Racing bike tour in eastern Sicily

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 road bike tour brings you to Sicily, a fascinating island: mythical and very real, sunny and magnificent, rich in nuances and particularities. Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and Normans have inhabited its land over the centuries and each of these civilisations has left its signs in the culture, traditions and art. Touring the island by road bike, you come across Greek temples, Roman mosaics, Arab constructions and Norman buildings, which coexist in perfect harmony and give this land an unquestionable uniqueness. The most striking thing about Sicily is its unspoilt nature and its unusual and varied landscapes

Along the enchanting coasts, you can find everything from rocky cliffs to great flat expanses of sandy beach. Sicily is also a land rich with culinary traditions, and the food and wine reflect the numerous contacts between the various civilisations over the centuries. The typical dishes of this region are pasta alla Norma, pesce alla ghiotta, cuscusu (a Trapanese version of the fish-based couscous dish of Arab origin), arancini, and the famous cakes and pastries, of which its crowning glories are cassata, cannoli, almond pastries and crushed-ice drinks. Among the area’s wines are the famous Passito di Pantelleria, Malvasia di Lipari and the renowned fortified wine of Marsala.

Scicli

During this tour, you cycle through a typical Sicilian landscape and will discover beautiful towns like Caltagirone, famous for its ceramics, Palazzolo Acreide, Modica, Scicli, Ragusa Ibla, the baroque city of Noto, Piazza Armerina, known for the mosaics of the Roman Villa del Casale, and Syracuse, one of the capitals of the Greek colonies of Magna Grecia

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), capital 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 through the Baroque part of Sicily.

Impressions

Self guided tour
Difficulty level 4
Racing bike tour in eastern Sicily

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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