South Est Sicily Road Bike Tour
Four-day tour to visit the beauties of Ragusa and Scicli Modica,the city of chocolate, and Marzamemi, an old fishing village
From Catania, you’ll transfer to Scicli by private motor coach. All guests will stop on the way to Scicli in Ragusa Ibla (the transfer lasts about 2 hours and 15 minutes). The city is listed among UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites for its Baroque palaces and churches. There you will be greeted by our local guide and embark on a 40-minute walking tour in the most picturesque part of the city. You will have time to have lunch on your own before continuing the transfer to Scicli.
Early this afternoon, settle in at your luxurious hotel centrally located in Scicli, Borgo Hedone’, one of the 100 top hotels in the world, according to the Sunday Times. The hotel comprises a carefully restored 17th-century villa and smaller buildings, spread out in a picturesque little borgo, all connected by staircases and little patios built in local stone. Two swimming pools (one outside and a heated one inside) and wonderful terraces offer the best view of the Baroque town and the Duomo, which is literally a few steps from the main door. After a safety and bike-fitting session, follow your Trip Leaders on a warm-up ride outside the town in the beautiful Noto Valley. Later, gather with the group for a welcome cocktail reception on the elegant grounds of our hotel and dine at a local Sicilian restaurant.
After breakfast, cycle the rolling southern outskirts of the Province of Ragusa toward the sea. As you ride, you are surrounded by quiet countryside, with miles of stonewalls tracing your progress. Here and there, you see cattle lazily grazing in the shade of large carob and olive trees, and greenhouses where fragrant vegetables are grown to stock both the local markets and those in the northern regions of Italy and Europe.
Before lunch, you reach Marina di Modica and pedal on a bike path along the sea. Marina is a summer resort town, and in the warm season its beaches are perfect for swimming. Your morning ride ends in the peaceful pine forest of Sampieri, the perfect place for a picnic prepared by your SCT Trip Leaders. Enjoy time to stroll around and reward yourself with a delicious gelato. From here, you can opt to cycle or shuttle to your hotel, relax at the hotel swimming pool, or discover Scicli. The city has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the extraordinary beauty and importance of its late-Baroque architecture, which was constructed after a terrible earthquake devastated Sicily in 1693.
This evening, stroll Scicli and enjoy the views of the magnificent architecture at night. Find the perfect place for dinner on your own.
Today you shuttle to Modica to enjoy one of the most interesting visits of the week: the chocolate factory of the Bonajuto family. The oldest factory of its kind in town, Antica Dolceria Bonajuto has been processing cocoa since 1880, using Aztec techniques imported by the Spanish more than 400 years ago. A mouth-watering tasting is a must after the tour. From Baroque Modica, you start riding north in the peaceful countryside of the Noto Valley, with a stop on the way for lunch on your own at an organic farm. You are welcomed by smiling mama Nella, the owner, who overviews the many activities of her 50 hectar farm while cooking breads, jams, sherbets and much more for her guests. On the farm, taste fresh-made ricotta, made especially for you by a local cheese maker.
Your afternoon ride from Balata di Modica follows a mostly downhill route to your hotel, along scenic quiet country roads flanked by elegant olive and carob trees. Relax at this elegant hotel, which features a large outdoor swimming pool and its own spa. Later, move to the kitchen, where you help prepare a Sicilian recipe under the guidance of the hotel chef: delicious eggplant parmigiana and eggplant rolls. You are also invited to try your hand at cannoli. The chef will demonstrate how to stuff a cannoli with ricotta and sugar filling, and you can then add your own customized touch, such as chocolate chips, pistachios, and more. Enjoy the results at dinner, accompanied by delicious red wine.
After a hearty breakfast, pedal along quiet, mostly easy country roads, heading to the sea. On the way, be sure to pause to visit the mosaics of an ancient Roman villa, dating to the 4th century BC. The mosaics rival the beauty of the more famous and larger mosaics at the Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina.
Your destination is the recently restored, ancient fishing village of Marzamemi, nestled on a small promontory south of Syracuse. Marzamemi was developed in the 17th century around a tuna fishery, which is now the second largest in Sicily and a national monument. The descendants of the owners, the Princes of Villadorata, still come to their palace every so often, a beautiful summer residence dating to the 1600s. Marzamemi is a good place to find a relaxing café or local fish restaurant for lunch on your own.
Retrace your way to your hotel in the afternoon. Later, relax or opt to follow your hotel hosts on a short and interesting walk around their large estate to learn about the crops used in traditional Sicilian cuisine. Then shuttle to Noto for a stroll in this famous Baroque city to admire the local architecture. Dinner is on your own.
After breakfast* this morning, you transfer to the Catania airport (about 50 or 60 minutes, depending on traffic) for your departing flight**. Please ensure you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time.
*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.
LEARN ABOUT THE TOUR
Transfer from the airport to the hotel T/R.
3 nights in a hotel Half board (only Breakfast )
Snack (we call it "Aperitivo") after the rides.
Local wine tasting
Secure Bike room.
Following Car during the rides with Mechanical Assistance.
Route program of 30/40 km a day and 100/400 hm.
Guides will ride with you every day and we will split the group in smaller ones with different fitness level.
Pictures and video from the rides.
Energy Gel / Energy Bar during the rides
Sicily Cycling Tours jersey
Cafè,Wine, Beer, and other alcoholic drinks
ACCOMMODATION You will stay in the best Boutique Hotel of the Sicily.
AIRPORT We recommend that you fly to Catania airport from there we arrange transfer to/ from. Alternatively, you can fly to Palermo.
TRANSFER We will arrange your transfer to and from Catania Airport and the hotel. When you arrive we are ready to receive you and bring you and your bike to the hotel.
Sicily Cycling Tours will be responsible for the daily bike rides.
LEVEL OF FITNESS This trip is suited for all people who ride the bike 1-2 times a week or more. If necessary, we will divide people into groups by fitness level.
BIKE RENTAL If you don’t care to bring your bike you can rent, for €35,00.
Bike delivered directly to the Hotel.