Cycling the Coast of Sicily

  • Itinerary Summary

    This bicycle tour of western Sicily will show you the best of Magna Grecia, Norman Sicily, and traditional southern Italy. Beginning in Castellammare del Golfo, you'll ride to the coastal towns of Trapani and end in Marsala. Stay at the famous beach resort of San Vito lo Capo and enjoy the orange groves of this beautiful Mediterranean island.

    ***Extend this bicycle tour 4 more days. Click here to review our Cycling the Coast of Sicily Plus! Ancient Mediterranean Cities tour details page.***

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    1. Day 1: Shuttle from Palermo to Castellammare del Golfo

      Highlights: Bike fitting and introductory dinner

      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: 24 km (15 miles). Meals: D

      Lodging: Hotel Al Madarig

    2. Day 2: Bicycle Segesta and San Vito Lo Capo

      Highlights: Ancient Greek ruins, coastal riding, the beach

      We 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!

      Distance: 72 km (45 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Miraspiaggia

    3. Day 3: Ride to Trapani

      Highlights: Trapani, vibrant seaport, historic center hotel

      We 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.

      Distance: 39 km (28 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Residence La Gancia

    4. Day 4: Trapani optional ride to Erice

      Highlights: Explore historical Trapani and the fortress in Erice

      Today 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.

      Distance: 0-36 km (0-20 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: Residence La Gancia

    5. Day 5: Trapani to Marsala

      Highlights: Marsala wine tasting, 8th century BC Phoenician ruins

      We 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.

      Distance: 51 km (32 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: Hotel Carmine

    6. Day 6: Loop ride through Marsala's vineyards

      Highlights: Marsala's vineyards and Mazara del vallo

      We'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: 68 km (42.5 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Carmine

    7. Day 7: Tour Ends in Marsala

      Highlights: Spend some time on the beach, or head home

      Our bike tour of Sicily finishes after breakfast this morning; spend some extra days here at the beach or head off to visit more spectacular sites on this island. Buses and trains can get you off to Trapani or back to Palermo. Whatever you do, arrivederci!

      Meals: B

      ***Extend this bicycle tour 4 more days. Click here to review our Cycling the Coast of Sicily Plus! Ancient Mediterranean Cities tour details page.***

    • Highlights

      Phoenician/Greek ruins of Motya, Medieval Erice, Trapani , Marsala wines, famous beach resort town of San Vito lo Capo
    • Includes

      7 days, 6 nights accommodation, 4 dinners with wine, one wine tasting & 6 breakfasts; shuttle from Palermo town center to the tour start on Day 1 plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

    • Begin/End

      Castellammare del Golfo ( shuttle from Palermo town center) / Agrigento
    • Arrive/Depart

      Palermo Falcone Borsellino Airport (PMO) / Palermo or Trapani-Birgi Airport (TPS)
    • Total Distance

      219-249 km (135 - 154 miles)
    • Daily Distance

      Average 43 - 49 km (27 - 30 miles)
    • Rating

      201-301 Easy first day leads to more challenging days with steep but short climbs. One day with an extended climb of 8 miles. 2 optional rest days.
    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes

    * 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.

  • Stories

    • 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.

    • Recipe: Sicilian Blood Orange Salad

      A citrusy salad inspired by an island in the Mediterranean known for its infused flavors and mélange of Spanish, Greek, and Arab influences in its culinary tradition.

    • Sicily Prepares for Italy's 150th Anniversary

      Sicly and Italy prepare for their Sesquicentennial celebration in 2011.

    • Authentic Italian Food

      Lonely Planet writes about expectations on meals in Italy: it may be different than you make at home, but you will be impressed nevertheless!

    • Palermo Street Food

      Palermo, Italy is known for its street food, as a matter of fact, perhaps may rank in the top 10 in the world.

    • Pasta for Dinner

      A simple and tasty pasta for an Italian-themed meal as you plan your trip to ride bikes in Italy.

    • It was a great trip! The tour leaders did a fantastic job.

      Mary S., Ventnor, NJ
    • A great tour company with great tours guides. They know how to make your trip enjoyable and memorable, I especially like the powder chalk on the roads to guide you to your destinations.

      Pete M., Kailua, HI
    • Cycling in Sicily you have rugged beauty, wonderful vistas, fabulous fresh food, Greek ruins and lovely people.

      Nancy S., West Newton, MA
    • I've been bit by the bug!! It was the best vacation ever and I can hardly wait til we can do it again. Maybe Chile next year?

      Charlene R., Cheyenne, WY
    • Thanks for a wonderful time!

      Dale G., Fort Collins, CO
    • We look forward to our next tour with Expus!

      Ed and Carole R.
      Palmyra, PA
    • [What I liked best was the]The fun we had with the guides. They thought of everything! For example, it was raining so hard one night, and even though it was Igor's and Stephania's night off, they insisted on driving us to their favorite pizza grotto. We could have never found the place in the dark stormy night - they were dears!

      Wendy C.
      Bothell, WA
    • [What I liked best was the ] relatively small group size, daily mileage, avoidance of "commercial experiences"

      Lee H.
      Escondido, CA
    • The tour leaders did it again! Magnificent people that you keep finding, or I guess they find each other ... I like young people and I am especially moved when I meet young people who are good, kind, smart and caring. They all have beautiful hearts and that was the best part of the trip getting to know them.

      Barbara H.
      Lexington, MA
    • This was our second ExperiencePlus! tour -- we had the pleasure to tour Sardinia with Rick and Paola a few years ago -- and surely you'll see us again. We wanted to express our appreciation for our guides ... highly organized but never anxious ... All 3 had amazing language skills, great attitudes, lots of information to share, and were the best of companions and guides. They worked so hard! We could not have asked for a better staff.We also appreciated the excellent and erudite guide at the breath-taking Selinunte ruins. And the unique and fabulous lunch we enjoyed in Caltabellotta was a great experience!

      Beverlee & Lee H.
      Escondido, CA
    • [My favorite experience was] riding. Loved the olive oil factory, marsala wine tour and incredible group lunch on top of the big hill ...The tour leader made the trip a wonderful experience.

      Jan L.
      Sun Valley, ID

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