Eastern Sicily: Cycling Baroque Cities and Magna Grecia
Self-Guided - Palazzolo Acreide to Siracusa
This tour explores southeastern Sicily and the famous baroque towns of the Val di Noto. The Spanish occupied this area in the late 17th century when 45 towns were destroyed by a single earthquake in 1693. In rebuilding the cities in the region they left a legacy of the most significant collection of baroque churches anywhere. Add to this the culinary delicacies (like the famous chocolate from Modica and local seafood) of the region, the famous red wine "Nero d'Avola" and the "Moscato di Noto" and you have an unforgettable bicycle ride. The ride takes you along the coast of southeastern Sicily to the southernmost point of the island. This is a perfect tour in the Spring and Fall. Add mileage to the easy day rides if you want more exercise or just take it easy and enjoy Sicily!
Arrive in Palazzolo Acreide
Highlights: Fit bikes and take a warm-up ride as time allows
Arrive in Palazzolo Acreide today to begin your tour. We fit bicycles and will provide you with your orientation materials for your tour. You can test your bicycles on a short ride to the ruins of the ancient Greek site of Akrai, just outside of Palazzolo. The small Greek theater is a beautiful remnant of this Greek colony founded in 664 BC by the Greek colony of Syracuse.
Accommodation: Hotel Colle Acre, or similar.
Bicycle from Palazzolo Acreide to Modica
Highlights: Greek ruins at Akrai, the world famous chocolate of Modica, World Heritage towns of Palazzolo and Modica
Take time to enjoy an extra morning coffee in the square of Palazzolo or return to the ruins of Akrai to enjoy the site of this ancient Greek colony. Over the centuries Palazzolo absorbed the influence of the Arabs, Normans, and the Spanish Baroque architecture in its 16th-18th century churches. Your ride to day takes you to Modica, famous throughout Sicily and Italy for its chocolate! Modica chocolate seems to be a residual treasure from the Aztec world brought to Modica by the Spanish in the 16th century. For some reason, Modica artisans picked up and preserved the craft of making traditional Aztec chocolate while that skill has disappeared everywhere else. So chocolate tasting should be on your list for this afternoon and tomorrow morning.
Daily distance: 50 km (31 miles)
Elevation gain: + 842m (2760 feet)
Accommodation: Ferro Hotel, or similar.
Bicycle from Modica to Scicli and Pozzallo
Highlights: Scicli and bicycling along the coast
Before leaving Modica you might want to stock up on chocolate! There are something like twenty producers in town! The most famous flavors are the vanilla and cinnamon flavoured chocolates. Most unique is the chocolate with the hot peppers said to be derived from the Aztec chocolatiers in the 16th century. So be sure and pick some up for the road. Your route today takes you across the limestone plateau to Scicli and on to the coastal town of Pozzallo. Pozzallo has some of the best beaches in Sicily and is also a departure point for ferries to Malta.
Daily distance: 42 km (26 miles)
Elevation gain: + 343m (1125 ft)
Accommodation: Hotel 1921, or similar.
Bicycle the coast from Pozzallo to Marzamemi
Highlights: The southernmost point in Sicily, coastal rides, flamingos and wetlands, fishing villages
You'll reach the southernmost point in Sicily today as you pedal along the coast from Pozzallo to Marzamemi. The British contingent of the allied invasion of Sicily occurred along this coast in July and August of 1943. Near Marzamemi you ride by the coastal marshes of Longarini and Cuba, important stopping points for pink flamingoes and herons among other waterfowl. At Capo Passero you can look north to the Ionian Sea and south to the broad Mediterranean Sea extending south to Libya and southwest to Tunisia. Stop for a delicious seafood lunch along here. Your ride ends just north of Marzamemi on the San Lorenzo Beach.
Daily distance: 57 km (36 miles)
Elevation gain: + 277 m (910 ft)
Accommodation: Agriturismo Tenuta Arangio, or similar.
Bicycle from Marzamemi to Noto
Highlights: Coastal cycling and Noto, the "capital" of Italian baroque cities
Spend a little time on the beach today if you wish as we have a short and easy ride to Noto later this morning. We continue past more coastal marshes, including the natural reserve of Vendicari. Our destination is Noto, famous in Italy as one of the principal baroque towns of Italy. Noto harbors a number of baroque churches built by the Spanish after the 1693 earthquake (that destroyed something on the order of 45 towns and cities in Southeastern Sicily).
Daily mileage: 35 km (22 miles).
Elevation gain: + 360m (1180 ft)
Accommodation: Hotel Flora , or similar.
Bicycle from Noto to Syracuse
Highlights: An easy ride along the coast; the ancient city of Syracuse
An easy coastal ride again takes us to the capital of Magna Grecia and the famous Greek colonial town of Syracuse. Get an early start so you can take time to explore the archeological ruins of Neapolis with the large Greek theater. In the center of old Syracuse is the island of Ortygia where the Greek goddess Leto is said to have given birth to Artemis, the twin sister of Apollo.
Daily distance - short option: 38 km (24 miles) with + 150m (490 ft) elevation gain.
Daily distance - long option: 55 km (34 miles) with + 600m (1960 ft) elevation gain.
Accommodation: Hotel Gargallo , or similar.
Tour ends today
Highlights: Syracuse and the Greek ruins
The tour ends this morning after breakfast. Take more time to explore this beautiful city.
Thank you for coming with us. Buon viaggio!
|Includes||7 days, 6 nights in 3-4 star hotels; 6 breakfasts; use of a quality 24-27 speed racing or hybrid bicycle; bike delivery and collection; bike fitting and briefing; detailed route descriptions; map; GPS with preloaded tracks; luggage transfers.|
|Arrive/Depart||Catania-Fontanarossa Airport (CTA)|
|Total Distance||216 to 243 km (135-152 miles)|
|Daily Distance||35-55 km (22-34 miles)|
About Tour Ratings »
|Notes||Tour code: itbs2144
This tour is part of our Self-Guided Collections program: operated by select local partners that we know and trust, the tour is similar in quality to those we operate directly in many ways. Please click here for more details.
|Terms||Terms & Conditions|
|Dates||Every Saturday from January 15th to November 26th, 2022. On request departures on other days are possible.
Minimum 2 participants.
City taxes not included.
Half board option possible
Electric bikes, carbon road bikes, tandems and chariot for kids are available for an extra charge.
For more details on bikes available for this tour, please see here: Sicily Bikes
||Single Supplement||€200 (solo travelers pay €300)|
|Next Step||Request space on this Bicycle Tour »|
Route notes were excellent! We had no problem and it was nice to go at our own pace! The self guided tour of the Baroque towns of south east Sicily is perfect! We would highly recommend. Wouldn''t change a thing! Location of the hotels was excellent. Walking distance to historical sites, and great restaurants. Service was truly amazing! We enjoyed the whole experience. The scenery, from mountains to oceans, the towns, so unique and awe-inspiring; the accomodations clean and varied, all very enjoyable; every Baroque town had a lot of history and appeal; the food was incredible; the Sicilian people were friendly and helpful; the weather was perfect; and the local staff was available to answer our questions at all times. We are not avid cyclist, and we are in our late 50''s so the elevation, hills and distance was perfect for our ability. A challenge, but we were able to cycle up every hill! We liked that there were options for distance every day. So we could take the shorter route or the longer route, depending on how we''re we''re feeling.
We had many beautiful days and a number of really good evening meals (often recommended by hotel staff). We were also amazed by the cities of Ragusa, Noto and Syracuse (Ortigia), and were lucky enough to be in Ortigia for the St Lucia celebrations - that was probably the real high point! The trip was superb overall.
Our favorite experience on this trip was being immersed in a new culture while riding bicycles - a unique way to experience another country.
Enjoyed the entire trip - worst part was the travel just to get to Sicily!
The trip was really really great. We enjoyed it tremendously, and I appreciate all of your support and flexibility in the planning for it.
Hi Stefania we are back in Australia after our bike ride in Sicily Thank you and everyone who help us (especially Guiseppe the driver ,who was great) All the hotels where wonderful and the staff very helpful. Best Wishes
Mike & Wendy
The entire trip was great. The countryside was beautiful, the hotels were perfect ( varied and just the right combination of comfort and charm, and all run by friendly, helpful people), the bikes worked very well. The rides from town to town were laid out very well: great cue sheets. Thanks so much for your help in arranging a wonderful trip for us.
All of the hotels we stayed in were excellent with the staff being very helpful and friendly.Once again thanks for the fine organization we had.
Guiseppe was very helpful - a great representative for your tour company.
The helpfulness and great attitude provided by the different support of Bikerentalsplus was spectacular.
While bicycling through South Sicily we not only saw beautiful sites but the Sicilians were always friendly and interested in being helpful. Several times Sicilians offered to help while we were looking at our maps and find our directions