on the history of Sicily. Giuseppe provided wonderful lunches and van back up.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I am fit, but not particularly cycling fit. I did intend to get cycling fit but the poor weather meant that I cycled in the gym whilst watching a film on the TV screen. Reality was much tougher and Sicily was hillier than I expected! So my advice would be to prepare a little better than I did. A 'moderate' ride was for me 'challenging'.

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