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Cycling in Sicily

Ride through Sicily’s best UNESCO sites and towns, home
of Inspector Montalbano



At a glance

* 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

Ride through Sicily’s best UNESCO sites and towns, home
of Inspector Montalbano

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.

https://www.exodus.co.uk/sites/exod/files/node/itinerary/images/mwy_1.jpg?t=1DnGIr

Type: Land Only

Flight prices available from NeenanCycling. Contact us for details

What’s included

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

Food:
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.

Start destination: Palazzolo Acreide

End destination: Syracuse

Cycling profile

Day 1

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.
**

Day 2

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)

Day 3

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.

Day 4

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).

Day 5

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).

Day 6

We start our day with a challenging but rewarding climb towards San Corrado
to reach the canyon of Cavagrande del Cassibile, one of the deepest found in
Europe. The scenery here is spectacular and we enjoy dramatic views of the
valley far below. We then have an excellent winding descent to the coastal
plain and the sea at Syracuse, the capital of Magna Graecia. Overnight in
Syracuse.
Cycle approx. 55km (ascent +602m; descent -702m)

Day 7

Our final ride follows one of the first coastal cycle paths in Southern
Italy. Along the route we will see the remains of the city walls and the
ingenious defensive system erected by Dionysius in the 4th century BC. The
end point will be the ‘Tonnara di Santa Panagia’, an ancient tuna fish
factory located in the small gulf of Trogylos. We return to Syracuse
following the same route and we reach Ortigia, the island where Syracuse was
founded, just in time for lunch. 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. 17km (ascent +140m; descent -139m)

Day 8

The trip ends in Syracuse in the morning of day 8.
**

Prices & Dates

Date: 2018-03-252018-04-01

Trip code: MWY180325

Availability: Available

Price: €1455

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Date: 2018-04-222018-04-29

Trip code: MWY180422

Availability: Available

Price: €1455

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Date: 2018-05-062018-05-13

Trip code: MWY180506

Availability: Available

Price: €1455

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Date: 2018-05-132018-05-20

Trip code: MWY180513

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1495

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Date: 2018-06-102018-06-17

Trip code: MWY180610

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1495

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Date: 2018-09-022018-09-09

Trip code: MWY180902

Availability: Available

Price: €1525

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Date: 2018-09-162018-09-23

Trip code: MWY180916

Availability: Available

Price: €1525

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Date: 2018-09-232018-09-30

Trip code: MWY180923

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1525

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Date: 2018-10-072018-10-14

Trip code: MWY181007

Availability: Available

Price: €1455

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Date: 2018-10-212018-10-28

Trip code: MWY181021

Availability: Available

Price: €1455

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Date: 2018-11-042018-11-11

Trip code: MWY181104

Availability: Available

Price: €1455

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Date: 2019-03-302019-04-06

Trip code: MWY190330

Availability: Available

Price: €1495

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Date: 2019-04-212019-04-28

Trip code: MWY190421

Availability: Available

Price: €1495

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Date: 2019-05-052019-05-12

Trip code: MWY190505

Availability: Available

Price: €1495

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Date: 2019-05-122019-05-19

Trip code: MWY190512

Availability: Available

Price: €1525

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Date: 2019-06-092019-06-16

Trip code: MWY190609

Availability: Available

Price: €1525

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Date: 2019-09-012019-09-08

Trip code: MWY190901

Availability: Available

Price: €1565

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Date: 2019-09-152019-09-22

Trip code: MWY190915

Availability: Available

Price: €1565

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Date: 2019-09-222019-09-29

Trip code: MWY190922

Availability: Available

Price: €1565

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Date: 2019-10-062019-10-13

Trip code: MWY191006

Availability: Available

Price: €1495

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Date: 2019-10-202019-10-27

Trip code: MWY191020

Availability: Available

Price: €1495

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Date: 2019-11-032019-11-10

Trip code: MWY191103

Availability: Available

Price: €1495

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Customer Feedback

Superb Cycling in Sicily

Summary:
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.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
The descent into Syracuse was out of this world.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
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.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

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

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
10/10- Excellent.

Read full review

Giro De Sicily

Summary:
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.

Rating: 4

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Descending through countless hairpins on last but one day.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

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

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
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.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

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

Read full review

Wildflowers, empty roads and big, big hill climbs!

Summary:
Sicily is an intriguing place full of history that is very much alive all
around you. The highlands, with empty roads and big views, were lovely. In
April there were very few tourists and there were amazing wildflowers
everywhere. The weather was rather ‘English’ though! The food was amazing.

Rating: 4

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
In Syracuse, walking down a little alley, an operatic aria was playing on a
sound system somewhere, and all the street traders suddenly started singing
along, joining in one by one, with beautiful voices. It was magical!
Everywhere we went there were beautiful wildflowers like I’ve never seen
before. Definitely recommend going in April for that reason, as well as the
fact that the tourist draws and beaches are very quiet.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
The group leaders were excellent, really worked hard to look after us and
passionate about their homeland. The picnic lunches were outstanding.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Make sure you practice riding up hills! Overall level 3 is fair, but there
are some really hilly sections, with sustained climbs. Also, in April, bring
clothing for a range of weather.

Read full review

Cycling in Sicily

Summary:
It takes a lot to come together to make to make a perfect trip but this one
succeeded. The group gelled perfectly although there was big range of cycling
abilities. The leader was excellent, the accommodation good and last but not
least he hire bikes were very good, which is not always the case.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
The best moment was the exciting descent down a series of hairpins on the
penultimate day of the trip

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Daniela and Guiseppe took very good care of everyone. Daniela’s knowledge of
the places we visited also enhanced the quality of the trip

Read full review

Cycling Sicily

Summary:
Country is beautiful with so much history. Great for historical buffs and
scenery lovers. Everyday was different with scenery and great variety of
hills. Going through farmlands and cycling along the waterfronts.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
The city of Syracuse is spectacular.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Our guide Daniela was amazing, very knowledgeable of the country’s history
and areas. You can see her love and passion of the country come out in
everything she said and did. She went out of her way to make sure we all
enjoyed ourselves.
Giuseppe our driver, bike repairer and lunch maker was also fantastic. Though
Giuseppe did not know much English none of us had any problem communicating
with him. The lunches he put together were spectacular, healthy and sometimes
too much.
Daniela and Giuseppe worked so well together.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Some of the hills are challenging so preparing ahead of time would be
advisable but very doable.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Sicily is definitely a country to see. You will eat like kings and queens
everyday. If you are doing a cycling trip try to add some time at the
beginning or end to see other parts of the country.

Read full review

Cycling in Sicily

Summary:
Lovely Holiday in Sicily.
Lea the guide was very good, friendly, patient and very knowledgeable.
There were 13 in our group, many were club cyclists who left me behind on the
hills.
For me the hills were steep and some very long!
I think that was more to do with my level of fitness than anything else. That
said I enjoyed the challenge and I didn’t give in!
For me the highlights were Modica, Noto and Syracuse.
I thought the accommodation was of a high standard overall. Loved the
farmhouse, we had a lovely suite.
The picnic lunches were excellent courtesy of Giuseppe who travelled with our
luggage and looked after us and the bikes. I have to say the bikes were in
excellent condition.
The weather was fantastic all week, temperatures ranged from 25 to 30
degrees. Pretty hot for someone from Shetland!!
The only area I felt could be improved was the choice of venue for evening
meals, They were fine and I think chosen to cater for all tastes.
This was a minor gripe in an otherwise fantastic trip.
I met some lovely people, took some awesome pictures, got fitter, saw the
sun!

Rating: 4

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
The historic town of Syracuse and the sunset. I enjoyed it all really!

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Lea was great.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Get some hill climbs in before you go!

Read full review

Jane Stirling

Summary:
I have just returned from a week’s cycling in Sicily that covered 45-65 k a
day. The 15-person group – Icelandics, Canadians and Brits – were immensely
kind and supportive.

Rating: 4

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Improving in fitness over the week and not being too far behind the real
cyclists was, for me, inspirational. Off the bike, the historical sites,
especially the catacombs at Syracuse, and the beautiful coastline, were also
stimulating.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Leah was a an excellent leader and very knowledgeable on the history of
Sicily. Giuseppe provided wonderful lunches and van back up.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
I am fit, but not particularly cycling fit. I did intend to get cycling fit
but the poor weather meant that I cycled in the gym whilst watching a film on
the TV screen. Reality was much tougher and Sicily was hillier than I
expected! So my advice would be to prepare a little better than I did. A
‘moderate’ ride was for me ‘challenging’.

Read full review

Sicilly

Summary:
Cycling holiday

Rating: 4

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Lovely scenery – so varied
Loved cycling down to the coast and see the lovely blue see
Learning from others in the group how they approach different challenges

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Excellent. For the whole week, he had exactly the right balance. We had a
really mixed group of some really keen cyclists and others (like myself) that
would like to be on my bike more but have little time. Thomas ensured a
really great pace and waited for those at the back, always ensuring we kept
together and he was encouraging in terms of doing well and doing the right
pace. He was extremely helpful, always paying each one of us his full
attention.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Do some practice cycling up hills!

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Food was so lovely
Weather was perfect
Could do with an additional guide at the back of the group but van driver
Guiseppe ensured that we also kept together

Read full review

Beautiful scenery, amazing architecture, tasty food, great cycling.

Summary:
This was one of the better cycling trips I have done. Cycling was
challenging only 1 or 2 days. We cycled through some amazing scenery. The
architecture in several of the towns, especially Modica, was extraordinary.
Some hotels were better than others, but that is what to expect on an Exodus
trip. And it goes without saying that the food, especially the seafood and
deserts, was yummy!

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Reaching the most southern tip of Sicily, and putting my left foot in the
Mediterranean, and right foot in the Ionean Sea. It is my Facebook cover
page, and the wallpaper on my computer at work.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Our guide Thomas was so thorough, organized, and especially caring of all
travelers. He encouraged the less experienced cyclists as they struggled up
the hills. Any request was looked into and honored.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
BRING BUG REPELLENT! The mosquitos are relentless, and they are everywhere,
even in the larger cities like Catania. If you have extra days in the
beginning or end, visit Taormina.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
If you are looking to train for the Tour de France, this trip is not for you.
Conversely, if you are not used to cycling on hills, you will have a hard
time on 2 of the days.

Read full review

Great trip

Summary:
The trip was great with a decent amount of hills! The distances were doable
and the cycles by the coast wonderful! The hotels were all very good
especially the Agriturismo which was amazing!! The only gripe about hotels
was the one in Syracusa which was ok and had no outside space!
We had thee most fantastic lunches courtesy of Giussippe which were better
then any dinners we had!!
All in all a great trip!!
Great group of people helped!!

Rating: 4

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Not applicable.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Thomas was such a lovely guy! An absolute gentleman! He looked after us so
well!
Good leaders really matter!! Great sense of humour!

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
No.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
No.

Read full review


Activity Levels


Activity Levels range from Leisurely to Tough, the grading takes into account the daily cycling distances and terrain, as well as any technical riding skill required. We also consider the number of cycling days as there can be a cumulative affect from tiredness on a longer trip and the type of accommodation used, as this can also influence your day to day recovery.

If you are in any doubt, please give us a call on +353-1-607 9900 or email us.


Activity level 1 - Leisurely Activity level 1: Leisurely

If you can ride a bike and enjoy gentle exercise, these are an ideal introduction to a cycling holiday. No routes are entirely flat, so expect some short climbs and descents. Maximum daily height gain is approximately 250 metres and daily distances rarely exceed 50kms (32 miles), any longer days are often optional.


Activity level 3 - Moderate Activity level 3: Moderate

Most people who enjoy a weekend riding at home will enjoy a Moderate trip. You need to be in good health and reasonably fit. Ideal for occasional cyclists, or as a more relaxed trip for fitter riders. Moderate off-road trips require no previous experience. Distances rarely exceed 70kms (43 miles) per day.


Activity level 5 - Challenging Activity level 5: Challenging

For any ride at this level, fitness is important. Challenging trips require confidence in your ability and physical condition. They are equivalent to an extended period of cycling at home. Previous mountain biking experience is essential for Challenging off road trips as they will involve some technical riding.


Activity level 7 - Tough Activity level 7: Tough

Previous experience of the cycling style or surface is a must as these routes have long cycling days and tougher terrain on both road and off road trips. You need complete confidence in your fitness and technical ability to cope with difficult or steep terrain, rough surfaces and longer distances. Ideal for those seeking a challenge!


Split grades

In order to provide more accuracy, where a trip falls between two grades we use an intermediate or ‘split’ grade, for example 2: Leisurely/Moderate.


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