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Cycle Touring Italy's Islands - Sicily
Ride through the UNESCO Val di Noto and Montalbano's filming locations on an 8-day cycle tour through Sicily. Sicily is not only the biggest island in the Mediterranean but also one of the most fascinating, thanks to the incredibly diverse heritage left here by past civilizations including the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans and Spanish. On this exciting cycling tour you will explore the south-eastern part of the island, pedalling through the Baroque gems of Ragusa, Modica, Noto and other filming locations of the famous TV series Inspector Montalbano up to Syracuse, the ancient Greek capital.
- CategoryRoad Cycling
- TypeFully Guided
- Duration8 days
- Culture LevelFamiliar
- Skill Level2 - Novice
- Activity Level3 - Active
- Elevation3 - Intermediate
- Distance188.3 miles
- Avg. Daily Distance31.7 miles
- Day 1Start Palazzolo Acreide
Start Palazzolo Acreide, a charming maze of narrow streets and Baroque churches built after the 1693’s earthquake on the site of the Greek Akrai, which was founded in 664 BC. The town is situated in the heart of the Iblean Mountains, overlooking the upper valleys of the Anapo and Tellaro rivers, which helped the Corinthians control a broad swathe of Sicily.
- Hotel Colle Acre, Palazzolo Acreide or similar
- Day 2Ride south to the hilltop Baroque town of Ragusa Ibla; cycle scenic roads to Modica
The explorations start with a ride through the beautiful lower valleys of the Iblean Mountains, passing olive plantations and dry-stone walls that characterise this area. You will then climb into the highlands to the delightful town of Ragusa Ibla, built over three hills separated by a deep valley, and home to beautiful Baroque churches and buildings. After visiting Ragusa, you will cycle for another 14km (8.7mi) to the town of Modica, another gem of the Sicilian Baroque, nestled at the bottom of a deep gorge. Overnight in Modica.
- 31.7 miles
- -1,023.6 ft
- Ferrohotel, Modica or similar
- Day 3Cycle to the lovely beach of Donnalucata and the quaint ancient town of Scicli, famous film set of Inspector Montalbano; ride back to Modica.
Before leaving Modica, you will have the opportunity to taste its famous chocolate with chilli, which is still prepared using the original Aztec recipe brought over by the Spaniards in the 1500's. You will leave Modica behind and ride south through the quiet pictureaque Iblean countryside until you reach the lovely beach of Donnalucata, where you have the chance to swim in the crystal clear sea (weather and season permitting).
From here, move on to a masterpiece of Sicilian Baroque architecture, Scicli, where the popular Inspector Montalbano TV series has been filmed. After enjoying some free time to discover the town's historic centre, cycle back to Modica.
- 32.3 miles
- 2,296.6 ft
- Ferrohotel, Modica
- Breakfast and Dinner
- Day 4Ride through coastal wetlands to Isola delle Correnti, the southernmost point in Sicily
Today's ride will take you to the town of Ispica, where you can stop to admire the Baroque church dominating the beautiful piazza.
Next, pedal through the wetlands of Patano Longarini and Patano Cuba, a favourite spot among migratory birds that are attracted to the unique ecosystem of this area on their journey between Africa and Europe. Following the coastline, you will reach Sicily’s southernmost point: Isola delle Correnti, where the waters of the Ionian and the Mediterranean seas merge.
Accommodations for tonight will be in the old fishing village of Portopalo di Capo Passero.
- 33.6 miles
- 1,312.3 ft
- Hotel Vittorio, Portopalo
- Day 5Coastal ride to Marzamemi and the Vendicari Nature Reserve; continue to the UNESCO-listed Baroque town of Noto
A short coastal ride brings you to Marzamemi, one of Sicily's prettiest fishing villages which offers postcard views, numerous cafes and restaurants. Continue on to the beautiful Vendicari Nature Reserve. This narrow stretch of marshy coastline provides a rare and now completely protected habitat for migratory species and for the local flora and fauna. There are some beautiful sandy beaches, perfect for a swim in the clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
As you leave the reserve behind, you will head north to the elegant town of Noto, another UNESCO World Heritage site. Noto is an absolute gem, a planned town in the unique Sicilian Baroque style, all built in beautiful honey-coloured stone. A must try in Noto is the delicious almond granita (similar to a sorbet) with brioche, typical of the area! Overnight in Noto.
- 29.8 miles
- 1,640.4 ft
- Hotel Flora, Noto
- Day 6Circular ride to Cavagrande National Reserve and the deep Cassibile Canyon
You will start the day with a challenging but rewarding climb to San Corrado and the ruins of Noto Antica, the original settlement of Noto completely destroyed by the earthquake of 1693. You will then continue up until reaching the viewpoint of Cavagrande del Cassibile (505 m/1656ft), one of the deepest canyons found in Europe. The scenery here is spectacular and offers dramatic views of the valley far below. In the afternoon you will enjoy a beautiful descent with hairpin bends towards the coast and then back to Noto.
- 26.7 miles
- Hotel Flora, Noto
- Day 7Final coastal ride to Syracuse; free time to discover the historic town
Today's gentle ride follows the coast all the way to Syracuse, passing beautiful beaches where, weather permitting, you will stop for a refreshing dip in the sea. The afternoon will be spent in Ortigia, the island where Syracuse was founded. After a short orientation tour, there is free time to explore at your own pace, head to the beach, do some shopping or visit the famous archaeological park. Overnight in Syracuse.
- 24.9 miles
- -295.3 ft
- Piccolo Hotel Casa Mia, Siracusa
- Day 8End Syracuse
The trip ends in Syracuse in the morning of day 8.