Cycling in Sicily

8 days
from
$2,579
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Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Moderate
Activity Rating - Moderate
Trip code: 
MWY
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Cycling
Group size:
8–16
Min age:
16

Ride through the UNESCO Val di Noto and Montalbano's filming locations

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. Along the route we enjoy picturesque landscapes made of farmlands, deep gorges and dramatic coastal scenery which showcase the great natural diversity of the region. No trip to Sicily is complete without sampling some of the finest regional delights considered amongst the best of the whole Italian gastronomy.

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

Key information

  • 7 nights standard and comfortable hotels, all en suite
  • 8 days land only / flight inclusive
  • 6 days cycling with partial vehicle support (limited seats)
  • Group normally 6 to 16. Min age 16 yrs
  • 90% tarmac and some short sections of gravel; quiet rural undulating roads 
  • Local bike hire included
  • E-bike hire  available on request
  • Countries visited: Italy

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 1 dinner
  • All accommodation 
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request )
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Local city taxes (approx. €15)
Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for tailor made trips:
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Days of Cycling
Pace:

Moderate: 13-16km/8-10miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; 90% tarmac and some short sections of gravel

Day by day breakdown
Day 254.0km/33.0miles
Day 352.0km/32.0miles
Day 454.0km/33.0miles
Day 548.0km/29.0miles
Day 646.0km/28.0miles
Day 749.0km/30.0miles

Responsible Travel

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

As much as possible, we try to use accommodations that are family run or at least employs local staff and uses local produce. This ensures that our visit has a positive effect on employment levels and economy in the region. Cuisine is a huge part of Sicilian culture and so we include several stops to locally owned businesses to introduce traditionally crafted produce and customary specialties. Clients can taste the famous chocolate with chilli in the Modica region and the delicious almond granita with brioche in Noto.

As a cycling trip, it allows easier access to the local communities and hence, facilitates interaction with locals from visits to local cafes and restaurants as well as markets to purchase traditional gifts and craft and get a real impression of the country. Water is especially and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital to not cause too much waste from single use plastic bottles. Hence, we provide large water containers so that clients can refill their reusable water bottles.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

Itinerary

Palazzolo Acreide
to
Syracuse
  • 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

    Ride south to the hilltop Baroque town of Ragusa Ibla; cycle scenic roads 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.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Cycle to the lovely beach of Donnalucata and the quaint ancient town of Scicli, famous film set of Inspector Montalbano; ride back 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.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Ride through coastal wetlands to Isola delle Correnti, the southernmost point in Sicily.

    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.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Coastal ride to Marzamemi and Vendicari Nature Reserve; continue to the UNESCO-listed Baroque town of 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.


    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Circular ride to Cavagrande National Reserve and the deep Cassibile Canyon.

    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.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Final coastal ride to Syracuse; free time to discover the historic town.

    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.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    End Syracuse.

    The trip ends in Syracuse in the morning of day 8.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 1 dinner is included.

Sicilian cuisine is a melting pot of all the different cultures that have occupied the island, from the Arabs to the Normans. The island itself is incredibly fertile, enjoying a perfect climate which is ideal for the cultivation of fresh produce such as olives, oranges, lemons, eggplants, tomatoes, pistachios, almonds, grapes, and more—not to mention all of the seafood, tuna and swordfish fished right off the coast. The result? A cuisine that’s fresh, varied, and absolutely delicious! Sicilian wines are also superb and known to be strong and syrupy, like Marsala and Moscato. On this trip there is the chance to sample some unique Sicilian products. Lunches normally consist of delicious pic-nics, freshly prepared by your assistant leader each day. Dinners will be taken at the hotels or local restaurants recommended by your guide.

Weather

Sicily has a good all year round climate, with plenty of sunshine and warm/hot temperatures. The summer departures ought to have daily hot sunshine and temperatures can reach 30 to 35°C . The earlier and later departures will be cooler with a slightly higher chance of rain - please make sure you pack some warm clothing if you travel in low season. In late summer there is the possibility of heavy thunderstorms, but these are usually short-lived.

Is this trip for you?

This trip is classified Road. 6 days cycling with partial vehicle support (due to limited seats) and a cycling guide; 90% tarmac and some easy sections of gravel.

There are no transfers to or from hotels on this trip: all the rides are designed to be door-to-door. Most of the cycling is along flat to hilly tarmac roads (mainly traffic-free), with a couple of days (Day 2 and 6) of more demanding ascents and undulating routes, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. As we approach the main towns and cities such as Syracuse there are busier sections with traffic at peak hours. A support vehicle (with limited seats) is available throughout the trip. It will not be able to follow the group at all times but it will meet you at the end of cycle paths and at junctions to give route directions and allow access to any items you don’t wish to carry on the bike. E-bikes are available on request for a fee payable prior depature. 

If you have any queries about the difficulty of the trip please do not hesitate to call us.

 

 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for tailor made trips:
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Comfortable hotels

We use comfortable hotels, which have been carefully selected for their friendly atmosphere and character. All rooms have en suite facilities and most of them are conveniently located in proximity of the charming UNESCO historic centres we visit.

List of hotels normally used:

Palazzolo Acreide: Hotel Colle Acre

Modica: Ferrohotel 

Portopalo: Hotel Vittorio

Noto: Grand Hotel Sofia or Hotel Netum or Hotel Flora

Siracusa: Piccolo Hotel Casa Mia or similar hotel nearby

Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for tailor made trips:
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for tailor made trips:
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed September 2019
    Graham Swift

    Fabulous Sicily

    This is our 6th Cycling holiday and one of the best so far. We were lucky to be part of a wonderful group made up of folks from the UK, Australia, NZ and Canada. We all had lots of laughs and good times. Some of the hills were challenging but all the better for 6/15 being e-bikes, so don't be afraid to book an e-bike. Some beautiful towns and scenery as well as good hotels, delicious food and restaurants selected by our group leader Davide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to mention but arriving in Noto was spectacular where we had a fabulous pizza.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Davide was an amazing young man who had a lot of passion for his country and wanted you to share it at every level. A really good group leader and well briefed on local history and culture. Must also mention Giuseppe the mechanic, driver and picnic man, whilst he couldn't speak English, he observed the group and made sure we were all looked after.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If in any doubt of your cycling abilities just book an e-bike. We loved them and they worked well with the group. The hotels were all good but remember to bring your swim shoes. Also if you like an early morning coffee, bring a travel kettle. Tea & coffee facilities are not provided in your room. Some roads coming into the towns can be quite busy, so make sure you are confident with riding in traffic.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was the first trip we have been on where we were able to take part in a cokery lesson at the Agro-Tourism hotel, great fun including a glass of wine.
  • Reviewed September 2019

    What a ride

    This was a fantastic introduction to Sicily and to planned cycling tours. We had a fantastic group of 15 riders from the UK, NZ, Canada and Ireland. We ate and rode together every day. The weather at this time of year is great for cycling.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of each and every long climb.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Davide is conscientious, witty and engaging. We enjoyed sharing novel examples of English sayings and learning more about Sicily from him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Train for the uphills Cleat pedals are a big advantage Enjoy the moments

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Some road crossings need you to be very cautious. Best to take time and care to cross safely
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Gail Hopper

    Great trip

    A delightful trip from many perspectives. Lovely scenery and interesting places to visit in the south of island. Very good company of lovely people. Amazing food. Hot weather What’s not to like??

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not necessarily inspirational but some really enjoyable experiences. On bike - the challenging climb up to Cavagrande del Cassibile and the wonderful views from the top. Off bike - possibly arriving in Noto or the wander through Marzamemi - really was a picturesque fishing village, followed by Guiseppe’s picnic, relaxation and swim at the agriturisimo

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Davida was a gentleman. Totally committed to ensuring we had a safe and enjoyable trip, kind and humorous. We liked his “stories” and his growing collection of English colloquialisms, that he tried to feed into daily conversation. He was well organised, ensuring an early start and finish so we had time to relax, swim or explore at the end of each ride. He knew, was proud of and described his country well. He wanted us to see the best of it ( and we almost did ). Took us to some lovely places to eat, to get the best pizza in Noto, antipasto in Syracuse and gelato and cannoli anywhere. A man with good taste! Giuseppe his assistant was a great supporter/driver/ bike mechanic and picnic provider. He has limited English but we managed to get by and the two made a good team.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware of how hot it can be in early June. Was 37degrees on day one. Didn’t fall below 30 all week. Davida sensibly had us out early each morning before it became unbearably hot. In some of the rural areas near the coast there were appalling amounts of rubbish dumped along the roadsides. We understood this was a result of political decisions about tax linked to recycling. This isn’t something Exodus are responsible for or able to change ( though I fear it could impact on tourism if it isn’t addressed). So very sad to destroy beautiful countryside.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Sicily is very interesting and well worth a visit - lots of lovely places to enjoy on this trip. Would highly recommend it. The accommodation was generally good - even the less smart places had the benefit of lovely hosts and good food. I liked the fact that there were no transfers and we cycled door to door each day, but we also had 2 nights in 2 hotels so didn’t have to pack up every morning
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Timothy Sullivan

    Cycling in sicily

    The leader was excellent. The support person Giuseppe was also excellent. The bikes were good. The routes were very good and well planned. The accomodation was ok and variable. The starting accomodation had a disco night going till 2.0 pm just below our room! Meals provided ranged from poor to good.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling gently along narrow country roads through rural Sicily.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Davide Di Mauro Was an excellent leader. Also mention the support, Giuseppe, also excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Definitely use E bikes if you are older or not an experienced cyclist.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A great adventure with a very good group of companions
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Brigitte Schneeloch

    Cycling in Sicily

    An excellent cycling trip, for me in a less well known area of southern Sicily. The cycling was good, and the hills were more than manageable with my very dependable ebike. Our leader made sure that we also packed in as much sight seeing as possible, so we learned a lot of cultural background to the places we visited. All were very interesting, but ending up in Syracuse and having plenty of time for eating wonderful food, and sight seeing, was a surprising bonus. I thoroughly enjoyed this trip and would recommend it to anybody!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    As above: visiting Syracuse, and seeing the Baroque town of Noto Two very beautiful places

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was just wonderful! Full of knowledge, helpful, guiding us safely through traffic, And up the hills. And down again!!! Lots of fun, always on the lookout to avoid any potential problems. He and the very patient van driver guided us safely on the road sections And they excelled at making us wonderful picnic lunches on 3 occasions!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you want to see Sicily, then go for this trip! Depending on the season, it can be chilly . Be prepared to cycle some significant hills!
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Fenella Butler

    Cycling in Sicily

    this was an amazing holiday I cannot rate Davide highly enough, he is knowledgable, kind and thoughtful and guided us so well. He is great fun. Giuseppi the driver also made a great difference, he took care of us at every steo, another kind and helpful man. The two men made an excellent team It would have been good to have been told that there would only be sandwiches on the plane then a long drive and no food at the hotel. The hotel was great and did their best giving us some bread and olives. If possibly would be much much better to travel earlier both going and coming back.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    being saved from falling off my bike because of the high winds by the leader. and coming down from the Cava Grande, 7 k of hairpin bends.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Totally amazing - see comments in summary

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes get yourself some food to eat on the plane and ask Exodus to get earlier flights.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go on choosing where possible really good driver/machanics like Giuseppi - would not have been such a good trip without him. I have made a decision not to fly just for a holiday - so next time will have to budget for a train journey. has exodus considered getting group bookings on trains for ecologically aware travellers.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Simon Hopper

    Great week cycling in Sicily, but very disappointing flights

    A great week's cycling in Sicily in October. Weather and scenery were great (sunny in high 20's), the group was very entertaining and got on so well that all 16 of us ate together every night, and the tour guides were very helpful, friendly and informative. The cycling route could have been extended, as there were a couple of very light days, but the only real problem was the group flights (see advice below).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not really any inspirational moments - Sicily was great and the group of 16 got on very well together.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Davide di Mauro was excellent throughout.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book your own flights - Exodus group booking means you can't pre-book seats (or even be sure that you will sit next to your partner / friends), you can't check in online, and you get whatever Exodus can find cheapest. We ended up travelling from Heathrow to Milan to catch a connection to Sicily (and almost missed connection on return flight) when we could have flown direct with BA from Gatwick, and the four of us were scattered all over all four flights. Not an enjoyable way of starting or ending your holiday !

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Offer customers alternative flight options so they can pay extra for what they want.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Louise Keesing

    Cycling in Sicily

    A great ride through the outskirts of the region. Accomodation was very good and the farmhouse stay and food exclent. Loved the pasta cooking lesson.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Pasta cooking and watching the olive picking

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was excellent, fun, with us all the way and rapidly found a great alternative when it was too windy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Sicily is much easier than the Amalfi coast and probably don't need an E bike if you can cycle 50km. Really enjoyed Sicily.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Helen O'Connor

    The best of everything

    This trip was so good for the soul: amazing guide (Iris), superman (Giuseppe), towns, laughs, food, beer, wine, sun, storms, swims and group - all in equal measures.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Inspirational no, but as a fan of Montalbano, I was beside myself with giddiness when we got a quick look inside his 'police station and office' in Scicli. Lifetime firsts: I ate a prickly pear, cycled past fields of aubergines and pomegranates and found a fizzy water vending machine where you can fill your own bottle - why don't we have these at home?! I appreciated having 2 hotels where we stayed 2 nights each, particularly the agriturismo, with lovely pool and great staff. I loved all the places we visited, but Siracusa had a particular hold on me.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Iris was wonderful. She made us all feel very safe, was super organised and attentive and good fun. A gem. Her side-kick Giuseppe was brilliant too.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A bit of training beforehand would be good to help you up those hills, particularly if you haven't been on your bike for a while! Although, with e-bikes an option now, it's maybe not required. One point on the e-bikes, some people found them heavy and clunky on the descents. Bring a raincoat for any short, but heavy downpours. Be prepared for a lot of eating.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Jane Holt

    Thoroughly enjoyable

    An excellent holiday all round. Beautiful scenery and architecture, great bikes, lovely company and a fantastic guide in Iris, supported brilliantly by the two Guiseppes!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling into Noto for a fab lunch after a challenging morning!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Iris is knowledgeable, a great leader and good fun to be on holiday with.

Dates & Prices

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