Headwater - Cycling through Baroque Sicily

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • Exodus

Explore Sicily's south east, renowned for its unspoilt coastline, spectacular Baroque architecture and cuisine.

Your journey takes you along a mix of inland and coastal routes, starting amidst the Baroque splendour of Ragusa and Modica and ending in stunning Siracusa on the east coast. You'll cycle through lush valleys filled with olive trees, almond groves, vineyards and citrus orchards and patchwork puzzles of dry-stone-wall farms, as you cycle between UNESCO World Heritage Sites rebuilt in the typical late Baroque style after the famous 1693 earthquake.

Highlights
* Beautiful, unspoilt, coastlines; charming fishing villages; rich fertile valleys * Inspector Montalbano country - visit the haunts of the famous TV detective * Authentic Baroque architecture and UNESCO World Heritage Sites * Superb regional food and excellent Nero D'Avola wines * Based on our popular 10 night, A">https://www.headwater.com/holidays/cycling/italy/C10BS.htm">A Taste of Sicily Cycling
Profile
* 8 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation * All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals * Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent * Route directions and maps * High quality bikes * Luggage transfers between hotels
Food

Sicily's typically southern Italian cuisine is interspersed with many more exotic dishes reflecting the island's jumbled cultural past. Italian dishes like pasta alla norma (made with tomatoes, aubergine and grated ricotta) are often found on menus along with couscous (a north African speciality), or even pasta con le sarde (a pasta dish dating back to Phoenician times made from sardines, raisins, pine nuts, fennel, saffron, parsley and capers). The Arabs introduced citrus groves to the island and a popular drink today is granita made with crushed ice and lemon. This was traditionally drunk with sweet bread dipped in it as a lunchtime snack by Sicilian peasants. Fish is of course also abundant. Local specialities include pesce spada alla ghiotta (swordfish cooked with tomatoes, capers, onion, celery and potatoes) or tonno fresco alla brace (grilled fresh tuna). Sicily is famed for its desserts. Why not try cannolo, a crunchy pastry tube filled with ricotta cheese and studded with candied fruits, pistachio and chocolate? Or cassata, the Arab influenced cake made with ricotta cheese, candied fruit and chocolate pieces. Sicily is not traditionally famous for its wines, so it is surprising to learn that the island boasts one of the largest wine producing areas in the whole of Italy. Look out for the Etna DOC label and Corvo di Salaparuta. One of Sicily's most popular wines is Alcamo Bianco - a soft white which goes well with fish dishes.

Destinations
  • Europe
  • Italy
  • Sicily
Tour Types
  • Adventure
  • Cycling
  • New Cycling Holidays
Day 1

Arrive at your luxury **** hotel in Ragusa. *(Staying at the De Stefano Palace, Half Board)*



Day 2

You have two excellent choices today. We strongly recommend spending time in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ragusa Ibla - the simply stunning old town of Ragusa - rebuilt in 1693 after a huge earthquake and full of enchanting Baroque architecture, along with a number of tempting cafes and restaurants for lunch. Follow your visit with an undulating cycle through a rich, fertile valley of cacti and pomegranate orchards before freewheeling into the centre of Modica Bassa (the lower part of Modica City). Today's longer option climbs above Modica, skirting Modica Alta (the upper part of the city), before passing quaint, dry-stone-wall farms as you weave your way to Cava d'Ispica - a verdant gorge full of thousands of caves and grottoes, stretching for 13 kilometres between Modica and Ispica! * (Staying at the Ferro Hotel, Breakfast only)*



Day 3

Often referred to as the Baroque capital of Sicily, the atmospheric city of Modica sits in a dramatic setting, perched between limestone cliffs. This UNESCO-listed city is home to an impressive 29 churches including two grand Baroque cathedrals, along with charming narrow streets peppered with cafes, restaurants and a number of tempting chocolate shops! Modica's chocolate is one of the Ragusa area's most famous products and to this day it's still made to ancient Aztec methods. Make sure you sample some at Antica Dolceria Bonajuto, the oldest chocolate factory in Sicily! *(Staying at the Ferro Hotel, Breakfast only)*



Day 4

Start today with a feel-good freewheel through a valley rich in pomegranates, cacti and quaint little farmsteads, on your way to the unmissable little town of Scicli. Overlooked by an imposing rock on which sits the magnificent Church of San Matteo, Scicli, like the other towns in the area, has been totally rebuilt in a pure Sicilian Baroque style following the 1693 earthquake. Wander its atmospheric streets and you'll feel like you're on the set of Inspector Montalbano - Via Mormino Penna is where you'll find the fictional police station from the TV show! Be sure to check out the impressive, hilltop cemetery, just out of town, full of mausoleums and surrounded by magnificent pines and tall cypress trees. You reach the coast Cava d'Aliga and Sampieri (one of Ragusa's most picturesque fishing villages and another of Montalbano's favoured locations) all offer beautiful sandy beaches where you can stop and take the weight off today. *(Staying at the Torre Dantona, Half Board)*



Day 5

Hugging the coastline again you head to Pozzallo this morning, home to no less than four Blue Flag beaches - why not stop for a morning coffee and dip your toes in the Ionian Sea? Cutting inland you'll cycle through pantani, a series of saltwater lagoons rich in birdlife such as mallards, flamingos, herons and storks, on your way to today's highlight - the Isola delle Correnti (the 'Island of Stream'). The southernmost point of Sicily's mainland, this isolated, seemingly adrift island is also the point at which the Ionian and Mediterranean seas meet. It's quite a sight to behold! *(Staying at the Portopalo Suite, Breakfast only) *



Day 6

Today's cycle takes you to the beautiful old fishing village of Marzamemi - one of Sicily's prettiest - with its colourful wooden boats, fishermen's houses and charming buildings such as the Baroque church of San Francesco di Paola. Marzamemi became the centre of Sicily's tuna fishing industry under its Arab influence and it keeps the tradition alive today, using artisanal fishing methods to produce a number of delicacies including canned tuna, smoked swordfish and marinated anchovies! Making your way to Noto you'll head inland on a virtually traffic-free road that winds its way through olive groves, vineyards, almond trees, sugar cane and beautifully perfumed citrus orchards - idyllic surroundings for a picnic lunch. * (Staying at the Villa Favorita, Half Board)*



Day 7

Your hotel is located in a lovely courtyard setting with an outdoor pool and superb views over Noto. If you can tear yourself away from the **** luxury, you could cycle to the nearby seaside resort of Lido di Noto for a lazy day on the beach, or opt for our recommended cycle ride into atmospheric Noto itself. Perhaps the most beautiful of all the cities you visit on this holiday, Noto's current centre was rebuilt after the C17 earthquake and is considered a Baroque masterpiece as well as being an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wander down the Corso Vittorio Emmanuele, overlooked by Noto's elegant cathedral, and explore the side streets filled with an array of fine architecture and cafes serving delicious local treats such as the savoury arancini and sweet cannoli. * (Staying at the Villa Favorita, Half Board)*



Day 8

What a final day! You'll follow the coast to the stunning city of Siracusa, built on an ancient Greek settlement and boasting a treasure trove of temples, amphitheatres and an ancient castle. On the way you'll cycle through Avola - home of the famous Nero D'Avola red wine grape. You'll also enjoy views of the majestic Mount Etna, and discover Plemmirio, an important area for flora and fauna and whose waters are home to a number of species including tuna, sea urchins, dolphins and sperm whales. After passing the Murro di Porco Cape, a striking landmark in the 1943 Conquest of Sicily, a final stretch takes you along the Bay of Siracusa and into the city itself. *(Staying at the Grand Albergo Alfeo, Breakfast only)*



Day 9

Transfer back to Catania airport, or maybe spend extra nights in the Island's second city.



* All accomodation * All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals * Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent * Route directions and maps * High quality bikes * Luggage transfers between hotels

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Dates Price Single Availability
20-Apr-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included
20-Apr-2019 for 8 Nights Land only
27-Apr-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included
27-Apr-2019 for 8 Nights Land only
02-May-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included
02-May-2019 for 8 Nights Land only
04-May-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included
04-May-2019 for 8 Nights Land only
09-May-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included
09-May-2019 for 8 Nights Land only
11-May-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included
11-May-2019 for 8 Nights Land only
18-May-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included
18-May-2019 for 8 Nights Land only
25-May-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included
25-May-2019 for 8 Nights Land only
01-Jun-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included
01-Jun-2019 for 8 Nights Land only
02-Jun-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included
02-Jun-2019 for 8 Nights Land only
08-Jun-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included
08-Jun-2019 for 8 Nights Land only
15-Jun-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included
15-Jun-2019 for 8 Nights Land only
31-Aug-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included
31-Aug-2019 for 8 Nights Land only
07-Sep-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included
07-Sep-2019 for 8 Nights Land only
14-Sep-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included
14-Sep-2019 for 8 Nights Land only
21-Sep-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included
21-Sep-2019 for 8 Nights Land only
28-Sep-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included
28-Sep-2019 for 8 Nights Land only
05-Oct-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included
05-Oct-2019 for 8 Nights Land only
12-Oct-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included
12-Oct-2019 for 8 Nights Land only
19-Oct-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included
19-Oct-2019 for 8 Nights Land only
26-Oct-2019 for 8 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included
26-Oct-2019 for 8 Nights Land only

Touring with Exodus

Exodus is an award-winning company built on adventures. It started life on 4 February 1974 when two friends got together to provide an overland truck to travel to the Minaret of Jam, deep in the heart of the Hindu Kush, the most inaccessible of the world’s great monuments. They continue to discover countries, cultures, environments, cities, mountain ranges, deserts, coasts and jungles - exploring this amazing planet we all live on.

At Exodus, they know what makes you tick when it comes to holidays. It’s a desire shared by so many others. A yearning to visit new places and come home with a real sense of what they’re all about. This means delving into local traditions, cultures, cuisine, lifestyles – anything that contributes to its unique identity. At the same time, they always remember that they are only guests. So they ensure they travel courteously and respectfully, in smaller groups to minimise their impact, to ensure that every Exodus holiday is a beneficial experience for everyone involved. This is a philosophy they take around the world, helping you reach some incredible destinations on 500 itineraries across 90 countries – choose from walking, cycling, culture, wildlife and even polar adventures in guided groups or self-guided, tailor-made for you or a ready-made itinerary in Peru or India, Costa Rica or Italy – the choices are endless. They also strive to provide as much flexibility and choice as possible, making it simple for you to experience a very different holiday.

All staff at Exodus have a passion for travel and adventure with their combined experiences spanning 171 different countries and in their former lives, some team members have been professional archaeologists, wildlife guides, overland drivers, mountain leaders, diving and ski specialists and mountain bike gurus – all guaranteed to give you the very best adventure possible. Extensive planning, research, fact-finding and training are just some of the ways this expertise comes through in your adventure.

Exodus recognises their obligation to operate their tours in a responsible and sustainable fashion to address the environmental, economic and social impact tourism can have. They are committed to the well-being of the communities that host you and the natural environment that you are there to experience. Key points in their philosophy include small groups which have less impact on local communities and environments, putting money directly into the communities visited by using locally owned and run accommodation and eating locally produced food, ensuring local staff and operators receive a fair rate for their services, encouraging their own staff to take an active interest in responsible and sustainable tourism and train them accordingly, endeavour to ensure that their practices help in the environmental conservation of the areas visited and provide their clients with advice and guidelines on how to respect the social, cultural and religious beliefs of local communities.

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tour details

This tour is operated by Exodus

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