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Cycling in Sicily

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



At a glance

* 5 nights 3-star hotels and 2 night converted farmhouse, 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

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.

https://www.exodus.co.uk/sites/exod/files/node/itinerary/images/mwy_1.jpg?t=1DnGIr

Type: Land Only

Flight prices available from NeenanCycling. Contact us for details

What’s included

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

Food:
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.

Start destination: Palazzolo Acreide

End destination: Syracuse

Cycling profile

Day 1

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

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.
Cycle approx. 51km (elevation gain +529m; elevation loss -841m)

Day 3

Before leaving Modica, we have the opportunity to taste its famous chocolate
with chilli, which is still prepared using the original Aztec recipe brought
over by the Spaniards in the 1500’s. We leave Modica behind and ride along a
ravine with a downhill bias until we reach another outstanding example of
Sicilian Baroque architecture, Scicli, where the popular Inspector Montalbano
TV series has been filmed. From here, we move to picturesque Marzamemi, one
of Sicily’s prettiest fishing villages offering postcard views, numerous
cafés and restaurants. Overnight in a lovely agriturismo with pool near
Marzamemi.

Day 4

A circular ride takes us 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. Back at the
agriturismo, we can enjoy an optional fun cookery demonstration and class
(payable locally) followed by a delicious dinner.
Cycle approx. 45km (ascent +300m; descent -300m).

Day 5

A short ride brings us to the beautiful 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.
Cycle approx. 41km (ascent +495m, descent: -344m).

Day 6

We start our day with a challenging but rewarding 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.
Cycle approx. 43km (ascent +590m; descent -590m)

Day 7

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.
Cycle approx. 40km (ascent +10m; descent -100m)

Day 8

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

Prices & Dates

Date: 2019-03-302019-04-06

Trip code: MWY190330

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Price: €1495

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Date: 2019-05-052019-05-12

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Date: 2019-05-122019-05-19

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Date: 2019-05-262019-06-02

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Date: 2019-06-092019-06-16

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Date: 2019-09-292019-10-06

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Date: 2019-11-032019-11-10

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Date: 2020-03-292020-04-05

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Date: 2020-04-122020-04-19

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Date: 2020-06-212020-06-28

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Date: 2020-09-132020-09-20

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Customer Feedback

Great week cycling in Sicily, but very disappointing flights

Summary:
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).

Rating: 4

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

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

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Davide di Mauro was excellent throughout.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
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 !

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Offer customers alternative flight options so they can pay extra for what
they want.

Read full review

Cycling in Sicily

Summary:
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.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Pasta cooking and watching the olive picking

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

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

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

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

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
No

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The best of everything

Summary:
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.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
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.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
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.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
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.

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Thoroughly enjoyable

Summary:
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!

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

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

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

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

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A wonderful ride in Sicily

Summary:
Everything about this ride was great. The scenery, the towns we visited, the
food, the accommodation, our fellow cyclists and most certainly our guide
Iris and her backup team.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
The ascent to the canyon of Cavagrande del Cassibile and the views from the
top, followed by the exhilarating descent to Avola.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Iris was absolutely great in every way.

Read full review

Beautiful Sicily

Summary:
We enjoyed a wonderful cycling holiday in Sicily. We now have such an
appreciation of Sicily’s rich cultural past, the delicious Sicilian cuisine
and the beautiful countryside we cycled through.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
The thrill at having cycled up the 10km climb and then the joy of riding down
the other side on day 6.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Iris is an inspiration! She is so capable, friendly, knowledgeable and
approachable. Exodus are very fortunate to have her on their team. A really
lovely person in every way.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Come and do the cycling tour in Sicily, you won’t be disappointed !

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
The back up team on this tour did an excellent job also. They were very
responsive to both Iris and the group and did everything to keep us safe, to
have the bikes working well and to transport the luggage each day.

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Sicily enjoyed

Summary:
This trip opened my eyes; I had thought of Sicily as a hard, arid kind of
place, but six days of enjoying the lovely people, wonderful food and
interesting sights along the way changed all that. It started well, and then
got better and better.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
The lunch on the day we biked to Noto. Can’t remember where it was but we’d
had a good ride, hot and tired, and then we arrived at a quiet oasis of
dappled shade. We were presented with a range of tasty Sicilian dishes.
Lovely atmosphere – I didn’t want to leave.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Others have commented on how good a leader Iris has been. She was very, very
good, in a quiet and considerate way. She handled a large group of 17 easily
but still had time for individual’s issues. In particular, she was well
organised and always gave just the right amount of useful information at the
right moment. Thanks Iris!

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
I was concerned when I saw that the group would be large, 17 people, in fact.
However, it was a great bunch of people who gelled well, better than some
smaller groups. No cliques, no delays, no grumbles so thanks to one and all
for a great trip!
This was a ‘point to point’ trip; each day we cycled from one hotel to the
next which adds to the sense of making a journey by bike. Much better than
having piling into a bus for some sections. Sometimes it is unavoidable, of
course, such as in India, but it confirms to me that when looking for a trip
remember that the ‘point to point’ is an important factor.

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Beautiful country

Summary:
We enjoyed a lovely week’s cycling in Montalbano country along quiet roads
surrounded by red and yellow flowers and smelling oleander and citrus
blossom.
Iris was an excellent guide who never flapped , always ensuring our safety on
the roads .
The bikes were the best I have hired on an Exodus trip .

Rating: 4

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Looking down on beautiful Modica from above after a glorious cycle on the
first day . Also the delicious picnics provided , at an extra cost , along
the way .

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Iris was very organized and supported the group well . She will be a hard act
to follow!

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
An extra day in Noto would have been lovely rather than 2.5 in Syracuse.

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Superb Cycling in Sicily

Summary:
This was my first trip with Exodus and I was looking forward to exploring the
island. The whole holiday was first class from start to finish. Iris and
Giuseppe looked after us throughout and we felt that they were friends not
just guides by the end.

The group got on very well and although I was the youngest at 28 this was not
an issue.

Food was superb throughout especially the picnic lunches and food at the
agriturismo. Always lots to eat at breakfast and plenty of stops for coffee.
Scenery is beautiful and is unspoiled compared to mainland Italy.

Bikes are great and well maintained I did not miss my own bike at all.

Overall an immersive experience with an excellent group. Just go ahead and
book it.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
The descent into Syracuse was out of this world.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Iris was exceptional she was available at all times for questions but also
let us relax and enjoy the trip in our own way. Her restaurant tips were spot
on and we enjoyed learning from her.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Leave your own bike at home and make sure to pack a snack if you arrive late
on the first day.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
10/10- Excellent.

Read full review

Giro De Sicily

Summary:
A great 6 days cycling and eating in a very picturesque and quiet region of
Sicily, First day was full on but days did get easier although some long
climbs. Some fantastic views and towns visited.

Rating: 4

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Descending through countless hairpins on last but one day.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Paolo was a character and kept us safe throughout the week but could have
been more informative if his English was to improve.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
We stayed a couple of days before in Taormina to see Etna and a couple of
days after in Syracuse as there are many sights to see there.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Thoroughly enjoyable and once again a mixed bag of people that all got on
really well.

Read full review


Activity Levels


Activity Levels range from Leisurely to Tough, the grading takes into account the daily cycling distances and terrain, as well as any technical riding skill required. We also consider the number of cycling days as there can be a cumulative affect from tiredness on a longer trip and the type of accommodation used, as this can also influence your day to day recovery.

If you are in any doubt, please give us a call on +353-1-607 9900 or email us.


Activity level 1 - Leisurely Activity level 1: Leisurely

If you can ride a bike and enjoy gentle exercise, these are an ideal introduction to a cycling holiday. No routes are entirely flat, so expect some short climbs and descents. Maximum daily height gain is approximately 250 metres and daily distances rarely exceed 50kms (32 miles), any longer days are often optional.


Activity level 3 - Moderate Activity level 3: Moderate

Most people who enjoy a weekend riding at home will enjoy a Moderate trip. You need to be in good health and reasonably fit. Ideal for occasional cyclists, or as a more relaxed trip for fitter riders. Moderate off-road trips require no previous experience. Distances rarely exceed 70kms (43 miles) per day.


Activity level 5 - Challenging Activity level 5: Challenging

For any ride at this level, fitness is important. Challenging trips require confidence in your ability and physical condition. They are equivalent to an extended period of cycling at home. Previous mountain biking experience is essential for Challenging off road trips as they will involve some technical riding.


Activity level 7 - Tough Activity level 7: Tough

Previous experience of the cycling style or surface is a must as these routes have long cycling days and tougher terrain on both road and off road trips. You need complete confidence in your fitness and technical ability to cope with difficult or steep terrain, rough surfaces and longer distances. Ideal for those seeking a challenge!


Split grades

In order to provide more accuracy, where a trip falls between two grades we use an intermediate or ‘split’ grade, for example 2: Leisurely/Moderate.


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