- Visiting the Baroque towns of Modica, Ragusa and Noto, all UNESCO Heritage Sites
- Sampling delicious Sicilian pastries, like cannoli
- Cycling along the beautiful coastal road to Capo Passero
- Exploring the medieval streets of Ortigia di Siracusa
- Enjoying an aperitivo ‘al fresco’ with the locals in one of the many piazzas
- Discovering the astonishing Oasis of Vendicari
You will be met at Catania airport and transferred (approx 1.5 hours) to your accommodation in the charming town of Palazzolo Acreide.
Palazzolo Acreide is an ancient town that was once the Greek city of Akrai. The town was rebuilt in 1693, and offers the perfect start to your tour of Baroque Sicily. After your briefing with our Sicilian rep, going through the route notes and providing you with useful tips;,the remainder of the day can be spent visiting the town of Palazzolo Acreide on foot, exploring the winding lanes of the medieval part of town. Famed for its Baroque architecture, the town is jam-packed with unmissable sights, like its Basilica of San Paolo and the Basilica of San Sebastiano, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 650m
Grabbing your bikes, you’ll say ciao to Palazzolo Acreide. You have the option to first cycle to the Greek archaeological site of Akrai. Here take the opportunity to discover the ancient ruins, where you’ll find a Greek Theatre and the Temple of Aphrodite. The surrounding view of the Hybleaen mountains is stunning!
Getting back on your bikes, you’ll cycle through Hyblaean territory to the hill-top city of Ragusa Ibla, making your way past ancient dry stone walls, through valleys with lush Mediterranean vegetation. Ragusa Ibla is not only another Baroque jem, but it was part of the film setting in the popular Inspector Montalbano’s TV series.
The last section of your ride will offer up an awe-inspiring descent into Modica, your destination for the evening. Modica, a UNESCO-listed city, sits majestically in a valley and is famed for its Duomo of St Giorgio which is well worth a visit.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 230m
Before heading away from Modica, we recommend a visit to the town’s famous Cioccolateria, to sample the famous chocolate (Cioccolato di Modica), often described as the best Italian chocolate! Your ride will begin with a downhill stretch as you make your way to the charming town of Scicli. You’ll cycle through a fertile valley, with small quaint farm holds, carob and pomegranate plantations and small reservoirs, all with a back-drop of terraced hills. In Scicli, take time to explore the town and the enchanting Saint Bartholomew’s Church, which looks out over a rocky landscape of ever-changing colours. Wander its atmospheric streets, including – Via Mormino Penna. It’s also worth visiting the town’s main square, Piazza Italia, which offers the perfect place to stop for a coffee and watch the world go by.
Jumping back on your bikes, you’ll pedal towards the Sicilian coast, riding past agricultural plots and scattered houses as you head to your destination for the evening, Pozzallo. Once on the coast, you’ll ride past long sandy beaches and the picturesque fishing hamlet of Sampieri (another Montalbano filming location). Your destination for the day, Pozzallo, is a town that’s famed for its clean beaches and crystal-clear water, offering the perfect end to a day of cycling.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 200m
Your ride this morning will see you enjoying the Mediterranean coastal road to Capo Passero. The road will take you past vibrant waters and sandy beaches. As sections lead you inland, the riding will take you past marshland and lagoons, with a wide variety of bird life, such as herons, flamingos and storks. As you get closer to Capo Passero, the route will take you along tomato farm land, (now you know where your delicious sun ripened Sicilian tomatoes come from!)
Reaching the most southern point, facing the Isola delle Correnti, is going to be the highlight of the day. This is where the two seas, Ionian and Tyrrhenian meet, hence the name, island of currents.
Nestled between the turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea and the Mediterranean, the island is considered to have one of the most beautiful beaches in Sicily, as well as an impressive lighthouse. Cycling further along the coastal route, scattered with rustic Sicilian houses, you’ll soon arrive at Portopalo di Capo Passero, where you’ll stop for the night. Here, the fresh fish restaurants, some run by fishermen themselves, abound. Delicious!
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 250m
Keeping the sea to your right, this morning’s route follows the coast northwards past yet more remote beaches. You’ll head to the quaint Marzamemi fishing hamlet with its colorful fishing boats moored up near the old fishermen’s houses. Marzamemi has an ancient tradition of Tuna fishing, still alive, and it’s here that you can taste some delicious products from the sea, such as Tuna Roe, smoked swordfish and marinated anchovies. Leaving Marzamemi, you’ll ride past the untouched Vendicari Natural Oasis, an area of great historical and scientific interest, that’s bursting with flora and fauna. Leaving your bikes secured at the park entrance, you’ll discover the reserve on foot, walking past lagoons filled with bird life.
Leaving Vendicari, the riding picks up a little as you head for the characterful hill-top town of Noto, universally recognised as the Baroque capital city. Noto was completely rebuilt in the 17th Century, following an earthquake, taking on a whole new facade. Noto is a heady mix of opulent palaces and churches, juxtaposed with cosy courtyards. You’ll have the opportunity to explore this gorgeous town this evening, strolling down Corso Vittorio Emanuele with its imposing Cathedral, meandering the back streets lined with little restaurants and Pasticcerie. Enjoy indulging in some Sicilian specialties!
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 270m
Leaving Noto behind, you’ll begin your final day’s riding heading towards the coast through the wine region of Nero d‘Avola. The first section of the route will take you along quiet roads through cultivated orange groves and olive trees with the smells of Sicilian produce filling your senses.
In Avola you’ll be back on the coast, (how early is too early for a local wine tasting?)
Moving on, keeping the coast on your left, you’ll ride through scattered summer-holiday residences alternating with sections of rocky coastline and cultivated fertile fields. After reaching Capo Murro at the far end of a promontory, you’ll loop back, with views opening up to the imposing Siracusa and Ortigia coastal town across the bay.
You’ll soon arrive at your final stop, Siracusa, the capital of Magna Grecia. Leaving your bikes at your accommodation, you can discover Siracusa’s centre; Ortigia where you can lose yourself in the winding, narrow streets as you dip in and out of craft shops. There’s also a good selection of bars and restaurants, offering the perfect opportunity to enjoy some tasty local fayre!
- Meals: Breakfast
Today you’ll be free to explore Siracusa at your leisure. It’s a city that has something for everyone, with lush citrus orchards, dazzling blue sea, classic Italian coffee shops and ancient Greek ruins! We recommend discovering the city’s rich past, which began when Corinthian colonists arrived in Sicily in 734 BC.
Must-see sights include the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, the Duomo (built on what was the Greek temple to Athena), and the Fountain of Arethusa. If you fancy a spot of shopping, you can head to the traditional Ortigia Market, held every morning (excl.Sunday) where you can sample delicious Sicilian citrus fruits, limoncello and fresh fish.
The tour alternates between countryside and coastal views. You’ll be riding primarily on well paved roads, except for a few short sections of dirt road. You’ll initially be riding in the Hybleaen mountains, with a bias of gentle downwards cycling through beautiful valleys, except for short sections leading to towns or to visit monuments. Once on the coast you will be riding in a region which combines long flat stretches with very gentle hills, passing promontories, lagoons, tomato farms and orange groves. Coastal roads will overlook long stretches of sandy beaches and remote coves, as well as riding through stretches of towns and coastal villages. The roads generally have little traffic, except for short sections of the route where you’ll ride on main roads to link up minor routes, and when entering and exiting bigger towns. We recommend a hybrid bike for this tour.
Leisure Cycling Grade
Distances generally between 15-30 miles / 24-48 kms per day
For those looking for an easy-going route
Mainly on the flat
Some undulations and the odd cheeky challenge
Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!
For more information about our grading system click here.
Is this suitable for you?
Maybe you have recently got into cycling and would like to do more over consecutive days, or maybe you‘re looking for a more energetic alternative to your usual holiday? If you‘re looking for an opportunity to try some quiet roads, cycle paths or some accessible, cycle friendly routes these holidays might be for you. You’ll come across some gently undulating terrain and the odd cheeky challenge, so we’d generally expect those on a Grade 2 holiday to ride their bikes relatively frequently at home, perhaps commuting to work or heading out for some leisurely rides at the weekend.
Dates & Prices
2021 Daily departures available from 26 Mar – 30 Oct (excluding dates from 27 Jun – 01 Sep).
Season 1: For trips starting between (and inclusive of) 08 Apr and 21 Apr, 03 May and 26 Jun, or 02 Sep and 30 Oct: £1170 pp.
Season 2: For trips starting between (and inclusive of) 26 Mar and 07 Apr, or 22 Apr and 02 May: £1295 pp.
A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms) in small hotels and agriturismi
B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
C) Local representative (with welcome meeting)
D) Detailed route notes and maps
E) Luggage transfers
F) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival day from Catania airport (CTA)
G) Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to Catania airport (CTA)
What's not Included
A) Bike hire (available if required)
B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)
C) Meals not stated in the itinerary
D) Single room (available if required, on request)
E) Travel insurance
F) Personal clothing and equipment
G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)
H) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route
I) City tax to be paid to each accommodation (amount varies)
J) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days
New for 2019! Simply and deeply stunning.
Deb, USAI loved them all!
No favourite days – I loved them all! I have already recommended Skedaddle to a friend.