Cycling in Sicily

Sicily

Sicily is not only the biggest island in the Mediterranean but also one of the most fascinating, thanks to the incredibly diverse heritage left here by past civilizations including the Phoenecians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans and Spanish. On this exciting cycling tour we explore the south-eastern part of the island, pedalling through the Baroque gems of Ragusa, Modica, Noto and other filming locations of the famous TV series Inspector Montalbano up to Syracuse, the ancient Greek capital.

Highlights:

• Ride the stunning UNESCO Noto Valley • Visit the charming Baroque towns of Modica and Noto • Point-to-point rides through picturesque countryside and quaint villages • Sample superb regional cuisine • All breakfasts and 1 dinner • All accommodation • Local bike hire • E-bike hire available on request

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8 Days

From $1,949* p.p.


April 5, 2020

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Day 1: Start Palazzolo Acreide
Start Palazzolo Acreide, a charming maze of narrow streets and Baroque churches built after the 1693’s earthquake on the site of the Greek Akrai, which was founded in 664 BC. The town is situated in the heart of the Iblean Mountains, overlooking the upper valleys of the Anapo and Tellaro rivers, which helped the Corinthians control a broad swathe of Sicily.

Day 2: Ragusa Ibla to Modica
We start our exploration with a ride through the beautiful lower valleys of the Iblean Mountains, passing olive plantations and dry-stone walls that characterise this area. We then climb into the highlands to the delightful town of Ragusa Ibla, built over three hills separated by a deep valley, and home to beautiful Baroque churches and buildings. After visiting Ragusa, we cycle for another 14km to the town of Modica, another gem of the Sicilian Baroque, nestled at the bottom of a deep gorge. Overnight in Modica.

Day 3: Donnalucata to Modica
Before leaving Modica, we have the opportunity to taste its famous chocolate with chilly, which is still prepared using the original Aztec recipe brought over by the Spaniards in the 1500's. We leave Modica behind and ride south through the quiet pictureaque Iblean countryside until we reach the lovely beach of Donnalucata, where we have the chance to swim in the crystal clear sea (weather and season permitting). Next, we move on to a masterpiece of Sicilian Baroque architecture, Scicli, where the popular Inspector Montalbano TV series has been filmed. After enjoying some free time to discover the town's historic centre, we cycle back to Modica.

Day 4: Correnti
Today's ride takes first to the town of Ispica, where we stop to admire the Baroque church dominating the beautiful piazza. Next, we pedal through the wetlands of Patano Longarini and Patano Cuba, a favourite spot among migratory birds that are attracted to the unique ecosystem of this area on their journey between Africa and Europe. Following the coastline, we reach Sicily’s southernmost point: Isola delle Correnti, where the waters of the Ionian and the Mediterranean seas merge. We spend the night in the pleasant old fishing village of Portopalo di Capo Passero.

Day 5: Marzamemi and Vendicari to Noto
A first short coastal ride brings us to Marzamemi, one of Sicily's prettiest fishing villages offering postcard views, numerous cafés and restaurants. We continue to Vendicari Nature Reserve. This narrow stretch of marshy coastline provides a rare and now completely protected habitat for migratory species and for the local flora and fauna. There are some beautiful sandy beaches, perfect for a swim in the clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. As we leave the reserve behind, we head north to the elegant town of Noto, another UNESCO World Heritage site. Noto is an absolute gem, a planned town in the unique Sicilian Baroque style, all built in a beautiful honey-coloured stone. A must try in Noto is the delicious almond granita (similar to a sorbet) with brioche, typical of the area! Overnight in Noto.

Day 6: Cavagrande National Reserve
We start our day with a challenging but rewarding 5km climb to San Corrado and the ruins of Noto Antica, the original settlement of Noto completely destroyed by the earthquake of 1693. We continue up until reaching the viewpoint of Cavagrande del Cassibile (505 mt.), one of the deepest canyons found in Europe. The scenery here is spectacular and offers dramatic views of the valley far below. In the afternoon we enjoy a beautiful descent with hairpin bends towards the coast and then back to Noto.

Day 7: Syracuse
Today's gentle ride follows the coast all the way to Syracuse, passing beautiful beaches where, weather permitting, we will stop for a refreshing dip in the sea. The afternoon will be spent in Ortigia, the island where Syracuse was founded. After a short orientation tour, there is free time to explore at our own pace, head to the beach, do some shopping or visit the famous archaeological park. Overnight in Syracuse.

Day 8: End Syracuse.
The trip ends in Syracuse in the morning of day 8.

Location Map:


Operated by Exodus Travels. *Valid on active tours only and applicable only to new bookings. Discount applies to land only price. Must be booked from April 30 to June 1, 2018 with date of first travel no later than December 31, 2020. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount or offer. Prices may vary based on departure date. Trip prices will be quoted in CAD. Regular booking conditions apply. Other conditions may apply. Please contact us for further details. Trip style: Self-Guided Walking with Leisurely Activity Level.

® Merit Travel trademark owned by, and use is granted by, Merit Travel Group Inc. Offers are based on availability and may be subject to change. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions may apply. For full terms and conditions visit, https://merittravel.com/terms-and-conditions/.

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