Secrets of Sicily Cycling

From $1656 per person

****# Based on 15 customer reviews
  • Varied, unspoilt cycling: citrus-scented coastal trails, swaying vines, glistening salt pans, sun-baked hamlets
  • Rich historic and cultural interest: mediaeval Erice, Phoenician Mozia, Baroque Trapani, 2,500-year-old temple at Segesta
  • Possible day trips to the Egadi Islands with secret coves and azure waters
  • Quality hotels with pools; traditional Sicilian cuisine

What's included?

  • 7 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs Selected Saturdays from 1 Apr '17 to 21 Oct '17
  • All continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals included
  • Managed by Headwater appointed agent
  • Sustainability rating: 87%
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Optional electric bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

Excellent for...

Secrets of Sicily Cycling

This self-guided, seven night linear cycling holiday explores Sicily's unspoilt western coast. Steeped in ancient history and culture, combined with a quintessential Mediterranean landscape, this picturesque region is a delight to explore on two wheels. Enjoy golden bays lapped by azure waters, vine-studded countryside dotted with silvery olive groves and tiny sun-baked hamlets where time moves at a lazy pace.

Your holiday begins in mediaeval Scopello, a tiny cobbled hamlet superbly located above the idyllic Zingaro Nature Reserve, home to Bonelli's eagles, falcons and buzzards, as well as picture-perfect coves. You then move inland to Bruca, nestled in pristine countryside and a convenient stone's throw from the stunning ancient Greek city of Segesta, before returning to the sea at Nubia. Here ancient windmills and mounds of freshly harvested sea salt glisten against a backdrop of sapphire waters, with the rugged Egadi Islands silhouetted on the horizon. Finally you pedal towards Marsala, renowned for its sweet dessert wine, with time to explore the Phoenician island of Mozia along the way.

Superb hotels are a highlight throughout; some are traditional Sicilian farmhouse (baglio) style, with rooms built around a central courtyard, and each has an enticing swimming pool (usually open late May- September).

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Scopello

Arrive at your hotel, spectacularly situated above Castellammare del Golfo.

Day 2 - At Scopello

Maybe spend the day discovering the pristine Zingaro Nature Reserve on foot, with miles of coastal tracks and perfect coves lapped by sapphire waters. Leave time in the early evening for a pre-dinner aperitivo in the tiny Moorish village of Scopello - it's a gorgeous jumble of cobbled lanes and alleys radiating off the central square - fantastic sea views too!

Day 3 - Scopello to Bruca 27km/17mi or 30km/19mi

It's a leisurely start to the day along pine-scented roads dotted with pink bougainvillea before an exhilarating whizz to Castellammare del Golfo. Leaving the sea behind, you cycle inland climbing through an enchanting landscape of swaying vines, palms and citrus groves to reach Segesta with its stunningly preserved 2,500-year-old Doric temple with breathtaking sea views. Then onto Antonio and Nadia's lovely farmhouse hotel just in time for a drink on the terrace before dinner.

Day 4 - Bruca to Nubia 42km/26.5mi

As you climb gently out of Bruca, you are rewarded with fantastic sweeping views over the undulating Sicilian landscape. You'll pass through a string of tranquil hamlets before reaching a beautiful flat stretch next to the sea, lined with sparkling mounds of salt and crumbling windmills. Perhaps you'll spot flamingos bathing in the warm waters which lead to our stunning 4-star baglio.

Day 5 - At Nubia

Trapani, with its bustling port and Baroque centro storico is only 5km away. Mediaeval Erice is also easily visited. Its cobbled narrow streets seem to cling to the hillside and amazing balcony views sweep across to the Mediterranean and Trapani. Maybe visit the C12 Norman castle, dedicated to Venus or enjoy an icy granita, flavoured with fresh lemons or mint, in the bustling piazza. For a lazier day, our hotel has a gorgeous pool nestling in verdant vines.

Day 6 - Nubia to Marsala 46km/29mi

Pedal inland through a delicately perfumed landscape of melon groves, vines and palm dates before reaching the coast again. Maybe savour a fresh fish lunch al fresco in the salty sharp air before taking a wooden boat to fascinating Mozia where you'll find archaeological remains dating back to 1300 BC. It's then an easy cycle along the seafront to reach Marsala in time to try the eponymous sweet wine before dinner!

Day 7 - At Marsala

Favignana, the largest (and flattest) of the Egadi Islands, is just a short ferry hop away, and it's a cyclist's paradise with pine-scented tranquil lanes leading to secret coves and archaeological ruins. There is also lots of choice for lunch in its bustling harbour. Plenty to discover in Marsala too; the historic centre has a colourful market and butter-coloured Baroque churches.

Day 8 - Leave Sicily

Please note: This tour has been given a 2 Bike rating based on ascents/descents and distance; the cycling may feel harder over the hotter months and when the Sicilian scirocco wind is high.


For a longer tour, why not consider combining this with our Islands of Sicily Walk

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.

If you'd like to keep your bikes with you for any extra nights we can arrange this for you for just £25 per adult per day. Please contact us on 1-800-567-6286 for further details.

Baglio di Scopello, Scopello   (3 Star)

pool at baglio di scopello

The Baglio di Scopello - along with its sister hotel, the Baglio dello Zingaro - is located on a downhill path that leads from the 'rock' that overlooks Scopello to the centre of the village. It has been prettily painted with blue detail and features marble design, wrought iron features and locally crafted furniture. The ensuite rooms are bright, spacious and well appointed, with views either over the picturesque village or over the coastline as it stretches out towards the Punta Raisi, It also benefits from a bright, modern sitting area and bar - perfect for a pre-dinner drink.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Nearby facilities:

  • Market

Agriturismo Arcudaci, Bruca   (3*)

arcudaci pool

Nestled in the hills near the ancient theatre of Segesta, the Agriturismo Arcudaci boasts superb views over the surrounding Sicilian countryside. There are just ten rooms in this Baglio style, converted farmhouse; each is spacious with ensuite facilities, satellite television and air conditioning. Your evening meal is taken in the agriturismo’s cosy restaurant, with its wooden beams and open fire. There are extensive grounds and gardens to the agriturismo, where you’ll find the sea water pool, as well as a lovely terrace area where you can drink in the views.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Air conditioning

Relais Antiche Saline, Nubia   (4*)

Relais Antiche Saline, Nubia

The 4* Relais Antiche Saline is a gorgeously renovated baglio located in the Riserva Naturale Saline, just 5km from Trapani. The baglio has just 16 rooms; all have ensuite facilities, although almost all rooms have showers rather than bathtubs. The rooms are tastefully decorated with marble floors and bright white furniture contrasted with blue fabrics.

The hotel has a gorgeous swimming pool with views to the sea on one side, Erice on the other and a lovely backdrop of vines. Around the pool are plenty of comfy chairs and recliners as well as a jacuzzi. Inside the hotel, there is also a small lounge area with sofas and a television.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Television
  • Air conditioning

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • ATM / Cash machine

Villa Favorita, Marsala   (3*)

garden and igloos at villa favorita

Villa Favorita, a gorgeously restored 3* baglio crammed with antiques, paintings and original furnishings, is located just 2km from the centre of ancient Marsala. The hotel is divided between the old baglio building (where 13 bedrooms are located) and 29 individual bungalows, which are designed like igloos! Headwater customers will be allocated rooms within the baglio building unless previously advised. The baglio rooms are all individually furnished in a traditional style.

The hotel has gorgeous gardens with bougainvillea, palms and agaves. There is also a lovely swimming pool, a tennis court, boules area and an outdoor bar.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine



Extra nights and stop over hotels

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.

Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa, Palermo   (4 star)

Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa, Palermo

Located just a stone's throw from one of Palermo's main streets - the Via Vittorio Emanuele that runs through the heart of the historical centre - the Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa is a stunning conversion of 2 historic buildings. The origins of the hotel date back to the 16C convent of the Mercedarian Monks; the hotel's picturesque cloister dates back to this era.

In the early 1800s, the monks joined the convent with the Briuccia family's neighbouring palazzo. However, by the 1860s, the monks had left Palermo and the building was used as the Sicilian stock exchange - in fact the former trading floor is now the hotel's Kemonia restaurant.

Today, the Piazza Borsa is a comfortable 4-star hotel, fully equipped for the needs of the 21C traveller, with a gym and spa (including jacuzzi, sauna, Turkish bath and massage rooms), bar and elegant restaurant.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Travel options

Transfers included from Palermo airport at 13:40, and back to Palermo airport at 11:30.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email info@breakaway-adventures.com to arrange connecting flights.

Customer reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Reviewed by Mrs Stoneham on 04/10/2016

***#.
Lovely break, great scenery and quiet routes, good food and wine, well organised.

Reviewed by Mr Orrett on 29/09/2016

*****
Holiday made best of local area, well planned with good quality hotels and restaurants chosen

Reviewed by Mis Galliers on 07/06/2016

**#..
Interesting but not our most enjoyable Headwater trip. Hotels were isolated with little buzz in the immediate vicinity. No steer on places of interest/ visits etc what to do ( other than fix your puncture! ) from rep. Found cycling country rather barren and shame about fly tipping. New Palace Hotel was good but rather bizarre and probably only a quarter occupancy. Bristol/Milan/Palermo resulted in arrival @ 11 therefore no evening meal ( just a cold plate). Return journey leaving at 3am .....no breakfast.

Reviewed by Dr Roberts on 31/05/2016

*****
We had an amazing trip cycling secrets of Sicily .Great combination of lovely scenery,interesting history ,well organised and good choice of hotels. Cycling is a great way to see a country. The people were friendly and welcoming .Would love to try another trip.

Reviewed by Mr Renshaw on 27/05/2016

*****
Cycling is a wonderful way to see a country and, particularly in Sicily, appreciate the abundance of wild flowers that line the roads we cycled. The accommodation and food were very enjoyable as were the receptions we got in both hotels and restaurants. Cycling is more enjoyable when your fit and we are but the pace of the holiday was good with interspersed non cycling days. We were able to enjoy some historical sites as well en route.

Reviewed by Mr Hemsley on 03/05/2016

*****
we upgraded most of your rooms as what was on offer was fairly basic. some of the cycle routes were on busy roads and the Italian drivers are not respectful of cyclists. however, the experience was a good one.

Reviewed by Mr Wignall on 26/05/2015

*****
Excellent and varied selection of Hotels , majority of routes on very quiet roads, lovely rolling scenery( very Tuscan ) Blessed with sunny warm weather .. The first cycling day for those who haven't cycled much prior to the holiday it could be a little challenging, however it is well worth it if only for the food welcome given by Antonio at the Agro Turismo at Bruca, what a treasure he is. Thereafter the cycling just gets easier each day. The location at Nubia is unique, with a stroll across the salt pans for the evening meal. If you don't do anything else at Nubia, take the cableway to Erice , best site of the holiday .

Reviewed by Mrs Scott on 14/04/2015

***#.
The holiday was fine - exactly what we have come to expect of a Headwater holiday - we've done about 7. Every day turns up something different, the accommodation individual, sometimes quirky but always interesting and always something to do. The Sicily cycling holiday lived up to expectation except for the quality of the electric bikes - the reason why we chose the holiday. The equipment was old and on one particular day not up to the distance for the day's journey - the batteries were collected off the bikes and we had to continue with the bikes battery free - something they are not designed for ! My battery alone weighed 12kg ! PS We didn't stay at the Agritorisimo Arcudaci - disregard the rating above - I can't delete it....

Reviewed by Mr Mace on 07/10/2014

*****
A chance to see parts of countries that fixed destinations can not compete with.

Reviewed by Mrs Baylies on 23/09/2014

*****
A great holiday but the hills ARE hills! So you do need to be fairly fit. And be prepared for a headwind! A real sense of achievement at the end of the day and we felt we had earned all the amazing food!

Reviewed by Mr Haines on 23/09/2014

*****
Travel arrangements and accommodation were excellent. Cycling on Day 3 from Scopello was very demanding with many hills! The written instructions for cycling route into Marsala could be improved- just follow the waterfront. Alitalia flight meals were poor so an arrival snack at hotel 1 would be helpful. A thoroughly enjoyable holiday. Thanks.

Reviewed by Mr McLenachan on 16/09/2014

*****
Overall a good holiday but one or two issues: 1. The minibus driver on arrival did not know where he was going and tried to drop us at the wrong hotel. Fortunately, we realised this before he had left and got him to take us to the correct hotel. 2. Not much to do on the last day in Marsala, so this was a bit of a dead day. I'd prefer the option to move on each day. 3. When you do have 2 nights in one place, I'd prefer that dinner in the hotel was included for one night onlyp on the dinner on the second night (eve

Reviewed by Mr Oldham on 26/06/2014

***#.
Of all the Headwater holidays we have done, this is perhaps the most difficult to sum up in a few words! The bikes and cycling were really good - probably one of the best experiences on that score. However, even then the scenery was somewhat less than great for the most part, with little opportunity to see a great deal of interest along the way. The hotels were great - although in the two cases where we had to eat at outside reatsurants the service was laughably poor - really felt as if we were being served under sufferage. That did not happen where the hotels provided the food, nor at other external restaurants and cafes we used along the way - far from it. So whether they felt they didn't have to bother too much hard to say. Dogs were an issue in parts - unlike most other rural areas we have cycled in throughout Europe, where dogs are used to protect properties but are generally tied up or confined to the property, here they could nearly all get out on the road, and in one particular case we were very glad that we could 'outpace' the rather vicious looking brutes as we were going downhill at the time.
Headwater response:
Dear Mr Oldham, Thank you for your feedback, it was great to see that you enjoyed the cycling and the hotels on your holiday. Although, it was disappointing to see that some parts of your holiday did not meet with your expectations. We have discussed your feedback with our local agent. They have taken steps to ensure a more professional service is provided by the restaurateur’s we currently use, this will be closely monitored during the following tours and if an improvement is not achieved alternative restaurants will be used. We were also sorry to see that you encountered issues with free roaming dogs in the area, whilst this is the first report we have received of this kind. Our agent has reported the issue to the local council for their immediate attention. We would like to thank you for your constructive feedback and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future. Headwater Customer Service

Reviewed by Mr Ploszajski on 17/06/2014

***#.
Overall very enjoyable, with Zingaro, Erice and Mozia particular favorites. The welcome at Baglio Fontana was outstanding - we were the only guests that night and they cooked us an amazing meal! The least pleasant element was the base in Nubia. The salt pan landscape there was far less attractive than the one visited subsequently at Mozia, the staff in the local Trattoria were very off-hand, the food was poor and we were overcharged by a taxi arranged by the hotel, which cost 20 Euros for a 4-mile trip one way. The location of the hotel in Marsala (described in the notes as 'enviable') was not great, fronted by a busy road, surrounded by industrial buildings and our room (at the back) overlooked a railway line. If your descriptions raise expectations, it leaves an unnecessary sense of disappointment.
Headwater response:
Dear Mr Ploszajski, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire, it was great to see that you enjoyed your holiday overall. We have passed on your feedback to the team at Baglio Fontana they were delighted to receive such lovely comments and enjoyed your company too. I was however sorry to read of your poor experience at the local Trattoria, again we have passed on these comments and the owner would like to offer his sincere apologies for the poor service you feel you received; they pride themselves on delivering good service and tasty meals and will highlight your feedback to their staff for their immediate attention. We were also sorry to see that you felt you were overcharged for your return taxi, the hotel use licensed taxi's only with fares set by the local council. The hotel suggested that the taxi you returned in may not have been licensed and therefore charge less. We would always recommend the use of a licensed taxi wherever possible. We thank you once again for your constructive feedback and for travelling with Headwater this summer. Yours sincerely, Headwater Customer Service team

Reviewed by Mr Arena on 22/04/2014

**#..
This was a very well arranged holiday and headwater proved faultless in its arrangements. As a region, however, it is neither especially beautiful, nor especially interesting. The hills were very steep in the initial stages- far steeper than anticipated. The accommodation was fair but not exceptional and often not especially comfortable. The food was by and large mediocre given that there were set menus which seldom changed and which were repeated at nearly every hotel/restaurant. Notwithstanding the efforts of headwater, this was a disappointing holiday.

Departure dates & prices

April 2017 departuresTour only 
Apr 1$1795
Apr 8$1765
Apr 15$1765
Apr 22$1825
Apr 29$1825
May 2017 departuresTour only 
May 6$1795
May 13$1795
May 20$1825
May 27$1845
June 2017 departuresTour only 
Jun 3$1845
Jun 10$1845
Jun 17$1845
September 2017 departuresTour only 
Sep 2$1845
Sep 9$1845
Sep 16$1825
Sep 23$1825
Sep 30$1795
October 2017 departuresTour only 
Oct 7$1795
Oct 14$1765
Oct 21$1765

Holiday details

Holiday type

Self-guided cycling, hotel-to-hotel. Managed by Headwater appointed agent.

Departures

Selected Saturdays from 1 Apr '17 to 21 Oct '17, for 8 days (7 nights). Non standard transfers / departures are possible for a minimum of 2 people. Out of hours transfers and non standard briefings are subject to a supplement.

Meals

All continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals included.

Other details

Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information. Please call us for single room supplements, room upgrade options and child prices.

Starting your tour

Transfers included from Palermo airport at 13:40, and back to Palermo airport at 11:30.

Enquire about this holiday

Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and additional information.

We'd like to keep you informed of our latest news and special offers. Please tick here if you'd rather not receive our free e-newsletter.
We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. Morning calls will be between 9:00-13:00, afternoon calls between 13:00-17:00, and evening calls after 17:00.
Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or tailor-made options.

 

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  • Relaxed activity holidays since 1985

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