Cycle Sicily


    enquire now 8 Days From NZD $1,690 pp twinshare
    Independent traveller
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    A stunning cycle in south-east Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean and renowned for its rich history and Baroque architecture. You will cycle through the Val di Noto, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and discover the most fascinating cities of the region. The tour starts in Caltagirone, where you can climb the 142-step ceramic staircase. You will visit the small fishing town of Marzamemi, Noto, the most important Baroque city in Sicily, and Syracuse, the ancient Greek capital. Throughout the ages Syracuse, has been under Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Swabian, Angevin and Spanish rule. It is now home to a charming mixture of people and outstanding monuments, some of which are still in use, such as the Greek Theatre. An active week which will see you immersed in the history, culture and the unspoilt coastline of Sicily.

    Highlights

    • Experience the breath-taking coastal scenery of eastern Sicily
    • Explore the ancient city of Syracuse with its incredible Greek Theatre
    • History, culture, white sand beaches and the Italian dolce vita – all in one week
    • Enjoy delicious culinary specialties of the region, especially fresh seafood

    Itinerary

    Day 1 Arrive Caltagirone
    On arrival make your way to the hotel in Caltagirone. Here you will receive your bike and information package. Caltagirone is a lively Baroque town, famous for its production of pottery and ceramics. You should take the time to visit the 142-step monumental Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte in the old town. Built in 1608 each step is adorned with unique hand-decorated ceramics, using styles and figures derived from traditional pottery making. The breath-taking view from the top is worth the climb and along the way you can browse the ceramic stores that line the staircase.

    Day 2 Transfer to Piazza Armerina, return cycle to Caltagirone (35km)
    This morning you will be transferred to Piazza Armerina with its Villa Romana del Casale, 5km southwest of town. First excavated in 1950, it was probably a hunting lodge and summer house, and is decorated with multi-coloured mosaic floors that are unique throughout the Roman world in their quality and extent. After the visit you take a circular route back to Caltagirone. (B)

    Day 3 Cycle south to Comiso, transfer to Modica (50km)
    Today you will cycle southward from Caltagirone until you reach Comiso. From here you will be transferred to Modica. The upper town is watched over by the magnificent 18th century facade of the church of San Giorgio. While in Modica you must try the famous spicy chocolate, influenced by the Aztecs. (B)

    Day 4 Descend alongside the caves of the Iblei mountains en route to Pozzallo (35km)
    From Modica you will gradually descend alongside the caves characteristic of the Iblei mountains to Scicli, totally rebuilt in the Baroque style after the earthquake of 1693. Scicli is a great town with beautiful architecture. Continue onwards to the coastal town of Pozzallo. (B)

    Day 5 Cycle through Portopalo di Capo Passero to Marzamemi (55km)
    Today’s cycle is almost completely on flat roads. The route will take you through Portopalo di Capo Passero, the southernmost point of continental Europe. Before you arrive in Marzamemi, you should be able to see the beautiful island of Correnti which marks the meeting point of the Ionian and Mediterranean seas. This small fishing village is one of the best kept secrets of south-eastern Sicily. (B)

    Day 6 Pass through the natural preserve of Vendicari and continue to Noto (20km)
    Cycle north today, passing through the relatively untouched and pristine natural preserve of Vendicari, where you can relish the beauty of the countryside, before continuing to the city of Noto. Considered to be the finest Baroque town in Sicily, Noto was completely devastated in the earthquake of 1693 and was rebuilt in the style of the time. It has beautiful honey-coloured stone buildings with ornate churches and monuments surrounding attractive piazzas. Noto and its church have both been declared UNESCO World Heritage sites. (B)

    Day 7 Cycle to the Ancient Greek capital, Syracuse (40km)
    Today’s cycle will bring you to Syracuse (Siracusa), an ancient Greek capital, home to Archimedes and one of Italy’s most important archaeological centres. With the island of Ortigia in the background, the centre of Syracuse is a wonderful example of an ancient city and the old town is an excellent area to explore. Piazza Duomo will definitely impress you. This large square has been beautifully restored, and the Cathedral/Duomo in the centre is worth visiting. (B)

    Day 8 Trip concludes
    The trip concludes after breakfast. You can reach Catania by bus or train from Syracuse. (B)

    Inclusions

    • 7 breakfasts
    • 7 nights accommodation in comfortable B&B, agriturismo and 3-star hotels
    • Luggage transfer
    • Transfer from Caltagirone to Piazza Armenia and from Comiso to Modica
    • Route descriptions and maps per room booked
    • Emergency hotline
    • 27 gear bicycle with puncture resistant tyres, gel saddle, helmet and pannier
    • Bike insurance for loss or damage

    UTX-UCS

    Images courtesy of Utracks