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A Taste of Sicily Cycling

A Taste of Sicily Cycling

A Taste of Sicily Cycling

  • Beautiful, unspoilt coastlines; charming fishing villages; rich fertile valleys
  • The ancient Greek city of Siracusa and its enchanting island of Ortigia
  • Superb regional food and excellent Nero D'Avola wines
  • Authentic Baroque architecture and UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Inspector Montalbano country - visit the haunts of the famous TV detective
  • Fantastic mix of accommodation, from a hillside masseria surrounded by olive trees to a luxury ***** hotel with two golf courses
  • Holiday type10 nights, Self-guided cycling
  • Activity rating
  • From $2790
    Excellent for
  • Holiday details
  • Departs Selected Sundays and Thursdays from 6 Apr '17 to 22 Oct '17
  • All continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals
  • Managed by Headwater appointed agent
  • Sustainability rating: 95%
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Optional electric bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels


We're here to help

If you've any questions about this holiday call to our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 , or email sales@headwater.com

This ten-night, self-guided cycling holiday provides a wonderful introduction to Sicily's south east, a part of the island renowned for its beautiful, unspoilt coastline, spectacular Baroque architecture and sumptuous regional 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. You'll take in plenty of Inspector Montalbano country - a treat for fans of the fictional detective series - including Scicli with its atmospheric streets and hilltop mausoleum and the charming fishing villages of Punta Secca and Sampieri. Following the scenic Mediterranean Route cycleway you'll head towards the sea, taking in sublime coastline punctuated by golden sandy beaches and picturesque fishing villages such as Portopalo di Capo Passero and pretty Marzamemi with its Arabic history. After passing through Nero D'Avola wine country your holiday finishes in beautiful Siracusa, an ancient Greek city whose 'historical heart' is the island of Ortigia, accessed by a bridge from the mainland. Ortigia's grand squares, narrow mediaeval streets and romantic palaces and castles are a delight to behold.

You'll stay in a wonderful mix of accommodation including a lovingly restored, hillside masseria surrounded by olive trees, a charming villa hotel boasting fabulous views over Noto from its outdoor pool and terrace, a minimalist design hotel in the centre of bustling Portopalo and a luxury ***** hotel set in acres of grounds, complete with two golf courses. Given the wonderful local cuisine on offer, including such Sicilian specialities as Pasta alla Norma and Pasta con le Sarde, we've included six evening meals on this holiday, leaving you free to dine out on the remaining nights.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Ragusa

Arrive at your luxury **** hotel in Ragusa.

Day 2 - Ragusa to Modica 39km/24.5mi or 17km/11mi

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!

Day 3 - At Modica

Oft-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!

Day 4 - Modica to Contrada Piombo 42km/26.5mi

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. Your last stop of the day is the lively town of Santa Croce Camerina, which you’ll reach after a scenic cycle through a verdant valley, rich in olive groves. Enjoy a well-deserved drink in one of the piazzas before your final stretch to the ***** Donnafugata Golf Resort and Spa, your home for the next two nights.

Day 5 - At Contrada Piombo

You could be forgiven for holing up in your luxurious hotel today, enjoying a dip in the pool, a relaxing spa or perhaps a round of golf. There are also a number of pristine beaches nearby (we’re particularly fond of the small fishing village of Scoglitti). If you’re itching to get out and explore, we recommend following a 19km circular route to the striking Castello di Donnafugata (‘the castle of the fugitive woman’), which sits atop a hill overlooking the glistening Mediterranean. The castle allegedly derives its name from the imprisonment of Queen Blanche of Navarre in the C15, who refused the amorous attentions of Count Bernardo Cabrera and was subsequently locked in the castle! Take some time to explore the formal gardens, full of exotic and Mediterranean plants, perhaps enjoying a traditional Sicilian lunch in one of the restaurants.

Day 6 - Contrada Piombo to Marina di Modica 47km/29.5mi

The unspoilt coastline beckons and today you’ll follow an idyllic route along the Mediterranean, taking in a number of charming coastal towns. A real highlight is the small, sun-kissed fishing village of Punta Secca - the home of Inspector Montalbano and the perfect place to stop for a leisurely lunch overlooking the village’s powder-soft sands and striking lighthouse. Die-hard fans of the TV detective can even enjoy a drink in the bar opposite his fictional house! Marina di Ragusa, 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.

Day 7 - Marina di Modica to Portopalo di Capo Passero 49km/31mi

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!

Day 8 - Portopalo di Capo Passero to Noto 45km/28.5mi

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.

Day 9 - At Noto

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.

Day 10 - Noto to Siracusa 47km/29.5mi

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. Here you’ll find your **** hotel located just 300 metres from the island of Ortigia, known as the city’s ‘historical heart’.

Day 11 - Leave Siracusa

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

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.

Hotel Villa Del Lauro, Ragusa (4 Star)

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The Hotel Villa del Lauro is a C19 Baroque mansion which has been restored to its former glory, with 20 comfortable rooms that have all the modern amenities required. The hotel has a peaceful walled garden complete with small pool, a lovely place to relax. A large buffet breakfast is offered.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Di Stefano Palace, Ragusa (4 Star)

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In the centre of 'new' Ragusa, the Di Stefano Palace is a perfect example of Neo-Classical Baroque architecture. The C19 residence has been restored to its original elegance complete with original frescoes. All the rooms have a lovely modern touch with refined decor which fit in with the historic building. The hotel has a small spa, and bar area. The sister hotel Villa Del Lauro, has a swimming pool which can be used by guests staying at the Di Stefano Palace.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Ferro Hotel, Modica (4 Star)

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A modern design hotel just 10 minutes from the centre of charming Modica. The hotel building was once a hostel for railworkers but has now been turned into a very good comfortable hotel with large rooms and bathrooms. The hotel is just a 10 minute walk from the centre of Baroque Modica, looking over the old train station.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa, Contrada Piombo (5 Star)

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The Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa is set in acres of parkland and pastures surrounded by two golf courses, this luxury resorts with its small block of rooms is an oasis in the countryside. It has a large spa, outdoor pool, piano room and wine bar. The rooms have all mod cons and are of a good size, the main public areas are housed in original farmhouse buildings giving a nice feel to the place.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Dates Superior Room Deluxe Room
06/04/2017 - 22/10/2017 £20 £46

All prices shown above are valid from 01/12/2016. Supplements are per person per night based on 2 sharing.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Torre Dantona, Marina di Modica (4 Star)

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The Torre Dantona dates back to 1882 and is an old farm building in the middle of olive groves. The old buildings have been lovingly restored to create a peaceful oasis just km's from the coast. The rooms have been created from the old stables and lie in a row of terraces, inside they have been tastefully decorated with a modern touch.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Portopalo Suites Hotel, Portopalo di Capo Passero (4 Star)

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This charming 10 room boutique hotel is located in the centre of Portopalo di Capo Passero. The rooms have been created to a high standard and have a modern quirky design. The hotel has used many environmental materials in the renovation of the old apartment block, and it has philosophy of mixing nature, culture and activity.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Dates Deluxe Room Suite
06/04/2017 - 22/10/2017 £14 £24

All prices shown above are valid from 01/12/2016. Supplements are per person per night based on 2 sharing.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Villa Favorita, Noto (4 Star)

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Villa Noto is an old grand villa on a hill looking over to the magnificent Baroque town of Noto. Once the grand house of of an Olive Oil producer it is now a grand hotel with its own pretty courtyard and lovely outdoor pool. The rooms retain an old elegance to them but have the right modern amenities to make your stay a comfortable one.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Dates Superior Room
06/04/2017 - 22/10/2017 £20

All prices shown above are valid from 01/12/2016. Supplements are per person per night based on 2 sharing.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Royal Maniace Hotel, Siracusa, Siracusa (4*)

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Wonderfully located on the enchanting island of Ortigia which is the beating heart of Siracusa. The Royal Hotel Maniace overlooks the bright blue Mediterranean sea. The elegant styled rooms make for a relaxing stay on this historic island. Delve into the warren of narrow streets or simply relax on one of the small pebble beaches or sea facing terraces. The hotel has a relaxing garden to chill before heading out for dinner in one of the many great restaurants.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Travel

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

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.


Dr Wheeler
17/10/2016

Excellent, but a couple of mistakes on instructions this time. At Villa Favorita the food needs to be sorted out. Truly poor. Noticed that the owner does not eat the same food as the guests- this speaks volumes. The staff were pleasant and they were very helpful, but the evening meals were inedible. The pasta with tomatoes - which anyone can cook was ruined by the addition of vast amounts of sugar!@! Tuna turned to rubber, and they only had 4 of us to feed that night. Quite the most dreadful me... read moreal in 9 trips with Headwater.

Meal at Torre Dantona was brilliant as was their breakfast.

Must just thank Sonia at the Portapalo suites. What a lovely lady. Best breakfast of the trip, and so warm and friendly. The rooms were extremely clean too.


Mr McIlraith
20/09/2016

This was the very best cycling holiday we have had. Sicily was a fantastic venue with lots to wonder at.


Mrs Collins
22/06/2016

See Review of taste of Sicily


Ms Allen
30/05/2016

Good mix of cycling and days off sightseeing around lovely Baroque towns-some of which feature in Montalbano.

We liked eating out in restaurants where we could eat typically Sicilian food.

Accommodation generally very good.

We went at the end of May which was hot enough during the day,especially when cycling, with much cooler evenings.


Mr Witts
27/04/2016

We are both fit and keen cyclists and enjoyed covering quite a large area in one trip.

The weather in late April was superb, most days 25 degrees with some windy rides which could prove to be tough going. It was a very varied trip with cultural interest in most of the destinations along with coastal scenic views mixed with agricultural landscapes. The wild flowers were in bloom but Sicilians have a habit of dumping roadside litter, which was a bit ugly at times. Montalbano was filming on... read more location at Punta Secca, which was a stunning seaside location.

A lot of the absolute seaside bars and restaurants were seasonally closed in late April, so would advise to take picnics and pre purchase drinks before you set off.

Dates and prices

The prices quoted below for each individual departure supercede those published in our current brochures. Air prices are subject to change and are shown for guide purposes only. Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information.

Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss your requirements in more detail.

  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Sep
  • Oct
Apr 2017 Tour only from Availability
6th Apr US$2790 Check
9th Apr US$2790 Check
13th Apr US$2790 Check
15th Apr US$2790 Check
20th Apr US$2835 Check
23rd Apr US$2835 Check
27th Apr US$2835 Check
30th Apr US$2835 Check
May 2017 Tour only from Availability
4th May US$2865 Check
7th May US$2865 Check
11th May US$2865 Check
14th May US$2865 Check
18th May US$2865 Check
21st May US$2910 Check
25th May US$2910 Check
28th May US$2910 Check
Jun 2017 Tour only from Availability
1st Jun US$2910 Check
4th Jun US$2910 Check
8th Jun US$2910 Check
11th Jun US$2960 Check
15th Jun US$2960 Check
18th Jun US$2960 Check
22nd Jun US$2960 Check
25th Jun US$2960 Check
Sep 2017 Tour only from Availability
7th Sep US$2960 Check
10th Sep US$2960 Check
14th Sep US$2960 Check
17th Sep US$2910 Check
21st Sep US$2910 Check
Oct 2017 Tour only from Availability
12th Oct US$2790 Check
15th Oct US$2790 Check
19th Oct US$2790 Check
22nd Oct US$2790 Check

Holiday details

Minimum group sizes
No minimum group size, however transfers are subject to at least 2 people (in total) booked on each departure.

Children
This holiday is unsuitable for children.

Holiday type
Self-guided cycling Managed locally by Headwater appointed agent.

Departures
Selected Sundays and Thursdays from 6th Apr 2017 to 22nd Oct 2017, for 10 nights.

Meals
All continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals

Electric bikes
It is possible to hire electric bikes for this holiday at a supplement of £200 per person. As these are available on a first come first served basis, we recommend early booking to avoid disappointment. Please call us for further details.

Tailor-made travel

Tour only
Transfers included from Catania airport at 11:25 Thursday departures, 15:40 Sunday departures, and back to Catania airport at 18:30 Thursdays going out, 13:15 Sundays going out.

Enquiries

Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for A Taste of Sicily Cycling. 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 an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.

Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss your requirements in more detail.



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