Cycling the Coast of Sicily Plus! Ancient Mediterranean Cities

  • Itinerary Summary

    This bicycle tour of western Sicily will show you the best of traditional southern Italy. Beginning in Castellammare del Golfo, 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.

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

      Highlights: Bike fitting and introductory dinner

      We'll 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 (0-22 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: Marsala to our agriturismo outside of Castelvetrano

      Highlights: Castelvetrano, vineyard landscapes, rural country house hotel

      The 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: 71 km (44 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Agriturismo Baglio Vecchio

    8. Day 8: Selinunte to Sciacca

      Highlights: Greek ruins of Selinunte, light lunch

      We'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.

      Distance: 61 km (38 miles). Meals: B, L

      Lodging: Hotel Locanda al Castello

    9. Day 9: Rest day in Sciacca, lunch in Caltabellotta

      Highlights: Special Sicilian lunch in Caltabellotta, optional ride

      Enjoy 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.

      Distance: 0 - 51 km (0 - 31 miles). Meals: B, L

      Lodging: Hotel Locanda al Castello

    10. Day 10: Bicycle Sciacca To Agrigento

      Highlights: Greek Temples of Agrigento

      Our 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). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Colleverde

    11. Day 11: Tour ends in Agrigento

      Highlights: Agrigento

      We say goodbye after breakfast this morning. Stay to explore the ruins of Agrigento if you'd like, or for those headed home, we'll shuttle you to Agrigento's central station at 9:00AM for your transfer back to Palermo. Join us again sometime soon!

      Meals: B

    • Highlights

      Phoenician/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

      11 days, 10 nights' accommodation; 6 dinners with wine, 2 lunches, one wine tasting & 10 breakfasts; shuttle from Palermo town center to tour start on Day 1; guided tour Selinunte plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

    • Begin/End

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

      Palermo Falcone Borsellino Airport (PMO)
    • Total Distance

      459 - 546 km (283 - 337 miles)
    • Daily Distance

      Average 45 - 54 km (28 - 33 miles)
    • Rating

      301 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.
    • 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

    • 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 Newtown, MA
    • The trip was fabulous!

      Vicky and Ian T., Owen Sound, Ontario
    • I enjoyed all the hotels - each very different and that made it more enjoyable. They were well chosen and some in superb locations. A few highlights for me were the cycling, wonderful food & wine, the friendliness of the tour leaders, interesting sites ...Cannolo :) mmmmm. Going to some out of the way places like the lunch venue at Caltabellotta - superb food and it felt special to be able to have our meal there.

      Glenn G., Hamilton, New Zealand
    • The guides had told us of a terrific place for canolis, but it closed at 2:00. At 1:00 we were pretty far away and were over an hour late when we pulled into the town. But there was our leader waiting by the side of the road with a platter of huge fresh canolis, which he had purchased and then brought back for us to consume. They were delicious!!

      Dick S., Palo Alto, CA
    • What was your favorite experience on this trip? Too many to list: the other travelers, the guides, the sites, the routes. It was all very good.

      Robert P., Bellvue, WA
    • It was a wonderful trip. All the participants were friendly and upbeat. ALSO, the dinners we ate together were outstanding! The guides did a great job of choosing the menu. Oh, those canoli!!!!!

      Jerry S., Palo Alto, CA
    • 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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