May 16th, May 5th
Departure day
Italy
Destination
Intermediate
Difficulty level

Sicily is the biggest island in the Mediterranean ocean. Surrounded by Sardinia, the Italic Peninsula, Greece and facing Tunisia, lies in a strategic location that made the desire and bastion of all the kings, princes and sultans of the region, who wanted to control the Mediterranean for centuries. It was conquered by the Greeks, the Arabs, the Romans, the Normans, the Bourbons and the Spaniards.
They all left their influence, visible in architecture, sculptures, gastronomy, agriculture, art and people. The bike ride takes place mainly in the southeast of the island, between Modica, Noto, Ragusa, Palazzolo and Siracusa. This region suffered a devastating earthquake in 1693 and all later constructions were built in Baroque style. The tour continues around the spectacular Etna Volcano at the altitude 1,700 to 1,900 meters until we reach Randazzo. From there we continue pedaling to the Ionian Sea and reach Giardini Naxos. Nearby Taormina, located two hundred meters above Mount Taurus, is a spectacular natural terrace and from its Greek theater you can take incredible panoramas of the smoky Mount Etna and the Bay of Giardini Naxos. This is an unforgettable experience; we look forward to ride together in the next upcoming tour!

DEPARTURE/ARRIVAL Catania, Sicily
DEPARTING TIME 12 p.m. in Catania
SERVICES INCLUDED
Tracks to load in your GPS. The GPS must be installed in the handlebar of your bike and it’s not provided by the organisation
MTB guide Spanish/English/French along the tour + Local Sicilian guide
Seven nights in Hotels (3 stars) double and triple based, breakfast included
One night in B&B, double and triple based breakfast included
Mechanical assistance (in case your bike break down)
Medical insurance
Van transfer Catania – Modica
 Van transfer Giardini Naxos – Fontanarossa Airport (Catania)
Van Transfer Siracusa – Etna Vulcano
 Daily transportation of your luggage
Bike jersey of the tour
NOT INCLUDED
Meals not detailed in the program, drinks, alcohol drinks, air tickets, transfers not detailed in the tour program, bike parts, phone calls, laundry expenses and personal expenses
MTB rental

Additional information

LocationItaly
Duration9 days
DatesMay

Beautiful bike tour in South east Sicily, starting in Barroque Modica, Noto and Palazzolo + Necropolis Pantalica, Siracusa, Etna Vulcano, Giardini Naxos and Taormina.

1

Day 1: Ciao Sicilia! Meeting in Catania and transfer to South east Sicily

We meet in Catania and our van will drive us to “Modica”. The transfer takes two hours, so once we arrive to the hotel we’ll receive and prepare the bikes and introduce the trip to everybody before enjoying a delicious Sicilian dinner.
2

Day 2: Modica – Ragusa Ibla – Giarratana - Palazzolo

We start from Modica, one of the most beautiful cities of the Sicilian Baroque South east in direction Ragusa Ibla, another jewel of baroque architecture, located scenically on a hilltop, downhill on a beautiful single track path. After a short visit of Ragusa Ibla, we continue uphill to the small village of Giarratana. From Giarratana we ride along the former railway tracks to Palazzolo Acreide, anotherBaroque city and the end of our stage. Overnight in Palazzolo Acreide. 48Km/900 m elevation gain. Offroad/gravel 40%/Paved 60%
3

Day 3: Palazzolo – Palazzolo with Pantalica and Ferla

Today’s stage will take us around the “Anapo Valley” and the deep canyons that are typical for this area. From Palazzolo we cycle through the typical landscape of the Iblei Plateau downhill to reach the river Anapo, near the “gate” to the “Pantalica Valley”. The last part of the track is a fast  downhill. From here we start a climb to the upper part of Pantalica, a Necropolis from the late “Bronze Age” and later inhabited during the byzantine era. At the “saddle of Filiporto” we can see tombs of the Necropolis and the remains of the byzantine settlement with the oratory of San Micidiario. We continue to Ferla, a picturesque small village before we return on the former railway tracks along the “Anapo Valley” to our hotel in Palazzolo Acreide. Overnight in Palazzolo Acreide.
56 km/970 m elevation gain – Offroad/gravel 25%/Paved 75%
4

Day 4: Palazzolo Acreide – Testa dell'Acqua – Noto Antica – Cava Carosello – Noto

From Palazzolo Acreide we start on a rolling road in direction Testa dell’Acqua, a small village. We will come along some nice single tracks and different kinds of gravel ways. From there we continue downhill to Noto Antica, the ruins of the first, original city of Noto before it was destroyed by the devastating earthquake of 1693 and rebuilt completely new closer to the coast. We continue to the valley of Cava Carosello. The caves with the basins where used during the arabic byzantine period as tanneries. From here we continue downhill to Noto, the capital of Sicillian Baroque and the end of our stage today. Overnight in Noto. 43 km/500m elevation gain – Offroad/gravel 40%/Paved 60%
5

Day 5: Noto – Lido di Noto – Eloro – Vendicari – Mosaici Tellaro – Zisola – Noto

The stage of today will bring us to the beautiful coast of Noto. We start in direction to Lido di Noto and Eloro, a satellite city founded by the Greeks of Siracusa to defend the outskirts. We continue along the coast, between Mediterranean Macchia and ancient quarries to beautiful small beaches. We stop at the “Villa Romana del Tellaro”, a Roman villa with colorful floor mosaics and before we continue uphill among vineyards back to Noto. Overnight in Noto. 31 km/400m elevation gain  – Offroad/gravel 70%/Paved 30%
6

Day 6: Noto – Fontane Bianche – Ognina - Arenella - Plemmirio – Siracusa

Today’s stage will lead us along the coastline to Siracusa. The first part is a continues change of short downhills and climbs until we arrive on the coast at Fontane Bianche, pass by the small harbor of Ognina and the sandy beach of Arenella before we arrive at the rocky coast of Plemmirio, where we have a spectacular view on “Ortigia”, the historical center of the most beautiful city of Sicily: Siracusa. We continue to Siracusa, the end of today stage. Overnight in Siracusa. 54 km/300m elevation gain – Offroad/gravel 60%/Paved 40%
7

Day 7: Siracusa – transfer to Rifugio Sapienza/Piano Vettore – Pista Altomontana – Randazzo

From Siracusa we start in the morning by bus for a transfer to Rifugio Sapienza on Mt. Etna. We start cycling fromt he south side of Mt. Etna, at about 1800 m above sea level on the fascinating “Pista Altomontana”. It is an easy path between forests to old lava fields. After an easy climb on the first kilometers up to Rifugio Glavarina and Poggio La Caccia at 1950 m.
From here we start the downhill on the north side of the volcanoe. At Mt Nunziato we stop to see the cave formed by a lava flow in 1843. We continue to Monte Spagnolo and then on a single track on the lava flows from 1981 to the “Bottoniera” craters that endangered the city of Randazzo in 1981. Shortly after we will arrive in the medeveal town of Randazzo. Overnight in Randazzo. 36 km/320m elevation gain
8

Day 8: Randazzo – Gole dell'Alcantara – Giardini Naxos - Taormina – Giardini Naxos

This stage will show us the beautiful Alcantara Valley. We will pass through some villages, always with the impressive Silhouette of Mt. Etna in our view. We will also pass through some vineyards where the famous red wine from Etna is produced. A characteristic red wine with a special taste that also comes from the volcanic minerals in the soil from lava dust. The Alcantara river runs through the volcanic stone and has formed the marvelous Alcantara gorge. Along the way we will also see the Cuba Bizantina, a cubical stone church of byzantine origins). Stage ends in Giardini Naxos, where we’ll have lunch and celebrate for a fantastic ride. In the afternoon we visit Taormina and return to Giardini Naxos. 40km/80m elevation gain.
9

Day 9: Arrivederci Sicilia!

You can choose between being transferred to Catania’s “Fontanarossa” airport or to stay in Giardini Naxos where the tour finishes.

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