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Eastern Sicily from Palazzolo Acreide to Siracusa (8-days)
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!
Slow Tours offers a range of Cycling Tours in Italy
Arrive in Syracuse
Highlights: Welcome to Sicily!
Individual arrival in Siracusa, handover of the bikes and the roadbook and maps with all the information you will need
Siracusa – Palazzolo Acreide
Highlights: Syracuse, Palazzo Acreide
Leaving the bustle of Siracusa behind you, your cycling holiday in Sicily begins. You will first gradually cycle up through a beautiful landscape. These quiet country roads take you past orange, lemon and olive groves. When the weather is clear, you can catch a glimpse of Mount Etna. Along the way you also have the option to make the trip longer. This longer route takes you through a sometimes tough but spectacular area with beautiful views and deep ravines. You will also visit the town of Ferla, one of the most beautiful Sicilian villages.
Daily distance: 66km and 1283m d+ elevation gain or 46km and 960m d+ elevation gain
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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!
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. - 2017
Tours marked with are special prices.
|Start||End||Max. No. Guests||Accommodation||Price p.p.|
|May 27 2023||Jun 03 2023||18||Single rooms||1,620€|
|Jun 03 2023||Jun 10 2023||18||Single rooms||1,620€|
|Jun 10 2023||Jun 17 2023||18||Single rooms||1,620€|
|Jun 17 2023||Jun 24 2023||18||Single rooms||1,620€|
|Jun 24 2023||Jul 01 2023||18||Single rooms||1,620€|
|Jul 01 2023||Jul 08 2023||18||Single rooms||1,470€|
|Jul 08 2023||Jul 15 2023||18||Single rooms||1,470€|
|Jul 15 2023||Jul 22 2023||18||Single rooms||1,470€|
|Jul 22 2023||Jul 29 2023||18||Single rooms||1,470€|
|Jul 29 2023||Aug 05 2023||18||Single rooms||1,470€|
|Aug 05 2023||Aug 12 2023||18||Single rooms||1,470€|
|Aug 12 2023||Aug 19 2023||18||Single rooms||1,470€|
|Aug 19 2023||Aug 26 2023||18||Single rooms||1,470€|
|Aug 26 2023||Sep 02 2023||18||Single rooms||1,470€|
|Sep 02 2023||Sep 09 2023||18||Single rooms||1,620€|
|Sep 09 2023||Sep 16 2023||18||Single rooms||1,620€|
|Sep 16 2023||Sep 23 2023||18||Single rooms||1,620€|
|Sep 23 2023||Sep 30 2023||18||Single rooms||1,620€|
|Sep 30 2023||Oct 07 2023||18||Single rooms||1,620€|
|Oct 07 2023||Oct 14 2023||18||Single rooms||1,620€|
|Oct 14 2023||Oct 21 2023||18||Single rooms||1,470€|
|Oct 21 2023||Oct 28 2023||18||Single rooms||1,470€|
|Oct 28 2023||Nov 04 2023||18||Single rooms||1,470€|
|Nov 04 2023||Nov 11 2023||18||Single rooms||1,470€|
|Nov 11 2023||Nov 18 2023||18||Single rooms||1,470€|
|Nov 18 2023||Nov 25 2023||18||Single rooms||1,470€|
|Nov 25 2023||Dec 02 2023||18||Single rooms||1,470€|
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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.- 2018