Travelling from the enchanting village of Scopello, with its ancient hamlet, to the sea through some of the most stunning natural scenery that Sicily has to offer. The Sicilian way of life centres around rich food and fantastic wine which there will be opportunities to sample on this fantastically appointed tour. You will cycle through untouched countryside passing many vineyards, coastal saltpans and ancient ruins including the Doric Temple and Amphitheatre at Segesta. Advancing now to the magnificent town of Trapani, with its maze of narrow streets and Moorish town centre, overlooked by the impressive medieval town of Erice. Next on the menu is Mozia. This ancient and powerful Island with its punic remains, joined to the mainland by an artificial causeway to allow the chariots to roll. The many wine cellars of Marsala await you with their delicious wine! Selinunte is next with its magical historic sites including a large number of temples and the ancient city itself. Finally, onto the village of Sciacca on the coast where your journey comes to its conclusion. You will be left encapsulated by the memories of this trip for years to come!
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.
Arrival to either Palermo or Trapani airports and transfer to the ancient village of Scopello, a very small village centred around an ancient “Baglio” dating back to the seventeenth-century. The village is also particularly renowned for its sea stacks and for its transparent sea.
From Scopello you will cycle towards the magnificent archaeological site of Segesta, one of the most important and evocative archaeological sites because of the impressiveness of its temple with its breathtaking sea view. Segesta in the past was a powerful town of the Elimians coming from Turkey, with the Greeks and the Romans during the punic war. Take your time visiting the wonderful Doric temple and the Amphitheatre.
Today you will cycle inland, visiting authentic towns that show off the real part of country life in Sicily. Trapani is an important port in the region but at the same time, the city enjoys the privileges of a city with baroque churches, museums and shops. Many of the natural wares of the region are for sale including; hand-harvested sea salt, tuna products, coral jewellery and artefacts.
The town lies nestled close to the sea and ends with two promontories occupied respectively by the “Ligny Tower”, built in 1671 and from which you enjoy a charming view of the town and of the Egadi islands, and by a lazaret, nowadays the seat of the Italian Naval Association local authority. Not far from here, surrounded by the sea, you find the “Colombaia”, or “Sea Castle”, one of the main sights of the town.
Now for a relaxing day on the bike! The panoramic road skirts the sea, where the views are amazing including the windmills of Salinas. You will then have the chance to visit the little island of Mozia, this small uncontaminated punic island, where you will find and archaeological site and a private museum. A short ride now to reach Marsala. Why not visit one of the specialist producers of the special liquor, the “Marsala”. Marsala’s other claim to fame is as the landing place for Garibaldi and his thousand men (the Mille) on May 11th, 1860. This landing started the chain of events immediately preceding Italy’s unification. Throughout town, you’ll find commemorative plaques and businesses of every description trading under Garibaldi’s name and with his image.
Today’s ride is a leisurely one with a chance to visit the town, do some wine tasting in one of the many local wineries or just relax. If you prefer you can cross the sea and visit one of the beautiful Egadi Islands, or walk and explore the coastline. Then you will reach the town of Mazara del Vallo, a town founded by the Phoenicians in the 9th century BC, with the name of Mazar (the Rock) it then passed under the control of Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Ostrogoths, Byzantines, before being occupied by the Arabs in the year 827 AD. During the Arab period, they constructed an important commercial harbour and centre of learning. The city centre, known as the Kasbah, retains Arab architectural influences. Famous around the world for the stunning bronze statue called the “Dancing Satyr”.
Today is a ride of two halves. Firstly, you will cycle along the coast admiring the amazing views of the Aegadi Islands. Then turning inland, you will cycle among vineyards and olive trees. Selinunte is situated between the valleys of the Cottone and Modione rivers and is widely regarded as one of the most important Greek colonies in Sicily. After cycling, you will relax admiring the archaeology in the most wide-open park in Europe. The archaeological park surrounding Selinunte and its monuments extends about 1.3 km east to west! Lots to see and do.
On your final day’s riding, you will cycle to reach the enchanting town of Sciacca, a town on the sea again. The town is a historic fishing port on the southern coast of Sicily. A workaday town rather than a polished tourist destination, it is famed for its ceramics, its thermal baths and its religious festivals. It also boasts an impressively large fishing fleet on which the town’s economy depends heavily. In the historic centre, there is a large contingent of interesting old churches and buildings. It is worth wandering around the humble streets with a map admiring the architecture. Many buildings dating back to the sixteenth century. With the grandest buildings standing out among the quaint streets.
Depart after breakfast.
Fly to Palermo or Trapani airport and then by bus/train to Scopello, this can take around 3 hours due to changing services. Alternatively, you can take a taxi which will take approx. 40 minutes.
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