Racing bike tour in eastern Sicily

An 8-day cycling tour
Cycling tour
Cycling Tours
Difficulty level 4
Individual tour
Self guided tour
code: ITSIC03C
Italy
Sicily

Prices

from 710€

A road bike tour in South-east Sicily

Caltagirone-Palazzo Acreide-Modica-Noto-Siracusa

This racing bike tour in eastern Sicily is ideal to discover a stunning part of this island. It is a fascinating island inhabited over the centuries by the different peoples of Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, and Normans, who have all left their mark in culture, traditions and art. In unspoiled nature, we find Greek temples, Roman villas with beautiful mosaics, Arab and Norman buildings. On this grand and fascinating island in the Mediterranean, we find jagged cliffs, extensive sandy beaches, bays with crystal clear, but also a nature formed by volcanoes.

During this tour, you will cycle through this typical overwhelming Sicilian landscape and discover beautiful cities such as Caltagirone, famous for its ceramics, Palazzolo Acreide, Modica, Scicli, Ragusa Ibla, the baroque city of Noto, Piazza Armerina, with the colorful mosaics of the Roman Villa del Casale and SYRACUSE, one of the most important towns of the Greek colonies Magna Grecia.

Racing bike tour in eastern Sicily
Scicli

Sicily is also a land of culinary traditions, which reveal influences from different civilizations, such as the cuscusu, a Trapanese version of fish-based couscous dish, which is of Arab origin. There are all kinds of delicacies to taste in this land of sun and sea, just to name some the arancini (fried rice balls), the caponata (eggplant and pepper stew), pasta c’anciova, a recipe with an Arabian influence in which sweet and salty flavors are mixed into a delicious whole: anchovies, pine nuts and raisins. Then, of course, we have the delicious Sicilian pastry where almonds are frequently used. Not to be missed is the Cuccia di Santa Lucia, the cassata, cassatelle (sweet pasta), cannoli and the granita, a refreshing drink made of finely crushed ice.

This unique combination of cycling, sun and sea and good food will be an unforgettable experience.

The daily program of the 8-day tour

Individual arrival at Caltagirone, famous for its ceramics made of the excellent quality clay of the area. After the 17th century earthquake Caltagirone is reconstructed in the Baroque style from which you see nice examples in the old town centre. Famous is the Scalinata (stairs) of Santa Maria del Monte tile with hand painted mosaics. Worthwhile is also to visit the museum of ceramics. At the end of the afternoon, handing over of the bikes, if rented, the road book, maps and all the information you need to make a success of this tour.

Overnight with breakfast in Caltagirone.

You leave Caltagirone and cycle along quiet country roads to Piazza Armerina. Here you could make a stop to visit the famous roman mosaics of the roman Villa del Casale. This Roman Villa of the 4th century AD was discovered in 1950 and is a unique example of a roman country estate decorated with multi-coloured mosaics (3500 square metres). Beautiful are the hunting and circus scenes.

 

Overnight with breakfast in Caltagirone

Distance: 96 km / 60 mi

Ascent & Descent: + 1524m – 1524m

The route of today is various and interesting both from historical as naturalistic point of view. The first stop is at Vizzini, a small town with architectural and artistic interesting monuments. There are many churches, but be sure to also see the other monuments such as the town hall and the tanneries…  From Vizzini you continue cycling towards the plateau with its deep canyons, called “caves”. One of the most interesting canyons is the Valle dell’Anapo, which is surrounded by the villages Ferla, Cassaro and Palazzolo Acreide.  A continuous up- and downhill cycling characterize this stage.

Shorter route:

Overnight with breakfast in Palazzolo Acreide

Distance: 71 km /44 mi  

Ascent & Descent: + 1193m – 1134m

 

Longer route:

Overnight with breakfast in Palazzolo Acreide

Distance: 92 km /57 mi

Ascent & Descent: + 1514m – 1455m

Before leaving Palazzolo Arceide you have still time to visit the old centre of town with its many churches. The ancient Greek city lies on the hill above the modern town. The auditorium of the small theater is well preserved. Then in the saddle and your cycle tour begins! You are pedalling through the beautiful territory of the Monti Iblei (Hyblaean Mountains), a unique landscape, where rugged and wild areas alternate with an enchanting green scenery, characterized by the typical stonewalls. Modica is divided in Modica Alta (Upper Modica) and Modica Bassa (Lower Modica). Modica has maintained some of the most beautiful architecture in the Sicilian Baroque style recognizable by its grinning masks and putti and a particular flamboyance that has given Sicily a unique architectural baroque identity. A good example is the Cathedral of St.George (S.Giorgio).

 

Overnight with breakfast in Modica

Distance: 62 km /38 mi

Ascent & Descent: + 1514m – 1455m

Do not leave Modica before you taste the famous chocolate, e.g. spiced with hot chili peppers. Cruising downhill through a beautiful Iblei canyon, you will arrive at Scicli, well worth a stroll along the small alleys and zip a glass of nice Sicilian wine at one of the small terraces. You continue your ride downhill to the coast and arrive to the island “Isola delle Correnti“, a small rocky island, which lies on the same latitude as Tunis and marks the watershed between the Ionian and the Mediterranean Sea. Continuing through Portopalo di Capo Passero and Marzamemi, an ancient fishing village. Then you will reach the entrance to the natural preserve and wildlife sanctuary “Oasi di Vendicari“, one of the more representative humid zones of Europe.  It is a wonderful and uncontaminated reserve full of interesting plants and rare birds. Here you can find hundreds species of birds that choose every year this reserve as a resting place in their travel towards their reproduction zones. After you leave the reserve, you continue pedalling to the most famous baroque town, Noto. In 2002 Noto and its church were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Overnight with breakfast in Noto

Distance: 107 km /66 mi

Ascent & Descent: + 642m – 855m

Today start with an uphill ride to San Corrado, the archaeological area of Noto Antica on the mountain ‘Monte Alveria’ until you arrive to the view point of the nature reserve Cava Grande del Cassibile (505 mt). Dominating in the landscape is the canyon Cava Grande created by erosion of the small waterways running to the sea. It is 300m deep. You continue and arrive at Siracusa (Syracuse), an important colony of ancient Greece, where you certainly will want to visit the stunning archaeological park with the huge Greek theatre. It is worthwhile to visit Ortigia (Ortygia), a small island, which is the historical heart of Siracusa. It is connected to the main land by three bridges. The tight-knit lanes are pleasant for strolling, and much of the island’s charm lies in wandering down narrow medieval lanes, past romantically Baroque palaces and churches, enjoy a good meal in one of the cosy restaurants or sit down at an outdoors cafe table on the main square.

Overnight with breakfast in Siracusa

Distance: 65 km / 40 mi

Ascent & Descent: + 642m – 855m

Free day for visiting Syracuse and the fascinating Ortygia Island, the historical and cultural centre of the city. The Old Town of Siracusa captivates immediately with more than 3000 years of history and archaeological evidence of practically all great civilizations of the Mediterranean

End of this stunning racing bike tour in eastern Sicily.

Impressions

Self guided tour
Difficulty level 4
Racing bike tour in eastern Sicily
An 8-day cycling tour

Caltagirone-Palazzo Acreide-Modica-Noto-Siracusa

Code | ITSIC03C
LEVEL  4

The route follows mainly less frequented secondary roads. Some days there is a significant up- and downhill cycling. This tour is suitable for all healthy and experienced road bikers. Daily distances between 65 km / 40 mi and 107 km / 66 mi

Total km: 401 km / 249 miles or 422 km / 262 miles

 
DEPARTURES:

Daily from January until beginning of November

 
PARTICIPANTS:

1 or more people.

 
START / FINISH:

Caltagirone / Siracuse

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Racing bike tour in eastern Sicily

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