Cycling in Sicily

8 days
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£1,299
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4.5 / 5 from 24 reviews >
Moderate
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Trip code: 
MWY
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Cycling
Min age:
16
Group size:
8–16

Ride through the UNESCO Val di Noto and Montalbano's filming locations

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 Phoenecians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans and Spanish. On this exciting cycling tour we 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. Along the route we enjoy picturesque landscapes made of farmlands, deep gorges and dramatic coastal scenery which showcase the great natural diversity of the region. No trip to Sicily is complete without sampling some of the finest regional delights considered amongst the best of the whole Italian gastronomy.

Highlights

  • Ride the stunning UNESCO Noto Valley
  • Visit the charming Baroque towns of Modica and Noto
  • Point-to-point rides through picturesque countryside and quaint villages
  • Sample superb regional cuisine

Key information

  • 5 nights 3-star hotels and 2 night converted farmhouse, all en suite
  • 8 days land only / flight inclusive
  • 6 days cycling with partial vehicle support (limited seats)
  • Group normally 6 to 16. Min age 16 yrs
  • 90% tarmac and some short sections of gravel; quiet rural undulating roads 
  • Local bike hire included
  • E-bike hire  available on request

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 1 dinner
  • All accommodation 
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request )
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Local city taxes (approx. €15)
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Days of Cycling
Pace:

Moderate: 13-16km/8-10miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; 90% tarmac and some short sections of gravel

Day by day breakdown
Day 251.0km/31.0miles
Day 352.0km/32.0miles
Day 445.0km/27.0miles
Day 541.0km/24.0miles
Day 643.0km/26.0miles
Day 740.0km/24.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Palazzolo Acreide
to
Syracuse
  • Day 1

    Fly to Catania; transfer to Palazzolo Acreide.

    Fly to Catania; transfer to 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 Iblean Mountains, overlooking the upper valleys of Anapo and Tellaro rivers, which helped the Corinthians control a broad swathe of Sicily. In the afternoon there may be time to explore the beautiful heritage found here including some stunning Baroque churches. If the group flight arrives late in the evening we visit Palazzolo the following day in the morning.

  • Day 2

    Ride south to the hilltop Baroque town of Ragusa Ibla; cycle scenic roads to Modica.

    We start our exploration with a ride through the beautiful lower valleys of the Iblean Mountains, passing olive plantations and dry-stone walls that characterise this area. We 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, we cycle for another 14km to the town of Modica, another gem of the Sicilian Baroque, nestled at the bottom of a deep gorge. Overnight in Modica.

    Cycle approx. 51km (elevation gain +529m; elevation loss -841m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Try the famous Modica chocolate with chilli; cycle to the architectural delight of Scicli, famous film set of Inspector Montalbano; on to the fishing village of Marzamemi.

    Before leaving Modica, we 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. We leave Modica behind and ride along a ravine with a downhill bias until we reach another outstanding example of Sicilian Baroque architecture, Scicli, where the popular Inspector Montalbano TV series has been filmed. From here, we move to picturesque Marzamemi, one of Sicily's prettiest fishing villages offering postcard views, numerous cafés and restaurants. Overnight in a lovely agriturismo with pool near Marzamemi.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Circular route through coastal wetlands to Isola delle Correnti, the southernmost point in Sicily.

    A circular ride takes us 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, we reach Sicily’s southernmost point: Isola delle Correnti, where the waters of the Ionian and the Mediterranean seas merge. Back at the agriturismo, we can enjoy an optional fun cookery demonstration and class (payable locally) followed by a delicious dinner.

    Cycle approx. 45km (ascent +300m; descent -300m).

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Coastal ride to the Vendicari Nature Reserve; continue to the UNESCO-listed Baroque town of Noto.

    A short ride brings us 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 we leave the reserve behind, we 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 a 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.

    Cycle approx. 41km (ascent +495m, descent: -344m).

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Circular ride to Cavagrande National Reserve and the deep Cassibile Canyon.

    We start our 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. We continue up until reaching the viewpoint of Cavagrande del Cassibile (505 mt.), 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 we enjoy a beautiful descent with hairpin bends towards the coast and then back to Noto.
    Cycle approx. 43km (ascent +590m; descent -590m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Final 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, we 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 our own pace, head to the beach, do some shopping or visit the famous archaeological park. Overnight in Syracuse.

    Cycle approx. 40km (ascent +10m; descent -100m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Transfer to Catania; fly to London.

    Transfer to Catania; fly to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Combine this trip with

Essential Info

Visas

Italy

No visa required for British passport holders.
Please note in Italy it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times.

Vaccinations

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 1 dinner is included.

Sicilian cuisine is a melting pot of all the different cultures that have occupied the island, from the Arabs to the Normans. The island itself is incredibly fertile, enjoying a perfect climate which is ideal for the cultivation of fresh produce such as olives, oranges, lemons, eggplants, tomatoes, pistachios, almonds, grapes, and more—not to mention all of the seafood, tuna and swordfish fished right off the coast. The result? A cuisine that’s fresh, varied, and absolutely delicious! Sicilian wines are also superb and known to be strong and syrupy, like Marsala and Moscato. On this trip there is the chance to sample some unique Sicilian products. Lunches normally consist of delicious pic-nics, freshly prepared by your assistant leader each day. Dinners will be taken at the hotels or local restaurants recommended by your guide.

Weather

Sicily has a good all year round climate, with plenty of sunshine and warm/hot temperatures. The summer departures ought to have daily hot sunshine and temperatures can reach 30 to 35°C . The earlier and later departures will be cooler with a slightly higher chance of rain - please make sure you pack some warm clothing if you travel in low season. In late summer there is the possibility of heavy thunderstorms, but these are usually short-lived.

Is this trip for you?

This trip is classified Road. 6 days cycling with partial vehicle support (due to limited seats) and a cycling guide; 90% tarmac and some easy sections of gravel.

There are no transfers to or from hotels on this trip: all the rides are designed to be door-to-door. Most of the cycling is along flat to hilly tarmac roads (mainly traffic-free), with a couple of days (Day 2 and 6) of more demanding ascents and undulating routes, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. As we approach the main towns and cities such as Syracuse there are busier sections with traffic at peak hours. If you have any queries about the difficulty of the trip please do not hesitate to call us.

Special e-bike departure

Please note that whilst electric bikes are always available on request for a supplement, we will run a special e-bike departure on the 25th August 2019, where only e-bikes will be available to hire (supplement included in the selling price) Electric bikes provide all the benefits of a normal bike but having power assistance means you will be able to exert less during the ride and hilly sections.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Agriturismo

We use comfortable 3 and 4-star hotels and one agriturismo - a charming renovated farmhouse. The hotels have been carefully selected for their friendly atmosphere and character. All rooms have en suite facilities and the agriturismo has a swimming pool. Most of them are conveniently located in proximity of the charming UNESCO historic centres we visit.

List of hotels normally used:

Palazzolo Acreide: Hotel Colle Acre
Modica: Ferrohotel
Marzamemi: Tenuta Arangio
Noto: La Fontanella (Hotel Flora from 2019)
Siracusa: Piccolo Hotel Casa Mia

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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  • Reviewed November 2018
    Simon Hopper

    Great week cycling in Sicily, but very disappointing flights

    A great week's cycling in Sicily in October. Weather and scenery were great (sunny in high 20's), the group was very entertaining and got on so well that all 16 of us ate together every night, and the tour guides were very helpful, friendly and informative. The cycling route could have been extended, as there were a couple of very light days, but the only real problem was the group flights (see advice below).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not really any inspirational moments - Sicily was great and the group of 16 got on very well together.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Davide di Mauro was excellent throughout.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book your own flights - Exodus group booking means you can't pre-book seats (or even be sure that you will sit next to your partner / friends), you can't check in online, and you get whatever Exodus can find cheapest. We ended up travelling from Heathrow to Milan to catch a connection to Sicily (and almost missed connection on return flight) when we could have flown direct with BA from Gatwick, and the four of us were scattered all over all four flights. Not an enjoyable way of starting or ending your holiday !

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Offer customers alternative flight options so they can pay extra for what they want.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Louise Keesing

    Cycling in Sicily

    A great ride through the outskirts of the region. Accomodation was very good and the farmhouse stay and food exclent. Loved the pasta cooking lesson.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Pasta cooking and watching the olive picking

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was excellent, fun, with us all the way and rapidly found a great alternative when it was too windy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Sicily is much easier than the Amalfi coast and probably don't need an E bike if you can cycle 50km. Really enjoyed Sicily.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Helen O'Connor

    The best of everything

    This trip was so good for the soul: amazing guide (Iris), superman (Giuseppe), towns, laughs, food, beer, wine, sun, storms, swims and group - all in equal measures.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Inspirational no, but as a fan of Montalbano, I was beside myself with giddiness when we got a quick look inside his 'police station and office' in Scicli. Lifetime firsts: I ate a prickly pear, cycled past fields of aubergines and pomegranates and found a fizzy water vending machine where you can fill your own bottle - why don't we have these at home?! I appreciated having 2 hotels where we stayed 2 nights each, particularly the agriturismo, with lovely pool and great staff. I loved all the places we visited, but Siracusa had a particular hold on me.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Iris was wonderful. She made us all feel very safe, was super organised and attentive and good fun. A gem. Her side-kick Giuseppe was brilliant too.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A bit of training beforehand would be good to help you up those hills, particularly if you haven't been on your bike for a while! Although, with e-bikes an option now, it's maybe not required. One point on the e-bikes, some people found them heavy and clunky on the descents. Bring a raincoat for any short, but heavy downpours. Be prepared for a lot of eating.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Jane Holt

    Thoroughly enjoyable

    An excellent holiday all round. Beautiful scenery and architecture, great bikes, lovely company and a fantastic guide in Iris, supported brilliantly by the two Guiseppes!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling into Noto for a fab lunch after a challenging morning!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Iris is knowledgeable, a great leader and good fun to be on holiday with.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Bob Snow

    A wonderful ride in Sicily

    Everything about this ride was great. The scenery, the towns we visited, the food, the accommodation, our fellow cyclists and most certainly our guide Iris and her backup team.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The ascent to the canyon of Cavagrande del Cassibile and the views from the top, followed by the exhilarating descent to Avola.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Iris was absolutely great in every way.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Bronwyn Snow

    Beautiful Sicily

    We enjoyed a wonderful cycling holiday in Sicily. We now have such an appreciation of Sicily's rich cultural past, the delicious Sicilian cuisine and the beautiful countryside we cycled through.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The thrill at having cycled up the 10km climb and then the joy of riding down the other side on day 6.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Iris is an inspiration! She is so capable, friendly, knowledgeable and approachable. Exodus are very fortunate to have her on their team. A really lovely person in every way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Come and do the cycling tour in Sicily, you won't be disappointed !

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The back up team on this tour did an excellent job also. They were very responsive to both Iris and the group and did everything to keep us safe, to have the bikes working well and to transport the luggage each day.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Graham Mosley

    Sicily enjoyed

    This trip opened my eyes; I had thought of Sicily as a hard, arid kind of place, but six days of enjoying the lovely people, wonderful food and interesting sights along the way changed all that. It started well, and then got better and better.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The lunch on the day we biked to Noto. Can't remember where it was but we'd had a good ride, hot and tired, and then we arrived at a quiet oasis of dappled shade. We were presented with a range of tasty Sicilian dishes. Lovely atmosphere - I didn't want to leave.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Others have commented on how good a leader Iris has been. She was very, very good, in a quiet and considerate way. She handled a large group of 17 easily but still had time for individual's issues. In particular, she was well organised and always gave just the right amount of useful information at the right moment. Thanks Iris!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was concerned when I saw that the group would be large, 17 people, in fact. However, it was a great bunch of people who gelled well, better than some smaller groups. No cliques, no delays, no grumbles so thanks to one and all for a great trip! This was a 'point to point' trip; each day we cycled from one hotel to the next which adds to the sense of making a journey by bike. Much better than having piling into a bus for some sections. Sometimes it is unavoidable, of course, such as in India, but it confirms to me that when looking for a trip remember that the 'point to point' is an important factor.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Jane Loughridge

    Beautiful country

    We enjoyed a lovely week’s cycling in Montalbano country along quiet roads surrounded by red and yellow flowers and smelling oleander and citrus blossom. Iris was an excellent guide who never flapped , always ensuring our safety on the roads . The bikes were the best I have hired on an Exodus trip .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Looking down on beautiful Modica from above after a glorious cycle on the first day . Also the delicious picnics provided , at an extra cost , along the way .

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Iris was very organized and supported the group well . She will be a hard act to follow!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An extra day in Noto would have been lovely rather than 2.5 in Syracuse.
  • Reviewed September 2017

    Superb Cycling in Sicily

    This was my first trip with Exodus and I was looking forward to exploring the island. The whole holiday was first class from start to finish. Iris and Giuseppe looked after us throughout and we felt that they were friends not just guides by the end. The group got on very well and although I was the youngest at 28 this was not an issue. Food was superb throughout especially the picnic lunches and food at the agriturismo. Always lots to eat at breakfast and plenty of stops for coffee. Scenery is beautiful and is unspoiled compared to mainland Italy. Bikes are great and well maintained I did not miss my own bike at all. Overall an immersive experience with an excellent group. Just go ahead and book it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The descent into Syracuse was out of this world.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Iris was exceptional she was available at all times for questions but also let us relax and enjoy the trip in our own way. Her restaurant tips were spot on and we enjoyed learning from her.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Leave your own bike at home and make sure to pack a snack if you arrive late on the first day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    10/10- Excellent.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Alan Davies

    Giro De Sicily

    A great 6 days cycling and eating in a very picturesque and quiet region of Sicily, First day was full on but days did get easier although some long climbs. Some fantastic views and towns visited.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Descending through countless hairpins on last but one day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paolo was a character and kept us safe throughout the week but could have been more informative if his English was to improve.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We stayed a couple of days before in Taormina to see Etna and a couple of days after in Syracuse as there are many sights to see there.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thoroughly enjoyable and once again a mixed bag of people that all got on really well.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on 020 8772 3936