Bicycle the Baroque Towns of Southeastern Sicily
Itinerary SummaryGrand Cycling Tour of Sicily which includes Cycle Southwestern Sicily's Ancient Mediterranean Cities and we'll include a shuttle to Agrigento where the tour begins.***View Day-by-Day ItineraryHide Day-by-Day Itinerary
Day 1: Meet in Siracusa (Syracuse)
Highlights: Ancient Siracusa, one of the oldest Greek settlements in Magna Grecia
Arrive today in Siracusa or "Syracuse" in English. The Greek "Syrakousai" was one of the first Greek colonies in the western Mediterranean, founded in 734 BC by colonists from Corinth. By the mid-5th century BC it rivaled Athens for supremacy with a population of a quarter of a million people. Home to Archimedes (of Archimedes Principle fame) Siracusa has a wealth of ancient Greek ruins and the largest Greek theater from the 5th Century BC. Our hotel is in the center of ancient Ortigia. Enjoy a test ride around the ramparts before our special welcome dinner tonight.
Distance: Test ride. Meals: D
Lodging: Algila Ortigia Charme Hotel
Day 2: Siracusa to Noto
Highlights: UNESCO town of Noto, country resort near the world famous Vendicari nature reserve
Your first ride in Sicily has you pedaling through small beach and fishing towns, passing an abandoned "tonara" or tuna canning factory which was one of the biggest economic drivers of the island in the late 18th and 19th centuries. The route takes us inland to the imposing town of Noto, one of the many towns in this region rebuilt (in a new location) in the grand baroque style after the earthquake of 1693. The striking white town is perched above the valley and makes for an impressive destination as you pedal towards it. Enjoy lunch, a snack, or a walk here before continuing on to your destination: a splendid old farmhouse renovated into lodging with a swimming pool and particularly lovely grounds.
Distance: 49km (30 miles). Meals: B, D.
Lodging: Hotel Corte del Sole
Day 3: Noto Loop to Marzamemi and Capo Passero
Highlights: Fishing port of Marzamemi, coastal scenery and beaches, wine tasting
Take your swimming suit along today as there are plenty of opportunities to find an isolated beach to take a refreshing dip. You'll pass through the fishing village of Marzamemi, a village built up around the ancient tonara. The red tuna from this area are still prized in Japan for sushi. While the tonara here is no longer working, the quaint fishing village has maintained its charm with quaint buildings, restaurants, cafés and stores. From here you can opt to continue your ride along a quiet coastal road to Capo Passero, which is the furthest southeastern point in Sicily. This evening we'll enjoy a wine tasting before dinner together.
Distance: 65km (40 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Corte del Sole
Day 4: Spectacular climb to the high plains of the interior
Highlights: Cavagrande del Cassibile, lunch together with pool and sea view, lovely farm hotel amid almond and olive groves
Your ride today takes you to the interior of the island through olive and almond groves. An impressive climb of approximately 400 meters (1,300 feet) up a narrow canyon that delivers stunning views into the deep canyon and far out to the sea as you summit on the plateau. Reward yourself with a pool side lunch (and perhaps a dip in the pool!) before continuing along the plateau to reach our quiet country lodge immersed in the hills and close to the expansive ruins of the old city of Noto destroyed in the earthquake of 1693. A brief stroll through Noto Antica's ruins allows you to travel back in time and imagine the large city that once dominated the area. All that remains today is scattered stones, crumbling buildings and tower ruins.
Distance: 49km (30 miles). Meals: B, L, D
Lodging: May departure will be at the Masseria degli Ulivi. September will be at the Borgo Alveria.
Day 5: Ride from Masseria degli Ulivi to Ragusa
Highlights: Country roads, the new and old cities of Ragusa
You are primarily on country roads today as you pedal west to Ragusa. Stop and visit an olive oil press to learn about the local olives, the local farmers, and the business of making olive oil. From there you'll continue to Ragusa which, like Noto, was rebuilt in the 17th century after the massive earthquake. Uniquely though, Ragusa was not moved to a new site. The result is a new baroque town on a ridge top next to the ancient town clinging to a narrow ridge and the valley below.
Distance: 63km (39 miles). Meals: B
Lodging: Locanda Don Serafino
Day 6: Bicycle from Ragusa to Scicli
Highlights: Lands once occupied by Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans and Italians; water mill; archaeological site of Cava d'Ispica; picnic
The timeless landscape of southeast Sicily comes to life today as you pedal ridges and hills toward the famous archaeological sites of Cava d'Ispica, a narrow gorge filled with grottoes which were used since Neolithic times for lodging. Enjoy a picnic lunch near a unique water mill built in a cave before continuing on to the delightful town of Scicli. Scicli is the set for the TV film series Inspector Montalbano, based on the fictional town of Vigáta. Tourism to the area has boomed thanks to this popular TV series although a guided walk through town will highlight much more than a mere TV set!
Distance: 72km (45 miles). Meals: B, L
Lodging: Hotel Novecento
Day 7: Loop Rides from Scicli to Modica and/or Donnalucata
Highlights: Famous chocolate town of Modica and to the seaside town of Donnalucata
We'll mark two loop rides today to nearby Modica and to the seaside at Donnalucata. Donnalucata is the site of a decisive battle in 1091 between the Normans and the moors. It was also central to the allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943. It also offers a chance for a little beach time for those so inclined. Modica is another town rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693 but, as it sits astride the Modica River, it also suffered from devastating floods at the beginning of the 19th century. Modica is also famous for retaining the original Aztec recipe for chocolate imported by the Spaniards in the 16th century. We'll enjoy an aperitif this evening before our last dinner together.
Distance: 60km (37 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Novecento
Day 8: Shuttle to Agrigento or enjoy your continued travels
Highlights: Continue your exploration of Sicily
Your tour ends today unless you wisely decide to continue your exploration of Sicily and join us to Cycle Southwestern Sicily's Ancient Mediterranean Cities. We'll include a shuttle to Agrigento where the tour begins.
HighlightsUNESCO World Heritage Sites in the vale di Noto, Syracuse, Rural countryside accommodations with pools, Olive oil tasting, Beaches and swimming opportunities
IncludesUse of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 8 days, 7 nights' accommodation; van support; 2 to 3 bilingual tour leaders; all breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners with wine; cheese tasting; olive press visit and tasting; group walk Ortigia (Syracuse) and Scicli plus "The Usual""The Usual" (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)
Begin/EndSiracusa (Syracuse in English) / Scicli
Arrive/DepartCatania Airport (CTA)
Total Distance358 km (221 miles)
Daily DistanceAverage per riding day 60 km (37 miles)
Rating301 Expect some climbing every day. 201 level riders can shuttle on Day 5, and do the shorter ride option on Day 7
TermsTerms & Conditions
Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes May 5-12, 2017 US $3750.00 US $550.00 Guaranteed to Go! Book it Sep 23-30, 2017 US $3750.00 US $550.00 Space Running Out! 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 private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.
2016 New Destination - Southeastern Sicily
We interview Bea Tassinari, our Country Coordinator in Italy about our new cycling tour in Sicily
A Sicilian Feast
Spaghetti alla chitarra con Pesto di Sedano e Pistacchi - Celery Pistachio Pesto
Italy Trip Planner
Read up on country customs, transportation information, culinary specialites, and more!
Meals on Your Bicycle Tour
Information on how meals work on ExperiencePlus! Bicycle tours
Per la Cena or What's for Dinner?
Bea Tassinari coordinates meals for our tours in Italy and shares her secrets for ordering a great meal.
The Emperor and The Saint
Paola Malpezzi Price reviews this biography of two of histories most important men, Frederick II and Francis of Assisi combined with a detailed description of history and monuments. Many of you have been to the places that the book mentions on our tours in Italy!
Italian Recipes from Paola
University of Oregon's Alumni Magazine highlights three of Paola's recipes
- 2016 New Destination - Southeastern Sicily
It was an excellent trip. Sicily is beautiful and the tour leaders were outstanding!Gordon T., Calgary, Canada