Bicycle the Baroque Towns of Southeastern Sicily

Friends cycling in Sicily on a guided bike tour.
  • Length 8 days
  • From USD$4495
  • Style/Level Classic 3.0
  • Countries Italy
  • Begin/End Siracusa (Syracuse in English) / Scicli
See related tours

This bicycle tour of southeast Sicily explores the heart of ancient Magna Grecia. Beginning in Siracusa or Syracuse in English, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with over 3,000 years of Mediterranean history you’ll discover the interior towns in the Valle di Noto. Most of which were destroyed in a massive earthquake that killed 60,000 people in 1693. Under Spanish dominion at the time architects called on two centuries of Urban planning experience and rebuilt eight towns here in the late Baroque style. You’ll visit four of them, Ragusa, Scicli, Modica and Valle di Noto. All four are listed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites and each one is spectacularly beautiful.

***Continue your exploration of Sicily and join us to for the Grand 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.***

Highlights

  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the valle di Noto, Syracuse, Rural countryside accommodations with pools, Olive oil tasting, Beaches and swimming opportunities, Archaeological site of Cava d’Ispica.

Includes

Keep in mind

We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

  • We recommend not drinking the tap water in Sicily. While tap water in Europe is generally safe to drink, Sicily is different. We will provide bottled water on tour. If you arrive early, we recommend you drink bottled water also.
  • We will have a free night in Ragusa on Day 5, where you can choose to dine at Michelin restaurants if you wish. If you’d like to enjoy an evening at either Locanda don Serafino (1 Michelin star) or Ciccio Sultano Duomo (2 Michelin stars), we recommend you make reservations online in advance. 


Date Price Private room fee Note
May 4-11, 2024 USD$4495 USD$550 Call for availability
Sep 14-21, 2024 USD$4495 USD$550
Sep 28-Oct 5, 2024 USD$4495 USD$550 2 Spaces Remaining!
DateMay 4-11, 2024
PriceUSD$4495
Private room feeUSD$550
NoteCall for availability
DateSep 14-21, 2024
PriceUSD$4495
Private room feeUSD$550
Note
DateSep 28-Oct 5, 2024
PriceUSD$4495
Private room feeUSD$550
Note2 Spaces Remaining!

Download Itinerary

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  • Total distance 360 km (222 miles)
  • Average daily distance 56 km (35 miles)
  • Tour style Classic
  • Tour level 3.0

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.

Meals : Dinner
Lodging : Henry’s House

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 a walk in Noto before heading to our destination tonight, a splendid old farmhouse renovated into lodging with a swimming pool and particularly lovely grounds.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Corte del Sole

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.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Corte del Sole

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.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging : Kallikoros

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.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel San Giorgio

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 walk through town will highlight much more than a mere TV set! *The May 4 departure will stay at Palazzo Conti.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Novecento , Scicli Albergo Diffuso , Palazzo Conti

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 a special visit and tasting at the Bonajuto chocolate shop which touts six generations of artisan confectioners. *The May 4 departure will stay at Palazzo Conti.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Novecento , Scicli Albergo Diffuso , Palazzo Conti

Highlights: Continue your exploration of Sicily

Your tour ends today unless you decide to continue your exploration of Sicily and join us to Cycle Southwestern Sicily’s Ancient Mediterranean Cities.

Meals : Breakfast

Visit our Tour Level page to learn more about terrain levels and how we determine day and tour levels.



Pre-trip planning checklist



  • It was an excellent trip. Sicily is beautiful and the tour leaders were outstanding!

    Gordon T., Calgary, Canada
  • Trip of a lifetime!!!

    Lesley O., Cheyenne, WY – May 2017
  • I loved the biking, of course. And the dips in the sea. Combination of small towns and coastal routes, and Italian food is a draw. We loved this trip so much that we”ve already put down a deposit on our next one–to Portugal!

    Kathy W., Menlo Park, CA – September 2017