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Sicily Baroque

Sicily
Baroque

Beautiful discoveries, architecture, landscapes and chocolate

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Sicily is savory, sweet, salty, and spicy

Sicily is the gateway of the Mediterranean, a strategic hub between many surrounding countries including the Middle East, North Africa, Greece, France, and Spain. It is also a treasure chest of ingredients and riches. With each domination of Sicily, another layer of influence was added to create a unique tapestry. Sicily is a mix of flavors and cultures and experiences. Biking Sicily is a journey: real and raw, bold and beautiful. All memorable.
Price
$5440. Details

 

Cycling Ability

 

Itinerary

 

Start/End

 

Duration
8 days/7 nights

 

2020 Dates
May 10
September 13
October 18

 

Hotels

 

Airports

 

 

Tour Highlights

Dario

Modica chocolate

The town of 100 churches
and chocolate. Explore spectacular
Baroque churches. Try the
cold-processed chocolate brought
here by the Spanish from Aztec
recipes.
Dario

Sciaccia lesson

Learn to cook the regions
favorite focaccia bread, filled
with roasted cherry tomatoes
and cheese.
Dario

Bike the Baroque

Visit the Baroque villages of the
Noto Valley: Ragusa, Noto, Scicli,
and Modica.
Dario

Siracusa and Catania

Ancient Greek colonies that
shaped the traditions of Eastern Sicily
Dario

I bike. You bike. E-bike.

Choose your ride E-Road Bike
or E-Hybrid Bike

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Welcome to Catania!
We begin our Baroque Sicily tour from the ancient city of Catania which was settled in 8th Century BC. The city today is a beautiful mix of baroque architecture, ancient Roman baths, Greek-Roman theaters, and churches. These ancient monuments, which are still evident today, date back to the prosperous Roman period when it was one of the richest provinces in the empire. At the end of the 19th century, the city underwent a cultural and social rebirth with the unification of Italy. Art, literature and music flourished in Catania. It was here that composer Vincenzo Bellini, attained worldwide recognition. The magnificent Opera House bears his name and is considered one of the most prestigious theaters in Italy and is internationally recognized due to its excellent acoustics. We gather in the afternoon for a guided walking tour of the city to discover these enchanting sites. Then we will enjoy dinner together at one of our favorite places!

0 Miles

Welcome dinner included

 

Day 2
Cycle to sacred sites
We begin with a transfer from Catania to Palazzolo Acreide, a small village with an old Greek amphitheater, aquaducts, as well as centuries-old tombs and sacred chambers. Our bike route takes us along fields of grain, cattle, and sheep. The fields and roads are lined with white volcanic rock creating a beautiful crisscross among the green. Enjoy the peacefulness as we make our way to the lovely baroque town of Ragusa Ibla. Along our route we will stop at a farm, where they produce organic goat cheese, and enjoy a light lunch with their products. Our hotel in Ragusa is a converted Benedictine Monastery with enchanting gardens — a unique stay takes you deeper into the Sicilian life. Explore this spectacular city as you set out for dinner on your own.

21 Miles
35 kilometers

B: Included
L: On your own
D: On your own

 

Day 3
Churches and chocolate bike ride
Today we enter the UNESCO site of Val di Noto. This region, was destroyed by a devastating earthquake in 1693 and carefully rebuilt in what has become the world famous Sicilian Baroque style. Enjoy a lovely bike ride that takes us through Modica, the town of 100 churches and chocolate. Modica's old town is situated at the junction of two valleys and split into alta and bassa (upper and lower). As such, the city has only two main streets that run through the small valley bottom, while residential homes and even the city's large cathedral are built up into the steep hillside. The production of the Modica chocolate comes from the ancient Aztec cold-process method which was imported to Modica by the Spanish during their domination of Sicily. In this process the sugar does not melt, creating a grainy texture and aromatic flavor. The many flavors of chocolate are fun to experience. Leave room in your suitcase for a few bars.

16 miles/27km one way
33 miles/56km full loop

B: Included
L: On your own
D: On your own

 

Day 4
A Sicilian retreat
This morning a private transfer takes us to Donnafugata castle an interesting ancient noble house used sometimes as a location for movies. This Venetian-Gothic style castle was built in the 17th century. Take some time to visit the inside of the castle to learn about the noble families of Sicily. Then explore the gardens and take a chance to find your way through the rock labyrinth built by the Baron Corrado in the 1800's to entertain his guests. From here we will bike to the Masseria enjoying the familiar rock fences that frame fields of cherry tomatoes and citrus farms. It's a perfect location for our ride this day. Enjoy! Once at the Masseria take time to relax at this lovely inn converted from peasant housing to charming rooms with the original tiled Sicilian kitchens in most rooms. The surrounding grounds are perfect for a quiet walk or a swim at the pool. Our dinner at the Masseria will include local cheeses and fresh tomatoes that are well known in this region.

35 Miles
58 kilometers

B: Included
L: On Your Own
D: Included

 

Day 5
Rest day or cycle to the sea
Today you can choose a slower paced day at the Masseria or a bike ride to the coast. If you stay at the Masseria you may consider a walk along the fields and orchards, yoga or stretching on your own in the gardens, or time at the pool located on the grounds. If you prefer more activity, enjoy a gentle group ride along the sea where you may like to swim or enjoy a picnic. Our bike route takes us to an abandoned tuna factory. There are trattorias and cafes to consider for a Sicilian lunch. After lunch you can transfer back to the hotel or return by bike, if you prefer. We will shuttle back to the Masseria in the afternoon where everyone will later reunite for an interesting cooking class. We will make the special folded focaccia known only to this area and we will learn to make the Modica chocolate.

22 miles/46km one way
37 miles/79km loop

B: Included
L: On your own
D: Included (cooking class)

 

Day 6
Bike the Baroque — Noto loop ride
Noto is universally recognized as the capitol city of the Baroque Style. After the 1693 earthquake, the Noto Valley was rebuilt with new aesthetic ideas in mind that aligned with the extravagance of the political and religious powers at that time. You can see the Baroque detail in the palaces and churches which dominate the popular plazas of the towns. Our ride stops in Avola where we will take a private shuttle back to Masseria Ciancio. Tonight there are a few dinner options including quiet dinner at the Masseria or an option to coordinate with your tour leader to go to a seafood restaurant along the ocean or in a nearby village.

29 Miles
47 kilometers

B: Included
L: InclOn your ownuded
D: On your own

 

Day 7
Bike to Planeta Winery and picnic
Today we'll leave Masseria Ciancio and move towards ancient Syracuse. On the way we'll stop for lunch at Planeta Winery where we'll enjoy a wine tasting led by our friend Viviana. This is one of our favorite stops because we also get to enjoy good olive oil and a wonderful picnic under the carob trees. We will then shuttle to Ortigia. This island is the ancient heart of Siracusa, which was established by the Greeks. Discover Ortigia on a guided walking tour before our celebration dinner at a favorite fish trattoria.

15 Miles
26 kilometers

B: Included
L: Included
D: Included

 

Day 8
Departure Day
Enjoy breakfast and time on your own in Syracuse before your departure. Ciao!

0

B: Included

 

 

Pricing

Additional options

  • Single room supplement — $650
Included
  • 7 night in 4-star accommodations
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 4 dinners
  • 1 lunch
  • Chocolate tasting
  • Cheese tasting
  • Cooking class
  • 2 Walking tours – Catania and Ortigia
  • 1 Wine tasting at Planeta winery
  • Hybrid bike rental
  • Guide with van assistance
  • Route notes and maps
Not included
  • Admission to museums and archaeological sites
  • Tickets for trains or any public transportation
  • Wine or beverages
  • Airfare
  • Transfers to the starting point or from the finishing point unless specified; we can assist you in planning and arranging for any necessary shuttles
  • Transport of bike case (for guests who bring their own bike)
  • Personal expenses (laundry, personal supplies, phone calls, etc.)
  • Gratuity

Payment Options: credit card; wire transfer

 

Tour Hotels

Siciclando carefully chooses every aspect of a tour, including the accommodations.

Our choices are based on comfort and quality. We often choose hotels that are family-owned and operated because they provide a richer experience and because it is important to us to support the efforts of these individuals. We have developed relationships with many wonderful hotel operators. Here is a sample of the hotels on this tour for the "guided" version (please, ask us the hotel list for the "self guided" version which, due to the logistic, may be different).

Tour accommodations will be based on availability and the time of year. Once you have made your final payment for the tour, we will send you a confirmation letter that includes daily accommodations and contact information.

Testimonial
We thoroughly enjoyed our self-guided bike trip through Sicily. The team at Siciclando did an outstanding job of picking roads that were beautiful, interesting and quiet. Each day they had arranged some kind of fun cultural activity (eg wine tasting, chocolate sampling or historic walking tour). All of the logistics were thoughtfully handled from the moment we were met at the airport to the moment we left the bikes at our last stop.
Nick and Sue, Self-Guided
Testimonial
As Giuseppe says, "Everything is possible with Siciclando!"" — so true! Our trip involved a lot of complicated logistics, and Giuseppe and Daniele managed everything seamlessly and calmly. they were spectacular! It is such a treat not to have to worry about a single thing. I love having an e-bike! It's transformative.
Frances, Custom Tour
Testimonial
The Siciclando team made our (self-guided) Western Sicily bike tour a vacation of a lifetime. The small hotels/B&B's with attentive and friendly English-speaking staff, comfortable rooms, delicious meals, and refreshing pools were perfect. The routes planned had a great mix of scenery and just-right challenges. We would encourage anyone to go with the locals - they know this great land!
Bill, Self-Guided
Testimonial
The people made the tour fantastic. Dario went way beyond the norm to build a great itinerary, provide extra tips/information, and coordinated (orchestrated) the team to support us. Your competition is nowhere close to you. We feel we had a special experience from dedicated Sicilians.
W.S., Self-guided