This is a very enjoyable cycling holiday in Italy on the Island of Sicily. Not only enjoyable but on this cycle tour, you shall see a multitude of historic sites from wonderful Baroque architecture to ancient Greek temples. During the tour, you shall cycle through the Val di Noto, where most of the towns were destroyed by the earthquake of 1693. They were then completely rebuilt in a unique Sicilian Baroque style. They have now been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2003.
During the trip you shall discover beautiful towns like Palazzolo Acreide, Ragusa Ibla, Modica, Scicli and Noto, the latter considered the most important baroque town in Sicily. At the end of the trip you finish in Syracuse, this is one of the most important ancient Greek settlements. Once along the coast, you will see the bird and wildlife sanctuary “Oasi di Vendicari” along with the fishing village of Marzamemi, and the small islands of Capo Passero and Isola delle Correnti.
Sicily is in a strategic position, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, lying between Europe and Africa, linking the eastern and western Mediterranean and the Latin World with the Greek resulted in it being not only the prized possession of foreign powers in its tumultuous history but also a battleground between warring nations. It has a long history of foreign domination which has produced an incredible mix of traditions and cultures, leaving behind some of the most remarkable works of art and architecture found in the Mediterranean world.
The tours follows mainly quiet secondary roads. Mostly over flat terrain, with some hilly sections which depending on your fitness are easy to manage.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Cycling that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
During the individual arrival at Palazzolo Acreide located south east of Catania. If you have time visit the old town of Palazzolo Acreide.
If you did not visit the old town yesterday then we suggest before you start cycling, you visit the historic Old Town of Palazzolo Acreide, with its many baroque buildings and the churches such as San Sebastiano and San Paolo. These are two wonderful examples of Sicilian Baroque architecture. Then you will cycle through the beautiful territory of the Monti Iblei, a unique landscape, where rugged and wild areas alternate with pleasant green scenery, characterized by the typical stone walls. Soon you shall reach Ragusa Ibla. This is one of the most beautiful baroque towns of the Valley of Noto. It is beautifully located on a hilltop like may a historic Italian town! Leaving on your way to Modica there is a climb of 3 km, not steep but long and gentle. The stage ends in Modica, the second baroque jewel of our tour. Make sure you do not miss a visit to the church of San Giorgio.
Before you leave Modica you should taste the famous chocolate which is spiced with hot chilli peppers! The recipe was brought from the Aztecs by the Spaniards to Sicily. Then you shall cruise downhill through the beautiful Iblei canyon where you shall soon arrive in Scicli, another city of the “Val di Noto”. Here it is well worth taking a little break and take a stroll through the small alleys, before you continue down to the coast to Pozzallo. Here you shall see your first long sandy beaches. Maybe a perfect opportunity to finish the stage with a refreshing dip in the sea.
Today you shall have an entirely flat route. You will cycle through some typical wetlands, the “Patano Longarini” and “Patano Cuba”, a popular stopover amongst the migratory birds on their trips between Africa and Europe. Cycling along the shore you will reach the southernmost point of Sicily, the island “Isola delle Correnti”, which lies on the same latitude as Tunisa and marks the watershed between the Ionian and the Mediterranean Sea. Continuing through Portopalo di Capo Passero and Marzamemi, an ancient fishing village, you will finish your ride in the lovely town of San Lorenzo.
Today you are cycling to one of the jewels of Sicily, maybe the jewel in terms of Baroque masterpieces, however before you reach this and with anticipation to head out today by bike on a flat road heading north along the coast. Soon you shall reach the entrance to the nature preserve and wildlife sanctuary “Oasi di Vendicari”, a wonderful and uncontaminated coast full of interesting plants and rare birds like pink flamingos and kingfishers. You will then continue to cycle inland, through some lovely vineyards before reaching Noto. Noto is the capital of Sicilian Baroque with numerous magnificent Palazzi and Churches such as Corso Vittorio Emanuele, an elegant walkway flanked by thrilling baroque palazziand churches.
Today you have two options. Either follow the coast further up north or a detour inland to the vista point of the Cavagrande del Cassible gorge followed by a spectacular downhill with hairpins to the coast. Along the coast, you continue to Syracusa, the metropolis of ancient Greece, where you certainly will want to visit the stunning archaeological park with one of the biggest Greek theatres of the Magna Graecia. You should finish the day with a stroll through the picturesque historical centre, the Island Ortigia.
Departure after breakfast. If you have a longer time, book an extra night or two and visit the fascinating Ortigia island, the historical and cultural centre of the city. The Old Town of Syracusa captivates immediately with more than 3000 years of history and evidence of practically all great civilizations of the Mediterranean.
We suggest booking the incoming transfer from Catania airport however should you wish to travel by public transport there are 3 buses most days from Catania to start, the journey takes over 2 hours. You can also take the train to Syracuse and then a taxi to Palazzola Acreide but this would not really save any money.
2021 Prices – For complete tour price breakdown please click the book now button and select your holiday tour date. Prices will then be listed.
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|ESicily (6 Nights)||from £698||Book Now|