This bicycle tour of western Sicily will show you the best of traditional southern Italy. Beginning near Palermo, you'll ride to the coastal towns of San Vito lo Capo known for its stunning views of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Trapani for its seaport and tuna fishing, Marsala for its fortified wines, and Sciacca for its thermal spa. Explore the medieval village of Erice with its narrow stone alleyways, and the hilltop town of Caltabellotta. Not only will you see some of the finest classical Greek temples anywhere in Segesta, Selinunte and Agrigento, but the diversity of the terrain offers cycling through beautiful regions rich in vineyards and agriculture, and picture perfect coastal views.If this sounds great but you don't have time for the 11 days, check out our Cycling the Coast of Sicily tour, which features the first 7 days of this itinerary.
Day 1: Shuttle from Palermo to Castellammare del Golfo
Highlights: Bike fitting and introductory dinnerWe'll meet at the Palermo town center at 1:00PM to shuttle to Castellammare del Golfo. Once the primary port for the ancient Greek towns of Segesta and Erice, Castellammare clusters around its small fishing port and medieval castle on the gulf of the same name. The warm up ride is a pleasant out and back on the Coastal road north west of Castellammare leading to Baglio di Scopello. There are currently just 80 inhabitants in Scopello, but you'll find reminders of its former importance including an ancient tonnara, once a major tuna fishery station. Be sure to walk down to the beach to admire the faraglioni (stacks) rising out of the clear blue Mediterranean. You'll warm up quickly with the climb out of town before descending to a lovely beach, Cala Rossa, which offers a great swimming opportunity! We'll continue to Scopello before heading back to Castellammare. We'll enjoy dinner together this evening after introductions. Distance: 20 km (12 miles).
Lodging: Hotel Cetarium
Day 2: Bicycle to the Ruins of Segesta and the beach of San Vito Lo Capo
Highlights: Ancient Greek ruins, coastal riding, the beachWe follow a remote valley inland this morning to discover the ruins of ancient Segesta lost among the hills of western Sicily. Perhaps because of its isolated site, Segesta boasts one of the best-preserved temples from all of ancient Greece. The temple was built around 430 BC and together with the nearby theater dating to the 3rd century BC, Segesta is one of the most evocative of ancient sites in Sicily. Take your time to visit, and then we'll head north along the hills and ridges of western Sicily to reach the bustling summer beach resort town of San Vito lo Capo. San Vito is one of the northern most capes in Sicily, so the Tyrrhenian Sea surrounds the town! Enjoy the beach before dinner together tonight. Distance: 72 km (45 miles)
Lodging: Hotel Capo San Vito
Day 3: Ride to Trapani
Highlights: Trapani, vibrant seaport, historic center hotelWe ride south today, partially along the coast and partially on hilltop ridges where we'll reach the bustling city of Trapani, one of the largest towns of this area. Our hotel is in the historic center, set on the main piazza, so you'll be able to enjoy an aperitivo in a local bar after a stroll around town! Trapani has historically been an important fishing and salt-commerce town. Still famous for its tuna fishing, we may be able to visit a historic tuna processing plant on our way to Trapani. Dinner is together this evening. Distance: 39 km (28 miles)
Lodging: Residence La Gancia
Day 4: Trapani optional ride to Erice
Highlights: Explore historical Trapani and the fortress in EriceToday is a rest day, so you can spend time in Trapani or take an optional bicycle ride to the hilltop village of Erice. Erice was a Greek town and important medieval fortress and still preserves its original ambiance. Anybody wanting to take a boat excursion can head off to the nearby island of Favignana (you can even take your bike and go on a short ride if you wish!). Or just spend time strolling the ancient streets of Trapani -- there is plenty of history here as its strategic position on a slip of land saw Carthaginians, Normans, Arabs, Spanish, and Bourbons walk its streets before the unified Republic of Italy was formed in 1861. Dinner is on your own. Distance: 0-36 km (0-20 miles)
Lodging: Residence La Gancia
Day 5: Trapani to Marsala
Highlights: Marsala wine tasting, 8th century BC Phoenician ruinsWe continue south today pedaling by miles of wheat fields. We'll be back on the coast for a late lunch on your own, visit to the Phoenician ruins of Motya, dating to the 8th century BC, and a visit to the natural marine reserve and saline (salt pans). This afternoon we'll be in Marsala where we'll enjoy a wine tasting of the famous, fortified Marsala wines. Dinner together this evening. Distance: 51 km (32 miles)
Lodging: Hotel Carmine
Day 6: Loop ride through Marsala's vineyards
Highlights: Limestone quarries in Cusa, vineyard landscapes, rural country house hotelWe'll explore the Marsala countryside today with a pleasant loop among vineyards featuring Cataratto, Inzolia, and Grillo grape varieties used for the production of the Marsala wine. We'll have the chance to explore examples of Muslim architecture at Mazara del Vallo, and enjoy fresh fish from one of the largest fishing ports in Italy before riding back along the shore to Marsala. Distance: Approximately 75 km (44 miles)
Lodging: Hotel Carmine
Day 7: Marsala to our agriturismo outside of Castelvetrano
Highlights: Castelvetrano, vineyard landscapes, rural country house hotelThe white stone streets of Marsala give way to a suburban landscape. Soon enough we'll be back in the typical Sicilian countryside that we have come to love with rolling hills covered in vineyards. The road is quite isolated until Castelvetrano where you can stop to admire its beautiful square and enjoy lunch. Continue pedaling to reach our home for the evening, a country estate, or working farm (producing olives, olive oil and wine) that has been transformed into an elegant lodge with a refreshing swimming pool, gracious hosts and spectacular views. A home-cooked dinner with local produce will delight our taste buds this evening. Distance: 70 km (44 miles)
Lodging: Agriturismo Baglio Vecchio
Day 8: Selinunte to Sciacca
Highlights: Greek ruins of Selinunte, picnic lunchWe'll pedal to the nearby vast ruins of Selinunte for a guided walk of some of the most spectacular ruins in Sicily. The Greek ruins are divided between two ridges, one with the temples and one with the ruins of the ancient city. A light lunch will fortify us for a wonderful ride through citrus and olive groves to Sciacca. Go explore the beach at Porto Palo if you'd like a little extra mileage. We are in Sciacca this evening. Dinner on your own. Distance: 57 km (36 miles)
Lodging: Hotel Locanda del Castello
Day 9: Rest day in Sciacca, lunch in Caltabellotta
Highlights: Special Sicilian lunch in Caltabellotta, optional rideEnjoy a rest and a shuttle today if you'd like, or take a beautiful ride to Caltabellotta and back. We'll enjoy a lunch of Sicilian specialties together in Caltabellotta, a hilltop village dominating the interior from its limestone mountain three thousand feet above Sciacca. Dinner is on your own in Sciacca this evening. Distance: 0 - 51 km (0 - 31 miles)
Lodging: Hotel Locanda del Castello
Day 10: Bicycle Sciacca To Agrigento
Highlights: Greek Temples of AgrigentoOur ride today takes us inland through dry wheat lands, vineyards, the village of Ribera, famous for its oranges and olive groves, and through a tremendous variety of geologic formations as we wind our way to Agrigento. Agrigento has one of the finest collections of ancient Greek temples anywhere in the Mediterranean basin. Our hotel is not far from the ruins so you'll want to have a rest, then go exploring as the setting sun turns the limestone columns a golden color. We celebrate a final dinner together this evening. Distance: 72 km (45 miles)
Lodging: Dioscuri Bay Palace
Day 11: Tour ends in Agrigento
Highlights: AgrigentoWe say goodbye after breakfast this morning. Stay on to explore the ruins of Agrigento if you'd like, or for those headed home, we'll tell you how to get to the train or bus station for your transfer back to Palermo. You'll take with you a far better understanding of Magna Grecia now that you've pedaled between these ancient sites and wandered amid some of the finest ruins remaining from antiquity. Join us again sometime soon!
HighlightsPhoenician/Greek ruins of Motya, Medieval Erice, Trapani and Mondello, Marsala wines, Greek ruins in Selinunte, Segesta and Agrigento, famous beach resort town of San Vito lo Capo, traditional rural farm house stay
Includes"The Usual" plus... Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 11 days, 10 nights' accommodation; 6 dinners with wine, 2 lunches, one wine tasting & 10 breakfasts; shuttle from Palermo (airport or train station)to tour start on Day 1; guided tour Selinunte
Begin/EndCastellammare del Golfo ( shuttle from Palermo town center) / Agrigento
Arrive/DepartPalermo Falcone Borsellino Airport (PMO)
Total Distance456 - 543 km (281 - 335 miles)
Daily DistanceAverage 45 - 54 km (28 - 33 miles)
What to ExpectA wonderful variety of terrain, classic Greek temples, fabulous food, beaches.
Easy first day leads to more challenging days with steep but short climbs. Two days with extended climbs of 8 to 10 miles. 3 optional rest days.
NotesIf this sounds great but you don't have time for the 11 days, check out our Cycling the Coast of Sicily tour, which features the first 7 days of this itinerary.
|Oct 10 - 20, 2013||$4375||$600||Confirmed Departure||Book It|
|*We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the single supplement rate. This fee will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available this fee will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.|
Click on the "pins" for details about each day's highlights.
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